Events: The Oscars – according to Wiki, “The first awards were presented on May 16, 1929, at a private brunch at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an audience of about 270 people. The cost of guest tickets for that night’s ceremony was $5. Fifteen statuettes were awarded, honoring artists, directors and other personalities of the filmmaking industry of the time for their works during the 1927 – 1928 period.”
If you look at it from that perspective, I suppose we have not lost our ceremonial mojo but rather gone back to our roots in the dumbed down Oscars of recent years. We still have Billy Crystal, which quite possibly could have been the host that year too, but 83 years has taken us on a journey that leaves me feeling one thing tonight: empty-handed. Like a nominee who was entertained by the thought, I still leave tonight missing something. What that something is, I can’t quite put my finger on.
Hollywood glamour perhaps? Is it the recycling of the same faces that brought me to shut my own TV after 30 minutes? Or is that today’s faces aren’t the Marilyn’s or the Audrey’s. That even in the one ceremonious outlet we have left that actually celebrates cinematic talent vs. manufactured celebrity; we are overflowing Twitter feeds with comments about Clooney and Kiebler’s longevity or Jolie’s dire need for food.
Let’s face it, this isn’t 1940 awarding Gone with the Wind. While the talent may still exist (Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Help, The Artist), the Oscars themselves have become quite lackluster. Personally, I’d rather see them take place again at the Roosevelt in front of 270 fabulous cigar smoking, scotch guzzling people of the roaring twenties. In black and white no less. Beneath exquisite chandeliers. Escaping life and laughing pompously despite the only unemployment rate we’ve seen, comparable to now.