The Oscars are full of glitz and glamour. From the pomp and circumstance of the red carpet through the all-night after parties that have grown legendary. Million dollar jewelry on one of a kind designer dresses. Black ties under perfectly tailored suits walk the media gauntlet as thousands of flashbulbs fill the evening sky. As they say, the Academy Awards is truly “Hollywood’s Biggest Night.”
But… who gave it that label?
Who turned it into what it is today?
Who drives the train of self-congratulatory over-indulgence?
Yeah… Hollywood does.
And, to me, that it isn’t such a bad thing.
Sure the idea that only the people who MAKE big Hollywood films voting on the best achievements in movies without factoring in the consumers is akin to letting only McDonald’s franchise owners pick the best restaurants in America. Sure the entire night is about patting themselves on the back. Sure the entire experience is something that should really only be important to people inside the industry. Sure 99.9% of the viewing audience didn’t see more than two of the nice Best Picture nominees (would you even know how or where to see “Amour”?)
But… maybe they got it right. Maybe they’re really the only people who should be judging the year’s best.
So do those of us outside of the “Hollywood Machine” we eat it up?
Why do almost 50 million people watch every year?
For some it’s the films or the fashion. For others, it’s just tradition. The Oscars have been on since you were a kid, it’s just something you always watch. I’d argue it goes deeper.
I think for many, the Academy Awards represents something that we’d all like to have in our lives. Not the fame and paparazzi, but the recognition. I think, whether we choose to admit it or not, all of us would love to sit down in room filled with our peers and be recognized for the work that we do. Whether you’re a plumber or a Fortune 500 CEO, as humans we all like to hear “job well done” and we like to hear it from the people who actually understand what it is we do for a living. I’m no more qualified to judge the best Cinematographer of the Year than I am to judge the Best Accountant of the Year. Sure I like movies that look nice and balance sheets that…well…balance, but, my opinion doesn’t carry the same weight as that of their peers.
What about you and I?
Take the time. Say something. I can take the time to tell other writers that I enjoy their work. I don’t have to put on a bow-tie and $100,000 watch to take the time to tell other parents about the great job they’re doing. Take the time to recognize a job well done.
We don’t need golden statues to feel like a winner. Sometimes a simple “nice job” is worth so much more.
Now… a quick All-Oscars edition of our weekly Manic Monday.
…I’ve preached from the mountain tops that you are not getting the full experience of any major live event these days if you’re not also following Twitter simultaneously. You get snark. You get praise. You get tidbits that you wouldn’t have picked up without it. It’s kind of like VH1’s Pop-Up Videos with an occasional ‘f-word’.
…I’m not always a fan of the Twitter Parody Accounts, but my favorite Pre-Oscar tweet last night came from one…
Any requests for winners?
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) February 25, 2013
…The reviews have certainly been mixed to put it kindly, but I really liked Seth McFarlane’s work last night. Despite the fart jokes and 80’s references that he piles on in his day job, he’s an old school guy. He felt like an “old Hollywood” type host most of the night. More of a song and dance man than a cheap one-liner guy. I’d like to see him get another swing at it.
…I really hated the decision to use the “Jaws” music to play-off the wordier winners. I know we’re not supposed to take this thing too seriously, but I thought it came off poorly.
…Speaking of which, would anyone be crushed if we cut a couple of musical numbers and just let the winners speak? The show is going long already, why not let them have their moment? Did we need a “Chicago” performance? A movie that won 10 years ago and no one has seen since. Wouldn’t those five minutes be better used on the speeches? One less song and every winner gets another 30 seconds. Who would be outraged?
…Besides being an absolutely brilliant actor, Daniel Day-Lewis gets to be charming and funny too? Well played, God.
…A lot of awkward Presenters last night, but I think Melissa McCarthy is dangerously close to an over-exposure induced “shark jump“. Funny and talented, but I need about 90% less of her on my TV right now.
…Everyone has a morbid affection for the “In Memorium” segment on the Oscars each year. Each year there’s always at least one glaring omission from the montage. This year’s, for me, was Andy Griffith. I know some will argue that he was a TV guy, but on the strength of his debut film “A Face In The Crowd” alone, he deserved to be on that list. It’s one of my favorite movies, an amazing performance and a must see.