Thursday was a jumble of meetings and then a midday screening of what could be the best movie we’ll see all year, so the news of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron being tapped to produce the 2013 Oscars kind of slipped through the cracks. How can we think about Oscar producers when we’re puzzling over the role and/or necessity of belief systems in this crazy thing we call the human existence as it plays out on the big screen?
Will Zadan and Meron, a couple of Broadway vets who have also produced a slew of movie musicals, put on a good show? Well ... if the measure of a “good show” is an Oscar telecast where those assembled don’t leave the Kodak Dolby Theatre hanging their heads in shame, then, by God, yes! Yes, they can!
Every year, Oscar producers face the same impossible choice. If they veer too far from the norm, you wind up with James Franco nodding off on the podium or Rob Lowe dancing with Snow White. (Or Brett Ratner delving into full-tilt idiocy before he even has a chance to stage the show.) Hew too close to tradition and you have last year’s Brian Grazer-produced snoozy telecast with Billy Crystal. (Granted, Grazer was handicapped by a late start.)
Outside of a complete reinvention of the show and a revamping of its rigid format, there’s not a whole lot Zadan and Meron can do but go with their best impulses -- and hope this year’s batch of nominees and presenters show a little leg to keep us awake.
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For your consideration: Meryl Streep in ‘Hope Springs’