God love Tom Shales and this Tweet last night: “For the first time ever the Oscar show is worse than the Red Carpet crap that preceded it.”
For anyone who does not regularly rejoice in the work of the former Washington Post TV critic and Pulitzer Prize winner, he blogs here. For fear of suddenly sounding a whole lot smarter than I have a right to, I haven’t yet read a word of it, beyond his blog headline and this Tweet. Soon as this is posted I plan to luxuriate in Shales’ gentle, dove-like tones, since we seem to have seen the same show.
One of the hundreds of tidbits the Academy chummed to its ravenous readers was an interview with the show’s producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago, The Bucket List, Footloose) who confessed that for years, they’d been dying to stage the Oscars since they’d knew exactly what they’d do, “But no one asked us.”
Then, for better or worse, they were asked.
Let’s go with the best first. The awards themselves, over which they had no control, were wide-ranging and generous (if your name isn’t Steven Spielberg.) It seems almost impossible not to love Ang Lee, people seem to beam in his presence, and he returns the favor. The whole theatre seemed to love his winning Best Director for Life of Pi, a seemingly impossible-to-pull-off, spiritually charged and breathtaking film.