TIME

The year the Oscars came down to earth

YOU CAN PRETEND NOT TO CARE ABOUT THE Oscars, but even the most hardened souls secretly thrill to their glamour. The sometimes heartfelt, sometimes pretentious speeches; the occasional surprise underdog winner; and for sure the gowns—the tradition of the event still means something.

But this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, on April 25, has demanded some imaginative compromises on the part of both attendees and producers—one of whom is Steven Soderbergh, head of the Directors Guild task force on COVID-safe film production. Last year, in the midst of pandemic uncertainty, the Academy pushed the awards from their scheduled date, in February, to late April. The initial hope was that the pandemic would went.

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