February 20th, 2009
12:45 PM ET

Questions about the Oscars

The 81st annual Academy Awards will be presented Sunday night, and we have two questions.

1. CNN.com’s Tom Charity has already made his winners’ picks. What are yours? Comment below or send us an iReport.

2. It’s no secret that Oscar ratings are in decline, whether for lack of a rooting interest, boredom with endless awards shows or exhaustion with celebrity culture (or all of the above). What would YOU do to mix things up and make the Academy Awards worth watching from beginning to end?

Also, stay in tune with the Oscars by coming to the Marquee blog and watching CNN on Sunday. CNN.com’s Jacque Wilson will be live-blogging from the red carpet, and “Hollywood’s Gold Rush” will air live on CNN Sunday night at 7 p.m. Eastern. While hosts Brooke Anderson, Kareen Wynter and AJ Hammer look over the red carpet, you’ll have an opportunity to comment on the gorgeous gowns, natty tuxes or out-of-place fashion faux pas. So watch the show and come by the blog - your comment may appear on CNN!

- Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

Filed under: Celebrities • movies

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soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Guy Who Live in Small Midwest Town

    To all of the people who wants Hollywood's salaries to go to the small people I have one word to respond. Communism.

    February 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Beth

    I have never and will never watch the oscars or any other award show. I think it quite obscene the amount of money that is wasted on this ceremony. It makes me sick how these actors and actresses think they are better than everyone else, think they are kings and queens, being asked that oh so irritating question 'Darling you look oh so fantastic, who are you wearing?' like I care, I don't know how they have the nerve to stand there draped in outfits that cost what some people earn in 6 months, disgusting.

    February 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mich

    Can anyone tell me the name of the song that was played during the final moments of the 81st Oscars last night when clips of the 2009 Films were shown?

    February 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Laurie Mann

    Gordon Curvey – I do agree with you that Hollywood tends to be racist. And Denzel Washington's stunning performance in Malcolm X is one of the best performances ever. He should have won that year, if people always won for the year in which they deserved to win.


    Many awards, including Oscars, tend to have an "X is so owed" year. Unfortunately, the year that Denzel Washington was so spectacular, Al Pacino got the "He is so owed" award. We have the same problem this year with Kate Winslet. She is so owed. But I think Anne Hathaway probably gave the best performance of last year.

    At least Denzel Washington won for another spectacular performance in Training Day.

    February 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Krystal

    *ugh* if the "scoop I just heard is true, the big reveal doesn't sound that wonderful – past winners and actors will "dramatically" announce the nominees instead of having film clips.

    February 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ajit Mehta

    Oscar Academy Award is no doubt a prestigious one, which measures
    the top talents and worthiness of the films produced, which consume
    billions of dollars through out the world.

    A film which has content, direction and a value production is considered
    a complete film. Considering this parameters, SLUM DOG MILLIONAIRE
    deserves to be the winner in variety of categories.

    To answer the second question, I think if production style and change in
    venue may improve the rating, will be far better if the talents like Billy
    Crystal as host is given an opportunity.

    February 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. frank thomas

    i have friends who live in the l.a. area,love to go visit,most are somehow connected to the industry and go to the movies at least once a week, big deal, resturant dining and all,lost of fun when i am down their,they have oscar parties, at one of their lovley homes, lots of food , decoratiions, guests in and out all evening,so to them it is very important ,the movie industry means their livelihood, a great deal of money is generated thru the movie and television industry,any money made in these economic times is good, so will be watchin and callin the parties.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Laurie

    I still enjoy the Oscars, but wish the presenters were limited to people who are actually in movies and wish there was less emphasis on "fashion." Hugh Jackman is a GREAT choice for the host, and I have high hopes that he'll launch an entertaining night. I'm not so sure that the awards show needs a "narrative," but I'm willing to see what the directors and writers do with the idea.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sarah

    The only political message I want to see is "End Prohibition: Legalize Marijuana!"

    We watch movies to get away from the dailiness of our lives – give us a couple of hours w/o all the doom and gloom that is this moment in time.

    Match dollar for dollar spending on Awards Shows to support not-for-profits that help animals, kids, homeless, you get the point. Then I don't have to feel quite so guilty for loving every minute of it.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ryan

    Who Cares!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jumax

    I always watch the academy awards, i think it's a good american tradition, but the academy and hollywood needs to reinvent theirself, enough of old movies with new actors, it's time to celebrate great movies that are in touch with social issues of our times.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John, Gardiner

    The Oscars are becoming irrelevant because of awards to movies without popular appeal, often movies introduced at the end of year "Oscar Season" just for their "fine art" appeal. There are many movies that are both very well made and popular, and good movies produced throughout the year. Re-connect the Oscars with what people actually like!

    February 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dennis

    1. Cut the amount of Oscar time down to 2 hours
    2. Get rid of the short documentary's etc.
    3. Should be a rule: Acceptance speeches do not thank endless people involved in the movie. It's their win, we want their time to be about themselves and the acceptance won't seemed rushed. I want to hear what it was like to play the role and what was involved.
    4. Be creative with film clips and show more than what the trailers show. We want to see the oscar winning scenes!

    February 22, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alan

    C'mon...who really cares. Let's worry about things that matter...the economy, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, global warming, our childrens future, to begin with!

    February 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 24krtgold

    What happend to Gran Tornino? I believe the Hollywood Industry has sadly overlooked many good movies. Now that harder times are ahead what will they do? Stay tuned!

    February 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Krystal

    To those who think the people should vote – they have that, and its called the People's Choice Awards.

    Another comment was posted that Wall-E should be up for best picture – It is, Best Animated Feature. A category developed because so many good films were left in the dust.

    What I would like to see is Best Picture Drama and Best Picture Comedy/Musical/Action

    If the songs are to be preformed – ONLY by the original recording artist. Hm, maybe only the winner gets to perform (although egos would be crushed thinking they get to sing only to lose)

    I agree, no political humor. Bashing on either side gets really tired.

    To be nominated as a best picture, it must be a wide release film, not just in either LA or NY

    February 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Shari Ruvkun

    I believe I must be the only one in the world that did not like Slumdog Millionaire. I understand that it was depiction of reality of life in Mumbai but the violence was so very harsh that it was hard to watch. I felt like the music took over the theater and made it even more uncomfortable. Yes, it portrayed both a violent side mixed with the sweetness of the main characters love for each other, but it did not balance out for me. I wonder how others felt and if there is anyone who agrees with me.


    February 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  18. millie

    PLEASE GET A GRIP.... In this time in our nation and world..can we not find another thing to spend money on besides this hype and glitz???

    acknowlege accomplishment, yes...but please show restraint in red carpet fanfare"....people are starving out here, going without medication, education and dying......and proably not far from the red carpet!!

    Please quit being so phony!!

    February 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Dabid

    Billy Crystal or no host at all. No song/dance stuff. Do the technical stuff like they do at the Tonys - before the regular show (someone will watch it). Reformat the show like the Golden Globes. Institute categories for drama and comedy.

    Sean Penn was amazing in Milk. It doesn't matter that he won before (Hanks on two years in a row, remember). I would have no qualms with it winning best picture, either. It IS the most rounded film of the lot. Langella was very good, too. I just can't see Rourke winning (and the film itself is not that good). He has no shot at winning, but Richard Jenkins was very good in a surprisingly good film, The Visitor.

    Clint Eastwood SHOULD have been nominated for Gran Torino, He was terrific, and if he has been nominated, maybe should have won. But hey, these are the same folks that gave an Oscar to Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine over the terrific Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls.

    Winslet was good in The Reader but the film overall is not good. I would have no qualms with Streep or Hathaway winning, either.

    Viola Davis winning for one small scene is a bit strange, even if she was good in it. Amy Adams was much more of that film. How Philip Seymour Hoffman got nominated I'll never understand.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Scott T.

    "Slumdog Millionaire" will win, "Milk" should win ... but the best movie of the year was not nominated: "In Bruges."

    February 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Richard

    Brad Pitt does not deserve an Oscar for Benjamin Button, his role was "all about makeup." I thought he did a much better job in that other movie when he played the character actor from the gym that got killed.
    Definetely Slumdog Millinaire is the best movie of the year.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Chrys

    ALL I CARE ABOUT IS MICKEY ROURKE! REDEMPTION! RESURRECTION! REAL! VISCERAL! HEART&SOUL-FULL! Saw the movie yesterday – touched me deeply. This is a story that was LIVED – the parallel lives of Randy the Ram and Mickey Rourke. Mickey, dude, YOU are the MAN! Went into the heart of darkness and (finally) came out the other side shining. Knows what saved him too – his dogs. What an inspiration this man is. And what he said about Eric Roberts – how beautiful can it get? Wow.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  23. jacey

    They should shorten the televised show to the big awards people care about and put the rest on the internet. Have an entertaining monologue (used to love Billy Crystal), the memorial montage, the big awards. Slam, bang, done.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Although it is sometimes entertaining to watch, the Oscars are not a true assessment of the films because the members of the Academy do not watch all of the movies. They should not allow any members to vote on these movies if they did not attend the screenings to see them.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Christina

    Allow everyday people to vote as part of the vote by the Academy. If we feel this reflects "our" choices, then we will be more invested to watch it.

    Also, add some ethnic diversity to the mix of nominees. Do I really want to watch another white male win another Best director statuette? I love Spielberg but seeing John Singleton up there. You are also missing out on a whole block of Latino viewers.....The only Oscar to a Latino/a was Rita Moreno..... Come on... 20 percent of the viewing block is out there!!!!

    February 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Gordon Curvey

    I have a problem with the Oscars and it is this. Where are the African Americans? Are their any African Americans ladies and females who gave Oscar worthy performances?

    It is the "ole boy network" in Hollywood like it has been for decades when it comes to Oscar time. Sure a few African Americans will slip though the cracks like Halle Barry or Denzel Washingon or Jamie Foxx or Will Smith and a few others in the past, but the Oscars is mainly for white folks to dress up and maybe see their the favorite white actor or actress win a Oscar.

    I will never get over Washingon not winning a award for his knock out performance in "Malcolm X" HE SHOULD HAVE WON A OSCAR FOR THAT!!! But he did not.

    Hate to say it, but the Oscars are just like Hollywood, is racist when it comes to the Oscars. When I watch E and TV Guide tonight on the red carpet, I will see very few African Americans interviewed. It will be like a Elk's Club convention or a day at the Rebublican National Convention. No African African in sight. THIS IS SAD!!!

    February 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Lori Singh

    I hope Slumdog wins....otherwise it would be Indian discrimination! (Anoop and Slumdog, in one week?!!)

    February 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Carla Robinson

    The Oscar's are entertaining when the agenda sticks to showbiz. The first political comment made by a celebrity, and off it goes. I am not interested in what they have to say about politics.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Shannon Smith

    God can we please just watch our movies without mixing politics and the economy in it. If nothing else watching the Oscars should take our minds off of it.

    I love Sean Penn but he has done this type of performance before. Emotionally Mickey Rourke is the better actor this time around. Give him the Oscar.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Todd

    For some reason the movies of the year are never celebrated...meaning in film clips. There should be a segment where we get to see highlights of films that were and weren't nominated. It seems so logical yet isn't done. As a huge film buff even I think the show is too long. 3 hrs are too much. The technical Oscars can be either not televised or shown on another network. I enjoy clips segments, but there are usually too many. I would rather see a small clip of the actors' work. We don't need a 10 min. opening monologue. Make it less formal like the Globes.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Lisa

    Go Slumdog!!!

    February 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Cali

    I don't mean to sound like a spoil sport. But.....in these times with California almost upending this week & having to fire state employees. Well, it is just shameful to have anorexic narissisists galavanting around with millions in gowns & diamond bling. That is just ridiculous. Think of the millions who could save their homes & feed starving people here with all that money spent in Hollywood today. History will look back on this years Acadamy Awards in shock that this went on with this financial disaster going on & frankly you must know now we are in another Great Depression. What they should be doing is airing The Grapes of Wrath with Springsteen singing the Ghost of Tom Joad. Who can even afford an outrageous movie ticket? Let's face it people, I am a Health Care Worker. What are these no talents doing getting paid 10's of millions of dollars per picture for doing almost no work, while people like me slave doing 12 hour shifts taking care of sick people & people who are terminally ill for almost nothing for what our work is worth. In addition I have Multiple Scleroisis & have no Health Care myself! I live in agony 24 hours a day! And that goes for drug addict sports stars also. Wake up America. How can we tolerate this disparity in lifestyle and pay especially in these times. Goldie Hawn said it best. Anyone who does what we do for a living & what we get paid for what we do should be waking up every morning kissing the ground. You said it Goldie.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Rob

    If Sean Penn doesn't win for Best Actor for his portrayal of Harvey Milk, I'll know for certain that the Academy Awards are fixed! All the other nominees were good, even great, but when you consider Penn's performance you tend to use words like "channel" as in he "didn't just act the part, he became or channeled Harvey Milk!" People who knew Milk, like Cleave Jones have all said that they were blown away by how much he became the character. Again, all the other candidates were good but nobody was quite at this level. Sean Penn truly set a new standard and its a very high bar for all future actors to reach.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Angus English

    Quit complaining about the show. If you don't want to watch it don't !!
    I personally hope Slumdog Millionaire wins all the awards it is up for.
    It is a truly wonderful Movie.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Mike

    Absolutely not interested about the oscars, Hollywood is mess in general, yet they consider themselfs the moral authority about everything.
    The ratings are going down year after year anyway...

    February 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Steve

    Make an announcement at the beginning of the show . . . "Due to the economic downturn that the nation is in, the President of the United States will be singing a bill that limits salary caps on all sectors within the Hollywood industry. From now on Actors, Directors, Producers, and all personnel will be limited to $50K per year or $50K per movie whichever is higher. This bill will be retroactive for the past 50 years and all income received over the allotted $50K must be sent to the IRS for income redistribution."

    And then put the cameras on the audience to see the reaction and the ensuing mental breakdowns.

    I know, it's wishful thinking. I guess I will not be watching since it probably will not happen.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  37. trish

    I love the oscar's, but i do think if they want higher ratings start nominating movies people really go to see. Except for Benjamin Button and Slumdog its hard toeven find Milk or The Reader to go see it. Also get Billy Crystal to host again he was the best!

    February 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Seetha

    Slumdog was a underdog for golden globe and so it was a surprise for many. Now, for oscars there are some expectations on Slumdog, well its going to be a upset for many.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Although I love the movies I think it is a little offensive for Hollywood to host all of these ostentatious Oscar parties when our economy is in such dire straits. How can anyone attend them in good conscience? It is like a slap in the face to those who are suffering.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  40. dickelocker

    This is not "Breaking News" It's hype for the Oscars, which keep losing audience, like the "Miss America" pageant, because mostly irrelevant to "normal" life in America. Please be a little more circumspect in beeping my computer for important "Breaking News." rel

    February 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Matthew

    I have no problem with young presenters. I completely understand why they use them. They want to try and bring in a younger audience and that's good as I think the younger people would get a real sense of the tradition and respect for the art form that the Oscars show. With that said though I think there should be an even mix of old and new actors doing the presenting.

    They need to trim some of the fat from the show so it's not so long. Like people have said before they should cut some of the song and dance numbers and maybe trim down the monologue at the beginning. Also just have the presenters walk up, say the nominees, and present the award. There's no need for ""witty"" banter before hand.

    Other than that I love the Oscars. I love seeing the video montages they put together, especially the Memoriam for those who have passed away.

    February 22, 2009 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  42. Yvette

    During a time of such trying economic times...the Oscar's with all of its overt display of wealth is just out of touch reality T.V. Can't watch without thinking about all the common folks who are having it hard times just making it day-2-day.

    February 22, 2009 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
  43. Brian

    Wall-E wasn't passed over. It's been nominated for best animated feature film. As for Dark Knight, it did get snubbed for Best Film, but with the process bynwhich the Academy nominates films (not a scientific process by any means) it could have lost out by one vote, which wouldn't fall along the lines of a stereotype. But your sentiment is shared and duly noted, Paul.

    February 22, 2009 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  44. Noel Cook

    There are too many commercials. There is a lot of fluff and outsider work and back slapping. it runs too long. They need to make it one continuous event. Cut out the commercials. Make it earlier, and I like the idea of making it a week long Festival instead and moving it from City to City. BEST IDEA EVER. A lot of people follow Hollywood and we would love to see stars visit other towns besides LA and HOllywood. GO ON YOUR!

    February 22, 2009 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  45. Alex

    Although it's great and laudible that the Oscars recognize films for quality over box office, the fact remains that if most of the big nominees are art house films, no one's gonna watch the show. I never even heard of Slumdog Millionaire before 2 months ago and I have no interest in going to see it. Dark Knight was the biggest film of the year and Ledger was the only major nominee - and many feel he got the nod because of the James Dean Effect; had he lived, regardless how acclaimed his performance might have been, he probably wouldn't have been nominated. A lot of people will tune out once they find out whether he wins or not because most of the other nominees have little popular interest. I think combining the Oscars with the People's Choice Awards is the way to go - get the viewers more involved. And also there is no excuse for the show to be as long as it is. TV professionals make the show, they know how to keep it to 3 hours. SNL doesn't run 2 hours overtime.

    February 21, 2009 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  46. TONY

    1, Cut it to two hours, only present the major awards on air like the Grammys.

    2. Can all the song and dance numbers, this ain't the Tonys.

    3. More clips of nominated films and performances.

    4. Quit rushing through the acceptance speeches, give the winners some time!

    5. No honorary Oscars, tributes or roll call of the dead – waste of time, no one cares.

    February 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Liz

    I have always thought the Oscars needed to add the following:

    Best comedy
    Best comidic actor
    Best comidic actress

    There have been several funnny movies, actors, actresess etc. that have been oscar worthy and not recognized becasue they are just that....funny.

    February 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Benst

    I don't watch the Academy Awards, because they are about 4 hours long; favor serious human drama movies that are released at end of the year and didn't make too much money at the box office.

    RottenTomatoes.com and MetaCritic.com reviewed all the movies of the year and WALL-E was the best reviewed film of the year. WALL-E was Not nominated for best picture.

    If the Academy Awards started at 7:00 PM (EST); they would be crushed in the ratings by Sixty Minutes on CBS and everyone knows it.

    If they were televised on Friday or Saturday, the ratings would be in the basement.

    A way to improve them: nominate the best reviewed film of year, (according to RottenTomatoes.com and Metacritic.com), for best picture. Cut them down to 3 hours. End them at exactly 11:00 PM (EST). Have a special award for comedy movies. Give awards to the best stuntmen and best stuntwomen of the year. Nominate 5 (award worthy) songs and have the people who turned them into hits, sing the songs in their entirety on the show.

    One more thing: The Academy Awards gave an award and a standing ovation to Roman Polanski who druged and raped a 13 year old child!
    Don't be surprised when a lot of people find that offensive and replusive!

    February 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Vignesh

    Why do people complain about the Oscars? Honestly if you don't want to watch them, don't watch them. Millions of people, however, disagree with you.

    I personally play video games, so I don't really care about the Oscars. However, I don't think other people should try to meddle with what others do. Please read Henry David Thoruea and how the tyranny of the majority works. America isn't a true democracy ~ we just vote for elected officials. However, I personally think it would be wrong for the majority to dictate how others spend their time. That would be the tyranny of the majority.

    Also the show will continue as long as the advertisement dollars are greater then the cost of the show. They aren't taking a loss, they are making a profit by televising the show.

    February 21, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Ennis LA

    Scale down everything: awards, speeches, host jokes, entrances and
    introductions. The Academy overdoes its own self-importance. Too
    many categories. Way too much hype and red-carpet nonsense.

    February 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jill

    Stop having a host & the dance montages & let the winners have a few more minutes to talk.

    February 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Shari

    I Say NO OSCARS. The entertainment folks are so full of themselves.

    February 21, 2009 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  53. Franky

    Is Oscar weekend guys, Oscar weekend and the action is getting hotter here than my boy's Heff's house...

    I know the ratings of the Oscars are declining but the gaming action has always been hot over here when it arrives, whether is for upsets or not, I still haven't made mine yet, I got til midnight. Plus, if I would make a suggestion, have some substance, to name a few. Don't get me wrong, stars, actors, actresses, directors, etc, are not only there to have fun and enjoy a good time, but also to show their character and personality. That will be my suggestion, not so much a lot of passion but just enough to show some tone...

    February 21, 2009 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  54. Tracie Herold

    The Oscars shouldn't change anything. Would Superbowl fans want their game changed? The Oscars needs to realize that there is only a certain movie-going population that enjoys such credible writing, acting, and directing. There are many awards shows that credit all types of films – the Oscars credit these. Don't mess with the show. I love all movies, including those that are "arthouse" with human stories above the "common" movie-goer. I see those movies, too, and there is truly a difference. Stay the way you are, Oscars. Why do you need such high ratings?

    February 21, 2009 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  55. Mike H

    Another opportunity for the Hollywood types to gather around, pat themselves on the back, and pretend that their work is actually relevant in our world.

    It's entertainment and nothing more. The rest of us don't gather around 10 times a year to hand out awards for best letter carrier, or best teacher, or best fireman. What? Thirteen-million per picture isn't enough compensation? You need admiration and a little trophy too? Give me a break! What a bunch of lost souls!

    February 21, 2009 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
  56. Matthew

    Ugh if I read one more post about how awful it is that they are having the Oscars during our economic crisis I'm going to lose it! Have you forgotten the whole purpose of movies and tv? They were made to help us escape for a couple of hours from the worries of life and thus the awards shows fulfill that same purpose as well. What good would cancelling the Oscars do? That's just three more hours for you to sit around and worry yourself sick over the world around you. Do yourself a favor and come Sunday night sit down, relax, forget about your worries for a few hours, and enjoy the show!

    February 21, 2009 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  57. movie junkie

    Combination of things.

    Firstly, the notion that movies that gross a lot of films should be nominated. Forget it. Only if their worth it. Box office gross does not mean quality. Let me repeat; the amount of $$ a film makes does not mean it's a great film.

    And when a said film grosses a trillion dollars; journalists need to write a critical review – say the film is entertaining, not award winning, but entertaining.

    It's also film making itself - there is waaay too much CGI going on in some of these films; it's like we've warped humans into animated films. Where's all the beautiful cinematography. Most of time, scenes are too manufactured by CGI.

    And where is the FCC – hello? anyone out there. Between Network news and Network television, there should be a line where ratings should not factor into cetain programming!!!

    Start the show earlier, like super bowl around 6 pm Eastern.

    During the show, two presenters vs. one.

    That all said – still love the big show!

    February 20, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Ascha

    How is Hollywood any different/worse/better than the professional sports franchise? or reporting? or singing? Some people have no time for sports, so they don't watch sports. Some people have no time for movies, so they don't watch movies. And, if one does not watch sports in general, why would one watch the Superbowl or Indy 500 or the Olympics, etc.? And, if one does not care for movie glitz, then watching any movie-related awards show would not make sense. So – if sports are your thing, watch what you will. If movies/Hollywood are your thing, than enjoy the ceremonies. If "Survivor" is your thing, then watch to the bitter end.

    There is this little thing called the "On/Off" button on a television set or computer. It is really quite convenient.

    Frankly, at least with the Oscars and the Superbowl and the Olympics, and such, the award winners are not giving themselves awards payed for by taxes. [Paid for by movie goers willing to buy tickets, the same as those for sporting events, etc., but not tax-payers money allocated by the government.]

    Everytime congress awards itself – or its special interest groups – with extravagant pay raises and perks, the tax payers ARE paying for it with no control. I find that much more disturbing.

    As for peer awards – well, why not Hollywood? There are Peabody awards [radio and television journalism], Pulitzer [writing], Tony [broadway], Heisman [football], MVP of anything – game, season, team], Grammy [music], Caldecott [book illustrations], Newberry [jr. books], Teacher of the Year, Coach of the Year, Boss of the Year . . . sometimes, peers are the ones that understand best how much work goes into a task, job, career . . . If awards for one genre are eliminated, why not all awards?

    Is Hollywood extravagant? Yes. Is the throwing of money away on trite, superficial, irrelevant things a waste and a sad commentary on our current society and what it has wrought? Yes – and in terms of obscene extravagances, add many of those from above – professional athletes, members of congress, Wallstreet movers and shakers, politicians, etc. I, a lowly citizen, own one home, one car [still cannot understand why a household needs more vehicles than there are occupants, outside of vehicles used in the course of work/job; and the idea of a vacation home? whoa! I am surrounded by people who have vacation homes, and they are being heavily subsidized by the government] – I would rather watch unnecessary bling on the red carpet or artificial turf, than see it sparkling in the hands of those buying their excesses with tax payers' money. . .

    So, the Oscars – take 'em or leave 'em, but as far as getting all bent out of shape about the awards show? Nah. My worries don't come from who is wearing what to the Academy Awards, or who biffed an acceptance speech, and which actor really struggles reading a teleprompter. The Oscars? Mindless entertainment or torture, wherever such shows fall on your interest scale.

    February 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  59. hometown girl

    Who cares? I'd rather watch C-Span.

    February 20, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Robert Pratt

    Many times over many years, I have channel-surfed on Oscar night.

    Each time I hit a channel showing the Oscars, I am aghast at what seems incestuous mutual navel-gazing. The flowery words describing how great someone of whom I've never heard is at his/her craft. And this goes on for hours.

    It's too long, and the concept of the show is so 1940's and 1950's. Very few people are gaga over movies these days. We have many more entertainment options, and the world is a more complicated place.

    Except for hairstyles and clothing, the speeches and format over the last 50 years could be dubbed into any year and not seem out of place.

    Modernize the show, and I may be inclined to watch. I don't mean adding hip hop dancers either. Also, like many others here, I never had a chance to watch a lot of the arthouse films.

    Perhaps wide-release and limited-release films should have their own categories, and yet still provide the limited films some public exposure.

    For now, the Oscars are anachronistic, self-absorbed, and not really worth my attention.

    February 20, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Scott


    Picky, picky, picky! October thru December has always been the preferred release window for Oscar consideration, and many times there are several nominated films not yet in wide release before the show. I was only saying that, if a round of nominations happens halfway through the year, then there might be more balance all year long (a win-win for everyone). Plus, depending on production schedules, most indies can't afford to wait until the fall to release their films even if they are lucky enough to get an A-list actor or director and distribution help from a studio.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Chuck Casson

    It would be nice if the Academy honored some of the stars from the past who are still with us. I'm at a loss to understand why they keep using mainly new faces. What about Ann Blyth, Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, Esther Williams, Arlene Dahl, Olivia de Havilland, Joan Fontaine, Jennifer Jones, Peter O'Toole, Mickey Rooney, etc.?

    February 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Sally

    I may be one of the few. I like the musical dance/singing numbers. Sometimes they are the most entertaining parts of the night.

    Someone mentioned Robert Downey Jr. deserves not just the nomination, but the win? Any other year, I would agree. And I think he would win as well – the Academy uses their supporting acting categories to give the appearance they are willing to look outside the serious drama roles. However, this year he's up against Heath Ledger and no one is beating Heath. That is the only award lock of the night. Though Slumdog is probably close to an award lock as well.

    My picks to win:
    movie – Slumdog
    director – Slumdog
    actor – Mickey Rourke. I know Sean Penn has been winning most of the awards, but Mickey's the "returning actor feel good" story of the year (along with Robert Downey). Since Robert is going to lose his supporting actor bid, the Academy will award Mickey the Oscar. I'm good with that.
    actress – please dear God Kate Winslett. She should already have a couple awards under her belt. About time to finally give her one. And from what I hear, the performance may actually be worthy of it.
    supporting actor – Heath Ledger. Poor Robert – any other year I would say this would be his.
    supporting actress – one of the Doubt actresses. Since they will be shut out in the other categories, the Academy will want to award them with something
    animated feature – Wall E (another almost lock)

    possible shocks:
    actress – Anne Hathaway
    supporting actress – Penelope Cruz

    Big winner of the night – Hugh Jackman. I think he will do fantastic as host. He was fabulous as host of the Tony one year and I expect he will do some of the similar things again here. The other actors love him and they will be more than willing to play along with him. This should be fun.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Kana

    Make Oscar voters acknowledge that movies of any genre can still be quality movies. It's not so much bid-bdget, smash-hit versus tiny indie films because popular doesn't always equal good - looking at the box office for last week on Rotten Tomatoes, for example, only one of the top five movies has a "fresh" rating (that one being Coraline, and deservedly so). But there's something flawed in the system when two of the best-reviewed movies of the year don't get a best picture nom while a movie liked by barely half as many critics does (The Dark Knight has 94% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Wall-E has a 96% fresh. The Reader has 60%. Yet look which of these films got the best picture nom, and which got mostly technical and a single acting nom, and which got ghettoed into Best Animated Film, where the Academy didn't even deign to let it run against a full playing field. As another site put it, they may as well rename that category "The Place Where We Honor Pixar Movies so We Don't Have to Admit They're Real Films).

    It's not big budget vs indie or popular vs. niche. It's judging films on basis of quality, not whether it's "Big Important Drama For Our Times" or "Holocaust Film with Important Message"...or even "Best Dang Comedy in Years" or "Movie that Redefined and Went Beyond Superhero Genre" or "Animated Movie that is More than Just a Kids Popcorn Flick." Good movies are good movies, and if the Oscars want to stay relevant they should start looking at all good movies of all genres, not just ones that are, well, Oscar bait. (Oscar bait that may be good movies, mind - but not all Oscar bait is teh best movie of the year or had the best performances, and yet they still get all the noms.)

    February 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  65. cookie

    I really dislike all the emphasis on the "young" actors as presenters. I would like to see a return of the "older' and more recognizable "stars" that a person of my age grew up with. They deserve respect for contributing to the industry and bringing so much pleasure to many of us in our 50's.
    Suring this terrible economic downturn in our country it would seem that there should be less focus on the superficial attributes on what someone is wearing or how they look than their attributes as an artist and how they share their art with our society.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Rona

    Gee, Mr. Entertainment Producer of CNN – Monday, Sunday? Doesn't make a hill of beans difference to the hard-working people who have to get up early Monday through Friday, or for those who must rise early to get children off to school. The point many have made so far is that it runs too long and too late to stay up and watch on a "work/school night" – hence, the suggestion to air on Friday or Saturday night. Duh!

    Personally, I quit wasting my time watching several years ago and now just read who won the next day. Even then, I skip all but the biggest award categories. I lost interest for the following, just to name a few, reasons:
    1. the endlessly boring award categories one must suffer through
    awaiting the big award reveals;
    2. the hot air dispelled by all those over-inflated egos who feel the
    need to thank everyone/everything except the kitchen sink;
    3. the misguided perception of the ego-maniacs who think the
    general public is just waiting to hear their political opinions; and
    4. the music/dancing "fillers" deemed to be entertainment (and don't
    take that wrong – I am a music/dancing lover)

    I agree with many – shorten the Oscars drastically (I think one hour is
    actually pushing the envelope), do away with acceptance speeches (a nod and heart-felt simple "thank you" would be more than sufficient), and cut out all the extra nonsense. For those who feel the public should have no voice in who/what is nominated or wins, here's an idea – make the Oscars a cable-aired or totally private ceremony, not aired on PUBLIC television, and have the results published post-ceremony. Then, if the PUBLIC wants, the PUBLIC has access to the results.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Louis


    The practice of cramming movies into the theaters in late December doesn't necessarily equal "Oscar". If Slumdog wins, it will be the third consecutive Oscar winner to have been released in October. The last December release to win Best Picture was Return of the King.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Pete

    The really humerous thing about all the whining about the Oscars is that the likely winner will be a film partially in the Hindi language that doesn't feature a single caucasian actor. A film that wasn't greenlit by a studio to win awards, in fact the film almost went straight to DVD when the director turned it into his studio. Oh, and the movie will cross $100 million at the box office next week.

    Considering that the Academy actually has NO FINANCIAL STAKE in the ratings of the ceremony, then what would be the reason to change the awards into something that resembles the Grammys or People's Choice Awards? Because a comic book movie didn't win the big prize?

    February 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Leigh

    In truth, the Academy does tend to shy away from Comedic films and performances. At the same time, Comedies should not be considered separately because comedy is a FORM of drama – and often at it's best when mixed with the serious, too. Recent nods: Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Sideways, Johnny Depp in Pirates to name a few.

    General audiences shouldn't be able to vote because this isn't American Idol. It's not a popularity contest. Film is an art form. The average viewer has NO conception of how much work goes into crafting an inspired performance, or capturing the right camera angle to invoke anxiety or tension in the audience. I don't always agree with the decisions the Academy makes (ie "Crash" as Best Picture was a travesty), but Big Budget does not equal quality.

    I can't believe so many people are complaing about Independent "artsy" flicks being nominated and moaning about actors getting paid too much at the same time. These small, artsy pictures are the ones being made with virually no budgets! Only your Blockbusters are bringing in enough cash to pay out tens of millions to the actors. And indy flick attention is a very new turn in the History of the Oscars. Take a look at the nominees from the 90s and prior - Big Budget was king. Rent Juno or Good Night and Good Luck and tell me that Spiderman or Shrek the Third is more deserving.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Christine

    If I were I change the Oscars, I would make it shorter if not cancel it altogether. If it's a peer-reviewed award, then let them watch it. It gives youngsters false hope that that lifestyle is the one that they will achieve easily. The glamor and the money is all nice and good, but we have to keep in mind that the lifestyle of the rich and famous is only 10% of the population.

    Cancel the show, it's just presenting a false image of America.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Beth

    People that win awards should just say "thank you" and leave out the huge list of names...thank them in person! Also downplay all the expensive dresses...our economy is suffering...people are out of work and struggling to make ends meet...who wants to hear "now who designed your $5000 dress"!! Cut the time to 2 hours. Some of the smaller awards could be taken care of before the broadcast and just leave ones like best movie, music, actor, actress etc.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Razz

    the biggest changes for this program "TAKE IT OFF THE TV". it's a waste of time. I'm not jealous, envyous or interested to see former/current drug addicts, skinny women, or outrageous costumes.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Debbie Nichols

    The Academy should:

    (1) take something for its short memory: Oscars should be awarded to the best of the entire year, not just those that were released after Thanksgiving.

    (2) honor real pioneers in the field: there should be more lifetime acheivement awards and less gold given to the "flash in the pan" artists.

    (3) change the presenters: please do not have people won't be remembered next year giving anything! Viewers (those there are left) long to see those who made Hollywood what it was.

    (4) have an honorary Randy Newman award given every year: the man shows up & is on camera every time he isn't given the little gold Ken doll with a smile! Give one to him regardless!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Joshua

    Combine the Oscars and the Friar Club Roasts. Make fun of all the nominees and then announce the winners.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  75. ClaireNYC

    @ Chris : Does anybody in Hollywood realize Sunday is a school night?

    It could be worse; the Oscars used to be on Monday nights. At least on Sundays you can get a disco nap in!

    @ all the people who suggest leaving politics out: Whenever people have a platform, they'll speak. But all would do well to follow the classy example of Jane Fonda's acceptance for "Klute" (suggested by her father)

    "There's a lot to be said, but tonight is not the time."


    1. No red-carpet drama. That would save the actors and actresses a lot of stress and keep them from making horrendous fashion choices to boot. (Although I give mad props to the costume designer who won the Oscar and have her speech in a crazy dress made of gold AMEX cards.) Just have everyone wear black and white, tuxes and gowns. Done.

    2. I agree with the folks who say the original artists should sing the songs. But just have them sing; poor Taraji Henson and the Three Six Mafia were surrounded by ballet dancing (?) craziness when they did their song. No pointless production numbers–tapdancing to the theme from Saving Private Ryan springs to mind as well.

    3. Definitely expand the categories as the Globes do to split between drama/comedy. Musicals could fit into either category, depending.

    4. The only montage that should be done is the "In Memoriam." If it's a special anniversary of a film you want to salute, make that the preshow instead of the red carpet; then you can do interviews, show clips, etc. (HINT: West Side Story's 50th anniversary is in 2 years. Just saying) For example, 1939 was considered a golden film era (Gone WIth the Wind, Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights, etc.); I'd totally watch a show covering a topic like this.

    5. LET LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS SPEAK AS LONG AS THEY WANT, DAMN IT! They should not be played off. But they also don't need long intros that are more about the introducer than the honoree. (This was the Grammys, not the Oscars, but I cringed when they started playing Frnak Sinatra off when he was honored.) Best one was Stanley Donen, master of musicals, singing and dancing.

    6. Single presenters. No banter. Explain the award and present it. Then back awaaaaaaaaaay from the microphone.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Mark R. Madsen

    Who cares. It is a narcissistic award for a narcissistic group of overpaid and ego seeking group of people. It is entertainment only, it does not cure cancer or better society or its problems, and it certainly does not resolve the worlds issues. I don't understand the attention given to this and other award shows. They are not artists, they are actors. I like movies as much as the next person – but it is only entertainment. I don't care what they wear or what their politics are.

    Sorry, here are my improvements – announce the winners in the newspaper and be done with it.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Grace

    I say quit idolizing the actors and stop televising the awards completely. It's a job like other people have. I don't get an Oscar for doing my job or make $20 million to do it. It's out of hand. They are only acting! I would rather pay a police officer more money than see one more program show off their enormous egos and the need to be idolized!

    Get a life, people! READ a book instead......

    February 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Scott

    2 suggestions:

    1. Split the nominations to twice per year (June & December). That would allow good films that release earlier in the year to have a shot, and it would prevent "Oscar Worthy" films from cramming into NY or LA in December just to make the deadline. It would also help good films get a better marketing package any time of the year.

    2. Have all of the major nominees prepare a credit roll for the broadcast within 2 weeks of their nomination. That way all of their thank-yous can scroll by during their heartfelt speech. That will probably save at least an hour or two and might be the first time that credits are actually seen!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Shawn

    I've been watching the Academy Awards for over 20 years now; I'm a real Oscar fan. And while some things do not need to change – a film should definitely NOT be nominated just because it's popular (under that thinking, awful stuff like "Home Alone" or "Transformers" would receive Best Picture nods – ugh!) – some things they definitely need to change.

    1) No dance numbers ever! This is the Oscars, not the Tonys.

    2) Instead of the performing the nominated songs, show short videos of the songs when the song nominees are read (just like how they show 10 second acting clips for the acting nominees.)

    3) Do not televise the awards for short films, or the honorary awards (i.e. the Irving Thalberg awards, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award, or Honorary Oscar award.)

    4) Fire writer Bruce Vilanch immediately so we are never again subjected to that cheesy banter between presenters.

    5) The nomination process itself needs to change from a weighted process where the choices the voter puts as #1 or #2 carry no more weight than choices 3-5 (in other words, the voter gets to nominate five films/people; the order in which the voter writes their choices on their ballot doesn't matter). The reason "The Dark Knight" or "Wall-E" didn't get a best picture nod is probably because more people put it in slot 3, 4 or 5 on their ballots than in slots 1 and 2.

    6) If the show must run on Sunday, start it earlier so us folks on the East Coast aren't bleary-eyed the next day. Or, if the show can't be done earlier, then have it on Saturday night.

    7) I like the film montages that Chuck Workman does, but please, no more than 2 per show.

    8) Make the films nominated for Best Picture available to see on cable via On Demand. That would negate the problem of people who live in smaller towns not having the Best Picture films showing in their city. The reduced price that people pay to watch movies On Demand vs. in the theater wouldn't matter because more people would be able to see the films, and thus the higher volume would make up for the reduced price. And when more people have actually seen the Best Picture nominees, more people will watch the show.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Chickenhawk

    Having seen all of the nominated movies and performances this year, I think the Academy has done a good job with its selections - for a change. The Dark Knight was a good movie, but only spectacular because of Heath Ledger, which is why he was nominated (and should win). The Oscars are no different than any sports game, reality show, or television special - long, dramatic, and on a good night, entertaining. And if you don't like it, don't watch it.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Stephen

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. Shorten the program
    2. Change the format to something more informal; perhaps like the Golden Globes where attendees sit at tables.
    3. Depoliticize (purge) the voting process
    4. Make choices more relevant
    5. Get rid of all the pomp and focus on wearing cloths that may cost more than some people make in a year.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  82. leslie smith

    "GreenWoman" wrote this earlier and I agree 100%! (I especially resent the comments written for the presenters. They are a waste of time and it's embarrassing to hear such stupid dialogue.) - "First, do away with the host monologe, the dance numbers, and the flippant comments by presenters! And *especially* do away with the too-abrupt cut-off on acceptance speeches! I’d much rather to hear what the winners have to say about their co-workers and the creative journey that led to their award, than watch dancers or listen to poorly-written monologues and introductions."

    February 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Kilgore

    I think the Oscars should add a category to include stunt doubles. Last I recall, there wasn't a category for these actors and actresses. These talented people take great risks while performing action sequences that keep many audiences on the edge of their seats.

    I also agree that while many films deserve much credit and respect, if they want higher ratings, they'll need to include more films that people are more familiar with. If they want to keep the Oscars as an award show that recognizes what is truly the best acting/film production talents, they need to leave that judgement up to the Academy who knows more than we "consumers" do.

    Finally, leave politics out of it! I would much rather hear the winners thank everyone who helped them out/contributed to their success rather than their sarcastic comments about our nation's leadership, comments reflecting their personal causes, or criticism & mockery of religion. Let's be peacekeepers and not scandalous publicity-seekers.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Flavia

    Change the show to air on Saturday's !!! And make it shorter !

    February 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Jack

    Im worried about making my next mortgage payment and grocery shopping for the month. Why should I watch them?

    February 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Jill

    Hollywood has to kept up with the times and the times include economic problems for their ticket buyers. Personally, I think that Hollywood is so full of themselves that they don't see past their own ambitions. I was so proud of Meryl Strep at the Golden Globes as she was wearing nothing apecial black pants and a black sweater. Don't these studios have people that talk to movie goers and find out what the public wants? If they don't, they need to.

    I'm only going to watch the Oscars for Hugh Jackson's info which I know will be entertaining.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  87. iling

    Just the simple fact that so many people have an opinion on the Oscars makes it worthwhile, so let it be...maybe a little bit shorter with no musicals and less pompous!!! Just remember that there's no biz like show biz!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  88. JOE

    I have stopped watching the Oscars due in part to the length of the show, and lack of some category for mainstream popular, or "top-grossing film". However, the main reason I stopped watching the Oscars, were 90% of the winners.
    I found that unless they have cue cards in front of them, someone directing them, someone telling them how to walk, or what not to say, most of the new actors can't captivate an audiance the way a real actor should. They are able to turn out a performance in a film, but caan't deliver a 3 minute performance?

    February 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Richard

    Why don't we just abolish the Oscars? Hollywood has utterly destroyed any semblance of respect they may have once had. Most of society could care less about anything produced by Hollywood these days. All Producers, Directors, Actors and all supporting personnel should be put on the streets and forced to work for a living!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  90. legal secretary in TN

    Take the money that it costs to produce this show and feed the hungry, educate our children, house the homeless, provide medical care for the sick... you get my drift

    February 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Troy

    I think the Oscars should be stopped altogether. I enjoy watching talented actors and actresses as much as the next person, but do these rich people really need an awards ceremony? Do these people not get their butt's kissed enough on a daily basis? With all of the suffering in the world today, I can' believe Hollywood is ok with this stuff. Maybe if more people focused on educational and real world issues, this country would be in much better shape.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  92. theo

    what oscar?

    February 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Electric

    The Oscars telecast needs to run under two hours. The musical/dance numbers are unnecessary at this event. Save that for the musical awards shows. Have hosts who are engaging and witty without having to work at it. The nominating committee should depict a diversity of ethnicity and tastes. They historically favor small independent releases (that are mostly boring but well acted), and shun comedies and action flicks. Eleven African American winners in an 80-year history is shameful. There should be more winners of color, period, not just African Americans. That would speak to the diversity of the nominating committee as well as everyone involved in making a quality film from start to finish. Screenwriters, producers, directors all need to broaden their visions and make sure their films reflect the diversity of ethnicity, thought, and taste of the world.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  94. KS

    Get rid of the 12-hour pre-show, already. It's painful to watch Lisa Rinna and the E! crew try to snag celebs as they're trying to walk by.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  95. CW

    Make better movies. Give up on the actress awards. With the sort of movies Hollywood makes they should switch the female awards to best nude scene, best branded panty and stiletto prance, best lesbian make out, best nude shower scene, because best actress is a joke.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Fernando

    The Oscars need to end. They mean nothing.

    Oh and to the guy called Paul who used the word "eschew", if you are going to use big words, please find out what they mean first.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Dick Cummings

    I'm sure most of the people watching the show on TV could care less about most of the lesser awards. The solution to increasing viewer interest is simply to cut the length of the show in half and concentrate solely on presenting awards for Best Picture, Best male and female lead actors, Best supporting male and female actors and Best song. The rest could be summarized in a brief announcement with the actual presentations done off camera.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Paul

    To Sam who said:

    "What’s with you people? The Oscars aren’t a popularity or box office contest – they award excellence in film. It doesn’t matter if five people saw it or five million. It doesn’t matter if YOU saw it or not. It doesn’t matter if YOU liked it or not. If there’s that many people out there that don’t care about the nominated films, then perhaps it’s time for the awards to switch over to cable. Whatever happens, nothing should be done to dilute that pursuit of excellence."

    If it doesn't matter if I saw it, or what I liked, then quit whining when I don't watch it, and quit obsessing about low ratings.

    Or, if you want US to watch it, and you complaing about low ratings, then nominate some movies that WE see.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Pat

    1. Eliminate the idiotic musical numbers.
    2. For best song....show the clip – don't have mediocre singers belt them out – out of context and generally, out of tune. If the song was only played over the credits......should it even be nominated?
    3. One award.....one speech.....and we all know that your thank your mom, and your spouse and your stylist.....so why not print thank you notes on a website the next day, and leave off the long winded and frequently embarrassing, extemporizing.
    4. Leave off the political statements, jokes, and really dumb humor in the introductions...and the acceptances....
    5. I like the idea of keeping all the nominees in the first few rows but I really don't like the idea of eliminating "lesser" awards. If it weren't for the editors, costuming and all, most of the movies we love, would not be the movies that they are. Look at the extra material in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy to see the craft and skill that these people added to make the movie series what it was.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  100. joe cooke

    How about featuring movies people have actually watched? Other than The Dark Knight, the other movies are losers. Who wants to watch two hours about movies that nobody gives a rats rear about?

    Also, as host, bring back Billy Crystal. Or, reincarnate Johnny Carson. You know, someone with the talent necessary to host the Oscars.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Sue

    No advertisements! Let the awards roll.....

    February 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Joe

    Make the telecast from 5 to 7 PM (PST)
    Abolish song & dance numbers
    Have 5 min. opening monologue with a super MOVIE star–no more TV or reality celebs hosting or anywhere near the stage!
    ONLY genuine movie stars, preferably of the Silver Screen, like Liz Taylor, Olivia de Havilland, etc. present.
    No one under 25 unless red hot like Shia
    More & longer clips of best acting categories & keep speeches to 1 minute with 1 person accepting for a group.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

    For those who want the show moved to a different night from Sunday, a couple things:
    – For many years, the Oscars were on Monday. It's only recently - the last decade or so - it's been on Sunday.
    – Sunday is the biggest viewing night of the week, so it's unlikely ABC (or whatever network gets the contract in the future) would want to move it. Though you never know.
    Keep writing, TL

    February 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Bri

    You all have left many great suggestions (my favorites being the internet polling throughout the ceremony adn adding the Comedy/Musical Category), but I would have to disagree with the running theme of "let the people vote". The people have "The People's Choice Award". The director's have their award show, the critics have their's, etc., etc. The Academy Awards is just another point of view on current movies. Is it perfect? No. Should it be changed? Maybe. No! Strike that! It should definitely be shortened somehow.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  105. Melissa in New Orleans

    Honestly, the Oscars are a disappointment. It just seems to be a way for Hollywood to pat themselves on the back. They rarely ever choose movies that actually deserve it. The snub to the new Batman movie is just one of many.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Carrie

    Quite a number of years ago now, Quincy Jones was brought in as the awards ceremony producer. The show was fantastic, rarely becoming tedious.
    He had supermodels parading the nominated costumes, REALLY good writers for the presenters, Stomp performed to highlight Sound Editing which is an otherwise pretty dry technical award, an awesome tribute to Gene Kelly who'd recently died, and great song & dance performances. And Whoopi Goldberg as host was perfection.
    Why do I remember it? Because it was different, it was fun, and it felt as though it was produced by someone who actually considered the television viewing audience. I dare say it was also more entertaining for those actually in the audience! Certainly the speeches were WAY more entertaining.
    My advice? If you're going to have a show, have a SHOW! Actually become the Hollywood spectacle the Oscars is supposed to be!

    February 20, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Clinton

    The Oscars need to decide what they want to be.

    If they want to be a place where the film industry honors their own, then they should present ALL the awards during the ceremony and give the recipients adequate time to thank anyone they please. After all, this is their moment in the Sun.

    If they want to simply be an evening of TV, they need to drop the pretenses and being flat-out entertainment.

    They can't have it both ways.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  108. Joe Burton

    Let the viewers decide who is best for acting, writing, directing and best picture. Let industry members decide the rest. Focus the entire show on the major awards decided by the viewers. Limit show to 90 minutes.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  109. Josh

    I love the Oscars, although, who hosts is definitely a big thing for me.

    I liked Billy Crystal as a host. Call me old or whatever, but he kept things going.

    Entertainers need to refrain from making political statements and just stick to being funny–if they can be. I mean, you're an actor/actress/filmmaker! Your ill informed opinions are counterproductive, angering the viewers so that they'll switch their TVs to something else and wait for the recaps on the web. Seriously. Entertain us. Don't preach.

    Have teams of presenters who actually have chemistry. There is nothing good about watching two boring people be bored with each other while reading a teleprompter.

    Or, if they don't have chemistry, make sure they hate each other. Again, on the entertainment angle. If they aren't going to be a comic duo, at least make it fun to watch.

    I don't like the idea of cutting down the number of televised categories because some of the most fun speeches have come from the smaller categories. But, the bad speakers need to have their length pared down. Hey, I know you have to thank people. But, honestly, unless you're going to start doing one-armed push ups or if you break down, or give some inspirational shout out to your dying mom or something, I really don't care. Maybe have a gong, or a Vaudevillian hook.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  110. Elaine Hightower

    1. Cut out the politics – movies are to entertain us. We do not want the monkeys at the zoo to enlighten us on economics.
    2. Eliminate lesser awards.
    3. In one hour present awards for best movie, best director, best actress and best actor.
    4. Winners should limit acceptance speechs to a simiple thank you – we get bored listening to a list of names of people that are of no interest to us.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  111. james e darnley

    for starters move the show to a friday or saturday night.secondley cut out the red carpet on t..v. only movies that make the most money should be considered for best picture.the top 4 grossing movies because those are the movies the masses decided were the best to see. also only the actors who appeared in those movies should be up for best actor and supporting actor and actress.nobody who goes to the movies is intrested in some actors idea of what is artsy or not.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Hazen

    The "Best Picture" nominations need to go beyond the usual group of "art-house" films that the vast majority of Americans never see. The fact that movies like "The Dark Knight," which redefined the super hero genre, were ignored for best picture displays just how out-of-touch the Motion Picture Academy is with the average movie viewer. Maybe expanding the catagory to include one or two more pictures might help. Another idea is to have the "Best Picture" be split into catagories, As it currently stands, the Oscars have become more and more irrelevant.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  113. Angele

    Well Veronica, you are correct, but sometimes it's just nice to leave your world for a while and watch what beautiful people are wearing – I think it's nice to leave the real world for a while and drift off into the never, never land...at least for a couple of hours! 🙂 STAY STONG!

    February 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Lillianne

    Has anyone ever gone brain dead from listening to the endless thanks to my studio, my hairdresser, my agent, the man who put new soles on my shoes? Geez, send them a note for God's sake or take them out to eat if they did that much for you.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  115. citizenUSA

    I think it's fine that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences want to recognize the achievements of their members. I don't think it's ever been fine to have it as such a lavish spectacle. Half the time it's an awkward, boring, and badly produced show, (odd for a Hollywood show). Most of the presenters are dull and show how their ignorance. They act, (ha), as if what they think is going to change the world or show how in touch they are. The hosting has been horrible ever since Billy Crystal. I remember the day when it was a big deal to the public. I think the actors had more respect, intelligence, and humility. Someone mentioned letting the public vote but if you remember the People's Choice Awards you will remenber the controversy surrounding that. Most of the actors says the recognition for a job well done is enough but they all seem to go to the show. It's a self-indugent exibition that has lost it's luster. No one I know cares about the expensive clothing, jewlery, and goodie bags worth thousands of dollars given out just to be a presenter. You know some of that makes it's way to where it was not intended. It's like a slap in the face to Americans especially in these tough times.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  116. Jon

    Have the public vote for the host every year in an on-line contest. The host sets the tone and the public have never had a say in who hosts the show.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  117. JK

    Movie Slumdog Millionaire
    Director Slumdog Millionaire
    Actor Sean Penn (but Mickey Rourke?)
    Actress Kate Winslet
    Sup actor Heath Ledger
    Sup actress Penélope Cruz (but Viola Davis?)
    Animated Wall-E
    Foreign Waltz With Bashir

    Please give Penélope her well deserved Oscar...!!!!

    To make better the oscar they have to make quicker the technicals categories, sorry folks, you're good, the movie can't be made with out you but we don't care for you

    Make good picks of hosts, WRITERS, and orchestra....

    Good musical numbers with "event duets"

    February 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  118. anne

    The films nominated are almost always left wing and not impressive.
    case in point this year MILK (what a joke of a film)
    I quit watching the year the disgusting and horrible American Beauty won.....I gave it another try last year and lo and behold the even less
    deserving No Country for Old Men won. Who will ever rmember that piece of garbage? .
    Look back and see the blatant disregard for the incredible and box office smash Passion of the Christ and it tells the tale of how the celebutards and the low life hollywood machine operates.
    The Oscars have lost all their credibility. I now look for films they 'don't recognise.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  119. Buzzy

    Cancel the Oscars..........AMEN VERONICA

    February 20, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Ruth J. Stahl

    What would I do to improve the Oscars show?
    1. Stick to oscars for only dramas, comedies and musicals. Keep OUT the "arty" movies that most people don't see.
    2. Shorten the whole program to TWO HOURS. Enough is enough!
    3. And why do the cameras on Oscar night kiss up to gorgeous, doctored-up actors who depend on bad and immoral behavior to be noticed. POOR example for young American kids, don't you think.
    4. The lavish party and gifts following the Oscars are in VERY poor taste today when the American public is being rocked to the core by high prices and lower or disappearing incomes.
    Time for a reality check.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  121. Roger Harris

    It’s not a novelty seeing celebs on TV anymore. There are numerous more convenient ways to watch celebs online. All of the Oscar highlights will be available online within minutes of broadcast taking place. There’s no need to sit through an overly long telecast.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  122. aaron

    No more televised Oscars. I hate actors. I hate egos. I hate celebrating something so unnecessary...again. I am a huge movie nerd. But I don't want to see this people mug for 4 hours. I don't watch award shows because they're obnoxious, but I can't get away from them. Even if you don't watch the "show", you end up knowing what JLo wore that night, because they shove it down your throat. Please stop putting these people up on a pedestal. But since that will never happen because we're a bunch of morons, maybe you should just stop showing the people who died. It's disrespectful how they clap for some people but not for others. No one should put a weight on human life, especially people as out of touch with reality as actors are.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  123. Matt

    One of the problems that I have with the Oscars is that when they nominate these independent "Oscar Worthy" movies for Best Picture, they make people feel guilty for liking The Dark Night and Tropic Thunder. I like movies that require deep thought and self reflection, but I also like movies where dudes heads get chopped off and dogs can talk to babies. Why does that Academy feel the need to make fans of those movies feel like unwashed, uneducated, buck toothed, hillbillies?

    Also get rid of the dumd dance numbers. They are pointless and everyone hates them even though they don't admit it.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  124. zelda

    The "oscars" are irrelevant.

    I think movies are a reflection of the morays of the era.

    Film makers should be held responsible for what they put out here for the young in particular, to see.Lets pander to positive energy.

    I believe in the arts..........I am an artist myself.I also believe in stretching the art message. What I don't think is a good idea is pandering to gore....raw violence and all sorts of twisted approaches. That is not art..............in fact it goes deep into that film makers take on life.
    Blah blah blah.........

    Cut the Oscars to an award show only........no big showy stage numbers,,,,,,just awards for responsible excellence.
    This little blue marble we are trying to exist on is tiny..........very tiny.
    More things to worry about than a goofy bunch of self indulgent actors.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  125. Michelle - Houston

    These films get awarded at the box office. Why should the directors/actors receive even more compensation with the excessive gifts and opportunity to flaunt their extravagance to the "lower crust" of society? This is a complete waste of airtime. What is the lesson to be taught to our children? "Oh, look honey! If you learn to make a fool of yourself or learn to be melodramatic you too can have a penthouse on 5th Avenue and a $200,000 Bentley..." I would rather push them for a good education and work ethic. All the rest is poppycock.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  126. Dr. Bruce

    It's really hard to disagree with anybody's posts thus far except maybe Steve's post, which seems to be the anti-post. I really support Paul's line of thought. If you look back at the best-picture nominee's for the last 20-30 years: #1 – The Academy has grown more and more in love with depressing movies. #2 – If 50% of those movies nominated over the last 20 years have been seen by a COMBINED 6 million people, were they really the BEST picture nominees. (Detect a little sarcasm in there!) I haven't forgotten about the Titanics, Forrest Gumps LOTRs, etc., but isn't it about time the Academy starts nominating more movies that people actually watch and enjoy. Oh, and as for the awards show itself, Gordon nailed it, 2 hours MAX with the big awards. Sorry film editors and costume designers! Oh, but include their accolades (that were awarded before camera time) and do some sort of TOTAL Oscar tally right before the Best Motion Picture award is handed out. Kind of like Slumdog Millionare has won 'so many' oscars thus far, that way movies are built up right before the final award.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  127. captaink

    The number one problem with Oscar program is it is on too late. Start and end it earlier so the average mainstream working person can watch. This silliness of going on and on and not anouncing best picture until midnight is hurting them badly. But then again, Hollywood is so out of touch with mainstream America these days, they will never get the message. Also why is Slumdog Millionaire even a nominee for best picture? It is a foreign film. They have a catagory for best foreign film, so?

    February 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  128. Ron

    Who cares? It's a bunch of self-obsessive, irrelevant, ideologues.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  129. Sam

    What's with you people? The Oscars aren't a popularity or box office contest – they award excellence in film. It doesn't matter if five people saw it or five million. It doesn't matter if YOU saw it or not. It doesn't matter if YOU liked it or not. If there's that many people out there that don't care about the nominated films, then perhaps it's time for the awards to switch over to cable. Whatever happens, nothing should be done to dilute that pursuit of excellence.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  130. Ivan

    I would drop all the acceptance speeches. Show the nominated clips, announce the winner, do that a couple of times, then a little entertainment and repeat.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  131. Colleen

    Why can't the oscars be on Saturday night instead of Sunday. I would love to watch them but they end way to late in the evening and I wake up at 4:00 a.m. to go to work Monday morning – so why not have them on Saturday evening?

    February 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  132. Michael Thompson

    In a period of history where the American public faces an uncertain future in terms of possible unemployment or foreclosures on their homes, it seems silly to tune into a show where the entirety of the evening seems to revolve around children playing dress up. And the award bestowed upon an adult for play acting like a child, pretending to inhabit a character of an imaginary reality almost seems like a slap in the face of hardworking Americans who daily face a grimmer reality.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Susan

    I Agree with Veronica. Make a statment and cancel them...or really cut back!!!!!!
    If you took the dollar amount that everyone spends on the Oscars and instead decided as a group to do something very powerful with that money to help our nation right now. Just think what kind of impact these people could make right here in the USA.
    The first woman that wears a dress from Target, Walmart, etc... will be my hero!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  134. Diane

    What to make the Oscars interesting? Bring back clips from the former shows with Bob Hope, and the great classic stars like John Wayne, Greer Garson, Bette Davis, Gary Cooper, etc, etc. I would love to see those old Oscar shows again – and I think they WERE taped? They were the golden age and had that STAR quality that created the huge interest in Hollywood back then. Since the cable companies took off most of the old movies (and are showing mostly today movies) you don't see those stars that much anymore on TV . Only occasionally. They were the real Hollywood, there at the start, glamorous, America's royalty. Bring them back and people may tune in again to the Oscars. We will !!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  135. eroe777

    Oh yeah, one more thing I forgot- NOMINATE FILMS PEOPLE ACTUALLY GO AND SEE!!! Sure, The Dark Knight is summer movie fare, it also happens to be the biggest grossing movie of the last few years and one of the best reviewed. It's the 4th highest grossing movie ever (worldwide) 2nd in the US, and according to IMDB it's currently tied for 4th all time in ratings, behind 2 Best Picture winners and perhaps the finest film ever made.

    But it's not Best Picture material.

    Nor, apparently, is WALL*E, which is only the best reviewed movie of the year.

    Seems to me the academy is a wee bit out of touch with the moviegoing public.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  136. Bonita

    I agree with Sid that to flaunt their money and blitz is really bad in our economy. This show is worthless anyway, don't watch it cause I think these people are overpaid jerks. They only reason I even bothered to send a comment now is I feel the need to say how can u possibly think we would want to see these brats show off how much they make for "acting" folks, "acting." I want to get paid like them for "acting" like I can pay my bills.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  137. Brent Kincaid

    I think your emails on this are pretty clear. I agree.
    *Consider a trap door at the microphone instead of turning up the volume on the mice or cutting off the sound on long acceptance speeches. If the people think they have thirty second or they skid on their shiny butts to the parking lot, they WILL avoid this opportunity to bore the socks off America.
    *Ditch all the categories that we don't care for, like most of the tech stuff. Put them on in a private ceremony, not during this big glitzy elephant of a show. We only care about best actor/actress, picture and song anyway, so the rest can be somewhere else. I don't care about best foreign film or short. Does anyone?
    *Make a category for best animated film and limit the number of people allowed to climb up onstage and accept the oscar when they win. We all love the animated stuff, but eighteen or fifty people take a lot of time to wander up and giggle and laugh and fight over who is going to do the overlong acceptance speech.
    *Who cares about Price Waterhouse in any light?
    *Keep the musical numbers. They are often the only highlights of the show. Pay no attention to the music haters who write you and say ditch them.
    *Write speeches for the presenters and threaten them with revealing paparazzi shots if they deviate from the script.

    OK, that's about my twenty two cents.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  138. Paul N

    Hollywood needs to stop being so self congratulatory and elitist. To put it simply, shut up and act. I don;t care about your politics, I don;t care about who's dress you wear and I don't care about how you picked coffee beans for 30 minutes in your quest to play Juan Valdez.

    All actors are over paid. Their spoiled, elitist get out of jail card society sickens me. They should all take a step back and realize that they get paid millions to play make beleive for a few weeks at a time. I don;t care how hard they think it is, let them dig ditches for a yera and tell me how hard they have it as actors.

    The Oscars should be a 1 hour special, no one should actually be present and no one should be allowed to speak via video. They never say anything anyone cares to hear anyway. Give the award and move on. I mean really, it's abunch of Hollywood insiders patting other Hollywood insiders on their overpaid, elitist backs.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  139. BM700

    The problem with the Oscars is that I haven't seen any of the nominated films. Not because I am a recluse but because the kind of films I like never get more than "Special Effects" awards.

    Drippy dramas and "heart warming" films get Oscars. Number ONE box office movies don't get squat. The movies EVERYONE is talking about are ignored.

    So with no one to root for, I don't need to waste time watching the "Oscars".

    February 20, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  140. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    Make the show 2 hours in length MAX. cut out the awards no one wants to see.

    The best thing they could do for the Oscars though is MAKE BETTER MOVIES. we might tune in if we actually watched and enjoyed the nominated movies.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  141. Marie

    with the looming actors strike, it makes me think that hollywood needs to stop giving awards to people that already receive paychecks. i don't know about you but when i go to work and do a wonderful job, i don't get an extra token – how many rubber chicken dinners and swag lounges do celebs need to go to? for the amount of money that it costs to put that type of show on, they should not have it. the problem is that their so far removed from "ordinary" people – after 9/11 they had to be told that it would be in bad taste to have an award show - common sense to all of us but somehow it is lost on them. it is the only industry that needs to be honored by the foreign press, the golden globes, the sag awards, the emmy awards, etc. – isn't 5, 10, 20 million award enough?? it has to stop – all of this insanity has to stop. i don't know why goodie bags are still given to celebrities because in the beginning they were given to promote the products but in today's economy, first who has enough money to buy a $5.00 Vogue and definitely not enough to run out and purchase the lastest handbag that angelina is sporting. everyone should turn their back on the entertainment industry because they no longer represent something to be proud of – unless of course you think a sex tape, rehab stint or DUI arrests is something to be proud of. but, i'm just a girl looking for a boy... (for those moviegoers, you will get the julia roberts reference.)

    February 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  142. eroe777

    1. Picture: haven't seen any of them so I'll go with Slumdog Millionaire.
    Director. Ditto.
    Actor: Mickey Rourke but only because Sean Penn already has one.
    Actress: Kate Winslet. She's overdue. So is Meryl Streep but she also has 2 already.
    Supporting Actor: If Heath Ledger doesn't win, the Oscars should be cancelled permanently.
    Supporting Actress: No clue so I'll go with the coolest name on the list- Taraji P Henson.

    2. I agree with the question's assessment of the cause of the decline. Other things to consider: make the show shorter! We don't need to see all 5 musical numbers performed, we don't need interpretive dance interludes, we don't need to see a lot of the technical awards that are shown (Best Lighting? Best Sound Effects Engineering? Best Best Boy? Give them out with the other techie awards). There are only about 10 awards that anybody cares about, so stick with them. I will never see the Best Animated short subject or the Best Documentary Short Subject, so spare me and just show us the ones we care about. Besides acting, picture and director, stick to screenplay, animated feature, foreign film (why not, it's fun to see non-English speakers try to read their speeches), costume design and special effects (cause they look sooooo cool). And make Billy Crystal the permanent host. He rocks!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  143. Mary

    The movies nominated for best picture are rarely popular with the viewing public. They need to tweak the categories to include more popular movies.

    Also – in this day and age why watch a long and bloated show when we can get all the info we want the next day ? Shorten the show, get rid of showing all the categories the public does not care about in a primetime show.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  144. Sam

    #1 – NO ADVERTISING. I am fully convinced that Harvey bought a nomination for The Reader, a film that appears on not that many Top Ten lists, wheras The Dark Knight and WALL-E did. Let the voters make their own decisions.

    #2 – REMEMBER WHERE YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY. The Dark Knight made everyone money in Tinsletown (more than the five Best Picture nominees combined), was universally critically accliamed, but is not worthy of a nomination? That is not good. I remember that for a long time, there was a big hit at least in the nominations if not the winner. Silence of the Lambs, Titanic, Jerry Maguire...even The Fugitive. You have to give everyone a movie to root for. This year, not so much.

    #3 – MORE CATERGORIES. Everybody has been saying it in these posts; bring on the comedy categories. Robert Downey Jr. should win an award for his portryal in Tropic Thunder, not just an nomination.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  145. GreenWoman

    I think people (and perhaps the Academy itself) need to remember that, unlike any other film award ceremony (apart from those of the guilds), the Awards are *peer group* nominations and choices. The Academy Awards should need only serve the Academy itself; it should not sell out its own members and ceremony to please viewers and earn more money off the back of what should be a celebration of its own.

    That's what the People's Choice Awards are for, after all.

    As for those of us who watch the Oscars because we are interested in the peer group choices of the creative forces who *make* the movies, some changes I would like to see?

    First, do away with the host monologe, the dance numbers, and the flippant comments by presenters! And *especially* do away with the too-abrupt cut-off on acceptance speeches! I'd much rather to hear what the winners have to say about their co-workers and the creative journey that led to their award, than watch dancers or listen to poorly-written monologues and introductions.

    More film history pieces (such as the brilliant Chuck Workman shorts) would be most welcome. Observations/explorations of the "also-ran" work that was good but didn't get nominated could encourage more viewership for those films that didn't get seen. I'd like to see short pieces on what these people *do* ... the history and tasks of the various nominated categories. And I would really enjoy short biographies of film greats ... not just actors, but writers, directors, costumers, cinematographers, musicians, technical contributors.

    For those who want "Most Popular" or "Most Well-Known" or "Most Celebrity-Driven" awards, those ceremonies are already out there. Some may call the Awards "Hollywood patting itself on the back" ... and why shouldn't it? Movies, and especially *American* movies, have inspired and entertained us for generations.

    The Oscars are special. Keep them that way.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  146. LBW

    I understand the need for the Oscars, but what I don't understand are the gifts to the attending. These prizes are worth thousands of dollars. Why? It was mentioned that the stars be taxed for these gifts. Why should the richest people in our country received thousands of dollars in gifts for attending a ceremony? I just don't understand this part.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  147. Veronica

    Cancel the Oscars

    There are millions of Americans suffering from the current economic crisis and the Oscars is an insulting slap-in-the-face and disregard for the plights of those Americans. Many people are agonizing over the loss of their income and/or homes and the producers and participants of this circus should be ashamed of themselves for being so blatant in their opulence. These celebrities will be dripping in jewels and wearing evening wear whose value may exceed what most Americans will earn in a year.

    For a long time it may have been a cathartic reprieve for the average American to fantasize about the life of luxury and award ceremonies that celebrities rub in our face. The "Beauty is good" myth that we've internalized without question made it acceptable almost to have these "elite" few earn astronomical amounts of money for acting... Acting? Americans act every single day! We act like we're happy and successful when in reality we're drowing.

    Cancel the Oscars

    February 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Will Robison

    Why not take the route of MLB's All Star Game and have some nominees selected by the working professionals, but others selected by the public – then let the voting proceed as normal. Say, as an example, the Academy selects Slumdog, Milk, and Benjamin Button. Then you open the voting to the public (like on Idol) for 100 other movies. You'd probably end up with a Best Picture category that included Dark Knight and Wall-E (and hopefully not Saw V 😉 The point is, at that point, the Academy could vote for its favorite. It wouldn't guarantee that Dark Knight or Wall-E won, but it would at least allow the Academy members to vote for them if they thought they were good movies. With the current format, if they ain't nominated, they can't win.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  149. THomas Lang

    Eliminate the show on tv altogether and make it private. I never watched one Academy awards show and will probally never. I get all the announcements thru the newsmedia. I think its high time that hollywood should be the same way as mainstreet, tighten their belts and just downsize the show and make it simple and go with the current times. Its overrated piece of garbage, same way with the golden globes and the other awards shows. Its no wonder our youth are so screwed up, if anything I would like to see an academy awards going to true stars, the scientists, teachers, workers, and those who really truly work for a living, not a group of people who pretend to act like their real people. Nuff said.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  150. Sally

    How to get the fans back to watch the Oscars?

    I'll be watching the beginning – for Hugh Jackman's monologue. After that I'll be bailing out. I'll catch Heath Ledger's win on Tivo.

    I would be curious to hear the ratings during and after Hugh's monologue. I would guess I will not be the only one to bail once Hugh's part is over.

    So how to get me back full time.
    Nominate movies the everyday fan has had a chance to see. I've had no chance to see The Reader or Milk – not out in my local theatres (and I'm in a major midwest city).

    Don't forget movies are released all year long. Not just the "hot" award season of October – December.

    Realize there are other movies besides the "serious drama" Oscar loves so much. Don't forget the comedies, don't forget the action movies. Because they are considered "lighter" entertainment , they are more difficult to pull off successfully. Don't ignore them and their performances. (props to the Oscars this year though for nominating one of the best comedic performances of the year with Tropic Thunder's Robert Downey Jr. and best action performance of many years – Heath Ledger).

    Occasionally, the fan will get it right. And make an excellent movie a blockbuster, money smashhit. Don't snub your nose at movies like that. Oscars has gotten it right twice that I remember – Lord of the Rings and Titanic. Interesting – those are also the years the voters remembered the year consisted of an entire 12 months.

    Until then, I'll watch the Golden Globes. Their stars dress up as well, and they are at least closer to the general public when it comes to their nominees. (even if the Hollywood Foreign Press is a mysterious entity).

    February 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  151. M Parducci

    It is nothing but self grandtizement and promotion. Let the public vote the winners.And for god's sake drop the stupid music!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  152. Michael

    I would make the Oscars a weeklong film festival, celebrating the year in movies. And, it should rotate throughout the country, like the Super Bowl, with a new city being awarded it each year.

    The nominees should be expanded to include more than 5 nominees each to accomodate more popular and mainstream fare. Voters have to attend the festival for their votes to count, this way all of the voters will see all of the nominees.

    The lesser awards would be given early in the week with the final night hosting the popular awards (Best Pic, Screenplay, Director, Actor, Actress, etc. ) . The Academy should also include a category for Comedy/Musical like the Globes, since many comedies get shut out of Best Picture.

    With fewer awards to give out on the final night, the Academy can give more time to winners for speeches, and more time for musical nominee performances (which should get a full 5-6 minutes to perform).

    Overall, my suggestion expands the format, but uses the time efficiently to give more popular nominees and lesser known awards a time to shine.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  153. Kristy

    Perhaps the public should stop complaining thet the run-of-the-mill junk they go see on a regular basis isn't getting nominated and go see a movie that requires some thought and reflection. Society would be better off as a whole if we required and expected more of ourselves. I have seen almost all of the movies nominated this year and they are amazing! I enjoy light hearted comedies and mindless action on occasion as well, but being a box office smash does not make a movie great.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Scott

    I think that many in the Academy have decided to focus on nominating the "little films that could" - good, independent movies that they feel need more attention. I don't have qualms about that, but I do not think that they should overlook big budget films. Lots of people worked on these and deserve the recognition. If you want to improve viewership of the awards show, films such as "Dark Knight" which should have been a shoe-in to be nominated need to stop being overlooked. Otherwise, more and more the Oscars will become less relevant. Some film festivals include an "audience award" - one voted on by the public rather than judges. That might help a lot.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  155. mark in nyc

    start earlier, end earlier, eliminate the "filler" entertainment, keep to a schedule and most importantly, jettison the old guard. seems the same people get nominated, winners are based on inside-political campaigns and paybacks for other performances, award the statuette to the most deserving, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, connections or studio affiliation (hear that weinstein).

    February 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  156. Erik

    I'm DEFINITELY down with abolishing the song/dance numbers. And, in order to cut down on the time, present some of the awards at an earlier date, like they do for the technical awards. At the Oscars telecast, they could roll those categories into the quick recap of what happened at the tech awards.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  157. Stephen J. Miller

    The Oscars are weird. It’s Hollywood voting for itself. This structure runs into serious ethical problems:

    – There are only a little over 1,300 actors who vote for the actor categories as opposed to the millions of people who see movies.
    – Hollywood insiders are more likely to vote for the pictures that perpetuate more business and money for themselves; for example, those 1300 actors will vote for films that have more SAG contracts (this is the reason Crash beat Brokeback and Good Night & Good Luck, in my opinion).
    – Producers have been limited in how they can influence the vote, but little has been done to stop them from influencing nominations. Because Hollywood is so insular, people are likely to vote for who they know or can give them their next great job.

    Of course, the logical choice to fix this is to let the people vote, but then people who only see two films a year vote for Adam Sandler, because they do not know better; the casual movie-goer is basically undereducated about what good filmmaking is, in my opinion.

    I’ve always wondered why more weight isn’t given to the National Critics’ Association, as this is an aggregate population of people who see A LOT of films. They are well-educated, they are less able to be influenced by producers with swag and other gifts, and they are not insiders to the Hollywood process. They are, in short, frequent and educated movie-goers, the type who SHOULD be making the decisions.

    Plus, for those of us who disagree with a single critic, the group of critics would cancel the single bad decision out. (For example, if you see a lot of films, go to rottentomatoes.com or metacritic.com—two sites who compile several critics’ responses—and see if you don’t largely agree.)

    February 20, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  158. Matt

    They need to revamp who actually votes for the nominees/winners. Stop snubbing well made movies that the public actually goes to see, like action, comedy, animated, and romance, in favor of the cliche heart-waming that wins nearly every year.

    I would be interested if Dark Knight was up against Wall-e this year, but the announced nominees I couldn't care less about.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  159. Chris

    Does anybody in Hollywood realize Sunday is a school night?

    Nobody who's got to go to work on the East Coast the next day can stay at an Oscar party 'til past 11:00. Wrap the Oscars by 10 pm ET and you'll get tons more viewers.

    An earlier start time wouldn't make a difference in L.A.; folks'll watch at any hour to see their friends/enemies win/lose; that stretch of Hollywood Blvd. is shut down for days beforehand, and the parties go 'til dawn anyway.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  160. Sid

    I think they would be smart not to flaunt their riches in front of all the millions who have no jobs. In times like these....no one wants to see people having $100k nights and wearing $50,000 dresses. Keep it simple, save the money.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  161. Alison

    The Oscars have lately been honoring films that have had little mass appeal, and small box office numbers. Not many people have seen the nominated films, so do not have as much interest seeing if they win an award. I think people are more inclined to watch the Oscars if there is a film(s) to root for; that they are familiar with. There are many "popcorn" films that are highly entertaining and have merit.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  162. Fran

    I think how they pick the nominees are strange. Best picture nominees don't always have a Best Actor or Actress attached to it, which makes no sense to me. They need to update that and expand the nominees from 5 to 6. Get rid of the mindnumbing banter and have all the nominees sitting in the first 20 rows so it doesn't take them a lifetime to get to the podium. For large group winners make it a requirement that only ONE person will speak for the group.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  163. John

    How profound. I think you described 90% of all television.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  164. Brian B

    Change that Oscar Show:
    1. Do not televise many of the lesser awards; key on the main categories that people tune in for. This will make the show shorter and more interesting If someone wants to watch the entire ceremony, show the first part on cable and simulcast the last half.

    2. Abolish song and dance numbers

    3. Have only the original artists perform the best song nominees. Also, don't award a nomination in this category just to spread the wealth; give it to the best song.
    4. Highlight some of the "hipper movies" in advertising leading up to the show and use some of the younger actors in spots throughout the show
    5. Broadcast it on the internet; use internet polls throughout the show where applicable "Who do you think will win best actress"?, etc Reveal results strategically
    6. Accounts are nice but why not put the rules up with the credits or as they cut to commercial..............Thanks

    February 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  165. gordon peterson

    here are my suggestions; # 1 – shorten the show by two hours, # 2 have oscars for dramas, comedies and musicals,#3 eliminate the gift bags, # 4 eliminate all the pomp and circumstance and concentrate on what it is about.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  166. Paul Jones

    I have watched the oscars for many years. I think a few thngs should change.

    1. Cosistently change the host of the show. I like the idea of Hugh Jackman and comediens on the stage, BUT they need to stay away from the poitical stuff and keep it to th movies.

    2. MAKE IT SHORTER. I believe it is time to cut out the music portion this adds about a good 20-30 minutes and WHY is this the ONLY awards show that has it? HMMMM! Maybe it is time to make it shorter and sweeter.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  167. Paul

    It is very simple. Hollywood needs to get off its pedistal and stop nominating only arthouse pictures and actors. Wall-E and The Dark Knight were two of the best, and highest grossing movies this year, but they were passed over because of Hollywood stereotypes.

    For a culture that is supposed to eschew openness and liberalistic ideology, they still seem to perform their own segragationist policies when it comes to the movies they deem "Oscar worthy."

    Start listening to the people as well as the insiders. SInce the show is trying to attract the attention of the people, then include the people in the process.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  168. Richard Arguile

    folllow the example of the Golden Globes and have a Best Picture/Actor/Actress etc. for Musical/Comedy Motion Picture. These are the movies that the public actually go and see. Comedies and musicals are often overlooked.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  169. Steve

    Because the Oscar Show is not relevant in any substantive manner to what is occurring in our world today, I would change nothing as I do not watch it. I can learn more from California Gold with Huell Howser.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |

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