The Oscar Telecast According to "Him"

07/31/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Barry Levinson Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producer

I have been reading about the Academy of Motion Pictures changes for the coming Oscar telecast. What seems clear is that the changes are basically about achieving higher ratings and appealing to a younger audience demographic. I thought I'd ask one of the so-called treasured demographically enhanced viewers what they thought of the Oscar changes. I will call him, "Him."

HIM: I thought the changes was cool. I mean 5 best pictures is not enough. Everything should be 10. I mean Letterman has his Top 10. There are all those Top 10 lists. Not 5. 5 is dumb.

ME: What about dropping the Thalberg Award and Jean Hersholt Award from the telecast?

HIM: Don't care. Too many old people getting awards. It's yesterday. Who cares what they did. What about now?

ME: Any other changes you'd make to improve the telecast?

HIM: I'd get rid of Best Score. Soundtracks are dead. And if they have melodies, it's lame. It's all about the sound. Big sound.

ME: Would you keep Best Foreign Film?

HIM: Noooooo....Don't see them. Never have.

ME: What about Slumdog Millionaire?

HIM: Yeah Good.

ME: Well, that was a foreign film.

HIM: Was it...? But it did win Best Picture.

ME: True. Ever see an Ingmar Bergman film?

HIM: Yeah. There was this girl I knew. And she made me watch one. I thought the DVD got frozen. It was on one shot for soooooo long.

ME: Any other changes you'd make?

HIM: I'd get rid of Screen Adaptation. I mean, just make it writing. Writing is writing. I don't care where it comes from.

ME: What about Film Shorts?

HIM: I make them on my phone. Did about 40 so far this year. Great category.

ME: You ever see any of the film shorts?

HIM: No, but it's good to have because it makes the Oscar office pools more interesting. Because nobody ever sees them. It's the wild card of the night, you know? Along with the Best Foreign Films. I don't think I've ever even seen them play anywhere.

ME: How often do you go to movies?

HIM: Maybe twice a year.

ME: That's all?

HIM: Yeah. You can get most of the new pics on DVD the first weekend. I mean, somebody's always selling them. 5 bucks. And the sound is better than it is in most theaters. Theaters have shit sounds a lot of the time.

ME: So you get bootleg pictures?

HIM: I's convenient.

ME: Do you think that's fair to the studios and the artists involved?

HIM: I pay for a good product at a reasonable price. That's all I care about.

ME: I'm curious, who do you think is the best actor so far this year?

HIM: The guy from Up. Fantastic.

ME: But he's a cartoon.

HIM: That guy was great. Hard to beat that actor. I don't care if he's real or not. Acting is acting.

ME: Since you are the key demographic that advertisers go after, what's your favorite commercial?

HIM: Um...hard to remember any. Maybe the one with the talking lizard. But I don't know what it's for.

"Him" is a fictional character, to the best of my knowledge.