The biggest great at Sunday’s Oscars may not be who wins the top prize – or even if Netflix can finally win the coveted best picture trophy – but how the biggest night in the film industry is changing itself after a tumultuous year.
Forced to rethink the ceremony due to the pandemic, and with a list of films that are diverse but mostly smaller, organizers are promising performances unlike any seen in the Academy Awards’ 93-year history. Read more
Staged for the first time at a functioning train station in downtown Los Angeles, albeit with a striking Art Deco building, Oscar producers did not elaborate on the details of the limited face-to-face ceremony, which will be shown on ABC television.
But they said the tone would be optimistic and the show would act as a love letter to a battered film industry after a year of cinema closings and delays in releasing dozens of potential blockbusters.
“We’re here to explain why cinema is important,” said Stacey Sher, one of the Oscar producer trio.
Netflix Inc. (NFLX.O) 1930s Hollywood drama “Mank” leads the nominations with 10 nominations in the best picture list that includes the 1960s courtroom saga “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” also from Netflix. Other nominations include recession drama “Nomadland,” the revenge tale “Promising Young Woman,” immigrant family story “Minari,” civil rights biographical film “Judas and the Black Messiah,” dementia tale “The Father,” and “Sound of Metal, “about a deaf drummer. L1N2ME2DB
The winners are selected by 9,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“This year, these films are less well known, but strangely more accessible than ever when across all streaming platforms. However, there are a lot of topics that are inferior (and) many of which are smaller films, more films. slow, “said Pete Hammond, chief film critic for Deadline Hollywood.
TV viewership on Sunday is expected to fall sharply, as other awards shows have been scaled back during the pandemic. The mostly virtual affair experienced a 60% decrease in the number of viewers.
YEAR OF DIVERSITY
Even with a small red carpet event on Sunday, organizers faced the challenge of finding the right balance between escapism and the pain that the coronavirus inflicts.
“The reason we’re watching this big, bloated affair is for the promise of electricity from live shows, everyone in the same room, and the last vestiges of spontaneity and glamor,” says Alison Willmore, a film critic in New York. magazine.
While Netflix has topped 35 nominations, award watchers say it will probably again see the top prize – best picture – pass.
“Netflix had volume but in the end it couldn’t win that big, and it looks like it will be with Oscars again,” said Hammond.
“Nomadland,” a Searchlight Pictures (DIS.N) film about the American van-dwelling community, has won most of the big awards ahead of the Oscars.
“‘Nomadland’ feels like a film that offers a very beautiful scene and cinematic language reminiscent of Western culture, while at the same time based on the urgent notion of a lack of social safety nets, labor, aging, and the fragmentation of social fabric,” said Willmore.
Hollywood’s push for diversity over the past five years is paying off.
Best-time directors include two women – Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” – who are among the 76 women nominated for an Oscar this year.
Nine of the 20 acting nominees – including front runners Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Kaluuya and Youn Yuh-jung – are people of color.
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