Oscars 2021 will honor movies almost no one has seen in theaters

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“Nomadland” and its director Chloé Zhao are both considered frontrunners in this year’s Oscar race. But with theaters closed for most of the past year, how many people have actually seen it? Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures.

Viewers have been abandoning awards shows en masse this year, and the Oscars producers want to avoid the mistakes of the Golden Globes by having the event be in-person as much as possible. 

Nominees were initially told they had to be at the event in person or not at all, and there would be no virtual option for joining. Now Oscars producers are reconsidering after blowback, especially from international nominees who may not be able to leave their home countries, or face significant time and costs to do so. Now Steven Soderbergh and his fellow Oscars producers are saying they’ll set up “hubs” in places like London and Paris where nominees could gather. 

Another thing making this a weird awards season is that most people haven’t seen any of the nominated movies in theaters. And without screening events and in-person film festivals, it’s hard to gauge the buzz around certain films. Awards columnist Scott Feinberg says he’s heard from Academy members who are going to abstain from voting altogether this year because they feel like they can’t properly evaluate a film without seeing it on the big screen.

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Host:

Kim Masters

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Kaitlin Parker