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Everything you need to know about this year’s Oscars ceremony

Oscar statuettes (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Oscar statuettes (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

After a winter barrage of award shows – the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Grammys – the grandaddy of them all, the Academy Awards, are around the corner.

The 96th Oscars may be a coronation for Oppenheimer, which comes in with a leading 13 nominations, though other films, including Barbie, Killers Of The Flower Moon and Poor Things are in the mix.

Here is everything you need to know about this year’s show.

– When are the Oscars

The Oscars will be held on Sunday March 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

– Will there be any performances?

Yes, all the original song nominees will be performed on the show. That means Ryan Gosling will serenade everyone with Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt’s Barbie power ballad I’m Just Ken, and Billie Eilish will sing What Was I Made For, which she co-wrote with Finneas O’Connell.

The other nominated songs include Diane Warren’s The Fire Inside, from Flamin’ Hot, to be performed by Becky G, Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson’s It Never Went Away from American Symphony, and Scott George’s Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People) from Killers Of The Flower Moon.

Jon Batiste Billie Eilish and Ryan Gosling will perform (AP)

– Who is presenting at the Oscars?

Last year’s big acting winners are all coming back to present at the show (a tradition), including Brendan Fraser, Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis.

The academy also announced that Scarface co-stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino will hand out awards as well – probably not together, however.

Other celebrities to grace the Dolby stage include Zendaya, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Lange, Nicolas Cage, Mahershala Ali, Sam Rockwell and Luptia Nyong’o. More names will be disclosed as show day gets closer.

– Who is hosting the Oscars?

Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted last year’s ceremony, will emcee for the fourth time.

That ties him with fellow four-timers Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Lemmon, and leaves Kimmel trailing only Johnny Carson (five), Billy Crystal (nine) and Bob Hope (11) among repeat Oscar hosts.

“I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” said Kimmel.

– What is nominated for best picture?

The ten nominees for best picture are American Fiction, Anatomy Of A Fall, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers Of The Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things and The Zone of Interest.

– Who are the favourites?

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is the frontrunner. Nolan, the best director favourite, is also poised to win his first Oscar.

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is nominated for best actor (Markus Schreiber/AP)

The best actress category could be a nail-biter between Lily Gladstone (Killers Of The Flower Moon) and Emma Stone (Poor Things). If Gladstone were to win, she would be the first Native American to win an Oscar.

Best actor, too, could be a close contest between Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer) and Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers). Both would be first-time winners.

Giamatti’s co-star Da’Vine Joy Randolph is favoured to win best-supporting actress, while Robert Downey Jr (Oppenheimer) is expected to win best-supporting actor. His closest competition is considered Ryan Gosling for Barbie.

– What’s up with the Barbie snubs?

While Barbie, 2023’s biggest box-office hit, comes in with eight nominations, much discussion has revolved around the nominations the film did not receive.

Greta Gerwig was left out of the directing category and Margot Robbie missed out on best actress.

In those omissions, some have seen reflections of the misogyny parodied in Barbie, while others have noted the tough reception comedies have historically had at the Oscars.

The nominations for Barbie include best-adapted screenplay (by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach), best supporting actress for America Ferrera and two best song nominees in Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For and the Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt composition I’m Just Ken.

– Are there any changes to the Oscars this year?

Though recent Oscars have been marked by everything from slaps, envelope snafus and controversies over which awards are presented live during the telecast, this year’s show comes in with no big changes, besides starting an hour earlier.

All of the awards are to be broadcast live, though honorary prizes remain separated in the earlier, untelevised Governors Awards. The academy is adding a new award for best casting, but that trophy will not be presented until the 2026 Oscars.

– What else is there to look for?

Composer John Williams is nominated for his record 49th best-score Oscar, for Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny, and 54th overall.

Godzilla is going to the Oscars for the first time, with Godzilla Minus One, notching a nomination for best visual effects.

For the first time, two non-English language films are up for best picture – the German language Auschwitz drama The Zone Of Interest and the French courtroom drama Anatomy Of A Fall.