If I ran the Oscars…

February 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

Big news, people! Academy Awards are tomorrow evening on ABC at 8pm. As I’m sure you’re quite aware I could not be more excited. Anne Hathaway and James Franco are hosting so we certainly are all in for a great show.

Let’s talk about how they are calling the awards “Oscar”. Not a big fan. Let’s just keep it “The Oscars”, please. This is also the second year they doubled the amount of best picture nominations from. In my opinion, ten nominees is just way too many. How is anyone supposed to choose a single movie out of that entire list? It’s nice to have a wide selection of different movies, but when you have to narrow it down to a single film to represent the year’s “best” – a smaller list of choices would be better. In addition to the long list of nominees, the criteria for the winner should be more objective and consistent. Often times, films win due to the politics of the Hollywood world. The Hurtlocker winning because it wasn’t Avatar, in my opinion – maybe in a spiteful sense. (Not so hot now, James Cameron, huh? – your ex-wife just ripped two academy awards out of your hands). There needs to be a more objective criteria. Let’s take a look:

The components to a “Best Picture” winner:
1. The Story. Obviously you need a good storyline to produce a good movie. You can’t write about a geeky kid getting the hot girl and expect to get an academy award nomination. Make it real, relateable, moving, inspiring, controversial (and no, geeks with hot girls is not controversy).

2. The Acting. Sure you can have a stupendous story but if you’re hiring Nicholas Cage and Mariah Carey playing the protagonists in your epic movie you can kiss your Oscar goodbye – you know, you can go ahead and kiss your invitation to the Oscars goodbye as well.

3. The Writing. No CSI: Miami one-liners, please. Smooth, intelligent, relevant writing is incredibly important to a great movie – If what the characters is saying is dull and uninventive no one will want to listen. Hire Aaron Sorkin. Problem solved.

4. The Cinematography. Make your movie pretty!! Stop using straight on shots and panning sunsets; switch it up a little, be creative with the scenes you’ve got.

5. The Music. “To me, movies and music go hand in hand. When I’m writing a script, one of the first things I do is find the music I’m going to play for the opening sequence.” – Quentin Tarantino. If anyone knows the importance of music in movies it’s him. The kind of music used in a scene can make or break it. Something completely joyous can appear horrific or something absolutely frightening can look like the feel good movie of the year without the proper music.

To end today’s blog I’d like to post my predictions for tomorrow night’s winners. Yes, these “predictions” will be full of bias and hopes, but I will do my best to make this as unbiased as possible:

Best Picture: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are Alright, The Social Network, The King’s Speech, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, True Grit, 127 Hours
Actor in Lead Role: Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Ferth, James Franco
Actor in Supporting Role: Christian Bale, John Hawkes, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Geoffrey Rush
Actress in Lead Role: Annette Benning, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawerence, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams
Actress in Supporting Role: Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter, Melissa Leo, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver
Animated Feature Film: The Illusionist, Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon
Directing: Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell, Tom Hooper, David Fincher, Joel and Ethan Cohen

We’ll keep it a short list today. Tune in tomorrow night to see how my winner’s compare with the academy’s.


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§ 2 Responses to If I ran the Oscars…

  • Bob Neal says:

    Hannah, I could not agree with you more, way too many nominated movies. Just not that many movies that are that good. I guess you need to follow the money on this one. The more movies you can tout as “Oscar nominated” the more credibility is created translating in to more box office and DVD purchases. I think it is kind of manipulative on the part of the academy, but maybe it makes the winner more impressive since they are selected out of such a large field. Also, your thoughts about the use of music in movies could not be more dead on. The appropriate music can provide such an emotional engagement with the story, capture an era and often become synonyms with the movie itself. Hey, great blog, enjoy the Oscars and see ya at the movies!

  • Jen Hamilton says:

    How many of these have you seen Hannah, at least, as far as the Best Picture noms go? Would love to hear what you thought of them if you have! I think the only one I’ve seen is Black Swan which, while brilliantly done, totally messed with my head for a few days! I really want to see 127 Hours, and I feel like I ought to want to see Social Network, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t appeal to me. Oh wait, I also saw The Kids Are Alright…liked the performances, didn’t so much like the story. Oh, and of course Toy Story 3 was great but I never got to see the end because Xavier was too scared of that crazy monkey in the daycare:)

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