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Why the conversation this Oscar season won't be about the awards

Why the conversation this Oscar season won't be about the awards

Just before the 2012 Oscars, I wrote about Harvey Weinstein and his awards consultants going into full-press mode to get Meryl Streep her third acting Oscar for her turn in “The Iron Lady.”

Shortly afterward, Weinstein reached out asking why I had to write such mean things. (The sentence in question was: “Streep’s image has been so inescapable that it wouldn’t have been surprising to walk into an Outback Steakhouse and find a menu touting Cast ‘Iron (Lady)’ Skillet specials.”)

I told Weinstein that it was one thing to support someone’s work and another to campaign so rigorously that the promotion ended up debasing the performance. I thought of poor Martin Scorsese trudging, at...

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