Oscar Night is this Sunday, and host Neil Patrick Harris can be counted on to make it fun for the swells at the Dolby Theatre and perhaps even for those 40-plus million watching at home. That will be a challenge for a show whose 24 awards mostly go to invisible craftsmen — what’s the diff between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, and why should any TV viewer care? — and to categories, like Best Documentary Short, that simply don’t exist in the movie marketplace. If you’re an average to avid filmgoer, you probably care about Best Picture, the four actors’ awards and maybe Best Director. The rest is the presentation of gold watches to anonymous artisans.
Like Fox News commentators poking at the excesses and failures of Barack Obama, critics of the Oscar show have floated all manner of remedies. Some have proposed a separate afternoon ceremony for the technical categories and the short films, thus allowing the evening to be a showcase of star actors,...
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