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Oscars need to be less predictable and more dramatic

How to make the Academy Awards more exciting. Photo: Thinkstock
How to make the Academy Awards more exciting. Photo: Thinkstock

Everyone, it seems, watches the Academy Awards. And everyone, it seems, knows what’s going to happen before it happens.

Sadly, the Oscars have become far too predictable and the telecast itself not very memorable for the millions of viewers at home. The shows get to be long and boring and tedious and we know who the winners are going to be in the main categories.

Spoiler Alert: Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette, and J.K Simmons are all locks to win the coveted gold statue on Feb. 22. “Boyhood” will probably win Best Picture. The only real drama of the night will be in the race for Best Actor between Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) and Michael Keaton (“Birdman”).

Redmayne, who gave a powerful portrayal of crippled physicist Stephen Hawking, looks to have the edge after his win at the SAG awards last month. Then again, this might be Keaton’s only real shot at an Oscar.

Yet despite its predictability, the Academy Awards is certain to draw a big audience thanks to an evening of high fashion, glamour and glitz Hollywood style. But the Oscars can and should be so much more compelling. Watching a sporting event isn’t very much fun if you know who’s going to win, and unfortunately that’s what is happening to the Academy Award races. They are over before they even begin.

So here are some of my suggestions to make the Oscars better and more dramatic:

Academy members should cast their votes before the award season even begins, perhaps in early January. In this way the Oscars won’t have to follow all the other winners that preceded it like at the Golden Globes and SAG awards. It will make things much more unpredictable and fun for the viewers at home, although I’m sure all the nominees will be much more nervous not knowing who will win beforehand.

Some of the “less important” awards like sound editing and sound mixing can be handed out before in a separate ceremony and acknowledged during the show. Do they really new two separate sound categories anyway? Why not just combine them into one?

Show the results of the Oscar voting. This is something that has long irritated me. In sports, they always show the results of the Heisman Trophy voting. So why not the Oscars?

Were the races close, or were some blowouts? Showing the results of the main categories would be interesting and highly informative.

Finally, make sure there are plenty of film clips paying tribute to classic movies and stars of the past. One of the highlights of the night is when current celebrities show appreciation to legendary screen stars of the past. That’s one tradition that needs to be kept.

Something that has changed recently, and for the better, is the expansion of more movies included in the Best Picture category. This allows for mainstream blockbusters and the often-ignored comedies to finally get more respect.

A little too late for fans of “The Dark Knight,” but better late than never.

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