Pretty much everyone agrees the Academy Awards are a joke, but that doesn’t stop us from taking them seriously. Maybe too seriously, if the tsunami of morning-after thinkpieces ripping into every aspect of the broadcast is any indication. Like it or not, the Oscars matter, but maybe we don’t have to let them matterquite so much.
How can put the Oscars back in proper perspective? Shadowyplay’s David Cairns has some ideas. Initially riffing on the tradition of Honorary Oscars, which nowadays tend to be makeup awards for people the Academy has inexcusably neglected to honor but in years past went to people like James Baskett, who portrayed Uncle Remus in the notorious “Song of the South” — Cairns invents a slew of new categories designed to point out just how foolish and arbitrary the Academy’s choices can be.
There should, upon occasion, be an award for Best False Nose, and this should be presented not to the actor or to the makeup artist but to the actual nose. The acceptance speech would be gratifyingly short. To avoid any sensation of anti-climax maybe Rick Baker could rig up some kind of air pump so the nose could sneeze its gratitude.
There should be an award for Best Dead Person Left Out of the Obituary Montage. This might have to be annual and there might have to be multiple winners.Rather than giving honorary gongs to people who have never won fair and square and who are now approaching death, they should randomly pick a young up-and-comer each year and give it to them, on the understanding that the Academy can henceforth ignore this person’s work without feeling guilty about it.
There could be award for people who have contributed greatly to the cinematic culture by stopping making films. If he just took a short sabbatical, Michael Bay could qualify, and let’s face it, what other chance does he have?
There are so many more to give. What if Best Editing actually was “Most Editing“? Or if there were an acting Oscar for “Most Evocative Description of a Grueling Training Regimen”? Instead of voting Best Foreign-Language Film based on the movie’s poster, why not just give an award for Best Poster? Instead of Best Animated Film, let’s call it Animated Movie Least Challenging to the Industrial Model That Keeps Me Employed. Maybe the Academy can give itself an award for not being full of “cretinous, snaggletoothed hillbillies.” Hell, if commentators are going to rank them anyway, why not just give out an Honorary Oscar for Best Acceptance Speech? “I’d like to thank the Academy for giving me this opportunity to thank the Academy.”