This year’s Oscars were just the latest in a seemingly endless trend of boring, self-important evenings on which we are supposed to be reminded of the “magic of movies,” only to be reminded how shallow the movie business is. Hollywood is afraid to offend those who truly deserve offending, like Islamic dictators (witness their initial hesitance to allow Sacha Baron Cohen on the red carpet dressed like a dictator — this in an industry where people dress up as other people for a living). But they’re all too happy to offend red-state America by having the supremely-straight George Clooney make out with Billy Crystal, or allow the Bridesmaids gals to make raunchy penis jokes (because that went over so well at the Emmys).
If Oscar wants to buck this trend, they have to do one of two things: make the evening magical again by bringing back class (meaning no penis jokes) or go risky and allow somebody who isn’t 65 years old and botoxed to host (like Sacha Baron Cohen). Until they do, we’re going to care less and less about the event, and stick to reading the snarky reviews by Nikki Finke.