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Six Things We Learned from Nine Oscar Shortlists

Six Things We Learned from Nine Oscar Shortlists

This year’s nine Oscar shortlists are voted on by five branches of the Academy — Music, Documentary, Animation and Shorts, VFX, and Makeup and Hairstyling — as well as the intrepid members from all over the world who were willing and able to watch online a minimum of a dozen qualifying international features. Reading the tea leaves of these shortlists reveals some strengths and weaknesses heading into the final round of voting for the final five nominations to be announced on March 15.

To state the obvious, voters made their selection from a wide range of smaller-scale movies, given that many of the studio blockbusters, from Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” to Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” were pushed back due to the pandemic. Clearly, while stuck at home, many Academy voters were watching Netflix. That’s a huge advantage for “step one” on the road to an Oscar nomination: getting your movie seen.

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