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A BAFTA bore

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Helena Bonham Carter

The speeches are being written, the suits being tailored and the interns are furiously running around Hollywood for matching accessories... all for the most glamorous, competitive and perfect of awards shows, the Academy Awards, the Oscars, which hits British screens this weekend.

And many are interested in this year’s Oscars, not just to see what epitome of style is demonstrated by Kruger (Diane that is, rather than Freddy), but also to see if the US broadcasters can turnaround what has so been a series of drippy and mundane televised awards ceremonies, compared to their British equivalents.

In the past, hype has been well and truly whipped up, anticipation building to bursting point. It’s even reported that different nominated films/actors bribe the press and create vicious stories in order to create merry hell for their competition.

But this year things seem a little, lame. And it can’t be due to a poor year in film/TV, with The Black Swan, Kings Speech, Inception and True Grit having blown away viewers. One thing that hasn’t changed is boring pre-match talk. The favourite (Kings Speech, this year) is often analysed to such an extent you can save you £6.50 on a cinema ticket and still feel like you have seen it.

Things kicked off this awards season with the Ricky Gervais causing a storm in the US with a series of daring comments at the Golden Globes. But was it unexpected? Shocking? Surprising? Nope, it’s just what we now expect from a man, whose ego is massaged on both sides of the Atlantic for now, not doing very much, very well. (With the exception of An Idiot Abroad – which, ironically, it seems Gervais now is).

Then, it was the turn of the British and the ever so slightly tacky and cheap British NTAs, kind of like the Christmas cracker of the awards series. Frowned upon right up until the night, when all of a sudden you don’t know how you would ever live without the plastic clip-on nail and paper hat. The NTAs are great for the ‘loser-face’, when you see the nominees who haven’t won react with no grace (see: Jack P Shepard/David Platt).

However, unlike its American counterparts, it’s a lively and very energetic show, which showcases the best on the box, without the plastic, botoxed and perma-smile’s of the Hollywood elite. Plus, this is the only show of the bunch where you choose the winners, and feel utterly robbed if your favourite show was pipped to the post.

Anyone else fuming that Miranda Hart beat Sarah Millican?

This show is epitomised with the Corrie/Enders slag-off, which this year went to those in Albert Square, despite the MILLIONS spent by Corrie on that episode. Again, see Jack P Shepard/David Platt.

Yeah, still not over this one too.

So from one exciting exhibition of British talent to another, yes?

Then in February, the most Americanised of British awards show, the BAFTAs came along.

Oh dear.

Jonathon Ross managed to slump his way through the ceremony in the blasé and aardvark like manner he now portrays,  whilst even man-of-the-moment Colin Firth could hardly raise a smile when hounded in the awkward, cringey red carpet coverage. Obviously thinking what we all were, is this for real?

BBC’s Edith Bowman was a good of red-carpet host, over Kimberly gorgeous-but-should-stick-to-the-singing Walsh. However, a series of ‘technical errors’ on BBC3 meant that the coverage was awful, probably due to the channel’s Controller pooping his pants realising that no-one, especially the nominees, wanted to be there/watch, and so unplugged a few cables here and there.

A highlight was Helena Bonham-Carter managing to repeat exactly the same ‘I always play a queen...’ spiel to every reporter on the carpet, and she sure managed to nail the drag-queen look on the night too.

The only saving grace was Rosamund Pike who decided to ad-lib and totally mess up when the autocue failed, nearly sabotaging Jonathan Ross' one man show, because after all, that’s what it now is. It’s the Jonathon Ross show (i.e. lets talk about me, not you Mr Jackson/GAGA/Cruise/Pit/Diddy etc), but on a bigger stage, with a worse format. Jonathon’s script was as corny as the red carpet coverage, and the cutaways to the Star’s reactions didn’t do anything to hide how un-funny it was.

So, what does this show? The British can’t do the whole American style very well, and thank god for that.

Special mention must go to the Brits however. Despite Tinie Tempah’s outburst (‘Where is my Labyrinth?’ said in a child-like voice), they went ahead with very little upset, and we found a new national treasure with James Corden. The man who could sniff Bieber and not get arrested, and tell Cee-Lo Green that he was a man ‘carrying a little timber’ without being pummelled by his bouncers. The live-televised show was stunning, and you only need to watch the coverage of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ to realise how much love was put into that show. Yes it was a bit English in the ‘WHAAAAY WE ARE WASTED’/’I LOVE YOU MUM’ moments by the music execs, but it was brilliant.

It was the opposite of everything that the American’s try to achieve in its understated and slightly snooty presentation, but you felt you were part of the party. The 82nd Oscars last year was no – different to the first, I bet they still have the same 90 year old party planner choosing the soft-furnishings, and it’s looking unlikely to be any different for the 83rd this year.

With no major ‘underdogs’, scathing stories or drama circling above Tinsel-Town, the ceremony is some-what played down. And after the minimal success of the Grammys which fell on the night of the Brits, are there some squeaky bums in US TV? Are they realising, that of course we will still watch for the dresses, and to cheer on our upper-class boy Colin, but it the US awards shows are a dying fashion on British TV?

It’s the turn of Anne Hathaway and the rather dishy James Franco to host the Oscars, so maybe they will be breath of fresh air to the ceremony...

But I won’t be holding mine.

 

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