The Academy's agenda prevails
Two months of delay commenting on the most diverse Oscars and the #OscarsSoWhite. In the end, realpolitik took it all away.
An evening that went from a visual binge to the sobriety of multiple presenters and stages as well as a couple of surprises among the satisfied winners should not distract us from the symbolism of this 93rd edition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards (AACC) in which the union's realpolitik ended up prevailing.
Realpolitik is a political concept used to refer to systems that operate by de facto rather than ideological criteria. It also serves to point out the moments in which any other system is split between the acts and votes of those who really hold power and all the cloud of politics and media agenda around them in which sometimes it seems that something else is going on.
This is the case with the Oscarpolitik that once again comes the day after the gala to mark our headlines and front pages after the weeks of previous media game that, as always, end up being dismantled. It is worth remembering that the AACC was created in 1927 by Louis B. Mayer as a way to protect itself from labor movements and unions and to promote the interests of its directors and stars.
So for decades of bad times those awards became the frills and sweets of the American dream in the backdrop of the conservatism of its members. Hence, almost a century later and going through another bad historical streak, the new direction towards sobriety that marks a state of weakness of that dream becomes more relevant.
A weakened state of the American dream that, whether for its conservative members or for the audience, there was no other film that currently represented better than Nomadland by Chloé Zhao, who has won the statuettes for best film and direction along with that of lead actress for Frances McDormand.
The migratory drama of thousands of Americans portrayed and embodied by two women was the best option in this tug-of-war scenario between the academy and its new audiences against Netflix's favorite, the also multi-awarded Mank, which won ten statuettes, a difficult award that on the other hand would have meant the death certificate of movie theaters in terms of realpolitik.
The other surprise of the evening -in the same terms- was the best actor for Anthony Hopkins in The Father, which many thought would go to Chadwick Boseman in what would have been one of the best roles of his career. But the academy has a hard time rewarding social fiction, it has always been more comfortable in honoring great actors in the roles of various types of ill patients.
That is why the Oscarpolitik has finally been imposed by Anthony Hopkins in a performance of constant self-control between helplessness and confusion. The film also won the award for best screenplay.
Health, in this case in reference to addictions, has taken to Denmark the Oscar for best foreign film for Another Round at a time when alcoholism and pandemic alarm us again in front of another great favorite as Agent Mole that not a few followers missed through the networks.