Two weeks out, the Oscars are already trivia. Fairy dust in the wind. Who wore what, said what, won what don’t particularly matter. Haranguing the host for having done a tepid job is as perfunctory as any chore; vanilla ice cream is wont to melt. Even if the institution sets a dubious agenda, though, and even if all its pageantry is a relic of some less jaded era that we hate on almost as hard as we try to rekindle it, I want to thank the Academy for setting any agenda that occasions talk about film, and, better yet, films worth talking about.
With the envelopes opened, the “urgency” of my observations has escaped. So, lest fuller pieces never come to fruition, I hereby commit a few notes to the heap before they’re as stale as N.P.H.’s jokes . . .