A guide to everything you need to know for the 95th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night.
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By Sarah Bahr
It’s looking like the year of “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
The sci-fi smash from the directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert has already swept the top prizes at the four major Hollywood guild awards, and the only other films to ever do that — “Argo,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “American Beauty” — all went on to win the best picture Oscar.
But! It’s the academy, and there’s always at least one surprise. Will Steven Spielberg spoil the Daniels’ bid for best director with his semi-autobiographical tale, “The Fabelmans”? Will Michelle Yeoh beat Cate Blanchett for best actress? Will Angela Bassett, who’s nominated for best supporting actress for her performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” bring home the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first acting Oscar? There’s sure to be drama.
Among about 50 stars lined up to present trophies are Ariana DeBose, Florence Pugh and Jonathan Majors. (Another key question: Will DeBose reprise her viral BAFTAs musical rap?)
Here’s what you need to know:
What time do the festivities start?
The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific. On television, ABC is the official broadcaster. Online, if you have a cable login, you can watch via abc.com/watch-live/abc, or if you’re an ABC subscriber, via the ABC app. For cord-cutters, there’s also Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV or Fubo, all of which require subscriptions, though many are offering free trials.
Is there a red carpet?
Well, there will be star arrivals, but they will be treading a champagne-colored carpet. To watch, head to the E! network beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific if you’re in the mood for some preshow celebrity spotting. (ABC will also have champagne-carpet coverage beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern, which you can watch live on its website, with no sign-in required.)
Is there a preshow?
The official Academy Awards preshow, “On the Red Carpet Live: Countdown to Oscars 95,” airs on ABC from 1 to 4 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Pacific (and will be available to stream on the ABC News Live website beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 a.m. Pacific until the start of the Oscars).
Then, also on ABC, Ashley Graham, Vanessa Hudgens and Lilly Singh will host the “Countdown to the Oscars” lead-in show, which will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the big night, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, 3:30 p.m. Pacific.
The Run-Up to the 2023 Oscars
The 95th Academy Awards will be presented on March 12 in Los Angeles.
Who will be hosting?
Jimmy Kimmel will return for his third round as M.C. after previously guiding the ceremonies in 2017 (the “Moonlight”-“La La Land” mix-up year) and 2018.
Who will be presenting?
Three of last year’s acting winners — Jessica Chastain, DeBose and Troy Kotsur — as well as Riz Ahmed, Halle Bailey, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael B. Jordan, Majors, Janelle Monáe, Deepika Padukone, Pugh and Questlove.
Will Will Smith be there?
Smith, who took home last year’s best actor statuette for his performance as the father of Venus and Serena Williams in the biopic “King Richard,” was barred from the Oscars and other academy events for 10 years after he slapped the comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 ceremony. (Rock recently joked about the explosive moment on a live Netflix show.)
Will Jennifer Coolidge be there?
It feels like she should be, right? But alas, no. (Or, at least, not that we know of!)
What should you watch for?
After considerable backlash from industry professionals following last year’s decision to pretape eight of the competitive categories, all 23 categories will be awarded live this year.
And there are a number of milestones to keep an eye out for: Yeoh could become the first Asian star to win best actress for her performance as the multiverse-surfing mother in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” if she can hold off Blanchett’s ambitious conductor in “Tár.” If Spielberg, 76, wins best director for “The Fabelmans,” he would become the oldest winner in the category. And if John Williams, 91, wins best original score for “The Fabelmans,” he would become the oldest person to win a competitive Oscar.
Is anyone close to an EGOT?
Viola Davis became the 18th member of the club of overachievers who have an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award after she won a Grammy for the audiobook of her memoir, “Finding Me.” But sadly, none of the nominees have the chance to join her on Sunday.
Who do we think will win?
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” received the most nominations — 11, including best picture, actress (Yeoh), supporting actor (Ke Huy Quan) and supporting actress (Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu) — and there’s a very real possibility that it could win, well, everything everywhere all at once. The odds-making site Vegas Insider currently has it as the runaway favorite, distantly trailed by Martin McDonagh’s drama “The Banshees of Inisherin” and the German war film “All Quiet on the Western Front,” each of which earned nine nominations.
Our Projectionist columnist, Kyle Buchanan, thinks Yeoh has the edge over Blanchett, and that Brendan Fraser, who underwent a full-body transformation to play an obese professor in “The Whale,” will triumph over the “Elvis” star Austin Butler.
In the supporting categories, Quan is a virtual lock for supporting actor, but Buchanan is predicting Kerry Condon of “Banshees” for supporting actress. See his complete list of predictions here.
What’s this I’ve heard about Andrea Riseborough?
Ah, yes, the tale of this year’s surprise (understatement) best actress nominee involved a social media blitz on her behalf by a cadre of movie stars, snubs of Danielle Deadwyler in “Till” and Viola Davis in “The Woman King,” and an academy review of the campaign on her behalf. (The verdict? She’s clear — for now.) Here’s an explainer.
I only have time to watch one film before ceremony. Which one should I choose?
To get the most bang for your buck, we’d recommend “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” (Or just hop into the multiverse and watch all of the nominees simultaneously.) If you’re short on time, Sarah Polley’s female-focused drama “Women Talking” is the shortest of the best picture nominees, at 1 hour 44 minutes. Of course, “The Banshees of Inisherin” and “Triangle of Sadness” have an X factor in their favor: the donkey quotient. If you face a time crunch, you’ll want to save “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which stretches past the three-hour mark, for another day; you’re already committed to watching a three-hour-plus broadcast on Sunday night! (Then again, what better day than Oscars Sunday to devote more than a third of your waking hours to film?)
OK, I watched “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — and wait, what was that ending?
Here’s an explainer.
Who is that Oscar statuette supposed to be a likeness of?
It’s said to be modeled after the Mexican filmmaker and actor Emilio Fernández (who, the story goes, posed in the buff).
Why are they called the Oscars, again?
It’s said that when the longtime academy employee Margaret Herrick first saw the statuette in the 1930s, she remarked that it reminded her of her Uncle Oscar — a nickname for her second cousin Oscar Pierce.
I’m hosting an Oscars party this year. What delicious food should I make?
You can’t go wrong with loaded nachos, cheese straws or dipped chocolate anything. Feeling fancy? Try our caviar potato chips and lemon cream recipe.
I need some joy in my life. What’s the quickest way to get it?
Follow Ke Huy Quan on Instagram.
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