The 4.25 Union Station Oscar telecast will have the visual look and atmospheric intrigue of a movie. The nominees and award presenters will be captured in various corners of the 83 year-old train station while speaking lines and sharing observations and who-knows-what-else? The usual approach — super-gala, stiff-necked, proscenium-arch behavior — is being jettisoned for something looser and jazzier and more thematically-driven. Perhaps an actual story might be told?

The camera operators will get a workout — I can tell you that.

“It’s not going to be like anything that’s been done before,” Soderbergh said during yesterday’s news conference. The pandemic and the Union Station venue has “opened up an opportunity to try something that hasn’t been tried.” The ceremony will be shot like an actual movie, with presenters “playing themselves, or at least a version of themselves

Plus longer acceptance speeches, Soderbergh promised. “We’re giving them space,” he said. “We’ve encouraged them to tell a story, and to say something personal.” I don’t want to be an alarmist but I fear what this kind of “personal” may unleash. I sense arias of myopic hyperbole, otherwise known as wokester shit. Please.

Late yesterday afternoon Tatiana and I drove down to the Union Station complex to see what we could see. One, we saw nothing except barriers and fences and dead-faced security guards explaining the basics. Two, it was awful to hang around the rear regions and passages of a train station with no point or purpose…I felt small, lost, marginalized. For the time being I won’t see the grandiose art-deco showplace aspects of the station until everyone else does, eight days from now.

So we said “fine, fuck it,” drove up to Disney Hall to take some photos, and then pushed on to El Cholo for a light supper.