Best Oscars movies of the 21st century revealed – plus Academy Awards 2021 guide in Digital Spy magazine

Laurence Mozafari
·4-min read
Photo credit: Digital Spy
Photo credit: Digital Spy

From Digital Spy

Letter from the Editor

The glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards have always felt like a far-flung fantastical concept from here in Britain. Taking place in the wee hours of the night while everyone is soundly asleep, save for the steely journalists and movie-obsessives staying up and watching hours of coverage to find perfect showbiz nuggets to dissect.

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It's the pinnacle of celebrity – an otherworldly Hollywood concoction of designer outfits, awkward moments, and people with disconcertingly white teeth. It couldn't feel any further from day-to-day life, but especially as we've all been in lockdown for months and unable to visit our local cinema, let alone dress up fancy and rub shoulders with Brad Pitt.

This year's Oscars will also be adapting to the new normal, with a COVID-safe, in-person event that will be broadcast live around the world. Meanwhile, the nominations themselves suggest the Academy has embraced another element of real life, by showing the diversity that's long been called for (remember #OscarsSoWhite in 2015?).

Photo credit: Amazon
Photo credit: Amazon

For the first time ever, there are two female nominees for Best Director (Nomadland's Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman), following in the footsteps of the only ever female winner, Kathryn Bigelow for 2008's The Hurt Locker. In the Best Actor category, Riz Ahmed becomes the first Muslim and actor of Pakistani descent to get an Oscar nomination (check out his interview in this very issue), while former Walking Dead star Steven Yeun is the first Korean American to be shortlisted. All in all, it's the most diverse Oscars ever, with almost half of the acting nominees from non-white backgrounds.

Photo credit: Andrew H. Walker - Getty Images
Photo credit: Andrew H. Walker - Getty Images

The part of the Oscars that does feel real is, of course, the films themselves. The powerful stories that people connect with, that they treasure for years, and rewatch for even longer. That's why we wanted to put them front and centre of this issue, illustrated by Olly Gibbs. While so much of real life is on pause, we thought it was the perfect time to gaze back at the greatest Best Picture winners of the 21st century. Sure, they were the best of their respective years, but who tops them all? The Digital Spy team took on the near-impossible task of making that call.

We've also looked into our crystal ball to decide who will win each of 2021's illustrious categories, as well as explaining the mysterious voters who dish out those life-changing little gold men. Then, in case 2021's ceremony lacks the drama we all know and love, we've compiled the most unforgettable Oscars moments in history, including streakers, tears, and lots of mistakes. And finally, there are all the hidden gems you should actually take the time to watch this year, regardless of whether they grab a gong...

Photo credit: Joseph Scanlon - ITV
Photo credit: Joseph Scanlon - ITV

Beyond the Academy Awards, we have an interview with Palm Springs' Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti all about their time-loop comedy, then Will Mellor talks about becoming Coronation Street's big new villain Harvey, and we reveal the most enthralling true-crime documentaries to delve into right now.

Photo credit: Disney - Marvel Studios
Photo credit: Disney - Marvel Studios

Next, hop to The Insider for a big explainer on White Vision following WandaVision's finale and what he means for the future of Marvel. Then there's the latest on Bridgerton season 2, Jurassic World: Dominion, and all the soap timebombs waiting to explode – and that's just for starters.

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All in all, it's a suitably epic issue, so I'll leave you with an equally epic quote from 2001's Best Picture winner, Gladiator, and Russell Crowe's Maximus Decimus Meridius: "What we do in life, echoes in eternity."

Laurence Mozafari, Editor

Instagram: @LaurenceMozafari
Twitter: @Laurence_Moza

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