Because, according to the nominations, Covid did "well" at the Oscars

Because, according to the nominations, Covid did well at the Oscars


Many blockbusters have not come out, the independents have had a free hand like never before and all the schemes behind the Academy's choices seem to be blown. For now, it has gained quality

Minari Moving forward from usual, the Academy Awards ceremony will be on April 25th and will take place in two locations, not only at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles as usual, also at the Union Station of the same city. All to disperse the public and avoid crowds. All influenced by Covid-19 as are the films in the competition. The nominations we have just received remind us of the image of the year lived in the cinema or mostly on television. For the first time, the Academy made an exception and also accepted films that did not come out conventionally in theaters, otherwise too few would have participated, even though we know well that many of the major films have preferred not to go out and wait for better times. This applies to blockbusters that are rarely awarded by the Oscars but also to the largest auteur cinema (which is the basin from which the awards draw the most).

It so happened that a series of films out of any standard were nominated, meeting the demands of the last few years. There are for the first time two women nominated in the Best Director category (bringing the total of those who have been nominated in the entire history of the award to only 10) and for the first time 9 of the 20 nominations for actors (divided as known in 4 categories, men, women, protagonists and non-protagonists) went to non-white people. There are plenty of African-American and African-American-themed films (Ma 'Rainey's Black Bottom, Judas And The Black Messiah, That Night in Miami, From 5 Bloods) and in the Best Picture category, the most prestigious, there is also a Korean film -American. It amazes shortly after Parasite's victory last year but it should be borne in mind that this was a battleship that came with the Cannes Palme d'Or in his pocket, instead the film in question, Minari (not released in Italy yet), is something very very small and with hardly any white actors inside. For American cinema it is very very unconventional.

But Rainey's Black Bottom So in this year full of possibilities for the little ones among the favorites is Nomadland (6 nominations among the most important, directed by a woman of Chinese origin, Chloé Zhao) who arrives with the wind in the stern of the Golden Lion in Venice. It is not the only film to come from festivals, there are also Minari and A Promising Woman (this too has yet to come to us) who come from Sundance and Sound of Metal, the real truly indie outsider, who hails from Toronto and has placed the first Muslim ever nominated for best actor (Riz Ahmed). These are all reasons to rejoice in the ability of the Oscars to finally open up to a world that goes beyond the very narrow one considered until a few years ago, but we must also keep in mind that the representation is still small if you look at the total numbers and above all which comes in a year when less conventional films have had all the ground cleared to get noticed. A year that does little text.

Of course, then there are at least a couple of titles with a high number of nominations that are conventional instead, those that represent the classic: they are The trial of Chicago 7 and Mank. The first is a film about American history, a true fact put into fiction to glorify the conquests of liberties, to smooth the hair of the liberal public and to make fun of the conservatives, a bandwagon written in an exceptional way by Aaaron Sorkin and also directed by him ( less exceptionally); the second is the most named one (10 possible statuettes) and is a film that in other years would have had the road to victory marked, it is Mank, the film about the Hollywood of the golden age, about the writer of Fourth Estate, an exaltation of the splendor of that same industry which then awards the prize (in fact it seems very favorite for technical prizes). Yet even these two very classic films come in particular shapes, because both are from Netflix. The Chicago 7 trial was supposed to go out in the room but given the trend, Paramount preferred to sell it to the streaming platform, the second one, on the other hand, nobody wanted to produce it and Netflix threw the millions into it. To this we could then add another classic, but with fewer nominations (only 4), such as News from the world, also by Netflix.

Pinocchio An unfortunate choice for Italy that preferred to send Notturno, documentary to the competition high profile but unwelcome even to critics and already left out of the awards by the international jury of Venice (detail that could give an indication). Notturno did not manage to overcome even the first barrier of the race for a nomination for Best International Film. We did not want to focus on our local blockbuster Pinocchio and this instead alone got two nominations for make-up and costumes. In addition Laura Pausini is nominated for the best song with Life in front of itself. Among the non-American films, however, the one to note is another, the Danish Another Round, nominated in the international category but also for Best Director, and it is incredible that it does not also have a place among the possible best actors given the crazy performance of Mads Mikkelsen (who is very well known in Hollywood).

Another round is probably the symbolic film of 2020, the one that best tells this year even if it was made before the pandemic and does not tell about epidemics. If anything, he tells through a group of friends who decide to always try to live a little drunk, just shine, a desire to start over and have another chance in life in the most vital and absurd ways possible. He has a crazy desire for human contact which will probably be what will remain of the vintage in several years.

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All the nominations for the 2021 Oscars


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