Who could disagree with esteemed Oscarologist Damien Bona, author of the indispensible Inside Oscar, that this year's Academy Awards show had to be one of the dreariest ever? Despite showcasing historic wins (Precious scenarist Geoffrey Fletcher is the first African-American to receive screenwriting honors and Hurt Locker filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow the first female to receive director laurels), the telecast was, entertainment-wise, the biggest loser. (In terms of ratings, it did OK, marking a 15 per cent uptick over last year.)
Who can fix the Oscar fix? Here's my two cents: 1) A show that celebrates movies should produce in the audience the exhilaration that great movies can. Hire a great editor -- Chuck Workman, say) to compile a montage of the Best Picture moments and a montage reel each for the acting categories. (The art direction, editing and costume categories could similarly best be showcased this way.) 2) Hire a producer who understands live television.