The bad jokes, the fashion faux pas, the terrible films... We present an alternative guide to the 84th Academy Awards.
„THE HOST'S JOKES
Billy Crystal likes to be liked, so he’s expected to pick targets who can’t talk back – such as the French-speaking stars of The Artist, and animal 'actors’ – Uggie the Jack Russell terrier, Cosmo the canine star of Beginners, Joey the War Horse. On the other hand, Miss Piggy, who will be dressed in specially commissioned designer robes to present an award with Kermit (see below), will definitely talk back. And karate chop.
Crystal likes to make an entrance. In past ceremonies, he has arrived on stage on a horse, on a giant Oscar statuette, on a mock-up of the Titanic, and dressed as Hannibal Lecter. This year he’s odds on to come on as the Iron Lady. Whether he’ll announce that Hollywood is dispatching a Task Force to the Falklands is unclear – as is whether Sean Penn can be conscripted.
Key words to listen out for during the thank-yous
It’s always the same. The demure star from whom you want to hear more says a polite “Thanks” and leaves the stage. The most vacuous airhead has to be prised from the rostrum.
Studies of recent Oscar acceptance speeches suggest a clear trend away from thanking God, towards thanking one’s spouse. Similarly, actors today are more likely to talk about their »film”, not their »movie« (too gung-ho American). And the crew are more likely than ever to get an honourable mention, especially those without-whoms who helped an actor prepare physically for a role. Natalie Portman name-checked her ballet tutor for Black Swan, Christian Bale the fitness instructor who helped him thin down for The Fighter.
The words most mentioned last year were »wonderful”, »amazing«, »incredible” and »great«, which it surely was for »parents« the »crew«, the »cast«, the »team« and »the family« (it’s a Sicilian thing).
But, like God, there’s little mention these days for another key player – the »agent«. Unless you’re Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein, who always gets a nod from the podium. Excepting three years ago, when Kate Winslet was roundly criticised for failing to pay tribute to the mogul.”