|I warned them but they went ahead and did it. There were plenty of excuses they could’ve used to cancel last night’s show. It was drizzling cats and dogs the day before! What self-respecting Angeleno wouldn’t clear their calendars for a month after a trauma like that?
But ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die…
One good thing about what I think we can call the systemic Oscar meltdown this year: now that we’re at a new low, viewer-wise (what’s the T word again?), if next year does not bring about the long overdue, everything-on-the-table, wholesale revamping of this spectacle, we’ll all be free to finally wash our hands of it.
One more big lurch downward and Oscar will be a stone’s throw from Young Sheldon. And we don’t feel the need to shut Hollywood down for six months and rearrange our entire business to deal with the fall out over each episode of Young Sheldon.
I think it’s hard for Hollywood to fully wrap its head around how bad it looks right now and why its narrative has become a complete turn off for all but a handful of lunatic media obsessives.
For a couple decades now, Oscars night has turned into the annual Hollywood Scolds America gala. And America took notice and has been voting with its feet.
But if IT was galling enough to have a bunch of fancy pants, paid a fortune to trot around on private jets and play make-believe on tropical islands, stand up and lecture the rest of the country about how horrible their values are, now we find out these same finger-waggers were sheltering a veritable colony of sexual predators and monsters.
And then they want the world to stay tuned for the next chapter of the psychodrama, which will, as ever, be all about them, as they’ve stopped nominating films that the world at large sees.
One Ankler friend, an industry figure who has been involved in past shows, wrote me today in dismay:
The brand is broken. The show is too long and has lost its focus, a reaction as opposed to a celebration for people who have just one chance, based on their work during the year.
It’s the last awards show in line after 6/7 of the same shows. Nothing new to say by winners who have already thanked everyone during previous shows.
Giving out 30 awards is boring. Especially to an audience who does not care about animated story or sound editing etc
It’s very sad to see Oscar deteriorate and become irrelevant.
Oscar of late, has been about a lot of things – issues upon issues upon dispute upon a giant Oscar industrial corporate complex.
The problem is, at its core, Oscar has become about Oscar and has stopped being about movies.
And part of that problem is clearly that the ABC/Disney in the room here is busting out of its cage, with its own agenda. The “ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN” / watch-us-screw-up ad campaign was the first sign that the otherwise ailing network had its own plans here, ones that weren’t necessarily pegged to the long-term health of the Academy, or the movie business for that matter.
But then came the most egregious violation of Oscar protocol in 90 years: using the show to not very subtly sneak in a promo for Wrinkle in Time, under the guise of making fun of hicks.
The wonderful, unintended message of this bit was to show that an average bunch of people off the streets – moviegoers no less! – would rather spend the first Sunday night in March saving ten bucks to see a screening than watch the Oscar show.
As another Ankler friend put it:
So coincidently Wrinkle in Time is having a screening across the street from the Oscars? The most difficult area in the city and the tightest security in the country that night. But regular moviegoers are being shown an early screening of Wrinkle in Time. And the ABC-based Oscar host takes celebrities from the audience to go over to the theater to thank moviegoers for attending a movie? This was written into the Oscar show script with ABC/Disney behind this self-promotion of a movie opening this week. Not a paid commercial, but blatant self-promotion, which violates every Academy rule.
Not to mention Kimmel’s aside, “Emily Blunt will come with us. They can see what Mary Poppins looks like.”
The ball is in your court now, Guv’nors. If you think throwing in a few more memes and Instagramming it up will transform this six-month-long, lumbering, self-obsessed, scolding beast into a modern piece of programming, give it a shot. It’s not like we have any other viewing choices!
#Oscars90 was a world-class showcase of how completely removed from anything resembling the contemporary culture, institutional Hollywood has become. The problem with Oscars is the same problem sinking the film industry: you have a generation at least thirty years removed from the unfolding language of culture, which will release its iron grip on showbiz apparently only at gunpoint. The generation has so long been in power, they can’t see anything beyond protecting whomever is the established interest in any question.
And nor will they give anything more than token nods to, I guess we can get a few memes in here? That’s what these kids like, Selfies right?
Since they won’t move along, however, it may be time for this industry to fire the audiences and appoint a new one.