“Surprise” is the theme of this year’s Academy Awards. First, we won’t know who is presenting. Now I’m apparently going to be told a story while I watch the Oscars.
Producers of the Feb. 22 81st Annual Academy Awards telecast indicated Monday that it will offer a number of surprises but they gave little hint of what sort of surprises they intended to produce. Today’s (Tuesday) New York Times reported that at the annual Oscar nominees luncheon at the Beverly Hilton hotel, Motion Picture Academy President Sid Ganis told the nominees that the show would carry “many, many risks” and that the nominees should “be prepared.” He said producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark had asked him to tell the nominees “to stay alert.” The Times, citing people close to the show, said that this year’s Oscars show will “have its own narrative line — not merely handing out the awards, but doing it in a way that tells a story — while including surprises that are designed to staunch the ratings erosion of recent years.
News flash, Sid Ganis. The Oscar ratings will be low this year, they will be low next year and they will continue to be low until some major blockbuster is nominated for Best Picture. And guess what? The Dark Knight was blatantly snubbed this year. So there goes your audience, Ganis. Let’s not forget, Springsteen isn’t nominated and neither is Miley Cyrus.
AND unless a George Clooney or Morgan Freeman voiceover is behind the whole damn surprise narrative line, I don’t care. I don’t want a gimic. I just to watch awards be handed out, see some high fashion, some tears, pointless banter, and take a shot every time I see Jack Nicholson.
So AMPAS, lose the gimics. I just want my normal, ordinary, sometimes newsworthy, sometimes controversial Academy Awards. And hopefully a Bollywood number. Is that too much to ask for?