Academy Awards get underway with early awards, ‘Dune’ wins

Los Angeles (AP) — The 94th Academy Awards Running off-camera on Sunday, the first eight awards on the night were presented at the Dolby Theater before the broadcast began.

Dolby was largely full for the 7 p.m. EDT pre-show, dubbed “golden hour” by the Academy. Presenters Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin announce the winners, whose speeches will be edited in the broadcast starting at 8 p.m.

The first award for Best Sound went to “Doon”. It was likely to be the first of several awards for Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic, which is favored to win in several technical categories.

It was a strange and controversial debut for the Oscars who were hoping to restore some normalcy to the entertainment world. After two years of a pandemic, and on Sunday under a hot California sun, a Hollywood glam ritual resumed.

But the initial award – trimmed from live telecasts to boost ratings after record-low viewership last year – was one of many changes, both modest and tectonic, around this year’s ceremony. Later A socially distanced 2021 edition, The Academy Awards are trying to recapture their lofty position in pop culture with a new broadcast that is expected to win Best Picture for the streaming service for the first time ever.

It will not be easy. The film industry largely recovered from the pandemic in 2021, but the rebound has been keeping fit, despite “Spider-Man: No Way Home” being one of the biggest hits in years. global film industry Like two years ago, last year almost half the tickets were sold.According to the Motion Picture Association, $21.3 billion in 2021 compared to $42.3 billion in 2019. Hollywood is pushing more of its top movies straight into homes than ever before; Of this year’s 10 best-picture nominees, half were streamed at or near the time of release. Even the film academy shifted entirely to a streaming platform for voters instead of DVD screeners.

Then there are the challenges of garnering worldwide attention for a two-year pandemic and a little while after Hollywood’s self-congratulatory night Russia’s war devastated Ukraine. Packer said that the war in Ukraine would be accepted with respect during the broadcast. Some stars, such as Sean Penn, have lobbied the academy for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak at the ceremony. Some stars carried blue ribbons in support of Ukraine.

It will be a staggering debut, with stars entering Dolby at different times. ABC’s red carpet preshow runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. With the first hour awards inside the theater between 7-8 p.m., news of those winners will first spread on social media and then be woven into telecasts . The red carpet will also open at 4 p.m. Eastern an hour earlier than usual to accommodate the shift.

The restructured approach, which has been deeply unpopular with some members of the Academy, should make for some complicated red-carpet logistics. The Academy, wanting to give each winner an unconvincing moment, is urging attendees to stay in their seats until 7 p.m., leading to an earlier red carpet with several stars — including Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy”. Faye” nominees are also included. Arriving with enough time to sit down for the pre-show.

“I’m here to look at all the opening categories because often actors get a lot of attention because people see our faces on screen,” Chastain said. “But the reality is that there are a lot of people who are involved in making a performance and making a film, and I need to acknowledge and admire each and every one of them. I’m excited. I mean, coming here tonight.” So, I’ll get to see all your faces without masks. It’s really emotional and beautiful.”

Hairstyling and makeup (where “Tammy Faye” is nominated) is one of eight pre-show categories the producers are calling the “golden hour.” Others are: film editing, sound, original score, production design, live-action short, animated short and documentary short.

“We’re going in, we’ll see how it goes,” said Nicolas Brittel, nominated for his “Don’t Look Up” score, with a laugh and a shoulder on the red carpet. “We are all learning, we are all learning.”

Already inside Dolby long before Showtime was Donald Mowat, who was nominated for hair and makeup for “Dune.”

“I’ve been in this business for 35 years,” Mowat said. “It’s already an Oscar for me.”

Earlier this month, more than 70 Oscar winners, including James Cameron, Kathleen Kennedy and Guillermo del Toro, warned that the change would turn some nominees into “second-class citizens.”

The reason behind this change is the concern about the rapidly falling ratings of the Oscars. While declines have been common at all major network award shows, last year’s shows attracted only 10 million viewers, less than half the 23.6 million the year before. A decade ago it was closer to 40 million.

To help restore Oscar status, some in the lead-up to this year’s awards argued that a blockbuster like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” should have been nominated for Best Picture. This is just for visual effects.

The makers have promised one thing: the final award of the night will be Best Picture. Last year’s show concluded with an unexpected Best Actor nomination for a non-existent Anthony Hopkins.

Associated Press Writers Lindsay Bahr, Jocelyn Noveck, Andrew Dalton and Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this report.

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