HE to Hot-Shot Award-Season Player/Contributor/Handicapper: “As you know the Academy’s decision to add two months to 2020, with the awards-qualifying year ending on 2.28.21, is about (a) alleviating the logjam of year-end releases (including Oscar hopefuls) due to COVID and (b) allowing those Oscar-contending films that had planned to open by 12.31.20 an extra two months to complete post-production and be released by or before said Oscar deadline [2.28].  

“As things stand there will be a seven-week period of campaigning and whatnot (Academy nomination voting, Golden Globes, PGA/DGA/WGA awards, Santa Barbara Film Festival, final Oscar balloting) between March 1, 2020 andSunday, 4.25 (Oscar night).  But are you telling me that all the films that will open during the traditional fall-holiday Oscar season (and I don’t know how many films this will be)…are you telling me that that distributors won’t engage in Phase One-style promotions and celebrations during this late October to mid December period?  

For 90 years this has been the time for Oscar hullabaloo (10.15 to 12.20), and you can’t just suddenly shut that down and say ‘Oh, no, we’ll be waiting to talk about the Oscar hopefuls in February, March and April.’  You can’t throw in the towel like David Poland and say ‘no 2020 Oscar season action until the late winter and early spring of ’21.’  End-of-the-year Oscar wallah-wallah is in our blood, our genes, our instincts, our history, our traditions, our souls. You can’t just turn that 90-year-old spigot off like that. You can’t throw a nearly century-old tradition out the window.  

“It’s therefore my belief or theory that for the first time in award-season history (and hopefully the last time) we’ll have two (2) Phase Ones on the calendar — traditional Phase One A (mid October to late December) and an atypical, one-time-only Phase One B from late January to 2.28.21.  And then, after the nominations are announced, comes Phase Two.

“Please tell me, privately, in what way my thinking might be wrong.”

Hot-Shot Award-Season Player/Contributor/Handicapper to HE: “Things” –i.e., the award season that we all know and love except for crabby-heads like Bob Strauss — “will resume in October-November when we start to have a better understanding of how [the pandemic’s grip on our lives is ebbing or levelling off or whatever].  And once the presidential election has been decided.”

HE to Hot-Shot Award-Season Player/Contributor/Handicapper: “Hah!”