An Oscars like no other: How this year's show will be different

BySandy Kenyon via OTRC logo
Monday, April 19, 2021
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The Academy Awards ceremony has been more of the same for half a century now: the faces and their films may change, but not the format -- until now.

Producing the Oscars has been called a "thankless" job because so many people are watching, and you simply can't please everyone -- and that was before a global pandemic disrupted this year's show.

Producer Jesse Collins promises to use "science and common sense" in taking "a giant step forward."

Producer Stacy Sher said, "that's possible," due to all the efforts made by the Academy to keep folks safe.

Their colleague, Steven Soderbergh, compared their work to, "trying to build an airplane while it's in the air."

The Academy Awards ceremony has been more of the same for half a century now: the faces and their films may change, but not the format, at a show that grew ever bigger in scope with each passing year, until now.

"It is unprecedented," agreed Oscar nominee Amanda Seyfried, "because we are nearing, knock on wood, the end of this pandemic."

The pandemic forced the 93rd Oscars to be postponed two months and forced a change of venue to LA's Union Station, although the Dolby Theater in Hollywood will appear on the broadcast. Union Station is a historic, iconic, Art Deco masterpiece.

"Aesthetically, I think it'll be amazing," Oscar nominee Andra Day said. "Because I've shot at Union Station before, and it's just really cool. It's an amazing, very interesting venue."

Day is one of a record nine performers of color recognized with Oscar nominations in the acting categories.

Thanks to her lead role in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday," she will be part of history at an Oscars ceremony unlike any other.

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"And I also feel like the energy's gonna be amazing, like it's gonna be a precursor to what summer is gonna look like, like when everyone loses their minds because they're like 'yes, finally,'" Day said.

The Oscars producers have stressed the safety of the event, but they want to avoid the glitches at previous awards shows caused by the use of Zoom to accept trophies. So, at the Oscars, winners must accept in person or via satellite.

Each nominee is allowed to bring just one guest.

"This is the first awards show that's going to be really and truly in-person," Seyfried said.

There will still be couture, but less of it.

"Less people, less dresses," says WWD Style Director Alex Badia, and that means "more attention to the few dresses."

And, more pressure on designers who hope to dress one of the lucky few stars able to attend.

Those in charge of the show this year are reaching back into the past, to take a step forward.

"It's going to be a bigger deal," predicts Seyfried. "It's going to mean so much more this year than it ever has."

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Mark your calendars: April 25 is Oscar Sunday. Live coverage begins Sunday morning and continues all day with special "On The Red Carpet" coverage leading up to the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony. After the last award is handed out, stay with "On The Red Carpet" for continuing coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscar news and information.