Oscar predictions: will it be boring again? (mild spoilers)

Note: I do not think Kate Winslet will win for best actress, but I would like her to.

I’m excited for the Oscars tonight, but am trying not to get my hopes up. The year’s most anticipated awards ceremony has often dissapointed viewers hoping for glamour and drama. Self-congratulatory segments and clip montages make it seem more like an industry conference than a night meant to celebrate the best in entertainment.

The NY Times reports that People magazine’s website got more pageviews after The Golden Globes than the number of people who tuned into the actual show. More people will probably get their Oscar fix online, on their own time, than bother to stay up and watch it.

Last year all the nominees were sent a how-to video starring Tom Hanks which encouraged them to keep speeches short and funny. The only winner who seemed to have watched the tape was George Clooney. This year the Academy has installed a special backstage camera for effusive winners who want to thank their makeup artist and the people who answer the phone at CAA. The idea is that footage of over-emotional celebrities going on for ages will be shielded from the ever-shrinking television audience but kept on the Oscar website for all those people who will be touched at being remembered.

Host Jon Stewart got blamed for a crap show last year when I thought he worked incredibly well with the bad material he was given. Tonight Ellen Degeneres will be hosting, and I find her mildly entertaining but rather bland. She’ll do a decent job, but you can’t make big waves on a row boat.

It’s easy to blame the celebrity speeches or the host for an event that’s just poorly managed. Producers of the Oscars need to get a tighter reign on the timing, relegate more awards to secondary ceremonies, and include programming that is actually funny and inspiring. They need to hire good writers and cut out all the industry fluff. Considering that their big pre-announced improvement is a backstage webcam, I doubt we’ll see much of a difference this year.

Warning Spoilers of Oscar-night plans that will still not save this overlong wreck:

There are some changes afoot, though, and supposedly they have hired better writers, had well-known directors produce the clip shows, and are using computer animation to make it look like Ellen is dancing with the penguins from Little Feet in the opening skit. They’re also resorting to spreading the awards out more throughout the show to try to force people to sit through all the filler to see which of their favorite actors takes home a statue. Having Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and George Lucas present the Best Director award together is supposed to be a big surprise, as is having the stars of Dreamgirls sing their castmates’ songs.

Oh, and since there’s no clear frontrunner in the best picture category, there’s the hope that people will watch until the bitter end to get to the news that Babel has won. (I really think The Departed should win, but since Scorcese is overdue for his Oscar for best director, people think the best picture will go to Babel.)

Other Oscar predictions from AndPop.com:
Best Director: Martin Scorcese
Best Actor: Forrest Whitaker
Best Actress: Helen Mirren
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson
Best Original Screenplay: Babel (Although another source, The Salt Lake Tribune has Little Miss Sunshine winning in this category, and I think that’s more likely.)
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Departed
Best Animated Picture: Cars

Header image is from Stardoll.com, where you can customize your own red carpet, makeup room, and winner’s podium for the Oscars using scores of different celebrities, outfits and accessories. (Stardoll is not a sponsor of this site, but I do know someone who works there.)

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10 Responses to “Oscar predictions: will it be boring again? (mild spoilers)”

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  1. king biscuit says:

    ”Self-congratulatory segments and clip montages make it seem more like an industry conference than a night meant to celebrate the best in entertainment.”
    I’d agree with that statement wholeheartedly!

    And I will probably one of the people who check up on the Oscar results in the TV news reports and online…

  2. king biscuit says:

    ”Self-congratulatory segments and clip montages make it seem more like an industry conference than a night meant to celebrate the best in entertainment.”

    I couldn’t agree more! And I will, more than likely, be one of those people that get their Oscar news from a combination of TV news reports and online sites.

    (Hopefully this is not a double post, the previous one failed.)

  3. king biscuit says:

    Oh damn.

  4. kikistar says:

    I want Kate Winslet and Forrest Withaker to win!!!Say NO to Edie Murphy!Seriously his last movie ‘Norbit’ sucks balls!! Djimon Hounsou for best supporting actor!And Oh please not Jennifer Hudson!It’s just her first role, so please…She is far to be the best!!

  5. miss luigi says:

    OK seriously – when you attend an annual dinner and awards night for your workplace/industry, do you expect it to be exciting? That’s basically what the Oscars is except with famous people and occasional musical numbers. I watch it and sometimes I find it entertaining, but I don’t expect it to be more than what it is. Besides, I think it’s sad when it’s becoming less about the winners and more about the viewers. Let them thank their yoga instructors if they want to, it’s their night!

  6. Anastasia says:

    Miss Luigi, my industry is not the entertainment industry. Yes, if I go to an annual dinner/awards show for my workplace/industry and the industry is *entertainment*, I certainly expect it to be, at the very least, entertaining.

    Now, an insurance industry conference, maybe not so much.

    I’ll be watching Babel tonight at home, and then checking to see who won tomorrow.

    I do love Helen Mirren.

  7. celebitchy says:

    miss Luigi you make a good point to some extent. My industry (blogging, computers, design, or whatever place I worked) didn’t spend tens of millions of dollars setting up a yearly awards ceremony and then broadcast the event on live television (with famous attendees dripping in millions of dollars worth of jewelry and gowns.) It may indeed just be an industry awards show, but they go out of their way to act as if they mean to entertain and court viewers, even if they don’t do it very well.

    If they want to just have a regular industry ceremony, then they shouldn’t put it on live television and make such a big deal out of it.

    Also – king biscuit don’t worry about double posting! ;) And kikistar, Hudson will probably win I’m afraid. I’m not too fond of her, but whatever.

  8. dinah says:

    The category is Best for the year, not The One Who’s Been In A Bunch Of Movies, so if the ACTORS that VOTE for Best Actress think Jennifer Hudson was the best, even if she hasn’t been in other movies, then they would know, don’t you think?

    Also, CB, a person’s views on homosexuality don’t decide who wins either, and we all know that’s why you don’t like her.

  9. miss luigi says:

    True true, cb and Anastasia. But I still wonder when everyone involved started to overhype it. Apparently it used to be a small ceremony.

    (I bet the Razzies are way more entertaining, even if the recipients don’t show up)

  10. Viv says:

    Ellen IS a bit boring and it has nothing to do with her sexuality.

    I’ll just wait until C|B posts the winners instead of buying a Big Grab of chips and inviting myself to a friend’s house.