Hop on the hashtag trail Sunday during the Academy Awards, or debate all you want the morning after about how Chris Rock did as host, or the worthiness of Oscar winners and losers.
The global audience always appears to be united in one thing: complaining about the lousiness of the show.
What makes an Oscar telecast vault from boring, self-congratulatory gabfest to greatness?
We stitched together some of the best moments from past shows to create what could be the greatest Academy Awards of all time. Or it could be a monstrous Franken-Oscar. It’s all a matter of taste; remember someone out there thought Rob Lowe’s disastrous opening musical number with Snow White was a genius idea.
Nothing wrong with a song and dance, but make it funny and smart. Repeat host Billy Crystal’s “It’s a Wonderful Night for Oscar!” name-checking number was a stalwart and Hugh Jackman’s 2009 nominee-saluting musical opening (aided by Anne Hathaway) was terrific.
You can’t do better than Oscar 1999 host Whoopi Goldberg majestically walking out in a Tudor gown and whiteface to intone: “Good evening, loyal subjects. I am the African Queen.”
Tears, tears and more tears
Gwyneth Paltrow’s sobbing. Halle Berry’s emotional weeping. There are often tears amid acceptance speeches, but nobody has appeared as genuinely, adorably overwhelmed as 11-year-old Winnipeg native Anna Paquin when she won Best Supporting Actress for The Piano in 1994.
Nothing like a good controversy to pique interest. It’s built in this year with the social media firestorm and powerful boycotts behind #OscarsSoWhite. With Chris Rock hosting for a second time (he did it in 2005) his opening monologue will draw significant eyeballs and opinions.
Ellen DeGeneres broke the internet with the most star-larded selfie ever while hosting the 2014 Academy Awards. And she ordered pizza for the starving boldface, with Brad Pitt passing out the paper plates. Classic.
Call it navel gazing, but when does the Great White North get a full-scale mention on Hollywood’s biggest stage? Robin Williams’ performance of nominated song “Blame Canada” at Oscars 2000, complete with a chorus line of leggy dancers dressed as Mounties, helped swell our national pride.