Because Hollywood takes itself waaaaaay too seriously.
When winners use clichés like “journey” and “artist” they MEAN IT. When they call a director who helmed AMERICAN PIE 10 a “visionary” they really think he is.
When Oscar attendees wear ribbons supporting the cause de jour they seriously believe they’re doing their part…just by wearing the ribbons. That’s not true in all cases. A few, like George Clooney are very sincere and generous with their time and money, but I guarantee you when the Haiti earthquake struck there were six studio heads (who will wear the ribbons) hoping this wouldn’t affect the weekend boxoffice.
Hosting the Oscars is a thankless job. The film industry does not like to laugh at itself. They don’t find it funny that they waste billions of dollars a year on projects like LAND OF THE LOST. And they don’t like to be reminded of it by some smart ass in a tux. And if you can’t talk about that their mistakes and foibles, then what’s left? “I see Meryl Streep is here. How many nominations is this for you now, Meryl? A hundred?” HAHAHAHAHAHA. (Probably that joke would be deemed inappropriate because it makes reference to an actor aging. These are people with thin skin, folks.)
The film industry does not want edgy humor. So imagine writing a roast for Mother Teresa. And they especially don’t appreciate edgy humor from “outsiders”. If you’re not a legit “film star”, if you’re not invited to Spielberg’s for Passover they want nothing to do with you. Chris Rock, David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres, Jon Stewart – doomed before they even opened their mouths (although, in fairness, Letterman was just plain bad). It’s like Jackie Mason can make Jew jokes, Larry the Cable Guy can’t.
Not that attendees are looking to be entertained anyway. They just want to WIN. It’s such a joke that one of the producers of HURT LOCKER was banned from the ceremony because he sent an email to all academy members asking them to vote for his film and not AVATAR. Some members (read: opposing nominees) were outraged. But the truth is ALL of these producers and studio execs send emails and texts smearing the competition. They do it informally but it’s as common in Hollywood as hugs.
Studios spend millions on ad campaigns. Since Harvey Weinstein elevated it to an art and marketed his way to numerous gold statues all studios mount massive campaigns. Many actors get it in their contract that the studio must take out full-page ads in the trades on their behalf. One year I saw “For your consideration for Best Actor: Forrest DeKelly for his role as ‘Bones’ in STAR TREK 3”.
So when Hollywood takes itself sooo seriously, when Red Carpet shills like George Pennachio asks Amy Adams, “If you win will you be thanking the Teamsters?”, when local news anchors double as “fashion experts”, when winners thank their hairdressers before their families, and where the President of the Academy – who produced DEUCE BIGELOW 2 – gives a speech congratulating filmmakers for their courage and dedication to excellence I find it amusing. And worth pointing out.
That said, I hope it’s a great show this year. I hope the speeches are heartfelt, the gowns all gorgeous, and the production numbers dazzling. But I’ll be honest – I also hope for stupid questions, someone wearing the wrong ribbon, fashion train wrecks, and a candid shot of one of the “gracious” losers mouthing “fuck!”
My recap will appear late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Let the hyperbole and hypocrisy begin!