An Oscars Like Never Before


Courtesy of Twitter

This year, the Oscars are reaching new lengths including streaming projects to win Oscars, including the best picture of the year, Nomadland, which debuted on Hulu.

Katelyn Ruggles, Photojournalist

Thanks to COVID-19, many places and events have been affected this past year. The 2021 Oscars were no exception to this. However, this effect was not completely negative. Though it is unfortunate that not many anticipated big shot movies came out this year, smaller films had the opportunity to be nominated for awards and get more recognition for their work. 

Due to movie theaters being closed, highly awaited movies did not come out this year because of the lack of viewership they would have. This made it so many of the less famous films and actors and actresses nominated for awards this year were from streaming services. The Oscars made this new rule of allowing streamed movies to be nominated because of the COVID-19 effects on the world. However, it allowed these smaller directors, actors, actresses, and other skilled people to gain exposure and a following, hopefully boosting their careers. 

For example, the motion picture of the year, actress of the year, and director of the year all came from the same Hulu film Nomadland. In normal situations, a film like this would not even be nominated because it originated on a streaming service. Clearly, this film and many others deserved this opportunity because of the many nominations and awards won, but if the rules were never changed, the world may have never discovered these films that people worked so hard on.

Some even argue that allowing streaming services to qualify for Oscars is a step in a new direction since streaming services are the up and coming way of watching t.v. and movies. To appease the viewership of the Oscars, nominating streamed films is the way to go because of the growth of popularity among programs like Disney +, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Camille Khong (10) comments on how “it is a great opportunity for the Oscars to open up the qualifications not only because of the situation but because many audiences or even prefer these films on streaming sites. It also allows lesser-known artists with a lower budget to get a chance at breaking big in the notorious award show”. 

Even though this is a new rule only applied because of the critical conditions 2020 brought the world, including projects on streaming services to qualify for Oscars may be a step in the right direction. Allowing these movies to get more and more recognition can be life-changing for many people, something that the Oscars should be proud to achieve. It also tailors to the new audience streaming sites have acquired, and can even increase the viewership of the Oscars because it covers a wider audience.