BY BILLY SUTER
THE 91st Academy Awards, to be screened live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood to 225 countries, in the wee hours of Monday, February 25 (South African time), will feature a performance by Queen.
The group will showcase Adam Lambert as lead vocalist, in celebration of the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, being in contention for five statuettes, including those for best picture and best actor (Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury).
Lambert, an American Idol favourite and pop star in his own right, has performed with Queen original band members Brian May and Roger Taylor since 2011, including on two successful world tours.
The Oscars ceremony will have no host this year. Actor-comedian Kevin Hart was down for the task but reportedly opted out after old homophobic tweets resurfaced. Consequently, a parade of presenters will do the honours.
Among presenters confirmed for the show are Javier Bardem, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Emilia Clarke, Laura Dern, Samuel L Jackson, Stephan James, Keegan-Michael Key, KiKi Layne, James McAvoy, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Momoa and Sarah Paulson.
Also set to hand out statuettes are Helen Mirren, Elsie Fisher, Chris Evans, Danai Gurira, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael B Jordan, Michael Keaton, John Mulaney, Tyler Perry, Pharrell Williams, Krysten Ritter, Paul Rudd and Michelle Yeoh.
The ceremony will be seen live in South Africa on DStv’s M-Net Movies Premiere (channel 104) from 3am on Monday, February 25. It will be repeated on DStv’s M-Net (channel 101) from 9pm that day.
The films with the most nominations this year are Roma and The Favourite, both of which have 10 nods. A Star is Born and Vice each have eight nominations.
Good news is that Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are set to perform the Oscar-nominated Shallow from A Star is Born, while Bette Midler is scheduled to sing the Oscar-nominated The Place Where Lost Things Go, from Mary Poppins Returns.
Jennifer Hudson, an Oscar-winner for her supporting role in Dreamgirls, is to perform the Oscar-nominated I’ll Fight from the documentary RBG, while nominees Gillian Welch and David Rawlings are to sing When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wing, which they composed for the film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
South African comedian and presenter of the US’s The Daily Show will be among 11 celebrities who will introduce the eight Best Picture nominees. Among the others are Barbra Streisand, Serena Williams,Dana Carvey, Queen Latifah, Diego Luna and Mike Myers.
The eight films up for the Best Picture Oscar are: Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Black Panther, A Star is Born, Green Book, BlacKkKlansman and Roma.