At eighty-four, Oscar is becoming archaic. Oh sure, he and his crowd are smugly botoxed and collagened, desperately clinging to youth while rounding out their golden years with the sort of plasticized sheen one would expect on pre-packaged deli meats. And throwbacks like Christopher Plummer still retain the dignified post-award speech habits of commending his fellow nominees, a custom completely lost on those malodorous French whose cologne reeks of affectation and whose gratitude has about as much sincerity as a Bangkok massage. Plus, Billy Crystal brings an unparalleled level of showmanship which jibes nicely with Meryl Streep’s talents.
Outside of these exceptions though, the awards are simply uninspiring. The Red Carpet summary is as follows: Unshorn greying men sported penguin suits, annorexic or plus-sized women displayed dresses made by people with Asian or European names, B-list actors conducted odd interviews with people they didn’t know and who didn’t know them, foreign stargazers bore limp lasso lips and raised shade-bearing eyebrows northward every time someone named Pitt or Cruz or Clooney took a forward step. It’s flat out uninteresting.
Even the night’s speeches came from the same boilerplate I offer my pizza delivery guy.
“Wow. This was unexpected. Thanks, spouse. Kids go to bed.”
Perhaps I’m just desensitized to good entertainment these days. It seems we have a lot of things happening at the moment and maybe the Oscars just isn’t enough anymore. Here’s what I suggest:
Take the NBA all-star game. Throw in the Republican Presidential Primary Race. Hand DeNiro an Oscar and let him crack some Celtic and Clipper skulls while Scorsese moves in for the close-up. Meanwhile, have Gingrich preaching right to life while Glenn Close puckers up for a transvestite smooch with Santorum. Have Romney outside the arc shooting threes while Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones don costumes and impersonate those two Muppet judges as Will Farrell attempts to give the ol’ Governor a “turn your head and cough” hernia check.
The point here is the Oscars used to be exciting, with known personalities hitting the stage with unscripted enthusiasm and the ability to make an audience pant. We had screen heroes and fantasies and microphones that stayed on longer than Kardashian marriages. I miss those nights when I’d cuddle up beneath a blanket with a bowl of hot popcorn and root for something sentimental. I’m not ready to accept the fact that Oscar is going bald, needing Viagra to stand up straight, and fading into one of those old Roman bronzes that suggest a brilliant history now in decline. Any ideas?