Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,
You are the Academy Awards. Start acting like them. You set the bar for awards. Clearly not, however, for award shows.
You do not get a bigger fan of movies or Hollywood than me. I live for this stuff. I was so into the Oscars that for years, my mother and I would check into a hotel for the night so that we did not miss a single moment. My children are now fully involved in all the red carpet coverage and love nothing more than to critique all the best dresses. So, what I am trying to say here is that I am not an average viewer.
Guess what, Academy? You are losing me. And if you are losing me, then I assure you that you are losing millions of “regular” people, too.
Here is the thing. Starting your show at 8:30 p.m. EST and then having it run for over 3 hours and 26 minutes is ridiculous. I don’t even enjoy doing things I actually like for that length of time. So, you have a choice to make…start earlier or start cutting.
The biggest night of her life, and were you even awake to see her win?
You film people love nothing more than to talk about editing and stuff on the cutting room floor, so get to it. Average people not only do not care about more than half the categories you insist on presenting on Oscar night, we don’t even have the opportunity to actually see that stuff. Best Documentary Short Subject? Excuse me while I comb through my very large stack of mail, but I don’t believe I received that Academy mailer DVD of those selections in my mailbox this year. Besides the fact that categories like that cause us all to lose in our Oscar pools, it also drags the show out even longer.
Best Sound Mixing (not to be confused with Best Sound Editing, an entirely different category)…really? This is 2013…I think we have managed to master “the talkie”, okay. You know when you give that award? On your Scientific and Technical Award night. Because last time I checked, sound mixing is fairly technical. You continue to do exactly what you already do, which is to have a single Hollywood famous person come on stage and recap that event. Boom. I just shaved a good hour and a half off your telecast. You’re welcome.
Also, you don’t need a separate theme for Oscar night. You know what the theme is: the movies from the past year. Or just movies in general if you want to go with that. Want to highlight movie musicals? No problem. Nothing highlights movies better than a movie montage. Start with a clip of The King and I and finish with a clip from Dreamgirls and then when you get to the big moment, boom open the curtain with Jennifer Hudson belting out the sweeping notes from “And I’m Telling You” and guess what you will have…a water cooler moment. The kind that brings the audience to its feet in the theater and at home. The kind of moment that you had with Barbra Streisand last night that sent Twitter into a tail spin. Hashtag that Hollywood.
Either go big or go home is my advice. Honoring the 50th anniversary of the Bond films?Great. Get all the living Bond men and Bond girls on stage and pull back the curtain after playing a clip montage of all the best Bond film scenes. Standing ovation right then and there. Done.
Can you tell I am a fan of the movie clip montage yet? Well, I am. And so is everyone else. Quite frankly, if we could all live our lives in montage moments complete with soundtrack we totally would. And when I am watching *the* award show for films, I want to see lots of them. If I want to watch live musical performances I will turn on The Grammys or The Tonys.
Also, let’s talk hosting. The host of any event (as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler proved so effortessly on The Golden Globes) is supposed to be the person who moves the show along after a big opening number. And by big, I do not mean twenty minutes. It was practically nine o’clock and not a single award had been given out. Move it along host. This is not about you. It is about the movies. Period.
We don’t need the latest comedian as the host. Let’s class up this joint. Get someone who can do that. Pick someone who appreciates the industry and let them run with it.
Might I suggest George Clooney. Or Meryl Streep. Or Denzel Washington. Someone who can command the stage without stealing all the attention for themselves.
You are the Academy Awards, for God’s sake. You are supposed to be the grownups in the room. You know when a grown up tries to use teen slang and it’s unfunny and awkward? Well, that is how it is when we at home are watching this spectacle. Play to your strengths.
Make all of us at home glad we made watching your show a priority. Don’t make us sorry that you are not a tenth as good as The Golden Globes.
Let them go for the gold. They are really good at it.
You *be* the gold standard.
Ashley, a Very Unimpressed Oscar Viewer