Briefing: Will Oscar go the same way as the Golden Globes?

With the nominations due to be announced on Tuesday, industry insiders are desperately trying to find a resolution to the Hollywood writers' strike


So is this just another Hollywood glitterfest in the offing?

Hardly. The big question hovering over the movie industry is not who will get nominated for what – we can expect the usual mix of predictability, occasional off-beat choices and perplexing omissions – but rather whether there will be an Academy Awards ceremony at all because of the 11-week-old writers' strike.

How do writers close down the Oscars?

Simple. They don't show up. They don't write any of the banter. And they persuade the Screen Actors Guild, representing all the glittering stars who usually adorn the red carpet, not to cross their picket lines. That's what they did at last weekend's Golden Globes, which turned into such a washout that the striking writers didn't even bother to show up – the only thing to picket would have been a dull news conference reeling off the names of the winners.

What's the Academy doing about it?

Two things – praying the strike will be over by Oscars night on 24 February and making contingency plans in case it's not. There has been movement on both fronts in the past few days, largely thanks to one man. Gil Cates is producer of the Oscars broadcast and also happens to be a key negotiator with the industry on behalf of the Directors Guild of America. Wearing one hat, Cates told a bunch of industry publicists last week that he was planning two different shows, both involving ceremonial aspects, custom-built sets and so on. In other words, there will be more than just a news conference, whatever happens. Wearing the other hat, Cates helped the DGA reach its own contract deal with the studio chiefs – after just six days of formal negotiations. Many now hope this can provide a template for the writers, too.

If it was so easy for the directors, how come it's so hard for the writers?

That's the key question. The directors made progress on all the issues that prompted the writers to put down their pens – most notably, on compensation for material distributed over the internet and new media more generally. We don't know yet if the terms are generous enough for the writers, who depend on residuals – extra payments for repeat showings of shows and films – more than directors do. The Writers Guild leadership is still studying the fine print. It may yet conclude that the deal with the directors was a shoddy way of trying to drive a wedge between its members and force an end to the strike on the studios' own terms. But many people – George Clooney and Oliver Stone among them, so far – have expressed the hope that the industry can get back to work sooner rather than later.

What's really at stake, beyond the gold statuettes?

Plenty. The Academy Awards themselves generate huge business for the Los Angeles economy – think of all the dress designers, limo drivers, hair and make-up artists who rely on the event for a significant chunk of their livelihood. The slowdown in television and film production has had a similar effect on technicians and specialist trade people all round – lousy timing, given the collapse of the housing market and the already keen threat of recession. Some economists believe a prolonged strike in Hollywood could actually act as an economic catalyst and make a bad situation significantly worse.

So who did you say is likely to get nominated?

Whoops, easy to overlook. Atonement, Sweeney Todd and No Country for Old Men look good for best picture. Julie Christie for best actress. Daniel Day-Lewis for best actor. Sean Penn will probably get snubbed for Into the Wild. Sound familiar? It's been the pattern of just about every awards list to date.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star