After several years of declining ratings and the resulting telecast experiments and questions about the Oscars’ relevance, the 95th Academy Awards will have an unfamiliar advantage during Sunday’s ceremony: box office clout.
For a show that has often trended toward art-house fare, the presence of such theatrical juggernauts as “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” in the best picture race may restore a bigger audience. And back is a solo host — Jimmy Kimmel, for a third stint — and the appointment of sturdy awards show veterans Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss as producers, with Weiss directing for the eighth consecutive year. They’ll be charged with steering a ceremony one year removed from Will Smith’s slap of presenter Chris Rock and Smith’s subsequent 10-year ban from attending the Oscars.
Will a more populist best picture field boost the ratings? Can the ceremony restore some dignity after the slap? How will the return to a solo host shape the show? We’ll learn those answers soon enough, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of what we know about the 2023 Academy Awards.