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Oscars 2021: How To Watch, Host, Nominees And Predictions

It's almost Oscars time again! And while the 2020-2021 awards season has looked a little bit different for the film industry, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn't mean Hollywood isn't pulling out all the stops when it comes to celebrating the best movies of the year at the 93rd Academy Awards. There will be differences, though, and a bit of shaking up from producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher, and Jesse Collins.

According to the Associated Press, the main event is being held at Union Station, downtown Los Angeles' railway hub, instead of its traditional home at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre. The regular audience won't be there, but neither will Zoom speeches: Nominees have been pressed to appear in person, with safety precautions. To assuage fears about traveling from other countries, however, there will be a hub for nominees in London, remote satellite hookups, pre-taped materials, and performances of the best original song to take place during the Oscars pre-show instead of during the prime-time telecast. 

"It's going to feel like a movie in that there's an overarching theme that's articulated in different ways throughout the show. So the presenters are essentially the storytellers for each chapter," Soderbergh told the AP. "We want you to feel like it wasn't a show made by an institution. We want you to feel like you're watching a show that was made by a small group of people that really attacked everything that feels generic or unnecessary or insincere. That's the kind of intention when I watch shows like this that is missing for me. A voice. It needs to have a specific voice."

He intends for the awards show to be more cinematic, less stilted, and more community-minded. Here's what else you need to know about the Oscars later this month.

How do I watch the Oscars 2021?

The 93rd Oscars will take place on Sunday, April 25, 2021. The event will be televised live on ABC, the ABC app and ABC.com starting at 8 p.m. ET in more than 225 countries and territories around the world. You can also get it streaming through services like AT&T's TVNow, Hulu Live TV, and YouTubeTV. If you're watching from outside the U.S., the Oscars' official site has a list of local providers that will allow you to tune in to the broadcast.

Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to the evening hours, as the festivities begin early. You can follow the red carpet arrivals via @TheAcademy's Twitter handle or ABC"s @OnTheRedCarpet social media accounts earlier in the day. Or, tune into ABC's On the Red Carpet pre-ceremony festivities on TV (check your local ABC station for airtimes; in some markets, coverage begins around 4 p.m. ET). The Oscars: Into the Spotlight pre-show begins at 6:30 p.m. ET and leads into the main 8 p.m. broadcast. Following the giving out of the last award, On the Red Carpet may return for additional coverage.

Who is hosting the Oscars 2021?

As you probably know, hosting the Oscars can be a potential landmine for comedians and other stars who've taken on the role. In 2018, Hollywood Reporter called the gig "show business' most perilous assignment" — and that was before the Kevin Hart controversy of 2019. Deadline reported in late March that organizers were going with a host-less format, instead depending on high-profile presenters to move the action along.

On April 12, the Academy announced that these presenters in 2021 would include Angela Bassett, Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Zendaya, Halle Berry, Bong Joon Ho, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Laura Dern, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno, Joaquin Phoenix, and Renée Zellweger.

"In keeping with our awards-show-as-a-movie approach, we've assembled a truly stellar cast of stars," producers Collins, Sher and Soderbergh said a joint statement quoted in the press release. "There's so much wattage here, sunglasses may be required."

Who are the nominees at the Oscars 2021?

For Best Actor in a Leading Role, candidates are Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (in a posthumous nod for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), and Steven Yeun (Minari).

For Best Actress in a Leading Role, nominees are Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman).

For Best Directing, nominees are Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg), Mank (David Fincher), Minari (Lee Isaac Chung), Nomadland (Chloé Zhao), and Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell).

Best Animated Feature Film nominees are Onward, Over the Moon, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Soul, and Wolfwalkers. Best Documentary Feature nods went to Collective, Crip Camp, The Mole Agent, My Octopus Teacher, and Time.

And Best Picture candidates are The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, NomadlandPromising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

 A full list of this year's groundbreaking nomination list is available at Oscars.com.

What do the predictions for the Oscars 2021 say?

This year, Nomadland took Producers Guild Award honors in late March, which makes it a very strong contender for the Oscar (via Variety). Nomadland seems the odds-on favorite, according to sources as disparate as Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times, ET Online, Richard Trenholm of CNet, and Reddit users, where Nomadland has been pegged as a winner on multiple threads for months now. However, if you're looking for a dark horse, pick Minari — an indie about a Korean-American family who moves to Arkansas in search of their version of the American Dream, 

With Nomadland currently dominating, Variety says its director, Chloé Zhao, is the one to watch in the Best Director race. Indiewire has tapped Zhao as the one to beat this time around — and if she does, she will become only the second woman to attain the honor (after Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker) and the first woman of color to do so. GoldDerby claims her chances are good, as there "isn't even a clear alternative who could beat her." However, some predictions from publications such as Entertainment Weekly and Collider have David Fincher and his black-and-white tale about Herman J. Mankiewicz giving her some tough competition.

The race for Best Actor seems like a lock for the late Chadwick Boseman, who's a critical and popular (via social media) favorite. The L.A. Times pointed out, "Boseman is going to win. He's deserving, and it's the last chance his peers have to honor him for a career marked by warmth, generosity and purpose." However, the race got a twist when Anthony Hopkins beat out Boseman at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards earlier this month (Hopkins is a fellow Brit, though).

The Best Actress award is much tougher — "Honestly, who knows?" Thrillist projects. No one actress dominated the pre-Oscar award precursors (via Variety) — Davis won the Screen Actors Guild award, Day won the Golden Globes, Mulligan got the Critics Choice Award, and McDormand got the BAFTA (via USA Today). Hmm. Looks like we'll have to all wait and see this Sunday night!