The 91st annual Academy Awards has had its fair share of controversy.
Starting last August, the drama began when the Academy introduced new measures to increase viewership for the awards show. It announced that the telecast would be cut down to exactly three hours, meaning many of the awards would not be televised. Then the drama shifted over to the hosting gig, which the Academy briefly gave to comedian Kevin Hart, then quickly took away.
The drama hasn’t stopped there. There was also the brief introduction of a new award, called “Best Popular Film,” which was met with much criticism from the film industry and beyond, and the news that the Academy wasn’t letting all five “Best Original Song” nominees perform during the telecast.
From who’s hosting and performing to what can be expected during the live telecast, here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Academy Awards.
When and where?
The 91st annual Academy Awards are on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. EST. The ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and will be televised on ABC.
No one. Briefly signing on to host the ceremony in December, comedian and actor Kevin Hart stepped down from the post after being asked to do so by the Academy due to the re-emergence of homophobic tweets on his Twitter account. The Academy then went back on its decision, asking Hart to return to the hosting gig, which he firmly declined. The Academy has since decided to go without a host for the ceremony, which it hasn’t done in 30 years.
Who’s nominated and what are the categories?
The drama surrounding the Oscars started in August when the Academy released major changes to the ceremony, including the introduction of a new award, called “Best Popular Film.” Little information was provided on what the category constituted, but many speculated it referred to films that earned the most at the box office. Because the category was met with much criticism and there were no clear guidelines on which films should be nominated, the Academy pulled the award, stating it needed further discussions on how to introduce it.
The Academy then went on with its regular list of awards with “Roma” and “The Favourite” tying for the most nominations with 10 each. Snubbed for a “Best Director” nomination, Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut film, “A Star is Born,” received eight nominations, including “Best Picture,” “Best Actor,” “Best Actress” and “Best Original Song.” Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” is the first superhero movie to be nominated for “Best Picture,” joining the likes of “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Roma,” “A Star is Born” and “Vice.” See the full list of nominees here.
What awards will be televised?
In order to increase its dwindling viewership, the Academy also announced in August that it would be cutting the broadcast to exactly three hours, meaning many of the awards wouldn’t be presented live. On Feb. 11, the Academy said four categories would be presented during commercial breaks: cinematography, editing, live-action short, and makeup and hairstyling. This decision was immediately met with a backlash from many in Hollywood, including nominated director Alfonso Cuaron, who tweeted out: “In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”
Again, the Academy went back on its decision, stating on Feb. 15 that all 24 awards will be presented during the live telecast.
With its measure to cut the telecast to three hours, the Academy also had plans to truncate its performances of “Best Original Song.” On Jan. 24, Variety reported that only two out of five songs would be performed during the ceremony: Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All the Stars” from “Black Panther” and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” from “A Star is Born.” It was reported that Lady Gaga, displeased with this decision, made it clear to the Academy that if the other nominees weren’t performing, she wouldn’t either. On Jan. 31, the Academy said that all nominees would perform 90-second versions of their songs. However, on Thursday it was reported that Kendrick Lamar and SZA had pulled out of the ceremony, stating logistics and timing were the cause.
The Academy also said Monday that the remaining members of Queen — plus singer Adam Lambert — will be performing.
As is tradition, every year the Academy invites the prior year’s winners for acting to present the awards to their successors. However, in early February it was reported that last year’s winners — Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney — wouldn’t be invited to present at the ceremony. Yet again, the Academy went back on its decision, tweeting out on Feb. 6 that all four winners would be back to present the acting awards.
The Academy has also released a lengthy list of high-profile celebrities to serve as presenters. Many hail from the Marvel cinematic universe, including Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Tessa Thompson, Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Paul Rudd and Danai Gurira. To introduce the films nominated for “Best Picture,” the Academy has tapped Serena Williams, Barbra Streisand, Mike Myers, Trevor Noah, Amandla Stenberg, Congressman John Lewis, Diego Luna and Tom Morello.
Is there a pre-show?
Where can I stream the show?
The Academy and ABC will both be streaming the show on their respective web sites, which can be accessed by signing into a TV provider. For those without cable, the show can be accessed through DirecTV Now, Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV.
Read more here:
WATCH: What It’s Really Like to Walk the Red Carpet at an Awards Show