Commentary: The Oscars Have It Backwards; and More
By: Ellis Nassour
Best Make-Up and Hairstyling, Sound Mixing, Sound Design, and certainly, Cinematography and Editing are important elements of moviemaking. But taking nothing away from the talented folk who toil in those areas, are they more important to have on an international telecast when not a soul knows a single name?
And at the cost of the Academy relegating what could have been exhilarating moments for Lifetime Achievement Oscar honorees Tony and Emmy-winning Dame Angela Lansbury, Emmy winning [with another four nominations] and five-time Golden Globe nominee TV/film comedy legend Steve Martin, Italy’s innovative costume designer and five-time Oscar nominee Piero Tosi [who worked on classics by Visconti, Fellini, and Zeffirelli]; and the bestowing of the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award on Angelina Jolie, saluting her work as a U.N . Goodwill Ambassador and Special Envoy, to a separate event and 15-second sound bites?
The Academy has it backwards. What would have made for better TV entertainment? Look how the Tonys do it: in a special hour before the audience prior to the telecast. I wonder if there’s union pressure to keep these awards on the telecast?
There’d be more time for expanded film clips — maybe on the 86th Oscars, even a segment honoring legendary Shirley Temple [Black]l and a meaningful honoring for the above worthies with either household names or legends that deserve recognition.
And if only the Academy had the courage to step up to the plate and forbid those embarrassing and self-serving moments of winners thanking their wives [aren’t those Mercedes and spa visits enough?], kids [aren’t private schools and sports cars enough?], even their pets [who actually might be the most inspiring].
Ellen did OK. One really hilarious moment would have really been bad if it hadn’t gone over almost everyone’s head. I loved her bringing the pizza delivery boy in and embarrassing all those power players to contribute a tip.
And Liza giving, evidently, her new best friend, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, the type of bear hug you give one of your oldest friends.
Did anyone understand anything Spike Jonze said?
Who’s Adele Dazeem? Was this a joke by the person who puts the copy on the teleprompter? Didn’t poor John T. attend the dress? Didn’t someone intro Johnny to Idina? I’m sure, had Idina heard his intro, she would’ve screamed even louder. Louder, Idina! Louder!
Didn’t the talent coordinator at least call Kim before inviting her to present to find out if she still had a voice; and even maybe ask for a current head shot to see how much of her face landed on the cutting room floor? Such great memories of Novak’s performances went down the drain with just one look at what she’s done to her once stunning face. And all that rouge couldn’t conceal that Bette’s evidently been spending some time in a particular surgeon’s office.
If you have Elton there, why not let him do something he does well: entertain? One thing you won’t find me at: a Karen O concert.
Alright! Alright! Matthew! But who knew Matthew is also an evangelist? Certainly not those who saw Killer Joe or Magic Mike. If there’s a remake of Elmer Gantry on the assembly line, Matthew, hopefully, will be at the head of the line.
Congratulations to the Academy and Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neal Meron for finally getting the In Memoriam segment right.
If the opt arises, and maybe it will on cable TV or PBS, make sure you experience the Oscar-winning doc about Holocaust survivor Alice Sommer-Herz, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. In 39 minutes Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed delivered more life lessons and inspiration than many a two or three-hour drama.
It’s an inspiring experience about a woman who, in spite of great challenges and hard times, lived with incredible optimism through the music and laughter she filled her life with.
In his acceptance, Clark had this to say about the 110-year-old pianist who passed away last week, "I was struck by Alice’s extraordinary capacity for joy and her amazing capacity for forgiveness."
Miss Sommer-Herz, the people of the Ukraine, the gay population of Russia, those fighting for equality, those living in poverty in the greatest and most powerful nation in the world should have been the real heroes included in the telecast’s theme. Think of the millions worldwide who would have been reached.