Laura Dern and Brad Pitt have both won their first acting Oscars.
Dern, whose Hollywood career has spanned more than four decades, won her best supporting actress on Sunday for her portrayal of a ruthless divorce lawyer in domestic drama Marriage Story.
Pitt, who has been nominated four times, won the best supporting actor Academy Award for his role as a stuntman in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The actor plays the stunt double of an aging cowboy actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a best actor nominee, in Quentin Tarantino’s 1969 Hollywood fable.
American Factory, a film backed by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, won the Academy award for best documentary feature.
The documentary focuses on the efforts of a Chinese company to repurpose a shuttered General Motors plant in Ohio, and the cultural tensions that arise.
Congrats to Julia and Steven, the filmmakers behind American Factory, for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change. Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release. <a href=”https://t.co/W4AZ68iWoY”>https://t.co/W4AZ68iWoY</a>
This year’s Oscars show began with a musical tribute to this year’s nominees.
Janelle Monae donned a red, Mister Rogers-like sweater in a nod to A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. She walked into the audience and serenaded the film’s star, Tom Hanks, and other nominees.
She shifted into an upbeat number with several dancers wearing attire honouring other nominees. Monae shed the sweater as she sang and danced. The performance also featured an appearance by Billy Porter
The 92nd annual Academy Awards, taking place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, is happening two to three weeks earlier than usual in a bid to freshen up a ceremony and potentially boost ratings.
Just as stars began to arrive on the carpet, the skies opened up above the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, unleashing a downpour.
The position of some camera crews had them just outside the tent, sending them scrambling to find tarps and plastic to protect their gear.
“Oh my God the tent is leaking,” said one photographer who noticed a hole over the massive Oscars sign.
Harried staff ran around with squeegees trying to bump excess water off the tent.
Clearly they have sworn to protect the glamour of this red carpet at all costs! 😂 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oscars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Oscars</a> but I fear this isn’t the best technique… <a href=”https://t.co/HdIj96p8ny”>pic.twitter.com/HdIj96p8ny</a>
But the downpour didn’t dampen the red carpet looks of early arrivals, including Billy Porter. The Pose star wore a glistening, gold metallic top with a feather effect and a full skirt depicting the interior of the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace.
The truncated awards season has put the normally bloated Oscars season on a diet (Sunday’s show will also, for the second straight year, be hostless) and sent film academy members scrambling to finish their movie-watching — no small task in a year featuring a few three-hour epics like The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Among the presenters in the absence of a host are Tom Hanks, Maya Rudolph, Spike Lee, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Rock, Timothée Chalamet, Will Ferrell, Diane Keaton and Kelly Marie Tran.
Fittingly for a fast race, a movie about a mad dash has risen to the top of the heap. After winning nearly every major precursor award, Sam Mendes’ 1917, about a pair of British soldiers sent with an urgent message to deliver through recently-held enemy territory, is the favourite for best picture.
Thanks to its technical dazzle, the seemingly one-continuous-shot 1917 is also likely to come away with the most awards Sunday, even without any acting nominations.
There is potential for a history-making upset. Momentum has swung behind Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller Parasite, and some believe it has a chance to become the first non-English language film to win best picture.
Such a win would be a watershed moment for the Academy Awards, which has long been content to relegate international films to their own category. But in an effort to diversify its largely white and male membership, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has inducted more overseas members in recent years.
Kirk Douglas, Kobe Bryant to be remembered
The ceremony will come just days after the death of Kirk Douglas, one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s golden age. It also comes after Kobe Bryant, a 2018 Oscar-winner for the short film Dear Basketball, died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
Both men are expected to be remembered during the In Memoriam segment tonight.
Spike Lee honoured Bryant on the red carpet by wearing a purple suit trimmed in yellow and adorned with the basketball star’s No. 24 on the lapels and on his back. Lee also wore a pair of Bryant’s Nike sneakers.
Lee walked the red carpet in a purple suit last year, too — a nod to late musical artist and close friend Prince.
Broadcaster ABC and the academy will be hoping a widely watched field of nominees — including the $1 billion US-grossing Joker, up for a leading 11 awards — will help viewership. Last year’s show garnered 29.6 million viewers, a 12 per cent uptick.
Absence of actors of colour nominations
After a year in which women made significant gains behind the camera, no female directors were nominated for best director. The acting categories are also the least diverse since the fallout of #OscarsSoWhite pushed the academy to remake its membership.
Cynthia Erivo (Harriet) is the only actor of colour nominated. Those results, which have been a topic in speeches through awards season, stand in contrast to research that suggests the most popular movies star more people of colour than ever before.