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4 hundred and 39 days in the past, the 92nd Academy Awards came about on the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. It was an enormous evening—Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite received Greatest Image, changing into the primary foreign-language movie to take action within the academy’s historical past. It was additionally one of many final awards reveals to occur pre-pandemic, when individuals may nonetheless get collectively for an Oscars watch occasion. (I didn’t see one of many people I watched with till two weeks in the past, after we obtained our first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.) Now, after having its date pushed again two months, this 12 months’s Oscars could be the final in a protracted line of awkward trade celebrations making an attempt to go on when occasions can’t be contained.
It appears, although, that the academy is doing its greatest to work with the advanced and unwieldy circumstances of this awards season. For one factor, the in-person occasion might be broadcast from Union Station, the transit hub in downtown Los Angeles. Yearly since 2002 the Oscars have taken place on the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and whereas this 12 months’s occasion may even happen partially on the Dolby, the venue will share the stage with the prepare station. In the meantime, as a substitute of an orchestra enjoying intro and outro music, Questlove might be DJ-ing the occasion, utilizing authentic music he recorded with the Roots.
Past that, little or no is understood about what the precise Oscars will appear to be. There received’t be a number—there hasn’t been one for a pair years now. However who will current, and precisely how these issues will go is a thriller. There’s some indication as to why Union Station was chosen as a venue—it’s obtained a protracted historical past as a film set, and, based on a letter from Oscars producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher, and Jesse Collins to nominees, it’s a spot the place they’ll maintain a protected “intimate, in-person occasion” that might be operated like “an lively film set, with specifically designated testing cadences to make sure up-to-the-minute outcomes, together with an on-site Covid security staff.” Initially the producers nixed the concept of permitting attendees to Zoom in to the occasion, however they’ve since recanted, organising just a few “hubs” for distant attendees. Past that, the look and circulate of Sunday’s telecast is anybody’s guess.
However what? Good. The Zoom awards reveals have been a nice—and finally vital—stopgap measure earlier within the pandemic. (Who may neglect Zendaya throwing her arms up in glee in her Zoom window when she received the Emmy for greatest lead actress in a drama for Euphoria? Nobody, that’s who.) Lately a variety of reveals have discovered new, workable codecs which are Covid-safe and extra enjoyable than questioning why individuals who presumably make enormous salaries have unstable web connections. The Grammys, for instance, held a energetic present in and round LA’s Staples Heart that was hosted by The Each day Present’s Trevor Noah and featured performances from Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B, Taylor Swift, and Harry Kinds. (It additionally had the added bonus of Beyoncé simply, like, being there and selecting up trophies.)
After this previous 12 months, we’ll take what we are able to get. Of all of the industries which have mainstream awards reveals—music, TV, movie, and many others.—Hollywood was hit hardest by the pandemic, with most of this 12 months’s nominees having been launched on some form of streaming service slightly than getting a nationwide theater rollout. It’s been a protracted 439 days. Nobody’s movie-watching expertise was the identical in 2020 because it was in years prior; there’s no cause to anticipate their movie-celebrating one needs to be both. And but, celebration appears so as. Films obtained lots of people by the final 12 months—maybe it’s time we assist motion pictures get by this one.
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