A Bad Case of Oscar Blahs

Is it just me, or were the Oscars especially dull this year? This seems to be a common complaint about recent ceremonies. Perhaps my expectations are just too high? But it hasn’t always been this way. Remember the days when the Oscars were fun?

The over-the-top winning moments…

A memorable acceptance speech or two…

1996 Best documentary short winner Jessica Yu who quipped: “You know you’re in new territory when you realize your outfit cost more than your film.”

Joe Pesci’s short, sweet, and sincere statement on winning Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Goodfellas in 1991: “It was my privilege. Thank you.”

Tom Hanks eloquently thanking his high school drama teacher and classmate on his 1994 Best Actor win for Philadelphia and paying tribute to those who suffer the very real indignities and pain of AIDS.

The bizarre fashion choices…

Helena Bonham Carter in 1987 wearing... um, something. (Photo credit)

Helena Bonham Carter in 1987 wearing… um, something. (Photo credit)

The incomparable Cher barely wearing Bob Mackie at the 1986 Oscars

The incomparable Cher barely wearing Bob Mackie at the 1986 Oscars. (Photo credit)

Bjork in Marjan Pejoski’s swan-inspired creation at the 2001 ceremony

Bjork in Marjan Pejoski’s swan-inspired creation at the 2001 ceremony. (Photo credit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The political statements (and in one instance, nudity)…

Oh yes, they call him the streak:

Sacheen Littlefeather declining the Oscar for Best Actor on behalf of Marlon Brando in 1973:

Michael Moore berating George W. Bush when receiving his 2003 award for Bowling for Columbine:

The only thing that really stands out in recent memory is Melissa Leo dropping the F-bomb in her Supporting Actress speech for her role in The Fighter two years ago, and that was barely a “blip” (or I guess, a “bleep”). As for the fashion this year, as much as I appreciate the glitz and glam of Hollywood’s biggest night, I’m not really qualified, even in an armchair way, to render an opinion on “best” and “worst” dressed (check out my fashion-savvy blogging friend Jill’s take on the highlights of Oscar night for some insights). This year seemed like so many others in that department – mostly generically beautiful gowns with a few that were marginally more original, and a handful that fell a little short of the Hollywood standard. But nothing that even rates alongside the aforementioned dramatic, scene-stealing fashion choices.

As an avid Oscar-watcher, I can’t help but wonder if maybe it’s time to get rid of the host. Time could be better spent on quality production numbers and tributes. I like the big song and dance stuff and the annual memorial slideshow – I know some might find these tedious, but to me they are all about classic Hollywood glamour and celebrating the movies and movie-makers, which is really what the Oscars should be all about. Material for said hosts seems to have degenerated to the point of mediocre stand-up and the jokes have become more and more mean-spirited – and worse, not funny. And let’s not even talk about the ill-fated Franco-Hathaway pairing.

Lest we forget, there have been some pretty entertaining hosting moments, both scripted and unscripted over the years…

Whoopi Goldberg in full Elizabethan regalia hosting the 1999 Oscars. (Photo credit)

Whoopi Goldberg in full Elizabethan regalia hosting the 1999 Oscars. (Photo credit)

Billy Crystal as Hannibal Lector at the 1991 ceremony. (Photo credit)

Billy Crystal as Hannibal Lecter at the 1991 ceremony. (Photo credit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heeeere’s Johnny... with Miss Piggy at the 1980 Oscars. (Photo credit)

Heeeere’s Johnny… with Miss Piggy at the 1980 Oscars. (Photo credit)

I could barely stay awake during the awards this year, in part because on the East Coast of Canada they are telecast from 9:30-1:30ish and I was pretty tired. But mostly because they were B-O-R-I-N-G – like watching sparkly paint dry.

So what’s a girl to do about the Oscar blahs? Maybe give up watching altogether, or at least record and watch them later (skipping past the boring bits and commercials – that would probably be what, 45 minutes of viewing time…)? That would be the sane thing to do, yet I can’t seem to bring myself to quit altogether. Yes, I am probably crazy for watching each year expecting different results, but here’s why: I want to see what happens. I want to see who wins especially when quality trumps politics. I want to see all the pretty people in the fancy clothes. I want someone to wear or do or say something crazy. I want to see an elaborately choreographed song-and-dance opening number (in this respect I wasn’t disappointed this year – Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, and Joseph Gordon Levitt were delightful surprises). Mostly, I want to be entertained. I guess there’s always next year…

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