Last nights Oscar telecast was certainly geared toward an older audience. It had all of the ingredients; Billy Crystal, old people movie nominees, old actor nominees and and old fashioned musical opening number. If the AMPAS is trying to get a younger audience this year did not work out. Except for a 20 second shot of Justin Bieber. Which my 18 year old son said ruined the whole show. But the theme of the night was to honor old Hollywood most likely due to the above average amount of nominated films that honor original film making. I am 43 years old, so I do fall into the older demographic. The Academy voters themselves are at the average age of 62. That is probably the reason that I enjoyed the show for the most part. I have read other reviews written by younger writers who tore it apart. It was as safe as it could possibly be. Which I think is better than trying bits that usually fall flat. Last year was a great example of how trying new things doesn’t always work. If they want a younger audience they need to start by voting in a more diverse group of voters. Not only that but, some of them have been Oscar voters most of their lives and this point are just voting for their friends.
Billy Crystal was comfortable he moved the show along nicely avoiding any awkwardness. His usual opening montage of the movies was just alright. They avoided Extremely Loud and Incredibly close like the plague. You can’t mock a movie about 9/11. Even in Crystal’s singing montage he only mentioned Tom Hanks and not the movie. The singing number fell flat. I didn’t recognize most of the songs and couldn’t understand some of the lyrics. The sound for the entire show was bad. Many people on twitter were asking if it was just them. There was a weird noise heard in the background. The cirque du soleil performance was good, but probably better in person. One of the first winners was Octavia Spencer who was truly moved and could have had a great speech, but they cut her off. They never seem to cut off the boring acceptance speeches.
All in all it moved quickly and while Crystal did a fine job after Chris Rock presenting for animated feature, I realized what a great host he would be and would appeal to a younger audience.
MY GRADE: B-