March 5, 2006
Worst Oscars Ever?
Was this the worst Oscars show ever? Let's take a look at the evidence:
- The theme of this year's broadcast was "Return to Glamour." First of all, if you have to say something is glamorous, it's not glamorous. Secondly, if this event was supposed to be so glamorous, what was up with Incredibly stupid Ben Stiller bit in the unitard? Did more than maybe 30% of the audience even get what that was about? Even if you got it, you still thought it sucked.
- The stupid animated Chicken Little thing. When are these awards shows going to figure out that these animated presenters are dumb, the premise never works, and nobody cares about your stupid disposable animated character products.
- Boring-as-hell montages. Salute to the bio-pic? Are you kidding me? The montages have become obligatory, but they've run out of genres. So they're stuck churning out crap like this that has no relevance to this year's films and doesn't make anyone think about the charm or magic of movies. Did they also do a salute to the noir? Why? Even neo-noir has been dead for six or seven years.
- Slow-motion interpretive dance. These sequences had me yearning for the days of Antonio Banderas and Santana.
- The music being played during the acceptance speeches. More on this in a second, but this is more stopwatch-gazing that distracted both the audience and the winners themselves during their speeches. A terrible development.
- The Soup Nazi who runs the acceptance speech timer, conforming to the dictat of executive producer Gil Cates who with each passing year gets more insane about shortening the best moment of all the winners' lives. Cutting off the winner of a technical award 20 minutes into the broadcast is understandable, even if it's not considerate, but cutting off the WINNERS OF BEST PICTURE when you are THIRTY MINUTES AHEAD OF SCHEDULE is really rude, depressing, and unfair. What is the harm in letting them talk for another 30 seconds or another minute or another 5 minutes? Or better yet, cut out two or three of the overlong montages nobody cares about and let everyone talk an extra 15 or 20 seconds.
With few, all-too-brief exceptions, the whole ceremony felt stiff and compulsory. Three 6 Mafia's elation, the Tsotsi guy's heartfelt acceptance, Clooney's little speech, Philip Seymour Hoffman's nervousness, and Reese's corny but sincere gratitude were the only even half-interesting moments of the whole night, and of those maybe only the rappers delivered an unfiltered emotional moment. More was probably forthcoming from the other winners, but they were too busy counting down the seconds before getting violin'd off the stage.
The Oscars should be fun and celebratory and entertaining and inspiring. They should not feel like a military exercise. Fire Gil Cates and find someone who understands this and can restore some creativity to the occasion.
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