Everything you need to know about the 94th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday night.
The 94th Academy Awards haven’t even begun yet, and there’s already a lot of drama.
First, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences downgraded eight below-the-line and short film categories to a preshow, infuriating many in Hollywood who believe that the professionals who compete in those races are vital to filmmaking. Then, at the Critics Choice Awards, best director nominee Jane Campion of “The Power of the Dog” received outrage for suggesting that tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams had never had to fight against males as she had. Campion later expressed regret. Then, in an Instagram remark, Rachel Zegler, who starred in “West Side Story,” which received seven nominations, stated that she had not been invited to the ceremony. However, it later requested her to present, and the academy confirmed her attendance on Wednesday.
So get some popcorn, make an Oscars bingo card (don’t forget to include “golden hour” and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”), and settle in for what may be the most ordinary Oscar ceremony in the last two years.
When do the events begin?
The ceremony, which will take place in the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles this year, will start at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific if you’re watching from home. Eight of the 23 categories — film editing, sound, original soundtrack, production design, makeup and hairstyling, live-action short, animated short, and documentary short — will be awarded for the first time in an in-person-only preshow dubbed the “golden hour” by the producers. In addition, highlights from the presentations will be edited into the live broadcast starting at 7 p.m. Eastern, 4 p.m. Pacific. (The change is part of a plan to boost the broadcast’s ratings, which hit a new low in 2021.)
A.B.C. is the official broadcaster on television. If you have a cable login, you can watch online at abc.com/watch-live/abc or on the A.B.C. app if you’re an A.B.C. subscriber. You may also watch via a live T.V. streaming service such as Hulu + Live T.V., Sling T.V., AT&T TV Now, YouTube T.V., or FuboTV, all of which cost memberships but many of which offer free trials.
Is there going to be a red carpet?
Yes, the Oscars are back in style! However, to accommodate the earlier arrivals for the eight “golden hour” prizes, the academy is opening the red carpet an hour earlier than usual, at 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific. (Attendees are asked to arrive at the Dolby by 7 p.m. Eastern, 4 p.m. Pacific, for the Oscars.)
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At 1 p.m., A.B.C. will broadcast red carpet coverage throughout the afternoon, with a break for national and local news. “The Oscars Red Carpet Show,” the official Academy Awards preshow, premieres on A.B.C. at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, 3:30 p.m. Pacific. It will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the big night with red carpet coverage and interviews hosted by Vanessa Hudgens, Terrence J, and fashion designer Brandon Maxwell.
Who will be the host?
Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes will co-host the award show for the first time since 2018.
How is the competition progressing?
This year’s Oscar nominees include 38 features and 15 shorts in 23 categories, with Campion’s gay western “The Power of the Dog” leading the pack with 12 nominations. Best supporting actor is a category to keep an eye on If Troy Kotsur, who plays the deaf father of a hearing daughter in “CODA,” can defeat Kodi Smit-McPhee, who was an early favorite for his work in “The Power of the Dog,” “CODA” will have a better chance of winning the best picture award. Also noteworthy is the BAFTA award for the best-adapted screenplay, which went to “CODA” over “The Power of the Dog.” “CODA” losing one or both of its nominations could indicate that “The Power of the Dog” will win the best picture.
What kind of entertainment is on the cards?
Shaun White, Tony Hawk, Serena, and Venus Williams and the first live performance of “We, Don’t Talk About Bruno,” the earworm from Disney’s animated musical “Encanto,” are among the unusual lineup’s presenters. There will also be tributes to the James Bond series and “The Godfather,” marking its 50th year.
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Will there be any mention of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
Yes. According to The New York Times, there will be a segment dedicated to it.
So who else is going to speak?
Lady Gaga, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tiffany Haddish, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel L. Jackson, Lily James, Daniel Kaluuya, Zoe Kravitz, Mila Kunis, Rami Malek, Shawn Mendes, Jason Momoa, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong’o, Tyler Perry, Chris Rock, J.K. Simmons, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, and Yuh-Jung Youn are among the celebrities.
Who else is going to be on stage?
Beyoncé (“Be Alive” from “King Richard,” written with Dixson), Billie Eilish and Finneas (“No Time to Die,” from the James Bond film of the same name), Sebastián Yatra (“Dos Oruguitas,” the “Encanto” song written by Lin-Manuel Miranda), and Reba McEntire (“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days,” written by Diane Warren) will perform four of the five Due to his tour schedule, Van Morrison, who penned and sung “Down to Joy” in “Belfast,” was unable to attend.
Is there anything else new this year?
The academy has added two new categories in which fans vote to choose the winner, which might pave the way for a broad-appeal film like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” to win an Oscar. The #OscarsFanFavorite category asked Twitter users to vote for their favorite movie of 2021 (“Spider-Man” and “Cinderella” were among the ten finalists in the final week before voting closed on March 3), and the #OscarsCheerMoment category asked moviegoers to nominate their favorite scenes that made theatergoers burst out laughing. Then, during the ceremony, it will display the winning ones.
Who has the potential to make history?
There are several possible milestones: It would be the first time a streaming service won the best image if “CODA,” an Apple TV+ product, or “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix) won. Lin-Manuel Miranda, 42, might become the 17th E.G.O.T. (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award) winner if “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto” wins best original song (Disney didn’t submit “Bruno”), or Beyoncé could win her first Oscar if “Be Alive” from “King Richard” wins instead. Ariana DeBose, a frontrunner for supporting actress for her role as Anita in “West Side Story,” or Kristen Stewart, who is up for best actress for her role as Princess Diana in “Spencer,” might be the first openly L.G.B.T.Q. Performer to win an acting Oscar. Kotsur from “CODA” has a chance to become the first deaf person to win an Academy Award for acting.
Who do we believe will come out on top?
“The Power of the Dog” is still the best-picture frontrunner, but just by a hair — it’ll have to beat over a surging “CODA,” which won the top prize at the actors, writers, and producers guild honors. (Despite the absence of nominees for directing and editing, our awards expert, Kyle Buchanan, predicts that voters will be desperate to crown a crowd-pleaser.) Campion is a clear choice for best director — “CODA” director Sian Heder was not nominated — and “King Richard” star Will Smith is the frontrunner to win his first Oscar for best actor. In the supporting actor and actress categories, Kotsur and Ariana DeBose of “West Side Story” are the clear favorites. Still, best actress could be a wild card — Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”) has momentum after wins at the Critics Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards (she’s our expert’s pick). Still, Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) or Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) could spoil the show.