Covering the Oscars

Tomorrow, the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony will take place in Hollywood. This annual shindig is a huge marketing tool for the film industry and is a chance for members of the Academy to tell each other how great they all are. In the US, the large number of independent and low-budget films that have been nominated for Best Picture over the last few years has also led to a drop in TV viewers (and advertising revenue). I would argue that a deterioration in the quality of films coming out of Hollywood over the last few years may be the actual reason for this decline in audience numbers. I was shocked that Crash and Slumdog Millionaire were recent Oscar winners for Best Picture because I felt that both of these films were turkies. In an effort to get more people watching, the organisers have doubled the number of Best Picture nominees from five to ten. In order to fit clips from these extra titles into the show, something had to give. This year, the major casualties arising from this change will be the nominees for Best Original Song. The usual live performance will be replaced clips from the film from over which the song will appear. This year, Randy Newman will attempt to add to his solitary Oscar from 2001 as he is nominated twice. Perhaps he’s glad that he won’t have to perform as well

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