Anne Hathaway announced the Oscar nominations today. There were few surprises on the list (aside from Hathaway rising before dawn to read it). Even more predictable are all but a handful of the eventual winners. Herein, five ways to avoid the biggest Oscar yawn-fest ever (which is saying something).
Barring a a hot tub and Quaalude scandal or an appearance in a Norbit sequel, Mo'Nique (Precious...) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) will accept the supporting performance honors on March 7th. Her speech will be emphatic; his will be earnest and strange. Kathryn Bigelow, having won the Directors Guild Award, will, shockingly, be the first woman to win Best Director. And universally adored Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) will take an overdue Best Actor statue back to the ranch (because he's gotta live on a ranch).
The Hurt Locker might have some competition from Avatar for Best Picture. But if history is any indication, the Producers Guild Award victor will take home the night's top prize. Best Actress is the only major category followed by a question mark, with Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) currently enjoying an edge over Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia). And for everyone complaining about Bullock winning over Streep for fluff like Blind Side, let's face it: Julie & Julia ain't exactly The Virgin Spring.
Hopefully, America will have maniacal front row fixture Jack Nicholson (and his black shades) to get it through all the locks and the Bathroom Break Awards (hello, Best Sound Editing and Documentary Short). But the Academy would be wise to consider its own once-colorful history for ways to make the marathon ceremony fun again.
Here's how Oscar producers could liven up the 2010 edition:
A streaker (and a witty presenter to mock said streaker's pitiful package). Actually, high profile streaking just needs to make a general comeback.:
Fake Indians used as horribly misguided political pawns:
Drunk, over-the-hill hecklers. This stupendously cringe-inducing interaction between Sean Young and Julian Schnable actually took place at the DGA awards, but it's too good to ignore. Perhaps James Cameron could use a similar technique on ex-wife Bigelow:
A winner with a detectable pulse. Cuba Gooding Jr.'s career has entered a period so fallow that I'm pretty sure he was a busboy at the SAG Awards. But thanks for the memory of a winner who avoided the usual soporific laundry list of "Thank Yous":
Bob Mackie (or Björk). Because the wrath of the Hollywood stylist has made everyone look boringly identical: