I don't watch Oscar telecasts because (a) I'm not in the movie industry and (b) I haven't been lobotomized yet. Five solid hours of anything on television had better involve a car chase, Amazonian kung fu women, and Christopher Walken with a chainsaw. How anyone can sit through bland thank-you speeches, brief, out-of-context film clips, and endless fawning of one celebrity over another is not for me to guess. Apparently for the big awards, "Black Swan" and "The Fighter" did well, but "The King's Speech" cleaned up with both the Best Picture and Best Actor wins. As yet I have seen none of these films and was quite upset when "Vampires Suck" didn't even get nominated.
The win by "The King's Speech" makes sense, according to the tried-and-true formula of how to win at Oscars--British accents, a period piece, a plot of historical importance--this was practically child's play. Not to take away from the film--having not seen it yet, I hear it's good--but I can think of a few ways to improve the Academy Awards.
1) Don't televise it. These things should be privately held functions--just think of the mystique! We only find out how the thing went down the next day when the Academy releases its news to the world.
2) All nominations can only be for films released at least ten years ago. This makes it more like a Hall of Fame, but it ensures that the movies nominated have withstood the test of time. Just think--at the 2009 Academy Awards, they never would have nominated dreck like "Titanic" and "Shakespeare in Love". And a brilliant film like "Memento" would have a shot later as its director, Christopher Nolan, saw his star rise.
3) Combine overly specific categories. For example, "Best Original Screenplay" and "Best Adapted Screenplay" should be combined to "Best Writing". And, since foreign films can compete for Best Picture, there should be no "Best Foreign Film" category. After all, we don't have "Best Comedy Film Involving Pie Fights" or "Best Film Using Dinosaurs."
4) Include new categories such as "Best Scene" and "Best One-Liner" and "Best Ad Lib". Some films that aren't good enough to win Best Picture might still have one great scene or line.
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