Los Angeles: One of the biggest highlights of the year in the world of cinema, Oscars always generates buzz around predictions, snubs, and performances in the months leading to the main event.
This year too, people are abuzz regarding the 91st Academy Awards, but not necessarily for its nominees and awards. One of the biggest issues being talked about is the lack of a host, among other things, wrote People magazine.
Here is a rundown on what everyone’s talking about ahead of Oscars 2019:
-Kevin Hart not hosting: Shortly after the comedian was confirmed to host the show, he came under fire for resurfaced tweets containing homophobic statements. Hart refused to apologize, stating that he had addressed the issue. Hart, however, went on to announce he was stepping down from the event, and eventually did say he was sorry.
-The not first time the show has gone on without a host: In 1989, the Oscars opened with a lengthy, over-the-top musical performance led by the unlikely pair of Snow White and Rob Lowe in lieu of a host, and the result was quickly named one of the worst openers in the show’s history.
-Here’s how the show will begin this year: ABC President Karey Burke has said that the show will kick off with “a very exciting opener.” She continued, “We are not going to go straight into people thanking their agents.”
At one point, Burke admitted that going host-less for the Oscars made her nervous, but later changed her tune.
She went on to say, “Ironically, I have found that the lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept them in the conversation,” adding, “It’s really compelling. People really care.”
-Here’s why the Academy was going to present certain categories during commercials: In an attempt to make the awards show shorter (and as a result, possibly increase viewership), the Academy announced just two weeks before the show that the Oscars for Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Short Films, and Makeup/Hairstyling would be presented during commercial breaks.
-Here’s why they reversed that decision: The announcement prompted directors including Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese and actors Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Seth Rogen and more to sign an open letter denouncing the Academy’s plan.
-Can nominees tie for an award? Ever since Glenn Close and Lady Gaga both won the best actress at the Critics’ Choice Awards, everyone’s been wondering — is it possible that they would tie for the award at the Oscars, too?
However, it will not be the first time. The most memorable tie in Oscars history occurred in 1969. Katherine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand took home the award for Best Actress. There have been other incidents too.
-Here’s who is presenting: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a stacked list of presenters who will be taking the stage to introduce the various nominees.
Chef José Andrés, Dana Carvey, Queen Latifah, Congressman John Lewis, Diego Luna, Tom Morello, Mike Myers, Trevor Noah, Amandla Stenberg, Barbra Streisand, and Serena Williams were most recently announced as presenters.
Other presenters this year include joining Elsie Fisher, Danai Gurira, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Keaton, Helen Mirren, John Mulaney, Tyler Perry, Pharrell Williams, Krysten Ritter, Paul Rudd, and Michelle Yeoh.
-Here’s who is performing: Bette Midler will be taking the stage to perform the song ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’ from ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ she announced on Twitter on Saturday. She joins Jennifer Hudson, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Bradley Cooper, and Lady Gaga as stars confirmed to perform the nominated songs during the live broadcast.
In addition, Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic will score this year’s “In Memoriam” segment.
-Has any singer won the Oscars for best actress before? While Lady Gaga is a top contender for winning an Oscar, she is not the first singer to be nominated in the category. Barbra Streisand has won it and other singers who’ve crossed over and taken home the Best Actress statue for their turn on the big screen include Cher and Jennifer Hudson.
-Here’s what the stage will look like: This year’s Oscars set designer David Korins told People magazine that he wanted to further elaborate on the iconic visual elements that have been so successful in the past.
He said, “It has to be dazzling and it has to be interesting looking and aesthetically pleasing,” adding, “But to me, it’s not just about creating beauty for beauty’s sake. To me, it’s the beauty with a message.”
In addition to creating grandiose set pieces like a “Crystal Cloud” and “Golden Gates” — which use more than 1,600 cables strung with 26,000 Swarovski crystal beads and 10,000 Swarovski pearls, the stage will incorporate 40,000 real roses that will be used in multiple ways throughout the ever-changing set, including on a recreation of the iconic Oscar statues as a floral sculpture called the “Rose Topiary Oscar.”