I have always loved the Academy Awards and yet in recent years Iâ€™ve come to accept lesser award shows (like the Golden Globes) as being entertaining for what they are.Â However in the last few telecasts I think the Academy Awards have missed the boat when it comes to the place the Oscars play in the hearts of those of us who adore films and pop culture.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â First, Seth MacFarlaneâ€¦really?Â Yes, his movie Ted was a surprise hit and the producers of the Academy Awards are desperate to increase ratings, but Seth MacFarlane seems like a stretch.Â Speaking in very general terms MacFarlaneâ€™s humor is mucho heterosexual male oriented which is fine (live and let live I say) but he is hosting the Oscars which traditional isnâ€™t a big event for the before mentioned audience.Â Now if the Academy had hired Tina Fey and Amy Poehler like the Globes did I would be beyond excited, but they didnâ€™t and now I fear the ceremony will be just one long reference to passing gas.Â True, MacFarlane could surprise us skeptics but since I despise Family Guy I sort of doubt it.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Overall, hosting is a thankless job which both host and audience can only hope the event will be more giggles than gaffs.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Anne Hathaway is my next bone of contention, but not in the way you might suspect.Â Although she attracts a lot of haters, I donâ€™t count myself as one.Â I do concede that she can definitely grate and if you are inclined to despise everything Hathaway she gives you material in which to indulge your wrath.Â Heavens she has really stunk up this award season with unnecessary coyness and false modesty.Â She was great in Les Miserables and is the front runner to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress so all of this faux humbleness and surprise at winning is too much.Â Yes, it is an honor but tone it down a notch.Â This also ties into another point I want to make later in reference to the work of actors.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â On Hathawayâ€™s plus side, she did make an effort to be entertaining when she co-hosted the Oscars a few years ago with James Franco (who gave the audience a dictionary definition of phoning in a performance).Â She can be funny such as in the Christmas themed Funny or Die video she made with Samuel L. Jackson and she rose to prominence after starring in Disneyâ€™s The Princess Diaries (2001).Â Cinematically Hathaway has already proven two things.Â One, you can start out as a Disney princess and still carve out a prestigious career in roles that are not very princess based.Â Two, you can be a Disney kid star and not totally lose it once you become a legal adult.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Hathaway takes her job as an actress very seriously which is great, but often with so many award shows celebrating the accomplishments of the same people over and over again, that element of sentimentality becomes a hard pill to swallow.Â I know that acting, for those performers who do take it seriously, can be difficult and demanding.Â I also know that once you achieve a certain level of fame part of your job isnâ€™t just acting in a role, but also being hounded by the paparazzi.Â In fact I would argue that the over compensation that some actors get for acting jobs is more about paying them to advertise their wares on talk shows and living a life with diminished privacyâ€¦but Iâ€™m getting ahead of myself.Â The thing that has bothered me about the last few Oscar telecasts is the whole quasi-therapeutic/feel good bits where actors who are presenting the Best Acting trophies take a moment to tell the nominees (I donâ€™t recall if they do this for those nominated in the Best Supporting categories) about how great they are often by using terms such as â€œbraveâ€ and â€œbrilliant.â€Â Honestly, it gets so bad that I have to turn the channel to the Food Network just in case my head explodes.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It would be one thing if these nominated actors had cured cancer or actually saved the world from a collision with a meteorite, but thatâ€™s not the case is it?Â If actors are attending the various award ceremonies they are already living a glamorous lifestyle of which few humans on the planet could identify.Â I mean seriously, in one season actors get more acknowledgement for their career than the astronauts who landed on the moon get (or got) in their lifetime. Â Really, how brave or brilliant is a role in comparison to the everyday activities of most of humanity?Â I mean teachers, as an example, do amazing things all the time for little pay; where the hell are their designer gowns and Wolfgang Puck cooked dinner?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In summary, Iâ€™m hoping that Hollywood takes it down a notch.
Westerfield Â© 2013