It is once again time to tune in and watch the show that we’ll all spend the rest of the year loudly claiming we don’t care about: The 94th Academy Awards. Although the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was created to undermine the viability of unionization in the film industry — and despite some questionable decisions over the years — they remain the most prestigious awards body in the American film industry.
Anyone who’s spoken to me since December knows that Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of West Side Story was by far my favorite film of 2021, but there were a lot of other films I loved as well. Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers is an incredible drama about the intertwined nature of personal relationships and political histories. It has nominations for Best Actress (Penélope Cruz) and Best Original Score (Alberto Iglesias). Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter wasn’t nominated for anything but features career-best work from Oscar Isaac as a competitive gambler struggling to keep his mind off his guilt over being complicit in war crimes at Abu Ghraib.
My favorite documentary of the year, All Light Everywhere, also didn’t receive any nominations. It’s a brilliant look at the relationships between power, technology, and vision; especially as they relate to surveillance. I also recommend seeking out Benedetta, Good Timing with Jo Firestone, In the Heights, Summer of Soul, Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, The Human Voice, Flee, and The French Dispatch.
This live blog will begin at 3:30 pm PST/6:30 pm EST.
6:35: Licorice Pizza‘s Alana Haim and her sisters Este and Danielle are hyped to be part of this ceremony, reportedly have cried “45 times today.”
6:37: Dune‘s Josh Brolin credits the film’s ten nominations to the film’s top-notch creative team. If he weren’t acting on set, he would be working craft services.
6:39: TCM’s Dave Carver is at the Academy museum interviewing attendees of an Oscars viewing party.
6:41: While guessing who will win Best Original Song, virus respecter Vanessa Hudgens sends her thoughts to Lin Manuel Miranda’s wife Vanessa. Miranda is not present at tonight’s ceremony due to Vanessa’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
6:46: Academy president David Rubin is proud to have the ceremony return to the Dolby Theater.
6:54: Best Documentary Nominee Summer of Soul director Questlove has arrived to the red carpet with his mother. The film resurfaces footage from the iconic 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. It’s one of the best films of the year, and the sequence of Mavis Staples and Mahalia Jackson performing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” is mesmerizing.
7:04: Cats star Judi Dench, nominated for her performance in Belfast speaks on her longtime friendship with director Kenneth Branagh, says she felt “incredibly privileged” to be part of the film.
7:06: Amy Schumer says she feels “like she’s at the Oscars” and isn’t nervous about her role as co-host of tonight’s ceremony.
timothee chalamet has died of the elements on the red carpet. wind cut through him like a bowling ball through pins. he's last words were "croissant au beurre"
— thomas violence (@thomas_violence) March 27, 2022
7:13: Best Supporting Actress nominee Kirsten Dunst is excited to be nominated alongside her husband Jesse Plemons for their performances in The Power of the Dog. Her children are at a viewing party in Atlanta.
7:15: Co-host Regina Hall says one of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally, as she is a woman of taste.
7:36: CEO of AMC Theaters Nicole Kidman has arrived at this place for magic. She has come to laugh, to cry, to care, and to win Best Actress for her performance as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos. Even if she loses, heartbreak will feel good in a place like this.
7:45: The Eyes of Tammy Faye star Jessica Chastain says she has a foot massager and karaoke machine in her trailer.
7:52: Cut to commercial as we prepare for the ceremony to begin in just eight minutes!
7:54: Best Actress nominee (and my pick for winner) Penélope Cruz discusses meeting Parallel Mothers director Pedro Almódovar when she was a teenager, and the lengthy four-month rehearsal process for the film. Parallel Mothers marks the seventh Cruz-Almódovar collaboration after entries like All About My Mother and Volver. Almódovar’s film is not nominated for Best International Feature Film since Spain declined to submit it as their nominee.
8:00: The time has come! The 94th Academy Awards are about to begin. Hoping for a West Side Story sweep, but I’m also open to getting mad.
8:02: Venus and Serena Williams open the show, introducing Beyoncé’s performance of Best Original Song nominee “Be Alive” from King Richard. This is not the first time the multi-hyphenate star has performed at the awards, she also sang The Phantom of the Opera‘s “Learn to Be Lonely” in 2005.
8:08: Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall, and Amy Schumer are being introduced in a rap by DJ Khaled.
8:10: Wanda Sykes calls out the Academy snubbing Lady Gaga’s performance as Patrizia Reggiani in “House of Random Accents.”
8:12: I join Wanda Sykes in her call for Samuel L. Jackson and Jenifer Lewis to star in a rom-com.
8:19: Amy Schumer gives a monologue consisting of a bunch of jokes that I saw people make on Twitter two months ago.
8:24: H.E.R. and Daniel Kaluuya present Best Supporting Actress to the deserving winner, Ariana DeBose for her phenomenal turn as Anita in West Side Story. To everyone who has ever questioned their identity, DeBose says, “there is indeed a space for us.” She is the first openly queer woman of color to win.
8:33: Dune‘s Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin take the stage to present Best Sound to Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett for Dune.
8:37: Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez, and Woody Harrelson enter to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their film, White Men Can’t Jump. They present the award for Best Cinematography to Greig Fraser for Dune.
Watching the Oscars in a theater is lovely because every time a Crypto ad comes up the entire room boos out loud
— Victoria McNally (@vqnerdballs) March 28, 2022
8:45: Best Documentary Short Subject goes to The Queen of Basketball.
8:47: Rachel Zegler and Jacob Elordi take the stage to present Best Visual Effects to Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor, and Gerd Nefzer for Dune.
8:52: We now begin a montage celebrating 60 years of James Bond, because an overlong montage of movies the audience has already seen is a better use of airtime than properly honoring tonight’s nominees and winners of the 8 categories presented off-air.
three people who have nothing to do w james bond introducing james bond speaks to everything this broadcast values!!
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) March 28, 2022
8:59: Stephanie Beatriz presents Sebastián Yatra’s performance of Best Original Song nominee “Dos Origuatas” from Encanto.
9:04: Lily James, Halle Bailey, and Naomi Scott take to the stage to present Best Animated Feature Film to Encanto. I hope that Flee will take the Best Documentary Feature category since it lost here.
Let's hear it for the Family Madrigal! Congratulations to Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino, Clark Spencer and the whole #Encanto family for winning the #Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film 🎉 https://t.co/XU4IBk6jsc pic.twitter.com/TY9dtzAScY
— IMDb (@IMDb) March 28, 2022
9:13: Best Animated Short Film goes to The Windshield Wiper.
9:21: Yuh-Jung Youn presents the award for Best Supporting Actor to Troy Kotsur for CODA. Kotsur is the second deaf actor to win, after his CODA costar Marlee Matlin for Children of a Lesser God in 1987.
— On The Red Carpet (@OnTheRedCarpet) March 28, 2022
9:33: Simu Liu and Tiffany Haddish present Best International Feature Film to Drive My Car.
9:36: Mila Kunis presents Dianne Warren’s “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days, performed by country icon Reba McEntire.
9:43: Best Live Action Short Film goes to The Long Goodbye.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
9:46: Lupita Nyong’o and Ruth E. Carter present the award for Best Costume Design to Jenny Beavan for Cruella.
9:48: John Leguizamo introduces the cast of Encanto‘s performance of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” a song that is not nominated for Best Original Song but was deemed more worthy of broadcast than the Best Film Editing category for some reason.
— Chris Witherspoon (@WitherspoonC) March 28, 2022
10:01: Jennifer Garner, Elliot Page, and J.K. Simmons take to the stage to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their film Juno and present Best Original Screenplay to Kenneth Branagh for Belfast.
10:04: Shawn Mendes and Tracee Ellis-Ross present the award for Best Adapted Screenplay to Siân Heder for CODA.
10:14: Best Original Score goes to Hans Zimmer for Dune.
10:16: Rami Malek introduces Billie Eilish and Finneas’ performance of Best Original Song nominee No Time to Die.
10:24: Best Editing goes to Joe Walker for Dune.
10:26: Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall get Javier Bardem to admit to liking NFTs. Now I hope he loses
10:28: Chris Rock (correctly) calls out the attendees for not wearing masks. Will Smith yells at and punches him over a tasteless joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia. Rock presents Best Documentary Feature to Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
UNCENSORED WILL SMITH FOOTAGE AS SHOWN ON AUSTRALIAN TV pic.twitter.com/NcRfdjWxqe
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 28, 2022
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) March 28, 2022
10:35: Sean “Diddy” Combs presents a 50th anniversary tribute to The Godfather. This is also more important than the Best Film Editing category, apparently.
10:42: The In Memoriam segment pays tribute to Sidney Poitier, Stephen Sondheim, Peter Bodganovich, Clarence Williams III, Michael K. Williams, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Betty White, Jane Powell, and more.
10:53: Best Production Design goes to Patrice Vermette and Zsuzsanna Sipos for Dune.
10:55: Zoë Kravitz and Jake Gyllenhaal present Best Original Song to Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell for “No Time to Die.”
11:00: Kevin Costner rambles about nothing for seven eternities before presenting Best Director to Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog.
11:08: Celebrating the 28th anniversary of Pulp Fiction, a very real and super important milestone that everyone cares deeply about. Remember when they said they were cutting those 8 categories from the live broadcast so that it would be over by 11pm? Good times.
11:10: Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, and Uma Thurman present Best Actor to Will Smith for King Richard. He cries while apologizing to the Academy.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 28, 2022
11:23: Best Makeup and Hairstyling goes to Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram, and Justin Raleigh for The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022
11:28: Anthony Hopkins presents Best Actress to Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Penélope Cruz’s career-best performance in Parallel Mothers predictably goes unrecognized.
11:32: Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli present the award for Best Picture to CODA.
Thanks for tuning in. Hopefully next year they won’t use this horrible format. Anyway, justice for West Side Story! Good night.