By Daniel Marler
How to make the film awards more interesting.
Oh god. Here it comes again: the movie award season. Around this time, everyone seems to be saying, ‘oh, oh i think so-and-so is going to win best actor’, or ‘this film is clearly going to wipe the floor with all the other opposition’. Truth is, no one really cares. And can you blame us for our indifference? Really?! Can you? I don’t think so. I mean, who is going to get up at whatever ungodly hour the Oscars (because, let’s face it that’s the only one that anyone has vague interest in) are shown on British television to watch various people with far more expensive lifestyles than you giving little gold men to people with equally extravagant lifestyles?
But what happened? A few years ago everyone was gagging to see who won best film, best director and so on. Have we just lost interest in films altogether? Unlikely. With more expensive, visually-arresting films being released, such as the monstrously budgeted Avatar that was released late last year, a loss of interest in films would make very little sense indeed. The actual reason is that the awards ceremonies themselves simply do not grab our interest sufficiently. This is hardly surprising though. The ceremonies themselves take about a million hours to finish and are usually presented by someone who is supposed to be a hip new comedian/presenter but in actual fact is about as dull as a tax form. This on the back of incredibly self-serving speeches made by the winners themselves, such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s monstrosity of a speech that followed Shakespeare In Love.
So how do we make them more interesting and more appealing to people? Well, here we have a few suggestions to the people who run the whole show on how to make the ceremonies bearable.
1. Ditch some of the awards
The actual numbers of awards is a phenomenally long list. From the ones that we actually care about (Best Director, Film, Actor, Actress) it ranges right the way through to things like Best Make-up, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. OK, these people have clearly put a lot of time and effort into their various departments, and I’m not saying that their jobs are easy, but the award that goes to who can apply the best mascara does not appeal to 99.9% of the people watching. So just ditch some of them and give them a separate awards ceremony or something.
2. Vary the presenters
The worst scenario we have, is when some supposedly-edgy new comedian presents the show and makes it even more boring than it already is with tiresome jokes and quips that make you want to hammer on the screen, screaming ‘GET ON WITH IT’. What would be far better is if we had a variety of comedians/presenters who are all of significant standing, e.g. Jack Dee, Billy Connelly to make the show much more entertaining.
3. Limit the length of the speeches
As previously ranted, over-long acceptance speeches are such a bore. They are arguably one of the worst features of the shows. No one, especially not the people who have just lost the award wants to hear the winner sobbing in floods of tears about how they would like to thank their English teacher from primary school for some pointlessly obscure reason. It annoys us at home as well, since we just want to know who won so we can switch over to something far more interesting. A time limit would cure this horrible affliction to our TV. If we had a cap on the amount of time you could spend making that tiresome speech then the ceremonies would be far more interesting. Just to add a little more flavour, there should be a forfeit for the people who go over the limit, such as being dragged offstage by the hair or something that would satisfy our insatiable desire for revenge that has built over years of mental torture at the hands of these people.
If these rules were heeded by the Gods of the Oscars then maybe we would end up with an award ceremony that we would be capable of watching without having to keep flicking over to the other side, or to sleep.