Barbra Streisand, Serena Williams, more to introduce Best Picture Oscar nominees
The Academy has invited eleven celebrities from disparate industries to introduce this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees.
The eight contenders vying for the Academy’s highest competitive honor will receive introductions from entertainers like Barbra Streisand, Dana Carvey, Queen Latifah, Diego Luna, Tom Morello, Amandla Stenberg, Trevor Noah, and Mike Myers, while tennis pro Serena Williams, Congressman John Lewis — who played a role in organizing the 1963 March on Washington — and world-renowned Spanish-American chef José Andrés are set to speak about the nominated titles as well.
An Academy press release did not indicate which films the celebrities will introduce, though a recent New York Times report indicated Williams would appear in honor of A Star is Born (Streisand also won her second Academy Award for writing the original tune “Evergreen” from the 1976 version of the oft-retold Hollywood romance, so it seems likely she’ll partner with Williams for that film’s introduction).
“Movies connect us all,” show producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss said of the news via statement. “They move us, and they create moments and memories that unite us. We are thrilled to assemble this well-known array of film lovers to introduce and share their reflections on the Best Picture-nominated movies.”
In addition to foregoing a host and reversing its controversial decision to present four below-the-line categories during the Oscars’ commercial breaks, the Academy — which has reportedly been hoping to squeeze its presentation to under three hours to combat steadily declining ratings for the notoriously drawn-out broadcast — also previously announced Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan, Elsie Fisher, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Lopez, Awkwafina, Chris Evans, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Momoa, Laura Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, and more will present various awards throughout the ceremony.
The 91st Academy Awards air this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC. Check out the full list of nominees here.