Friday, May 17, 2024

Vanity Fair 2021 Hollywood Issue Cover a Hodgepodge of Miscellany: Where Did All the Big Stars Go?


Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue used to be such a big deal. Who’s on the cover? Who made it? It was the insider’s insider’s cool almanac of the year.

But that was back in the era of Graydon Carter. Remember? And there was always outrage. Outrage was what made it interesting! Actresses in their underwear! Not enough Black people! Everyone’s too young!

Now we have the PC era of Vanity Fair, a ho hum affair where everything is just right. It’s also the era of Vanity Fair looking like Entertainment Weekly from 2005. Sorry. The Hollywood Issue is supposed to be about the Oscars and movies and what’s hot hot hot.

But this year’s cover is just a hodgepodge of miscellany pedestrians. We love Charlize Theron, but this was not her year. Yet she’s the Blonde on the Cover, and of one just two white people featured. The other is Sacha Baron Cohen, who does deserve to be there because of “Borat” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Michael B. Jordan? Great guy, but not his year. Also, he was People’s Sexiest Man Alive already. Zendaya? Okay, except “Malcolm and Marie” didn’t live up its hype. Spike Lee? Always in. Lakeith Stanfield? Good actor, but obscure. Maya Rudolph? A comic genius maybe, but for TV not movies. Awkwafina: very 2019. Again, not her year. And then, Michaela Coel and Dan Levy. They are from TV, not movies, much as we like them and their shows.

So this issue shows that either the big stars are long gone or Vanity Fair couldn’t get them. There will be no Vanity Fair Oscar party this year, obviously. But something tells me if there had been one, the guest list would have been a fanfare of faces from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and not the studios. And that, as HBO will tell you, is considered an Emmy party. Not an Oscars party.

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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