At the end of the weirdest Oscar race ever, it’s finally time to hand out the serious hardware.
Taking place primarily at L.A.’s historic Union Station (as well as from the ceremony’s usual home of the Dolby Theatre), the pandemic-delayed 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night bring to a close a year Hollywood would like to forget but also honor a new bunch of fresh Oscar winners with the biggest prizes in the movie industry.
Stay tuned for all the live updates from the Oscar night pre-show (ABC, 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 PT) and the winners from the Academy Awards ceremony (8 PT/5 PT).
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H.E.R. performs funky ‘Fight for You,’ celebrates Fred Hampton
The Grammy-winning musician starts out on the drums and then grabs a mic to sing her nominated tune from “Judas and the Black Messiah.” She’s backed by a large band and masked dancers raising their fists a la Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton, the Black Panther Party leader whose words are also celebrated during the performance.
Leslie Odom Jr. is the Oscars’ musical ringer with ‘Speak Now’
The Tony-winning performer was cast in Sam Cooke in “One Night in Miami” – and played Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” – so you know he’s got some pipes. And the double Oscar nominee (for song and supporting actor) kills it again on the pre-show singing “Speak Now” from “Miami.” Hoping he’s back here sooner than later to entertain a live Academy crowd.
Celeste says ‘Hear My Voice’ to the masses
Next up on the parade of original song nominees was the tune from Aaron Sorkin’s best picture contender “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” British singer-songwriter Celeste sings, songwriting partner Daniel Pemberton plays piano, and the throwback soul tune rocks.
Diane Warren back in the Oscar mix with ‘Io Si’
Laura Pausini gets a little orchestra – plus legendary songwriter Diane Warren on piano – for her performance of original song nominee “Io Si” (from “The Life Ahead”). Maybe this is Warren’s lucky night: She’s been nominated for 12 Oscars (going back to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” from 1987’s “Mannequin”) but is still seeking her first win.
‘Husavik’ is the Icelandic song to give you all the feels
“Eurovision Song Contest: The Legend of Fire Saga” wasn’t good for much but it did give us original song nominee “Húsavík.” Swedish singer Molly Sandén recorded her pre-show performance in actual Húsavík, Iceland, and if you didn’t love her backup children’s choir in sweaters, you might not have a soul.
Guys are stepping up this year on the red carpet
Usually the women are the most glam on the carpet, but the 2021 dude contingent has it going on, from Leslie Odom Jr.’s gold tux to Colman Domingo’s pink suit to the adorable Alan Kim, who is rocking some cool socks. Check out all the best looks in our red carpet gallery.
A Viola Davis win would make Oscar history
Davis, who plays the title blues singer of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” would be the first Black woman with two wins in the acting categories if she’s victorious in best actress. (She previously won in 2017 for “Fences.”) There’s no clear frontrunner in her race, though, as multiple Oscar winner Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”), Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) and Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holliday”) have all picked up honors this awards season.
Will Oscar honor the late Chadwick Boseman?
Most signs point to “yes”: After his acclaimed performance in Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Boseman is the favorite for best actor – and would be only the third posthumous acting honoree in Oscar history – though “The Father” thespian Anthony Hopkins looms as a spoiler.
‘Nomadland’ is favored for best picture
Maybe Oscar pundits and voters are just missing the travel but Chloe Zhao’s road-trip “Nomadland” appears to be in the pole position for best picture. However, it faces competition from Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” the Korean family story “Minari” and revenge thriller “Promising Young Woman” with Carey Mulligan.
Here’s the skinny on how to watch the Oscars
Sunday’s Academy Awards air on ABC and also are viewable on the ABC app. Or you can stream the event on The Roku Channel, YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. But if you yearn for even more Oscar content, the Academy’s Facebook page will offer live interviews with Oscar winners fresh off the stage, while the Academy’s Instagram feed will feature exclusive photo sessions and pics from the Oscars red carpet.
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