By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Shameful, also, that Clooney didn’t have the guts to go for broke during his acceptance speech: “I’m proud to be part of this Academy. I’m proud to be part of this community. I’m proud to be ‘out of touch.’?” Why didn’t you just say it, George? “I’m proud to be a liberal activist actor even when conservatives hate me for it”?
This was your chance to speak out. Instead, you copped out.
3. Create a mosh pit of fanatics in front of the stage like they do at the MTV Movie Awards.Would it have killed the Academy to nominate something popular like King Kong, or the fourth Harry Potter or Revenge of the Sith or even Narnia? It’s like the Industry types in this town have a death wish. Everyone was too busy speculating about the United Talent–Endeavor agency rumor, or the likelihood of a Mike Ovitz, Brad Grey or Bert Fields indictment in the Pellicano wiretap scandal, to focus on why civilians hadn’t bothered to see any of the nominated movies. The best overheard line at Barry Diller’s Oscar party on Saturday kinda summed it up: “This is the entire television audience for the Academy Awards on Sunday night.” (There were 500 people in attendance.)
So at least bring in real folk who get excited by seeing movies and hobnobbing with actors and experiencing an Academy Award broadcast live and in person. Empty the fan bleachers right before the broadcast. The mogul truth is that, as a species, Industry types hate the Oscars. They loathe the entire weekend. They bitch and moan about having to wear a tie or a tux. But, most of all, they can’t stand pretending that they actually know all the people who are coming over to shake their hands, or that they are pleased when a rival studio wins an Oscar. And they get flop sweat at the prospect of Sumner, Rupert, Dick, Jeffrey, Bob or Sir Howard barking: “What the hell happened? Why didn’t we win more awards? You still expect a bonus this year?”
That’s why, increasingly every year, the Oscars sound like the final moments of Saigon, with helicopters whirring in the air. Just as during the Vietnam War when everybody at the U.S. Embassy waited for “White Christmas” to play on the radio as the signal to haul their asses out of Saigon, the movie business is waiting to disassemble post-telecast. Even Jon Stewart was joking about how lousy the movie biz is right now.
Quick, up to the roof of Kodak Theater. We’ve got choppers to take you out to Malibu.
4. Get rid of all the non-talent awards and sell that show to the Discovery Channel.This is why cable TV exists, to take the overflow. Before anyone firebombs AMPAS, just remember: The Academy already segregates the Oscars by holding the presentation of the scientific and technical Academy Awards in a different place, on a different night (this year, at The Beverly Hilton on February 18). So what’s the big deal about moving sound, costume, editing, CGI and all the rest of that eyes-glazing-over stuff to that show and freeing up valuable real estate during the real Oscar telecast? (Unless you liked seeing Ben Stiller overact in that dumb-ass green suit.)
And non-talent includes the awards for writers. They’re used to being treated like shit and not complaining about it (e.g., their Writers Guild) so they won’t bitch, trust me.
5. Pay Angelina Jolie to steal a husband and win an Oscar every year.