Oscars 2012: US TV review
Oscars 2012: At the 84th Annual Academy Awards, Hollywood worked hard to revive nostalgia for the magic of the movies.
People at the office don’t analyze movies around the water cooler much anymore. These days, it’s all about television - and the stunning array of shows on offer during one of the most creative times ever for the small screen. So, it’s no surprise that this year’s Oscars show focused hard on reminding viewers that movies are still magical.
That effort included pre-taped monologues by actors ranging from Barbra Streisand to Adam Sandler talking about why they loved movies and what it means for a movie to be good. Nine-time host comedian Billy Crystal contributed to the nostalgic mood with his non-threatening I’m-one-of-you humour. There was certainly no Ricky Gervais lurking in the wings to jangle the Hollywood tribe’s nerves.
This was a night for glamorous Hollywood, not the booze-soaked Golden Globes hosted by journalists from all over the world. It’s the way Hollywood wants to be perceived - as ladies and gentlemen of the silver screen. And the bankable stars were there in full force to remind everyone that the movies can still rake in the dough: Stephen Spielberg, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Cruise.
The production was impressive with stunning performances by Cirque du Soleil and jazz star Esperanza Spaulding, accompanied by a full chorus. The interior of the Kodak Theatre, where the ceremony was held, looked resplendent in hues of crimson and scarlet.
Meryl Streep, possibly more than any working film actor, epitomizes the best of Tinsel Town - extraordinary talent and an unstoppable career even though she’s now in her sixties. When she walked up to collect her Oscar for The Iron Lady, a chant of "Meryl, Meryl, Meryl" ccompanied her.
Yes, Meryl Streep is true Hollywood gold. And so if you ever see Streep jumping ship to join some famous colleagues - like her Kramer vs. Kramer co-star Dustin Hoffman - who are flocking to appear in cable TV dramas, you’ll know that the movie industry really is in trouble.
But the longing for the old, untouchable Hollywood was even more evident as The Artist, a movie about the transition from the silent screen to talkies, swept the awards. That Jean Dujardin won Best Actor for playing a silent leading man said it all. Those were the days when a star was star - even if he couldn’t utter a word.