What to write about this year’s oscars that hasn’t already been covered?
Where to start?
So, Billy Crystal is hosting—yeesh, wackaty-schmackity city. So, best Oscar hosts? The Huffington Post already ranked all of them. I find a little hard to believe that they were able to watch all 60-odd telecasts to come up with an informed decision. They probably just ranked the hosts from the 70’s in the middle just so it wouldn’t raise any questions and did the rest from memory. And Jon Stewart at number 52? Am I the only person that thought that he did a good job?
Okay, what else? Eddie Murphy was slated to host. That would have been pretty interesting—maybe. Better than James Franco sending tweets while wearing a dress, that’s for sure. Murphy is a sharp comic, or at least was at some point in his career, but he hasn’t done stand up in over 20 years. Even then, his stage persona doesn’t exactly mesh with the PG-13 vibe the Oscars have been aiming for the past couple of years. Murphy would have had to completely re-invent his persona, which is a little, you know. Still, Richard Pryor co-hosted the Oscars, so there’s no reason Eddie Murphy couldn’t manage it. Here’s Murphy talking about the 1977 winner of Best Picture, Rocky:
Of course, Murphy’s hosting gig didn’t work out because—why didn’t it work out again? Oh right, Murphy was handpicked by the show’s then-producer Brett Ratner, who resigned after acting like a classless boob back in November and took Murphy with him. The Academy scrambled for a replacement, headed over the cryogenics lab and wheeled out the first former host they could find. So now we have Billy Crystal. Bets on how many puns on the title Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close there will be?
You know who I want to see host the Oscars? The Muppets. It would be a nightmare in practice, what with the stage being filled with holes for the puppeteers and walk ways for the actors. But most everyone loves the Muppets, and they’re anarchic enough to make the ceremony seem like less of a shambling corpse. Just imagine Fozzie Bear telling Billy Crystal’s jokes—I would watch that. But, The Muppets aren’t even being given stage time at this year’s ceremony to perform their Oscar nominated (and certain to win) song “Man or Muppet,” so there goes that dream.
So what else is there new about this year’s show? Oh Christ, the voting system. Okay, Academy voting still works on a preferential balloting system, meaning that voters rank the movies or actors or songs or whatever that they thought were best that year. For Best Picture, there’s an additional hurdle. In order to get nominated a film must have been listed in the #1 spot of 5% of the ballots. The new system was designed to shake up the nominations, and it worked gloriously in that respect: it’s how we have wild card nominations like The Tree of Life, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Moneyball and Midnight in Paris—none of which would likely have been nominated on a normal year. Still, this means that 5% of Academy voters thought Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was the best movie of 2011—which, I… What?
Now, typically I would reserve this space for some ill-informed, half-guessed Oscar predictions, but since I have only seen about half of the movies nominated for Best Picture this year, I am just going to hedge my bets and write The Artist down for all of the categories.
Except the one where The Muppets are nominated. They are going to win!
I think that should about cover it.
Come see the Oscars on The Big Screen at Nitehawk on Sunday, where we will have live red carpet commentary, Best Picture swedes, and live music all hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha. We also have a prize for the best Oscar host look-alike.
Reserve a seat for $25, which can go towards food and drink throughout the night! Tickets can be purchased on the Nitehawk website.