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« JLaw gets the last word | Main | Berlinale: Three queer docs and one all too brief feature »
Wednesday
Feb212018

Oscar Presenters Named Thus Far...

For your infotainment the Oscar presenters named thus far and our theories as to why they were invited. We don't need to mention diversity because that would probably read snarky when we don't mean it that way at all; we're thrilled Hollywood is making an effort! So we'll name the other possible reasons for the names. Presumably these choices are agonized over and debated at length behind the scenes since they're always so carefully representative of a wide range of celebrities appealing to all kinds of mainstream moviegoers from kids to grandparents to sophisticated cultural mavens to soccer moms. Etcetera.

Just about the only audience they don't cater to on the regular, probably because they'll watch anyway, are cinephiles and Old Hollywood loving film buffs. The Oscar producers often do a very crappy job of that (especially given how many elderly showbiz legends are still alive! I mean come on give us some Poitier, Lansbury, Rowlands, Connery, Redford, Belafonte, or Andrews or something). It's always a welcome shock when they actually do think about their rich industry history and throw us a Kim Novak for example.

The celebrities thus far (in alpha order)... 

  • Mahershala Ali (Last year's Supporting Actor winner will presumably be naming Best Supporting Actress as is the tradition)
  • Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa himself. Oscar loves to have stars of hot current blockbusters on the show)
  • Viola Davis (Last year's Supporting Actress winner presumably naming Best Supporting Actor as is the tradition)
  • Laura Dern (Previous nominee, acting dynasties represent, an AMPAS governor, knows everyone, also is awesome)...

  • Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman herself. Yes, they want every superhero they can get on stage)...
  • Jennifer Garner (Oscar has a long history of obsessing over household name actors who maybe aren't prestige-movie types and maybe even don't work that much but who the gossip blogs -- we used to call them tabloids -- and suburban housewives know and love)
  • Greta Gerwig (We're sorry you're not going to win anything even though you deserve to!)
  • Tiffany Hadish (Oops. Sorry about your snub!)
  • Mark Hamill (Star Wars fever)
  • Armie Hammer (Sorry you weren't nominated... and in such a blah category, too!)
  • Tom Holland (Spider-Man! And obviously a future nominee once he hits his 30s and starts getting leads in adult oriented dramas) 
  • Oscar Isaac (I mean who WOULDN'T invite him to do just about anything?)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway ambassador, previous nominee, all around wonderful inspiring man, and possible nominee next year for Mary Poppins Returns)
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Thanks for being so fun on the campaign trail - we dont know how The Big Sick missed Best Picture - promise we voted for it.)
  • Margot Robbie (Current nominee + Current It Girl of Hollywood factor)
  • Gina Rodriguez (Oscar has a thing for TV stars with mainstream appeal even if they have a low profile in cinema. Perhaps Annihilation can boost her big screen potential?)

  • Eva Marie Saint (The single bone thrown to classic movie buffs this year?)
  • Emma Stone (Last year's Best Actress winner presumably to present Best Actor)
  • Wes Studi (Surprised at this one. Delighted even but I have no idea why. Remember how good he was in The Last of the Mohicans 25 years ago? He recently popped up in both Penny Dreadful and Hostiles and he's never stopped working. It's always nice when they invite a non-household name character actor to the stage but it's also pretty rare.)
  • Kelly Marie Tran (As much Star Wars as we can get to boost the ratings -- see also Mark Hamill and Oscar Isaac and Laura Dern -- even though there's no reason to believe that this will actually boost the ratings. Also is adorable.) 
  • Daniela Vega (A little treat for foreign film aficianados and LGBT audiences simultaneously? A hint that Chile might win Best Foreign Film? But serious voice: this is kind of a remarkable invite, in point of fact. She'll be the first openly trans presenter)
  • Zendaya (Another 'It Girl' -- particularly for that youth audience Oscar is always desperately afraid they can't reach. Remember their Milus Cyrus presenting obsession?) 

That's only 22 names for 24 categories. Plus, presenters are often paired. Expect at least another dozen names before the ceremony. We hope some of them are movie stars, non-superhero division, by which we mean Nicole Kidman. And our dream of dreams: can Michelle Pfeiffer please get a pf**king invite after she finally deigned to return to the cameras? We know everyone hated mother! but Murder on the Orient Express was a hit and honestly it's the least Hollywood could do.

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Reader Comments (43)

I hope the academy invites Hong Chau, she is incredibly charming.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRizz

I'm glad they asked Armie.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

I don't see anyone there who would be the an obvious choice for presenter for Best Actress this year (they usually get a past winner), so we wait for the second list, I guess (c'mon, Jeff Bridges).

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

It ain't the Oscars unless they invite JLo or John Travolta to present Best Song.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

Considering the Casey Affleck controversy, I think they're going to do the "five prior winners" presentation they did a while back and just don't want to announce who the other prior winners they've chosen are.

Lead Actor: In the ceremony honouring 2008, it was Robert DeNiro (1980) Ben Kingsley (1982), Michael Douglas (1987), Anthony Hopkins (1991) and Adrien Brody (2002). Let's say: Tom Hanks (1993&1994), Russell Crowe (2000), Forest Whitaker (2006), Sean Penn (2008) and Leo DiCaprio (2015).
Supporting Actor: In the ceremony honouring 2008, it was Joel Grey (1972), Christopher Walken (1978), Kevin Kline (1988), Cuba Gooding Jr. (1996) and Alan Arkin (2006). Let's say Jim Broadbent (2001), Javier Bardem (2007), Christoph Waltz (2009&2012), Christian Bale (2010) and Mahershala Ali (2016).
Lead Actress: In the ceremony honouring 2008, it was Sophia Loren (1960), Shirley MacLaine (1983), Halle Berry (2001), Nicole Kidman (2002) and Marion Cotillard (2007). Let's say Cher (1987), Hilary Swank (1999&2004), Charlize Theron (2003), Helen Mirren (2006) and Cate Blanchett (2013).
Supporting Actress: In the ceremony honouring 2008, it was Eva Marie-Saint (1954), Goldie Hawn (1969), Anjelica Huston (1985), Whoopi Goldberg (1990) and Tilda Swinton (2007). Let's say Jennifer Hudson (2006), Penelope Cruz (2008), Mo'Nique (2009), Lupita Nyong'o (2013) and Viola Davis (2016).

Do these look like good line-ups?

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Volvagia -- i would be shocked if they did that. It was cool but it ate up tons and tons of times extending the ceremony and lately they've been trying to shorten.

Steve G -- true.

Travis -- OOH JEFF BRIDGES YES.

February 21, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Glad Hadith and Kumanji are here. More comedians please!

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHhh

The constant complaint from the general public and media in general, is that the ceremony is too long. I wish they ignored that, and catered the show around the people who love the Oscars and Old Hollywood. I get that ABC is about making money, so perhaps live stream it so they don't have to cater to those restrictions (I know this will never happen!). Create a show that is aimed at it's audience - Oscar lovers, film buffs and Old Hollywood audiences.

(my friends who love football, get 30+ nights out of the year to celebrate .. we get one!!)

In that vain - I agree with Volvagia - bring back the 5 presenters. But I would bring back film legends .. there are plenty of living actors alive today who won in the 1960s, 70s, etc.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEllsworth

I love diversity but I love movie stars even more... EVA MARIE SAINT!!!

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Can we finally get Streep to present Best Pic?

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

AMPAS is stupid if they don't have Keegan Michael-Key and or Tiffany Haddish do the BP presentation for "Get Out". The Key link is obvious, but Haddish was in "Keanu" and mentioned it in her NYFCC speech. Although Key and Haddish didn't share many scenes (she was the love interest of Peele's character), they are both so funny and such pros that I would love to see them together.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I was hoping they would ask the Get Out women- Betty, Catherine and Allison- to present simultaneously.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterStritch Bankhead

Is Eva Marie Saint announcing best picture?! Please say yes.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCash

@Cash First thing I thought when I saw her on the list too, but don’t they not usually announce the presenters for BP before the telecast. I remember it was only rumored that Warren & Faye were presenting before the show, not confirmed.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Lacklustre doesn't even begin to describe this crowd. The leaders of AMPAS have yielded to momentary trends and have ignored Oscar and cinema history.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPete

If Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz are there again for not being relevant again in ten years I’ll scream

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterME

I would be shocked if the Best Picture presenter was anyone over the age of 65. After last year's fiasco, I'm sure they're not taking any chances.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGwynn1984

Why did they ask Haddish to present anything after the disaster of her reading this year's nominations?

She can't read, apparently. Do they want to repeat the last year's finale? Let's say that Jacqueline Durran will win costume design but she will read Mark Bridges because she wouldn't know how to read Durran's first name. Are we sure that we want something like that to happen? :P

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSomeone

You can kind of see how some of the presenters will be used.

As mentioned, recent winners Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis, and Emma Stone will almost certainly present acting awards. (If they do the 5 presenter thing again, Eva Marie Saint is a past winner, and Wes Studi can talk about Daniel Day-Lewis.)

Chadwick Boseman might introduce the Best Song nominee performance from MARSHALL. Zendaya might introduce the Best Song nominee performance from THE GREATEST SHOWMAN.

Armie Hammer should present for CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, either as a Best Picture nominee or for its Best Song nominee performance.

Greta Gerwig might present for LADY BIRD as a Best Picture nominee. There are 9 nominees, so I suspect the clip presentations will be in groups of 3, with one person per film.

This is the 40th anniversary of STAR WARS at the Oscars, so I imagine Laura Dern, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, and Kelly Marie Tran would be part of that.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

Yay for Eva Marie Saint! It's been 45 years since Cabaret, so I want Liza and Joel Grey presenting. Also, it's the 90th Oscars, we need more "legacy players", just pair them with stars of the now if they feel so scared of ratings.

Also since this is the 90th year, do you think they might do that "class" photo thing with loads of actors winners they used to do from time to time? When was the last time? 75th Academy Awards maybe?

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterV.

Who are these people?

Where's Barbra? or Jane? or Liza?

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMy Mom

I don't see it happening but I'd love it if they brought Joanne Woodward to present Best Actress, considering this year marks the 60th anniversary of her win and 10th of Paul Newman's death, apart from the fact that she's one of the few earliest winners and Classic Hollywood legends still alive.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Why don't they invite Gene Hackman to present Best Actress?
Another names : Liv Ullman, Sean Connery, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, Cicely Tyson.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterErick Loggia

@ Jamie I doubt it since she’s in the post. I’m not sure but I would think they would want a presenter that has nothing to do with any of the nominated films.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMike Troutman

2 ideas -

* Emma Thompson presents Adapted Screenplay. She's a won that award, plus James Ivory directed her to her first acting win. Or is that obnoxious?

* And in regard to TimesUp - maybe have actresses present who were also activists/feminist pioneers early in the movement - Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Lee Grant, Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Redgrave, or Barbara ..

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Annette bening to present best picture . Please 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAmirfarhang

Pretty please Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie for Best Picture

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Carden

Julie Andrews needs to present Best Picture.

Julie Christie needs to present Best Actress.

Marsha Mason needs to present Best Director.

= Perfect Oscars*

*As long as Laurie Metcalf wins.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

These are the 90th Oscars! Most of the big legends won't be around for the 100th anniversary! Get them now! Sorry but I don't give a damn about Gal Gadot and Tom Holland and I'm in the target group that's supposed to care about them. I want the Oscars to be special. The 90th Oscars!
This group of presenters SUCKS.
And yes, I love Eva Marie Saint but you know what, nobody in my family except for me knows who she is. Nobody in an average movie group on Facebook knows who she is. But they know who Julie Andrews is. They know who Maggie Smith is. They know who Barbra Streisand is. Can't we get a real legend?!?!

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterZooey

Zooey--you so speak the truth. Preach!

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

A total lack of Movie Stars.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Would that the show's producers and the Academy's leadership read these comments. Other than the obligatory presenters, the names mentioned will generally be forgotten in not so many years from now. If the Academy is not showcasing its legends, icons and superstars, it is no better than the People's Choice awards. No one is going to watch the program because Tiffany Haddish is appearing. The flashes in the pan only call attention to the low wattage of the list of presenters. Dim bulbs when we want klieg lights. Sad, sad, sad.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPete

@ME —

I'd welcome a Cameron Diaz appearance...it's been so long since we've seen her.

She's one of the great movie stars of the last 25 years. I can't think of anyone who can match her combination of charisma, sex appeal, uniqueness, range, comedic gifts and natural stardom. She was a phenomenal presence in Hollywood for what, 15 years?

It irks me when people discuss her like she's...Kate Hudson. Who will probably present at the Oscars.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

They should get DENZEL to present Best Actress since he should have won the damn statue last year!

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHustler

Hayden,I read Cameron wanted to take a break for 5 years,expect a major comeback in 2020.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

Joe -- from my understanding Joanne Woodward hasn't been in good health so that's why she's been out of the public eye for so long. But there's no reason not to have other past winners among her peer group there. It's weird that the list has so few movie stars (past or present)

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Why don't they invite Gene Hackman to present Best Actress?

Since retirement he has shunned participation in anything Hollywood related including roles in auteur vehicles.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Best Actress should be presented by Daniel Day Lewis as the only actor to win three Oscars for lead male performance. It may also be his last appearance at the Oscars if indeed he retires from acting.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPete

"can Michelle Pfeiffer please get a pf**king invite after she finally deigned to return to the cameras? We know everyone hated mother! but Murder on the Orient Express was a hit and honestly it's the least Hollywood could do."

DANGEROUS LIAISONS MAKES 30TH ANNIVERSARY ON NEXT DECEMBER.

PFFEIFER + THURMAN + GLENN CLOSE TO PRESENT BEST PICTURE!

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjon

Daniela Vega to present Best Actress. How about that to stop a sexist tradition?
Pfeiffer + Pacino to present Best Picture would be lovely too.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commentertomtom

2018 is the 50th anniversary Funny Girl and Rosemary's Baby, which AMPAS probably doesn't want to touch (Roman Polanski and all), but both are stone-cold classics. Barbara Streisand often presents, so why not have Mia Farrow present Best Actress or Best Picture? Alongside Gena Rowlands, widow of Rosemary's Baby co-star, John Cassavetes?

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

the producers of moonlight should present best picture, just to make up for last year's fuck up

February 24, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Perhaps Sidney Poitier will present Best Picture given that it's the 50th anniversary of In the Heat of the Night?

February 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

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