I won’t watch this year’s Academy Awards telecast. I’ll catch Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue and go online later to get a tally on who won what.
Three reasons why. First, in years past, the Oscars were about movies and the industry honoring the best of the best. Today, it and other award programs have increasingly become a stage for political potshots from people with huge egos.
Former Academy Award’s telecast host Ellen DeGeneres best put what’s wrong with the telecast in 2014 when she said, “Anything could happen tonight! So many possibilities! Possibility No. 1, 12 Years a Slave wins best picture. Possibility No. 2, you’re all racists. And now, please welcome our first white presenter, Anne Hathaway.”
Second, there will be no surprises in this year’s telecast. In the categories that really matter — best actor and actress, supporting actor and actress, director and motion picture, there will be no surprises. La La Land is going to dominate. It will grab best picture, best director and all the set design, costume and music awards.
Casey Affleck takes home the best actor Oscar for Manchester by the Sea, and Viola Davis picks up a deserved award for her brilliant work — and the year’s best acting — for Fences. In the supporting actor category, Mahershala Ali can’t miss for Moonlight.
Then there’s the impossible not to love Emma Stone, who continues the La La Land landslide and will take home the best actress Oscar.
Last reason. Are the Oscars that relevant to the average person? Each year, a dozen people complain to me that they don’t recognize a number of the films and performances nominated.
The People’s Choice Awards seems more in tune with those who love movies. It started in 1975 when moviegoers got to say what they like best about the year’s movies. This year, they found Finding Dory to be last year’s best film.
Ryan Reynolds took home the best actor award for Deadpool, which got tabbed — and rightfully so — as the year’s best action movie. It was my pick last year for the best picture and was the most fun I had in a theater all year.
Jennifer Lawrence is the favorite actress. Tom Hanks is the most popular male actor. No surprises there.
Lawrence is a good choice, but the best acting by a female last year — other than Davis’ gut-wrenching work — is Margo Robbie, who played Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. The Academy ignored her excellent performance in favor of another Meryl Streep nod.
I’m not complaining, Streep was wonderful in Florence Foster Jenkins, but Robbie’s acting is as good as Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger’s work as The Joker. At least the People’s Choice Awards found her to be the best action movie actress.
The pretty good three-hanky tear-jerker Me Before You got picked as best drama, and for comedy the people like — as did I — Bad Moms. Neither came close to getting noticed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or any other movie award groups.
And that’s probably how it should be.
Here’s another interesting note. Among the flicks picked for the “best” categories by the people include Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool, Suicide Squad, Batman v. Superman, Ghostbusters, Deepwater Horizon, Miracles From Heaven, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, The Girl on the Train, The Purge: Election Year, Nerve and Sully.
None were noticed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
▪ The Red Carpet starts at 4 p.m. on KVEW-TV
▪ The Oscar telecast starts at 5 p.m.