Fewer TV categories, the return of driving personalities and active audience participation These are the traits with which the United States Film Academy will thrive tomorrow at the 94th Academy Awards, with which it will attempt to win back global audiences amid a long-running slump for this major Hollywood entertainment fest.
This isn’t the first time the awards have sought to tailor their glamorous universe to the clamor of their followers. Movements like the #OscarsSoWhite of 2015 and the #MeToo, born in 2018 in response to sexist abuse on the ground, have left a perhaps still weak but well-seen imprint in its history.
A timid appearance of nominated female directors and openness to racial and cultural diversity, with the presence of Latin and Oriental titles among its main contenders, with the memorable “Roma” (2018, by Alfonso Cuarón) and “Parasites” (2019 , by Bong Joon-ho), were the first signs of his budding transformation.
All in all, the coronavirus pandemic has worsened a different phenomenon that the Oscars have wanted to tackle on more than one occasion but without finding a solution: the sharp drop in their audience figures has only reached their record last year, with a frankly messy gala. who failed to convince a quick audience to express their outrage.
The organization has taken note of this and has concocted what will be an event with changes and with the implementation of formulas already known to remain relevant in times of consumer immediacy offered by streaming and social networks. Even so, the climate of the prelude to the rendezvous at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles does not seem to fully guarantee success.
Among the most played moves, the decision to compact the transmission time does not cease to resonate, which was a frequent reason for questioning, at the expense of the elimination of eight of the 23 categories that make up the live awards ceremony.
This way, the ceremony -which can be seen from 9:00 p.m. on TNT and TNT Séries- will show in the form of clips the results for the soundtrack (with the very probable victory of Hans Zimmer for “Duna”), makeup and hair, editing, production design, sound and the three dedicated to the field of short films: documentary, animation and live action.
The slippage of the production of Will Packer and director Glenn Weiss has triggered a wave of repudiation on the part of actors and their colleagues, who warn every other day about the discrimination that this entails on certain trades essential to the realization of a movie. The displeasure, which could lead to protests on the red carpet, quickly spilled over to Twitter, where the slogan #PresentAll23 (“Present All 23”) is commonplace in every Oscars post.
On the other hand, the conviction on the part of the executives that this will be the beginning of a new period of windfall for the rewards raises suspicions which will be confirmed or invalidated this Sunday evening. Where do they put their chips?
In addition to being convinced that a shorter broadcast will prevent viewers from changing channels, which some of the specialized press have described as a lack of confidence in viewers, the Academy will bring back the role of host of the show, this time to the actresses. and comedians Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes.
Jimmy Kimmel was the last to hold this position in 2018 and ended a motley string of presenters who did not always succeed in their mission. Disappointment and badly executed jokes are also a ground to overturn in front of an audience that appreciates the sufficiently daring and sympathetic styles of previous animators such as Billy Crystal or Ellen DeGeneres.
But with the temptation of what promises to be a provocative gala combo and the invitation of artists like Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and Sebastián Yatra to sing on stage, the Oscars will go even further with recognition of the most voted in networks by users.