The Oscars, big question marks

Will it or will it not take place? And if so, what form will this 93rd Oscar ceremony take? Will it be virtual with trophies via Zoom or physical but with masks and physical distancing? Will the stars be able to walk the red carpet by taking all the necessary preventive measures or even by getting vaccinated beforehand? No one can predict until now what Hollywood’s biggest night out will look like in 2021.

What we already know is that the date was finally set for April 25 and that the academy had done everything to postpone it leaving the eligibility window open until February 28. That is, the ceremony was delayed for two months. Another thing is certain, is that even if the contenders for the prestigious trophy are not as numerous as usual, the fact remains that the moviegoers will be able to see rather high-end works. With studios that have postponed their big plans until next year in the wake of the Covid-19, international festivals being held online and theaters closed so far, that we can still have access to “major” films stem from a miracle or a desire not to see the 7th art wither away.

The great battle, two years ago, between Cannes and Netflix, prohibiting the streaming giant from participating in the festival is over. Today, it is an incredible chance for Netflix, Amazon or other platforms to win Academy Awards. Indeed, Netflix has been aiming for the Oscar for best film in recent years, and it is certain that this year, the global health crisis is in its favor and could allow it to be the big winner of this edition.

The platform has, in fact, cast a wide net at festivals such as Toronto, Telluride and Venice, which took place in person. At TIFF, the platform left with the broadcasting rights to three of the most anticipated films this year: Malcolm & Marie by Sam Levinson, Pieces of a Woman by Kornél Mundruczó and Bruised directed by Halle Berry. As a reminder, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma had allowed Netflix to make a sensational entry to the Oscars (not without some controversy) in 2019. The Mexican filmmaker’s film was nominated in seven categories and left with three statuettes, including that of the best director … Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach was nominated in six categories in 2020 and came away with the award for best supporting role, given to Laura Dern. But on April 25, 2021, this giant may win the trophy for best film. Which would mark a big turning point in the history of the film industry. So far, three titles have been selected for the Oscar for Best Picture: Mank by David Fincher, The Chicago Seven by Aaron Sorkin, Mai Rainey’s Black Bottom by George C. Wolfe which features the late Chadwick Boseman; and The Midnight Sky by George Clooney. Other predictions for the best actor and actress are already in the minds of the academy, but in these times of pandemic when everything can change from one day to the next, who can still predict? To be continued …

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Will it or will it not take place? And if so, what form will this 93rd Oscar ceremony take? Will it be virtual with trophies via Zoom or physical but with masks and physical distancing? Will the stars be able to walk the red carpet by taking all the necessary preventive measures or even by getting vaccinated beforehand? Nobody can…

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The Oscars, big question marks

Hank Gilbert