So Sunday is the broadcast of the 2014 awards given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), better known as the Oscars. The show itself will be a huge smash or amazingly bad failure, depending on who you read or listen to, and at least as much attention will be paid to what people are wearing as to the actual awards themselves.
Some of the awards will be the exact right choices, while some will be egregious mistakes. Some will be both at the same time, again depending on who you pay attention to. Other than kind of hoping Michael Keaton brings home one of the little golden twerps for his role in the otherwise WTH? Birdman, I've got no real preferences. Although if an American Sniper win caused Michael Moore to drop his gravy bowl on his foot (complex arcs, angles and ricochets would be involved), that would be kind of cool.
A story in USA Today details just how dumb some of this soiree winds up being -- a fellow named Lash Fary -- really -- heads up an outfit called Distinctive Assets, which puts together "swag bags" for the celebs at the show. Actually, the bags go to the actors who lose in their categories -- apparently losing writers, directors and producers have to console themselves on their own dime -- and this year's packages would go for $167,000 if all of the items were purchased retail.
The likelihood that some of these items would be purchased retail by some of the nominees is remote, however, as neither Robert Duvall nor Meryl Streep seems the type to purchase orgasm booster shots or laser sex toys (my search engine hits just got a wee bit outré).
AMPAS is clear that the work of Distinctive Assets is not an officially recognized part of the Academy Awards show. Given the nomination of The Grand Budapest Hotel for Best Picture, it's nice to have it confirmed that the Academy does have some standards after all.