We debated over what to call this post. Alas, “Oscar Roundup,” won over “Oscar Meyers Hot Dogs” and “The Oscars: Does Anyone Really Care Anymore” or even “Oscars! Now We Can Get On With the Movies We Really Care About.”
None of them had that distinct snap that Oscar Roundup had. For those scoring at home it was another four-hour-plus marathon session niftily handled by Ellen DeGeneres’ off-beat humor (see: vacuuming the carpet, talking with Clint Eastwood, and her opening monologue), Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly, those cool shadowy interpretive dancers from the Honda ads, that were slightly awesomer than Billy Crystal’s yearly homage to the movies, no major surprises (except how in the hell did Pan’s Labyrinth not win Best Foreign Language Film?), yet another Gwyneth Paltrow fashion tragedy, and the look on Rinko Kikuchi’s face when Jennifer Hudson won for “Best Supporting Actress” was priceless.
All in all it was a great night for the movies.
Big ups for Marty Scorcese and the slightly surprising win for best picture with “The Departed.” Not sure if the Academy will ever give it to such a cool movie ever again.
Two things should be noted: Around 11 p.m. when the Oscars were still handing out awards to categories for editing and whatnot I secretly switched over to “Battlestar Galactica” on my Tivo. Now this is important for several reasons since the Oscars were dull enough to want to switch over to something else, but not only that but by drawing the awards show out longer than it had to be the Academy essentially forced my hand into watching the much more riveting “Battlestar.” And it was one of the most satisfying “Battlestar” episodes in a long while.
The first point also underscores the second point which is the Oscars are really nothing more than a marking point when people can finally get excited about the movies again. We can all stop pretending to be members of the intelligensia, stop feigning like we have any interest in movies where Ryan Gosling stars as a crack-addled middle school teacher, or Forest Whitaker stars as the villainous Idi Amin, or Michael Clarke Duncan stars as gay NBA star John Amaechi, or whatever. Take your pick for which movie did I have to pretend to care about or think was actually riveting cinema. So now we can look forward to the “300” on March 9, “Grindhouse” in April and then all the deliciously guilty-pleasures in the summer.
List of the winners and a suggestion on how to make people care about the Oscar telecast after the jump.
Best Picture: The Departed
Best Director: Martin Scorcese
Best Actor: Forest Whitaker in “Last King of Scotland”
Best Actress: Helen Mirren in “The Queen”
Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine”
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls”
Best Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan for “The Departed”
Best Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt for “Little Miss Sunshine”
Best Documentary: “An Inconvenient Truth”
Best Animated Film: “Happy Feet”
Best Foreign Film: “The Lives of Others” (Germany)
So how do we fix the Oscar telecast? It’s simple really. No sane person wants to sit through four-hours of crap and commercials to find out the winners to the above mentioned 11 categories. I know some people care about special effects, sound, costumes, editing, and cinematography. But those are true movies geeks like myself. I always use the mother test when it comes to awards shows. Which awards does my mother really care about and will she stay up past 10:30 to find out who wins? The answer is she cares about the major major categories and she won’t stay up to find out who wins because she doesn’t want to stay up until after midnight to find out. NO ONE does!
What they should do is hold the Oscars and break it up into two segments. Hand out all the awards no one cares about during segment one. Then at 8:30 p.m. ABC can telecast the red carpet arrivals (which has already happened earlier in the afternoon). At 9 p.m. the ceremony telecast can start. Though half of it has already been done, the host comes out does a monologue and then a recap of the night’s winners. Then they have two-and-a-half hours to get through the next ten major awards plus they homage to all the dead people. If everyone knows the ceremony will be a quick in-and-out thing are you telling me people wouldn’t stay up and stay tuned to the broadcast? This needs to happen immediately.