As you’ve heard, at a meeting last night, the Academy’s top brass discussed the possibility of moving the 2011 Oscars from February 27 to sometime in January. There are plenty of practical reasons why such a thing might never happen — after the jump, though, five reasons why it should.
If the Oscars were held in January, before awards fatigue sets in, people might actually watch them, putting more attention on good movies.
• It Would Make Other Award Shows Irrelevant — and Better!
No longer would you need to suffer through the BAFTAs or SAGs, since they’d all be rendered pointless as Oscar predictors — but if they were a fun post–Academy Awards victory lap for nominees, maybe you’d actually want to watch them. If they didn’t have to worry about scotching their Oscar chances, stars could relax, have a few drinks, and do things on-camera that they might otherwise not. Wouldn’t it be great to hear a speech like this at the Golden Globes?
• Actual Surprises
Your will to live isn’t the only thing watching a half dozen precursor awards shows destroys — there is also suspense. We knew for weeks before this year’s Oscars that Jeff Bridges and Kathryn Bigelow would be making speeches. But if the ceremony had happened in January, their acceptances would have felt spontaneous and exciting, instead of just inevitable.
• Less Campaigning
Eliminating the two-month gap between the end of the eligibility period and the awards themselves would mean films and performances would be rewarded, not just expertly run campaigns. If this year’s Oscars had been in January, Sandra Bullock might not have won Best Actress. But surely Mickey Rourke would have had a better shot at Best Actor in 2009 if voters had had less of his off-screen behavior to consider.
• An End to the December Glut
Instead of dumping all of their awards contenders in the year’s final weeks, studios might be better inclined to turn loose a couple of non-stinkers before December. This summer could certainly use a few.