Hey, is everyone excited for the Oscars? The intrigue associated with the outcome of the major categories is ... zzzz. Oh, sorry, I nodded off there for a bit. Alas: unless there are some major upsets in store for us on Sunday night, most of the winners at the 84th annual Academy Awards are a foregone conclusion. Just like last year, with so much attention paid to the onslaught of pre-Oscar awards, the excitement over the major award is slightly anti-climatic. I mean, how many times can Christopher Plummer win a Best Supporting Actor award before, we, as a society, exclaim a collective, "Enough, already; we get it"?
So, what if, in an alternate universe (yes, perhaps the same alternate universe in which Eddie Murphy is still hosting the Academy Awards), awards season was a bracket-style tournament? To even make it to the Academy Awards, you had to win three other critics association awards to advance. Wouldn't that be more exciting then the endless parade of the same winners, time after time?
Well, here's our solution (click the photo for a larger version):
For example: Does Harvey Weinstein really care that The Artist won Best Picture from the Washington D.C. Area Film Critic's association? No, he doesn't. But! If The Artist had to beat Sucker Punch (in your classic one seed versus eight seed situation) to advance to the London critics, well, the stakes would be quite a bit higher. In other words: An upset would actually mean something. If The Artist failed to defeat Sucker Punch, London would be deciding between that atrocity and A Separation.
Finally, the larger awards bodies would decide on the four films represented at the Academy Awards -- which, yes, would make for a much shorter show and make everyone happier. Sure, The Artist might still be a favorite, but, up until this point, it's never gone head-to-head against The Help, Hugo and The Descendents. So, at this point, who knows what can happen? And, like the bracket that we did last year, it would have been much more exciting than watching The King's Speech cakewalk though the entire show, as expected.
(Also, I should add: (A) I know this will never, ever happen and (B) I think I want to live in this alternate reality.)
Mike Ryan is the senior writer for Moviefone. He has written for Wired Magazine, VanityFair.com, GQ.com, New York Magazine and Movieline. He likes Star Wars a lot. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.