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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Oscars 2020: Everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s show

By Christi Carras Los Angeles Times

Finish those screeners and lock in your predictions – Oscar Sunday is nearly here.

With the Golden Globes, the SAGs and craft honors in the rear-view mirror, the 2020 race is shaping up to be quite a showdown between more traditional awards darlings (period drama “1917”) and history-making entries (South Korean thriller “Parasite”).

And though the months leading up to the ceremony have been relatively calm compared to 2019, the motion picture academy still managed to cause an inevitable ruckus by snubbing women and artists of color in major categories and tweeting a confusing sample ballot of winners.

From show times to scandals, here’s a complete guide to this weekend’s Academy Awards.

The 92nd Academy Awards will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC. While the run time for the show is about three hours, passionate speeches and other only-on-live-TV variables are likely to stretch the broadcast, so adjust your DVRs accordingly.

A livestream of the program will also be available in select markets on ABC’s website and app – accessible only with valid TV provider login credentials.

To achieve full immersion in the day’s festivities, viewers can tune in to the pre-show, “Oscars Live on the Red Carpet,” beginning at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC, the ABC website and the ABC app. “Oscars All Access: Red Carpet Live” will also showcase Hollywood’s brightest stars in their Oscars-best starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, via the academy’s Twitter account.

Who’s the host?

No one.

After 2019’s host-free experiment merited a ratings spike, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke told reporters in January that the network planned on “repeating what worked for us last year.” The family-facing platform scrapped the traditional emcee format for the previous ceremony after its initial comedian of choice, Kevin Hart, came under fire after homophobic jokes resurfaced and walked away from the coveted gig.

It comes as no surprise that, in 2020, the network has moved to avoid any potential host-related drama altogether.

What’s nominated?

The film academy reignited some familiar criticism after announcing the nominees in 24 categories last month. Todd Phillips’ dark comic-book adaptation “Joker” led the field with 11 nominations, including best picture.

While the 2019 Oscar nominees were uncharacteristically diverse, this year’s mostly white acting categories have sparked backlash reminiscent of the 2015-16 #OscarsSoWhite controversy. And once again, not a single woman was nominated for director.

“Harriet” star Cynthia Erivo was the only actor of color to receive a nomination in a year that included critically acclaimed performances from Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”), Awkwafina (“The Farewell”) and the cast of “Parasite.” Despite getting shut out in the acting categories, Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean juggernaut scored six Oscar nods, including best picture – a rare feat for an international film.

Sam Mendes’ World War I drama, “1917,” Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic, “The Irishman,” and Quentin Tarantino’s L.A. love letter, “Once Upon a Time . in Hollywood,” also fared well, racking up 10 nominations apiece. Check out the complete list of 2020 nominees here.

Who’s likely to win?

Times film critics Justin Chang and Kenneth Turan are back with their annual Oscars forecast, predicting winners in 11 key categories.

The experts were split on the best picture race, with Turan favoring “1917” and Chang championing “Parasite.” Chang also deemed “Parasite” his “should win” selection, while Turan bestowed that distinction on “Little Women.”

Who’s performing?

Let the storm rage on! Queen Elsa herself, Idina Menzel, will return to the Oscars telecast six years after she wowed the crowd with her live rendition of “Let It Go,” which won the Academy Award for original song in 2014.

This year, she’ll sing her “Frozen 2” power ballad, “Into the Unknown,” during the ceremony, which will include performances by all five original-song nominees. Erivo will take the stage with “Stand Up” from “Harriet,” Elton John will perform “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman,” Chrissy Metz will sing “I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough” and Randy Newman will perform “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4.”

The broadcast will also feature debut Oscars performances from newly minted Grammy winner Billie Eilish and Grammys veteran Janelle Monae. While the academy is keeping details about the singer-songwriters’ appearances under wraps, Eilish was recently confirmed as the youngest artist in history to record a James Bond theme song for “No Time to Die.” Monae also stars opposite Erivo in “Harriet.”

Who’s presenting?

Per tradition, all four 2019 Oscar-winning actors – Rami Malek, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Mahershala Ali – have been invited back to present awards at the 2020 show.

The lineup also includes a handful of actors featured in 2020 best picture nominees, such as Zazie Beetz (“Joker”), Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”), Timothie Chalamet (“Little Women”) and George MacKay (“1917”).

Rounding out this year’s presenters are: Utkarsh Ambudkar, Salma Hayek, Brie Larson, Spike Lee, Ray Romano, Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Penilope Cruz, Beanie Feldstein, Will Ferrell, Gal Gadot, Zack Gottsagen, Mindy Kaling, Diane Keaton, Shia LaBeouf, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Martin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Ramos, Keanu Reeves, Maya Rudolph, Mark Ruffalo, Kelly Marie Tran, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig, Jane Fonda, Josh Gad, Tom Hanks, Oscar Isaac, Sandra Oh, Natalie Portman and Chris Rock

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