Los Angeles (AP) - The “trophy buzz”, the whispering about the favorites of this year's film award season, is in full swing in Hollywood.
Film critics name their preferred candidates, and the guesswork of winning the Golden Globes and the Oscars is boiling.
However, this is not really fun in Corona times with cinemas being closed and bad news churning out.
In a "normal" year, the stars would be preparing for appearances on the red carpet.
The Golden Globe nominations would have long been known.
The Globe Gala traditionally heralds the start of the trophy series at the beginning of January, which culminates with the Oscar show two months later.
But this time everything is different.
That 2021 will force a rethinking, became clear to the award givers during the first Corona wave.
The Oscar Academy pulled the rip cord back in June.
The 93rd Academy Awards have been postponed from the end of February to the end of April 2021.
With the Oscar deferment they wanted to give filmmakers the opportunity to finish their projects, it said.
Instead of the end of December, the deadline for the film release is now until the end of February.
The nominations for Hollywood's most important film award are not due to be announced until March 15th.
The show should go “live” in the traditional Dolby Theater, in a “safe and solemn” manner, the message said in June.
But many questions remain unanswered about the new Oscar timetable.
Do the stars have to wear face masks on the red carpet or do they have to keep their distance in the ballroom, which usually seats 3,400?
Could the second or third wave of pandemics lead to cancellation or a virtual show?
The Golden Globe fans also have to wait longer.
The usually casual gala of the Association of the Foreign Press was postponed from January to February 28th.
With the recent rapid increase in the number of cases in Southern California, this date is also becoming increasingly questionable.
The signs are very bad.
For the Berlinale planned for February, the end came in mid-December.
The alternative: a digital industry get-together in the German capital in March and a public event in June.
Officially, the Oscar Academy is still sticking to the April date.
At the beginning of December, the association announced a “dream team” of three show producers, including “Ocean's” director Steven Soderbergh.
This production team will react to the current situation, it said in a statement.
New approaches and concepts are required.
The next bad news was not long in coming.
In the spotlight of Oscar week, the new prestige object in Los Angeles was to be inaugurated at the end of April with the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
That falls flat because of the ongoing closure of cultural institutions - postponement until the end of September.
Show delays are the absolute exception in the long history of the Academy.
This has only happened three times.
After a flood disaster in Los Angeles, the award ceremony had to be postponed for a week in 1938.
In 1968 the celebration took place two days later than originally planned.
The reason was the funeral of the murdered civil rights activist Martin Luther King.
Because of an assassination attempt on US President Ronald Reagan, the show was postponed for one day in 1981.
Reagan survived the attack, seriously injured.
The pandemic has practically paralyzed the film industry with filming stops and closed cinemas, premieres have been canceled, many film starts postponed.
This changes the Oscar landscape tremendously.
Prestige objects that were planned for 2020 before Corona and should move into the Oscar race will only be considered for the 2022 competition.
These include Steven Spielberg's remake of the musical “West Side Story” or “Top Gun: Maverick” with Tom Cruise.
On the other hand, the social drama "Minamata" with Johnny Depp in the lead role of the legendary US photographer W. Eugene Smith should hit the cinemas in time for the Oscar season 2021.
Smaller films like “Nomadland” by director Chloé Zhao are currently causing “Oscar buzz”.
In it, Frances McDormand plays a woman who packs her belongings in a car after the economic collapse and drives through the USA as a nomad.
Critics give her a good chance of winning a second Oscar.
The “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, who died in August at the age of 43, could posthumously win prizes for his last two appearances in “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” or “Da 5 Bloods”.
The name of a young German star is also circulating in Hollywood: the twelve-year-old Helena Zengel (“Systemsprenger”) makes her US film debut alongside Tom Hanks in the western “Neues aus der Welt”.
The film magazine “Variety” put her on this year's “Actors to Watch” list of ten promising actors.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210101-99-867572 / 3
Oscar Academy on Twitter