Oscars 2019 updates

After a lengthy period of tumultuous development, this year’s Academy Awards finally seem to be finding their sense of identity. All it took was an uprising from half of Hollywood and backtracking on several key decisions to get them there.

A new batch of Oscars 2019 updates has arrived thanks to an interview with the ceremony’s lead producer, Donna Gigliotti. She says the ceremony won’t meet its self-imposed three-hour limit after all, and we won’t have to endure any of those stupid “everyday people” bits that previous host Jimmy Kimmel incorporated over the past couple of years. Plus, Queen and Adam Lambert will be on stage to perform.

RIP, Stupid Bits

While Kimmel was a solid Oscar host, one of the worst parts of his ceremonies were those “man on the street”-style bits that brought average Americans into the broadcast. You know the ones: it’s the part that ground the show to a halt while Robert Downey Jr. blasted someone in the face with a T-shirt cannon, or when a guy who looked like a King of the Hill character wandered across the front row of celebrities, jaw agape as he shook Meryl Streep’s hand. (Those exact instances may not have happened, but you know what I mean.)

Thankfully, this year’s Oscars just got some much-needed good news: audiences won’t have to suffer through that nonsense this year. Speaking with The New York Times, Gigliotti put the decision in blunt terms:

“I love everyday people. I ride the subway with them every day in New York. Everyday people don’t get me ratings.”

No offense to everyday people (I am one of them, after all), but the Oscars is not about them, and it never has been. It’s supposed to be a celebration of cinema and the filmmakers and collaborators who make movies, not the people who watch them. Maybe this whole thing won’t be such a disaster after all.

Back to the Future Hill Valley Comparison Video

A Three Hour Show Won’t Happen

For months, the Academy (and network ABC) was hellbent on keeping the show under three hours in an effort to boost falling ratings. But now that all of the Oscars will again be handed out live on the air, Gigliotti says the show will go over that length.

Good! This is the Academy Awards, for God’s sake. It happens one night a year. ABC clearly had an agenda of their own, but I’m glad they’re kowtowing to the pressure to let the show play out naturally without trying to impose arbitrary rules that probably wouldn’t even boost ratings anyway. The days of 50 million people tuning into the show are long gone – the network executives need to get used to that idea and work on figuring out a new way to adapt in this changing media landscape.

Non-Hollywood People Will Introduce Best Picture Nominees

How will the show handle the Best Picture nominees this year? The NYT learned the answer:

Brief presentations of the eight best picture nominees, for instance, will be “sprinkled” throughout the show, Weiss said. (Last year, the best picture presentations were condensed into a single four-minute montage that aired just before that category was awarded.) Eight people from outside the world of entertainment will give the presentations, speaking about what the films mean to them; [tennis legend Serena] Williams will give the one for “A Star Is Born.”

I wonder who else from the non-Hollywood world will appear to stump for these movies? Several of these films should be easy to talk about; two of them, less so. I imagine a person can just get by talking about the music for Bohemian Rhapsody, but to quote something I saw on Twitter this morning, who is going to step up and go to bat for Green Book?

A Musical Opening

But without a host, how will the show kick off? This video from Queen seems to indicate that they’re going to kick off the ceremony with former American Idol star Adam Lambert at the mic. The video doesn’t just say that they’ll perform at the Oscars, it specifically says 5pm PST, which is the scheduled start time for the ceremony.

This year’s Academy Awards airs on ABC on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

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