Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Kovid-19 Oscar: Not Masked But Still Still Muffled

Manufacturer of 2021 Oscar Had said that he planned to do an annual telecast like a film. They did not succeed at that, but they changed things. Sunday’s broadcast on ABC was like a cross between the Golden Globes and the closing-dinner banquet of a long, tiring conference.

The challenges were huge. The ceremony was to commemorate an industry, which was already changing from the epidemic, brought it to its knees completely. And it had to be done in a Kovid-19-safe manner (while constantly pointing out that it was doing so).

Producers Jessie Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh stepped out of the crowded seats at the Dolby Theater to stage a stage built in Union Station in Los Angeles, where designated and some invited, vaccinated guests sat down without masks Were. Widely spaced tables. The winners walked a few steps and descended a treacherous ramp on a short daze; Presenter (Show was) Hostile for the third straight year) Is often spoken from among the nominees.

There were attractions for this arrangement. It was a nice change to see nominees with a few people they really cared about (or felt absolutely obliged to invite), instead of the largely anonymous studio-invited cliques we use.

The trade-off – whether due to small crowds, social disturbances, or sound quality in an astronomical location – was what felt like a dead room, both acoustically and emotionally. There were powerful and dynamic speeches, but they did not evoke much excitement, and when the people in the room are not excited, it is difficult to get excited at home.

The other major change in production – and this cannot be made entirely clear by the epistemic adjustment – was that acceptance speech was only a matter of view. Through most of the evening, almost all of the connective tissue that usually provided twists and entertainment was stripped away: jokes, sketches, insults, gossip, songs, clip montages from the best-picture nominee. .

One result appeared to be longer acceptance speeches, with no orchestra to play the winners, although this could have been a collateral effect of general flatness.

What really grew, however, was the scripted filler – or, as the producers would have it, the storytelling. Presenters in several categories were forced to recite anecdotes about each nominee, usually on the subject of film love, perhaps as a result of the cinestodor’s influence. These stories about seeing “Jaws” or any other classic for the first time were an imperceptible drone that “and goes to the Oscars” feels anticlimatic.

However, the essential changes, lame and formulaic, whatever the Oscars rituals, were an important part of its appeal, reminiscent of it – a mix of performative glamor with the klutzy, mortal atmosphere of a high school dance.

The producers had revealed a real idea of ​​how to make the show come alive: It opened with a prank-film-style sequence – reminiscent of Soderbergh’s “Oceans” films – with a camera showing Regina King in the back Se tracks when she walked through the union. The station lobby carried an Oscar as if it were holding a Malta hawk, contraband or microfilm.

It was a promising start, and the king’s immediate call was Derek Chauvin Decision Earlier in the week it felt right for a ceremony with an unprecedented cast of color among its nominees. (A few hours later his appearance in Escalade Commercial offered little cognitive dissonance.) But his brief introduction was a sign of the show’s impending snatch-off, steam-table nature.

As the show, despite dropping so much of its usual fiber, it was “dragged” treasured “into Memoriam”, hastened onscreen eight minutes before the scheduled end of the broadcast, with an introduction that one would normally call for Sadness to crush epidemics and deaths together.

Then came a big surprise of the night, a move to Best Actor and Actress ahead of Best-Picture Presentation. It stole some thunder from the expected victory of “Nomadland”, although the film’s star, Frances MacDormand, tried it out with some impulsive holing.

The winners tried their best to give the show some human feel. Mia Neal recalled her grandfather’s experience of racism in a speech that was a model of force and economy, accepting the Hair and Makeup Award for “Ma Rainey Black Black”. Thomas Winterberg, the director and international-film winner for “One More Round,” saluted his daughter Ida, who was killed in an auto accident during filming. Eu – Jung YunThe supporting-actress winner for “Minari”, supported her to stand as the season’s lead comedian of the award. Tyler perry, Ready to accept the Humanitarian Award, gave a brilliant plug for tolerance.

Jeet for “Ma Rainey” (who also won costume design), Yun, the short film “Two Distant Strangers,” the animated feature “Soul,” Daniel Kaluia As a supporting actor in “Judas and the Black Messiah” and Chloe Zhao Directing the best-picture winner “Nomadland”, the motion picture academy had signs of hope about its ability to recognize artists who are not white men and stories that are not focused on white men. For many viewers, that was probably enough reason to enjoy the evening.

If you were looking for a true sign of progress, however, it may be offscreen. With the increasing presence of women and people of color at Union Station, this year (arguably) there was a critical mass of better films by women and people of color that went without recognition: Godfrey Peoples’ “Miss Junhand,” Gina Prince- Bytewood’s “The Old Guard,” Rosine Liang’s “Shadow in the Cloud”, to mention a few. The more things change, the more they remain at the Oscars.

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