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The Oscar crisis and the end of the award season

When the most important ceremony in film becomes "really boring"

The Oscar crisis and the end of the award season  When the most important ceremony in film becomes really boring

A few days ago, during the promotion of his new film The Phantom of the Open, Mark Rylance said that this year he will not attend the Oscar ceremony scheduled for Sunday, March 27. «I don't think the awards are a true thermometer of what the most important things really are,» said the Oscar-winning actor, and then labeled the entire ceremony as «very boring.» Rylance's statements are actually just the latest episode of delegitimization not only of the Oscars, but of the concept of "award" itself, which has gone from being a coveted recognition to a boring commitment to get rid of as if it were a reunion with your high school classmates. The awards crisis, if we can call it that, doesn't seem to want to spare anyone and after an edition of the Golden Globes held in private and without any live broadcast (the winners were announced later with a press release), is preparing to invest the Academy Awards and the Grammys. After an edition with the lowest ratings ever, also this time the Oscars are back to reckon with what seems to be more and more a detachment from reality, a disconnection with the tastes of the public that, in the year in which the movie theater has been saved by blockbusters like Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Batman, have run for cover by creating a social category to give fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite movie via Twitter.

But will it really be enough? While CODA is preparing to win the statuette for Best Picture, and someone is already ready to complain about Apple's overwhelming power, the controversy about the formula of the ceremony, notoriously long and boring, comes up again punctually as few other things, and for years, for reasons of schedule and rhythm, has decided to exclude from live television some categories, awarded during the commercial breaks.  But after some clumsy attempts to remedy the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and abandoned the formula of a single presented in favor of a group of celebrities who take turns on stage, a legacy of the controversy that in 2019 led to the farewell of Kevin Hart, the loss of relevance of the Academy Awards is to be found mainly in a change within the dynamics of the film industry, which with the advent of streaming and with fewer and fewer films distributed exclusively in theaters, is increasingly linked to the big titles, the blockbusters very often snubbed by the Academy. If the changes in the industry are contributing to the decline of the Oscars, the same can be said of the Grammys, the most important awards in the music world now in constant rout with the artists.

After last year's controversy with The Weeknd, who decided to boycott the awards after being excluded from the nominations in the last edition, the recent decision to cancel the performance of Kanye West, who will still be able to participate in the ceremony, has created another group of unhappy people ready to turn their backs on the Grammys. Always accused of racism, this time against the Recording Academy has sided J. Prince, founder of the label Rap-A-Lot, which has called together some of the most representative artists of the American rap scene to set up an event scheduled for April 4, the same night of the Grammys. Regardless of how J. Prince's initiative will turn out, the break between the world of hip-hop, probably the most important genre in the entire music industry, and the Recording Academy is the sign of an irreconcilable split between reality and fiction, between the will of the people and that of an institution that is never impartial and in many ways old and outdated. If in front of the passage of time and the change of balance none of the parties involved will be able to respond in the right way, changing and evolving, then we will probably witness the slow and gradual end of the charm of the awards, ready to become cumbersome doorstops only able to collect dust on the shelf of someone well liked by the industry.