Penn State students anticipate an anticlimactic Oscars season this year

2021 will be the 93rd year of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annual award show — the Oscars.

The awards ceremony is held to honor those working in the film industry who have excelled in the past year across a variety of categories. Awards include Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role.

Each year, the Academy announces nominations roughly a month before the ceremony. This year, nominations were revealed on March 15. Penn State students have varied histories with the Oscars — some are longtime viewers, while others have only heard of the ceremony over social media. 

Yusuf Conde spoke nostalgically about watching the show before college.

“I used to [watch] when I was younger, but not anymore. I just haven’t had time to,” Conde (freshman-corporate innovation and entrepreneurship) said. “My parents would always watch it downstairs and when I was bored, I would watch it with them.”

Other students like Pratham Gala and Jacob Chase said they only look at the results of the Oscars the day after the ceremony.

Chase (freshman-cyber security) said he uses social media to see who the winners are.

“And if we don’t find it there, we go on Google or something like that,” Gala (freshman-computer science) said.


There was one common trait among several of the students, though — they were not informed about the 2021 Oscar nominations. Conde, Chase and Gala said they saw the information on neither social media nor traditional news.

Despite the pandemic increasing the amount of time many students are spending indoors and watching Netflix, Justin Aubry and John Christie said they had not watched any movies from the last year and therefore were not familiar with the films nominated for Best Picture.

Christie (sophomore-economics) said he watches more movies now than before but has not seen any recent movies. He said spending more time in his room and apartment gave him more free time.

Aubry (sophomore-chemical engineering) said he has only seen older movies in the last year.

“I watch some movies, here and there… like ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ but, nothing else, really,” Aubry said.

The eight nominees for Best Picture include “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “The Father,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Kartik Ugemuge saw and enjoyed “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

“[It was] pretty good,” Ugemuge (freshman-computer science) said. “I mean, it was kinda slow, but it was really interesting. [I enjoyed] the direction as well.”