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AirTalk’s FilmWeek: 2021 Oscar Preview

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM on Sunday, April 18, 2021

Even a pandemic couldn’t stop FilmWeek’s annual Oscar preview show. This year, we went virtual! Join host Larry Mantle and KPCC’s FilmWeek critics for the 19th annual event right from the comfort of your own home.

Although it’s been a rough year for a number of reasons, 2020 did not disappoint when it comes to movies. This year, David Fincher’s “Mank,” a story about “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, leads the way with 11 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Also nominated for Best Picture: “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Nomadland,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Sound of Metal,” “Promising Young Woman” and “The Father.”

For the first time in history two women received Best Director nods, including Chloé Zhao for her true-story depiction in “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for her revenge comedy and feature directorial debut “Promising Young Woman.” Zhao made history this year as the most nominated woman ever in a single year and as the first woman of color nominated for Best Director. Nearly half of the acting nominations are for people of color, including Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Steven Yeun, Riz Ahmed and Andra Day. And the nominees for Best Animated Feature include “Onward,” Over the Moon,” “Wolfwalkers,” “Soul” and “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.” You can check out the full list of nominations here.

Larry and critics traditionally meet on the stage of the historic Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles in front of a crowd, but we've all had to make adjustments over the past year. Even watching movies over the past year has looked different, but that doesn’t mean there’s any less to talk about.

Watch the video at the top of the page to see Larry and our top-notch critics as they break down the major categories and nominations and offer their takes, compliments and gripes on the film selections.


Justin Chang, film critic for KPCC and the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Fresh Air; he tweets @JustinCChang

Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC, Alt-Film Guide and; he tweets @CinemaInMind

Angie Han, film critic for KPCC and deputy entertainment editor at Mashable; she tweets @ajhan

Christy Lemire, film critic for KPCC, and co-host of the ‘Breakfast All Day’ podcast; she tweets @christylemire

Lael Loewenstein, film critic for KPCC and film columnist for the Santa Monica Daily Press; she tweets @LAELLO

Wade Major, film critic for KPCC and

Amy Nicholson, film critic for KPCC, film writer for The New York Times and host of the podcasts ‘Unspooled’ and the podcast miniseries “Zoom”; she tweets @TheAmyNicholson

Claudia Puig, film critic for KPCC and president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA); she tweets @ClaudiaPuig

Peter Rainer, film critic for KPCC and the Christian Science Monitor

Charles Solomon, film critic for KPCC, Animation Scoop and Animation Magazine