Source Pravda.Ru

Oscar in Time of Plague

America is a strange country: when astronauts die, a national mourning is declared in the country, but when ordinary soldiers lose their lives, presentation of Oscars is held there. The USA doesn’t care about Iraqi and Iranian soldiers and civilians, but at the same time many American soldiers are and will be dying at the war as well. And it is not ruled out that some of them will fall victims right at the moment when the Academy plans to distribute Oscar awards. Academy insiders and organizers of the award ceremony laugh at all rumors saying that the ceremony will be postponed because of the Iraqi war.

As it was scheduled beforehand, the 75th Oscar award ceremony will take place on Sunday, but it is going to be one of the saddest and one of the most shameful ceremonies ever held in the history of the Academy. Already now workers dismantle the traditional red carpet, as there will be no red-carpet arrival ceremony. Traditional red draping is also dismantle probably to avoid making any associations with the war.

American Academy critics are arranging preparations to avoid making much sensation about war films nominated for Oscar this year. Majority of war films nominated for Oscar this year and those that can be associated with the current hostilities in Iraq are give the following estimate: a film shouldn’t be called a masterpiece because it tells about war and you watch it in the war time.

The press is abundant in reports that some movie stars refuse to go to the Oscar ceremony and why, and that some still plan to go there. The Academy is trying to save face and says that presenters and nominees have already called to confirm their participation in the 75th ceremony. And these confirm calls are made at the time when the land of Iraq and its neighbor Iran is shaking with strong blasts as the coalition troops bomb the cities, civilians, young and old fall victims to the war.

And against the background of the interest in the Oscar ceremony, a cynical phrase sounds: why nominees should be in mourning? They are winners, and success is never blamed. For the time being, it is not clear yet who is the winner and how the war may end. One thing is for sure: a feast during the plague is a very mean doing.

However, it is hardly likely that this time the Oscar ceremony will be a serene party. Some Hollywood stars will wear pins to demonstrate they are against the war; they are Julianne Moore, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Affleck, Salma Hayek, Jim Carrey from the antiwar group Artists United to Win Without War.

The organizers of the Oscar telecast show are sure that actors won’t make an antiwar protest of the ceremony. Telecast producer Gil Cates says that although Susan Sarandon, who is scheduled to make a presentation during the ceremony, is known as an outspoken critic of President Bush’s Iraq policies, he is sure that she “won’t even try” to alter her script to add some antiwar remarks.

This time we won’t see Leonrdo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Paul Newman, Eminem and Cate Blanchett at the ceremony; some do it as an antiwar protest and some for the sake of their private security.

It is clear already now that it will be impossible to put a good face on things at the Oscar ceremony at the time when the bloody war continues. Even those actors who will participate in the ceremony refused to walk along the traditional red carpet; they also ask the press not to evince persistent interest to participants of the ceremony. They say, it’s inappropriate to have a too loud party during the war.

Yelena Kiseleva PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://culture.pravda.ru/culture/2003/4/70/200/8728_oscar.html

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