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Academy Awards 2021: In a year of streaming, the Oscars should go with the flow

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Here’s the challenge for this year’s awards producers, after a stretch that has already seen the Emmys and Golden Globes sink to a record high. It has left the producers of the ceremony in what appears to be a difficult link (no theatrical blockbusters to help spark interest in the ceremony), but also with an opportunity, if they accept the freedom that should lead to lower expectations of the ceremony. ‘spectators and have little to lose.

In the past, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the awards, has collectively exhibited diverse sentiments. The role of Netflix at the film industry event, unable to clearly decide whether the broadcast was friend or foe. The effects of the pandemic – and the change related to domestic vision – essentially pushed the Academy into the waiting arms of Netflix.

All in all, the service garnered 35 top nominations, never more than any other entity. This included two of the eight nominees for best film, a couple of historical dramas in “Mank” and “The Chicago Process 7” and six of the 20 acting offers.

Netflix, of course, wasn’t alone, as streamers like Amazon (with a dozen in total), Hulu and Disney + left their mark on the candidate list. In some cases, this recognition came from films that were redirected from the theatrical release planned for the broadcast, such as Hulu’s “Nomadland” and Disney’s “Soul” and “Mulan.”

In practical terms, what this means for the Oscars is unclear. Award ratings have been downward due to a number of factors, but the slope off the cliff as the Golden Globes have only fueled the feeling that the appetite for these events has dwindled considerably in a year that closed movie theaters and stuffed the celebratory aspects of live events.
The Emmys, in particular, charted a path to awarding prizes despite coronavirus restrictions, a formula that the Globes largely erred in. The Grammys he recaptured some of the live experience with his performance-oriented ceremony Sunday night.
The Oscars have also outlined plans for a more face-to-face format, but even with the awards delayed until the end of April, the kind of mass meeting held in the past will not be possible. And while viewers can access most online candidates, the fragmentation of the audience – and the accompanying diminished rooting interest – has been exacerbated by everything that has transpired since then. “Parasite” made history at the 2020 Oscars, in what seems a lot longer than 13 months ago.

Award shows, of course, exist for many reasons, which in their highest vocation are to celebrate and encourage admirable work. But they are also commercial efforts, with practical implications based on getting people to see, and on emission rates that support the organizations behind it.

It seems that the Grammys found a sweet spot, creatively speaking, in a more intimate ceremony that still showed the nominees, who could point the way in terms of a viable model. But if the Academy and the ABC host chain have not resigned themselves to disappointing figures even in relation to even last year record minimum recordscar, maybe they should. (Grammy ratings declined by approximately 53% between 2020 and 2021).

In a year when the Oscars have become primarily streaming, there is not much left to do, but to follow the flow.

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