Final preparations are under way for the 94th Academy Awards and a long awaited return to Hollywood’s glamorous normalcy after a muted ceremony and ratings low last year. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Oscars, including where to watch the live show, who’s expected to win and what the big controversies are this year.
Where will the Oscars be held?
The ceremony was held at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles last year. This time around it will return to its home since 2002: the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Centre.
When will it take place?
The 94th Academy Awards are set to be held on March 27, at 8pm US Eastern Time (March 28, 8am Hong Kong time) and will be broadcast live on ABC.
Who is hosting the event?
Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes are taking the stage to co-host the ceremony, which has been without an emcee for the past three years. Producer Will Packer said each woman brings something different to the show.
Who is presenting?
Show producers will continue adding names throughout the week, but at the moment stars expected to hand out awards Oscar night include Lady Gaga, Kevin Costner, Samuel L. Jackson, Zoe Kravitz, Anthony Hopkins, Lily James, Daniel Kaluuya, Mila Kunis, John Leguizamo, Simu Liu, Rami Malek, Lupita Nyong’o, Rosie Perez, Chris Rock, Naomi Scott, Wesley Snipes, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Yuh-jung Youn, Ruth E. Carter, Halle Bailey, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jamie Lee Curtis, Woody Harrelson, Shawn Mendes, Tyler Perry and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Which films are nominated for best picture?
The 10 films competing for best picture this year are: Belfast; CODA; Don’t Look Up; Drive My Car; Dune; King Richard; Licorice Pizza; Nightmare Alley; The Power of the Dog; West Side Story.
What were the most surprising Oscar snubs?
There were a lot of surprises Oscar nominations morning.
Some exclusions that stood out include Denis Villeneuve, whose Dune got the second most nominations (10) behind The Power of the Dog (12) including best picture, but who failed to get a directing nomination for himself.
The best actress category was especially brutal this year, leaving out Lady Gaga for House of Gucci, Jennifer Hudson for Respect and Caitriona Balfe for Belfast and Renate Reinsve for The Worst Person in the World.
What are the predictions for the winners?
The Power of the Dog is the presumed front runner for best picture and best director, for Jane Campion, but there is also the possibility that CODA will take best picture. Either way, it’ll be the first time a streaming service has won best picture. Other likely winners include Will Smith for best actor (King Richard), Jessica Chastain for best actress (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Troy Kotsur for best supporting actor (CODA) and Ariana DeBose for best supporting actress (West Side Story).
What else can we expect?
Organisers have promised that they will keep the broadcast to three hours and Packer (whose films include crowd pleasers like Girls Trip) wants to make it as entertaining as possible while still honouring the nominees and winners.
“The show will flow, not unlike a movie, in that there will be different themes and a different feel and different energy throughout the night,” Packer said in an interview with IndieWire. “It will not feel or look or sound like one show for three hours. It’s taking you through the course of this cinematic journey.”
Best song nominees like Beyoncé, Van Morrison and Billie Eilish are also in talks to perform.
Are there any controversies this year?
The Oscars are so high profile that every year someone is upset about something (especially when changes are involved) but this year the biggest controversy is over the decision to present some awards before the live broadcast begins and edit them into the show later.
The eight awards are for shorts (live action, animated and documentary), editing, score, hair and make-up, sound and production design. The decision has its defenders, but also an army of high-profile detractors, including Campion, Villeneuve, Steven Spielberg, Chastain and Penelope Cruz.