05/07/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Oscar Schmoscar

Remember when the Oscars meant something? Families would gather round their one television set, snacks piled high. It was the signature event of the movie industry, when actors still held a mystique because they were so inaccessible. Their lifestyles were imagined rather than paraded for the media, only few would speak out in support of injustices or charitable causes and we were kept at arms length from knowing too much what went on behind closed doors. Boy, has that all changed. Now, we know so much about everyone that is nominated for each award, that by the time the Oscar telecast happens, no one cares about anyone involved. Nominating ten movies for Best Film is such a ploy to attract viewers that is waters down the value of being nominated. Excuse me, District 9, A Serious Man and Up in the Air? Please, mediocre at "Best".

The fact is, celebrity publicists have done their jobs hawking their clients and we are inundated with facts and figures (Gabourey Sidibe) leaving us with a sense of TMI (too much information). Who doesn't know about:

  • The hair Monique has on her legs.
  • Which number wife James Cameron is sporting on his arm.
  • The maneuvering Harvey Weinstein is up to behind the scenes, shifting his support from Nine to Inglourious Basterds. (Did he not see Nine? If he had, he would have known that was a huge effort in futility. Inglourious Basterds should have been his pick from the start. My point is: Backroom dirty dealings should be just that, and not public fodder. It just makes Mr. Weinstein look really annoying.)
  • What dress Sandra Bullock will wear and all that other high-stakes hi-jinks to get Armani Prive on bla bla.
  • Which actress doesn't own an evening handbag, hence being forced to borrow from Judith Leiber.
  • What actress is borrowing Neil Lane, Harry Winston or Martin Katz's estate jewelry.
  • Can we agree that it is all too much information? And (B) The borrowing of jewelry is so un-chic (rather low rent-ish, more wanna-be New York socialite) that it compromises the mystique of the talent. Would Bette Davis ever admit to borrowing jewelry? Think again. It would be nice to know that Vera Fermiga has a safe with lovely jewels on her goat farm. And that Meryl Streep owns every dress she wears. But is that the truth? Probably not. Truth is that Monique's husband finds her hairy legs sexy, which is brech-worthy. (Brech = vomit in Yiddish.) Attention celebrity publicists: Cut it out. You need to research the Golden Age of Hollywood. It was then that the star machine created real superstars. The studio system worked to keep the riff-raff information tucked behind the gated properties of the celebrities. Not open the pearly gates of minutia.

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