I hope Stewart revitalizes the Oscars. I hope that he is funny and takes great pot shots at such a self congradulatory industry. I will tune into his opening monologue, a good bet to be the most entertaining portion of the evening. I just will not hold my breath that it will remain funny. No reflection on Stewart, Hollywood continues to marginalize itself because it usually ignores or belittles those of us who place importance on religion and other traditional societal building blocks.My take on it? Glad you asked.
Scott Ott has already addressed this one:
Stewart to Host Oscars, Rumsfeld to Give GOP Response
The Oscars (outside the industry) are a massively trivial event. The only reason that we pay any attention is that the participants, for the most part, either look fabulous or own or operate the cameras.
(2006-01-05) — Just hours after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named Comedy Channel news anchor Jon Stewart to host this year’s Academy Awards show, the White House announced that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been tapped to deliver the GOP response.
The Oscars Rebuttal Show, part of ABC-TV’s commitment to fairness, will attempt to refute and debunk the anti-Bush administration remarks that naturally flow from Mr. Stewart and his colleagues as they give little golden statues to people who make up stories and who pretend to be other people...
...A spokesman for the Academy, in announcing the emcee deal today, said, “Now, we know whose monkey Jon Stewart is.”
The "Major" awards have all the credibility (and authenticity) of the status battles for "coolest clique" we saw (or fought, or avoided) in high school. With the exception of "Best Editing," "Sound," "Visual Effects," the majors seem to be a popularity contest only loosely attached to any merit or achievement. Just take a jump to the official MPAA Database for "Best Picture" and review the list. Rocky beat out Network and Taxi Driver?
The "Minor" awards are the most interesting. These are awards given to people inventing technologies that make movies better, so of course they get a plaque rather than a statuette and their ceremony in unbroadcast. (It would make a great episode of Nova, though.) But really, these are the kids in A.V. Club, not the ones who get elected Homecoming King and Queen. I have no dogs in this hunt, no horse in this race, no favorite for which I am cheering.
I may have Tivo record the ceremony, but only for the opening monologue and the chance to view some fabulousness on the fly.
UPDATE: Mark Yost has a great editorial over at Opinion Journal about the campaign by stuntmen and stunt coordinators to be recognized by the Academy. Though the outlook for an Oscar for stunt work looks unlikely, there is an Emmy in that category:
Spice Williams-Crosby, a stuntwoman and actress, was successful at lobbying the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which gives out the Emmy Awards, to create a stunt category. But it wasn't easy.'Cause, you know, actors are seriously fabulous people.
Ms. Williams-Crosby was motivated after her friend, fellow stuntman Paul Dallas, was killed in August 1996 doing a high fall for the TV series "L.A. Heat."
"We were hit with more opposition than you can ever imagine," she says of her initial efforts. Worse yet, most of the actors she lobbied were ignorant of what stunt people did and didn't even know they were in the same union, the Screen Actors Guild. "We're risking our lives to make the actors look good," she told a peer group. "We protect you and you don't even have a clue as to who we are or what we do."