The Oscars are over, but the Kroll Reel is not. I plan on sending short emails every month or two weeks with updates on the Oscar race or general thoughts about movies. Personally, I’m recovering post-Oscars incredibly well. I’ve discovered that I have a good deal more free time, and I successfully smiled and nodded when an acquaintance asked me what I thought of Birdman.
The Oscars telecast was a bit of a dud from a ratings perspective — only 36.6 million viewers tuned in, a 16% decrease from last year and the lowest total-viewer count in six years. To no one’s surprise, back-to-back-to-back Academy Awards producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron tweeted on March 7 that they will not be returning to produce the show a fourth time, leaving many wondering who will be stepping up for the show’s most thankless job. The Hollywood Reporter weighed in on who they wanted (Tim Burton! Baz Luhrmamn! Lorne Michaels!), but as long as the new producers know where the ceremony needs trimming (I’m talking to you, song after the In Memoriam segment), I don’t really care.
Low ratings have also prompted a discussion of a move back to five Best Picture nominees. For those of you who remember, the Academy switched from the traditional five nominees to ten after a certain Batmobile-driving superhero was not nominated for Best Picture. Academy members were instructed to rank their top 10 favorite films of the year, which led to some interesting choices. The two years that followed produced nominated commercial juggernauts (Avatar, Inception), animated films (Up, Toy Story 3) and probably-shouldn’t-have-been-nominated films (The Blind Side). For the 2011 Oscars, the Academy switched to “anywhere between five and ten” nominees, but Academy members only ranked five, a move that some argue has inhibited out-of-the-box movies from gaining nominations. Three years later, the Hollywood Reporter believes that a switch back to the old system could occur “as soon as March 24, when the governors are next due to meet.”
Other aftermath news includes an interview with the guy who designs the Oscars title card sequences and a spot on Jimmy Kimmel called Lie Witness News, where tourists pretend that they have, in fact, seen Selma.
Because Oscar-blogging is a full-time job, the Internet now includes predictions for next year’s Oscars. That’s right. Movies that might not even be finished this year are on lists of Best Picture favorites. Right now, it’s more about the director and the actors involved than about how good the movies are…because for many of these movies, even trailers have not been released. (Jennifer Lawrence playing the inventor of the ‘Miracle Mop’ in a David O. Russell film? Perfect!) Acting categories are being considered as well. (Professor McGonagall plays a lady in a van! Gandalf plays super-old Sherlock Holmes!)
My favorite moment of this is Ropes of Silicon’s Best Picture predictions list. Sure, the odd level of precision is amusing (guys, Steve Jobs is going to win Best Picture next year for sure), but the one comment from a guy named Mortimer really makes me laugh:
“Like your list but is there really no place for “The Secret Scripture” (Jim Sheridan directing and starring Rooney Mara and Vanessa Redgrave) , “Macbeth” (Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard) and “Slow West” (very good reviews from Sundance) ? I didn’t even mention Untitled Terrence Malick’s Project which despite amazing cast (Gosling, Portman, Mara, Fassbender, Bale, Blanchett) has small chance of being nominated for any of the awards.”
I have to hand it to Mortimer. He is pissed because a movie that does not even have a name is not on the shortlist for a ceremony that is not taking place for 354 days. Calm down, Mortimer.