The films and the people who make them will be celebrated at the 94th Academy Awards this weekend, marking the official end of the 2021-22 film awards circuit, formerly known as the Oscar season from hell.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of Sunday’s ceremony.
What time is the show and where to watch it?
As usual, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present the Oscars, which will air live worldwide on ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PST on Sunday. The ceremony will be held in Los Angeles at the Dolby Theater at Ovation Hollywood, formerly the Hollywood and Highland Center, and the telecast will air in more than 200 territories.
The show will also be viewable on streaming services like Hulu Live TV, YouTubeTV, AT&T TV, and FuboTV, as well as on abc.com. and the ABC app whether users can authenticate their provider.
After being without a host for three years – twice during the COVID-19 pandemic – the film academy seems to be making up for lost time typing Three hosts to host the latest episode. Actor-comedians Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes and actor Regina Hall will do the honors, even if the animation job is widely seen as a thankless gig.
How will television broadcasting be different this year?
Sparking controversy among Hollywood heavyweights, part of the show will be revamped in a bid to boost the show’s ratings. Eight of the 23 categories will be dropped from the live ceremony after the show hits an all-time high in 2021. And therein lies the catch.
Will Packer (“The Photograph”, “Girls Trip”, “Straight Outta Compton”) and the film academy pushed through the frowned upon decision to give out the awards for all three short film categories and five technical categories – film editing film, original music, production design, sound and make-up and hairstyle – beforehand, then edit them in the live show.
The decision provoked a backlash from guilds and industry organizations representing these groups. It also raised more than a few eyebrows when the academy introduced two informal fan-voted categories to generate interest and ensure the show appealed to “a wide range of audiences” without alienating nominated artists and hardcore Oscar fans.
One of those campaigns — #OscarsCheerMoment — solicits submissions from moviegoers on their all-time favorite movie moments that had audiences bursting into theaters with glee. (Winning scenes will be featured during the show.)
After dropping the controversial proposal for a “popular movie” category a few years ago, the film academy has also opened up voting to Twitter users who can select their favorite movie of 2021 under the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite. The movie that wins the most votes will be recognized on the telecast, whether or not it received an Oscar nomination. (Looking at you, “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”)
The show will pay homage to the James Bond franchise and ‘The Godfather’, which turns 50 this year, and there will likely still be plenty of presenter banter, a few pre-shot packages and lengthy speeches. Packer cheerfully pleaded with the candidates to be prepared and concise.
“Nobody believes you thought there was no way to win so you hadn’t prepared anything – I’m just going to be honest with you,” he told the nominees at the nominees lunch more early this month. “You have a 20% chance of winning, that’s a good chance in this town.”
Who is nominated?
Thirty-eight feature films are in the running for this year’s Oscars. Jane Campion’s Western “The Power of the Dog” was the juggernaut of awards season and leads the pack with 12 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Denis Villeneuve’s epic sci-fi adaptation “Dune” trails with 10 winks, along with “Belfast,” “CODA” (a surprise winner at the Screen Actors and Producers Guild Awards), “Don’t Look Up “, “Drive My Car”, “King Richard”, “Licorice Pizza”, “Nightmare Alley” and “West Side Story”
In addition to the best winks, filmmakers Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), Campion (“The Power of the Dog”), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”) and Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”) are nominated for Best Director.
Here is the breakdown of the main actor categories:
See the full list here.
Who are the presenters?
Oscar presenters so far include:
- Halle Bailey
- Stephanie Beatrice
- Josh Brolin
- Ruth E. Carter
- Sean “Diddy” Combs
- Kevin Costner
- Jamie Lee Curtis
- DJ Khalid
- Jacob Elordi
- Jennifer Garnier
- Jake Gyllenhaal
- Tiffany Haddish
- Woody Harrelson
- Tony Hawk
- Anthony Hopkins
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Lily James
- Daniel Kaluuya
- Zoe Kravitz
- Mila Kunis
- Lady Gaga
- John Leguizamo
- Simu Liu
- Rami Malek
- Shawn Mendes
- Jason Momoa
- Bill Murray
- Lupita Nyong’o
- Elliot Page
- Rosie Perez
- Tyler Perry
- Chris Rock
- Tracee Ellis Ross
- Jill Scott
- Naomi Scott
- JK Simmons
- Kelly Slater
- Wesley Snipes
- Uma Thurman
- John Travolta
- Shaun White
- Serena Williams
- Venus Williams
- Yuh Jung Youn
- Rachel Zegler
Earlier this week, there was talk about whether ‘West Side Story’ star Zegler would participate, but on Wednesday the actor was finally asked to be a presenter.
Who is efficient?
The ceremony will also include performances of the original Oscar-nominated songs, which will be sung by Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and Finneas, Sebastián Yatra and Reba McEntire.
Bey will sing “Be Alive” from “King Richard”, Eilish and Finneas will perform “No Time to Die” from the eponymous 007 film, Yatra will sing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”, and McEntire will sing Diane’s “Somehow You Do ” by Warren in “Four Good Days”.
Van Morrison’s “Down to Joy” from “Belfast” is also among the nominees but will not be played on the show as Morrison is on tour and cannot attend the show.
If he wins an Oscar on Sunday, Miranda will join the rarefied class of EGOT winners – industry stars who have won Emmys, Grammys, Oscars and Tonys.
An all-star band consisting of Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, percussionist and vocalist Sheila E., pianist Robert Glasper and the show’s musical director, Adam Blackstone, are expected to perform throughout the show.
Are we pretending there is no pandemic? And a war in Ukraine?
Yes? And no?
Some have speculated that the 2022 guest list will be reduced amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, the academy announced that it would not require proof of vaccination for attendees – except for performers and presenters, who will have to test negative. Nominees and their dates will be asked to provide proof of vaccination and two negative PCR tests.
As for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the conflict has been a hot topic, and acceptance speeches at a handful of awards ceremonies in the run-up to the Oscars have mentioned it.
The Oscars, usually the most watched of all awards, will be the biggest platform to make a political statement. And that includes hosts. If it were up to co-hosting Schumer, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, another actor, would be on the show.