Oscars 2022: five things to consider now


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When we last stopped Joaquin Phoenix had just announced Anthony Hopkins as the final Oscar winner of the evening. Hopkins was not there to accept. There was scattered applause from the few people sitting in a nearly empty station and… that’s it. The 93rd Academy Awards ended not with a bang but with a bleating.

Seven months, two shots and a booster later, the film academy is ready to try again, anxious, like so many people here and outside of Hollywood, to forget about the past two miserable years, to put on a good face and to try again. celebrating the magic of movies and, of course, content streaming platforms.

After inviting an additional 395 people to join this year, the academy now has around 10,700 members, half of whom appeared to have attended the screening of George Clooney’s rather enjoyable coming-of-age tale “The Tender Bar” early last month, packing the Directors Guild lobby just to get a glimpse of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez holding hands. Whether it’s the Delta variant, there are a lot of nightly parties and receptions in town these days and even post-screening buffets are booming again. (With Arclight Hollywood, can someone please resurrect Souplantation?)

In other words, it’s business as usual, even though the academy still doesn’t host its regular weekend screenings for members, the disgraced Golden Globes could be announced next year on Facebook Live. as far as we know, and no one in Hollywood has a clue where the movie industry is headed.

So what to do we know? Here are five thoughts as we count the final days before the final two contenders – Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” adaptation and Guillermo del Toro’s psychological thriller “Nightmare Alley” – finally start rolling for voters. and reviews.

1. There will be a fixed number of 10 nominees for Best Picture this year.

After the “snob” for best picture from “The Dark Knight”, the academy widened the pool for best picture to 10. It went on for two years until management bowed to complaints from traditionalists that the prestige of an appointment had been depreciated. In retrospect, this outrage seems a bit silly, given that the films nominated in 2008, last year with a fixed number of five, were “The Curious Benjamin Button”, “Frost / Nixon”, “Milk”, “The Reader” and “Slumdog Millionaire”. No … you wouldn’t want to dilute this kind of prestige, do you want?

Over the next decade, rules were in place that would lead to (supposedly) five to ten nominees for Best Movies. (It always ended up being eight or nine.) But now we’re back to 10, and that’s cause for celebration. On the one hand, academy members will again rank 10 films on their nomination papers instead of five, a no-brainer or bias-free improvement that will open up the best picture pool in a way that should satisfy everyone. who defend this popular film Oscar project. three years ago.

Consider the films that were nominated in those two 10 years: “Up” (a classic that managed to escape the children’s table that is the animated feature Oscar), “District 9” (the clever sci-fi decrying xenophobia), “Winter’s Bone” (the kind of austere indie film that rarely found favor before expansion) and, yes, a Christopher Nolan film, “Inception”. The new rules worked!

And they will work again … provided that tedious bond film can’t do it.

2. “Dune” will be nominated for the best picture.

Or maybe I should say, in honor of Hans Zimmer’s molar score: DUNE WILL BE NOMINATED FOR BEST PICTURE !!!!!!!!!!!!

And he would have been nominated even if the rules hadn’t changed. I spoke with a few members of the academy who enjoy Denis Villeneuve’s neat and heavy adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi classic. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who respect the ladder, even though they sometimes had to be woken up. (The real purpose of the Zimmer score, perhaps?) But everyone I met him, at least saw him, either on (shudder) HBO Max or one of the many screenings held for voters on the Warner Bros. Lot.

Factor in all the recognition of likely craft – sound, visual effects, film editing, production design, cinematography and, yes, original score – and “Dune” could turn out to be a juggernaut on nominations morning. Acting nods are likely to prove elusive, unless voters can shake the image of a naked, jovial Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd from their memory banks. (May be this this is what Timothée Chalamet sees when he puts his hand in the pain box.)

3. “House of Gucci” and “The Last Duel” are unlikely to be nominated.

Or, at least, they shouldn’t. Two new big swing films from Ridley Scott, who will turn 84 at the end of the month, cannot be easily dismissed. But both films are crippled by cluttered and fuzzy scripts and, in the case of “Gucci,” which runs for almost three hours, a set of actors who seem to have very different ideas about the film they are making.

“Duel” died a quick death at the multiplex, although in these uncertain times that was no longer the badge of shame it was. “Gucci” has won over passionate fans who swoon over Lady Gaga’s chewing, roaring, roaring landscapes. Haaaaaa-ahhhh-ahhh-ohhhh-ahhaaaaa-ahhhh-ahhh-ohhhh-ah !!! filming as the back-up for the story’s aggrieved Lady Macbeth, which I can enjoy until the movie sends her back to the background. And at that point, a bald Jared Leto has already urinated on a Gucci scarf. I mean, where do you go from there?

4. The membership of the Academy continues to grow globally. Let’s see that reflected in the vote.

Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” became the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture award two years ago; Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg was nominated last year for “Another Round”, an Oscar which Bong also won. This year, you could argue that both lead actor awards should go to film actors from other countries: Norwegian star Renate Reinsve for her starring role as a young woman sailing into adulthood. in the sublime “The Worst Person of Joachim Trier the World” and the Japanese Hidetoshi Nishijima, spellbinding in what could be the best film of the year, the epic “Drive My Car” by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi.

You wouldn’t think most of the academy would need, in Bong’s immortal words, to “overcome the 1-inch-height barrier of captions,” but it remains to be seen if we’ll ever get a list. nominations that truly reflect the best of cinema, without borders.

5. Make sure this year’s ceremony has a host. And a sense of purpose.

For reasons beyond the academy’s control (and others that could have been easily predicted and fixed), last year’s Oscars felt diminished. Imitate Sir Ridley and take a big hit, even if he misses it. The show has to be big, bold, and worthy of the great Oscar tradition.

Bonus Thought: Hire Hans Zimmer to lead the orchestra. It would be worth having some temporary tinnitus to help get this Oscar boastful back.

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