An Oscars ceremony unlike any other will play out Sunday night, with history on the line in major categories and a telecast that has been completely retooled for the pandemic, AP reports.
The 93rd Academy Awards will begin at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. There will be no host, no audience, nor face masks for nominees attending the ceremony at Los Angeles’ Union Station — this year’s hub for a show usually broadcast from the Dolby Theatre. In contrast with the largely virtual Golden Globes, Zoom boxes have been closed out — though international hubs and satellite feeds will connect nominees unable to travel.
The red carpet was back Sunday, minus the throngs of onlookers and with socially distanced interviews. Only a handful of media outlets were allowed on site, behind a velvet rope and some distance from the nominees.
Casual wear, the academy warned nominees early on, was a no-no. During the Oscar preshow, nominees gathered at an outdoor set at Union Station that resembled an open-air lounge.
Leslie Odom Jr., a supporting acting nominee for “One Night in Miami,” was especially appropriately dress in a shiny all-gold suit that could match an Oscar statuette. Speaking to ABC, he praised a strong year for Black stories.
“It feels like there’s been a major conversation, a conversation happening in between these projects,” said Odom citing films like “One Night in Miami,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “The Forty-Year-Old Version.” “It’s a special time, these movies about Black life.”
Show producers are hoping to return some of the traditional glamour to the Oscars, even in a pandemic year. The pre-show on ABC begins at 6:30 p.m. EDT and will include pre-taped performances of the five Oscar-nominated songs — the first, “Husavik (My Hometown)” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.,” was shot in the Iceland town’s harbor. The ceremony is available to stream on Hulu Live TV, YouTubeTV, AT&T TV, FuboTV and on ABC.com with provider authentication.
Pulling the musical interludes (though not the in memoriam segment) from the three-hour broadcast — and drastically cutting down the time it will take winners to reach the podium — will free up a lot of time in the ceremony. And producers, led by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, are promising a reinvented telecast.
The Oscars will look more like a movie, Soderbergh has said. The show will be shot in 24 frames-per-second (as opposed to 30), appear more widescreen and the presenters — including Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford, Rita Moreno and Zendaya — are considered “cast members.” The telecast’s first 90 seconds, Soderbergh has claimed, will “announce our intention immediately.”