That describes the feeling I had the other day when I was listening to an NPR interview and heard the film critic pan the Academy Awards show. Not just the show; the whole concept of the show. The crux of his criticism was that, while the Grammy’s and the Country Music Awards, and even the Emmys and Tonys have performers, the Oscars are merely a rendering of honors for accomplishment: and not even recognition of the proper or best accomplishments.
Put aside the fact that Billy Crystal volunteered to host at a late date, or that it might be somewhat difficult to be entirely original for the ninth time, or that, and bear with me on this one, the show has a finite required amount of time for honorifics and (I think) does an admirable job of providing both cinematic and musical entertainment around that time constraint; putting all that aside, I was entertained watching the show.
Okay, I was a little disappointed when I found out that not only does my recent eligibility for SAG not get me into the voting coterie of the Academy, but the constituents in the Academy do not vaguely represent theater audiences. And I was a little disappointed in some of the selections, especially since I had seen a record (for me) number of the nominated films. And I, like many others was only mildly amused (but not affronted) by the Justin Bieber/Sammy Davis, Jr. bit.
Still, I usually watch the show and on occasion have been to or held parties around its occurrence, and I felt this year was one of the better shows. I liked the opening and marveled at how Billy Crystal was able to handle the almost-doubling of the principal categories. I thought that most of the acceptances were relevant and consistent with time constraints. The critic on NPR thought they should do away with acceptance speeches entirely, which would drive the LA fashion and jewelry businesses into deep recession.
Maybe the major problem is the movie industry itself.
I’m tired of sequels, and attempts to establish sequels. I sort of let Part 2 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pass me by, preferring to see Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway in How To Succeed in Business Without ReallyTrying. And I’m not sorry that John Carter failed to deliver to expectations. Although The Artist, Hugo, Help, The Descendants, and even Albert Nobbs are undeniably uniquely creative films, they seem to be the exception in theaters. More often we are offered sometimes well-done but formulaic films like Bridesmaids or Scary Movie XXVI.
Steve Jobs and technology have made animated films competitive in quality and attraction, and my wife seems to want to see them more than conventional films, but I believe the latest surge to make every film in 3-D because it boosts revenues is short sighted. And distribution is not the answer either as the public has begun to show that they are willing to watch film on smaller and smaller screens as long as they can set the time they watch it and the price they pay.
So my point in this post, if any, is to encourage you to watch next year when that 13 ½ inch, 8 ½ pound gold-plated trophy is passed to the new (or repeat) winners as it has since 1929. I’d like the numbers to climb for a show dedicated to recognizing and hopefully encouraging improvement in film.
My next post will give you my take on the current position on advantages of birth, in occupation and sports. Hope to see you then.