Ten Things I Hope Happen at the Oscars in 2009
1. Hugh Jackman has a gigantic opening number a la Billy Crystal. These unfunny monologues the last few years haven’t been cutting the mustard. Jackman’s a terrific song and dance man, and I want to see it all in full-scale musical glory.
2. Everyone wishes that the Oscars did not last four hours– the length does not bother me, it is the wasted time that bothers me. We do not need Nicole Kidman and Patrick Dempsey going through tired canned banter. I hope we either have some funny writing (unlikely) or some more funny presenters (possible). Entertain me for four hours.
3. I hope that Sean Penn does not win the Oscar for Milk. Call me unfair, but I feel that Milk will get its award in the Screenplay category, and this was one of Penn’s showiest performances this side of I Am Sam. I would be thrilled if…
4. A huge underdog wins a major category, like Richard Jenkins or Melissa Leo. This year everyone seems to agree on most of the categories. Isn’t that sad? Shouldn’t we be in some suspense? Shouldn’t the Academy be something less than utterly predictable? I would love to see the insanely grateful speeches these actors would give, these actors who actually COULD use the publicity an Oscar victory could provide.
5. Let’s reward anything other than Milk for Best Original Screenplay. In a year where there were some incredible voices and some original films, that biopic is the most safe and simple choice for the Academy to make. I feel fairly certain Milk will win… but I hope.
6. Clearly The Dark Knight will take enough awards to make the devoted fans happy, but here is hoping that at least one of the superior superhero films this year– Hellboy 2 and/or Iron Man– takes home a Golden Man.
7. I want to see the subject of Man On Wire go up to the podium if it wins for Best Documentary. The man will somehow create some fantastic television.
8. The whole Peter Gabriel boycott was a fake and they actually let the three songs be performed in full. So they let the songs be performed in full when there are five nominees, but not now? I bet if Bruce Springsteen was a nominee, they would consider letting them play their whole songs– I’m just saying.
9. I’d also love to see longer clips of the Animated Short nominees. These always seem fascinating, and I feel like seeing more than five seconds a piece of them would allow people to root for a category that otherwise they are indifferent about.
10. For once, FOR ONCE, we won’t have the symphony awkwardly cut off a sound editor while allowing Sean Penn to drone on about who cares what for hours on end. Let’s either cut everyone off after a certain amount of time, or not play the strings. No favorites, Academy. Even though judging by the predictability of this year’s contest, it seems as if playing favorites is a proud tradition of the Oscars.