The Oscars still have no host, but the nominees are finally releasedThe Oscars still don’t have a host, but on Tuesday morning, they’ll at least have nominees.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will unveil nominations to the 91st Oscars Tuesday morning at 8:20 a.m. EST from the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, Calif. The nominations, to be announced by Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross, will be livestreamed globally at www.Oscars.com, www.Oscars.org and on the academy’s digital platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
The lead-up to Tuesday’s nominations has been rocky for both the film academy and some of the movies in contention. Shortly after being announced as host, Kevin Hart withdrew over years-old homophobic tweets he eventually apologized for. That has left the Oscars, one month before its Feb. 24th ceremony, without an emcee, and likely to stay that way.
Hollywood’s awards season has been an especially combustible one, too. Some contenders, like Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” and the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” have suffered waves upon waves of backlash, even as their awards tallies have mounted. On Saturday, “Green Book” won the top award from the Producers Guild, an honor that has been a reliable Oscar barometer. In the 10 years since the Oscars expanded its best-picture ballot, the PGA winner has gone on to win best picture eight times.
The season’s steadiest contender - Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” - looked potentially unbeatable until it was beat. Despite an enviable string of awards and more than $400 million in worldwide box office, Cooper’s lauded remake was almost totally ignored at the Golden Globes, only winning best song and losing best picture to the popular but critically derided “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a movie that jettisoned its director - Bryan Singer - mid-production.
Still, “A Star Is Born,” the sole film to land top nominations from every guild award except the Visual Effects Society, may be the lead nomination-getter Tuesday with around 10 nominations, including best actress for Lady Gaga and both best director and best actor for Cooper. But other films, including Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther,” Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” could be in for big mornings, too.
Here are some of the pressing questions heading into Tuesday’s nominations.
How many will there be?
Best picture nominees can fall anywhere from 5 to 10. Most commonly, we end up with nine nominees, as was the case last year when Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” ultimately prevailed. The films that are most assured spots are those that have fared well consistently with Hollywood’s guilds, whose memberships overlap with the 17 branches of the academy.
The five films picked by the strongly predictive Directors Guild - “BlacKkKlansman,” “A Star is Born,” “Roma,” “Green Book” and “Vice” - are probably in. So, too, are “The Favourite” and “Black Panther,” leaving films like “Eighth Grade,” “First Man,” “A Quiet Place” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” vying for a place.
Can Netflix make history?
“Roma,” Cuaron’s black-and-white memory masterwork, is poised to hand Netflix its first best picture nomination - something the streaming service has dearly sought. Amazon got there first in 2017 with “Manchester by the Sea,” but Netflix came close last year with Dee Rees’ “Mudbound.” This time around, it has gone against its regular policies to release “Roma” in select theaters shortly in advance of arriving on Netflix.
But there’s resistance among some academy members to Netflix films at the Oscars since the company typically bypasses movie theaters. Steven Spielberg has said Netflix films are more like TV movies and deserve an Emmy, not an Oscar.
If “Roma,” which is Mexico’s foreign language submission, were to win best picture, it would become the first foreign language film to ever win in the category. Cuaron, who served as his own director of photography, is expected to be nominated for both best director and best cinematography. If he were to win best director, he and his “Three Amigos” countrymen - del Toro, Alejandro G. Inarritu - will have won the category five of the last six years.
What about the host?
The Academy of Motion Pictures is reportedly planning to go host-less following Hart’s exit, something it has tried only once before in an infamous 1989 telecast that featured a lengthy musical number with Rob Lowe and Snow White.
The Oscars last year hit a new ratings low, declining 20 percent and averaging 26.5 million viewers. Though ratings for award shows have generally been dropping, the downturn prompted the academy to revamp this year’s telecast.