The 80th Academy Awards – Impressions

Monday, February 25. 2008

For cineasts around the world, tonight was the night. Since I didn’t have to work this morning I took the chance and started watching the show broadcasted through Pro7. The red carpet show produced by Pro7 themselves really impressed me. The reporter was well informed and got a lot of interesting stars to short interviews. Of course the format only allows some small talk but I wouldn’t consider it as too shallow. Unluckily Pro7 didn’t continue until the show started, but got the last 30 minutes of the red carpet show from ABC. ABC broadcasting the whole event of course had several correspondents all around the venue and did good work in cutting from one to another.

The American Comedian John Stewart has been hosting the show, and continued the vivid impression with an interesting opening speech including some elements about the author’s strike and the presidential election campaign. But after he was done the award went to a tiresome trot. Since the format has been really restricted through the last years, there was no way out of this. Mentioning restrictions I’m talking about the rigid time restrictions for winners to say there thanks (after a certain amount of time music will be played, which becomes louder after another while), also censoring aspects (after some political statements in the past, a winner mentioning something in this direction would have been muted). Also due to the time restriction the interaction between the person handing over the award, and the winner was limited to a short handshake, or greeting kisses. So banalities like Spanish actor Javier Bardem (He won the award “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” for “No country for Old Men”) saying some thanks in Spanish grew to something special. I really was missing something special about the award show. The music performances taken from one of the nominated soundtracks really bored me and there were no big surprises on nominees and winners. Although I got to admit, that I support the view of the SPON article, I really would have loved to see Ellen Page winning the award fot “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role”, she did really, really a terrific job playing Juno. To see an overview of winners and nominees, I suggest to visit Imdb's Oscar-Page.

I think the Academy Awards are a good example, that a show targeting a large audience, and trying to meet the requirements for different groups in such an audience is hard to assemble. For me this requirements matching has been overachieved by the creators. I feel like years ago the Academy Awards where more targeted to this cineastic community of the academy. Dominated by progressive people the show has already been good for some surprises. But at the moment my impression is, that the show matching too many requirements became pabulum. Sad, sad.

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