April 13, 2024

All eyes will be on Hollywood later to see whether Everything Everywhere All At Once can cap its extraordinary awards season by sweeping the Oscars.

The eccentric multiverse adventure is the favourite to win best picture after success at a host of precursor events.

But it faces competition from All Quiet on the Western Front and The Banshees of Inisherin, among others.

Austin Butler, Brendan Fraser, Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh are the frontrunners in the acting categories.

The 2023 awards season has been one of the most unpredictable of recent years, with three of the four acting categories too close to call.

Winners have varied at the other major ceremonies, such as the SAG Awards, Baftas and Golden Globes, and there is a lack of consensus over who will triumph at the Oscars as a result.

Who is hosting the Oscars?

Jimmy Kimmel and Guillermo del Toro attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California.IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Jimmy Kimmel (left) last hosted the Oscars in 2018, when Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water won best picture

The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

It will be the chat show host’s third time hosting the Academy Awards. He most recently presided over the 2018 event.

The US comic is probably trying to forget about the other occasion, in 2017, when the ceremony descended into chaos after the wrong best picture winner was mistakenly announced.

As part of a media call at the Dolby Theatre on Wednesday, Kimmel joked about how the venue’s red carpet has changed colour for the first time since 1960.

US television host Jimmy Kimmel (R) speaks before workers rollout the red carpet as preparations for the 95th annual Academy Awards ceremony get underway in Los Angeles, California, USA, 08 March 2023.IMAGE SOURCE,EPA
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Kimmel (far right) made light of the new carpet colour during a media call on Wednesday

Referring to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars, Kimmel said: “People have been asking if there’s going to be any trouble this year, is there going to be any violence this year?

“I certainly hope not. But if there is, I think the decision to go with a champagne carpet rather than a red carpet shows how confident we are that no blood will be shed.”

The decision to change the carpet’s colour was actually made for practical reasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new one means organisers “can transition more seamlessly from daytime arrivals to an elegant evening setting”.

How to watch the Oscars

Cate Blanchett attends the 29th Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 26, 2023IMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
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Cate Blanchett is nominated for best leading actress for her performance in Tár

Viewers in the US can watch the Oscars live on ABC. The network is also streaming the ceremony on its website and app.

In the UK, Sky will air the ceremony across four of its channels simultaneously – Sky Arts, Sky News, Sky Showcase and Sky Cinema Oscars.

Unusually, that means British viewers can watch the Oscars on Freeview and Freesat. It will also be available on streaming service Now (formerly Now TV).

The ceremony starts at 17:00 PT / 20:00 ET on Sunday. In the UK, it starts at midnight as Sunday becomes Monday.

The prizes are scheduled to be handed out over three hours – but the ceremony runs late almost every year, often by at least 30 minutes.

Who is presenting at the Oscars?

Ariana DeBose, Troy Kotsur and Jessica Chastain at the Oscars 2022IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Last year’s winners (L-R) Ariana DeBose, Troy Kotsur and Jessica Chastain will present, but Will Smith will be absent

Traditionally, the four acting winners from the previous year’s Oscars come back to present the prizes to their successors.

This year, three of 2022’s winners are returning – Jessica Chastain, Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur – but the fourth, Will Smith, is absent as he’s been banned for attending the Oscars for 10 years.

Other stars presenting categories this year include Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman, Samuel L Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, John Travolta, Emily Blunt, Glenn Close, Jennifer Connelly and Florence Pugh.

Interestingly, Halle Berry has also been invited to present. She remains the only woman of colour to win best leading actress at the Oscars, but we could see the second this year with Yeoh.

Other category presenters include Paul Dano, Andrew Garfield, Cara Delevingne, Kate Hudson, Michael B Jordan, Jonathan Majors, Mindy Kaling, Eva Longoria, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Andie MacDowell and Riz Ahmed.

They will be joined by Antonio Banderas, Elizabeth Banks, Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek Pinault, Melissa McCarthy, Halle Bailey, Janelle Monáe, Questlove, Elizabeth Olsen and Pedro Pascal.

Who are the favourites to win?

Brendan Fraser and Austin Butler attend the 34th Annual Palm Springs International Film Awards After Party at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 05, 2023 in Palm Springs, CaliforniaIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Brendan Fraser (left) and Austin Butler face each other in the competitive best actor category

Excitingly, this year’s winners are the hardest to predict for some time, due to the variation at the many precursor ceremonies.

The only acting category awards pundits are confident about is Everything Everywhere All At Once star Ke Huy Quan winning best supporting actor.

Otherwise, it’s all to play for. Brendan Fraser (The Whale) and Austin Butler (Elvis) have both won a host of best actor prizes at other major events and either one could take the Oscar.

There is another dead heat in the actress category, with Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) enjoying a late surge of momentum, challenging the early frontrunner Cate Blanchett (Tár).

Best supporting actress is arguably the most open of the acting categories – with a three-way race between Angela Bassett (Wakanda Forever), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All At Once).

What will win best picture?

(L-R) Stephanie Hsu, Daniel Kwan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Scheinert, Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Wang, and Ke Huy Quan, winners of the Best Feature award for "Everything Everywhere All at Once, pose in the IMDb Portrait Studio at the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards on March 04, 2023 in Santa Monica, CaliforniaIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Everything Everywhere All at Once was named best feature at last week’s Independent Spirit Awards

At this point, Everything Everywhere All At Once is the clear frontrunner, having won nearly every major precursor it needed to – with the notable exception of Bafta.

The British Academy was far less keen on the film than US voters have been, and the Baftas gave far more prizes to All Quiet on the Western Front.

At the Oscars, the World War One epic is the bookies’ second favourite to take the top prize, followed by The Banshees of Inisherin.

Best picture is decided via a preferential ballot – Academy members are asked to rank the 10 nominated films from favourite to least favourite.

That can mean a film which has passionate support among a vocal but relatively small section of the Academy can lose out to a film which pleased a wider number of voters overall.

For example, a crowd pleaser such as Top Gun: Maverick could be a dark horse in the best picture race due to the large number of second and third place votes it is likely to have received.

Who is performing?

Recording artist Rihanna performs during the halftime show of Super Bowl LVII at State Farm StadiumIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
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Rihanna will perform at the Oscars exactly one month since headlining the Super Bowl halftime show

Rihanna will take to the Academy Awards stage exactly one month since her electrifying performance at the Super Bowl. She will perform Lift Me Up (from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), which is nominated for best original song.

The most likely winner in that category, however, is Naatu Naatu (from RRR) – which will be performed at the ceremony by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava.

David Byrne, Son Lux and Stephanie Hsu will perform This Is A Life (from Everything Everywhere All at Once), while Diane Warren and Sofia Carson will perform Applause (from Tell It Like a Woman).

However, Lady Gaga will not perform, despite her song Hold My Hand (from Top Gun: Maverick) being the fifth nominee in the category. She is attending the ceremony though, so fans hope she might yet spring a surprise performance.

Elsewhere, Lenny Kravitz will perform during the In Memoriam segment, which pays tribute to film figures who have died over the past year.

Why are the Oscars called the Oscars?

Oscar statuettes sit on display backstage during the show at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 27, 2022IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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An Oscar statuette is 13.5 inches (34cm) tall and weighs 8.5lb (3.8kg)

Officially, these are the Academy Awards, but they have been known affectionately as the Oscars for decades.

There are three possible sources. One is the late US columnist Sidney Skolsky, who claimed he gave the award its nickname.

Actress Bette Davis claimed that the name derived from her observation that the backside of the statuette looked like that of her husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson.

But the most popular theory is one attributed to former Academy librarian Margaret Herrick, who declared that the golden statuette looked like her uncle Oscar.

 

 

  • Credit: By Steven McIntosh
    Entertainment reporter

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