Those Old Time Oscars

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is playing up nostalgia in its ads for Sunday's Oscar Awards, "celebrate the movies in all of us." Some call that an excuse for a weak field of pictures chosen by mostly aging white men, out of touch with contemporary audiences. The identity of the 5765 voting members of AMPAS has been a carefully guarded secret, but extensive research by the Los Angeles Times revealed that 94 percent are Caucasian; 77 percent are male; and the median age is 62. But films about the past — and the way movies used to be made — may also reflect real anxiety in a film industry besieged by technical change in the digital age. Can Billy Crystal jack up this year's TV ratings?  After all the preliminaries, are there any surprises left?




Warren Olney