Oscars 2021 LIVE updates: 93rd Academy Awards kick off with Nomadland, Chadwick Boseman, Frances McDormand as favourites



  • Oscars 2021 LIVE: The 93rd Academy Awards kicked off in unusual fashion in Los Angeles on Monday morning, with Netflix’s Mank leading the nominations.

UPDATED ON APR 26, 2021 05:11 AM IST

An Oscars ceremony unlike any other will play out Monday morning, with history on the line in major categories and a telecast that has been completely retooled for the pandemic.

There will be no host, no audience, nor face masks for nominees attending The 93rd Academy Award at Los Angeles’ Union Station — this year’s hub for a show usually broadcast from the Dolby Theatre. In contrast with the largely virtual Golden Globes, Zoom boxes have been closed out — though international hubs and satellite feeds will connect nominees unable to travel.

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 filmmaker Steven 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 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.”

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.

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