We all know that Hollywood Reporter contributor Gregg Kilday is really saying about the current Oscar nominees, and in particular those for Best Picture: He’s saying that 2020 (which includes early ’21) has been a dud movie year and a general downer for all concerned.

Everyone knows this and wants to move on and return to normal. All hail gains by women and POC filmmakers but nobody really loves the wokester progressive surge except those who’ve directly benefited. (And don’t forget that wokesters are the Robespierre-like architects of cancel culture.) Everyone’s morose and bummed and nobody gives a shit about the ’20 and ’21 nightmare because it’s an asterisk and a tragedy — a gloomy movie year defined by streaming and domestic hibernation and the slow suffocation of our souls…half-dying under a grim cloud.

Joe and Jane Popcorn aren’t exactly caught up in the thrill of the Oscar race, to put it mildly. Even professional Oscar watchers are having trouble maintaining a semblance of enthusiasm.

Kilday has posted five or six mitigating quotes that basically say “oh, no, this is a great year and streaming makes everything more accessible and we’re living through a great time.”

He’s also posted one honest quote from Unbroken producer Matthew Baer: “The grand slam for the Oscar best picture is a popular movie with artistic ambitions fulfilled. But given theaters were closed, popularity is difficult to judge. It’s ironic that this year Nomadland is a leading candidate because the business itself became displaced. Also, given nothing else matters in comparison to recovering from COVID, while winning an Oscar is the ultimate victory for artists, it will have less meaning in American culture this year.”

If theatrical was alive and thriving, the leading Best Picture contenders…well, who knows? But we all suspect the same thing, which is that they wouldn’t have stirred much in the way of crowds.