Oscars 2021 marks the 93rd year of the Academy Awards.
2020 was a weird one, with cinemas being closed for the majority of the year. It begs the question, does the layout of Oscars 2021 reflect it?
The short answer to that question is yes. But in other ways, this year's Academy Awards is fairly conventional.
Still, the nominations reflect a change in the air. Thus these are the things you should know ahead of watching this year's awards ceremony.
1. Netflix has received a number of unprecedented nominations
Netflix has gained an increased presence in awards season with every passing year. Oscars 2021 shows their productions have more of a stand among prestige than ever before.
The stars of their productions have received nominations. But they also have a presence in technical categories such as production design and hair and makeup, with nominees also popping up in categories like Best Documentary ('My Octopus Teacher', 'Cris Camp') and Best Short ('Two Distant Strangers').
2. Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Disney+ also have an impressive number of nominations
Netflix isn't the only on demand service with productions that have gained recognition at this year's Oscars.
3. 'Mank' received the most nominations of any movie this year
'Mank' got 10 nominations at this year's Academy Awards. It is up for Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried), Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Costuming, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
A number of films received six nominations, the second highest number of nods.
'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' and 'Promising Young Woman' got five Oscar nominations each.
4. Diversity is strong across this year's nominees
An increase of diversity features in this year’s nominations, for example, two women have been nominated for Best Director, which has never happened before.
This year also sees the first woman of colour (Chloe Zhao for 'Nomadland') nominated for Best Director.
Nine of the twenty acting nominees are people of colour. This is a far cry from the #Oscarssowhite trend that was only 5 years ago.
5. Oscars 2021 will be an in-person ceremony, in spite of the awards ceremonies that have preceded it
The Oscars ceremony will look quite different to the other awards ceremonies so far this season, like the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, SAGs and others. Those shows took place primarily over zoom but the Academy Awards will be an in-person ceremony.
The show's organisers previously announced that nominees won't be allowed to attend via video conference. In a letter sent out to all the nominees, the producers said that they went to "great lengths to provide a safe and enjoyable evening for all of you in person" believing that a "virtual thing will diminish those efforts".
Twenty remote venues for the ceremony have been established in the likes of London and Paris to reduce travel among nominees.
6. The 2021 Oscars will be hostless
This year marks the third consecutive year in which the Oscars will go without a host.
Instead there will be an "ensemble cast" of 15 presenters. They'll be involved in the ceremony in some way or other.
They include last year's acting Oscar winners - Brad Pitt, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Bong Joon Ho will present Best Director, having won the prize last year for 'Parasite.
The remaining ensemble members are Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno, Reese Witherspoon, and Zendaya.
7. There are now 23 categories of awards for the Oscars
This is because this year the Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing categories were consolidates into one Best Sound category.
The Best Sound nominees this year are 'Sound of Metal', 'Greyhound', 'Mank', 'News of the World' and 'Soul'.
8. These are the frontrunners to look out for
'Nomadland' will likely be the big winner in a number of the major categories. After all, it’s gathered up a whole heap of awards at this point, including at the Golden Globes and recent BAFTAs. We don’t see anything beating them for Best Picture and Best Director for Chloe Zhao, to be honest.
Chadwick Boseman will likely win posthumously for 'Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom'. He really gave an exquisite, heart-breaking performance in that film. Moreover, he’s already won several awards for his role.
Lead actress in a leading role is the most difficult call. Andra Day won the Golden Globe, but Frances McDormand could get it for 'Nomadland' having won the BAFTA. Viola Davis is also in with a shot (she won the Screen Actors Guild award), as is Carey Mulligan (who has won critics’ choice awards for the performance).
Daniel Kaluuya seems to have it in the bag for Best Supporting Actor for 'Judas and the Black Messiah', having been won said award in other ceremonies already.
Youn Yuh-jung is the frontrunner for the Best Supporting Actress award for 'Minari'.
9. When this year's Academy Awards take place
Taking place two months later than planned (having been postponed due to the pandemic), the Oscars 2021 broadcast on Sunday, April 25th.
We'll have all the winners and biggest news from the event here on Entertainment.ie