A year ago at this time, Oscar watchers were still contemplating whether “Crouching Tiger,” “Hidden Dragon” could snare a picture nom despite its subtitles, or whether “Traffic” would resonate with viewers. These days, observers are pondering the overall nature of the award ceremonies, considering the more somber mood that hovered over the Emmys after Sept. 11 tragedy and the political events that followed. Some are still busy tabulating “Harry Potter’s” boffo box office records and wondering whether the little wizard will have the power to cast his spell on critics orgs and Academy voters.
But no matter which films end up reaping the rewards, most of the organizers of the events covered in this issue proclaim that the shows must go on, regardless of the daily challenges ahead. So, mark those calendars, fill out the ballots and start thinking about the annual office Oscar pool.