The Academy Awards, the little golden statues forever nicknamed Oscars, are essentially meaningless bling bestowed on people whose lives generally already fall into the category of Ridiculously Lucky.
The Academy Awards broadcast, however, has the potential to be an enjoyable spectacle if those in front of the camera choose not to take themselves and their facet of entertainment too seriously as they share the spotlight with those behind the camera who do the real work to make them look good.
This was the first Oscar telecast for which I didn’t have a toddler-early bedtime looming over me. For a decade, my 2:30 am alarm blast meant staying up too late was a prescription for a yawnfest the next day. So I had the option of staying up if I wanted to. But I quickly realized that the only part of the show I really cared about was the opening. I thought, what in the world can Hugh Jackman possibly do to entertain the Hollywood elite and a billion-plus viewers around the world? If you saw his “recession era” tribute to the top movies, you know the answer to that question. I thought he was nothing short of terrific. Even the 5-winner tribute to the best supporting actress nominees was a lovely touch. And then as far as I’m concerned, the rest could wait until I read the list in the morning.
There are so many elderly members of the Academy that they requested subtitles on their viewing copies of nominated films this year. They’re simply unable to hear them otherwise. That’s indicative of who is voting on the winners; a nursing home full of has-beens who haven’t been out to a theatre since opening weekend for Gone With The Wind. You don’t have to be a cynic to find their decisions somewhat irrelevant – although those who walk out with statuettes certainly wouldn’t agree. No, for me, the show is the thing, and however the critics spin it this morning, it started very well. And thanks to the wonders of technology, if there are any highlights I missed by tuning out after the first 20 minutes, I can always look them up on youtube.