Celebrities walked the Oscars red carpet on Sunday, ready to celebrate the year at the movies in a ceremony free from last year’s pandemic restrictions and promising a few twists and a moment of support for Ukraine. Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman and other nominees donned a rainbow of colors outside the Dolby Theater where 2,500 attendees in dresses and tuxedos were expected for the 94th Academy Awards.
“My English is not enough to express all the feelings I’m feeling right now. It’s like a dream moment come true,” said Ahn Hwitae, one of the stars of the Best Japanese Film nominee. Drive My Car”. A dark western, “The Power of the Dog,” will take on deaf family drama “CODA” for the prestigious Best Picture award. A victory for either film would mark a major milestone in handing over the statuette to a streaming service.
Netflix Inc released “Power of the Dog” while “CODA” aired on Apple TV+. Producers said they are planning for an upbeat show, but will acknowledge the crisis in Ukraine, which has killed thousands and driven a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes. Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis is among the evening’s presenters. Jason Momoa wore a handkerchief in the colors of the Ukrainian flag: blue and yellow.
“It’s really, really strange to be here in a tuxedo, knowing what’s going on in Ukraine,” said ‘Power of the Dog’ producer Emile Sherman. “It’s not an easy time trying to absorb what’s going on in this part of the world, while celebrating the accomplishments of everyone who made this movie and all the movies here tonight.” Actress Jamie Lee Curtis has said she will pay tribute to acting legend Betty White, who died in December just before her 100th birthday.
Color ruled the red carpet. Contestant Kodi Smit-McPhee wore a light blue suit, while Chastain donned a lavender and gold dress with giant ruffles on the skirt. Kirsten Dunst and Marlee Matlin chose bright red. After past complaints about a lack of diversity, two of this year’s four acting accolades could go to people of color. Will Smith is likely to win his first Oscar for ‘King Richard’, observers say, as is Ariana DeBose for ‘West Side Story’.
Comedians Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes will host, and this is the first time that three women have led the ceremony. In a bid to attract more viewers, especially younger viewers, after years of declining ratings, the three-hour show starting at 8 p.m. ET (0000 GMT) will add two awards, fan vote results for favorite movie and scene.
The best picture race depends on whether the 9,900 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences support a gothic psychological thriller or an uplifting story. “Power of the Dog,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a repressed cowboy who torments his brother’s new wife, topped all films with 12 nominations. He had been considered the leader until “CODA” landed top honors from the Screen Actors Guild and Producers Guild.
“CODA” tells the story of a hearing girl who serves as an interpreter for her deaf family but aspires to pursue a career in music. CODA is the acronym for “child of a deaf adult”. A traditional Hollywood studio could mark the surprise. Awards experts give an outside look at Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Belfast’, a film inspired by his childhood in Northern Ireland at the start of the sectarian conflict known as The Troubles, or the remake of ‘West Side Story’ by Steven Spielberg.
The ‘King Richard’ star Smith is a top actor favorite to play the determined father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. Competitors include Cumberbatch and Andrew Garfield for the musical “Tick, Tick…Boom!” The best actress is the most unpredictable. Many pundits say Chastain’s portrayal of TV evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker will triumph, though some give former “Twilight” vampire Kristen Stewart the edge for playing Princess Diana in “Spencer.”
In the supporting actor categories, Afro-Latin actress DeBose is set to win for her portrayal of Anita in “West Side Story.” “CODA” star Troy Kotsur could go down in history as the first deaf man to win an Oscar.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)