Oscar Preview: Five big questions ahead of Sunday’s awards | Health & Fitness

Linda D. Klein

NEW YORK (AP) — The Academy Awards have often liked a comeback story. This year, the Oscars are making an attempt to star in 1, far too.

On Sunday, the Academy Awards will attempt to bounce back again from a 2021 ceremony that was plagued by pandemic constraints, a botched ending and history-reduced ratings. The 94th Academy Awards will return to their normal home, Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, and be broadcast reside on ABC commencing at 8 p.m. EDT. (It really is also achievable to stream it reside on companies like Hulu Are living Television set, YouTubeTV and on ABC.com with supplier authentication.)

How a great deal of the Oscars’ downturn should really be chalked up to COVID-19? How a lot is it the new ordinary? These are just some of the queries that hang about an Academy Awards that feels like a crossroads for a single of America’s most enduring pop-tradition establishments, and still the most-viewed once-a-year show outside the house the Tremendous Bowl.

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Can the Will Packer-generated awards shrug off the pandemic, reverse several years of declining scores for community Television set award reveals and coalesce a massive-tent event for a speedy evolving movie landscape? In the interminable operate-up to the springtime Oscars, quite a few in the marketplace have been skeptical. Which sales opportunities us to the first of 5 questions heading into the clearly show.

WILL THE OSCARS’ Most current MAKEOVER Function?

The greatest drama heading into Sunday revolves about a broadcast that has been significantly retooled to stem the scores slide. As if building up for several host-less many years, this time there are 3: Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes. Will their mixed star electrical power move the needle at all?

Facing stress from ABC, the academy will also first current eight groups — generation design and style, modifying, seem, rating, make-up and hairstyling, and the a few shorter film awards — right before the telecast begins. Clips of their wins and speeches will be edited into the clearly show. Critics all through the industry, although, have lined up to decry the modify. The largest union symbolizing guiding-the-scenes employees, IATSE, on Monday termed the decision detrimental to the “fundamental purpose” of the Oscars.

So what will Packer do with the added time? Beyoncé and Billie Eilish will carry out their nominated songs. An eclectic group of presenters has also been announced, together with some unpredicted names like DJ Khaled, Tony Hawk, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Shaun White — so this could eventually be the calendar year that Judi Dench learns how to accomplish a “McTwist.”

WILL A STREAMER Take Residence Greatest Photograph?

The two favorites both hail from streaming solutions, which have at any time received greatest image. The guide nominee, Jane Campion’s “The Electric power of the Puppy,” up for 12 awards, experienced very long been the presumed frontrunner, and possibly Netflix’s best prospect however to earn Hollywood’s leading award. But soon after back-to-back wins with the Monitor Actors Guild and the Producers Guild, Sian Heder’s deaf spouse and children drama “CODA” might have the edge. The film’s deep-pocketed backer, Apple Tv+, has spent massive to force a really feel-good underdog indie to the front of the pack. If “CODA” wins, it will be the first time due to the fact 1932’s “Grand Hotel” that a film with fewer than 4 nominations (“CODA” has a few) took very best image. Some predictions this yr have been wildly off, even though, so other nominees like Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast” could continue to pull off an upset.

HOW Considerably WILL COVID DRAG DOWN THE Occasion?

Last year’s Oscars decamped to Union Station for an intimate show with a modest selection of attendees and heaps of social distancing. This calendar year, a whole stage present and red carpet is planned, albeit with uneven COVID-19 protocols. Attendees are needed to post two adverse tests and proof of vaccination. These presenting or performing never have to be vaccinated but will need recent adverse tests. Masks will be in the combine, way too, for attendees sitting exterior the orchestra at the Dolby and for media on the red carpet. Soon after various attendees contracted the virus following attending the March 13 BAFTAs in London, several nominees have been quarantining, such as Branagh and “Belfast” co-star Ciarán Hinds. With an infection and hospitalization prices way down, Los Angeles County is established to lift a lot of virus constraints for indoor situations on April 1, 5 days just after the Oscars.

WILL WILL SMITH Get HIS To start with OSCAR?

Nominated 2 times in advance of for most effective actor (for “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness”), Will Smith seems a lock to win his 1st Academy Award. Smith’s general performance as Richard Williams, father to Venus and Serena, in “King Richard” has remained the most probable selection in the course of the period. And the speech by the exuberant 53-year-aged star must be one particular of the most energetic of the night time. A earn, even though, will have to appear about some formidable level of competition — together with the actor who bested Smith’s “Ali” performance 20 decades back: Denzel Washington, a winner then for “Training Day” and a menace this time for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

WHO’S Set TO MAKE History?

A lot of of the top awards could element some key milestones. Ari Wegner, cinematographer of “The Power of Canine,” may well become the to start with lady to at any time acquire that award. Her director, Jane Campion, is also poised to make record. Campion, the initial girls ever nominated 2 times for best director, is set to develop into only the third lady to win the category. It would mark the to start with time the directing award has at any time absent to women in back-to-back again a long time, after “Nomadland” filmmaker Chloé Zhao received past year.

Troy Kotsur of “CODA” is in line to be the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar. His commonly predicted earn would make him and his “CODA” co-star Marlee Matlin the only deaf actors to land Academy Awards. And supporting actress, which Ariana DeBose seemingly has sewn up for her breakthrough role in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” may well see the initially Afro-Latina and brazenly LGBTQ actor get in the classification. A gain for DeBose would occur 60 yrs right after Rita Moreno received for the identical function, Anita, in the 1961 first. That would be the 3rd time that two actors have gained for participating in the identical job, following Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker, and Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro as Vito Corleone. But we’ll have to wait and see if DeBose’s “West Aspect Story” co-star Rachel Zegler is there to cheer her on.

Adhere to AP Film Author Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

For a lot more on this year’s Oscars, pay a visit to: https://apnews.com/hub/academy-awards

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This content may perhaps not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.

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