Without a doubt, this year’s Academy Awards ceremony will be like no other. Why? Well, it’s the first, and hopefully only, Oscars to take place during a pandemic. (Last year’s telecast was on February 9, about a month before COVID-19 changed everything in the US.) And unlike other entertainment industry award shows that have aired over the last few months, no part of the Oscars will be virtual. While the show will be filmed live in more than one location for the first time — extending out of the Dolby Theatre and into LA’s Union Station, as well as satellite locations in London and a few other international cities — everyone will be attending in person.

This (hopefully) means no “technical difficulties” or other cringe-inducing moments like what happened during the Golden Globes, when the very first winner (Daniel Kaluuya, Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah) was still on mute for the beginning of his speech. D’oh!

If you’re hoping to watch a few more of the nominated films before the telecast on April 25 at 8 pm ET on ABC, we’ve got you covered.

Here are some of the biggies:

The Father – Anthony Hopkins performance as an elderly man struggling with dementia has already helped him make history: at 83, he’s the oldest nominee ever in the Best Actor category. The film overall earned 5 additional Oscar nods including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Olivia Colman, playing Anthony’s conflicted daughter), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Production Design.

Judas and the Black Messiah – In the only Best Picture nominee based on true events, Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chicago-based Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, and Lakeith Stanfield plays William O’Neal, an FBI informant who infiltrates Hampton’s inner circle and ultimately betrays him. Oddly, Kaluuya and Stanfield are now competing against each other for the Best Supporting Actor statue (insiders felt one of them should’ve been in the Best Actor category). The film also earned nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Original Song.

Minari – Steven Yeun leads a phenomenal cast in Lee Isaac Chung’s intimate portrayal of a South Korean immigrant family’s attempt to start a farm in rural acting nominations, it’ll likely be the young Alan Kim (as Yeun’s adorable son) who will steal your heart. The critically revered Minari is also competing for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Score.

Nomadland – While the plot of Nomadland isn’t based on a true story, one unique aspect of the film is that it does feature real-life nomads — people who choose to travel around the country and work odd jobs (if they need income), live in trailers and meet up occasionally in makeshift communities. Frances McDormand plays a woman who explores this lifestyle after her husband dies and work dries up in her hometown of Empire, Nevada. In addition to being up for Best Picture, the film earned a Best Director nod for Chloé Zhau and a Best Actress nomination for McDormand, in addition to Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing nominations.

Promising Young Woman – This Best Picture nominee comes to us from writer and director Emerald Fennell, who I was surprised to learn is also an accomplished actress and can most recently be seen portraying Camilla Parker-Bowles in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown. Promising Young Woman is a very dark comedy that follows med-school dropout Cassie (Carey Mulligan) in her self-destructive spiral of revenge and possible chance at happiness with former classmate Ryan (Bo Burnham). You’d never know it was Fennell’s feature film debut by all the Oscar nominations it’s racked up! In addition to Best Picture, it’s up for Best Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing.

In addition to the Best Picture nominees above, don’t forget about Soul (Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score and Best Sound ), News of the World (Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Production Design and Best Sound) and so many more that you can find in our 2021 Oscar nominee collection. Enjoy the show!

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