, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions

An Oscars unlike any before will get underway Sunday night with a telecast retooled for the pandemic. 

This year, the series will adapt to the demands of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for a socially distanced show that attempts to follow safety recommendations while steering clear of the virtual format other award shows have adopted. 

To underscore the changes due to the pandemic, there will be no host, no audience, nor face masks for nominees attending the ceremony at Los Angeles’ Union Station — this year’s hub for a show usually broadcast from the Dolby Theatre – though they will have to mask up when not on stage. And there will be COVID-19 testing as well as temperature checks.

And guests – Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon and Zendaya have been secured – are not able to bring guests.

There will only be about 170 attendees in all, which is far less than the 3,000 that normally attended the Oscars pre pandemic. 

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Covid-19 precautions: The Oscars are adapting to the coronavirus pandemic by having only 170 attendees at LA’s Union Station this year, while Zoom appearances are banned; Union Station seen being prepared for the ceremony on Friday

In contrast with the largely virtual Golden Globes, Zoom boxes have been closed out — though numerous international hubs and satellite feeds will connect nominees unable to travel.

Due to the pandemic, the audience will be significantly capped at the venues, with only 170 attendees allowed inside Union Station, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That’s compared to the usual 3,000 people that the Dolby Theatre can accommodate.

‘As soon as you open the door beyond nominees, their plus-one and the presenters, you can’t control it,’ said filmmaker and first-time Oscars producer Steven Soderbergh at a press conference last week.

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

What a difference: The Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards are normally held, can accommodate up to 3,000 people; Brad Pitt seen in February 2020

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Taking it seriously: Steven Soderbergh and other Oscars producers told attendees in a letter that the show is being treated ‘as an active movie set’ with ‘an on-site Covid safety team with PCR testing capacity’; seen in 2019 in NYC

‘And so that was not even a question for us. Like, this is how it has to be done. [Disney executive] Bob Iger won’t be there. That is just where we are at, and that is how we are being allowed to do it this way.’

In order to keep things moving smoothly, the show will have a bevy of rapid Covid-19 testing and temperature checks on site.

‘We are treating the event as an active movie set, with specially designed testing cadences to ensure up-to-the-minute results, including an on-site Covid safety team with PCR testing capability,’ the Oscar producers wrote in a letter to nominees last month.

In order to cut down on risks, attendees have been asked to skip going to crowded places like gyms or restaurants for the 10 days prior to the ceremony. 

It doesn’t hurt that California now has the lowest coronavirus case rates in the continental United States.

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Safety first: In order to cut down on risks, attendees have been asked to skip going to crowded places like gyms or restaurants for the 10 days prior to the ceremony

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Blessing: It doesn’t hurt that California now has the lowest coronavirus case rates in the continental United States

The show appears to be trying to downplay the use of masks, as presenters won’t wear them when on camera, but they will be required to have them on during commercial breaks.

Soderbergh has been cagey about the use of masks, but he suggested they might play some kind of prominent role for the ceremony during his news conference.

‘Here is our quote on that: Masks are going to play a very important role in the story of this evening,’ he said. ‘And if that is cryptic, it’s meant to be. But that topic is very central to the narrative.’

He also tried to tamp down on fears by adding that the film industry has had ‘a lot of practice’ in finding safe ways to work amid the pandemic.

‘This industry was at the forefront of creating protocols to get people back to work safely,’ he continued. ‘I’m in the middle of shooting my second film during COVID. We know how to approach situations like this. It’s incredibly labor intensive. It’s incredibly complex logistically, and it’s expensive.

‘There is no universe in which we are going to ever put anybody at risk. And so we are hoping to combine safety with a show that feels like a glimpse of what is going to be possible when most people are vaccinated and, you know, rapid, accurate, cheap testing is the norm. So COVID is going to be there because it’s everywhere, but we want to put it in its place and then sort of move forward,’ he explained.

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Partial masking: The show appears to be trying to downplay the use of masks, as presenters won’t wear them when on camera, but they will be required to have them on during commercial breaks; Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson seen in 2020

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Shortened carpet: The red carpet is also back this year, though not the throngs; only a handful of media outlets will be allowed on site, and there will be significantly fewer stars walking; Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara seen in 2020

The red carpet is also back this year, though not the throngs; only a handful of media outlets will be allowed on site, and there will be significantly fewer stars walking.

Casual wear is a no-no. The pre-show on ABC begins at 6:30 p.m. EDT and will include pre-taped performances of the five Oscar-nominated songs. The ceremony is available to stream on Hulu Live TV, YouTubeTV, AT&T TV, FuboTV and on ABC.com with provider authentication.

Pulling the musical interludes (though not the in memoriam segment) from the three-hour broadcast — and drastically cutting down the time it will take winners to reach the podium — will free up a lot of time in the ceremony. And producers, led by Soderbergh, are promising a reinvented telecast.

The Oscars will look more like a movie, Soderbergh has said. The show will be shot in 24 frames-per-second (as opposed to the usual 30), appear more widescreen and the presenters — including Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford, Rita Moreno and Zendaya — are considered ‘cast members.’ The telecast’s first 90 seconds, Soderbergh has claimed, will ‘announce our intention immediately.’

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Cinematic: The Oscars will look more like a movie, Soderbergh said. The show will be shot in 24 frames-per-second (as opposed to 30), appear more widescreen and the presenters are considered ‘cast members’; pictured in 2020

But even a great show may not be enough to save the Oscars from an expected ratings slide. Award show ratings have cratered during the pandemic, and this year’s nominees — many of them smaller, lower-budget dramas — won’t come close to the drawing power of past Oscar heavyweights like Titanic or Black Panther. Last year’s Oscars, when Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite became the first non-English language film to win best picture, was watched by 23.6 million, an all-time low.

Netflix dominated this year with 36 nominations, including the lead-nominee Mank, David Fincher’s black-and-white drama about Citizen Kane co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz. The streamer is still pursuing its first best-picture win; this year, its best shot may be Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7.

But the night’s top prize, best picture, is widely expected to go to Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, a contemplative character study about an itinerant woman (Frances McDormand) in the American West. 

Should it be victorious, it will be one of the lowest budget best-picture winners ever. Zhao’s film, populated by nonprofessional actors, was made for less than $5 million. (Her next film, Marvel’s Eternals, has a budget of at least $200 million.)

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Frontrunner: Nomadland director Chloé Zhao is the frontrunner for best director, and her film is also a top contender for Best Picture; seen with Frances McDormand on set

Zhao is also the frontrunner for best director, a category that has two female filmmakers nominated for the first time. 

Also nominated is Emerald Fennell for the scathing revenge drama Promising Young Woman. Zhao would be just the second woman to win best director in the academy’s 93 years (following Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker), and the first woman of color.

History is also possible in the acting categories. If the winners from the Screen Actors Guild Awards hold — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’s Chadwick Boseman for best actor, Viola Davis for best actress; Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari) for best supporting actress; and Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) for best supporting actor — it would the first time nonwhite actors swept the acting categories — and a dramatic reversal from recent “OscarsSoWhite” years.

Several of those awards appear to be locks, particularly for the late Boseman, who would become the third actor to ever win a posthumous Academy Award following Peter Finch and Heath Ledger. Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman´s widow, has often accepted previous honors on his behalf.

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Final project: Chadwick Boseman is a favorite for best actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which would make him only the third actor to win posthumously

If there’s one less certain category, it’s best actress. Davis, who has won previously for her performance in Fences, is up against Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) and two-time winner McDormand. Prognosticators call it a three-way toss up.

Sunday’s pandemic-delayed Oscars will bring to a close the longest awards season ever — one that turned the season’s industrial complex of cocktail parties and screenings virtual. Eligibility was extended into February of this year, and for the first time, a theatrical run wasn’t a requirement of nominees. Some films, like Sound of Metal, premiered all the way back in September 2019.

The pandemic pushed several anticipated movies out of 2020, but a few bigger budget releases could still take home awards. 

Pixar’s Soul appears a sure-thing for best animated film, and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet — which last September tried to lead a moviegoing revival that fizzled when virus cases spiked and many theaters couldn’t reopen — will likely win for its visual effects.

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Foregone conclusion: Disney/Pixar’s Soul is likely to win for best animated film, as the studio usually comes out on top

But for the first time, Hollywood’s most prestigious awards will overwhelming belong to films that barely played on the big screen. The biggest ticket-seller of the best picture nominees is Promising Young Woman, with $6.3 million in box office.

Lately, with vaccinations expanding, signs of life have begun to show in movie theaters — most of which are operating at 50 percent capacity. Warner Bros.’ Godzilla vs. Kong has made around $400 million worldwide, which theater owners point to as proof that moviegoers are eager for studios to again release a regular diet of big movies. 

Right now, the date circled on cinema calendars is May 28, when both Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s Cruella arrive in theaters — though Cruella will simultaneously stream for $30.

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Coming soon: Cinemas are hoping to see an increase in business by May 28, when a Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s Cruella are released

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Tune in! The 93rd Academy Awards will begin Sunday night at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC

But it’s been a punishing year for Hollywood. Around the world, movie theater marquees replaced movie titles with pleas to wear a mask. 

Streaming services rushed to fill the void, redrawing the balance between studios and theaters — and likely forever ending the three-month theatrical exclusivity for new releases. Just weeks before the Oscars, one of Los Angeles’ most iconic theaters, the Cinerama Dome, along with ArcLight Cinemas, went out of business.

After the pandemic, Hollywood — and the Oscars — may not ever be quite the same. Or as WarnerMedia’s new chief executive Jason Kilar said when announcing plans to shift the studio’s movies to streaming: ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore.’

The 93rd Academy Awards will begin Sunday night at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.

93rd Academy Awards: Who are the 2021 Oscar nominees?

Best Picture

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Best Picture: The Trial of the Chicago 7 is one of the eight films nominated

 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day – The United States vs Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand – Nomadland

Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman – The Father

Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Youn Yuh-jung – Minari  

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Olivia Colman is up for her role in The Father

Best Music (Original Score)

Da 5 Bloods

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Soul

 

Best Animated Short Film

Burrow

Genius Loci

If Anything Happens I Love You

Opera

Yes-People

 

Best Live Action Short Film

Feeling Through

The Letter Room

The Present

Two Distant Strangers

White Eye

 

Best International Feature Film

Another Round

Better Days

Collective

The Man Who Sold His Skin

Quo Vadis, Aida?

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Best Sound: Greyhound – a war film starring Tom Hanks – is up for the gong 

Best Sound

Greyhound

Mank

News of the World

Soul

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Sound of Metal  

 

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

News of the World

Nomadland

The Trial of the Chicago 7  

 

Best Music (Original Song)

Fight for You – Judas and the Black Messiah

Hear My Voice – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Husavik – Eurovision Song Contest

Io Si (Seen) – The Life Ahead

Speak Now – One Night in Miami…

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is vying for the award

 Best Director  

Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round

David Fincher – Mank

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins – The Father

Gary Oldman – Mank

Steven Yeun – Minari 

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami…

Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah

 

Best Animated Feature Film

Onward

Over the Moon

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Soul

Wolfwalkers

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Best Animated Feature Film:  A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is nominated

Best Costume Design

Emma

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Mulan

Pinnochio

 

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The Father

Nomadland

One Night in Miami…

The White Tiger

 

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Judas and the Black Messiah

Minari

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Documentary Feature

Collective

Crip Camp

The Mole Agent

My Octopus Teacher

Time

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

, The Oscars will have fewer stars, no audience and no Zoom appearances amid Covid-19 restrictions, The Nzuchi Times

Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Judas and the Black Messiah is up for the gong

Best Documentary Short Subject

Colette

A Concerto Is a Conversation

Do Not Split

Hunger Ward

A Love Song for Latasha

 

Best Film Editing

The Father

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Production Design

The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

News of the World

Tenet

 

Best Visual Effects

Love and Monsters

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

The One and Only Ivan

Tenet

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Emma

Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Pinocchio

 

 

<!—->
Advertisement
More Stories
New iPhone update wreaking havoc