Oscars, Embrace Your Age! Forget Youth

Did you ever go to a party where the Host was just trying too hard.  I mean they have the food, they have the drinks, they have the music, just settle down.   This is what I think of the Oscars for the last 5 years.  It is like they don’t know they are the Oscars.  First of all, let’s table Seth Macfarlane for a moment.  When you think of the best parts of the show last night, and there weren’t many, what were they?

  1. Shirley Bassey – Classic, old time and real talent.  I am still humming Gold Finger.
  2. Christopher Plummer -  He walked out, spoke from the heart, stumbled and was real.
  3. Meryl Streep and Daniel Dae Lewis – Two of the best actors of our generation interacting

 

When the Oscars uses class and history, it soars.  But every producer who has taken over the Oscar telecast over the last few years has tried to get the youth audience.  They try to get people who never watch to watch.  You know why those people never watch?  Because they hate the Oscars.  The people who watch want to see the respect.  Look at how moved Christoph Waltz and Anne Hathaway were when they won.  You have to match that level of show.   It is possible to do that and not have your host and presenters act like idiots.  Every joke written for that show was either to make the presenters look dumb (Paul Rudd) or the Host being mean. (A fifteen minute bit about how he is a bad host.  I don't think the MTV Movie awards would even try that.)

There will be tons of articles saying how awful Seth was.  He wasn’t awful, he was Seth Macfarlane.  He did what he does.  The awful part was hiring him.   I love Jimmy Kimmel, but he would be an awful Oscar Host.  The host has to be someone who loves movies.  singing a song to the losers just doesn't have that Academy feel.  Our main issue is that respect is a dying commodity in our society, so who can you hire?  There really isn’t a Bob Hope, Johnny Carson or Billy Chrystal around.  But remember, we didn’t know Billy Chrystal would be that good either.  But I think we all knew that Family Guy humor isn’t going to work on the night of where someone is going to reach the pinnacle of their career.  I am an Oscar lover, but it is slipping away from me and that makes me sad.   As a writer and film maker, I should aspire to want to be there, not spend my time Live Tweeting criticisms of the show.