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‘Oscar Wars’ an exhilarating read for film critics and fans alike

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‘Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and TearsBy Michael Schulmanc.2023, Harper$40/589 pages Get out the guacamole!

The game, beloved by millions — especially queers — is being played. This Sunday, the 95th Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles will be seen worldwide.

Few have written more compellingly about the ego, campiness, politics, and intrigue of the Academy Awards than Michael Schulman in his new book “Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears.” The Oscars are “the closest thing America has to royalty,” writes Schulman, a staff writer at The New Yorker. “They’re the only thing forcing Hollywood to factor art into commerce.” Schulman likens the Oscars to a horse race and a relic.

The Academy Awards prop up Hollywood, a multibillion-dollar business, canonize movies and showcase fashion, he notes. “They’re an orgy of self-congratulation by rich and famous people who think too highly of themselves.” Schulman adds, “They’re the Gay Super Bowl.”  You can bet that every year, something will throw the Oscars off their game.

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