I missed the first hour or so of the Oscars last night, which quickly brings me to my first point: it's on too late. They need to either tape the show on Saturday and broadcast it Sunday so that it'll be on at a reasonable time in every timezone, or hold the event in New York or anywhere else in the eastern timezone.
Of course that'll never happen, even though to not do it is self absorbed and logistically retarded on every imaginable level. It must be nice for the program to start at 5:30pm and have it wind down at around 9pm, but the left coast is pretty much the only place that can happen, and with the ratings the Oscars' typically get, I'm pretty damn sure there are a lot more people watching overall than just "over there". I missed the first hour because I thought (hoped and prayed) it started at 9:30pm instead of 8:30. It wrapped it just a few minutes before midnight -- on a damn Sunday. Imagine the outrage from the pretty people if the Oscars moved from 5:30pm to 8:30pm PST. They'd never tolerate it, they'd have to miss the end of the program! Or even stay up late and be tired the next morning for work!
Oh, the horror of it all.
I think all live programs should happen according to EST, with tape delay for the left coast since that makes certain that the program is broadcast is the most viewable timeslot(s) all over the country, with the only sacrifice being that the further west you go, the longer the delay. It's not like we aren't all eating a 5 or 10 second delay already, due to fascist FCC interference. (Would the world be any fun without them?) So how is a three-hour delay going to hurt?
And before you even bother, forget the DVR angle. The Oscars are cool but not entertaining, and things that aren't entertaining (and run 3+ hours) are not something you plop on the couch and say "So look at all this shit I need to watch that's already a month old, what shall be first? Oh! the Oscars! Three hours of people giving awards to themselves for movies I've never even seen!!"
No; they are going to watch Lost, take a dump, then go to bed.
Jon Stewart, even though I missed his intro, was good this year. He didn't stand out which I think is kind of the point. He was funny, but didn't try to make the show about himself, like Ellen did last year, like just about everyone else does. The job is hosting an awards presentation, after all, not a comedy/variety show. Him bringing out that female music artist whose name escaped me the very moment I heard it last night Markéta Irglová was a wonderful moment. I was extremely upset that she wasn't allowed to speak the first time, even though it was apparent that it was a mistake, and what a speech it was too. With a program that long, you don't expect mistakes like that to be fixed, but this one was. That moment redeemed the entire program for whatever flaws it may or may not have had -- even being late.
As for who won what, blah blah blah, who cares. Everyone knew No Country For Old Men was in for a killing, and it didn't disappoint. The musical performances were good, and completely unnecessary. You could have trimmed a solid quarter-hour off the program just by playing excerpts, and still shows that the producers have no clue what to do with themselves and their exceptional awesomeness. I suggest quitting and letting somebody else do it, perhaps four or five consecutive fluffings and firings so that the show actually resembles a real Hollywood script and production -- confusing, too long, cost too much, pretentious, seemingly written in the form of a haiku with a long 2-month break in the middle of the program for no good reason.
I suggest Michael Bay for director, at least it'll be entertaining.
It would be nice, though, if the Academy would acknowledge with an award the best performing movie of the previous year. This latest string of giving "best film" to movies that could by no rational definition be considered the best by their performance is getting annoying. I realize the Academy is treating the award as an award of quality, but that doesn't actually make sense. There are far more movie goers than there are Academy members and they decide which movie is the "best" to them by going to see in in the largest numbers. That's a de facto definition of best that is the only one that counts in whether or not a TV show lives or dies, so why do awards like this have to be purposefully different?
If these movies were so damn good, why didn't hardly anybody go to see them?
At some point you're basically trying to redefine terms. If 70 million people go to see Comic-Book-Movie-X (making it the best performing) then in their judgment, that was the best movie to see that year, and who is the Academy to argue with that? Do they not profess to make movies for the people to enjoy? So why give an award to a movie that hardly anybody that is targeted actually enjoyed?
You don't see that kind of arrogance with the Emmy Awards, though they do occasionally give out sympathy awards which is pretty lame. Based on what I've heard, the final season of the Sopranos wasn't significantly better than any other season they produced over the years, and yet it made a killing at its final awards show, and for no other reason than it was going off the air.
Not because of what they achieved that year, but because voting members simply wanted to do it. And thankfully they don't do that very often at the Emmys, unlike the Oscars, where they've done it for like four years straight now for best picture.
It's time to wake up to the reality of the business as it is today, and split best picture into two top-tier categories: Best Produced Picture, and Best Performing Picture. Those films that the audience makes iconic deserve better than this and quality or not, if nobody goes to see it, you can't redefine "best" just because you feel like being an elitist jackass.