Oscars 2021: the promises of a unique ceremony

The Oscars night on Sunday April 25 will be like no other: it will be broadcast live from an Art Deco station in Los Angeles, will recognize films mostly seen in streaming, and bring together Hollywood stars for the first time since. start of the pandemic.

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Even though the film Mank, by David Fincher, leads with ten nominations, it is Nomadland – a hybrid of road movie, social drama and documentary following elderly Americans living on the roads after losing everything during the “subprime” crisis -, which is considered the big favorite for the supreme award for best feature film. Five other statuettes are also within reach of the film by Chloé Zhao, who is delighted at the idea of ​​finding the gratin of Hollywood after a long confinement.

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“We want to see our friends! We have a lot of friends named this year and we can’t wait to see them ”, said the Chinese director of this 93e editing.

Fans, however, risk being hungry, because the red carpet this year has been reduced to its simplest form, in order to respect health rules and social distancing. Most reporters will follow the show from a distance, and not all Hollywood moguls themselves have received an invitation.

Hollywood favorite

Nomadland has dominated the awarding season that is coming to an end, and Chloe Zhao is the darling of the moment in Hollywood. She looks set to be the second woman in Oscar history – and the first non-white – to win the coveted Best Director award.

In the context of the pandemic, which has caused the closure of cinemas and postponed the release of big Hollywood productions, Nomadland – like its competitors Minari and Sound of Metal – succeeded in capturing the era of time through the portrait of isolated characters on the fringes of American society, but free in their own way.

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Promising Young Woman plays on feminism and the #metoo movement while Chicago Seven revisits the major demonstrations of 1968 and police repression, topical themes. Both films, however, appear to be outsiders.

The vintage of diversity

The race for the Oscars for the categories of actors seems much more open, with a still unpublished prize list in view: the four awards could go to comedians of color, after years of controversy over the composition of the Academy of Oscars, judged too white and masculine to reflect society as a whole.

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After many years of activism and #OscarsSoWhite campaigning to demand greater diversity in the Academy’s selection, the Oscars this time around are breaking historic records with nine ethnic minority actors among the nominees and the first American to be nominated. Asian descent shortlisted for Best Actor, Steven Yeun (Minari). Also for the first time, two women are among the five Oscar nominees.

The category of the best actress is this year very uncertain. Two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand, who leads the almost all-amateur cast of modern vagabonds from Nomadland, is once again in the running. But the five candidates, notably Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Blues) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), have won important awards for their respective services.

Among the nominations of the evening, Glenn Close will run behind a desire never satisfied before. Three Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, three Tony Awards, memorable roles and recognition from his peers, but, at 74, no Oscar despite seven nominations. This year, the eighth, may once again not be the right one. If his physical transformation and his performance as a surly matriarch in An American ode were hailed – earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress – the film, on the other hand, has been panned by critics. If she fails on Sunday, she will be tied with the late Peter O’Toole as the most unlucky Oscar nominee.

Posthumous Oscar for Chadwick Boseman?

Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer last summer before the film’s release Ma Rainey’s Blues in which he embodies a trumpeter haunted by racist atrocities, could, for his part, triumph in his category. But a member of the Academy of Oscars estimated on condition of anonymity that a “Surprise” was still possible with “Anthony Hopkins in ambush” for his remarkable performance in The Father.

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Daniel Kaluuya is favorite for Oscar for Best Supporting Actor thanks to his role in Judas and the Black Messiah while South Korean Youn Yuh-jung is enjoying increasing popularity on the feminine side after the recent funny and biting speeches she gave when receiving awards for Minari.

The Netflix platform is in a good position to win the most Oscars, with technical categories and documentary The Wisdom of the Octopus.

If the pandemic has forced organizers to postpone the Oscars by two months, the co-producer of the evening, director Steven Soderbergh, has promised that these upheavals will be an opportunity to deliver a show that will not look like “Nothing that has been done before”. The ceremony should be filmed like a movie film rather than a TV show, he said.

Organizers have insisted the stars, including Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt, be in gala attire and they should be allowed to remove their masks when they are on screen. As for the European stars who will not be able to reach Los Angeles, they will be welcomed at sites located in London and Paris, with retransmission by satellite beam.

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The World with AFP

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Oscars 2021: the promises of a unique ceremony

Hank Gilbert