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The Oscars failed its one job: to make viewers interested in the movies

After a year in which hardly anyone went to the movies, the Oscars made a perplexing decision to not show off its nominated films and performers. It was the award show’s biggest blunder in recent memory (and there have been many.)

The 93rd Academy Awards aired on ABC in the US last night. Nomadland, a drama about itinerant workers traveling the American West, won best picture. Its director, Chloe Zhao, became the first Asian woman to win the top directing prize. Welsh legend Anthony Hopkins won his second Oscar for his performance of an elderly man with dementia in The Father. Daniel Kaluuya took home a supporting actor award for his electric portrayal of Fred Hampton, a leader of the Black Panther Party.

But none of these films or performances were highlighted during the broadcast. In fact, no aspect of the filmmaking process was given the light of day. Hardly any clips from the nominated movies were played. No music from the movies made it to the main broadcast. (Songs were performed during ABC’s marathon pre-show.) No costumes or hairstyles were shown, and there was no cinematography to bask in. The Oscars gave viewers no sense whatsoever of what movies looked or sounded like over the past year.

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