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The Fate Of The 2021 Oscars: A Quick Look Into The Future


All right now. I know what you’re probably thinking. With all the stuff that’s going on right now, how could I possibly focus on something so trivial and superficial as an Award ceremony? Well, because I own a film blog, and believe it or not, I’m one of the remaining souls on this planet that enjoys the Oscar race. So, there’s that. 

And before I dive into the possible future of the Oscars, I think it’s best to focus on the present. The Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences already made some adjustments for the entries in the 2021 Oscars. First and foremost it made a huge change in the legibility process. The Academy made it possible for the movies that premiered on the streaming services (think Netflix, Hulu, and so on…) to qualify for Oscar nominations. 

allison janney oscars GIF by The Academy Awards

The old rules about that were: A movie must have a week-long theatrical release to qualify for Oscar consideration. But with the cinemas being closed for an indefinite period…. Something had to change. So they did changed the rules.

Speaking of theatrical releases… According to the new rules, the theatrical releases don’t have to be done in the LA county and LA county alone. Anymore. Several other theaters including the ones in the Bay Area, New York City, Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta were included to broaden the chances of qualifying. 

But due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more than likely that the Oscar ceremony will be postponed. The news has not been confirmed yet by the Academy, but according to Variety (and several other sources) it’s more than likely that the ceremony won’t happen at the Kodak theater. If it does happen, it will most likely be on-line like plenty of the Film festivals.

So, what’s going to happen with the 2021 Oscar movies (and dare I say with the Oscars)?

oscars 2018 GIF by The Academy Awards

Well, for one the 2021 Oscar movies are about to get diverse and with mixed quality. What do I mean by mixed quality? Movies that would most likely not be even considered for an Oscar in any category, will now become part of a very select and snooty group.

The big epic war dramas, the tearjerker biopics, and the experimental art-house indies are going to be pushed aside. There will be plenty of SF, action, and lots of indie sleeper hits that will dominate the Oscar race. Movies like Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Minari, and Promising Young Woman. All three were Sundance darlings and luckily have had their theatrical releases at the start of this year. 

Sundance’s The 40-Year-Old Version is looking at an upcoming Netflix release, while the theatrical release of The Father – another Sundance hit is still a huge question mark. 

Already released movies like The Invisible Man and Ben Affleck’s The Way Back are not taking into consideration, while the remake of David Lunch’s Dune will likely become the most hyped Oscar hopeful If the premiere does happen this year that is. Dune is scheduled to premiere in December 2020 (peak awards season) but we’ll see how things are going to develop in the upcoming months. 

And of course, there’s TENET. Personally my favorite 2020 movie, and my favorite for the 2021 Oscars (if they’re going to happen). Christopher Nolan’s latest movie is scheduled for a July release (on the previously appointed premiere date) and some might say that it’s going to be the movie that will test the waters for a lot of movies to follow. First and foremost the movie is going to be released in the movie theaters, and secondly the movie will become a litmus test not just for the movie industry, but for the Academy as well.

Robert Pattinson GIF by Coolidge Corner Theatre

TENET is Nolan’s most expensive movie to date and remains to be seen if the movie breaks even at the box office, let alone if the film makes any profit. According to Observer, it’s been estimated that it will need to make $450–500 million to break even, on a 205 million dollar budget. 

Will it happen? Nobody knows at this point. You might be looking at the first Christopher Nolan commercial box office disappointment. A box office bomb if you will. Something that the director has not yet experienced with any of his movies to date. But, don’t expect your usual glitz and glamour if the Oscars do happen. Did you think that not having a host was a welcomed addition? Try not having a ceremony. Try to lower your expectations in the unlikely event of having an Oscar ceremony.

But February 2021 is still way too far to think about it. And perhaps I’m one of the few people that really give a crap about the Oscars, so…. hence this post. However, what is your opinion on the matter? Are you a fan of the Oscars? Or you’ll be happy just to skip the 93-year-old tradition? Tell me in the comments below.


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