How to Save the Oscars Broadcast From Sucking So Bad (And a Gratuitous McLean Stevenson Joke)


Do you remember last year's Academy Awards broadcast? The incredibly awful one hosted by an apparently-stoned-out-of-his-gourd James Franco and a pre-Occupy-Wall-Street Anne Hathaway?

That show dropped more bombs in a few hours than Curtis LeMay and McLean Stevenson did in their entire careers.

In her latest Bloomberg View column, former Reason chief Virginia Postrel suggests how to make one of the most-underperforming annual awards show this side of the State of the Union address better. Among her suggestions: split the best pic category into two categories based on aggregate ticket sales and create a "hindsight award" that would revisit the often-stupid decisions from 25 or 30 years past. And this:

Add campaign speeches and live voting. "American Idol" and sports events share an appeal the Oscars lack: Something is happening that affects the outcome while the viewers are actually watching. Movie performances can't be live, of course, but the ceremony could include a real-time element of argument and judging.

Here the Hindsight Award provides an ideal opportunity. Give each nominated film's producers a fixed length of time to make its case with clips and an on-stage advocate. Although movie makers might prefer the comfort of showing only a video, requiring the advocate adds the compelling immediacy of a real person. It also poses an intriguing strategic question: Who would be the most persuasive representative? For real drama, instead of reading prepared statements, the advocates might appear in a debate format, answering questions from a moderator.

After the presentations, the live audience would vote—a radical departure from Oscar tradition. As a new category, the Hindsight Award need not conform to the requirement that every far-flung academy member have a chance to vote. Instead, all 5,765 members could participate by choosing the nominees. To vote on the Hindsight Best Picture, you would have to attend the ceremony, a requirement that favors people—both academy members and other guests—associated with films up for Oscars, adding a certain nervous energy to the process.

Involving the audience and creating an in-the-moment sense of excitement has worked to resuscitate everything from presidential debates to NHL all-star games and is easier to do than ever in a world of Twitter and other social media. Reducing the holier-than-thou gulf between an industry and its main consumers would not only be refreshing, it would be fully in keeping with the sort of leveling in other commercial relationships that is everywhere among us. The priest, the stockbroker, the professor, the doctor, you name it—all have lost all or much of their authority over us idiots during the past several decades (if not centuries). 

But will the smug dream merchants of Hollywood, whose reflexive contempt for their audience never breaks through more often than when congratulating themselves on what high-minded social revolutionaries they really really are, go along? Here's hoping. They have nothing to lose but crap ratings.

Despite her being wrong about Chariots of Fire (clearly the third-greatest track and field movie after The World's Greatest Athlete and Personal Best), read Postrel's whole thing here.

NEXT: A.M. Links: Seven States Sue Over Contraception Mandate, NYPD Muslim Fetish Exposed, Bill Maher Slams Money in Politics Then Gives $1 Million to Obama Super PAC

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  1. Interesting suggestions, but non-starters all. The Academy Awards is definitely one of the most set-in-its-ways dinosaurs of all time. I haven’t watched it since I was a kid.

    1. Does anyone give a shit about it anymore?

      1. It’s the Super Bowl for gay guys.

        1. It’s the Superbowl for Hollywood jerkoffs, actually.

        2. It’s the Super Bowl for gay guys.

          The Tony’s would like to have a word with you.

        3. I thought that was Madonna’s half-time show.

        4. Wait, the Oscars are still broadcast? Why can’t they just liveblog it like the rest of the world that could give a shit?

        5. A gay Super Bowl bash.

        6. Funnily, they moved it into February to avoid competition with NCAA basketball.

          When I was little I remember the time that the NCAA championship and the Oscars were on the same night. That was the year Indiana beat Syracuse…and the ratings for the two were about even actually.

          Nowadays, the Oscars would get trounced by the first round of the tournament, forget the championship game.

          1. Actually, the Oscars are still usually the #2 most viewed tv program of the year each year, after the SB.

    2. No, I haven’t watched this since I was a kid.

      fish: Try looking beyond stereotypes.

      1. He didn’t say that ALL gay guys watch it, I do agree however that the homosexual demographic is the prime target audience. You think the Oscars are what conservative Christians look forward to ?

      2. the effeminate homosexual demographic is the prime target audience

        I just don’t like being pigeon-holed as a flamer.

        1. so Jack loves the Oscars…Will not so much. That about right?

          1. Don’t know those guys, sorry.

        2. do you pitch or catch? and what about spring training?

      3. I trust this is sarcasm. I didn’t think it up…they gay guy (Dan Dan the document man) who works with my wife did!

  2. I don’t remember Michael Jackson singing with Rob Lowe at the Oscars.

  3. They could do everything Virginia wants, and I still wouldn’t watch or care.

    1. worrying about the show is like debating the quality of the food on the Titanic. If Hollywood cranks out movies that the paying public wants to see, rather than movies that obscure critics whom no one knows like, the show might have value. That and shortening it by about 5 hours.

    2. Yeah. It’s just a bunch of rich, self obsessed people congratulating themselves for being so awesome. There is nothing to redeem entertainment awards shows.

      I think that Ricky Gervais’s hosting of the Golden Globes was awesome for pointing out just this. “The Academy” takes itself way too seriously.

      1. “The Academy” takes itself way too seriously.

        Not really. In fact, they go out of their way to mock each other. The “Academy” and show business take money seriously. That’s what the show is all about. It has absolutely nothing to do with aesthetics.

  4. They could add human sacrifice and still not add viewers.

    1. They could add human sacrifice and still not add viewers.

      I might Tivo that!

      Who are we sacrificing?

      1. If they’re gonna burn Tom Cruise at the stake, I’ll definitely watch.

        1. If they’re gonna burn Tom Cruise at the stake, I’ll definitely watch.

          You can’t burn a Scientologist, it will only make him stronger.

        2. Why just Cruise? They should burn the entire cast of “Taps.”

  5. Does anyone under the age of sixty even watch them anymore?

    1. Having a lot of friends associated with the theater, I can say yes.

      Man, do they get shrilly and excited watching that show.

      1. Do any heterosexuals under the age of sixty even watch them anymore?

          1. It’s so stupid and uninteresting we can’t stop talking about it!

  6. They finally gave John Wayne an oscar.

    1. Why would they give that fag an Oscar?

      1. I installed 2-way mirrors in his pad in Brentwood.

        1. 51 minutes, people? I am disappoint.

  7. All I care about is the Fashion Police the next day. Such awesome snark. E! did right when it brought Joan Rivers back.

    1. I care little for the broadcast itself, and even less for the red-carpet bullshit. I do, however, like to find out the next day who won the four main awards (actor, actress, director, and picture).

      That would change in a heartbeat if Sacha Baron Cohen were tapped to host!

      1. It’s pretty interesting how the Academy Awards has come to resemble a bureaucracy–what was once a crisp, minimal, well-functioning institution has become so bogged down in its own mediocrity and bloat that it can’t provide the entertainment value that it used to. See the ill-informed decision to expand the Best Picture nominees and add fluff like Best Animated Feature as examples.

        They could cut the awards down to about 10 offerings, shorten the damn thing by an hour, and ratings would probably be a lot better.

    2. +1. Even when I don’t agree with them, Fashion Police is very entertaining.

  8. I take it Reason will not be live-blogging the event?

    1. Hey, I want some info on this Libertarian thing I keep hearing about. Anyone know where I can finds out moar?

      1. Ck Dylan Radigan’s book: “Greedy Republicans”…

        …or burn-down the homeless shelter.

      2. Everything you need to know is right here. Books are for suckers.

      3. I was making a little joke, TRO3, in response to the repeated and unnecessary LP links posted above by VL.

        1. mee two

          1. I wasn’t.

        2. Neither of us should quit our day jobs to pursue careers in comedy, O3.

          1. but but i kinda liked burning down the homeless shelter

  9. Oh it is Friday isn’t it? Let the weekend posting begin.

  10. The issue goes deeper than simply the kind of format the show is using. The fact is that Hollywood does not excite people as much as in the past.

  11. Now, we grew up in an era of when things such as purchasing on layaway was almost if not the accepted method of purchasing those items that one could not possibly afford if not purchased by the layaway method, the concept of credit cards and high interest rates was not even in the cards and a housewife had a budget provided by the husband and heaven held her if she could not make the household work within that budget. Well, we are now seeing that the concept of the layaway programs are now returning in the modern world wide economic downturn, but much more has to be done by the media to generate sales of their products. The Day’s of Wine and Rose’s are over, the economic good times have ended, and if companies continue to advertise as if the good times are still in vogue many will join those that have already gone into bankruptcy.

    1. HERC, your punctuation is terrible. What happened to you, dude?

      1. 900 character limit?

        1. HERC knows no limits.

          1. He’s rather like you.

    2. I can’t believe the character limit forced you to give up the brackets. At least the cats didn’t get you.

    3. *tearful*

      HERC! HERC!!!!

      *hugs HERC*

  12. There is still time for a major subduction quake between now and Sunday.

    Maybe we’ll get a bonus tsunami.

  13. I’ll never watch an award show again… unless that delightful Billy Crystal is involved.

  14. A big problem with Hollywood is its incessant navel gazing and fixation with it’s own supposed importance. This is why you have films about films like Hugo and the Artist being nominated, but a great film like Drive not being.

    Notice that Gosling did better in Drive than in Ides of March, but the latter gets the nominations because, you know, it’s all relevant and political and what not.

    1. Drive is excellent. This we agree on.

    2. Drive was a film unfairly fixated on its own importance too, imo. It had some brilliant style and great acting but felt completely empty.

      More people tend to hate Tree of Life than love it, so I’ll stow my Malickian evangelism and say that A Separation was perhaps the best film of the year (reviewed on this site by Kurt Loder recently).

      1. “but felt completely empty”

        Dude, if you got that it meant the film worked-the main character’s emptiness without that kid and girl in his life is supposed to be what the film is about.

        1. Sharp interpretation, but I’m just not buying what Refn is sellin’.

          1. Considering the homages to Michael Mann (via Thief), Tangerine Dream, Bullitt, and more, you’re not buying a lot. Drive had me walking out of the theater more excited about having seen a movie than I have been in many years.

            1. Yeah, none of those are to my liking in the first place.

              1. Well then I’m very sorry for you. If you don’t like that stuff, what do you like?

                1. Grew up on the Alien movies, cheesy Arnold movies & Indiana Jones. Moved on to Aronofsky, Fellini, Kubrick, Kieslowski, Tarkovsky & Malick.


                    1. Whose opinions are the best opinions? Only the elite will survive.

                  2. I don’t see Argento, Romero, or Peckinpah in that list. That’s a shame.

                    1. I love Argento, Romero and I’ve only seen The Wild Bunch and thought it to be pretty decent. There’s only so much name dropping you could do before the gentlemen above proliferate to a cacophony of haters.

                    2. You need to see Straw Dogs, dude. The ultimate Peckinpah film. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

                    3. I take that back, I’ve seen Cross of Iron as well, which I thought was extraordinary for a meat and potatoes war film where there are no heroes (compare it to the emotional baggage of other Eastern Front films like the German Stalingrad or the Soviet Come and See).

                      Will check Straw Dogs.

                    4. John Huston is God, Sam Peckinpah is His Son, and Kubrick is The Holy Spirit.

                    5. How could you have misspelled Michael Bay three times?

    3. Notice that Gosling did better in Drive than in Ides of March, but the latter gets the nominations because, you know, it’s all relevant and political and what not.

      That’s because Gosling hardly had any lines and wasn’t forced to try and actually act–he could just stand their with that stupid mopey look on his face.

      And after seeing Drive, I don’t get what the fuss was about. It was executed like some goofy direct-to-video B-flick.

      1. Totally agree. And for a movie with a premise like “stunt man is getaway driver for crimes” one would have expected much more action. Instead, a lot of mopey glancing, inexplicable behavior, and the absurdity of Albert Brooks as a mafia kingpin? Please (and the fact that Brooks felt he was “snubbed” in Oscar nominations? He should feel lucky he wasn’t replaced by someone credible halfway through the filming.)

  15. 1977 – Annie Hall over Star Wars.

    ‘nuf said.

    1. 1985
      Out Of Africa over The Color Purple.

      Really, Academy?

      1. Or worse yet…1990

        Dances With Wolves over either Goodfellas or Awakenings.*

        *And how the fuck did Godfather III get nominated for anything other than a Razzie?

      2. I thought The Color Purple was overrated and boring, so okay with that one.

        1. Same here. I’ve watched OOA a few times with no complaints, and barely got through TCP the first time.

      3. I loved both of those movies (OOA and Color Purple), so that’s OK.

        Ghost and Four Weddings and a Funeral were past nominees. That makes the Academy’s credibility zilch.

      4. The Color Purple? Shit, Back to the Future was better than both of those turkeys.

      5. Was it 1994 that Forrest Gump was over Pulp Fiction? Pulp was a stunningly original movie at the time, that changed moviemaking. Gump was a silly self-indulgence that remains in popular culture only because of a terrible shopping mall greasy deep-fried batter restaurant that bears its name.

    2. I really dislike Woody Allen, but I want George Lucas to be sexually assaulted by a Japanese sea creature. So I’m fine with this one.

      1. Would a little malickian suffice?

    3. And while Cuckoo’s Nest was a wonderful movie, I still think Jaws deserved to win in 1975.

      I think it’s been mentioned on here that Jaws is a perfect movie, and I’ve watched it at least a dozen times trying to nitpick any bit of it I can…it’s just impossible to make that movie better.

      1. In the book, Quint and the shark become good friends.

      2. In the book, the Matt Hooper character was a hotbody young guy who fucks the daylights out of Chief Brody’s wife. So, get rid of Dreyfus and add a pornorific sex scene, then it might be perfect.

        1. Jaws is, in fact, basically a perfect movie. Add what you just described and you fuck up the flow of the movie.

          Spielberg was a fucking genius when he was young, and Jaws is probably the best description of that genius. That movie is so good it’s almost frightening.

          1. I think Spielberg should have killed the Matt Hooper character like Benchley did. Of course, Spielberg changed the entire purpose of the Hooper character. In the book, he represented decadence, selfishness, glory-seeking and fame-whoring. That’s why the shark killed him.

            1. The basic decency of each character is what Spielberg brought to the film. When the sort-of-shithead mayor says “my kids are out there too!”, and becomes a real person and not a caricature, is amazing stuff. Hollywood so often falls into white hat/black hat, and Spielberg refused that for Jaws.

              1. I actually really loved the movie, but I loved the book more. As with any book-to-movie adaptation, some of the complexity and inter-relationships of the characters has to be dropped for the sake of time. To me, the book was more about the personal lives of people on this island than a shark.

                If I had to chose a “perfect” movie, it would be The Godfather (the original, though II is a fabulous film).

                1. I love The Godfather. Once in a while it will be on cable and everything stops while I watch it. I have called in sick to work to watch that movie. It just never gets old.

              2. And Jaws had Roy Scheider. And if he was ever in a bad movie, I haven’t seen it.

                1. And Jaws had Roy Scheider. And if he was ever in a bad movie, I haven’t seen it.

                  He was in 2010, a movie I would say was pretty shitty. Ditto The Punisher.

                  1. 2010 is great. There was nothing shitty about that movie. Great cast, good plot. It was a first rate space opera. Never seen The Pusher.

                    1. It…wasn’t the best comic-book adaptation ever.

                      I liked 2010 as well, though it was obviously nowhere near as ground-breaking as 2001. More Helen Mirren is always good too. If you look at Scheider’s IMDB page, you’ll find some true stinkbombs, but then again, everyone who’s been in the business that long has them. As Michael Caine put it, when discussing the merits of Jaws: The Revenge,

                      “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”

                    2. “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”

                      John Lennon and Paul McCartney supposedly would tell each other when making an album that certain songs, no matter how goofy, were “pool songs”–in other words, they’d make enough money from the song to build themselves a new pool in their backyard. It underscores that, for all their pretense about making “serious” music, they were pretty savvy businessmen and understood their fans very well.

                  2. 2010 is actually a pretty good movie — certainly the best thing Peter Hyams has ever done. It just pales compared to 2001, as lots of movies do. Even the 2004 version of The Punisher isn’t really a bad movie; it’s just a movie that can’t decide whether to be a bleak revenge story (the origin story) or a black comedy (Garth Ennis’ Punisher influence), and the dissonance takes a major toll on the finished product.

          2. I thought it was you that said it a while back, Epi. And I swear, I’ve watched it over and over trying to nitpick it, but it’s just not possible. Every time I start a “Maybe if they…,” I end it right there. It’s just…perfect.

            Oh, and I watched “Goodfellas” last night, and picked up on something. When Henry is in prison, one of the guys is wearing three-stripe Adidas shower shoes. I’m sure those were not around in the early 70’s, but can someone clear this up this for me?*

            *It’s really hard to find a factual inaccuracy IRT time period in a Scorsese movie, so I’m genuinely interested.

            1. I was using Adidas gear for soccer way back (not that far back, but pretty far), so it’s entirely possible.

              1. Not the gear, but the shower shoes. Adidas was making the satiny sweatsuits Henry wore in the same scene way back in the early 60’s, but I just do not remember this being around before the late 80’s.

                1. I got popped by the filter for just linking to the wiki for them. How did you manage to post an ebay .jpg of them?

                  Anyways, the wiki for those sandals says they came out in 1963. Go figure.

                  1. Dammit. Scorsese wins again.

            2. From the wiki for Adidas sandals,

              Adilette was the first ever pair of sandals made by Adidas, originally developed in 1963.

              Adilettes are the black and white plastic sandals with one big strap over the top of the foot. So, I’d think it’s not an anachronism.

              We live in an age of miracles. It took me maybe two minutes to track an answer to sloopy’s question down. I can’t imagine how long it’d take me to do it, twenty years ago.

    4. Had to look up Annie Hall on wikipedia, definitely your stereotypical Oscar winner, not a big money maker but a plot that appeals to your average movie snob. I wonder if these Oscars are handed out almost as a consolation prize for not having made the big bucks.

      1. Depends on what you mean by movie snob. In my understanding, there are ‘award movies’ that are stale, placid, unoriginal, but emotionally manipulative and try to make a big splash (The Artist, Albert Nobbs, The King’s Speech, The English Patient, Titanic [literally splash]). The snobbs for this stuff are a breed apart from the snobbs who’ve read Alain Robbe-Grillet and seen all of Antonioni’s films. Woody Allen is somewhat more in the latter camp, but his hero Ingmar Bergman said his movie was shit (I want to say it was “Manhattan” but possibly something else), and he’s really in his own orbit. Certainly not something that appeals to your average snob, just a certain kind of one.

        1. Er, I didn’t see The King’s Speech as emotionally manipulative. Or stale.

        2. The Artist, unoriginal?

          Black and white, old aspect ratio, not to mention (mostly) silent? Really?

          I would say its the most original of any nominee.

          1. STFU, what would you know about making films? Nobody cares about your uninformed piece of shit opinion, asshole.

            1. I care. This is an opinion site, and I am fascinated by the overflowing talent and erudition of the opinioneers. Especially Episiarch. He’s the tops.

          2. You’re absolutely correct, my description broke down right at the beginning, lol. The gimmick did work out pretty damn well, but it stretched that currency thin with some unnecessary stuff (imma blow my brains out cuz a woman pities me). Woulda worked better as a short. Denby’s piece in the New Yorker had some insightful comparisons to actual silent era film:…..arge_denby

        3. Woody Allen thought Manhattan was shit. He offered to make his next movie for free if the studio agreed not to release it. And I wouldn’t call it shit. But it hasn’t aged well. The photography is great. And he really creates this Manhattan dream world with the Gershwin sound track. But the script and the plot just are not that good. No one ever watches it anymore.

          I really think that is the test of a movie, does anyone still care about it 20 years later? People still care and watch Anne Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters and Take the Money and Run. Manhattan not so much.

          1. This may get me ridiculed, but I think Woody Allen is an overrated hack. His movies lack any sort of “pull” that keeps me from looking at my watch to see how much longer I’ve got to be in the theater. They tend to be full of inside humor that you either need to be a New Yorker, a Jew or a movie snob to get.

            He may be a hell of a guy and a great father, but as far as his movies go, I’ll take a pass.

            1. You can be a New Yorker and still find his movies to be shit. What’s Up Tiger Lily is funny. The rest is him masturbating.

              1. So are Casino Royal and Don’t Drink the Water. Don’t Drink the Water is one of the most laugh out loud movies/plays ever made.

            2. A lot of people don’t like him. So I don’t imagine you will get ridiculed. I don’t think you have to be a New Yorker or a Jew to get the humor. You just have to be a wannabe intellectual. I liked his stuff a lot in my 20s. Then I grew out of it.

              Looking back on him, he made some good movies. I still love Hannah and Her Sisters. That may take place in New York but the themes in it about siblings and love and so forth translate anywhere. I like Crimes and Misdemeanors a lot. And I really like Radio Days and the Purple Rose of Cairo. I don’t like him as much as I used to. But he has made some good movies. I am told Midnight in Paris is great. But I haven’t seen it yet.

              1. I don’t understand the love for Midnight in Paris. I spent the entire damn movie waiting for the movie to start.

                The main character was (surprise!) a slightly eccentric screenwriter on whose arm gorgeous women inexplicably hung. For no particular reason, he gets to rub elbows with the artistic and literary greats of the 1920s.

                Woody Allen masturbating.

            3. Sleeper? Awesome sci-fi satire. Funny as shit and nails the late 60’s early 70’s paranoid sci-fi aesthetic.

      2. You had to look up Annie Hall?

        Just how young are you?

        1. The movie was made in 1977, that was not yesterday…

          But besides that, I am a movie slob, I like Terminator, Lord of the Rings, Zombie movies etc. All the kind of stuff that the high brows will say is neanderthal viewing.

          In my defense I have read Dostoyevsky though.

          1. Do you consider 28 Days Later to be a zombie movie?

            And how do you feel about fast-moving vs. slow-moving zombies?

            1. Being a zombie addict, I love both the fast and the slow zombies. The newer Dawn of the Dead also had fast zombies, yet that never gets the heat that 28 days does.

              I love the Romero movies, but I think he is wrong in his criticisms of the fast zombie. I think this world is big enough to cater for both the fast and the slow zombies.

              1. How the hell can a world cater to slow zombies when there are fast zombies beating them to all of the tasty brains?

                1. Have you ever played Left 4 Dead or Dead Island? There are just a lot more slow zombies than fast zombies…

                  1. I’m talking about real life and you bring up video games?

          2. I was recently married and had an infant at home in 1977.

            1. Actually my two favorite movies, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “2001 Space Odyssey” were both made before I was born.

              1. ….well-meaning fool, pick up thy bed and rise…..

          3. do you like gladiator movies mr not sure?

        2. I was born the year it came out and I’m a professor now…

          1. Thank you so much for making me feel ancient today.

  16. “Add campaign speeches and live voting.”

    Debates too? Imagine the fun of watching Hollywood idiots trying to think on their feet.

  17. The most important awards in the industry are the ones they don’t show on the telecast, namely the various technical awards. Mr. Big Shot Producer will still be doing big deals the next day even if he doesn’t win a Best Picture Oscar for his last film, but a sound editor’s career can take a huge jump if he wins an Oscar (or Emmy).

    The telecast is always a snoozefest, to be sure. My wife likes to watch, though, so I inevitably catch a few minutes of it each year.

    1. Thank you, ChrisO!!!

  18. >>Give each nominated film’s producers a fixed length of time to make its case with clips and an on-stage advocate. …requiring the advocate adds the compelling immediacy of a real person. It also poses an intriguing strategic question: Who would be the most persuasive representative?

    Great idea if you want them to judge a person’s rhetorical skills – and, more likely, his personality – rather than the movie he’s advocating.

    1. Kind of like the “Wednesday Film Fight” segements on The Petros and Money Show. That would actually make the Oscars interesting. Have the actors defend their performances and compare them to the other nominees. I like it.

  19. I also like the fact that the Oscars are voted on within the industry. Again, for the technical awards, that means that your peers are commending you. An American Idol-style public voting system might be fun for the telecast, but it would ruin the effect of the awards within the business.

    1. It is fine if it is supposed to be a circle of friends congratulating each other, but then they should not be surprised if there are ever less outside people watching the awards.

      1. The early Oscar ceremonies were nothing more than the same type of industry awards banquet that many industries traditionally had.

        It wasn’t until much later that they turned it into free advertising for the movies.

        Besides, the People’s Choice Awards are ostensibly voted on by the public, and that’s not exactly a ratings juggernaut.

        The idea of a Hindsight Award isn’t bad, though, and could help recognize movies that became hugely influential even beyond their initial box office returns. Star Wars and the ’80s Scarface remake are both classic examples of this–they have become cultural touchstones and deserve recognition for that..

        1. Ground Hog Day. It came out in 1993. The winner for best picture was Schindler’s List. The other nominees were

          The Fugitive
          In the Name of the Father
          The Piano
          The Remains of the Day

          Has anyone watched any of those four in the last ten years?

          1. The Piano is one of the most boring movies I’ve ever had the misfortune to sit through, and I made it through all of The English Patient.

            In the Name of the Father is very good, and The Fugitive was great fun, if not what I think of as Best Picture material.

            1. The Piano is awful. And I didn’t mind the English Patient. The only movie I have ever walked out on was Shakespear in Love. It was just awful. Horrible. And the smugness of the clowns watching it laughing at all of the lame ass insertion of Shakespeare quotes into the dialog made it a hundred times worse.

              1. People! Don’tcha hate ’em?

            1. I loved that movie.

        2. The People’s Choice Awards mostly just reinforce my contempt for people.

        3. I’d go even further than the “Hindsight award” idea and not hand out the Oscars at all until 10 years after release. Only after that much time does it become clear what films and performances really stand the test of time.

          “Amadeus” was a great film, but by 1994 it was clear that “Ghostbusters” and “This is Spinal Tap” held up much better than some of the other 1984 best picture nominees. (“A Passage to India,” anyone?)

          1. “Ghostbusters” is a lot like “Rocky”–both are really good films in their own right, but the soundtrack ended up elevating them to greatness.

            1. Same with Bio-Dome.

        4. My proposal was not for a People’s Choice viewer vote. It was for the people actually present in the auditorium to vote, because the proposals all started with the constraint that Academy voters must maintain their independent judgment. Nick misread it, though, of course, there’s nothing wrong with debating his idea as well.

  20. I think the Oscars should do what the Tonys did and split the broadcast. Have the technical awards like production design and best costume moved to the pre-broadcast and have only the major awards given out during the main broadcast. The show dies for the 90-minutes or so when it’s an endless parade of best sound, best sound remixing, best documentary, best short, etc. A lot of these awards are for films very few people have even had a chance to see. The Academy can stream the pre-show online for people who are interested in them.

    1. A lot of these awards are for films very few people have even had a chance to see.
      A lot of them are for technical skills no one outside the club understands. Who can differentiate the “best” remixing, editing, or whatever from the pretty good?

    2. They already do that to a large degree, DanZee. There are already technical Oscar awards that don’t get onto the telecast.

      One problem with this for the Academy is that they try to position and market the Oscars as the “serious” awards, in contrast to the Golden Globes and People’s Choice Awards. Going in the same direction as those telecasts would dilute the Oscar brand, such as it is.

  21. Despite her being wrong about Chariots of Fire (clearly the third-greatest track and field movie after The World’s Greatest Athlete and Personal Best),

    No love for Running Brave, Gillespie?

    Some of my Oscar Best Picture WTFs?!
    1) Pulp Fiction and Shawshank losing to Forrest Gump

    2) English Patient beating Fargo and Secrets and Lies

    3) Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan

    1. Don’t forget Driving Ms Daisy beating Field of Dreams. And Grand Torino not even getting a nomination when a dud like the Hurt Locker won and ghetto porn like Precious was nominated. No one will ever watch either of those films again. And Grand Torino will still be on a cable loop a hundred years from now.

    2. Everyone always cites Ordinary People as undeserving, which is true, but that was a year full of undeserving nominees, as I recall.

      1. Forgot. That was Raging Bull‘s year. Yep. Another Oscar travesty.

    3. The same year “Shakespeare in Love” beat “Saving Private Ryan,” Roberto Freaking Benigni won Best Actor over Edward Norton’s amazing performance in “American History X.” (I actually liked “Life is Beautiful,” but that might have been the worst call in Oscar history.)

  22. Gee, Nick/Virginia, where’s your Oscar? Oh, and “Hello, Larry”? Best. sit. com. ever!

    PS I haven’t watched the Oscars since Liz took us to the Valley of the Diamonds (which was in 1910, I believe*). And I think I’m a better man for it.

    *Actually 1970, when she gave out the best picture award for Midnight Cowboy. She wore the “Taylor-Burton” diamond. Pix here:


    1. PPS No one cares, go away.


        1. Not that you are not obsessed with him.

    2. Valley of the Diamonds…nice.

    3. Stop spelling my name wrong!

  23. Curious fact: Corey Haim wasn’t given an obit in last year’s Oscars. He died March 10, 2010 a few weeks after the telecast for the previous year. Wonder what rapist mogul did not want to reminded got that nixed. Woulf have been a bummer for everybody there, anyway.

    1. Stupid thumbs.

  24. Has there ever been any parallels between Oscar and Razzie nominees? As in, a movie that was nominated for Best and Worst Picture?

    1. ‘Cause that would be awesome.

      1. Sandra Bullock was nominated for Best and Worst Actress the same year, but it was for two different films.

        1. Yeah, but her Best Actress nomination was the only one that had to be a joke.

    2. Not sure. But if there ever was one, it would have to be either Crash or Driving Ms. Daisy.

      1. I saw Driving Miss Daisy recently I kept waiting for something to happen, but then the movie was over and all that had happened was that everyone got old. What the fuck?

        1. Two hours of some nasty old lady picking on Morgan Freeman. Where the fuck were the fuck were Andy’s prison guard friends to shank that bitch?

          1. They’re in your festering, malignant brain where they belong.

      2. My problem with the Oscars: This Crash won best picture ( ) and this Crash wasn’t even nominated ( ).

  25. Directors should have to fight to death on live TV for the Oscar.

    1. Or have producers bullshit each other to death.

  26. Where’s Prefontaine fit in here?

    1. What the fuck? I was quoting the paragraph about Chariots of fire, and it went away. Fuck HTML.

      1. Dude. That sucks.

  27. I only recently realized that if you hold your pointer over a picture you can view a caption. It turns out Suderman is wittier than I’ve been giving him credit for.

  28. In the Age of Obama, it somehow seems perfectly fitting that the best movie of the year is based on a Michael Lewis book which is supposed to be real, but is actually based on an entirely fictitious idea.

    That’s America today in a nutshell: even reality is just a fantasy.

  29. Does it smell like sandy vaginas in here? DELICIOUS.

    1. I think someone is sad.

    2. I like how you pretend to ignore it by not replying directly to it. Everybody wins!

  30. When a man loves a woman, he lets her know by standing in the rain.

    A John Cusack montage:…..-the-rain/

    1. Or, when you’re John Cusack, and acting with someone who is not a pussy, rain is the great equalizer:…..153_v2.jpg

    2. Go to Killazonthrun’s link, scroll down to the comments. Look at the first one.

      I know, right?

      1. I be damned. I have to say though, his opinions are always consistent.

        1. You know who else had consistent opinions?

          1. John Madden?

  31. I blog about classic cinema, and I don’t care about the Oscar telecasts.

    That having been said, it’s nice to see somebody defend Chariots of Fire (you don’t know how many politicized movie buffs I know what think the dreadful Reds was robbed that year).

    1. [replying to myself due to the 900 character limit]

      And if you want egregious Oscar snubs, you’d have to go back to the days when there were lots of good movies to nominate. A lot of people talk about The Greatest Show on Earth winning in 1952 over films like Singin’ in the Rain or The Bad and the Beautiful (both of which, I think, are coming up on TCM on Sunday).

      I think the biggest snub, however, was when Going My Way won the major awards in 1944, beating out Double Indemnity and others for Best Picture, and beating out Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat for Best Director. Going My Way is one of those movies that really really makes me retch.

      1. Ordinary People over Raging Bull is a pretty bad one. And Dances With Wolves over Goodfellas.

        1. I think everything you say is fascinating!

          Will you be here all day?

        2. Forgot that was Raging Bull‘s year. Yeah. Travesty.

        3. Ordinary People was directed by Robert Redford, the hollywood luminary. You don’t snub the Redford. You just don’t. Being overrated is his schtick.

          Matt Damon is Redford’s heir apparent.

          1. Don’t be too harsh on Damon. He was very believable in Team America.

      2. The Greatest Show on Earth is truly abyssmal.

      3. Annie Hall over Star Wars will have to go down as the stupidest Best Picture snub of all time.

        It might be lessened by the fact that ROTK swept the Oscars in 2004, but in 30 years the choice of “A Beautiful Mind” and “Chicago” over the first two LOTRs might look pretty horrid too.

    2. Acting sucked in Reds. The interviews were fascinating.

    3. Confessing my ignorance again, had to look up Reds on wikipedia. Not surprising that a movie about an American communist idealising the Soviet revolution would upset so many (since it probably describes 80% of the Hollywood people)

      1. Confessing my ignorance again, had to look up Reds on wikipedia. Not surprising that a movie about an American communist idealising the Soviet revolution would upset so many for not winning (since it probably describes 80% of the Hollywood people)

      2. I didn’t take that from it at all. Beatty’s take through Reed is a severe disillusionment with the Soviet experiment. Just because Beatty’s sympathies are very New Dealish doesn’t mean he’s a card carrying member of the 4th International.

    4. Absurd. It was Raiders of the Lost Ark that was robbed. The only thing good about Chariots of Fire is that Vangelis score.

  32. That looks liek it might jsut get interesting.

    1. I knwo, rgiht?

  33. Spam?! For posting a link to a wiki? Are you out of your fucking mind, squirrels?

    Seriously, fix this site. You’ve plenty of posters who work in IT who’d be happy to help you, I’m sure. I’ve been posting and reading since before 2004, and your continued fuck-ups in this area really make me question whether I should bother continuing to visit.

    Anyway, sloopy, go look at the wiki for sandals made by the company you mention in your post. (Maybe that’ll get through the filter?) You’ll see that the scene in Goodfellas is probably not an anachronism.

    1. It’s never going to happen.

      1. Am I not lovely?

  34. If there was ever a movie that was snubbed it was Cannonball Run 2

    1. Look, I’ve called Gillespie out on his lack of respect for the first Cannonball Run, too, but even I won’t defend the steaming pile that is Cannonball Run 2.

  35. As a multi-year H&R lurker I’d like to state my disappointment that there hasn’t been a discussion of the cited Personal Best on this thread.

  36. The Oscars were so much better back when Virginia Postrel was around.

    If someone already noted that, good.

  37. john|2.22.12 @ 12:29PM|#
    We will find out rather. But libel certainly does. And I am going to sue whoever is doing this. Again, if it is you, you need to stop. I doubt you have any assets. But that is okay. I wouldn’t do it for money…And constantly posting after someone with libelous material, would count as cyber stalking in most jurisdictions. Again, if it is not you, you have nothing to worry about.-..I have idea who you are and I really don’t care. And if you are not the one doing it or if it stops, I will never care. But understand if you are doing it and it does continue, I will find out who you are and it will stop. It is really that simple.
    John|2.24.12 @ 9:04AM|#I Don’t do it LH. The pictures she puts up will scar you for life. If you do read it, you can see where the white indian crap comes from and how there is no doubt she is white indian.

  38. In the Anne Hathaway link, who’s the guy with the eminently punchable face trying to “protect” Hathaway?

    1. She is going to ruin the next Batman with that set of crudely affectatious mannerisms she substitutes for acting, and everybody knows it.

      1. Her googly eyes and fish mouth will play a strong role in that as well. Evan Rachel Wood, who doesn’t actually look like one of Poseidon’s minions, would have been a much better choice.

  39. The hindsight award is actually a great idea. They should really do that.

    1. It’s kinda what the AFI lists have done.

  40. Part of the problem for the Oscars is that theatrical movies in general are getting less popular.

    The awards ceremony for catfish noodling isn’t going to get good ratings no matter who they invite to host.

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  43. every year ,the Academy Awards will attract so many people all over the world ,such as actors ,directors ,film makers and so on. and audiences can watch it through internet ,tv or broadcast

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