Peter Bart: Kirk Douglas, A Hero Of Past Academy Awards, Might Have Been Baffled By Oscars 2020

  • Deadline
Peter Bart: Kirk Douglas, A Hero Of Past Academy Awards, Might Have Been Baffled By Oscars 2020
Kirk Douglas represented the embodiment of Hollywood stardom, but he likely would not have been a fan of Sunday’s Oscar show. Indeed, he might have ended up standing offstage with Quentin Tarantino, both wondering why the ceremonies seem oddly distanced from both Hollywood and its stars.

Tarantino made a downright affectionate movie about Hollywood, but had to watch a Korean filmmaker seize the Best Picture statuette. Quentin and Kirk know that the Oscar show had originally been invented by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Charlie Chaplin to prove that the talent – i.e., stars – still ran the show, not the corporations.

Ninety years later, star vehicles don’t win Oscars. Further, post-Oscar analysts focus less on the winning feature and its star than on whether Netflix’s lavish $100 million awards campaign paid off in sufficient trophies (the streamer won 24 nominations but only two Oscars).

Douglas coveted the awards derby.
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