HE: Some Nervous Nellies were asking this morning if the Oscar season will happen later this year, along with the show itself in early ’21. I took a deep breath.
Jordan Ruimy: Maybe, but the big titles are probably going to be streamed.
HE: Maybe so. Maybe it’ll have to be an all-streaming year this one time. Or maybe theatres will start to creep back in July and more in the fall. Maybe we’ll actually get to watch Mank and the other biggies on the big screen under certain conditions.
Here’s the answer either way: The Oscars are happening in early ’21, period. Because this is a DO OR DIE, “RALLY ROUND THE FLAG, BOYS” MOMENT….not just for exhibition but for all aspects of the industry…production, distribution, marketing, SAG, the below-the-line guilds, blogaroos. This is not a time to lay down and curl into a fetal position and die. Pearl Harbor has happened. Are we going to put Rosie the Riveter into those factories or not?
The Academy might have to extend the 2020 deadline to 1.31.21 or the end of February (2.28) or even March 31st, but THEY’RE GOING TO HAPPEN. The Oscars used to happen in April back in the ’60s. It would simply be a matter of going back to an April air date this one year. BIG DEAL. If there’s a problem out there and among us, it isn’t excitable behavior. It’s covid lethargy or, worse, covid depression. Maybe what we all need is a little fire and brimstone…a little Elmer Gantry.
Ruimy: Yeah, but again — will movies be released theatrically? If not, which studios are willing to send their Oscar titles straight to VOD?
HE: And don’t forget that 5.22 Carolyn Kormann New Yorker story about a fast-tracked virus vaccine, and particularly this passage: “Stephane Bancel, the C.E.O. of Moderna, said last week that, pending the results of the Phase III efficacy trial this summer, the vaccine could be ready for approval and licensing as soon as the fall.”
Ruimy: Vaccinating 330 million Americans is going to take months. The weakest and most vulnerable will get it first.
HE: Theatrical may not ignite until early next year….who knows? Or maybe in the fall. Remember that the first theatrical openings are happening in July.
Ruimy: We need L.A. and NYC to reopen their theatres. A theatre in Iowa or Tennessee screening UNHINGED doesn’t really count as a legitimate reopening of theatres. I can’t see Newsom and Cuomo fast-tracking the opening of movie theatres by July. They are taking their sweet-ass time, in no rush whatsoever.
HE: What’s wrong with Oscar contenders streaming, just this one year? What’s wrong with just sucking it up and DOING THAT as a one-time-only thing?
Ruimy: Nothing at all, but in the meantime we should all embrace the fact that streaming will be the go-to spot for this year’s best movies.