Everything you need to know before watching The Oscars

DEVIN MEENAN — With the Globes and Critics’ Choice shows behind us, we’ve now once again reached the annual climax of awards show season: The Oscars.

On Tuesday, nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced, with some surprises and snubs.

Roma and The Favourite led the pack with ten nominations each, both being nominated for Best Picture amongst a field of eight films: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, A Star is Born and Vice.

Notably absent is Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, which appeared to have necessary acclaim, but ultimately failed to be nominated. With Beale Street snubbed, the Academy surprisingly recognized Bohemian Rhapsody, which has been plagued by poor reviews and controversy over both its depiction of subject Freddie Mercury and, more alarmingly, Bryan Singer, the film’s credited director, having multiple allegations of sexual abuse levied against him.

In the category of Leading Actress, Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga (ASIB), nabbed her first acting nod, alongside Glenn Close (The Wife), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and newcomer Yalitza Aparicio (Roma). Aparicio’s nomination was an especially exciting and a historic surprise due to her being the first Indigenous woman to be nominated for Best Actress.

For the Leading Actors, Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (ASIB), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) all nabbed nominations.

The Academy also notably recognized Spike Lee in the Directing and Best Picture categories for BlacKkKlansman; this is the first time Lee has been nominated for Best Director over the course of his extensive and acclaimed career. Lee is in the good company of directors Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), and Adam McKay (Vice). Missing is Bradley Cooper, who was considered a favorite for his directorial debut of A Star is Born.

While the nominations themselves always come with a bit of controversy and upset, this year’s Oscars have garnered a significant amount of attention due to its hosting situation.

It was previously announced that comedian Kevin Hart would be hosting the event, but after a string of homophobic tweets and comments surfaced, the decision was met with hostility. Despite a lengthy will he/won’t he scenario on whether Hart would host— including an ultimatum on Hart to issue an apology, a refusal by Hart to apologize and an initial step down, an Ellen interview revealing the Academy was still willing to have Hart host, and a deep dive into Hart’s so-called “apologies”—it was eventually announced that the program will be host-less, for the first time in 30 years. With or without a host, the Oscars will surely be filled with drama, surprise, and pop culture moments, which is what diehard viewers really crave. For a full list of nominations and more information about the ceremony, visit oscars.org.