With cinemas closed and major titles delaying their release, the Academy has changed its rules to welcome some streaming titles. Will they regret it?
‘What about the Oscars?” might not be the question at the top of your mind as you consider the manifold uncertainties raised by the coronavirus pandemic. A Hollywood awards ceremony scheduled for the end of February 2021, one might think, has fewer immediate concerns than most cultural institutions do right now. Yet panic has been rising within the Academy: the show itself may go on, but with cinemas closed for the foreseeable future and dozens of major titles either rescheduling or indefinitely delaying their release dates, will it have have enough standout films to celebrate?
For some weeks now, the joke around the industry has been that Leigh Whannell’s hit psychothriller The Invisible Man – one of the few popular and critical successes to be released in the year’s early months – may as well collect its gongs now. But a crucial rule change announced on Tuesday by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and president David Rubin has ensured that it will face some competition after all, even if its rivals never see the inside of a cinema.