Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lee Pfeiffer's hilarious take on the "new" Academy Awards

Ed here: Lee Pfeiffer of the excellent magazine Cinema-Retro posted this bemused take on the "new" Academy Awards coming next Sunday night. I agree with Lee--guaranteed disaster. Support Cinema-Retro!

By Lee Pfeiffer

A.M.P.A.S. is still desperately trying to attract younger viewers for its annual Oscar telecast. Once considered to be "must-see" TV, the broadcast's ratings have declined in recent years. This resulted is an annual pledge to do something radical to attract younger viewers. The most contentious plan was to change the rules to include ten nominees for Best Picture, double the usual number. However, since only five director's can be nominated, everyone realizes that the other five are largely superfluous choices designed to honor films that stand no chance of winning. Consider this a sop to fans of The Dark Knight who complained that the Academy wasn't hip enough to nominate the blockbuster for Best Picture. Changes this year include getting rid of the tag-team of Barbie and Ken types who present an Oscar together amidst the God-awful "spontaneous" banter. Instead, there will be more responsibility on the two hosts, James Franco and Anne Hathaway, who are the youngest people ever to host the event. The fact that most people over the age of 30 may not have even heard of them may result in a lack of enthusiasm for the older audience that remains Oscar's most loyal viewers. There also won't be film montages of classic genres. The gimmick is being retired after last year's awful tribute to horror movies that was compiled by people who think modern slasher films merited more time than the Universal monsters classics or Hammer horror flicks. They are also going to do away with dispensing with the Best Song nominees in a collective number and once again present the songs in their entirety. Given the fact that it seems there hasn't been a memorable song nominated since Ronald Reagan sat in the White House, this should ensure plenty of bathroom breaks for those viewers with weak bladders. There will also be the cringe-inducing gimmick of watching a selected groups of mothers and grandmothers, who will be referred to as "Mominees", to Tweet their observations about the broadcast on their Twitter accounts. That's the final straw for me. I'll be on vacation in the Dominican Republic and I was reluctant to leave the temptation of island drinks and cigars to be cooped up in a hotel room watching the Oscar broadcast. I'll now leave it to friends who are house sitting for me to give me their observations, but it might constitute cruel and unusual punishment. For the Hollywood Reporter's story about the changes to Oscar


Todd Mason said...

1. As if the Oscars haven't always been a joke.

2. 10 best film noms is what the awards started with, and anything that extends the noms out to films such as WINTER'S BONE, which would almost certainly tend to be ignored for "major" awards otherwise (even though it got a nom or so in those categories) is as useful as the Oscars ever get.

3. Ann Hathaway is much easier for me to watch than Hugh Jackman. Call me crazy. Not that I'm likely to look at the ceremony much, either. If Hathaway was to dress as Geena Davis did as an Emmy presenter, I would change my mind quickly, but this is Rather Unlikely. James who? Oh, yeah, over there, OK.

Todd Mason said...

Ah. Anne Hathaway, actually, or as I tend to think of her, Sela Ward, Jr.