The 2021 Oscar nominations have finally been announced.

Things We Saw Today: What Is This Messy New Oscars Format and Who Exactly Is It For?

Following last year’s scaled-down Oscars ceremony, the Academy is still trying to figure out how to celebrate movies in the time of COVID-19. So far, it’s been a bit of a mess.

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First, the Academy pissed people off (both in and outside of the film industry) by deciding vaccinations and masks wouldn’t be necessary. For those following along at home, this seemed to likely go hand in hand with a blind item about two prominent actresses—at least one of whom was an Oscar frontrunner—refusing to get vaccinated.

Now the Academy has announced that eight awards categories will not be presented live during the ceremony itself, but instead, pre-filmed an hour earlier and then edited into the television broadcast of the event.

The categories being shunned are: documentary short, film editing, makeup/hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live-action short, and sound—which itself used to be two separate awards, editing and mixing, which were recently merged.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that the decision “is already causing tension within the leadership of the Academy, but is likely to be well received by the general public.” Based on the anecdotal evidence that is my own Twitter timeline, this seems to be true. My feed is full of film critics and creators expressing frustration and anger at the decision, and the replies to those tweets are largely made up of non-film industry professionals basically saying “who cares?”

https://twitter.com/jasondashbailey/status/1496267190999437314

So maybe it’s true that much of the general public doesn’t care if categories like editing and sound and production design aren’t recognized live and in-person. But those are the jobs that literally make the movies happen. By relegating them to a second tier of the ceremony, it’s sending a clear message that the Oscars—ostensibly a celebration of film—is really a celebration of celebrity, and that the people behind the show are more concerned with ratings than with actually recognizing achievements in their industry.

What else did we see out there today?

  • Andrew Garfield + true crime = a thing I will watch. (via /Film)
  • James Gunn shared the choreography for the opening number of Peacemaker, in the form of a cute diagram no less. (va Comicbook.com)
  • OK, wait, going back to the Oscars for a minute:
  • Here’s the first look at Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al Yankovic. (via Pitchfork)
  • Comedy legend Jerry Lewis has been accused of sexual harassment and assault in what sounds like a pattern of predation in a new short documentary. (via Variety)
  • “Leaders Who Fall Short of Basic Standards Must Go”: EA exec Laura Miele calls out the toxicity among her peers in the video game industry. (via IGN)

What did you all see out there today?

(image: Richard Harbaugh – Handout/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty)


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Author
Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.