Rants and Raves
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Rants and Raves

Everything You Need to Know about the 91st Annual Academy Awards: Previewing the Show and Predicting the Winners

Copyright: ABC

To find out who I think should win in the Top 8 categories, check out my two part detailed analysis: Part I and Part II.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga sing “Shallow” in “A Star is Born” (Copyright: Warner Bros.)
  • The Academy is hell-bent on bringing the show in at 3 hours. Historical data on ceremony run times is inconsistent, but it looks like you would have to go back at least three and a half decades to find the last time the show came in under 3 hours. If they do mange to do it, what will they sacrifice to get there?
Whoopi Goldberg at the 71st Annual Academy Awards (Copyright: ABC)
  • There will be no host for the first time since the 61st Academy Awards 30 years ago. Despite some rumors that Whoopi Goldberg will be a surprise host, I expect them to go host-less and make do with the string of A-list presenters that have already been announced. These include the usual mix of legends (e.g., Barbra Streisand, Goldberg), A-listers (e.g., Charlize Theron, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez), and hot young stars (e.g., Chadwick Boseman, Constance Wu, Stephen James, Tessa Thompson). It also includes an odd collection of well-known people from outside the world of film that will be involved in showcasing the Best Picture nominees. These include chef Jose Andres, Congressman John Lewis, tennis star Serena Williams, and late night host Trevor Noah.
  • There will be music! Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper will perform “Shallow” from A Star is Born, Jennifer Hudson will perform “I’ll Fight” from RBG, the songwriters of the The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ “When the Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” will perform, and Bette Midler will step in for Emily Blunt for “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns. One big question mark is whether “All the Stars” from Black Panther will be performed at all, given that Kendrick Lamar has declined an invitation to perform. Oh, and Queen, the subject of this year’s 5-time nominee Bohemian Rhapsody, will also perform (with Adam Lambert taking over for Freddie Mercury as he has been doing for the past few years).
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” seems poised to win Best Animated Feature (Copyright: Sony)
“First Man” appears likely to win Best Visual Effects after being overlooked through much of awards season (Copyright: Universal Pictures)
“BlacKkKlansman” is the odds-on favorite for Best Adapted Screenplay. (Copyright: Focus Features)



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Passionate cinephile. Music lover. Classic TV junkie. Awards season blogger. History buff. Avid traveler. Mental health and social justice advocate.