by Liam O’Hara ’21 A&E Staff
On April 25, the 93rd Academy Awards (The Oscars) will be honoring the best films of 2020 and 2021. These awards not only recognize the actors, actresses, and directors of films, but also a film’s music, screenplay, and visual effects.
The ceremony was originally scheduled for Feb. 28, but due to COVID-19, The Academy postponed it to April 25. This is the fourth time that the Oscars have been postponed in history; the other times were following the Los Angeles flooding (1938), the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981. This is also the first time since the sixth award show that films released in two different calendar years will be eligible for award consideration in the same ceremony.
Needless to say, movies are everywhere these days; they have almost all been on either TV or streaming apps. Even though Oscar nominees have to be released in theaters, The Academy modified the criteria to account for films that were supposed to have been released in theaters but ultimately went directly to streaming.
As in recent years, the ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. This year, however, Union Station will also be hosting. As was the case last year, there will be no host. In terms of other attendees, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president David Rubin said, “With pandemic restrictions in place, only nominees, their guests and presenters are being permitted to attend.”
This year is sure to be a unique year for the Oscars not just because of COVID-19, but also because of potential historical moments within the pool of nominees. The Academy finalized nominations on March 15, and some big questions linger: Will Riz Ahmed become the first Muslim man to win Best Actor for Sound of Metal? Will a woman win Best Director for just the second time at the Oscars as several are nominated? And what about Anthony Hopkins, from The Father? If he wins, he will be the oldest Best Actor winner ever. These are some big superlatives.
This will also be the first Academy Awards ceremony implementing the representation and inclusion standards that were announced in September 2020 with the aim of providing more awards to a wider selection of worthy recipients. As noted in its news release, The Academy wrote, “The standards are designed to encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the moviegoing audience.” Catch the Oscars on April 25 at 8 p.m. on ABC.