Everything you need to know about this year's Oscars ceremony

The 2021 Oscars will be looking a little bit different this year – not least because it is taking place in April rather than March!

But although there will be social-distancing and lots of masks on the red carpet, this ceremony won’t be taking place on Zoom.

So what can we expect instead?

We’ve compiled a handy guide to get you up to speed with all the changes we expect to see at this year’s Oscars, including how to watch and who is tipped to win big.

So when are the Oscars actually happening?

Two months later than usual. Officially the 93rd Academy Awards kicks off on Sunday April 25 at 8pm ET. That translates as Monday (April 26) at 1am BST for us Brits. Get that coffee on now.


Nominally at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, which has hosted the Oscars since 2001. However, thanks to Covid-19 distancing requirements, the nominees will actually be seated at LA’s Union Station – IE, an actual train station – which is a bit of a departure (ho ho).

Who’s hosting?

No one. The ceremony has been hostless since 2019, when planned frontman Kevin Hart was ‘cancelled’ over some old homophobic tweets.

No one’s missed the hosts. Instead, there will be a super-glitzy array of A-list presenters including Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon and Harrison Ford.

Will there be a red carpet?

Yes! Because, let’s be honest, most of us tune in for the frocks.

Show producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins sent a letter to all nominees that read: ‘If you’re wondering about the dress code (as well you should), we’re aiming for a fusion of inspirational and aspirational, which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there but casual is really not.’

So no pyjamas, however posh (you hear that, Jodie Foster?)

Will nominees all be on Zoom like the Baftas and Golden Globes?

No! Show rules state: ‘For those of you unable to attend because of scheduling or continued uneasiness about travelling, we want you to know there will not be an option to Zoom in for the show.’

However, the Academy was forced to backtrack after complaints from non-US-based nominees, of which there are loads, including best director nominees Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark) and Emerald Fennell (UK), and best actress nominees Olivia Colman (UK) and Youn Yuh-jung (Korea).

Those refusing to hack the 10-day American quarantine rule can instead opt
for one of the international broadcast ‘hubs’.

So who and what will be the big winners?

If the Baftas are anything to go by, Nomadland will win big. A beautiful drama about an itinerant woman (Oscar-nominated Frances McDormand) travelling across the recession-hit US in her van, it’s set to make Chloé Zhao only the second woman ever to win best director.

In the acting categories, Chadwick Boseman will get tears flowing for his posthumous best actor turn in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (even if it’s a crying shame that Riz Ahmed will miss out for his electrifying turn in Sound Of Metal) and Daniel Kaluuya should complete his best supporting winning streak for portraying real-life Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas And The Black Messiah.

Anything wide open?

The best actress category is wide open. Frances McDormand won the Bafta for Nomadland, while Andra Day won the Golden Globe for The United States Vs Billie Holiday.

Viola Davis and Carey Mulligan seem long shots. If there’s any justice it should go to Britain’s Vanessa Kirby for her incredible 20-minute birth scene in Pieces Of A Woman – a movie whose awards season was scuppered by the abuse claims against co-star Shia LaBeouf.

Serial loser Glenn Close looks to miss out, yet again, for best supporting actress to veteran Korean star Youn Yuh-jung, though we’d love to see Maria Bakalova win it for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

How can I watch?

Sky Cinema will have dedicated live coverage. If you’re not a subscriber you can sign up to an £11.99 Now TV pass, which has a seven-day free trial.

Or just get a good night’s kip, turn your phone off and catch the highlights on Monday’s BBC News special at 9.30am.

Oscars 2021 nominations

Best Picture

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah




Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7


Thomas Vinterberg  – Another Round

David Fincher – Mank

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

Actress in a leading role

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

Actor in a Leading Role

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins – The Father

Gary Oldman – Mank

Steven Yeun – Minari

Actress in a supporting role

Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman – The Father

Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Youn Yuh-jung  – Minari

Actor in a supporting role

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 costume design


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom




Best original score

Da 5 Bloods



News of the World


Best adapted screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The Father


One Night In Miami

The White Tiger

Best original screenplay

Judas and the Black Messiah


Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Animated short film


Genius Loci

If Anything Happens I Love You



Live action short film

Feeling Through

The Letter Room

The Present

Two Distant Strangers

White Eye

Documentary feature


Crip Camp

The Mole Agent

My Octopus Teacher


Documentary short subject


A Concierto is a Conversation

Do Not Split

Hunger Ward

A Love Song for Latasha

International Feature Film

Another Round – Denmark

Better Days – Hong Kong

Collective – Romania

The Man Who Sold His Skin – Tunisia

Quo Vadis, Aida?




News of the World


Sound of Metal

Production Design

The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


News of the World


Film editing

The Father


Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7


Judas and the Black Messiah


News of the World


The Trial of the Chicago 7

Visual Effects

Love and Monsters

The Midnight Sky


The One and Only Ivan


Makeup and hairstyling


Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom



Animated feature film


Over the Moon

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon



Original song

Fight For You – Judas and the Black Messiah

Hear My Voice – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Husavik – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Io Si (Seen) – The Life Ahead

Speak Now – One Night in Miami

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