AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...
The OSCARS, or if you prefer, The 85th Academy Awards, are this Sunday.
Your host for the evening is Seth MacFarlane. Yes. You read that correctly. Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, American Dad and Ted, will be donning a tuxedo and hosting one of the most watched television events of the year.
Needless to say, MacFarlane is a controversial choice but I think he might actually surprise quite a few naysayers.
Side note: Does anyone really say 'nay' anymore?
In his heart, MacFarlane is a crooner, idolizing such legends as Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. Don't believe me? If you're an avid viewer of Family Guy, for example, you know that there is some sort of musical number in every episode. Good musical numbers I might add.
In 2011, the Emmy-winning MacFarlane released Music Is Better Than Words, a fully orchestrated album of 1940s and ‘50’s classic show tunes.
MacFarlane is also a comedian. He will deliver. Whether or not he gets invited back? We'll have to wait and see. He has already said that the preparation for his hosting gig has taken far too much of his time. Three animated series? Feature films? Yeah. I'd say he was a busy guy. So...I'm guessing that no matter what the critics say, he won't be back.
A note to the folks at The Academy Awards.
If you're looking for your next host, go with a comedian.
Or Hugh Jackman.
He was pretty damn good.
Handsome. Personable. Talented.
History has taught us that comedians make good hosts. For the most part.
Bob Hope hosted a record 18 times.
Billy Crystal? 9 times.
Johnny Carson hosted 5 times.
Now here is where the for the most part comes in...
Not all comedians have gotten favorable reviews...or invited back.
Jerry Lewis, David Letterman and Chris Rock have all received very mixed reviews. And when I say 'mixed' I mean horrible.
Letterman? Rock? Seriously. What happened there?
In Letterman's case, I believe it was the now infamous Oprah-Uma joke that turned the audience and started the evening on a downward spiral.
Or maybe his crack about Arnold Schwarzenegger (when he announced the title of the movie Eat, Drink, Man Woman he went on to joke that coincidentally those were the words Arnold Schwarzenegger used to asked out Maria Shriver, his then wife) turned off viewers? It certainly didn't make Arnie happy.
Sorry. But that's damn funny.
And therein lies the problem. As an OSCAR host, you can joke about movies...and about the people in them...and you can joke about the people in the audience, but there is a fine line between funny mode and attack mode.
I think Letterman's sarcasm and thinly-veiled hatred for the business that put him in the world's spotlight was a little too much for people to swallow.
Whatever you do, future hosts, don't embarrass Oprah or Arnie. One or both of them will eventually track you down and terminate you.
So what's the secret, then, to hosting The Oscars?
In my opinion...
YOU'VE GOT TO LOVE MOVIES.
Plain and simple.
YOU HAVE GOT TO LOVE MOVIES.
It's the reason Billy Crystal is considered one of, if not, the best host of The Oscars ever. He is a comedian...a performer...who just happens to love movies.
My SUGGESTIONS as to how to make The Academy Awards BETTER:
~Take a cue from The Golden Globes and serve some alcohol to those attending. Get rid of the nerves and the tension. There are so many clenched ass cheeks in that room that if someone was actually able to manage a fart, it would probably be so high-pitched only dogs could hear it.
~No musical numbers. We don't need to see every nominee for BEST SONG performed by...whoever.
~Fours words: Tina Fey. Amy Poehler
~No James Franco. REPEAT. NO James Franco.
~Zombies. Let me say that again. ZOMBIES. It is Sunday night after all. People are expecting zombies. We are creatures of habit in this country. We love our walkers!
~Instead of playing off winners who are droning on and on thanking their 2nd grade Phys Ed teacher with music from the orchestra, launch their asses into the air with one of those catapults from the television show Wipeout.
~The telecast will go over three hours.
~The opening number and monologue will be hilarious. McFarland knows comedy. My only fear is, during those moments all comedians fear...those moments when no one is laughing...he will go to his Family Guy voices and alienate himself from the majority of the audience-in the theater and those watching at home. Not everyone knows who Stewie is, Seth. And dear GOD...please please don't say "Giggity!"
~98% of the viewing audience will go to their kitchen for a beer or to the bathroom to make room for more beer when the winner of BEST FOREIGN FILM or BEST COSTUMING is making their acceptance speech.
~Winners will be drowned out by the live orchestra and some will continue...no matter what. Even when hit with a tranquilizer dart, they will go on and on and on....in Portuguese.
~During the IN MEMORIAM portion of the show, there will be at least three moments when people will say "Awww. I didn't know he/she was dead."
~There will be an awkward moment when the camera goes to Joaquin Phoenix for a reaction shot and he will stare blankly into the camera and somewhere in the world, a viewer's head will explode like a melon whacked by Gallagher.
~The salute to James Bond will be really really awesome and cool...right up to the moment when:
- ...there is a close-up and we will be able to see just how old Sean Connery has gotten
- ...we are distracted by Roger Moore's liverspots
- ...the camera zooms in on George Lazenby and people all over the world say "Who's that? Oh..oh...oh...That's right! He was in that one movie."
- ...we see just how short Daniel Craig is.
- ...Timothy Dalton is delayed because he's been busy parking cars outside and comes running in out of breath and flustered.
It's all good.
It's freakin' 007 people!
Who cares what happens!
It's freakin' 007!
Those are actually the only predictions I can make.
Time was I had seen all of the nominees and could make real predictions as to who would win. I actually had a really good track record. The times they are a changin' and I haven't seen any of this year's nominated films.
So, having said that...
Here is my short-list of winners:
Although I haven't seen it, I think Silver Linings Playbook will sweep the awards. From everything I've read from posts on Facebook to national press, this little engine that could is charming, beautifully crafted and acted and seems to be a fan favorite.
So having said that, SLP will pick up OSCAR's for BEST ACTRESS and BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR.
Speilberg will win for BEST DIRECTOR. I'd like to see Ben Affleck get some recognition for Argo. He's a talented director. The Academy loves soaring historical epics though and Speilberg with walk home with the little golden man.
Anne Hathaway will win for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS. She will cry.
LINCOLN will win BEST PICTURE and Ang Lee will leap from a balcony shouting ""Sic semper tyrannis!"
Cinematography? Life of Pi. Ang Lee will then apologize for his previous behavior.
Target of most puns? Life of Pi.
The theme from SKYFALL will win for BEST SONG.
Costuming? Probably one those period films. I'll go with Anna Karenina.
Sound-editing? Skyfall or Zero Dark Thirty.
I'd like to see Christoph Waltz win for Best Supporting Actor. I think he is mesmerizing when he is on-screen. I think DeNiro will win.
We'll have to wait and see.
I'll have to read about all of it...all the winners and losers...the high points and the low points...on-line Monday morning.
Like I said earlier..it's Sunday.
I'm going to be watching The Walking Dead.
and that's 'Jody' with a 'y'
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