Column |  The Oscars celebrate Hollywood's 'Great Reset'

Column | The Oscars celebrate Hollywood's 'Great Reset'

A great year of cinema concluded Sunday at the Dolby Theater with the old-fashioned Academy Awards ceremony. Host Jimmy Kimmel delivered powerful jokes, and simple “Best Song” performances reached their bombastic crescendo as the evening's star, Ryan Gosling, donned a pink tuxedo. “I'm just Ken” rich. Stage veterans praised the nominated actors and actresses in the audience, and Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt sparred on behalf of Barbie in Oppenheimer About excellence. As if we didn't already know the outcome: Oppenheimer won an Oscar, Barbie He stole the show.

Why was the 96th Academy Awards ceremony characterized by so much confidence and calm? The tension seems to have disappeared, and the epidemics that have plagued Hollywood are a thing of the past: #OscarsSo-White, #MeToo. This is a lively, slow-moving concert that doesn't seem to be trying to reverse its declining viewing figures through forced prestige, banter and dismal entertainment numbers.

Was it due to the strong cinematic presentation? Hollywood has suffered for years from an inability to combine quality with success. According to the “blockbuster model,” major studios put almost their entire budget into a handful of “safe” blockbusters with superheroes, robots, or dinosaurs. High-quality, mid-budget films disappeared, so smaller, foreign-language titles seen by few Americans remained eligible for Oscar glory. Movies like Parasite, Bedouin, Koda.

In 2023, the cards seemed to have been shuffled differently. Audiences were done with superheroes and were unexpectedly open to such a complex political saga Oppenheimer Or for BarbieA collection of feminist essays with dance, song and emotional speeches. Disney, the king of sequels and blockbuster remakes, has suddenly become the model for Hollywood, and Universal is competing with the new champion with an old-fashioned variety show.

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There is more to the phenomenon of viral marketing than just Barbenheimer. Change is on the horizon and the coronavirus pandemic will prove to be a “great reset.” A year and a half of streaming relatively weird Netflix shows at home has broadened tastes, with no one going back to the movies like before. Oscar wins for the crazy and the successful Everything, everywhere, at once At the first post-pandemic Oscars of 2023, there was already an indication. The strange thing Barbie He got another tenfold.

Moviegoers don't necessarily crave meaning or education, but they do crave something new. Disney-style five-year plans can go into the trash. The fact that the studios collapsed last year after months of actors and writers' strike also contributed to Sunday's celebration. Never-before-seen foot soldiers appeared in the starring role at the Oscars to star-studded applause before returning to their porter's box or limousine. But more importantly, studios suddenly woke up from their dream of producing blockbuster movies based on algorithms and realized they had lost their way. Then the “talent” at Dolby Theater can innovate in new ways. Experience temporarily wins over formula, man over machine. freedom! Although this rarely lasts long in Hollywood.

Koen van Zoll Also a film critic.

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