After this year’s Oscars debacle, there’s no question that the whole show needs to be rethought. Question is, can they ever be restored to their former glory, or should we try instead to salvage what’s left of them, remodel the entire system, and update the Academy Awards in ways that make them more appealing to 21st Century audiences?
Our good friend phantom made some suggestions yesterday and his ideas look like a good place to start:
The cold hard truth is that regardless of how audience-friendly the nomination/ winner lineup is, the Oscar ceremony is supposed to be entertaining hence the televised aspect. And in order to entertain, they need
1. an opening that will set the mood and remind viewers of their love of films (an epic montage of best movie moments of all time that transitions into another epic montage of the best movie moments of the year in question; they used to start the show like that and it was great!)
2. jokes (they tried, it didn’t work without one so time to bring back the host, someone mainstream who will get viewers and is able to deliver a hilarious opening monologue; Hugh Jackman was great that one time, Adele’s SNL gig proved she could pull off jokes and singing and banter easily, too; Will Smith could be hilarious, too; and Sofia Vergara would absolutely kill it, as well)
3. funny banter (carefully selected presenter duos for all categories but the 4 acting ones (former co-stars of iconic films and such, making sure that even less high-profile categories get attention and won’t just become the collective pee break for all viewers, not like one would leave the room when Kate and Leo show up with former roasting latter while presenting Documentary + Documentary Short)
4. legendary star power (invite a total of 20 Oscar winning legends to present the 4 acting categories like they did it in 2008 / 2009, such a nice way for the icons to welcome the new Oscar nominees / winners into the fold)
5. epic musical numbers (the In Memoriam section deserves a superstar singing live; the nominated songs could all benefit from lavish staging and there could be even a high-profile tribute to a legend like the one Gaga did for Julie Andrews a few years ago).
Once these five things are added to the mix, at least the show itself will be memorable for all the right reasons and entertaining for all, not just us filmgeeks. And if the show is entertaining, people won’t mind it too much if BP or an acting category (or two) go to a film they have never even heard of.
Having said that, if next year’s show adds all these above, I think they will also get extra buzz because of their potentially rather mainstream lineup. I am not saying indies will be out, they won’t (nor should) be, but I do expect big BO hits showing up in all categories on Nominations Morning, for a number of reasons :
1. BP expansion to 10 slots
2. the return of the moviegoing experience
3. the return of big budget studio fare
4. the arrival of a bunch of long-delayed tentpoles from auteurs
If I had to guess right now, my guess would be that at least 5-6 of the top10 will be mid to big budget studio fare. People will want to flock to all the big movies and voters will want to celebrate that whole shared experience of getting the big screen experience back. And luckily for both parties, there will be plenty to choose from and plenty that will hopefully turn out to be not just popular and financially successful, but also great quality, too : Eternals, No Time To Die, Dune, Dear Evan Hansen, In the Heights, West Side Story, Gucci, King Richard, The Last Duel, The French Dispatch, Nightmare Alley, Next Goal Wins, Respect, Bruised, Don’t Look Up, Blonde.
I mean ffs, if the cast of Don’t Look Up shows up and is willing to present, then the show already has plenty of star power : Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Timothee Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Chris Evans Jonah Hill, Tyler Perry, Ariana Grande.
And if the famous singers involved with 2021 film releases are willing to perform, again, ratings boost for sure : Billie Eilish (No Time To Die), Lin Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), Rita Moreno (West Side Story), Lady Gaga (Gucci), Jennifer Hudson (Respect), Ariana Grande (Don’t Look Up). Plus the superstars who will be nominated in Best Song.
Long story short : this year was an anomaly in more ways than one and if next year’s producers are competent and just go back to the basics (all the points above), the show will be great and the viewership will be up triple digits. As in back in the 22-35M range.
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So those are phantom’s ideas. Tell us what else can you think can be done.