Expect Some “Bold Risks” On Oscar Night

by | February 4, 2009 at 12:25 PM | The Academy Awards, The Movies, TV News

Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, advised the 112 contenders gathered at the annual nominees luncheon on Monday to expect a lot of new things come Oscar night.

Ganis told the assemblage (including our very own Andy Hunsaker) “You’re in for a big surprise. Your categories are being presented in a completely different way. Heads up.” He then added a cryptic note. “The producers are going to take some risks, many risks, some bold.”

So far the only leaks to the press have concerned Oscar’s first time decision to keep names of the presenters secret and to cut the opening monologue for rookie host Hugh Jackman.

So what new tricks can Oscar possibly have up his sleeve?

For starters, cutting Jackman’s opening is a perplexing move. Hiring a song and dance man instead of a comedian breaks with two decades of tradition started when Billy Crystal decided to jump into the most memorable contender’s clips and mangle their lines. What will Jackman do now? 10 to 1 odds are his first words will be “and the Oscar for Best Picture goes to…”

Keeping the presenter’s names a secret is hardly bold. Has anyone really ever tuned in just to catch Sean Penn bitch-slap the host? Well, except for Chris Rock.

How can you play with the tried and true formula of announcing the contenders by way of film clips or live shots of the frozen-faced hopefuls? Maybe by purposely tripping the winner on their way up to the podium? But that can’t work more than maybe 2, 3 times.

Sounds like Sid is trying real hard to whip up some last minute interest by making us all feel that if we don’t tune in, we’re gonna miss something really eye-popping.

Personally, I’d love to see Jackman slice open every envelope with a Wolverine claw.

Don’t miss the Academy Awards when they are presented live, February 22 on ABC.

We’ll be watching on Fancast.