ENTERTAINMENT

At Rain-Soaked Oscars, ‘Parasite’ Hopes To Upset ‘1917’

Feb 9, 2020, 6:05 PM
FILE (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)...
FILE (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Oscars are here, already.

After the shortest awards season in decades, the 92nd annual Academy Awards is getting underway Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The red carpet was rolled out two to three weeks earlier than usual in a bid to freshen up a ceremony and potentially boost ratings.

The truncated time table has put the normally bloated Oscars season on a diet (Sunday’s show will also, for the second straight year, be hostless) and sent film academy members scrambling to finish their movie-watching — no small task in a year featuring a few three-hour epics like “The Irishman” and “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”

The weather provided some early drama on the carpet, with workers scrambling to keep rain from leaking onto camera crews covering the ceremony. Workers with umbrellas greeted arriving limos and the red carpet looks didn’t appear to suffer.

Some outfits spoke loudly. Natalie Portman wore a cape lined with the names of female filmmakers who weren’t nominated for best director, including Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Mati Diop (“Atlantics”). Spike Lee, who documented the late Kobe Bryant in the 2009 documentary “Kobe Doin’ Work,” wore a Lakers-colored tuxedo with Bryant’s number, 24, emblazoned on it.

Fittingly for a fast race, a movie about a mad dash has risen to the top of the heap. After winning nearly every major precursor award, Sam Mendes’ “1917,” about a pair of British soldiers sent with an urgent message to deliver through recently-held enemy territory, is the favorite for best picture. Thanks to its technical dazzle, the seemingly one-continuous-shot “1917” is also likely to come away with the most awards Sunday, even without any acting nominations.

Although Joaquin Phoenix, Renée Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern all appear to be all-but-certain locks in the acting categories, there’s still the potential for a history-making upset. Momentum has swung behind Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller “Parasite,” and some believe it has a chance to become the first non-English language film to win best picture.

Such a win would be a watershed moment for the Academy Awards, which has long been content to relegate international films to their own category. But in an effort to diversify its largely white and male membership, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has inducted more overseas members in recent years. And just about no one has a bad word to say about the widely praised class satire “Parasite,” the Palme d’Or winner at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and the first foreign language film to win top honors from the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

“Regardless of the outcome, I think the door has been opened,” Bong said on the red carpet. “I think as long as we continue this effort, the door will just open wider and wider.”

The official pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST on ABC. Among the presenters the academy will lean on in the absence of a host are Tom Hanks, Maya Rudolph, Spike Lee, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Rock, Timothée Chalamet, Will Ferrell, Diane Keaton and Kelly Marie Tran.

The ceremony comes just days after the death of Kirk Douglas, one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s golden age. Kobe Bryant, a 2018 Oscar winner for the short “Dear Basketball,” is expected to be included in the ceremony’s In Memoriam segment.

ABC and the academy will be hoping a widely watched field of nominees — including the $1 billion-grossing “Joker,” up for a leading 11 awards — will help viewership. Last year’s show garnered 29.6 million viewers, a 12% uptick.

This year’s Oscars comes amid a streaming overhaul throughout Hollywood. Hurrying to catch up to Netflix and Amazon, most of the major studios are prepping or have already launched their own streaming services, as have new entrants like Apple. Netflix comes into the Oscars with a leading 24 nominations thanks to “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story,” “The Two Popes” and the likely best documentary winner, “American Factory.”

But despite spending heavily through awards season, Netflix may go home with only a few awards. The streamer is still seeking its first best picture win after Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” came up just shy last year.

Instead, this year’s Oscar favorites are largely movies released widely in theaters. They also predominantly feature male characters and come from male directors.

After a year in which women made significant gains behind the camera, no female directors were nominated for best director. The acting categories are also the least diverse since the fallout of #OscarsSoWhite pushed the academy to remake its membership. Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) is the only actor of color nominated. Those results, which have been a topic in speeches through awards season, stand in contrast to research that suggests the most popular movies star more people of color than ever before.

Ticket sales slumped about 4% last year despite Walt Disney Co.’s record $13 billion in worldwide box office. Disney, which acquired 20th Century Fox last spring, accounted for an overwhelming 38% of domestic ticket sales. Yet Disney, aside from owning the network the Oscars are broadcast on, will likely play a minor role at the Academy Awards. The studio may win best animated feature with “Toy Story 4” and possibly best editing for the Fox film “Ford v Ferrari.”

And while Democratic candidates are vying for the presidency and votes are still being counted in Iowa, former President Barack Obama may well notch another win. The first film from his and Michelle Obama’s production company, “American Factory,” is favored to win best documentary.

___

The AP’s Amanda Lee Meyers contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Entertainment

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10: Sesame Street cast member and film subject Bob McGrath attends a ...
Associated Press

Bob McGrath, ‘Sesame Street’ legend, dies at 90

Actor, musician and children’s author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children’s show “Sesame Street,” Bob McGrath, has died at the age of 90.
1 day ago
Noodle, the pug, is held....
Zoe Sottile, CNN

Noodle, the TikTok-famous ‘bones or no bones’ pug, has died

(CNN) — Noodle, the geriatric pug who captured hearts across the internet for his “bones or no bones” ritual, has died at age 14, his owner says. Jonathan Graziano, Noodle’s owner, announced that his beloved dog died on Friday, in a tearful update posted to his TikTok and Instagram. “This is incredibly sad, it’s incredibly […]
2 days ago
Jason David Frank's cause of death is revealed by his wife. Jason David Frank is pictured here in N...
Lisa Respers France, CNN

Jason David Frank’s cause of death revealed by his wife

Jason David Frank's wife has confirmed that the "Power Rangers" star's death was a result of suicide.
4 days ago
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walk as procession with the coffin of Britain's Queen El...
Associated Press

Harry and Meghan doc footage puts royal rift at forefront

Footage of an upcoming documentary about Harry and Meghan shows the couple is once again prepared to address their rift with the royal family directly and in their own words.
4 days ago
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07:  Danny Masterson speaks during a Launch Event for Netflix "The Ranch: Part...
BRIAN MELLEY and ANDREW DALTON, Associated Press

Mistrial declared in actor Danny Masterson’s rape trial

A judge has declared a mistrial at the rape trial of “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson.
5 days ago
Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac performs on stage at Madison Square Garden on October 6, 2014 in N...
Associated Press

Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter, dies at 79

Christine McVie, the soulful British musician who sang lead on many of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits, has died at 79.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
At Rain-Soaked Oscars, ‘Parasite’ Hopes To Upset ‘1917’