A few ideas…

1. Award the Oscar for Best Picture BEFORE the one for Best Director.

With few exceptions, it’s pretty much the norm that once the award is given for best director, that his/her film will then win best picture, subsequently removing any suspense and surprise out of the equation. Think about it. Imagine it. Love it.

2. Stop nominating 9 or 10 films for Best Picture and go back to five. Any idiot knows half of those selected films have no chance. The only thing it does is allow films like “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Shite” to put a “best picture nominee” in its publicity materials.

3. Allow six films to be nominated in the best picture category. That way you can still get something like The Dark Knight in there and know it has a reasonable chance to win.

4. Then do the same for the acting categories – go six. It will cut down on some of the bitching on who got left out. If there was a sixth nomination, say, for best supporting actor it could have gone to Albert Brooks from Drive. And you’d believe he’d have a good chance to win.

5. Consider splitting the best picture nominees into “drama” and “comedy or musical” categories, a la the Golden Globes. The only issue with that is some pics sorta fall into the “dramedy” realm.

6. Dump the “In Memoriam” segment.

7. Show more behind-the-scenes material like backstage goings-on and green rooms and the sort. As a viewer I find that interesting.

8. Have the nomination announcements on prime-time television, not 5 in the morning or whenever that is.