The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has returned to an in-person presentation to announce this year's Oscar nominees, with press and publicists gathering at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles before the crack of dawn to watch the first phase of the award season come to an end. Everyone seemed eager to get back in the room to celebrate the year's best films.
An “Everything Everywhere All at Once” sweep is already a lock. Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis' back-to-back Supporting Actress nods sent the room into a frenzy as soon as the nominations for Best Actress were announced.
The unpredictable nature of award season means even the most well-connected insiders can be fooled. Andrea Riseborough won the Best Actress award for her long-awaited Oscar campaign for "To Leslie," and the initial gasps quickly turned to snaps and laughter as the crowd acknowledged that her long-shot campaign was a success.
Williams and Ahmed both struggled to contain their giggles when they had to announce the titles "My Year of Dicks" and "An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It" in the Best Animated Short category. Both were true professionals and kept the program entertaining while laughing as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. Williams said, "We're not fired yet!"
With months of activity and a final sleepless night leading up to three minutes of nominations, nobody quite knew what to do with themselves, including the celebrity presenters.
Williams and Ahmed kissed the audience before Williams turned to the Academy executives in the front row and asked, "Do we just leave?"
On Sunday, March 12, the 95th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Jimmy Kimmel will return as the host for the third time, with the telecast streaming on ABC.com, Hulu Live TV, and YouTubeTV as well as broadcast.