The Oscars have always been high stakes, but these days—with dire Covid-era box office returns and dwindling viewership numbers—each award show feels pretty existential. Hence, Tony Hawk. And Kelly Slater, Shaun White, and DJ Khaled, all of whom, despite being pro athletes and a music producer, will be presenters, in the Oscars’ latest desperate attempt to keep viewership numbers from circling the drain. (Hawk jokingly pointed out on Twitter that, as an alum of Sharknado 5 and Police Academy 4, among other cinematic classics, he’s technically qualified for the gig.)
One reason that they’re pulling out all the stunts is fear that the movies themselves may not draw the audience the Academy is looking for. According to one poll of “general entertainment consumers,” a majority of respondents said they weren’t aware of 9 out of 10 of the Best Picture nominees—West Side Story, with 55 percent awareness, was the exception.
So, if you don’t really know your CODA from your Belfast, you’re far from alone. Here’s a guide to the Best Picture nominees, their chances at winning the top prize, and how angry everyone will be if they snatch the crown, as determined by a highly scientific formula (prior award wins + vibes).