And the Oscar for most self-satisfied awards ceremony goes to…

If you were charged with (unofficially) naming the largest award in the film industry, I imagine you wouldn’t suggest Oscar.

Choosing to name an award after a middle-class family’s Labrador is a bit like calling one of your children Chelsea, or Thrush. In any case, you’d have completely missed a trick, because the safest bet would surely be ‘The Fenton’, a truth more self-evident than Angelina Jolie’s right leg.

Unfortunately for the Academy, which has just celebrated its 84th awards ceremony, hindsight is a slippery bed-fellow. Fortunately, my extensive research (Google) suggests this coincidence in titling is an entirely English (Berkshire) phenomenon.

No, the problems facing Hollywood’s most prestigious socio-cultural event are far more extensive than trifling titular incidents. This complaint is, of course, nothing new. In fact, so unoriginal is this claim that simply typing it filled me with a sense of déjà vu more pronounced than J-Lo’s posterior.

Be that as it may, trashing the Oscars telecast for its multiple flaws shouldn’t be avoided purely because it’s as predictable as a Meryl Streep nomination.

Films are made to entertain an audience. And although the successes celebrated at the Oscars are critically determined by roughly 6,000 voters, the spectacle depends on its audience in the same way. Admittedly the most recent ‘Oscarcast’ pulled in its largest share of the ratings – just over 25 percent – since 2004, but those figures could’ve been even higher with a little more consideration.

The most important correction on the list is easy enough to suss out: the running time. Nothing which lasts for more than three hours can be enjoyable.

To kill two birds with one stone, cutting the Oscars down could coincide with introducing an even shorter acceptance speech deadline, with harsher repercussions for infringements. 45 seconds gives recipients too much time to build up steam, so it should be flat 30 and immediate cessation ensured by cattle prod. Maybe shotgun for the smaller awards.

Another desperate renovation is removing the mainstay host, which for the last few years at least has been nothing but an awful distraction. For full details of Billy Crystal’s performance this year, please see the article to the left.

Come to think of it, why have any presenters at all? Surely the format would be infinitely improved if it comprised of red-carpet preening, followed by a ceremony where all awards were announced on a big screen all at once, Oscars could then be distributed by conveyor belt and the evening would conclude with a massive piss-up.

Unfortunately this is all wishful thinking. The Oscars is too dominated by a luvvy culture for such alterations to be introduced – its about everyone in the industry giving each other a well earned pat on the back. Sickening, really.

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