All right. I’m the grouch. I’m watching the Oscars right now. Can I just say sumpin’ here? What is with the staging tonight?! May I please say that it deeply, honestly sucks? They’re bringing the nominees for some of the less sexy awards — Art Direction, Costume Design — ONTO THE STAGE, just to stand there, waiting in front of the whole watching world to see if they’ve won, like some athletic losers hoping to be picked for the softball team in junior high PE.
When the Oscar is announced, the winner steps forward, and the losers — well, the losers are whisked offstage to their shame dates with Doritos and Ding Dongs and, ultimately, the panic disorders that began the night they got the humiliating thrill of standing onstage as the LOSERS at the freaking ACADEMY AWARDS, no less!! The stage should be the magical place where the winning happens, not the place where the nightmares begin. Don’t make a spectacle of the poor, disappointed people. What’s next? Losers are devoured by lions? Chased by blood-thirsty paparazzi?
Ah. Now I see the directors are also having the stars go INTO THE AUDIENCE to present these awards that nobody cares about. Here’s Cate Blanchett, loitering in an aisle, announcing whatever award this is. And the winner is ….. shockingly, that person in the aisle seat right next to her. WOW. I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! Now this hapless winner has stepped up to the rickety microphone — which just magically appeared — to give her speech in this ultra-glam locale.
And, and this lucky gal gets to be upstaged throughout her entire speech by the eye-catching, attention-grabbing presence of Cate Blanchett who is still in the shot — because the shot’s too freaking wide and the aisle’s too freaking narrow and it’s utterly freaking stoopid. (Hmm …. seems I’m a little bugged.)
But back to my live rant. Look, don’t steal the winner’s moment by making them seem pale in comparison to the luminous, unreal aura of a movie star. Don’t put the winner or the star in some clunky, stupid, but “new” location, just to be avant-garde. Don’t put the winner in an aisle where they have their backs to half the audience. They’re upstaging themselves — through no fault of their own. No thoughtful director would do that to his “people.” It strikes me as insensitive. And I understand it seems like an expeditious TV choice. Sure, you’re cutting down on “walking” time if the winner is sitting or standing right there. But it takes something away from the grandeur of the show and it certainly steals something ineffable from the winner’s moment. Hey, when we practice our acceptance speeches in our mirrors, we’re imaining ourselves walking our glorious walk up to that glorious stage, not standing in a squishy aisle, battling for screen time with a person who’s paid to be a screen hog. That’s the winner’s moment and it shouldn’t be messed with, FOR. PETE’S. SAKE! (Wow. Seems I am disproportionately annoyed.)
But — I just can’t stop!
Because what other “avant-garde” locations await us tonight??
I mean, are we going to see “Gwyneth Paltrow presenting from …. the slimy-floored kitchen!” or “Nicole Kidman ….. from the alley trash cans with the deranged hobo reaction!” or “Anthony Hopkins …. presenting a winner, some losers, and a few snivelers, LIVE …. from the men’s room urinals!” ??
WHO THE HELL KNOWS??
Okay. Shhhh. Gotta watch.