I have not seen any of the films nominated for Best Picture at the 95th Annual Academy Awards, which airs Sunday on ABC and CTV.
I’ll watch, as usual, at least some of the show. I’m glad Jimmy Kimmel is hosting. This is his third time and he seems the perfect choice to host post-Slap. This show needs to take itself less seriously and Kimmel has a gift for ripping into the issue of the day that makes you laugh first and also really think about how absurd everything is these days.
I did try to watch one of the movies: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” I like Michelle Yeoh, have interviewed her a few times, once on the set of Star Trek: Discovery in Toronto and another time in New York as part of a small international press session. The reporter next to me on that occasion was from China and kept telling me what a big deal this was because Yeoh was a massive star in his country. She is as impressive in real life as she is on the screen. She has a disarming sense of humour and can pretty much beat up every man in the house — and knows it.
The movie is interesting as it jumps all over time and space every half-minute or so. Technically this is a cool trick and fun to watch but after a while it just reminded me of a 55-year-old TV show — Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. That was the original series for people with short attention spans. If you didn’t like Laugh-In‘s Look at the News, wait two minutes for “Here Come de Judge” or another Sock it to Me soaker for poor Judy Carne. [Classic Laugh-In episodes, by the way, are available on Tubi if you already feel you attention ebbing as you read down to the end of this graph.]
There was something about “Everything, Everywhere…”and it’s kinetic energy that dazzled but also wore me out. It would be fun, however, if The Oscars were conducted the same way. If there was way, way more slapping, drop-kicking and jumping around in time to just the winner’s names and the best speeches, or Kimmel’s best jokes. If the fellas from Price-Waterhouse came out as chop-socky ninjas, that would also be cool. If whoever tries to use the platform to make a grand political speech was jumped back in time to the ’60s and had to deal with real revolutionary times, well, that would be hilarious.
Another tip for Oscar night: every time Chris Rock’s name is mentioned, slap the face of the person sitting to your right. Every time Will Smith’s name is mentioned, you must leave the room for five minutes.
As for not seeing any of the other Best Picture nominees, there is a good reason for that. Movies have essentially become TV shows. Most people watch them on TV. The films that take advantage of the big screen and big sound are mainly things I’m not into — superheroes in tights fighting all manner of digital effects.
There are just too many great TV shows right now for me to pause and watch the movies that are now TV shows. I’d rather watch Ted Lasso, Slow Horses, Shrinking, Only Murders and dozens more. They are all already divided up into easily digestible 30- or 60-minutes chunks, instead of the three-hours at one sitting ass-killers foisted on cinema goers.
If I go to a cinema, I’d rather head to a neighborhood movie house like The Westdale in Hamilton or The North Park in Buffalo and soak up the movie palace experience of my youth. Anything less and I’d rather watch from the comfort of home, where the floor is less sticky.
I’d also rather watch great comedies and documentaries and while docs have their own Oscar category, I just think of both these as TV genres first. Comedy seldom gets any Oscar love.
Besides, “Everything, Everywhere All at Once” really describes today’s home TV experience. Thanks to streaming and bottomless libraries of golden oldies on even FREE channels such as Tubi and Pluto TV, it seems as if you can actually see everything, everywhere all at once.
The movie experience has changed in the last several years, throughout this era of Peak TV but also since the start of the pandemic. That, to me, more than anything, has taken the air out of the Oscar balloon. The only thing left is to watch to see Kimmel put a pin in it all.