Has Oscar lost touch with Middle America? Quite possibly yes, and Oscar would be the first to admit it. For one, ratings are down. Folks don’t watch the program (which will air this Sunday. Yeah, it’s long, but it’s always been long. The reason people don’t watch seems to be that people haven’t seen the nominated movies.
Big audiences tend to see action movies, comedies, sci–fi, horror — the type that don’t get a lot of nominations, at least not for Best Picture. In fact, that’s why the Academy expanded the Best Picture nominations, so there’d be a better chance you would have a horse in the race (literally, if it’s War Horse).
Another reason Oscars aren’t speaking to us, at least as a ClearPlay–friendly audience, is that the majority of Best Picture Oscars go to movies rated R. Yikes, can that be? In the last 15 years, more than 60–percent of the winners were rated R, almost 35–percent were rated PG–13. (Even though R-Rated movies consistantly underperform at the Box Office) What happened to the dear old days of The Sound of Music?
But don’t despair. Here are six reasons to watch this year’s telecast:
1)Several of the movies are on DVD already. The Help, Moneyball, Harry Potter, Rango, Midnight in Paris, The Tree of Life, The Ides of March … these are just a few you can rent and watch before the program.
2)Billy Crystal. Crystal is back as the host, the first time I think in 10 years. He’s the next best thing to Bob Hope, so watch for old time’s sake.
3)Meryl Streep. Every year voters only get to nominate four actresses for Best Actress because Streep is already on the ballot. Yeah, I’m joking, but this is no joke: She hasn’t won for 28 years! Not since Sophie’s Choice.
4)Watch history being made. The Best Picture winner becomes the movie of record for 2011. In other words, it stands a good chance of being seen a hundred years from now. Why wait?
5)Somebody will do something embarrassing. This is pretty much a guarantee, so tune in and laugh at someone who makes more money than you.
6)Memories. More than most recent telecasts, this year honors the past, with period pieces in War Horse, Hugo, The Artist, and The Help. You can argue that they don’t make ‘em like they used to, but these movies are about as close as it gets.
Marty Nabhan—ClearPlay Non-nominee