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Column: Separate Oscars? Maybe it’s time to roll out the red carpet and a blue carpet too

Rolling out the red carpet at the Academy Awards

A cameraman films the red carpet rollout. 

(Al Sieb / Los Angeles Times)

In the hypothetical world I live in, at the crummy cross streets of Sanctimony and Glee, occasional revelations appear. Like old flashbulbs, they make a popping sound, then a tiny, melty hiss.

The latest: There should be two Oscar ceremonies — one for red states, the other for blue.

This way, we’d honor both value systems, such as they are, and give everyone the awards they want.

Honestly, I don’t have a favorite and I make no judgments on anything. I have a hillbilly heart and a surfer’s soul. I’m somewhere in the bland middle of things.

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I’m about as simple as a canned ham. My pronoun is zzzfffffft.

So please consider this Red State/Blue State Oscars. As a nation — and as a movie audience — we seem ready for separate bedrooms.

My nominations for best picture in a Red State Oscars:

“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

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“1917”

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

“Avengers: Endgame”

The video you made of your kid’s soccer banquet

In a Blue State Oscars, the nominees for best picture would be:

“Little Women”

“Bombshell”

“Marriage Story”

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“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

The video you made of your kid’s soccer banquet

Please don’t get your knickers in no bundles. There’s a bit of Bozo in my DNA. And I do this knowing we are closing in on the day when jest and satire are illegal or seriously out of fashion. I believe Orwell and Chayefsky warned us of that.

Or maybe it was the Old Testament, really one of the great humor books of all time. I mean, so many lessons, so many laughs….

While you ponder God, consider my nominations for the Red States’ best actor:

Tom Hanks

Brad Pitt

Timothée Chalamet

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Olaf (in “Frozen 2”)

And my nominations for Blue State best actor:

Tom Hanks

Joaquin Phoenix

Adam Driver

The rabbit in “Jojo Rabbit”

Bernie Sanders

Red State best actress:

Olivia Wilde

Emma Watson

Kathy Bates

Elsa (in “Frozen 2”)

Stacey Dash

Blue State best actress:

Renée Zellweger

Saoirse Ronan

Jennifer Lopez

Cynthia Erivo

Greta Thunberg

In a nutshell, the Red State Oscars would be distinguished by the lifetime achievement award for Chuck Norris, who stuns the red carpet by showing up in a Tesla and a little lilac cocktail dress by Dior. Presenters also will mangle the pronunciation of Saoirse on purpose. The red state ceremony would begin with the “Star-Spangled Banner.” It would include video tributes to Milton Friedman and Rambo.

The Blue State Oscars would be notable for the “Little Women” winners’ oversight in thanking Louisa May Alcott. Bob Dylan would perform some scratchy, incomprehensible hippie medley. Jane Fonda would scold the audience for not arriving on public buses. In a three-hour ceremony, the audience would never once smile.

What a dour, poker-faced town Hollywood has become.

Both ceremonies would resemble political conventions. The Blue State Oscars end with the coronation of Sarah Silverman for president/sorceress. The Red State Oscars end with pudding pops and cartoons.

See, that wasn’t too painful. Or maybe it was. Take a breath. Good. Now take another breath. Now touch your toes. Zzzfffffft!

Maybe you think this is the stupidest idea ever, which believe me it is not. I’ve had far worse. Besides, New Coke was the stupidest idea ever, followed by that caveman sitcom based on the Geico ad.

Or how about LAX lately? Like driving through a small intestine.

Sorry, I always end up in the yelling place. Lately, we all do.

Let us all self-medicate with this little takeaway: In both Oscar ceremonies, Mr. Rogers figures prominently. He made both best picture lists, and Hanks made both best actor nominations, rather than supporting, for his gentle and reassuring portrayal.

Blue states and red states would both claim Fred Rogers as their talisman, as the heroic rep of their superior values and ideals, as their skinny Buddha savior.

So, what that means is that kindness and decency are still significant virtues, no matter how red or blue you are.

Which is at least a start. Or a conclusion.

The End.


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