We’ve all spent nearly a year without movie theaters, and it sure hasn’t been easy. With COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in space, there’s been nowhere to go to watch some of Hollywood’s greatest productions. The 93rd annual Academy Awards ( Oscars 2021 ) are still going to happen. But it’s going to look and feel quite different from in years past. Here’s a quick primer on everything we know that you need to know about the biggest night in the movies. Join Virlan in this journey.
When will the Oscars 2021 take place?
Originally scheduled for 28 February 2021, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony postponed to 25 April 2021. The move will result in a temporary change to the Oscars’ eligibility period. Meaning the standard 31 December deadline will be extended to 28 February.
Films released up to that point will qualify for awards recognition. “For more than a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring and entertaining us during the darkest of times,” said Academy president David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in a joint statement. “They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”
What are some of the movies with the biggest buzz in Oscars 2021 ?
This is a shortlist of the films most likely to grab the big awards. Like best picture, best director, best actor and best actress. biggest buzz in Oscars 2021:
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Chadwick Boseman is garnering a lot of the attention for this August Wilson adaptation, and rightfully so as the final film from the late Black Panther star, but don’t sleep on Viola Davis or the gorgeous look of the film set in the 1920s and helmed by George C. Wolfe that could end up being among the leading nominated films.
Nomadland in Oscars 2021
Two-time Oscar-winner Frances McDormand vies for number three in this story of a woman who accepts a nomad-way of life following America’s Great Recession. Director Chloé Zhao has helmed what looks like the critical favorite of the year. Recently winning top prizes with Boston critics after earning festival laurels from Toronto and Venice.
Oscars 2021: Mank
David Fincher’s retelling of the writing of Citizen Kane falls right in line with a subject the Oscars love to award. Movies about Hollywood. Expect Fincher’s meticulous designed, wonderfully acted film to be a player in nearly all categories.
Oscars 2021: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Depicting a country struggling with racial divisions and a politically-charged atmosphere, Aaron Sorkin’s retelling of the landmark 1968 trial echoes many of the things we are still dealing with today. Sorkin’s writing, which he previously won an Oscar for, and the strong ensemble will keep Chicago 7 in the conversation.
One Night in Miami in Oscar
Regina King won an Oscar for her first acting nomination, can she do the same with her first directing gig? Focusing on four iconic Civil Rights leaders – Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali (still Cassius Clay during the film), Sam Cooke and Jim Brown – King has drawn praise and shown she is just as talented behind the camera as in front of it.
The Father in Academy Award 2021
Nearly 30 years since Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs, but the 83-year-old may have the pole position right now for Best Actor as he plays a man who’s battle with dementia begins to challenge his reality. The film, from playwright-turned-director Florian Zeller, also saw as a Best Picture player.
News of the World for Oscar
One of the few films taking the more traditional approach to a release strategy this year (thanks in part to Universal’s exclusive deal with theaters), this Tom Hanks-Paul Greengrass western hopes to recapture the glory that helped propel films like True Grit and Unforgiven as major Oscar contenders.
Animations on Oscar 2021: Soul
It’s been 10 years since Pixar had a Best Picture nominee, Toy Story 3, but the studio’s latest has the buzz to break that drought. The question becomes after Parasite broke the barrier of a foreign-language film winning Best Picture last year, could this Pete Docter-helmed tale be the one to do so for animated films?
Da 5 Bloods
Spike Lee finally won his long-deserved Oscar a couple of years ago, but he continues to prove he is one of the most essential filmmakers working with his latest, which also features a great opportunity for long-time character actor Delroy Lindo to be recognized for his searing performance.
Other films in the discussion
- Promising Young Woman,
- Sound of Metal,
- The Prom,
- The Midnight Sky,
- Palm Springs,
- The Invisible Man,
- Borat Subsequent
- Wonder Woman 1984
Things will hopefully start to crystalize as we make our way through this unusual Oscar season.
Who’s hosting the Oscars 2021?
No one has been announced. The show has had no host for the past two years. And there’s a good chance 2021 will continue that new tradition.
What Movies Are Eligible For The 2021 Academy Awards?
The shifting of the Oscars 2021 dates were in large part to give filmmakers a chance to finish their projects after COVID-related delays. And still qualify for this year’s awards. To do that, they had to extend the 2021 Oscar eligibility window.
Normally, films would have to be released between January 1 and December 31 of their given year. But for 2021 the Academy will accept films that were released between January 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021.
The Oscars adapted one other rule this year because of the extraordinary circumstances. Usually requiring films to have an exclusive seven-day run in theaters to qualify. Since movie theaters had stretches where they were forced to close for safety reasons and studios have been forced to make decisions on how best to release their movies, the Academy is allowing films that intended to have a qualifying or full run in theaters but instead opted for streaming/VOD to be eligible for all awards, assuming they meet all other requirements.
Sustaining buzz throughout any season — let alone history’s longest Oscar contest — is a monumental feat, but Chloé Zhao’s cross-country technical masterwork Nomadland about a van-dwelling drifter (Frances McDormand) is also a cross-category player currently riding on universally enthusiastic reviews out of the fall festivals, and affection for it will only grow as it rolls out to critics and audiences nationwide in the weeks ahead. The Golden Globes further proved that director Chloé Zhao is a triple-threat — and that Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 is her relatively traditional competition.
- The Trial of the Chicago 7
- Da 5 Bloods
- Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
- One Night in Miami…
- Promising Young Woman
- Judas and the Black Messiah
Best Director in Oscars 2021
David Fincher’s black-and-white industry tale, Mank, about Herman J. Mankiewicz’s liquor-soaked journey to writing Citizen Kane, might be a tough sit for more casual moviegoers, but the directors’ branch has a notorious flair for complexity, and the film’s meticulous construction and industry-focused story — fluffed by killer performances Fincher coached from Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfriend — is right up their alley. But such a prestigious, traditional picture might fall victim to the lack of in-person screenings Netflix is able to push amid a pandemic, as buzzier, more “hip” titles take advantage of the new exclusively digital landscape of the Oscar race.
Still, Chloé Zhao has steadily risen among the ranks in the industry, and has a bright commercial future ahead of her (she’s helming Marvel’s Eternals starring Angelina Jolie), so the Academy might want to cement her ascent with a golden stamp of approval before she blows up. With her film’s stellar performance on the precursor circuit so far (as well as capturing sustained social media buzz for its timely topic), Emerald Fennell could also ride the wave of Golden Globes affection for Promising Young Woman well into the Best Director race.
- Chloé Zhao — Nomadland
- Aaron Sorkin — The Trial of the Chicago 7
- Spike Lee — Da 5 Bloods
- Regina King — One Night in Miami…
- David Fincher — Mank
Best Actress of 2021 Oscar
Viola Davis may sing her way into the Academy’s heart in Netflix’s biographical drama Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, but another diva-as-diva performance from recording artist Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday seems poised to take over buzz from Davis’ work, as the late Chadwick Boseman has reaped most of the industry affection for Ma Rainey thus far.
It’s Carey Mulligan, however, whom has flexed her might the hardest on the precursor circuit in Promising Young Woman, bagging multiple pre-Oscars victories for a career-best performance that will also easily receive righteous industry votes for the themes it represents. She’s also, along with Davis, Vanessa Kirby, and Frances McDormand, one of the actresses to have bagged both SAG and Globe noms.
- Carey Mulligan — Promising Young Woman
- Frances McDormand — Nomadland
- Viola Davis — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
- Vanessa Kirby — Pieces of a Woman
- Andra Day — The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Oscars 2021: Best Actor
Posthumous Oscars are rare, but not impossible. And the best way to honor the late Chadwick Boseman’s legacy would be to adorn him with the industry’s highest acting honor. But his hold on the race isn’t a sympathy vote. Boseman’s eclectic filmography has long been building toward an Oscar nomination, and he’ll likely get it for one of his final on-screen appearance as a fitting cap for a groundbreaking career. Though it has received zero love from precursor awards bodies. It’s still difficult to imagine a world where the Academy ignores career-best work from Anthony Hopkins, so don’t count him out of the race yet. Riz Ahmed has also emerged as perhaps the contender with the strongest precursor report card under his belt. So there’s a very real possibility that he takes over the race, with Globes and SAG nods secured.
- Chadwick Boseman — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
- Riz Ahmed — Sound of Metal
- Anthony Hopkins — The Father
- Gary Oldman — Mank
- LaKeith Stanfield — Judas and the Black Messiah
Across the longest run-up to any Oscars 2021 in history, studios have more time than ever (13 months between January 2020 and February 2021). To unleash their prize ponies into relatively uncharted territory. As a global pandemic’s impact on theatrical releases, new eligibility rules, an expanded Best Picture set (locked at a hard 10 slots).