Hollywood’s big question — which movies will compete at the Academy Awards? — was answered Tuesday morning.
But a bigger, more vexing one is still casting a shadow over the nominations announcement: Will there be any kind of recognizable Oscars show if the writers strike continues?
Rolling out the list of nominees normally sets the stage for a month of hugs and kisses leading up to the Oscars on Feb. 24 as Hollywood’s elite congratulate themselves on a job well done. But as writers shut down the town’s biggest parties to force management back to the negotiating table, awards shows have become the latest casualties.
One needed only to have tuned into the rushed and tepid Golden Globes “ceremony” to realize that the Oscars could be in trouble, too. But like with the Globes, there are awards to hand out, strike or no strike.
A lot of crossed fingers will accompany the adulation this Oscar season, which is jeopardized by the same dispute that already snuffed the Golden Globes.
Guild leaders have said that if the strike continues, they will not allow writers to work on the Oscars, either, which might leave nominees and other celebrities forced to choose between attending the biggest night in show business or staying home to avoid crossing picket lines.
Oscar organizers insist their show will go on, with or without the writers.
A glimmer of hope arose late last week as the Directors Guild of America reached a deal with producers for a new contract. Many in Hollywood are counting on that deal to help resuscitate negotiations between writers and producers, who walked away from the table Dec. 7, and sources say informal talks may resume this week.
The tentative contract for directors addressed a key issue for writers — pay for films and TV shows that end up on the Internet and other new media. But whether the terms of the directors’ deal would satisfy writers remains uncertain.
Nominees are chosen in most categories by specific branches of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, such as actors, writers and directors. The academy’s full membership of about 5,800 was eligible to vote for best-picture nominations and can cast ballots for the winners in all categories at the Oscar ceremony itself.
Assuming the show comes off as scheduled, ABC will broadcast the Oscars live Feb. 24 from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. Jon Stewart — who recently resumed “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, but without the help of his striking writers — will serve as Oscar host, a job he previously did two years ago.