Six Things I’d Love To See on The Oscars

Here are my fondest fantasies for goings-on that would surely liven up the Academy Awards telecast on March 7 and help save it from growing obsolescence:

(1) I desperately hope a presenter slips and says, “The winner is…” That would be way more refreshing than the standard “The Oscar goes to…” line. Let’s face it: This is a night of winners and losers, and it should be presented exactly as such. Anyone who doesn’t believe that is a total loser.

(2) I pray there’s a tie! There hasn’t been one since Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn split Best Actress in 1969 (though Babs somehow went home with a whole trophy). It would be amazing if Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock tied and resumed that playful smooch from the Critics Choice Awards. Or if that famously divorced couple James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow shared Best Director and went into their own passionate making-up session at the podium. Of course the fact that he’s currently married to Suzy Amis might get in the way of that happening.

(3) Speaking of ties, I hope cohosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are equally brilliant. And if they both suck, let’s hope they’re equally rotten. Hosting the show is such a vulnerable proposition, with an almost unmanageable amount of built-in pressure (ask Billy Crystal) that to be singled out as the evening’s wrong note could easily lead to a breakdown and a reality show. Let’s pray they get equal report cards.

(4) But back to the sadism: I’d love it if they announced a winner and the wrong person stood up! This actually happened way back in 1961 when the Best Supporting Actor was “Peter…”—Peter Falk bolted out of his seat—“Ustinov.” And Peter Falk promptly sat back down and fired his publicist, who happened to be sitting next to him. This year, Christoph Waltz could very well leap to the stage, only to realize the winner is Christopher Plummer. Fingers crossed!

(5) Let’s please have some spontaneity, any spontaneity. I can’t realistically hope there’s another naked streaker like in 1974—I always thought that was staged anyway—but I’d give away my best 3-D glasses if just ONE presenter ad libbed something amusing or ONE winner said something genuinely heartfelt or ONE outfit flew off during the acceptance of the Irving Thalberg Award.

(6) Bring on some splashy musical entertainment related to the nominated films, like the old-style production numbers they used to cook up with lots of chorus girls in spangles. A high-kicking extravaganza evoking the spirit of THE HURT LOCKER, PRECIOUS, and INGLOURIOUS BASTARDS might be absolutely….actually, never mind.

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