The 93rd Academy Awards will be a celebration amid a cloud of uncertainty following a year of upheaval that posed a dire threat to Hollywood.
Cinemas around the world - like so many businesses - have spent much of the last 12 months closed to the paying public, slashing box office takings and forcing studios to delay many of their biggest blockbusters.
It is likely the 2021 Oscars - delayed to April from February by the coronavirus pandemic - will reflect a year like no other, with fears within the industry the TV broadcast could follow other awards shows and suffer a historic drop in viewers.
Those who do tune in will see perhaps the most diverse group of nominees ever, with women and people of colour strongly represented.
And the eclectic mix of films recognised is another break from the past.
Best picture nominees include runaway favourite Nomadland; the black-and-white ode to old Hollywood, Mank; - leading the field with 10 nominations - and courtroom drama The Trial Of The Chicago 7.
The others are Judas And The Black Messiah, The Father, Minari, Promising Young Woman, and Sound Of Metal.
Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Riz Ahmed (Sound Of Metal) and Gary Oldman (Mank) are all up for best actor alongside Steven Yeun, for Minari, though it would be a major upset if the late US actor Chadwick Boseman did not win posthumously for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Nomadland's Frances McDormand is targeting her third best actress Oscar after success in 1997 (Fargo) and 2018 (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).
She will be challenged for the title by Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces Of A Woman), and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman).
Five Australians are among the nominees for best visual effects.
Matt Sloan, Matt Everitt, Genevieve Camilleri and Brian Cox are all nominated for Love And Monsters, while Andrew Jackson is up for many observers' favourite for the award, Tenet.
The in-person ceremony will mostly take place at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, with some elements from the Oscars' usual home of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and some nominees appearing from international locations including Australia.
There is no host and instead the ceremony's cast of A-list presenters - including Brad Pitt, Regina King and Harrison Ford - will be entrusted with moving proceedings along.
The 93rd Academy Awards will take place on Monday morning Australian time, with the ceremony screened live on Channel Seven from 10am AEST.
Australian Associated Press