Oscars 2021: Time to Watch Yet Another Covid-Era Awards Show

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Four hundred and 39 days in the past, the 92nd Academy Awards passed off on the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. It was an enormous night time—Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite received Best Picture, turning into the primary foreign-language movie to accomplish that within the academy’s historical past. It was additionally one of many final awards exhibits to occur pre-pandemic, when folks might nonetheless get collectively for an Oscars watch celebration. (I didn’t see one of many of us 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 may be the final in a protracted line of awkward trade celebrations attempting to go on when occasions can’t be contained.

It appears, although, that the academy is doing its finest 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. Every 12 months since 2002 the Oscars have taken place on the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and whereas this 12 months’s occasion will even happen partly on the Dolby, the venue will share the stage with the prepare station. Meanwhile, as an alternative of an orchestra enjoying intro and outro music, Questlove might be DJ-ing the occasion, utilizing authentic music he recorded with the Roots.

Beyond that, little or no is thought 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. But 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, in accordance to a letter from Oscars producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher, and Jesse Collins to nominees, it’s a spot the place they will maintain a secure “intimate, in-person event” that might be operated like “an active movie set, with specially designated testing cadences to ensure up-to-the-minute results, including an on-site Covid safety team.” Originally the producers nixed the concept of permitting attendees to Zoom in to the occasion, however they’ve since recanted, establishing just a few “hubs” for distant attendees. Beyond that, the look and stream of Sunday’s telecast is anybody’s guess.

But you already know what? Good. The Zoom awards exhibits have been a high quality—and in the end mandatory—stopgap measure earlier within the pandemic. (Who might overlook Zendaya throwing her arms up in glee in her Zoom window when she received the Emmy for finest lead actress in a drama for Euphoria? No one, that’s who.) Recently quite a lot of exhibits have discovered new, workable codecs which can be Covid-safe and extra enjoyable than questioning why individuals who presumably make large salaries have unstable web connections. The Grammys, for instance, held a vigorous present in and round LA’s Staples Center that was hosted by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah and featured performances from Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B, Taylor Swift, and Harry Styles. (It additionally had the added bonus of Beyoncé simply, like, being there and choosing 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 exhibits—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 reasonably than getting a nationwide theater rollout. It’s been a protracted 439 days. No one’s movie-watching expertise was the identical in 2020 because it was in years prior; there’s no cause to count on their movie-celebrating one must be both. And but, celebration appears so as. Movies obtained lots of people by way of the final 12 months—maybe it’s time we assist films get by way of this one.


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