Oscars 2022: Here are the main changes made by the Academy this year

For the first time in two years, the Oscars roll out the red carpet at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles for what the film academy hopes will be a return to normal Oscars. Except for everything that has changed.

The broadcast for the 94th Academy Awards will begin, as usual, at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. But little else about how this year’s Oscars will kick off is traditional. An hour before the show starts, attendees will gather in the Dolby for the presentation of eight awards and acceptance speeches that will be edited into a show that producer Will Packer has promised will last three hours.

It’s one of many changes, both slight and tectonic, surrounding this year’s ceremony. After two years of the pandemic — and a socially distanced 2021 edition with record-breaking ratings — the Oscars will attempt to reclaim their elated place in pop culture with a revamped show that’s set to see a streaming service win best picture for the first time.


oscars 2022, oscars A worker prepares Oscar statue cutouts during preparations for Sunday’s 94th Academy Awards outside the Dolby Theater on Friday, March 25, 2022 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John Locher)

It won’t be easy. The film industry has recovered significantly from the pandemic in 2021, but despite one of the biggest hits in years in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the rebound has been choppy. The global movie industry sold about half the tickets last year as they did two years ago, $21.3 billion in 2021 versus $42.3 billion in 2019, according to the Motion Picture Association. Hollywood has pushed more of its best movies straight into homes than ever before; half of the 10 nominees for Best Picture this year aired at or very close to release. Even the film academy has moved entirely to a streaming platform for voters, rather than DVD screens.

Then there are the challenges of garnering global attention for a night of Hollywood complacency after two years of the pandemic and as the Russian war ravages Ukraine. Packer said the war in Ukraine would be respectfully acknowledged on the show.

THE POWER OF THE DOG, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog. (Picture: Netflix)

Netflix’s The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion’s gothic western, arrives with 12 nominations in the lead and a good chance of snagging the top prize. But all the impetus is with Sian Heder’s tone-deaf family drama CODA, which, despite only getting three nods, is considered the favorite. A win would be a triumph for Apple TV+, which acquired the film from the Sundance Film Festival last year and spent a lot of money promoting it to academy members.


But expect the most awards of the night to go to Dune, Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic. This is the rating of the favorite to clean in the technical categories.

After several years without a host, the Oscars will turn to the trio of Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall to host the show, which also airs on platforms including Hulu Live TV, YouTubeTV and on ABC.com with authentication from the supplier. Producers have also lined up a star-studded cast of performers, including Billie Eilish and Beyoncé, to sing nominated songs, while the Encanto cast will perform Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

It will be a staggered start, with stars entering Dolby at different times. ABC’s red carpet pre-show will run from 6:30-8 p.m., with the first hour of the awards show taking place inside the theater between 7-8 p.m. To accommodate the change, the red carpet will also open an hour earlier than usual, at 4 p.m. EST.

The revamped approach, which has been deeply unpopular with some members of the academy, is expected to result in complicated red carpet logistics. The academy, which wanted to give each winner an uncompromising moment, urges entrants to be in their seats by 7 p.m. Some stars, like The Eyes of Tammy Faye nominee Jessica Chastain, said they wouldn’t do red carpet interviews if it meant missing out. giving out awards like best hair and makeup, for which Tammy Faye’s artists are nominated.

It’s one of eight pre-show categories to be given out during what producers call “the golden hour.” The others are: film editing, sound, original music, production design, live action shorts, animated shorts and documentary shorts.

Earlier this month, more than 70 Oscar winners including James Cameron, Kathleen Kennedy and Guillermo del Toro warned the change would turn some nominees into “second-class citizens”.

Behind this change is concern over the rapid decline in Oscars ratings. While declines have been common to all of the network’s major awards shows, last year’s show only drew around 10 million viewers, less than half of the year’s 23.6 million. former. Ten years ago it was closer to 40 million.

To help restore the Oscars standing, some have argued ahead of this year’s awards that a blockbuster like Spider-Man: No Way Home should have been nominated for Best Picture. It’s just for visual effects.

Instead, a wide range of movies are on the hunt, ranging from Netflix’s highly-watched doomsday comedy Don’t Look Up to the acclaimed three-hour Japanese drama “Drive My Car.”

One thing the producers have promised: the final prize of the evening will be that of the best image. Last year’s show ended awkwardly with the unexpected best actor presentation to an absentee Anthony Hopkins.

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