Oscars 2021: How to Watch, Who’s Presenting, and Everything Else You Need to Know

The Academy Awards take place this Sunday, April 25th

Oscars 2021- How to Watch, Who’s Performing, and Everything Else You Need to Know
Oscars 2021

    The 2021 Academy Awards go down April 25th. Now in its 93rd year (!), the annual ceremony also known as the Oscars honors the best films of the last calendar year. Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year’s Academy Awards is taking place two months later than originally planned, and will be staged at two different locations in Los Angeles — the Dolby Theatre and Union Station — with limited in-person attendance. Nevertheless, the show must go on, and that’ll be the case come Sunday, April 25th at 8:00 p.m. ET when the Oscars air live on ABC.

    When Are the 2021 Oscars?

    The 2021 Academy Awards take place Sunday, April 25th at 8:00 p.m. ET, with the live telecast airing on ABC.

    A special 90-minute pre-show, hosted by Ariana DeBose and Lil Rel Howery will air starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.

    Where are the Academy Awards Being Held?


    We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, so in an effort to spread out the festivities and maintain a semblance of social distancing, this year’s Oscars will be staged in two separate locations: its usual venue at the Dolby Theatre and at Los Angeles’ historic Union Station.

    While no nominees will be Zooming in (a first for a pandemic-era awards show!), those who are unable to attend in person will appear via satellite. “We can control that image, we can control the sound, we can make it feel more integrated into the overall feeling of the show,” explained Oscars producer Steven Soderbergh. “We’ve created another series of technological hurdles for ourselves to make all of these remote satellites and not Zooms. So it was never about exclusion. It was about having it feel like it was all part of the piece. That’s all it was.”

    How Long Will the Academy Awards Be?

    Producers of this years’ Oscars expect it to run three hours in length.

    Who is Hosting the 2021 Oscars? Who is Presenting?


    For the third year in a row, the Oscars will forgo having a traditional host and instead rely on an ensemble of presents — oops! I mean, cast. An ensemble cast.

    You see, this year producers are aiming to present the Oscars as if it is an actual Hollywood production. “It’s going to feel like a movie in that there’s an overarching theme that’s articulated in different ways throughout the show,” explained Steven Soderbergh in an interview. “So the presenters are essentially the storytellers for each chapter. 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.”

    Cast members include the winners of last year’s four acting Oscars, namely Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt, and Laura Dern, as well as best picture, director and original screenplay winner Bong Joon Ho.


    Other cast members include Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno, Reese Witherspoon, and Zendaya.

    Additionally, Questlove of The Roots will serve as the evening’s musical director.

    Will Attendees Be Required to Wear a Mask During the Oscars?

    Attendees will not be required to wear face masks while they are seated in the main show room and on camera. They will, however, be asked to wear a mask during commercial breaks and when they exit the main room.

    Who is Performing at the 2021 Oscars?


    Unlike years past, the performances from the Best Original Song nominees will take place during the pre-show, as to not interrupt the story flow of the new presentation style. Four of the five performances were pre-recorded from atop the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles: Celeste and Daniel Pemberton will perform “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7, H.E.R. will deliver the Judas and the Black Messiah track “Fight for You”, Leslie Odom Jr. will present his One Night in Miami… song “Speak Now”, and Diane Warren will join Laura Pausini for “Io Si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se).

    The final performance will come from Molly Sandén in Iceland, a fitting location for the Eurovision Son Contest: The Story of Fire Saga winner “Husavik”.

    Who Are the 2021 Oscar Nominees?

    David Fincher’s historical drama Mank leads the way with 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried), Best Original Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross), and Best Cinematography.


    Our 2020 Composers of the Year, Reznor and Ross are actually up for Best Original Score twice, with Soul nominated alongside Mank.

    On the Best Picture front, Fincher’s film will compete against The FatherMinariPromising Young WomanSound of MetalThe Trial of the Chicago 7, and odds-on favorite Nomadland. Having already won Best Director and Best Motion Picture — Drama at the Golden Globes, Nomadland seems a shoo-in for some big wins on Sunday. Nomadland is also up for Best Director (Chloé Zhao, the first Chinese-American woman ever nominated in the category) Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing.

    McDormand is facing off against Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman). Day previously won the category at the Globes, becoming the first Black actress to do so in 35 years.


    Up against Oldman in the Best Actor cateogry are the late Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), and our Steven Yeun, who delivered our 2020 Performance of the Year in MinariYeun and Ahmed’s nominations are historic, as they’re the first Asian American and Muslim actors, respectively, to be honored in the category.

    Other notable nominees include both Maria Bakalova and Sacha Baron Cohen (Best Supporting Actress and Actor, respectively) for their roles in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm; Thomas Vinterberg’s surprise Best Director nod for Another Round, which is competing against Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman; Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah), and Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami…) all up for Best Supporting Actor; Yuh-Jung Youn’s Minari performance getting Best Supporting Actress recognition; and Best Screenplay categories that include Minari (Lee Isaac Chung), The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin), Borat (Cohen et al.), One Night in Miami… (Kemp Powers), and more.

    Find the full Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress nomination lists below, and peep all the Oscar 2021 categories here.


    Best Picture:
    The Father
    Judas and the Black Messiah
    Promising Young Woman
    Sound of Metal
    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    Best Director:
    Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round
    Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
    David Fincher, Mank
    Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
    Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

    Best Actor:
    Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
    Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
    Anthony Hopkins, The Father
    Gary Oldman, Mank
    Steven Yeun, Minari


    Best Actress:
    Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
    Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
    Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
    Frances McDormand, Nomadland
    Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
    Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
    Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami …
    Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
    Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
    Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
    Olivia Colman, The Father
    Amanda Seyfried, Mank
    Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari


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