Saturday, May 18, 2024

Vanity Fair Oscar Issue Goes for Outliers, Eschews Nominees, Top Stars for Eddie Murphy, JLo, Young People


Vanity Fair’s 2020 Oscar issue goes for something different than usual: it’s the anti-Oscar issue.

Instead of nominees and big stars, they went mostly for outliers and young people. On the main cover there’s one nominee: Renee Zellweger, who seems photoshopped into a photo of non-nominees Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Lopez. VF maybe stands for Very Funny.

Inside there are just two or three more nominees including Laura Dern and Antonio Banderas. But the magazine made the obvious choice to skip Brad Pitt, Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Joaquin Phoenix, Leo, even Cynthia Erivo, anyone from “The Irishman” and so on. And still, all those people will show up at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party on February 9th to get their pictures taken.

Instead there are a lot of newcomers and young people, as well as a completely unrecognizable picture of Jennifer Hudson (to honor the hit Oscar winning “Cats”) and Alfre Woodard getting no Clemency in African garb. (Maybe it’s a tribute to her late good friend Nelson Mandela.) My favorite of these, actually, is Beanie Feldstein, dancing for joy after a great year with “Booksmart.” There’s also a picture of Lily Rose Depp. I have no idea why. If you do, let me know.

The good news is that Mark Harris wrote the accompanying piece. He’s part of the new former Entertainment Weekly staff that have moved in of late to the Radhika Jones-edited publication. Anthony Breznican is also in the group. Things can only get better.

The VF website also features photos from the magazine’s pre-Golden Globes party sponsored by Amazon. Aside from Tony Shalhoub, there are no pictures of anyone from Amazon’s hit series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” No Midge, no Susie, no Lenny Bruce.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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