Are there Oscar parties this year? Are there Oscar pools? Will anyone be watching? Certainly, we will. And our guess is – so will most of you.
Nevertheless, the 93rd annual Academy Awards is already the strangest in the history of the Oscars. And that is because the vast majority of moviegoers and Academy voters have watched the vast majority of the 2020 nominees on – TELEVISION!
Perhaps big ass TV screens but the truth is they are TV screens nevertheless. This begs the question of those who didn’t go that far and waited until awards season to watch these movies on their laptops. Or worse yet, decided their choice of screen would be the one on their phones.
Do not let anyone tell you cinema is dead. It’s simply, well, migrated.
And still, the Oscars will persevere at a train station – L.A.’s historic Union Station, to be exact. This is because you can’t kill Hollywood, the movies, or a good (or bad) old-fashioned American competition. We want winners and, pandemic be damned, we WILLhave them this year.
What we won’t have are losers because in 2020 and 2021, more than any other years, it was truly an honor just to be….well, just to be.
If you twisted my arm I’d say Nomadland and its director Chloe Zhao have the inside track at best picture. On the other hand, I have several friends CONVINCED that Promising Young Woman will sneak in as best picture winner and Carey Mulligan will receive the best actress Oscar.
I doubt it but, then again, I’m still predicting (Note: Well, more rooting for) Andra Day’s brilliant performance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday to pull an upset win in the best actress category and The Trial of the Chicago 7 to demonstrate what I already know – that it was the best new movie of the year seen on a phone, laptop or TV screen worldwide.
This and A LOT, LOT more will be discussed on a special upcoming episode of our new podcast POD FROM A CHAIRwhere we will unpack the winners, the (ahem) runner- ups, the show in general AND just how thankless a task it can be to predict or even root for anything these days except…..
The 93d annual Academy Awards will be presented next Sunday, April 25. ABC will carry them live at 5pm PST and at 8pm EST. The main stage hub will be located at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, an architectural delight of Deco and Spanish design, long considered among the last of the great train stations.
Consider the decision to use this public transportation landmark as a gathering place for the world’s most popular awards show, one that could surely rival the old MGM’s claim of having more stars than there are in heaven– as an innovative coup.
For one thing, it’s NEVER been done before. And, well, at this point I’m not sure there is much of anything any of us can say that about.
But for another, this year’s Oscar producers have categorically promised, sworn really, that this production will contain:
NO ZOOM CHATS. AT ALL.
NOTHING on the small or big screen can categorically claim that these days as we enter the latest chapter in our more than year-long (and still counting) continuing TV series, entitled:
AS THE PANDEMIC TURNS….
It’s the program that consistently reminds you:
No one really knows for sure how close is too close, even if you’ve been vaccinated.
Yeah, sure if you’ve been jabbed you can get “close” to random people and be fairly sure you won’t get IT, or at least a bad case of IT. But if you’re careless you still can’t be positive (Note: Or can you?) you won’t pick IT up and pass it on to your friends, your kid, other family members or even someone you randomly meet… somewhere ….and strike up a conversation with.
Not that many of us are back to doing much of that these days. I don’t think. Though, well, truly I can’t be sure.
What I can be sure of is that other than the fact that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on hold until they can sort out 6 or so blood clots it unwittingly induced among a handful of unlucky women, and the fact that those of us fortunate enough to receive Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations will now need a third booster jab no more than a year from out first vaccination date, the US is doing great!
That is, as long as you’re not a Black male within 1000, okay 10,000, feet of a police officer, or even someone who happens to care about what happens to Black males engaged in anything that could place them anywhere near the vicinity to any of the above. That series, which truly has been going on since 1776, could very presciently be entitled:
Though, well, let’s see.
Because it might not be the type of four-quadrant series studios and production companies long for, despite how timely it might seem at this moment. Meaning it likely would NOT appeal to the broadest possible audiences of all ages and economic classes the industry longs to attract given how polarized our country is at the moment.
A better choice might be chucking the topic all together and stay with something, um, safer….for the majority of us, that is.
Given our national fascination with gun violence, which pretty much affects everyone now since you can not only get your head blown off at a school, a movie theatre, a supermarket and, as we’ve just learned a few days ago – even a nondescript FED EX facility.
you just know something that promised some blood and bullets and, well, MAIL would be a bigger draw. The action. The letters left unopened or undelivered. Who knows what could have been in them that remained unrevealed and unrealized before it was too late?
By the way, does this latest FedEx fiasco have anything to do with how screwed up the Trump Administration’s still lingering postmaster Louis DeJoy made the US postal service with all his slashing and burning of services?
Maybe not, but let’s blame him anyway because, well, it just feels right. Doesn’t it???
It is for all of the above and more that I am truly, and greatly, looking forward to this year’s Oscars. It’s why I’ve been blogging about it lately and why we’re devoting several of our new POD FROM A CHAIR podcasts to who will win and why, as well as why not.
Yes, we all need to pay attention to what’s going on in the world. The shootings, the trials, the racism, the guns, the sickening lack of empathy the idiot who occupied the Oval Office fomented for four years before Joe Biden took office, not to mention the shots, the masks, and the vigilance we need to all employ in just about everything as we try to forge a new and better normal.
Yet amid all that I would argue we also need to rely on the few constants we have left. Pizza and chocolates are two. The Academy Awards are a third.
Do NOT judge me.
Aside from Union Station, this year there will also be cutaways to Oscar’s usual home, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, a place close to my heart because I could walk there from my own home if I so desired; which I do not.
Though needless to say, I wouldn’t get very far. Those surrounding streets should start getting barricaded right about…well, now. And when that happens there’s more security and barricades than just about anywhere.
Certainly, it’s much more secure than our Capitol Building in D.C. was on Jan. 6th. The ONE thing Hollywood ALWAYS does better than everyone else is keeping people out who they have somehow decided en masse to never let in.
But let’s not get too political at this point (Note: Time’s up).
Instead, here’s what you can look forward to in this last week leading up to the Oscars.
A NEW POD FROM A CHAIR on TUESDAY with a special guest star. Someone who is a REAL LIVE MOTION PICTURE ACADEMY VOTER who will share with us WHO THEY VOTED FOR AND WHAT THEIR PREDICTIONS ARE FOR THIS YEAR’S OSCAR WINNERS.
Of course, the Chair and Holly will also weigh in.
This may not be the booster vaccine you were looking for but don’t even start saying something Oscar-related is meaningless. Anything that can take your mind off of…anything for a few minutes right now, so you can reserve your rage for the big stuff, is worth its weight in sanity.