Oscars 2023 live updates: Show highlights and winners – The Denver Post
By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Follow along for real-time updates on the 2023 Oscars from The Associated Press — on the decidedly not red carpet, inside the Dolby Theatre and behind the scenes. Live updates are brought to you by AP journalists in Los Angeles and around the country.
COCAINE BEAR’S OSCAR MOMENT
Elizabeth Banks brought the titular creature from her “Cocaine Bear” to present — but unlike the movie, which featured an entirely CGI bear, this was clearly some guy in a suit.
LADY GAGA’S STRIPPED DOWN PERFORMANCE
You might think Lady Gaga’s bare-faced, ripped-jeans-and-T-shirt appearance during her performance of “Hold My Hand” was because it was all last minute. After all, producers had said just days before that she wouldn’t perform the best original song nominee from “Top Gun: Maverick” and it was only revealed today that she had been slotted in
But Gaga was dazzling on the champagne carpet before the show, in a Versace gown and full makeup, presenting a very different aesthetic two hours later.
(This item has been corrected to show that her gown was Versace, not Valentino.)
‘ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT’ REPEATS HISTORY
The German film “All Quiet on the Western Front” won best international picture. The movie’s victory reflected the success of the original 1930 American film, which won Oscars for best picture and best director.
The 2022 version is also up for best picture.
‘THE LAST OF US’ VS. THE OSCARS
Pedro Pascal is in two places at once. As he presented the Oscar for best documentary short alongside Elizabeth Olsen on ABC, Pascal was also watchable on HBO as “The Last of Us” aired its season finale.
The zombie apocalypse hit was up against the Oscars during the 9-10 p.m. hour. While the show moved its time slot for the Super Bowl, it didn’t back down against the Academy Awards. AP reporter Alicia Rancilio had more on the matchup.
SPRING FORWARD, INTO A SHOW-IS-LONG JOKE
It’s a frequent complaint at awards shows like the Oscars: The program is too long.
And host Jimmy Kimmel evidently agrees, with a joke that almost seemed obligatory given today’s time change.
“I know we lost an hour because of daylight saving time but I spoke to the producers and good news: We’ve added that hour into the telecast,” Kimmel said.
DEEPIKA PADUKONE INTRODUCES ‘NAATU NAATU’
Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone — who got her start in South Indian cinema with a Kannada-language film — introduced the performance of best original song nominee “Naatu Naatu,” from the Telugu-language “RRR.”
The high-energy performance, featuring playback singers Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj and a squadron of dancers, was still relatively tame — there was no dancing in the aisles like there’s been at screenings in Hollywood.
RUTH CARTER DEDICATES OSCAR TO HER LATE MOM
“This is for my mother. She was 101,” Ruth E. Carter said while accepting the Oscar for best costume design for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Carter paid tribute to her mother, Mabel Carter, saying she died “this past week.”
“This film prepared me for this moment. Chadwick, please take care of mom,” she said.
The win gave Carter her second Oscar — she won for 2018’s “Black Panther.” and her latest statue is for the sequel.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” grappled with the grief of losing its superhero – and film star Chadwick Boseman.
JENNY THE DONKEY IS GUEST OF HONOR
Jenny, who played the donkey in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” graced the Oscars stage wearing a bedazzled emotional support animal vest.
“Not only is Jenny an actor, she’s a certified emotional support donkey,” host Jimmy Kimmel said. “At least that’s what we told the airline to get her on the plane from Ireland.”
As Kimmel pointed out her co-stars seated in the audience, Colin Farrell blew her a kiss.
Farrell thanked Jenny when he won a Golden Globe earlier this year.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS: ‘I KNOW THAT THEY WOULD BE INCREDIBLY PROUD OF ME’
Before best supporting actress winner Jamie Lee Curtis entered the press room to take questions, she grabbed the mic from the moderator to announce her presence.
“Everyone,” she said in a deep mock announcer’s voice, “the apparent Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis is entering the room.”
When reporters held up the numbers they use to show they have a question for the winner, it looked an awful lot like an auction.
“What are they bidding on?” Curtis asked.
She was asked if she thought the Oscar acting categories should no longer be divided between men and women, she said she thought it wasn’t a bad idea, but she had mixed feelings.
“As the mother of a trans daughter, I understand that,” she said. “But if we de-gender the category, I’m concerned it will mean less opportunities for women.”
Next she was asked whether she thought her famous parents, Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, were looking down on her.
“I’ll be honest. I don’t believe in a world where there are a bunch of people looking down on us,” But I believe we ARE them… and I know that they would be incredibly proud of me.”
NO DENZEL THIS YEAR
A year ago at the Oscars, Denzel Washington was seated near the stage and even offered counsel to Will Smith after The Slap. This year, he was seated near the court and watching The Lakers.
Oscar Night in Los Angeles was simultaneous with the Knicks-Lakers game, with New York in town for its annual visit to the Lakers’ home floor.
Washington skipped the Oscars and took in the game sitting next to Spike Lee, a longtime Knicks fan.
STEPHANIE HSU STEPS IN FOR MITSKI
David Byrne kept it frank at the Oscars. When the former Talking Heads singer performed best original song nominee “This is the Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once” with star Stephanie Hsu and the band Son Lux, he raised his hands in the middle of the first verse to show he was sporting the hot dog fingers the characters had in one of the movie’s multiverses.
Hsu, who was nominated for supporting actress earlier in the night, stepped in for singer Mitski.
A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR ‘AN IRISH GOODBYE’ STAR
Here’s an Oscar song that wasn’t planned: “Happy birthday” was performed, on stage and by many in the audience, for “An Irish Goodbye” star James Martin after the movie won best live action short film. The actor turned 31 on Sunday.
Martin has Down syndrome, and his story — from Starbucks barista to the Oscar stage — has captured the imagination of many in recent weeks.
DEL TORO: ‘DO YOU WANT ME TO REPEAT THE ANSWER IN ENGLISH?’
After Guillermo Del Toro, animated feature winner for “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” got a backstage question, and gave an answer, in Spanish, the moderator asked that reporters who ask non-English questions repeat them in English for the benefit of the entire press room.
“Do you want me to repeat the answer in English?” said Del Toro, a little peeved. “Because I can. What the f—-?”
After he repeated the answer, in which he said, “This is an important year for Latin America in animation,” he got a round of applause.
‘NAVALNY’ WINS FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY
“My husband is in prison just for telling the truth. My husband is in prison just for defending democracy,” Yulia Navalnaya said. “Alexei, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love.”
The documentary “Navalny ” follows the Russian opposition leader and his poisoning. Navalny is now in solitary confinement in prison in Russia.
SLAP REFERENCE NO. 3
Jimmy Kimmel is up to three references to The Slap.
“Our next category is documentary feature, which as you may recall is where we had that little skirmish last year,” Kimmel said. “Hopefully this time it goes off without a hitch, or at least without Hitch.”
Will Smith played “Hitch” in the 2005 film where he starred opposite Eva Mendes as a matchmaker of sorts.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS TAKES BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
“My mother and father were both nominated for Oscars in different categories — I just won an Oscar!”
— Jamie Lee Curtis said, crying. Her parents were actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” nominated for 11 awards tonight, has so far won two (one nomination was for Stephanie Hsu, in the same category).
KE HUY QUAN TAKES BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
From the second Ke Huy Quan’s win for best supporting actor was announced, there were tears.
Presenter Ariana DeBose choked up while reading the name of the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actor, and Quan was emotional throughout while delivering a rousing acceptance speech.
“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp,” Quan said. “Somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This — THIS — is the American dream.”
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Please help us keep animation in the conversation.”
— Guillermo del Toro, accepting the Oscar for animated feature for “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.”
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR THE SLAP TO COME UP?
Jimmy Kimmel was guaranteed to reference The Slap in his monologue — he needed a little over seven minutes (about 10 1/2 minutes into the telecast) before he made his first veiled reference to Will Smith’s infamous slapping of Chris Rock last year.
“We have nominees from every corner of Dublin,” Kimmel said. “Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another fight on stage just went way up.”
Less than three minutes later, he was a little more direct: “We want you to have fun, we want you to feel safe, and most importantly, we want me to feel safe,” Kimmel said. “So we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point in this show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech.”
Smith won his best actor Oscar not long after the slap.
OSCARS NO SHOWS
“Top Gun: Maverick” star Tom Cruise and “Avatar: The Way of Water” director James Cameron are not in attendance tonight.
“The two guys who insisted we go to the theater, did not show up at the theater,” host Jimmy Kimmel quipped during the monologue.
LOTS OF NEWCOMER NOMINEES
Of the 20 actors up for the biggest individual prizes in their fields Sunday night — best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress — 16 are first-time nominees, which host Jimmy Kimmel called out in his monologue after parachuting in.
Cate Blanchett (“Tár”) is the only acting nominee to have won (twice). One of her fellow best actress nominees, Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans,”) is now a five-time Oscar nominee but is still seeking her first win.
The other two non-first-time nominees on the list have waited a long time for today.
Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) is now a two-time nominee, after being up for best actress following her portrayal of Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to do With It” at the awards in 1994. And Judd Hirsch (“The Fabelmans”) got his only previous nomination in 1980, for his work in “Ordinary People” — when he lost to one of his co-stars in that film, Timothy Hutton.
JIMMY KIMMEL, MAVERICK
The telecast opened with a montage from the nominees, before cutting to Jimmy Kimmel in the cockpit of a fighter jet flown by “Top Gun: Maverick” star Tom Cruise. Cruise demanded Kimmel eject in the video before the camera cut to the exterior of the Dolby, over which two jets flew over. Kimmel then “parachuted” onstage before beginning his monologue.
INSIDE THE DOLBY THEATRE, BEFORE THE SHOW
Our roving carpet reporter Lindsey Bahr will be seated in the audience for the ceremony. Now reporting from inside the Dolby, she reports that guests mingled in the lobby, sipping champagne and water as the lights flashed and announcements blared — it was 10 minutes to showtime.
“Everyone please take your seats,” the announcer pleaded.
In the show room, another announcer asked the audience to refrain from hugging winners on their walk up to the stage — it’ll cut into their ticking clock, they said. The voice also advised to save the agent and manager and barista thanks for the press room and not on the live stage.
“Make us laugh, make us feel,” it said.
LADY GAGA ARRIVES
Lady Gaga isn’t kidding around — she’s not only added a last-minute performance at the Oscars, but also walked its carpet.
The “Hold My Hand” singer wasn’t expected at the show but was confirmed as a performer Sunday. She was among the late arrivals on the Oscars’ champagne-colored carpet.
Producers had initially cited her schedule on the “Joker” sequel as the reason she couldn’t perform.
The superstar could win her second Academy Award if the “Top Gun: Maverick” track wins best original song Sunday.
MARCEL THE SHELL WITH THOM BROWNE ON
Jenny Slate and her date Marcel the Shell were both clad in Thom Browne. Slate wore a black gown, while the tiny mollusk — whom she voices in the animated film nominee “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” — wore an equally tiny suit.
Thom Browne recently won a case in which Adidas had sued him over his use of stripes. But neither outfit featured stripes tonight.
SCENES FROM THE CHAMPAGNE CARPET
Jessica Chastain and Nicole Kidman shared an intimate moment, with both stars in glittery sequins. Chastain blew Kidman as a kiss as they separated, roving carpet reporter and AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr reports.
Behind them best actress nominee Michelle Yeoh was whisked down the carpet, with both a publicist and security clearing the way for her.
The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” crew was among the later arrivals to the show that they’re widely expected to sweep.
Supporting actor nominee Ke Huy Quan followed moments later, waving excitedly to cameras and fans.
At 4:30 p.m. Pacific, it’s getting close to showtime and attendees are supposed to be in seats by 4:45. Rooney Mara and best actress nominee Michelle Williams arrived close together, walking slowly down the now somewhat dirty champagne carpet, and Michael B. Jordan waved to photographers.
ANGELA BASSETT IS ‘PRETTY CHILL’
Angela Bassett, supporting actress nominee for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” is poised to just do her thing.
“The last couple hours, I’ve been pretty chill,” she told AP.
Brendan Fraser went for the traditional black tuxedo. Fan Bingbing was regal in sparkling silver and emerald green. Sofia Carson stunned in princess white. Monica Barbaro went with a two-tone gown. See all the fashion news from AP’s spot along the Oscars carpet here.
AUSTIN BUTLER REALLY LOVES THE OSCARS
Best actor nominee Austin Butler is a longtime fan of the Oscars — and he’s likely to get emotional.
“Even when I was a kid, I would watch and,” he told AP, if “there was a sound mixer who would win and I would get tears in my eyes,” he told AP.
Butler is considered a top contender for his turn as the star of “Elvis.”
POPCORN GUY HITS THE SHOW
The popcorn guy is at the Oscars.
Jason Grosboll — the popcorn-scooping, movie-theater-working guy from Texas who became a phenomenon when his elaborate, showy, butter-spraying, bucket-filling routine went viral on TikTok earlier this year — is at the Academy Awards.
And yes, he has a popcorn machine at the ready.
His pick for best picture? “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” he told ABC from inside the Dolby Theatre.
BEGLEY’S METRO TO THE OSCARS
The question most everyone gets asked, often loudly, on the red carpet: “WHO ARE YOU WEARING?”
For Ed Begley Jr., the better question was: “HOW DID YOU GET HERE?”
In his case, the metro.
The actor and his daughter posed on their way into the Oscars, with Begley flashing his Metro TAP card on the carpet.
He’s a big fan of public transit wherever he is. “It’s not that I’m such an environmental zealot…I’m just cheap,” he tweeted after a subway ride in November.
ANTONIO BANDERAS TAKES ON ‘GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO’
“We’re going to lose tonight against a liar called ‘Pinocchio,‘” Antonio Banderas joked on the Oscars carpet.
Banderas voices the main character in “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which is nominated for best animated feature.
Despite his belief the film wouldn’t win an Oscar, he said it was very important for the way it approached death in a kids’ movie.
“I think it was daring because during the COVID times the kids were victims, too. They didn’t know why they had to be home. They didn’t know why they couldn’t go to school. They didn’t know why they couldn’t play with their friends, why they have to wear a mask,” he told the AP. “So, that the movie is talking about that is, I think it’s important.”
Guillermo Del Toro’s animated film is expected to win the top animated film prize.
CARA ON THE CARPET
Cara Delevingne walked quickly down the champagne carpet in her burgundy gown, barely glancing at the television cameras as photographers speedwalked to catch up with her.
Then, suddenly, she broke into a sprint near the entrance to the Dolby Theatre. Her target? Jamie Lee Curtis. The two hugged and chatted as photographers, happy to catch a break from the burst walk, captured the intimate moment.
Delevingne recently revealed in a Vogue profile that she was four months’ sober.
“This process obviously has its ups and downs, but I’ve started realizing so much,” she told the magazine. “People want my story to be this after-school special where I just say, ‘Oh look, I was an addict, and now I’m sober and that’s it.’ And it’s not as simple as that.”
NOBEL LAUREATES AT THE OSCARS
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, 25, was a producer on “Stranger at the Gate,” a nominee for short documentary film. Dressed in a silver Ralph Lauren gown, she said her dress represented “peace, love, harmony.”
“I feel so much myself in it,” she told the AP.
She’s not the only Nobel laureate with a stake in tonight’s Oscars — the Peace Prize winner is joined by Nobel Literature Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, who is nominated for best adapted screenplay for “Looking.”
SCENES FROM THE CHAMPAGNE CARPET
Jamie Lee Curtis caused a bit of a frenzy in the fan bleachers. The supporting actress nominee clasped her hands together as if to say thanks for the support before she was whisked away to the Dolby Theatre leaving some whispering “Wait, where’d Jamie Lee go?”
Draped in gold, Sigourney Weaver made her own beeline down the carpet, bypassing dozens of shouting reporters.
Elsewhere Allison Williams seamlessly slipped through the crowds despite her billowing train, as Mindy Kaling squealed to find her friend Marissa Ross on the carpet as both cooed how amazing one another looked. Miranda July, who narrated the nominated documentary “Fire of Love,” meanwhile stayed choose to her director Sara Dosa.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS HAS NOTHING BUT LOVE FOR FELLOW NOMINEES
Supporting actress nominee Jamie Lee Curtis has enjoyed getting to know her fellow nominees during this award season journey.
“I feel like we all got human with each other, that we became human beings with our own lives and husbands and wives and kids and dogs and the humanizing takes away the competition,” Curtis said. “It’s not a competition, it’s just artists.”
RUBEN ÖSTLUND’S NEXT: ‘THE ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM IS DOWN’
“Triangle of Sadness” nominee Ruben Östlund offered some details on his next directorial venture, “The Entertainment System is Down.” He told AP that it takes place on a plane whose entertainment system goes, well, down — the film will challenge the audience to be bored along with the passengers, he said.
HARRY SHUM JR AND HONG CHAU
Harry Shum Jr. made sure to grab supporting actress nominee Hong Chau to compliment on her bubblegum pink frock while chatting with friends.
“You look amazing,” he said.
“The Whale” actor replied he did too.
“I try to change it up,” Shum said.
He then turned back to his pals who suggested a selfie.
“I have long arms,” he said as he snapped the pic.
OSCARS ACCOUNTANTS ARRIVE
Representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers arrived clutching three black briefcases. Two PwC partners are the only ones who know the identities of the winners before the envelopes are opened. The accounting firm tabulates the votes — read more for how Oscar voting works.
AT 94, JAMES HONG FINALLY AT OSCARS
James Hong was 3 months old when the first Oscars were handed out in 1929.
At 94, he’s finally made the show.
Wearing a bow tie with googly eyes, the “Everything Everywhere All At Once” actor arrived in his typically playful mood for the Oscars.
“It shows if you wait long enough, you’ll make it,” Hong told ABC as he walked the champagne-colored carpet. “I’m very happy that my mother fed me those bitter herbs when I was young. That’s carried me on now to 94 and one month.”
ALEXEI NAVALNY’S DAUGHTER SPEAKS
The daughter of Russian political prisoner Alexei Navalny, Dasha Navalnaya, said it was difficult to be attending the Oscars to bring attention to the documentary about her father’s imprisonment, but he wanted her there.
“I’m fighting for freedom of speech and trying to get Alexei out, my dad, and fighting for democracy in Russia,” she told the AP on the red carpet.
“We’re having a good time but we’re not losing sight of the fact that we made a film about the world’s foremost political prisoner and we have a very strong message to say. That’s freedom to Alexei Navalny and being here on this carpet, speaking to folks like you is a perfect platform we need to talk about our movie and to talk about Alexei,” said “Navalny” director Daniel Roher.
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO FOR HARVEY GUILLEN
“Puss in Boots” star Harvey Guillen said his outfit for the night was designed by Christian Siriano — the first time Siriano has designed for a plus-size man, Guillen said.
The dramatic, embellished black ensemble featured a long coat that flared out at the waist. It evoked Guillen’s vampire mockumentary show “What We Do in the Shadows,” on which he plays fan favorite Guillermo.
WOLFGANG PUCK’S EDIBLE OSCARS
Wolfgang Puck turned the Oscars carpet into a sports event for a few moments, tossing out his miniature chocolate Oscars to the fans in the bleachers, who cheered and chanted “Wolfgang! Wolfgang! Wolfgang!”
The tiny, edible statuettes are handed out to all attendees of the Governors Ball after the show.
TROY KOTSUR’S ADVICE FOR OSCAR WINNERS
Troy Kotsur, the best supporting actor winner for last year’s “CODA” offered tonight’s future Oscar winner some advice: “Don’t leave it in your car and make sure you zip up your fly” before accepting the award, he told AP on the carpet.
Kotsur also says he likes the Oscars because it’s one of the few times the acting community comes together.
“It’s like a family reunion,” he said.
A COAT WITH CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD’S TESTIMONY
Composer Laura Karpman used the red carpet to bring attention back to the sexual assault accusation against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Karpman, a former academy music branch governor, described her black and white frock as “the Christine Coat.”
“It’s a piece of wearable art,” said Karpman, who also had black-and-white sunglasses to match.
The coat was made by two artists, Suzanne McClelland and Alix Pearlstein, and has the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford printed on it.
Ford testified in 2018 before the U.S. Senate about an alleged decades-old assault by Kavanaugh. Her appearance nearly derailed his confirmation to the nation’s highest court.
BRENDAN FRASER CAUSES FRENZY
A-list nominees often wait until the last minute to arrive, but press and photographers were in a tizzy to see that best actor nominee Brendan Fraser had arrived just after 2 p.m. Pacific.
Many crowded around the “The Whale” actor to get shots and comments and plans elsewhere had to be rearranged to accommodate the crowd. Several men holding the Wolfgang Puck Governors Ball food on a large table were rerouted to the back of the carpet, waiting for the Fraser frenzy to clear.
“Last time I was at the Oscars was 2005,” Fraser told the AP. “It’s good to be back.”
FAN BINGBING AT THE OSCARS
Fan Bingbing, who appeared in “X-Men” films before disappearing amid a tax case in China, is at the Oscars.
Fan was becoming a crossover star with roles lined up in a Bruce Willis film and was in a pair of films based on Marvel Comics characters before she was ordered to pay $130 million in taxes and penalties by the Chinese government in 2018.
Before the fine was levied, Fan went dark on social media, her management offices closed and she largely disappeared from public view.
She has had a few recent credits, including the spy thriller “The 355,” which was released in 2022.
She has reemerged this year, appearing at the Berlin Film Festival last month with a new movie, “Green Night.”
MARVEL EXECUTIVE VICTORIA ALONSO OUT TO SUPPORT ‘ARGENTINA, 1985’
Argentine film producer Victoria Alonso, whose day job is president of physical, post production, VFX and animation at Marvel Studios, is here in support of best international film nominee “Argentina 1985,” which she produced.
“They let me off the hook for a bit,” she said of her Marvel bosses. “It’s an important film.”
Alonso, the film’s director and cast posed in front of an Oscar and sang an Argentine song together for good luck.
“We’re going to win an Oscar,” she said, smiling before joining her team down the line.
LILLY SINGH TOUCHES UP
Comedian Lilly Singh stepped aside to a corner of the champagne carpet to adjust her outfit, a dramatic fuschia frock, and fix her makeup. But soon roaming photographers had spotted her and asked her to pose in front of the big Oscar.
“Right in front of the Oscar?” she said. “So many cameras I love it!”
She then made her way to the bleachers to give high fives to fans who cheered her on.
‘RRR’ SINGER PROMISES UNIQUE PERFORMANCE
“Naatu Naatu” singer Kaala Bhairava promised that tonight’s performance of the “RRR” song will be unlike anything the audience has seen before. He told the AP on the carpet that the performance will feature a mix of old and new choreography. Bhairava will perform alongside Rahul Sipligunj.
FANS IN THE BLEACHERS
A few dozen lucky and well-dressed fans practiced their cheers before the stars started arriving. Nominees often make the bleacher one of their first stops to shake hands and pose for selfies.
LADY GAGA TO PERFORM ‘TOP GUN’ SONG, AFTER ALL
AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr — our roving reporter tonight — reports that a person close to the production with knowledge of the performance confirmed that Lady Gaga will sing “Hold My Hand,” the Oscar-nominated original song from “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Producers had said just days before that the superstar’s filming schedule for the “Joker” sequel would keep her from performing. Now that she’s been added to the lineup, all five original song nominees will be performed tonight.
ALL CALM ON THE CHAMPAGNE CARPET
Our roving red — sorry, champagne — carpet reporter Lindsey Bahr reports that for at least a few moments, the champagne carpet was calm at the 95th Academy Awards as press, photographers and publicists took their places outside the Dolby Theatre before 1 p.m. Pacific.
Some chattered about the possibility of a Lady Gaga performance, while others took last-minute selfies in front of the larger-than-life Oscars. Others wondered if the light colored carpet was going to stay clean the whole night.
ODDSMAKER BET ON ‘EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE’ TO WIN IT ALL
For those who don’t want to wait, go ahead and offer congratulations to “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
Oddsmakers say it’ll win at least six Oscars this year.
Yes, you can bet on the Oscars (in some states, anyway). FanDuel Sportsbook is among the many that has offered odds on the biggest categories, and it predicts — as many others do — that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is the night’s big winner.
A breakdown of some of their bets:
— Best picture, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
— Best actress, Michelle Yeoh
— Best actor, Brendan Fraser
— Best director, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
GUIDE TO THE BEST ACTOR RACE
A first-time best actor winner awaits for certain — since none of the nominees has won an Oscar.
It’s likely a two-man battle between Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) and Austin Butler (“Elvis”) for the award. Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) is a potential stealer, with Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) and Bill Nighy (“Living”) potentially pulling off a surprise.
Will Smith was last year’s winner for “King Richard,” though few may remember that given the extracurricular events of that night.
GUIDE TO THE BEST ACTRESS RACE
The best actress category at Sunday’s Oscars has the potential for history.
Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”) would become the first Asian woman to win in this category if she — as many expect — gets the Oscar.
The top threat to Yeoh’s win has to be Cate Blanchett, the two-time Oscar winner who starred in “Tár” — depicting Lydia Tár, the fictional conductor of a German orchestra. Blanchett learned to play piano, speak German and conduct an orchestra for the film.
There was a surprise nomination of Andrea Riseborough for her performance as an alcoholic Texas single mother in the scantly seen indie drama “To Leslie.” Five-time nominee Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) is also in the mix, as is Ana de Armas for her performance in the divisive “Blonde.”
IF YOU MISSED RIHANNA AT THE SUPER BOWL, YOU CAN CATCH HER AT THE OSCARS
Rihanna stole the show at halftime on football’s biggest night, and now she’ll have a chance to leave her mark on Hollywood’s biggest night.
She’s scheduled to perform “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
“Lift Me Up,” with music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson and lyrics by Tems and Ryan Coogler, is nominated for original song. It is Rihanna’s first Oscar nomination.
ARGENTINA SEEKING MORE GOLD
Not even three months have passed since Argentina celebrated one gold trophy — the World Cup, hoisted for all to see by the legendary Lionel Messi.
Another trophy hoist might be coming Sunday. And it, too, would prompt a national celebration.
Up for best international film is “Argentina, 1985,” which details how prosecutors brought leaders of Argentina’s bloody 1976-1983 military dictatorship to trial. It won a Golden Globe in January, which was big news in the South American nation, and now Oscar buzz could be the latest reason to party.
“After the World Cup win, this is an immense joy,” the film’s star Ricardo Darín said in Spanish at January’s Golden Globe Awards. But it’s up against Germany’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which was also nominated for best picture.
YEAR OF THE SEQUEL
For the first time, two sequels ( “Top Gun: Maverick,”“Avatar: The Way of Water” ) are nominated this year for best picture.
And, of course, The Slap will be revisited.
There likely won’t be a sequel to Will Smith striking Chris Rock during last year’s Oscars — would anyone dare? — but it’ll be talked about early and probably often. Host Jimmy Kimmel has already revealed the obvious, that it’ll come up in his opening monologue. We’ll be keeping a tally of how often it comes up.
The task of keeping the show going along smoothly — and only in headlines for the right reasons — falls to Kimmel. He was brought in partly to have a steady hand on the telecast, which will restore all categories to the live show. The Oscars also has a “crisis team” ready, just in case there is an unwanted sequel.
GLENN CLOSE OUT DUE TO COVID
Glenn Close has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be presenting at the Oscars as planned.
A representative for the actor says she is isolating and resting. There’s no immediate word on who will replace Close as a presenter. She was one of roughly 40 stars including Halle Berry, Andrew Garfield, Jessica Chastain, Michael B. Jordan and Sigourney Weaver who will be presenters Sunday.
Last year, Oscar nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda had to bow out of the show after his wife tested positive for COVID-19.
THREE TIMES THE CHARM FOR KIMMEL
Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the Oscars on Sunday night, the third time that he’s held that distinction — which puts him into rare company.
He becomes only the fifth person to be the solo host of the Oscars at least three times, joining Bob Hope, Billy Crystal, Johnny Carson and Whoopi Goldberg.
Hope hosted solo 14 times, and five times with others. Crystal was a nine-time solo host, Carson a five-timer and Goldberg a four-timer.
There are four others who have been host at least three times, but lack the three solo gigs. Jack Lemmon hosted twice alone and twice with others; Steve Martin and Jerry Lewis each hosted by themselves twice and with others once; and David Niven was a three-time host, but never did the job solo.
In all, there have been 84 people to be recognized as having a hosting role at the Oscars. That list does not include one waterfowl; Donald Duck was credited as a host in 1958.
HOW TO WATCH THE OSCARS The 2023 Oscars air live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific. If you’re looking to tune into the red carpet, there’s an Oscars’ official pre-show beginning at 1:30 p.m. on YouTube. The Associated Press will livestream the first 90 minutes of arrivals on YouTube as well. Here’s more on how to watch and stream the Oscars.
AP Film Writers Jake Coyle and Lindsey Bahr are pros at the predictions game — but the unexpected can always happen. Last year, Coyle edged out Bahr in predicting the eventual wins. We’ll see who wins tonight, but until then: Read their predictions and check out the interactive Oscar ballot at the end.
For more Oscars coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/academy-awards
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