Archive for June, 2011


I only watched about a half hour of the Oscars.

After the cute opening with the almost too charming co-hosts, James Franco and Anne Hathaway, came the avalanche of names. Like a reverse McCarthyism, everyone wanted to be on this list. But this time, the only people shunned were the nervous, sweaty, winners behind the mic who forgot to call out everyone they knew.

On the minus side, I had no idea who won anything but Best Supporting Actress, the award that always comes early in the game, the granola bar we’re given to scarf before the long trek.

The outsized plus was missing Gwyneth Paltrow singing whatever song it was from “Country Strong.” (What is up with people who like her? She has no discernible talent other than ruining Cee Lo Green’s performance of “Fuck You” at the Grammys.)

After sitting though countless 3-4 hour Thankfests, I offer my five-second idea for shortening and improving the Academy Awards: Simply forbid any winner from naming names.

I could give a shit about the 28 people from producer to caterer that the winner feels compelled to mention. And god forbid if they forget to thank their family—every website and Entertainment Tonight-type TV show will rake ’em though the coals for being heartless.

Instead, why don’t the producers insist that each winner actually come up with a few sentences that mean something?

Radical? Not Really. If the 83rd Academy Awards truly wanted to pay homage to the past, they would have blown off the 10-second black and white clips of previous shows and taken a page from the time when winners actually gave heartfelt speeches of substance.

No, it doesn’t have to be political, like the comment from Charles Ferguson, director of “Inside Job” He reiterated the message of his Wall Street  documentary by commenting, “Three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by fraud not a single financial executive has gone to jail—and that’s wrong.”

Nor does it have to be a grateful thank you as Lee Unkrich, the director of Toy Story gave as he announced, “Thank you to audiences all over the world who came out in historic numbers and embraced a movie about talking toys that hopefully had something very human to say.”

And the recipient is not required to be witty and self-effacing like David Seidler, winner of the Original Screenplay Oscar for “The King’s Speech.” “My father always said I would be a late bloomer,” said the elderly Seidler, “I believe I am the oldest person to ever win this award. I hope that record is broken quickly and often.”

But it sure would be nice.

And those poor local news people would be able to start the evening 


June 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

Roberta Gale

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