It’s the entertainment industry’s biggest and glitziest night of the year, attracting everyone who’s anyone – from Hollywood legends to bright young things – with everyone waiting on who will win film’s most coveted prizes: the iconic golden Academy Awards statuettes.
If you’re in the UK, the ceremony will be aired by Sky. Sky Cinema (renamed Sky Cinema Oscars) will air the entire evening, beginning at 10pm with red carpet arrivals. Sky1 will broadcast an hour of Alex Zane-fronted coverage at midnight, titled Oscars 2019: Red Carpet Live.
And then for the ceremony itself, you’ll need to head back to Sky Cinema Oscars and Now TV between 1am and 4am to find out who has got their hands on the major prizes. Highlights will be shown on Monday 25th February at 8pm on Sky Cinema Oscars and 9pm on Sky1.
To watch, NOW TV offer a Sky Cinema Pass which will cost you £9.99 a month – although you can get a 14-day free trial if you’re a new customer, so you can watch the Oscars with no charge if you time it right.
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma – Netflix’s semi-autobiographical drama about a young housekeeper working for a wealthy family in 1970s Mexico – and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite (a fictionalised period drama about Queen Anne’s relationship with her aides) lead the pack in 2019. Each have 10 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress (x2 in the case of The Favourite, for Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone). A Star is Born and Vice are also rather prominent, with eight noms apiece (both are also up for best picture).
Elsewhere, Black Panther earned an historic nomination for Best Picture (it’s the first superhero movie to ever be included in the category), and debutants Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) and Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) scored nods on their first ever film roles. And Christian Bale, who won Best Actor gongs at the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards for his portrayal of former US vice president Dick Cheney in Vice – has also been nominated, with Best Actress also contested by Glenn Close, Olivia Colman and Regina King are all in the running for Best Actress.
However, though the Academy has made efforts to diversify its member base in recent years, the Best Director category remains all-male, with Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots) and Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) both losing out to Spike Lee (BlackkKlansman), Pavel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Alfonso Cuaron (Roma) and Adam McKay (Vice).
You can see most of the Oscar nominees, including Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Glenn Close and Spike Lee, gathered in this photo at the annual luncheon…
While Bradley Cooper has been nominated elsewhere for A Star is Born, you could forgive him for feeling aggrieved that he missed out in the Best Director category. Rob Lowe certainly thinks he deserved it…
Bradley Cooper was robbed for Best Director. Clearly.
British bio-drama Mary Queen of Scotts was also surprisingly absent from all the major categories, including the acting shortlists which snubbed Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan.
Plus, Timothée Chalamet (My Beautiful Boy), Claire Foy (First Man), Ethan Hawke (First Reformed) and Toni Collette (Hereditary) were all overlooked, much to the chagrin of their fans.
The morning's most awful snub is surely Ethan Hawke in Best Actor. It's the biggest sweep by an actor across critics prizes that I can recall to have missed the Oscars since Peter Sarsgaard in Shattered Glass back in 2003.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” he said in a post on Twitter.
“This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.
“I’m sorry that I hurt people. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love and appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.
How will the Oscars work without a host and who are the 2019 presenters?
It is as yet unclear what form the show will take without a host – and it will be the first time in 30 years that the Academy has decided to go ahead without an MC. According to The Hollywood Reporter,the show’s producers were scrambling to reunite the cast of the Avengers (including the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans) and other big-name celebrities to add some allure to the broadcast and bridge the gap between the various awards and musical segments.
So far, out of the Avengers cast, Evans, Chadwick Boseman and Samuel L Jackson have signed up to present – alongside DC superhero Jason Momoa and X-Men star James McAvoy. The other celebrities on board at this stage are previous best actress winners Brie Larson and Charlize Theron, Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, Crazy Rich Asians stars Awkwafina and Constance Wu, former Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, as well as Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Lopez, Laura Dern, Maya Rudolph, Angela Bassett, Amandla Stenberg, Melissa McCarthy, Sarah Paulson and Tessa Thompson.
Further presenters, announced in the week leading up to the show, include Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan and Danai Gurira, Atlanta/ If Beale Street Could Talk star Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Keaton, Helen Mirren, comedian John Mulaney, Tyler Perry, Pharrell Williams, Krysten Ritter, Paul Rudd and Michelle Yeoh.
Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Queen Latifah, Diego Luna, Tom Morello, Amandla Stenberg, Trevor Noah, Spanish-American chef José Andrés and US Congressman John Lewis will join them.
In Oscars tradition, the winners of the acting awards from last year are also returning to present to their opposite numbers. That means Gary Oldman will be presenting the award for Best Actress, and Frances McDormand will be presenting the Best Actor award, with Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell due to present the supporting categories.
If there is a world in which Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Shallow does not win Best Original Song, I don’t want to live in it. This seems a dead cert, but no bookie is likely to be taking bets on categories outside the big four (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture and Best Director).
Green Book was originally the favourite to win Best Picture, after picking up the award at the Producer’s Guild Awards in January. Eight out of the last 10 films to win Best Picture have won at the PGAs in the build-up… But Netflix’s Roma is likely to provide some strong competition, picking up the Best Picture prize at the Baftas and Director’s Guild Awards, and currently standing as the bookies’ favourite to pick up the prize.
Roma’s filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron is currently leading the race for Best Director after picking up the award at the Golden Globes, Director’s Guild Awards, Critic’s Choice Awards and the Baftas. The Director’s Guild is usually a strong indicator, correctly predicting the Best Director Oscar winner for 14 of the last 15 years.
Fresh off his win at the Golden Globes, SAG awards and Baftas, Rami Malek has been widely tipped to pick up the Best Actor Oscar for his seamless portrayal of Freddie Mercury, although Christian Bale’s portrayal of Dick Cheney will give him a run for his money.
Glenn Close, who won at the Globes and tied with Lady Gaga at the Critics’ Choice Awards, is expected to take home the award for Best Actress and is currently the bookies’ favourite – but Olivia Colman’s turn in, er, The Favourite has also proven popular with awards bodies so far, picking up the prize at Bafta and attracting a lot of buzz from Oscars voters profiled in industry websites and magazines.
The Favourite was the big winner at the British Academy – the film picked up Outstanding British Film alongside major acting prizes for Olivia Colman (Best Leading Actress) and Rachel Weisz (Best Supporting Actress), and a slew of behind-the-scenes accolades including Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.
Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek won Best Leading Actor, while Roma picked up the coveted Best Film prize and Alfonso Cuaron was named Best Director putting the Netflix film in strong contention for the Oscars race.
Meanwhile, Green Book’s Mahershala Ali continued his winning streak with Best Supporting Actor, while Black Panther actress Letitia Wright won the viewer-voted Rising Star award.
The Academy has revealed details of the performers taking to the stage during this year’s ceremony. The evening’s entertainment will include a set from Queen with Adam Lambert, along with performances from the Best Song nominees with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper set to take to the stage to perform their nominated song Shallow from A Star Is Born.
Also due on stage is Jennifer Hudson who will sing I’ll Fight from Oscar-nominated documentary RBG. Nominees Gillian Welch and David Rawlings will perform When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Bette Midler will represent Mary Poppins Returns for a rendition of The Place Where Lost Things Go.
There had previously been some controversy around the Oscars set list, with disappointed fans lamenting the original decision to give performance slots to just two of the five nominated songs. The Academy responded to the feedback and reinstated slots for four of the five nominees, with Black Panther the only current omission – although that may change.
Which Oscars categories won’t be presented during the live broadcast – and why is it controversial?
The Academy caused uproar when it announced that four categories – Cinematography, Editing, Live Action Short and Makeup & Hairstyling – would be handed out during the commercial breaks.
The move sparked a backlash on Twitter, with filmmakers and critics alike lamenting the decision not to broadcast the specialist categories, which director Guillermo Del Toro (who won Best Picture and Best Director for The Shape of Water in 2018) politely explained are at the heart of filmmaking…
Reposting, revised: I would not presume to suggest what categories should occur during commercials on Oscars night, but, please: Cinematography & Editing are at the very heart of our craft. They are not inherited from a theatrical or literary tradition: they are cinema itself.
A group of prominent filmmakers – including Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese – signed an open letter to the Academy, urging them to reverse the decision to “relegate” the categories to outside the live broadcast.
The Academy – led by boss Jon Bailey – initially appeared reluctant to back down, instead responding with a letter justifying their decision, promising that “no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others.”
But the campaign worked, and the Academy has now reversed its decision. All four cinematography awards will be televised after all.
“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards,” the organisation said in a statement issued on Friday 15th February. “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format.”
Will there be an Oscars Best Popular Film category?
In August 2018, The Academy announced it was planning on introducing a “best popular film” category to the awards show, to highlight achievements of genre films and blockbusters less likely to make the best picture category, such as Marvel’s Black Panther and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
They did, however, add that they may return to the idea in the future.
Will the Oscars have a Special Award this year?
No special award has been announced for this year’s ceremony as yet.
On certain occasions in the past, the Academy has handed out a Special Achievement Award for filmmakers who make an “exceptional contribution” to film.
In 1995, Pixar’s John Lasseter won for his part in making Toy Story the first feature length computer-animated film. In 2017, Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant, Birdman) won for his virtual reality short, Flesh and Sand.
Who won the major awards at last year’s Oscars?
Guillermo del Toro’s magical realist romance The Shape of Water was the big winner at last year’s Academy Awards, converting four of its 13 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Music Score and Best Production Design.
Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell won in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, while Gary Oldman (The Darkest Hour) and Allison Janney (I, Tonya) won the remaining actor gongs.
Elsewhere, Jordan Peele won for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out, and Pixar’s Coco won Best Animated Feature.
Former president Cheryl Boone-Isaacs took action to change this in 2016, by launching an initiative to double the number of diverse members by 2020.
In June last year, it welcomed 928 new members, as part of this. These included Kendrick Lamar, Tiffany Haddish, Dave Chappelle, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Kumail Nanjiani, Wendell Pierce, Gina Rodriguez, Sarah Silverman, J.K. Rowling, Questlove and Jada Pinkett Smith.
The general population of the Academy has been a closely guarded secret for some time, but that appears to be changing.
Walt Disney leads the charge with 26 Oscars to his name. But as a producer behind multiple hit Disney films, he’s not exactly a surprising record holder. Katharine Hepburn holds the most acting Oscars with four, closely followed by a trio of famous faces – Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day Lewis and Walter Brennan – who have three apiece.
Bohemian Rhapsody was the surprise winner at the Golden Globes (after receiving mostly mixed reviews from critics but proving a hit with its audience), taking home the award for Best Picture, with lead Rami Malek also picking up the Best Actor award.
Though the Globes is voted for by just 65 journalists from the mysterious Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it still tends to have a knock-on effect for the Academy Awards (voting for the Oscars opened the day after the Globes took place), and the Queen biopic may well be a bigger player this year than the snootier critics among us had expected.
Malek went on to triumph at the Bafta Film Awards, but he’s rivalled for the Oscar by Christian Bale who also won at the Golden Globes and again at the Critics Choice Awards. In the Leading Actress category, Glenn Close triumphed at the Globes and CCAs but it was Olivia Colman who Bafta chose to reward. Mahershala Ali has emerged as a clear frontrunner for Supporting Actor, with Bafta and CCA wins and a Globes nomination.
And Roma has emerged as a clear frontrunner for Best Picture, winning at the Baftas, CCAs and Golden Globes, with director Alfonso Cuaron also picking up plenty of silverware this awards season.
This year’s swag is worth a reported $100,000 – not a bad consolation prize if you end up with no silverware. In fact, so plush are these gift bags, they’re dubbed “Everyone Wins” and include holidays, jewellery, beauty products and more.
The luxury trips on offer range from Iceland to the Galapagos and Costa Rica, while celebrities after a personalised stained-glass portrait can order one, and those who enjoy a novelty gift can get their hands on a glow-in-the-dark emoji poop-themed toilet plunger.
And in a nod to the legalisation of cannabis in the state of California, guests will be gifted a range of weed-themed products including skincare treatments, bath bombs and access to a cannabis social club.