The Editor’s Desk: Your Oscar checklist

The Editor’s Desk: Your Oscar checklist

Yes, the Oscars are live; but certain things are bound to happen.

The Academy Awards ceremony is on Sunday night, and as is my annual custom I shall be watching it (although I will be ducking in and out while The Walking Dead is on, to see what’s happening on that show). It is, of course, a live TV show, and we don’t know who the winners will be (although if I were Gary Oldman or Allison Janney, I’d be clearing some space on my mantel right about now), so anything can happen; but here are a few things that I suspect we’ll see.

Stars walking the red carpet will be asked “Who dressed you?” What the questioner means is “Who designed the outfit you’re wearing?”, but I guess that takes up too much air time. I will cheer if someone answers “I dressed myself, actually; I’ve got rather good at it after all these years.”

Someone will try to make a joke about how Hollywood has always prided itself on being open and accommodating and forward-thinking and caring, then mention the Hollywood movers and shakers accused of sexual harassment and rape and blackballing actresses, then try to find a punchline. The joke will not go over well.

The sound mixing of the live performance of at least one of the nominated songs will be so dreadful that you can either hear the words but not the music, or vice versa; this during a ceremony that hands out an award for Best Sound Mixing.

If you are with a group of people, one of them will be able to explain, at length, the difference between sound mixing and sound editing. You are allowed to send this person to meet the pizza delivery guy, then lock him out of the house.

The “In Memoriam” section will be accompanied by a live performer singing an appropriately elegiac yet uplifting piece. The cameraman will be uncertain as to whether to focus on the pictures of the dearly departed or the talent on stage, will try to split the difference by attempting to get both in shot and in focus at the same time, will realize the futility of this, and will then wonder how long before the show ends and he can get a drink.

The production number accompanying the live performance of at least one of the nominated songs will be so over the top that the audience can only stare, goggle-eyed.

The day after the Oscar ceremony, fans will angrily complain that at least one beloved (deceased) celebrity was “snubbed” by not being included in the “In Memoriam” section.

Presenters will hideously mangle the pronunciation of the names of one or more of these acting nominees: Daniel Kaluuya, Timothée Chalamet, and Saiorse Ronan.

Cinematographer Roger A. Deakins, who has been nominated 14 times previously for a Best Cinematography Oscar but has never won, will get one of the biggest ovations of the night if he proves 15th time’s the charm with Blade Runner 2049.

After last year’s “Best Picture” winner foul-up, every envelope containing the name of a winner will have been vetted more times than a horse entered in the Kentucky Derby.

After hearing all five of the Best Song nominees performed, many people will realize they have a) never heard any of them before and b) never heard of any of the performers before.

Now on with the show!

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