The question I chose for today is timely because the Oscars were announced last night in what was probably the strangest telecast for them I ever remember seeing. Am I remembering rightly that one acting award was given at the beginning, and then all the techie awards and sort of "secondary" awards (like animated short, documentary, makeup) were then bestowed before any other acting Oscar was awarded? I felt like Ellen Degeneres was underutilized, but I was so bored at one point that I found even her to be annoying.
Anyway, I'm going to use today's question to celebrate a sort of Festivus Tradition* I have regarding the Oscars show and the category of Best Song once I've answered it. (*The Airing of Grievances) Off we go.
Have you heard the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen, and if so, do you like it?
Let me say that I set aside all of my anti-Disney bias and listened to this song with an open mind. I also tried to keep in mind what it was, a movie theme song for The General Public, which meant it would be somewhat narrative, have a theme or lesson within it, and at some point it would reach soaring heights like an eighties power ballad, and the singer would raise her fist or hit her chest or something intense like that because she feels the music. It's like what the coaches on The Voice tell their team members.
Okay, so I listened to it, but it was just meh for me. Even U2's song didn't move me. And the little duet by the girl in the red dress with her strappy shoes parked picturesquely next to her and the amiable looking guy with the guitar was unremarkable and made me think of Once, except that Once was way better. The only song I truly enjoyed was the Happy one by Pharrell. (I also thoroughly admired his outfit.) As a matter of fact, here is a link to the song. I like it that much. The video is happy, and his style is wonderful.
For years I've been saying that having all of the Best Song nominees sung or played during the Oscar telecast is a real timesuck and a drag on the energy of the show. Just play a snippet of each one as they are announced before the winner is read. They do that with every single other award except Best Picture. Aren't we putting an awful lot of weight behind a category that is, at best, a pretty extraneous one? Most Best Song nominees are not even part of the movie; they're played at the end while the credits roll. Can you even name last year's Best Song? I have no idea. Can you name 2012's Best Song? How many Best Songs can you even name? I can name a helluva lot of Best Actors, Best Pictures, Best Actresses. I can maybe, maybe name three or four Best Songs, and that's only because my buddy Roger and I used to have a seriously cutthroat Oscar Pool for about fifteen years. We picked everything, even the shorts and foreign language films.
When is the last time you went to a film and said, "I expected more from that film. The song at the end was terrible"? Or, after having heard the list of Oscar nominees, sent a text to a friend that said, "Let's go see Mandela. Just got a nod for Best Song!" Never. Come on.
The running gag for all awards shows, especially the Golden Globes and the Oscars, is that it inevitably runs long, sometimes way long. When will they do The Smart Thing and cut the performances of Best Song? Who is going to raise a serious objection? Will musicians riot in the streets? Do you think all the Hollywood headliners and the seat-fillers, who are starving and wearing three layers of Spanx or corsets and have not eaten anything but iceberg lettuce and green smoothies laced with Benefiber for the past week will care? Ha. It is to laugh.
I am more than happy to be The Bad Guy here and make this decision for everyone. Consider it one of the many things I can sanction under the purview of the Dept. of Nance.
*NOTE* Blogger and Feedburner are not making nice for some reason. My email subscribers are suffering the consequences. I apologize, and I am doing what I can on this end.