THB #98: Weekend of Sound & Fury
… signifying… not much.
This is the awkward reality of award season. Only one show really matters. Oscar.
And this season, the lead-up shows mean less than ever. We’re still 2 full weeks from Oscar night. Has anything changed? Will anything change?
Jane, Jane, Jane!
Okay… but we already knew that.
I was actually shocked when I realized that BAFTA has missed on Best Picture for 6 straight years before last season. So is Power of the Dog winning there a good thing or a bad thing?
The Will Smith and Jessica Chastain Lead tandem won again at CCA… but CCA missed on both slots last year. On the other hand, BAFTA was a match in both slots - even with Hopkins considered a big surprise last year - for the last 7 years. But Jessica didn’t win BAFTA. One thing we do know, Joanna Scanlan won’t be winning on Oscar night.
Ariana DeBose hasn’t lost much of anything this year. Troy Kotsur, as it is turning out, hasn’t either… at least not since the bigger shows landed. Kodi Smit-McPhee, who won both NY and LA Critics awards hasn’t had a win (aside from being nominated and some fake award show held in a bathtub full of cash) since.
Four different writers took home Best Screenplay awards this weekend. Coin flip.
CCA doesn’t even bother giving a Doc award, in or before its show.
I have long said that these awards mean nothing much to Oscar voters. CCA, formerly BFCA, has always been slotted in January… BAFTA has slotted in to the 2nd or 3rd weekend of February while Oscar has leapt around, trying to shake off any audience that is left.
What I was really looking at this weekend was the shows themselves. Two categories were key for me: Hosting and non-live awards acknowledged.
BAFTA brought on a quality comedian in Rebel Wilson… but most of what she did missed the mark by some distance.
CCA added the normally very funny Nicole Byer to the normally very handsome Taye Diggs and got a hosting pair that was neither funny nor well suited enough to one another’s energy to make a handsome pair.
As you know, Oscar has 2 comedians and 1 actress hosting. If the result is anything like adding the 2 comedians and 1 actor who hosted this weekend’s 2 shows, pink slips will be being handed out on Monday morning.
What could the Oscars take away from these 2 shows? Audience respond to puppets (the Dune worm) and children (the kids from Belfast and Minari). And Will Smith will go past the allotted time if he wins.
That’s about it.
CCA has become a blurred mess with 41 voted awards, heavy with on-air pandering. Best Young Actor/Actress, Best Comedy, and Best Acting Ensemble join honorary awards - #SeeHer Award and Lifetime Achievement Award - in sucking up most of one hour as a way of drawing big names without anything to sell/be awarded for to the show while dumping Costume Design, Score, Song, Hair & Make-Up, Limited Series, Comedy Special, Talk Show, Movie Made For Television, Animated Series, Foreign Language Series, Production Design, Cinematography, Editing, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Visual Effects, and Best Comedy.
That’s an award show designed from go to have 18 awards not given out and 23 on stage. CCA chooses not to award more categories live on their show than Oscar will give our awards live.
Somehow, they managed to give out 23 awards plus 2 honoraries in 3 hours. Of course, they got lucky in that 5 of their live-show winners were not there (in LA or London), keeping time from getting even tighter. But Oscar doesn’t even give out honoraries on Oscar night, so…
The non-live awards were laid out with a graphic page of all the nominees and a circle lighting up around the winner. How festive! The giving of awards off-camera is not new for CCA as they added the full Oscar line-up a number of years ago, but kept some of the junk awards. Those thinned when the show added television awards to the mix.
Meanwhile, BAFTA mimicked Oscar perfectly, kicking 8 of 25 awards to the very end of the show, after the “good night” by the host. British Animation Short, Editing, Sound, Score, Make-Up/Hair, Casting, Production Design, and Animated Film. Packages were brief, but nice, however they left out any acknowledgement of the other nominees.
The truth is that fewer than 1 million people are likely to have seen the two televised award shows combined. BAFTA was like a torture test for anyone with a strong IT background and included joining BritBox. Then, once that hurdle was passed, the show started streaming an hour later than live (noon, pacific) while the copy of the screen suggested it would not appear at all until 4p pacific.
For CCA, the combination of the CW and TBS meant that TBS played reruns for the 3 hours until they ran the tape delayed CCA Awards. The CW was live, but as a cord cutter, I had to go to the antenna. And that antenna I use 2 or 3 times a year wasn’t working that well at first. So there was catching up to do and not DVR.
Most of what I learned was the choices each distributor made to send some talent to London and to keep some in L.A.
I am happy for all of the winners. Encourage all the non-winners to be pleased to have been nominated. And wonder if this mess will ever be cleaned up in a satisfactory way.
That last one is a little rhetorical. There will have to be some kind of crash to ever make this all make more sense.
I give a damn about all this… and it wasn’t fun most of the time.
It reminds me, oddly, of the streaming situation. Everyone is playing on such a small piece of turf and playing the same game with slight variations that after a while, you not only can’t keep up with it all… you don’t really want to anymore.