Monday, March 8, 2010
Bombs Away: Was This the Worst Oscar Ceremony Ever?
Despite the big ratings—this was the highest rated telecast since 2005—the show could not have been worse. In fact, I'd venture to say this was my least favorite Oscars ever.
Wondering why? Check out my reasons after the jump.
1.) The hosts. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were great in concept—they're both funny, slick and utter pros—but a complete failure in practice. When the hosts are only on stage for, roughly, 20 minutes and 17 minutes of those minutes are spent pointing out celebrities in the audience and making stale, Catskills-level jokes about them, there's a problem.
2.) The awards. In a word: predictable. Okay, maybe I was slightly surprised The Hurt Locker, with its laughable gross, topped Avatar, but otherwise every choice was so obvious. Even the winner's didn't seem surprised. I know that's how it always is, but this year felt particularly egregious. Fact: the biggest upset was in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Snooze.
3.) The Hurt Locker. Will anyone be talking about The Hurt Locker in five years? How about even one year? Let me answer that for you: no, they won't. You'll notice that Slumdog Millionaire didn't even get mentioned last night, brushed under the rug like some unwanted ball of lint. And that film was a success. The Hurt Locker, under any metric, was a bomb (pun!). I realize that Best Picture winners have become increasingly non-essential to the history of film but at least Avatar was a game-changing event. Not that I wanted James Cameron's film to win either, but at least its victory would have been important.
There's got to be a way to make this show better. Cancel most of the technical awards, ban campaigning and give the viewers an actual surprise once in a while and you have the start of something. Do we realize that the last time there was an actual surprise at the Oscars, it was Crash? That's not good.