FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Three Reasons Why This Oscar Ceremony Was the Worst Ever

by DAVID MACARAY

Normally, I have little patience with people who criticize the Academy Awards, taking the view that something as trivial and inconsequential as the handing-out of movie prizes simply isn’t worth getting your knickers in a twist over.  It’s show biz.  It’s hype.  It’s glitz layered with more glitz.  Dude, don’t take it so seriously.  But this year’s Oscars put me in such a rotten mood, I was forced to bring out the long knives.

Here are the three worst things about the 2014 Oscar show.

1. Ellen Degeneres.  She ruined it.  I positively LOVE Ellen, and yet she ruined the show by turning a glittering movie tribute—an annual ceremony dedicated solely and exclusively to the motion picture industry—into a version of a television show!  Ellen did the one thing she was comfortable doing:  behave like a TV host.  Incredibly, she treated this gathering of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science members as if they were a daytime studio audience, a TV game show crowd.

Keeping up a constant line of patter, she went out among them, she huddled with them, she mock-joked, she schmoozed, she hugged them, she kissed them.  Ellen also did what so many afternoon TV talk show hosts do:  She resorted to props.  She ordered pizzas as a gag.  She took selfies.  She asked audience members to go into their purses and wallets.  She dressed up in funny costumes.  I’m surprised she didn’t reach out with the mic and ask a couple, “So where are you folks from?”

2.  Too long.  The show ran half an hour late.  Had it ended at its scheduled time, 8:30 PM, it still would have seemed interminably long, but at exactly 8:25 PM (PST), they still hadn’t handed out Oscars in six important categories:  Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Movie.  I looked at my watch and couldn’t believe it.  The show was supposed to over in five minutes, yet the best categories hadn’t been touched.

We can lay part of the blame for that on host Ellen Degeneres, for having spent so much cavorting with the audience, but the main reason the show ran long was due to all the commercials ABC chose to run.  If they had deleted only those repetitive Cadillac ads and the tedious promos for the ABC show, Resurrection, we might have finished with time to spare.

3.  No surprises.  Other than maybe, the song from Frozen beating out U-2’s Nelson Mandela tribute, there were no surprises, no upsets.  None.  The Vegas handicappers had this thing totally wired.  And because there were no surprises, there was no drama.  Blanchett won Best Actress, Nyong’o won Best Supporting, both heavy favorites.  McConaughey won Best Actor, Leto won Best Supporting, both heavy favorites.  Cuaron won Best Director for Gravity, as predicted, and 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture as every fifth-grader in America knew it would.

But you can’t blame anyone just because we all knew who was going to win.  Predicting the winners has become a science, something they’re getting better at it every year.  One problem is all the awards shows that precede the Oscars.  By the time March rolls around, we already know which actors and movies have won all the major awards.  Indeed, if 12 Years a Slave hadn’t won Best Picture, that would’ve been the Oscar’s lead story.  That’s what it’s come to.  Our shock at who didn’t win.

David Macaray, an LA playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor,” 2nd edition), is a former union rep. Dmacaray@earthlink.net

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is “Nightshift: 270 Factory Stories.” He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail