I hate almost all awards shows.1 The one exception has always been the Academy Awards.
I’ve watched the Oscars every year for as long as I can remember. To those who know me as a movie buff, this shouldn’t be surprising. Still, I can’t stand the Golden Globes or that various other pageants you can find on random television stations during awards season. But the Academy Awards always seemed special to me. Beyond reproach.
But I fear I’m starting to lose that loving feeling.
Last night’s awards wasn’t entirely awful. But it was pedestrian. It was too approachable. Too familiar.
The biggest names in Hollywood were taking selfies. And eating pizza. They looked like clowns at a circus rather than actors on a stage.
Obviously, these people are all human. Having worked in Hollywood for a few years, I of course know this. But part of what I didn’t like about working in Hollywood is how it broke the fourth wall. I watch movies to escape. I don’t want to see these people acting like teenagers. If I did, I’d read a tabloid.
Maybe that makes me a grouch. That’s okay. I’m sure millions of people enjoyed watching their favorite actors act like jesters. I did not.
I know that comedy has long been a part of the Oscars, and that this has become the job of the host. But the usual roast turned too interactive last night. The actors were both being roasted and roasting. It was too meta for me.
I’d actually much prefer the show to go the other way. I’d cut out all the schtick and drastically reduce the time of the ceremony. I’d have some tributes, some songs, and an opening monologue. But mainly I’d just hand out the statues and focus on the speeches.
I’d keep it classy. Elegant.
Perhaps that sounds boring. But it can’t be more boring than a non-stop barrage of self-referential jokes and costume changes. I don’t want to relate to the talent of Hollywood. I want them to be recognized for what they do best and to promise to do more of it.
I don’t want to go to a film next week, see an actor, and immediately have an image of them taking a selfie in my head. I want to escape.