Welcome back to The Wood, a whenever I want column where I give Hollywood a hard time. Today, I'm giving you a hard time for hating on the Oscars.
What do you mean these Oscars are boring? Look at the best director race, pal. Cameron and Bigelow totally used to bang. Not juicy enough? This year's so bananas that one of the Hurt Locker producers already got kicked out of the party. That girl from The Parkers is gonna win! And she was good! A Prophet was almost as good as City of God, Tarantino made a spaghetti western about a group of bad ass Jews that collect Nazi scalps. We saw weird blue alien people having sex in space (in 3D!), and Pixar showed us everything we need to know about life in one stunning sequence. Spike Jonze went emo-expensive on a classic, In the Loop was all kinds of linguistic fun. The show hasn't even started people, this party is gonna be off the hook.
I remember when people used to be excited about the Oscars. Now all I hear is whining and complaining. Most of you have already written the whole thing off, "I'm not even gonna watch em". To quote Christian Bale, "Oh, good for you." I'm sure the Oscars are so bummed you're abstaining. I'll give you that producer Adam Shankman had a terrific idea in wanting Sasha Baron Cohen to host and it's a shame we will have to wait for that. I'll hear your argument that this Steve Martin is a bit of a bore. I simply ask that we not forget that Alec Baldwin is one of the funniest people on the planet, and the two of them are SNL legends. I'm not saying they're gonna be the best yet, I'm just asking you to give them a shot. Go re-watch some 30 Rock, you'll want more Baldwin. Now I hear Martin Short and Neil Patrick Harris will be opening the show with a song and dance? What a ball. Feeling better yet?
Poor Oscar. The guy weighs 8 1/2 pounds; go pick on someone your own size.
What's your point anyway? You seem so sure you'll be bored to death. Well if you read CHUD.com you would know that Sasha Baron Cohen and Ben Stiller have some pretty crazy stuff planned. According to them, "Baron Cohen was to appear onstage as a blue-skinned, female Na'vi, with Stiller translating "her" interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn't translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open "her" evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron's love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer." Sounds hilarious, right?
I just finished the article on CHUD. Apparently that skit isn't happening, something about "the Oscar producers thinking that Cameron is so thin-skinned he could literally walk out of the ceremony." Uh oh. Maybe you guys are right. Oh man, I just read Neil Patrick Harris is a no go, but he is confirmed to lend his voice to the Smurfs movie. There's a Smurfs movie? I suddenly have that warm pre-puke sensation at the top of my throat.
Adding insult to injury, over at LA times' The Envelope, Alec Baldwin revealed "Steve and I only appear for about 22 minutes of the entire time of the program. Our role in a three-hour show is not that big." Great, you know what that means - even more mind-numbing tributes and stale montages. More of Hollywood acting self important, less of Hollywood actually entertaining us (heaven forbid). And you can imagine how pissed I was to read Alec Baldwin say this when asked about the appeal of being a host: "You can have some irreverence, but it's the highest level of achievement in the movie business." No! We want irreverence, we want comedy, we want a buoyant and fun celebration of the year in film. You can still be self important, we'll still take it seriously if it's fun and entertaining. Save your pats on the back for the endless banquets, dinner parties, premieres, and ostenatious celebrations you throw yourselves all year to celebrate the magnitude and brilliance of your work. Bring us a celebration. We are, after all, your audience, your ticket sales, your fans.
What am I doing? Listen to me, I've gone to the dark side. You guys and your negative energy, you're ruining this for me. You all have me convinced that some producer in a Burbank office thinks that Oscar's demographic is too old for things that are actually funny, perhaps "irreverent". Because of you, now I'm sure the best bits will be pulled. I'm starting to fear that we're gonna have to do what we always do - fake laugh when some random actor says hi to Jack Nicholson. This is supposed to be about you hating on the Oscars, not me. I'm light headed.
Let's take it back to positive town, nobody got anywhere with a bad attitude. There are plenty of compelling story lines this year, maybe we actually haven't "seen Oscar like this". 10 Best picture candidates? Wild stuff. And you realize "The Dude" is finally gonna get a statue for The Singing Wrestler, right? That freakishly buff werewolf kid from Twilight is presenting, maybe he'll rip his shirt off and whip the place into a preteen frenzy.
Come on, what's the worst that could happen? The program is boring and you disagree with the winners? Like you're not used to that. You'll live. Not to get all high school football coach on you, but - chin up. There's always next year. Edgar Wright and Greg Motolla are both back next year, so is Terrence Malick. David Fincher's gonna try to drag the actor out of the talented but movie misguided Justin Timberlake in a flick about Facebook, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are gonna make out under Aronofksy's direction in Black Swan. You'll get another shot at M. Night with The Last Airbender and find out if Seth Rogen can be a superhero in The Green Hornet. And if you're not excited about Christopher Nolan's DiCaprio starring Inception than, sorry bud, nobody can help you.
Phew, I was starting to feel like on Oscar hater there for a second.
See you next time in The Wood.
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