IWU students uninterested in 2021 Academy Awards

Molly Morrissey

The Oscars’ will be this April 25th.
Photo: Getty Images

In a normal year, movie theater goers across the country would be placing their bets on whether Maryl Streep would win yet another Oscar. Now amidst the global pandemic, fewer films have been released due to slowed production in Hollywood. With the Academy Awards quickly approaching on April 25th, it is questionable whether there has been enough publicity or even availability of released films to invest audiences in watching the Oscars, especially with movie theaters remaining closed in favor of public health. 

The Academy is making adjustments for the pandemic, notably holding the 93rd Academy Awards two months later than last year’s Oscars. This was done due to entire productions having to be shut down because of COVID outbreaks and deadline extensions which allowed more movies to be in the running.

Among the films nominated for Best Picture, “Promising Young Woman”, “Nomandland”, “Minari”, “The Sound of Metal” and “The Father” are featured on the Academy’s list. In a survey of 20 IWU students, 14 surveyors had seen or been made aware of none of the films while six had been made aware of only one of the films through trailers and other other promotions. All six of those participants had seen or heard of “Promising Young Woman”. 

“Honestly before the pandemic, I wasn’t really an avid movie viewer. But now with the Oscars coming up and not really having any notice of what’s up for an award, I realize the dependency I placed on the theaters to keep me up to date with what to watch. I don’t even know if I will watch the Oscars this year,” sophomore Klaudia Wyszynksi said.

When the participants of the survey were asked if they were planning on watching the Academy Awards, the majority answered “no,” with only three of the 20 responding affirmatively. When asked if they watched the Oscars in past years, all answered with a resounding “yes.” All of the participants, except one agreed that if movie theaters were open with no restrictions, then they would be more likely to watch the Academy Awards this year. 

Although many streaming services have provided audiences with the opportunity to watch Oscar-nominated films, it doesn’t appear to be enough to entice people to watch the Academy Awards this year. This may be due to the fact that the availability of these films are spread amongst three or four different streaming platforms, or it may just be that there hasn’t been extensive advertising making it known that such films were even that readily available. 

“Perhaps if there were ads on social media like Instagram or Facebook, I would feel more informed about what was even nominated and be inclined to watch what exactly is up for Best Picture,” Wysznkski said. 

“It’s just not the same,” said Sophomore Zehra Bakirdan. “COVID changed the way we watch movies, making the Oscars this year less appealing. But hopefully next year we can all enjoy films in theaters without any restrictions.”