On the off chance you haven't seen this year's Oscar's set. Here it is...
It reminds me a bit of 1930s Busy (excuse me) Busby Berkeley musical number with a huge overlay of art deco by way of Erte. Not that that's a bad thing. I prefer blues and purples to the garish oranges anyway so at the very least it won't burn out my corneas like the BAFTA set threatened to.
In the accompanying article in this weekend's New York Times, the reporter neatly describes the challenges of this hybrid show which is, in essence, a theater show for television and about the movies. Points for understanding that multi headed beast but I'm totally nervous as to what Bill Condon might do when seeking to tame it. David Rockwell, the famed set designer, likens the Oscar ceremony to "community theater on steroids". Which, you know... it's a point. But isn't that what they went for in those odd hopelessly tacky late 80s ceremonies that saw scary dance numbers with 'future Oscar stars' (Christian Slater, Corey Feldman, Patrick Dempsey, Blair Underwood and many more -- none of whom ever want on to Oscar nominations or even Emmy wins) or the dread Snow White/Rob Lowe grinding?
'community theater on steroids' brings only one equation to my mind
Corky St Clair could do with a budget!
All this talk (not in this article but elsewhere) of the awards "telling a story" has me nervous, too. Does Condon realize that the outcome of the actual prizes might be a pretty monotonous tale. Act 1: We love Slumdog Millionaire. Act 2: We really love Slumdog Millionaire. Act 3: We'd like to have Dev Patel or Freida Pinto's babies. They're legal, right?
I hope their 'storytelling gimmick' whatever it is, is mostly structural in nature and not all that movie focused. And is it just me or is the problem not that the telecast is broken at all -- It's always been super long. Even when it was popular so deal with it -- but that there's just simply more ways to watch celebrities gather than they're used to be and thus less public need to watch them do so. Not to mention the great divide of movie opinions in this day and age.
The Oscars are just 6 days away. What story do you hope they tell?