The red carpet's been rolled up, the tuxedos and dresses have been taken to the dry-cleaners and the all the hype and revelry surrounding the 84th Annual Academy Awards has died down. It's time now to reflect on the show, and what it brought to the table. By and large, this year's show was a definite improvement from last year's, which was hosted by the not dynamic duo of Anne Hathaway (who tried too hard) and James Franco (who we're not even sure was awake). Billy Crystal returned for his ninth time as the master of ceremonies, with decidedly mixed results at best, and there were scripted and filmed bits that just made us cock our heads to the side, curious as to what exactly the producers of the show had in mind.
We decided to help the show out and five those responsible for putting it on some helpful suggestions to make next year's Oscars show that much better.
Cool It With the Montages - At some point it felt like we were watching a "Rocky" movie with as many montages of and clips packages. We get it, okay Hollywood? There have been no small number of important and memorable films produced over the last hundred years. But we don't need to see clips from all them in one night. One "Yay Hollywood!" montage is probably more than enough.
Just Hire Ricky Already! - Ricky Gervais has said he's done hosting The Golden Globes, but we bet he'd gladly jump at the chance to host an Academy Awards broadcast. No one is better at taking a bit of the hot air out of a room full of movie stars like the creator of "The Office" and "An Idiot Abroad." Crystal tried to recapture his past glory, but it just seemed stuck in the past, and in major need of an overhaul. The producers should take a chance and hire somebody who may cause a stir, but is also guaranteed to bring the laughs back in full force.
Leave The Comedy To the Professionals - We love Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, but they are clearly not cut out for love comedy sketches. Their introduction of Best Documentary was awkward and nearly took the whole show down in flames. However, not all the funny intros fell flat. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis were brilliant with their crash cymbals, and the ladies of "Bridesmaids" were hilarious with their bawdy intro of Best Short. So that means the producers should wise up and give the funny stuff to the comedians, and the serious stuff to the rest of the presenters.
Give Yourselves Some More Time - At this point, everyone who tunes into the show knows that the show will run at least three and a half hours, and yet there's still a threat to every winner that their speech will be cut short by the swelling orchestra. Considering that half of the reason we all watch the show is to see what the artists say in their ultimate moment of validation and congratulation, why would anyone want to cut that off? Next year, the producers should just bargain for another sixty minutes with the network to ensure that every winner gets their due time.
Just Give the Actors Their Trophies - This new tradition of having the presenter of the Best Actor and Actress awards presented after a mutual admiration fest for each of the nominees has gone on long enough. Maybe it's because not everyone has seen the films for which they're nominated, so they wanted to educate the audience while also sucking up to the nominees. All this exercise does is lengthen the broadcast and suck more time away from the acceptance speeches. It's time to cut the love fest, and just get the statues into the winners' hands.
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- Billy Crystal