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Oscars 2021: When is it? Who’s been nominated? Your biggest pre-Academy Awards questions answered

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 93rd Academy Awards are almost upon us. Of course, this is going to be a ceremony like no other – with only a smattering of famous faces in Hollywood attending, while the glass ceiling promises to be shattered when it comes to the awards themselves.

It could be a famous night – and you’ll need a front-row seat. Below, we’ve whizzed through the main pre-Oscars 2021 talking points. Namely, how to watch the Oscars this year, the date and time of the full event, and a cursory glance at the big nominees.

When are the Oscars? Time and date of the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony

Promising Young Woman

(Image credit: NowTV)

Taking place on Sunday, April 25, the 2021 Oscars begin at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern. That’s technically April 26 in the UK, at a bleary-eyed time of 1am.

Expect the show to last for around three-to-four hours – give or take a few dodgy video calls – and interviews from the red carpet will likely be found pre-event on the official Academy YouTube channel.

There’s even a pre-show for US viewers. From 6:30pm on ABC, you’ll be able to watch “Into the Spotlight,” which acts as both a preview and also a showcase for the five Original Song nominees, who will perform live.

How to watch the Oscars

Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal

(Image credit: IMDb)

In the US, you can watch the ceremony through your cable provider on ABC or online at In the UK, things are slightly more complicated: you’ll require either access to Sky Cinema via your TV package or you'll need to fork over £11.99/month for a Now TV Cinema Pass. That’ll enable you to watch the Academy Awards via your TV, laptop, or even games console. There will also be an Oscars catch-up show on Monday evening.

Who are the main nominees?

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

(Image credit: Searchlight)

Leading the way this year is David Fincher’s Mank with 10 nominations. Following up close behind is The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7 (all six nominations). Promising Young Woman is next up with five nominations.

Nomadland is widely-tipped to walk home with Best Picture but faces stiff competition from the rest of the nominees, listed here in full:

  • The Father 
  • Judas and the Black Messiah 
  • Mank 
  • Minari 
  • Nomadland 
  • Promising Young Woman 
  • Sound of Metal 
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

The most noteworthy category is that of Best Director. Remarkably, this is the first time ever that two female directors have been nominated in the same year. Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) could make history come Sunday.

For the full list, check out our Oscars 2021 nominations guide.

Will there be a live audience, who’s hosting, and what’s different this year?

Oscars 2021

(Image credit: A24)

OK, lightning round: here’s what else you’ve been wondering about – answered in double-quick time.

Will there be a live audience? Yes, but not all the stars are coming out to play – at least all at once. 170 audience members will be allowed to be seated at one time, and it’s likely set to rotate throughout the night at Union Station, the (new) main hub for the Oscars this year. There’s also been talk of other ‘hubs’ around the globe – with the BFI Southbank in London being mooted as one such venue where actors can gather to celebrate their work.

There will be no host once more for the Oscars. Expect, instead, a revolving door of presenters and big names to see you through the night.

For us watching from home, not much will have changed. Those there on the night will need to pass three COVID tests. However, things could be glitzier than ever. There is a suggestion, as per AP (opens in new tab), that the entire ceremony will feel “more like a movie.” We're not sure what that means, but we're certainly tuning in to find out...

See what else is coming from Hollywood (and beyond) with our movie release dates guide.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.