Even cinema’s most prestigious award ceremony falls victim to the consequences of a pandemic-inflicted world. Under normal circumstances, we’d be reveling in a list of nominations around this time for the Oscars 2021 edition — a little more than a month prior to another annual edition of the ceremony. As it turns out though, carrying over from 2020, delays are still in fashion.
Well, if it's any solace, at least they don't catch us off guard anymore. So, without further ado, here are the answers to all your Academy Award related queries.
When are the the Oscars 2021 happening?
Originally scheduled for February 28, the Oscars have been postponed to April 25. Two months might seem like a long wait, but once you take into consideration that there were talks to cancel the ceremony altogether, the compromise starts to feel reasonable.
Where are the Oscars 2021 happening?
As has been tradition since 1953, the Oscars will take place in-person in Los Angeles. However, with safety and seating logistics still up in the air, it remains to be determined whether or not our favourite stars will grace the red carpet.
A bit of cautious optimism reckons it’ll be a good day for fashion, but the possibility of awards being accepted over zoom calls by pyjama-donned celebrities can’t be crossed out just yet.
What’s new this year?
Quite a lot actually, and not all courtesy of the pandemic.
Extended eligibility period
With the ceremony postponed, the eligibility period for films has also been extended by two months, through till the end of February this year. This means that the nominations, which only get announced mid-March, will probably include films that haven’t even been released yet — The French Dispatch and Nomadland, for example.
Theatrical release exception
As cinemas remained closed for much of 2020, the Oscars will consider streaming-only releases for nominations this year. However, this exemption only applies to movies which would have premiered in the theatre under normal circumstances.
As if the awards weren’t competitive enough already, there’s now one less category to compete in. Following concerns raised by the voting members, the Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing categories have been merged into one, starting this year.
There has also been a change in the rules for Best Original Score. To be eligible, standalone films must have sixty percent of their score be composed of original music. That number goes up to eighty for franchise films and sequels.
A commendable break in tradition for a change. The Oscars are set to move away from physical copies of screenplays and music disks to an exclusive streaming platform for screeners.
Who’s going to win?
Everyone watching, hopefully. It’s tough to come up with predictions this early as there’s still a month-and-a-half worth of unreleased films to come. However, throwing caution to the wind, here are some possible names that might take away a golden statue at the end of the night.
Best actress: Frances McDormand for Nomadland, Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman, Elisabeth Moss for The Invisible Man.
Best actor: Riz Ahmed for Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Delroy Lindo for Da 5 Bloods.
Best picture: Malcolm & Marie, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7