Oscars 2022: what you need to know about the ceremony taking place on Sunday evening

After two years of health restrictions, the Oscars ceremony organized on March 27 returns to its traditional Dolby Theater on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Which film will delight the supreme reward, the Oscar for best feature film: Power of the Dog by Jane Campion CODAthe remake of The Aries familyWhere Belfast by Kenneth Branagh, or yet another of the ten films in the running? How will the evening unfold? And will the audience finally be back? American cinema holds its breath before the start of the “Academy Awards” award ceremony which will put an end to the suspense.

A ceremony that is renewed

The 2022 Oscars ceremony will be unlike any of the previous editions. Organizers announced that the presentation of certain trophies would be pre-recorded in order to make the television broadcast of this evening more dynamic and more attractive for spectators.

For the first time in history, the Oscars will have three mistresses of ceremonies March 27: actresses Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes. Remember that this will be the first time since 2018 that the Oscars will be entitled to a host.

Another novelty: the organizers of the Oscars have launched a “fan prize”, called to vote on social networks. For the ceremony and its broadcaster ABC, the objective is clear: to give new power to the spectators and to seduce a new audience. The 2021 edition had only attracted 10 million viewers, a 56% drop compared to the previous year which had already recorded its lowest level in history.

A “very tight race” for the Oscar for best feature film

In the race for the Oscar for best feature film, the dark and psychological western about toxic masculinity, The Power of the Dog was previously leading the race in the predictions for the Oscar for best feature film, which would constitute a historic victory for the giant Netflix, which has never yet been crowned in this flagship category. But the competition has intensified in recent weeks and an outsider has returned at full gallop: CODA dramatic comedy full of emotions and optimism which won one after the other all the prizes awarded by the professional unions of the American cinema industry. Experts also keep an eye on Belfasta black and white film by Kenneth Branagh inspired by the filmmaker’s Northern Irish childhood, which still goes the distance.

“It’s a race between two or three horses”summarizes Clayton Davis, specialist in film awards for the magazine variety, a reference in the field. He noted a “strong dynamic” in favor of CODA. “The last two years have been very difficult for everyone. And CODA is positive, comforting. I believe voters are in the mood to feel good.”he told AFP. “It’s a very tight race”confirms Scott Feinberg, columnist at The magazine HollywoodReporter.

If many have sung the praises of The Power of the DogJane Campion’s film displeased others, who criticize it in particular for its clinical coldness and lack of emotion. “It’s not everyone’s cup of tea”, says Scott. Feinberg. This can prove to be a handicap with the odd multi-round preferential voting system used in the best feature category, which tends to favor the most consensual films. The competition “has never been so open”, said on condition of anonymity one of the voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars. Another ace up the sleeve of CODAit is an independent film with a low budget (15 million dollars) perceived this year as the outsider and which could therefore attract the sympathy of voters. “Some Academy members I talk to are still reluctant to vote for a Netflix movie in the Best Feature category.“, explains this voter to AFP, noting with mischief that CODA is broadcast by Apple TV+, another video-on-demand platform.

The favorites in number of awards

The film The Power of the Dog lead the race with twelve nominations in total, followed by Dunes (ten nominations), Belfast (seven), West Side Story and The Williams Method (six). But in absolute number of Oscars, it is the grandiose space opera Dunes who should be the winner on Sunday evening thanks to his nominations in multiple technical categories, from photography to sound and special effects.

Oscar for best actress: a very tight game

The game is hotly contested for the actresses. For Scott Feinberg, “any of the five candidates could really win” this year, although Jessica Chastain, unrecognizable in her role as televangelist of In the eyes of Tammy Fayeseems “most likely”. Clayton Davis recognizes that this is the safest bet but notes that Penelope Cruz also has the wind in her sails and could create a surprise with her performance in Madres Paralelas by Pedro Almodóvar.

Ariana DeBose should win for supporting actress with the remake of West Side Story by Steven Spielberg but the latter will have a lot to do to get the upper hand on Jane Campion, say the experts.

Among the actors, Will Smith is the favorite

Among the actors, the big favorite this year is the always very popular Will Smith, who plays the father of champions Serena and Venus in The Williams Method. One of the stars of CODA, Troy Kotsur, holds the rope for the Oscar for best supporting actor. The deaf actor, who plays the loving but sometimes helpless father of a hearing teenager, has been a hit in the various film awards this season.

Music at the Oscars: Beyoncé and Billie Eilish on stage

Singers Beyoncé and Billie Eilish, nominated in the category of Best Original Song, will perform during the ceremony on Sunday evening. Beyoncé will perform the ballad BeAlive, that she wrote For the movie The Williams Method, dedicated to the rise of tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams. Billie Eilish and his brother Finneas will play on their side No Time To Diethe tube they composed especially for the latest James Bond and which has already won many awards.

Note that Van Morrison, notoriously opposed to the obligation to vaccinate against the coronavirus, will not be at the party where he was nevertheless invited, the organizers said.

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Oscars 2022: what you need to know about the ceremony taking place on Sunday evening