Monday, March 3, 2014

For Me The Oscars Fizzled

I asked a group of friends who said they intended watching the Oscars on TV how many of the actual films they had watched.
Several admitted they never went to the movies anymore.
Only one had seen more than two of the nominated movies.
The fact is the academy awards is the longest advertisement on TV every year.
And last night's tepid affair hosted by the incredibly bland Ellen DeGeneres was about as dull and listless as they come.
Where were all the genuine stars past and present?
Only a feeble Sidney Poitier managed that certain grandeur we once associated with great stars.
That's because in this modern era there are few if any stars as big as Garbo, Gable, Crawford, Tierney and Monroe.
TV is the villain.
All those mediocre talk shows eat up celebrities at a huge rate.
The "stars" we saw sitting so placidly through three hours of Dale Carnegie speechifying have been turned into mere mortals by their multiple turns on Jimmy, Ellen, Jay etc.
I'm not blaming Ellen who I think was forced to perform under certain tight restrictions.
But when she started doling out pizzas that seem to indicate she had been told to avoid the controversial at all costs. Her job was to sell the product --the current batch of movies.
The event opened with the standard red carpet affair --this was only tolerable when Joan Rivers was the original host and really socked it to the stars who wear for free various designer duds.
As always it was who lost that interested me.
American Hustle failed to hustle and lost big.
I loved the reaction on the faces of such big stars as Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep when they lost the all important best actress category -now that surely is great acting.
The In Memoriam section missed Cory Monteith, Jonathan Winters and great director Alan Renais.
Did anybody out there understand Matthew McConaughey's wonderfully weird speech? I doubt if even Matthew did.
Winner Kate Blanchett is a great diplomatist --she artfully avoided the whole nasty Woody Allen controversy in lines I'm sure she must have memorized in advance.
A friend who has actually seen some of these films says the best movies went unrewarded --namely The Wolf Of Wall Street and Nebraska.
There seemed no enthusiasm for 12 Years A Slave as if voters had to acknowledge its importance.
And I'm betting Ellen will not be asked back to host next year's marathon.

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