Follow the latest news updates from the Oscars red carpet.
Jane Campion could make a new piece of Oscars history. “CODA,” once an underdog, could defy early expectations and take home Hollywood’s top prize. And a British star could win the best actor honor for his role as an American cowboy — if an American star doesn’t win it for playing a Shakespearean Scottish sinner-made-king. (Though they will each have a tough time outpacing Will Smith, a king in his own way.)
The 94th Academy Awards are set for Sunday night, with the main ceremony slated to begin at 8 p.m. EST at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. (Eight categories will be awarded in a smaller event before the show.) This year’s awards will recognize movies released between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2021. Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes are the hosts.
The nominees for best picture are “Belfast,” “CODA,” “Don’t Look Up,” “Drive My Car,” “Dune,” “King Richard,” “Licorice Pizza,” “Nightmare Alley, ” “The Power of the Dog” and “West Side Story.” The New York Times’s awards season columnist, Kyle Buchanan, thinks that the top prize will be a showdown between the “The Power of the Dog,” which has long been a favorite and is the night’s most-nominated movie (it received 12), and “CODA,” a smaller-scale drama that has momentum after wins with the actors, writers and producers guilds. Campion, Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Kenneth Branagh will compete for the directing prize. Campion is the favorite, and a win for her would make this year the first time that the best director Oscar has gone to women twice in a row. (Chloé Zhao won last year for “Nomadland”; Campion has already made history by being the first woman to be nominated for best director twice.)
In the best actor category, Smith, who is the favorite for his starring role in “King Richard,” is up alongside Denzel Washington (for “The Tragedy of Macbeth”), Benedict Cumberbatch (for his role as an ornery cowboy in “The Power of the Dog”), Javier Bardem and Andrew Garfield. The best actress race, perhaps the most wide-open of the top categories, is between Jessica Chastain, Olivia Colman, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is expected to be a topic throughout the night: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged celebrities and artists to show support for his country, and there has been talk of Zelensky appearing by video during the ceremony. (Organizers from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that runs the Oscars, were reportedly resistant to the idea of a remote appearance from Zelensky.)
Whatever happens, we’ll be following along. Check back here throughout the night for live updates on the winners.