Blog: The Oscars

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Burt Ross

The Oscars are this Sunday, as if everybody in Malibu doesn’t already know that. Sometime midday Sunday a caravan of limousines will arrive in Malibu, pick up their customers, and depart for L.A. leaving me all alone here.

I am apparently the only one in town who has not been nominated for an award. You would think that after living here in Malibu for three years I would at least be entitled to an honorable mention, but I have heard zilch from the esteemed Academy.

This omission is especially hurtful since I had already prepared an acceptance speech, assuming not only that I would be nominated, but also chosen. 

Since there will be nobody left in town to talk with, and since I will not be delivering an acceptance speech, I guess I will turn on the tube like the rest of America, first to find out who designed whose gown (is there an NBA game on during this time?), and then to watch a parade of people in the entertainment business thank other people in the entertainment business for their success. 

As usual, the show will be of Super Bowl length, but unlike the football classic, there will be very little suspense surrounding the winners. The Academy Award Show has become the last in a long line of awards shows including The Golden Globes, The Screen Actors Guild, and the People’s Something Award Show, and consequently, by the time we all get to the Oscars, there will be few surprises as to who will win what.

For instance, when the presenters announce that Julianne Moore has won an Oscar for best actress for her role in “Still Alice,” nobody in the world will collapse from the sheer shock of it all. Poor Julianne will have to pretend she is totally surprised, which in and of itself will be deserving of an Oscar.

The contest for best actor is a bit more undecided between two favorites —Michael Keaton in “Birdman” and Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything.” I have an untested theory that the Academy prefers to go with easy to pronounce names. Therefore, despite his brilliant performance in “The Imitation Game,” Benedict Cumberbatch will most certainly not walk away with the Oscar for best performance by a male actor. His name is clearly longer than those of his competitors. 

If you review recent winners in this category, you will notice a pattern —Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Jamie Fox, Tom Hanks — all mono-syllabic names. Now don’t get me wrong, these guys can act, but if Sean Penn, for instance, were Sean Cumberbatch, I don’t think he would have gotten an Oscar for either “Mystic River” or “Milk” — no way. 

And so if at some future time the Academy recognizes that I live in Malibu and therefore am entitled to a nomination, don’t think for one moment my easy to pronounce name won’t be a deciding factor — Burt Ross.