Waste of Time

February 23, 2009 by admncc

I honestly took a few minutes this morning to contemplate writing to Hugh Jackman and asking him for last night’s 3.5 hours of my life back.  In the end, obviously, the thought of writing to him was a joke, but that doesn’t change the fact I am probably one of the countless movie fans out there that is disgusted with last night’s Academy Awards.

I consider myself to be a very fair person.  Yes, I have high expectations, but I am a realist at the same time.  So with that being said, I will walk you through why I was so dissatisfied with The Oscars.

First, I live on the East Coast.  The show didn’t start until 8:30 p.m. and ended at 11:55 p.m.  This isn’t going to be so much of an issue for everyone on the West Coast, but I think I can speak for a lot of people out this way when saying that I didn’t particularly enjoy staying up until midnight to see who won in the “Best Picture” category.  In the same breath, I had to wait more than three hours and 15 minutes for them to finally get to categories such as “Best Actress” and “Best Actor.”

So that leads me to ask the following question, “Who cares about some of these other categories?”  Do I sound like a horrible and non-educated movie fan for not caring about who wins in “Costume Design” and “Sound Mixing?”

Here’s a thought; have a two-hour show where the awards for “Best Picture,” “Best Director,” “Best Actor,” “Best Actress,” “Best Supporting Actress” and “Best Supporting Actor” are given out.  Then do the rest at a side-ceremony a week or two beforehand and show a highlight segment of that during the actual Academy Awards.

I seem to remember them doing some sort of side-ceremony a few years in a row for some of the foreign films, but after painfully sitting through last night’s show, I have to wonder if others out there agree with me?  I’ve read a number of editorials over the years where the authors were asking the same thing – when will the Academy listen to the fans.  I heard it phrased an interesting way this morning on the radio as a matter of fact.  The DJ basically said, “Is this show for the fans or is it a show for the movie stars and there just happens to be a camera there?”

Of course if I was in the movies I would probably better understand and respect elements such as cinematography and art direction, but does the average Joe care about stuff like that?  Probably not!  Another thing is that I have never enjoyed having to watch artists perform the “Best Music (Score)” songs live during The Oscars.  It seems like a colossal waste of time.

So before you attack me for not respecting everything that goes into a movie; hold on – because I do.  I’m the guy who actually takes the time to watch the credits at the end of a movie.  All I’m saying is that when The Oscars had the lowest rating for their show ever in 2008, I think that should have been a wake-up call to the Academy.  And I don’t think the answer is having the panel-awards with five past winners, like they did last night.  Yes, that was an interesting surprise, but I would have been more delighted if they said that this show would be the half as long as last year and that only the major awards (in the public’s eye) would be covered…  Well, the last time I checked, I was not in the rolodex for the President of the Academy.  But somehow I hope he’s listening…

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  1. c.princess says:

    I wanted Mickey Rourke to win in the best actor category. I love his films but I knew the Academy would be awarded to Sean Penn.
    At least Mickey won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and a few others. The only part of the show I really enjoy is the Red Carpet.
    I like to see who’s wearing what.

  2. Jane says:

    I was rooting for Kate Winslet and agree with you CC.

  3. NeoConDon says:

    The Oscars are about and for the actors, not the fans. They don’t care about the fans.

    As a technical person, I like to see who wins for the art, sound, and other technical stuff. I generally have a very difficult time appreciating the acting since it’s basically playing pretend…(I have 4 children that spend most of the day playing pretend.) But I do appreciate the sound, music, direction, costumes…those are the real artists in these films…the “pretenders” are usually an annoying interruption of the real art and interpretation behind a film.

  4. I thought I was watching the Tony Awards? Hugh’s a great talent and works hard to entertain, but too many show tunes and musical numbers for my taste.

  5. Sugar says:

    CC, I am so disappointed! Yes, I don’t like waiting all night to find out who the Best Actor/Actress is, but if they had that first, who would sit through and watch the rest of the show? It’s not just about the Actors. It takes a lot of work to make a movie, and a lot of hard work goes into it. I’m sure you know that there are many factors that go into the process. Lighting, Music, Costumes, etc. They should get recognition for that as well. There is no I in TEAM.

    I am a huge movie buff. I have biographies on Actors, from the black and white era to present. I critique movies that I see. I know the goofs, the stories, the mishaps, behind them. I guess I’m just fascinated with the “Hollywood World”. I guess you could say it is my hobby.

    I watch the Oscar’s religiously every year, but I have to agree to an extent that this year was my least favorite. Not because of the Awards, but because of the scaling down and budget cuts that were made although I totally understand the reasoning behind it. The first half was a little weird, I didn’t really care for all the musical numbers, but towards the end, it seemed to have gotten better. I did not understand the whole Beyonce dance routine. I thought that was horrible. I adore Hugh Jackman, and didn’t know that he could sing and dance, but that vibe just wasn’t there. I preferred when Billy Crystal hosted. It was funny throughout the whole show. Notice when Will Smith, Steve Martin, and Tina Fey were on stage. People laughed! They were themselves and it was great. I think a big part is the humor of the Actors presenting the awards. Ben Stiller and Natalie Portman were the best by far. Surprisingly Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black, not so much. A lot of the Actors don’t have the personality for live television. It shows.

    I also thought it was wonderful that they presented Jerry Lewis with the Humanitarian Award. It was a step in a different direction than the Lifetime Achievement Awards that are usually presented. He really does so much for children that have Muscular Dystrophy.

    Lastly, I thought that Sean Penn’s speech was inappropriate. Who the hell accepts an Oscar with the phrase: “commie, homo-loving sons-of-guns “. What the hell was that? If it was a joke, it sure wasn’t funny, especially when he repeated it later on in his “speech”. He won that Oscar for portraying Harvey Milk, who was the first gay man to be elected into a public office. I thought his speech was in bad taste.

    I think this is the longest response that I have written. Shocking!

  6. I’m in agreement too. They have to realize who most of the people are that are watching this show. I’m also happy Kate Winslet won. I was really hoping that she was going to. She is really down to earth and a phenomenal actress in my opinion. Hot too with brains 🙂

  7. I had the pleasure of missing them this year. I was traevling. My friends on twitter gave me the news for the most popular categories. I very much suggest this method.

  8. Extreme John says:

    I really couldn’t be more excited about the fact that I decided not to do a Live play by play of the Oscars like I did with the Academy Awards. I ended up being tied up and missing probably 85% of the Oscars and based on what I actually did see and what you have written here I would have felt as if I wasted 3 very important hours of my life.

    I did almost fall for all the hype that this year was going to be different and they had some very exciting things planned. I found myself constantly looking at different things and trying to give false credit just so I wouldn’t get so pissed off during the parts I did actually watch.

  9. Samf says:

    The way to make the Academy Awards change, or go away is not to watch them. You watch them, blog about them, feed into their popularity. Let them fade, and have something better rise in their place.

  10. thepoetryman says:

    “So that leads me to ask the following question, “Who cares about some of these other categories?” Do I sound like a horrible and non-educated movie fan for not caring about who wins in “Costume Design” and “Sound Mixing?””

    There is something to your comment about a need for an earlier time to get to what you deem more worthy. I believe that the costume design, the sound mixing, the cinematography, the writing, and the myriad of other categories paraded before us during Oscar night are very important, more so than the acting or directing.

    I should add that I don’t watch the Oscars, but I have performed on stage for most of my life and can say that without the “sub”-categories the show would not go on and it certainly wouldn’t be nearly as good without them.

    To those that the parade includes all of the above mentioned and the time zone is difficult and miserably late, there is the DVR, or DVD, or the internet… or skip the whole affair all together and, as Samf said, “let them fade”…

    In all honesty, the Oscars are nothing more than an act of narcissism. I do enjoy it when I find (on the internet), the day after or so, a video of an actor or director or what have you that has risen above their ego, above themselves and spoken out against an ill or an injustice in the world. Some call it a “stunt” and think actors and or Hollywood should remain in their place and not be so outspoken, but I say they ARE in their place, they are U.S. citizens and if they use their status to articulate a political point that is sorely missing from the mainstream media I say more power to them. (Michael Moore and Sally Fields and Sean Penn come to mind.) If only our media were as brave…

    I hope for your sake and the millions more that the Oscars are moved to a different time slot so that the public that chooses to watch such things becomes more accommodating.


  11. thepoetryman says:

    “Lastly, I thought that Sean Penn’s speech was inappropriate. Who the hell accepts an Oscar with the phrase: “commie, homo-loving sons-of-guns “. What the hell was that?”

    That, dear Sugar, was in reference to his political, current and past, stances that he takes up around the globe. It was funny. It was meant for his nay sayers. It was meant for the governments that hold him in contempt and who hold gays, lesbians, communists, freedom fighters, Che, Socialists, Liberals, Humanists, anti-war groups, etc. in contempt. You, being a lover of the black and white era and all things Oscar, I thought would have known this. It too is part of the long standing tradition.

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