Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday Top Ten: An Oscar Show Unlike Any Other

For the list maker in me and the list lover in you

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED
I’ve been a little out of the WGA strike loop unless you count playing Laura Linney’s Speechless short film on loop (Hilarious even the 80th time!) I don’t know what’s going on anymore… just that all the news seems to be bad news. But ModFab pointed me to a Hollywood Insider article about the latest setback: WGA not granting waivers to the awards shows. Quite possibly that could mean no film clips.

ModFab wisely suggests more Debbie Allen interpretative dance numbers to fill up the 3 hour broadcast. That’s a great suggestion. Imagine what she could do to… excuse me... for No Country For Old Men. Imagine the tap break possibilities for Into the Wild

5 Ways to Make the Oscars Insanely Entertaining Without The Use of Film Clips

1. Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There) forced on stage to impersonate all of her fellow supporting actress nominees. Can she “do” Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) and Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) as well as she apes Dylan & Hepburn? Would capturing the precocious bad seed Saorsie Ronan (Atonement) finally prove too much for her estimable technique? If she pulls it off can they hand her 6 Oscars on the spot. One for each mimicry job + Bob Dylan.

2. All best actor candidates thrown naked into a Russian bathhouse set to fend off real life assassins with their bare hands. Only Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) is exempt from this challenge, already having demonstrated his bad assery…and his ass.

3. They could nominate five truly great songs instead of schmaltzy power ballads and then give the actual performers ample time to si-- I'm sorry. That's too radical. What was I thinking? sheer anarchy.

4. A walk off for costume design. Keira Knightley (Atonement) in the green dress, Helena Bonham-Carter (Sweeney Todd) in decaying gothic fineries, Someone else in something else… yes, that!

5. Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd) shaves Phillip Seymour Hoffman live! I’m sorry but someone needs to. He doesn’t even try to clean up for these things.

5 More Ways To Enliven a Writer-less, Clip-less Oscar Ceremony as Suggested By Readers

6. The Opinionated Australian says... "Perhaps, they can take advantage of the extra time they'll have, and stage both Oscars and Razzies on the same night? I can hardly ever tell them apart anyway." snarky... I love it.

7. Daily Tanenbaum says... "Have all the nominees in each category live in a house together and see what happens when actors stop being polite and start acting real." Funny. Do they get to vote each other off... ? cuz that's all the rage.

8. Katey says... "Coin toss with Anton Chigurh-- if you lose, Javier Bardem gets your Oscar."


9. Middento says ... "instead of the honoring the dearly departed over the past year, the Oscars hold a seance instead? The most corporeally rendered gets the loudest applause, naturally." I'm guessing that that goes to Joan Crawford who comes into nearly perfect focus (soft focus!), just itching to get back on that stage.

10. N8 says... "Hold the Oscar ceremony in an outdoor venue and invite the public. It'd be wild" Um, yes. It sure would. Why do I imagine that Sally Kirkland ends up entertaining the masses when the A-list are too afraid to show?
*
You may now return to your regularly scheduled blog programming. Nathaniel is unfortunately not a member of the WGA and is therefore still type-type-typing away...

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was eating lunch and I swear, I nearly choked when I read #2. Unexpected, but I will agree, whole-heartedly. Especially if one of the candidates in Clooney.

Anonymous said...

I support the Writers but oh God ... will this be the worst oscar show ever ?? Well, for one thing, it'll be montagefree but no acting clips of any kind ??? Come on ... it's the oscars for crying out loud, can't the academy publicly throw their support behind the writers so that they can at least put on a decent show!

Chrid said...

Vanessa Redgrave arm wrestles Ruby Dee for a lifetime achievement award.

Michael C. said...

How about they...SHOW THE ANIMATED SHORT FILMS!

Anonymous said...

The absence of clips will be a problem.

But the lack of "funny" scripted introductions delivered by otherwise fine actors who are curiously unable to sound natural when reading from a teleprompter might more than make up for it.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the actors said hat they're NOT going, if the strike is still on. So it'll be Stewart on stage talking to a few people.lol.

Anonymous said...

Some have said they wouldn't cross a picket line.

But the strike still being on wouldn't necessarily mean the event would be picketed.

Anonymous said...

More Cate Blanchett mimicry snark. Get some new material already.

John T said...

If they go through with Number 2, I'm going to become even more supportive of Emile Hirsch and James McAvoy's nominations than I am currently.

And since Stewart is hosting, why not get Colbert to be the audience correspondent-can you imagine him interviewing Susan Sarandon, Babs Streisand, Spike Lee, and Angelina?

Slapstick G. McManis said...

The Academy could invite all the "6th place" finishers in each of the major categories duke it out for one prize AMERICAN IDOL style.

NATHANIEL R said...

anon I'll get some new material as soon as Cate Blanchett gets some. ;)

i think it's funny that people are so mad at me about this: i mostly like cate blanchett. I'm just not willing to crown her god of the acting universe is all.

more suggestions please. keep them coming.

Ian said...

In the event that no one wishes to cross the picket line, Elizabeth Taylor is given free rein in presenting every award.

Mason said...

Make the academy select the winners jury style. Live.

John P. said...

In each of the acting fields, there could be four preselected nominees and then a 'wild card' spot. The wild card competitors would have to act out their respective characters having a late lunch together at the Olive Garden or maybe TGI Friday's.

I think the uncomfortable exchanges between von Sydow and a fat-suited Travolta would make for compelling drama all on their own.

Abhi said...

Public flogging of Hilary Swank and Renee Zellwegger?

John T said...

I'm thinking that right before the Best Picture is announced, they say that they've secretly planted a tape recorder on all of the losing nominees and are now going to play what they actually said when their fellow nominee won. Can you imagine if they'd done this in 2004 with The Bening?

Oh, and Nat, in a sign of true terror, Hilary Swank will soon be playing Amelia Earhart. A tragic biopic starring one of Oscar's favorites? Time to start sharpening those Swank-skewering skills.

Catherine said...

The nominees to present their case to a panel of judges, reality tv style, with tearfully wraught sob stories. Hurricane Katrina/Child Abuse/drug problems are all fair game, the more ludicrous the better. Watching ANTM has thought me EVERYONE loves a good old fashioned child abuse yarn.

John P. said...

Oh god, Swank reminds me:

They could award a special Oscar to the person who brings up their inauspicious, impoverished childhood the most in their acceptance speech.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Cate Blanchett either, but who cares about the Oscars, no one watches that boring show anyway. I'm more concerned about all the other people who are out of work because of the Writer's strike.

I highly doubt the Celebrities will be attending anyway.

mikadzuki said...

Have P.T. Anderson direct the whole telecast. And since the writers aren't going, have him write it as well.

Every acceptance speech would include at least one spectacular emotional breakdown. :)

NATHANIEL R said...

who cares about the oscars?

probably about 80% of people reading this blog ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, there are more important things to care about than an Awards show that gives awards based on opinions.

I like movies, but I could give a rat's ass about awards shows.That's just me though.

Michael Parsons said...

Have the show pre taped taped and get the winner of best editing award edit the ceremony.

In all seriousness my favourite part of the show is the acting clips....they had better keep them.

Anonymous said...

I care about the oscars. And I think that the writers will end up getting no where after all of this, but that's just me.

Anyways, I have a few ideas.

The winner is selected randomly for each category. The way it works is that Anton Chigurh is blindfolded and aims his infamous weapon at the audence. Whichever nominee's head he penetrates first gets an Oscar.

Each female nominee and male nominee are randomly matched up, and the couples with the top two sex scenes get the four acting Oscars. But then, Philip Seymour-Hoffman might be nominated, and no one wants to see that. On the contrary, Angelina Jolie and Keira Knightly might be nominated...so it might not be such a bad idea...Ang Lee would direct it, and it and it would only be available for those who subscribe to HBO.

Kidding, of course.

Liz said...

You guys DON'T get it do you? The writers are not going to write for either shows ( but picket instead) and the Actors & Actresses WILL NOT be there.

I care about the Oscars too and I do agree there are more important things to care about than some silly awards show, but it's fun.

NATHANIEL R said...

Liz
nobody is suggesting that the writers strike isn't important. just having a little fun... obviously this is a bold move on the WGA part (the oscar and ggs are going to freak out) and sooner or later things will get resolved.

hopefully sooner rather than later

missizzy said...

Actually, I'm not sure Stewart can host then; I think he has guild membership. They'll either have to grab someone from somewhere or go without a host. And we all remember what happened the *last* time they tried that...

E Dot said...

How about they hand out winning oscars in the audience and line up the tech nominees on stage? Oh, wait. They did that already.

David Coley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Coley said...

An award is about to be presented, but there is no presenter. Suddenly, the giant Oscar statue blows out smoke and slowly opens to reveal Roman Polanski! He quickly presents an award and then makes his escape with the help of the cast of I'm Not There dressed as decoy Roman Polanskis. Police and FBI agents rush the stage, but he's not there.

Katey said...

Coin toss with Anton Chigurh-- if you lose, Javier Bardem gets your Oscar.

A 45-minute concert by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova?

I second the idea of showing the animated shorts. Or even the live-action shorts!

dailytannenbaum.com said...

Have all the nominees in each category live in a house together and see what happens when actors stop being polite and start acting real.

Jimmy said...

i feel the Oscars should be delayed until the writers strike is over. It would be pointless to have the show when none of the actors will attend. i don't care about the golden globes.

Tom Houseman said...

Tell Robin Williams that he'll be presenting the first award, and that he can improvise the speech he gives before he announces the nominees. That'll take up at least two and a half hours.

Nick said...

Here's an idea: Have the president of the Academy apologize for all its bone-headed decisions in the last twenty years, starting with the documentary snub for _Hoop Dreams_ and making any special nomination for no-talent Lasse Halstrum. That should fill a couple of hours.

Verging Writer said...

Is it just me or would the lack of inane banter, etc. make for a MERCIFULLY brief oscar show? The oscars are always painfully, oh so painfully, long - filled with mindless drivel from otherwise intelligent individuals.

Not to be snippy - but oh for dignified brevity!

The-Film-Music-Obsessed-Cate-Blanchett-loving-Luhrman-loathing-Desplat-rooting-Australian said...

Some musical suggestions:

1. Have all the composers for best score come up on stage and whistle the main theme from the microphone. This should particularly challenge those composers good enough to write harmonically involved music, and thereby level the playing field.

2. Decide the music award live. Have William Ross and his orchestra play their silly award show arrangements (remember that awful rendition of The Departed tango theme they kept playing last year?). The audience can give the award to the composer whose work is most recognisable despite being played in an upbeat award-show arrangement. Jack Nicholson can tally the votes.

3. Rename the music award the John Williams Award for Best Original Score. Have John Williams guest-conduct the studio orchestra for the Music segment, performing his interpretations of the nominated music works. Guitarist John Williams will be the star soloist of the segment, and the nominated songs will all be performed by Australian country-western singer John Williamson.



-- Perhaps, in a suggestion unrelated to music, they can take advantage of the extra time they'll have, and stage both Oscars and Razzies on the same night? I can hardly ever tell them apart anyway.

Carl said...

How about this:

Each acting nominee performs a scene from one of Shakespeare's plays that most closely resembles the film and role for which they are nominated (I know...too many to choose from for Johnny Depp, but still...) and one performer does the same for each Best Film nominee, if one is not already among the acting nominees. Then play that clip whenever a nominee clip "opportunity" comes up. Certainly the Bard cannot protest - he was never a member of the WGA.

I must be out of the loop on this - why do the WGA members still have rights over their already-released material? I thought they signed over rights to the studio in their contracts?

Anonymous said...

So Cate Blanchett only do mimicry, sucks at life, doesn't deserve the roles she gets and Nicole Kidman deserves the god of the acting universe crown.

Yeah Nat. Try again. Maybe you're bitter because you can't like her that much and she's getting all the atention your faves aren't. Dude chill.

Anonymous said...

When Jennifer Hudson presents her award, get her to belt out a rejection song, in dedication to the losers.

E Dot said...

woah anon, take a breath and count to ten. Remember whose site your on.

Let's all get along. I mean, what would Cate do?

Tejas said...

The winner for Best Director will be chosen by seeing which director can best adapt their movie into a musical. Look for Viggo in Broadway rendition of Eastern Promises.

Invite 3-6-Mafia to the ceremony, and have Best Score go to anyone who can understand that their name was just called out by the dynamic trio.

Let Judd Apatow and the Dark Knight marketing team come together and plan the Oscar night. That will be your ticket to glory.

Brodie said...

How about we line up all the nominees in their seperate guillotines. They announce fifth place, the blade on the fifth person comes down, fourth, the blad eon the fourth person comes down etc. uniolt there is only the winner left, and instead of an oscar trophy, they get to keep the heads of the losers.

Or it could be John Waters' 2 hours This Filthy World routine, occasionally pausing for an award, but for the winner to get their award they have to eat steaming dog shit.

I love the Cate Blanchett idea, get her to impersonate Anna Nicole Smith, and maybe we won't get another biopic.

Nah I like Cate. Maybe we could get Nicole and Tom to present together, but not tell them beforehand.

Or we could give an oscar to someone really crap, and have ashton kutcher come up as they accept the award yelling YOU GOT PUNK'D!

adam k. said...

I really like the ones about surprising Tom and Nicole with a joint presentation, and having Ashton Kutcher yell "PUNKED" to a fake winner. Also, the 45-minute concert with Hansard & Irglova. They should ACTUALLY do that.

But I really hope they just cancel the shows if there'll be no actors there and no material to show. What exactly is the point then?

Also, I love how someone referred to actors as "the Celebrities" (in capitals). That was amazing.

Arkaan said...

1. For best cinematography, Recreate the shot in the theatre. Imagine Joe Wright and crew choreographing that tracking shot!

2. Base the entire evening on "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." Distribute the code used by the main character and have the audience try and figure out the victories based on it.

3. Four Words. There Will Be Blood.

Middento said...

I think there is little that can top the Debbie Allen dance routines, but how about instead of honoring the dearly departed over the past year, the Oscars hold a seance instead? The most corporeally rendered gets the loudest applause, naturally.

Abbie said...

How about each of the nominees for acting has to improvise a scene as one of their fellow nominees' characters? Whoever does the best rendition gets the Oscar.
For the 'Best Film' category, how about random actors/actresses are called onstage and asked to act out the movie's entire plot in under 4 minutes? It'll cut the time the show takes in half.

Anonymous said...

The Academy should invite Chef Ramsey, Tyra Banks, and Simon Cowell as judges and have them critique each nominee on their Oscar acceptance speech. At the end, the winner will win a new reality Academy Award for best acceptance speech (as judged by the three most disposable clowns of current entertainment).

N8 said...

Hold the ceremony in an outdoor venue and invite the public! It'd be wild!

Middle-P said...

The four winners of the acting awards do "we're all in this together" from high school musical... This is off course pending that Depp doesn't win, cause we all know he can't sing..

Anonymous said...

" Verging Writer said...
Is it just me or would the lack of inane banter, etc. make for a MERCIFULLY brief oscar show? "

I agree, but I'm afraid of equally annoying unscripted AdLib banter....ugh!

Anonymous said...

So if this strike continues on, there could be no Globes or Oscars? I want my awards shows to go on uninterrupted, dammit! I don't care how shallow that makes me sound. I don't care if they do away with lame presenters bantering, long-winded montages, or acting clips (well, that'll be a tough concession), but not having anyone show up? These awards are as much a celebration of the craft as an industry pat-on-the-back. It not only recognizes the actors involved, but the creative/technical community as a whole, AND the fans that take part in watching these creations. Can't these nominees show their solidarity in other ways than being no-shows for these events? Is that so wrong? Yeah, it puts money into these people's pockets that they're fighting against, but it's also recognizing their cinematic achievements too. And these nominees could use the airtime to rally the troops so to speak to get their message out to the public. It seems like the strike could go on well into 2008 now, so something will have to give at some point.