Oscars 2024: Everything you need to know

Oscar statuettes
Oscar statuettes - Matt Sayles

As Hollywood comes back together, fresh from historic WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that froze the industry for the best part of a year, the 96th Academy Awards promise to be a thrilling night. The competition is fierce, with great films from auteur directors scrambling for top prizes.

Yet judging by a recently-released trailer, this year’s Oscars promise to be a little... weird. The five-minute film features host Jimmy Kimmel – returning for the fourth time – who is lost in Barbieland. There he meets Kate McKinnon’s weird Barbie who guides him through the front runners, before hopping in the Barbiemobile and touring past the Best Picture nominees.

They are soaked by Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein-sweat, trundle through Killers of the Flower Moon’s Osage County – “they grow Italian people here” – and salute Poor Thing’s Bella Baxter or “even weirder Barbie”. Eventually, they end up at the Dolby Theatre. Ryan Gosling’s Ken from Barbie pops up, and the skit ends with him and Kimmel screaming in each other’s faces. It’s not quite as obnoxious as it sounds.

So if that has whetted your appetite for the Oscars – a hearty if, admittedly – here’s everything you need to know about the 96th Academy Awards.

When are the Oscars?

The Oscars will take place on Sunday, March 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

What is the Oscars?

The ceremony will kick off at 4pm Los Angeles Time, which translates to 12am GMT for UK viewers tuning in. Pre-show festivities will start at 3.30pm LA time. The ceremony usually lasts around three hours.

The Zone of Interest
The Zone of Interest

What channel is the Oscars on?

In the UK, the ceremony will be broadcast live on ITV1 and ITVX, along with a companion show described as the “ultimate Oscars party” hosted by Jonathan Ross starting from 10.30pm GMT on Sunday March 10. This marks the first time in 20 years that UK viewers will have free access to the Oscars ceremony. There will also be a live stream from the red carpet on ITVX, hosted by Ross King. This will kick off at 9.30pm GMT. US viewers can watch the ceremony on ABC.

A 90-minute highlights episode will air on ITV1 at 10.45pm GMT on Monday, March 11, reeling off the ceremony’s biggest moments like a movie lover’s Match of the Day. This will become available to watch on ITVX.

Who is nominated?

2024’s ceremony sees three frontrunners with the most nods. Oppenheimer leads with 13 nominations, closely followed by Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things with 11 nominations and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon with 10. While Barbie’s snubs for Best Director and Best Actress have made headlines, it has eight nominations, including Best Picture.

But the buzz might be in the categories we typically fuss less over. Among the competitive pack fighting to win Best Sound is The Zone of Interest, whose sound team won a Bafta for their work, and spent over a year creating an intricate library of sounds for the film, which concerns the daily life of the mastermind of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss. Meanwhile, the team behind surprise hit Godzilla: Minus One were filmed erupting into raucous celebration upon their nomination for Best Visual Effects, making history as the first Japanese language film to be nominated in the category. They will take on mega-budget blockbusters like Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon
Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon - Melinda Sue Gordon

Emma Stone looks like a sure bet for Best Actress for her role in Poor Things having taken home the Bafta for her performance, but if Killers of the Flower Moon’s Lily Gladstone takes the top spot, she will make history as the first Native American to win the award.

Here’s the full list of nominees.

Who will host?

Jimmy Kimmel will host the ceremony for the fourth time, having helmed the ship in 2017, 2018, and 2023. This means he draws level with Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Lemmon. With decades of live TV experience and a long-standing relationship with Disney, it’s no surprise. The late-night talk show host and comedian was deemed a safe bet to host in 2023 after Will Smith’s slapgate blindsided audiences – and Chris Rock – the previous year. But we’ve gone one ceremony without incident, and with UK viewers watching safely on terrestrial television, there is a feeling that this year’s ceremony will go smoothly,  even if viewers are tuning in for some drama. 2023’s ceremony saw a jump in viewership, with an average of 18.8 million watching.

“I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” joked Kimmel in a statement. Hopefully Kimmel’s quips will outshine jokes made by Jo Koy at the Golden Globes for all the right reasons. In fact, he could take a leaf out of David Tennant’s unshowy but steady helming of the Baftas – but perhaps lose the novelty Pomeranian.

Who will perform?

The full line-up of performances has yet to be announced, but it’s been confirmed that Ryan Gosling will perform I’m Just Ken. With this in the bag, it’s surely only a matter of time before we get the news that Billie Eilish will sing her beautiful existential ballad What Was I Made For (from Barbie) in her bid to win a second Oscar. Other Original Song contenders come from John Baptiste for American Symphony, Scott George for Killers of the Flower Moon, and Diane Warren for Flamin’ Hot.

Who will present?

The Academy released its first list of presenters on February 26. They are Mahershala Ali, Nicolas Cage, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Fraser, Jessica Lange, Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong’o, Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ke Huy Quan, Sam Rockwell, Michelle Yeoh, and Zendaya. It has also been confirmed that the acting awards will be handed out by past winners.

ITV’s Oscar coverage starts at 10.30pm GMT. US Viewers can tune into AMC from 4pm PT.