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Page 49 of 147

For Reel Oscar Excitement, Intrigue, Joy, Disappointment By Andy Marken We checked all of the theater listings last weekend and the film industry’s awards night wasn’t being shown on any giant screen. Instead, the evening event which was known by some as the Punch and Chris Show was only available on … OMG, television. The good news was that it wasn’t as white, wasn’t as male as the “good ol days” and had a strong mix of diversity to enable the industry to say, “Hey, we hear you.” The best director was a woman and the best picture was directed by a different woman (Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog), best doc was from a Black filmmaker (Ahmir Thompson/Questlove), the first openly queer woman of color to win in the best supporting actress category (Ariana DeBose, West Side Story). The deaf/communications handicapped were also celebrated and that’s progress even if it felt a little defensive and sluggish. In addition, the show had enough dashes of what script adjustments to give people something to talk about now that they’re returning to the office. The good news was that the TV show brought back more sets of eyeballs this year - 15.4M viewers compared to last year’s yawn of under 10M. Good, but still the second lowest audience in Oscars’ history. Actually, movies have been silently moving out of theaters for years, but the industry’s associations, guilds and unions have largely tried to ignore the shift to big-screen home screens with surround sound and our kids’ smartphones, iPads and computers. Okay, let’s dispense with the buzz bomb between comedian Chris Rock and actor Will

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