I don’t think I remember the Academy doing this before — or perhaps I simply haven’t paid enough attention in years past — but the names of all 46 presenters at this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony have been revealed. And a deep and varied list it is too. 29 of them are Oscar nominees. 14 of them are Oscar winners. One of them is Jason Sudeikis.
Interestingly, nine of this year’s presenters are African-American — an unusually high number that suggests, whatever the fate of “12 Years a Slave” in the Best Picture race, that the Oscar producers wish to make a point about racial diversity in the industry. (Yes, I realize that sounds crass, but subtlety has never been the Academy’s strong point. Barbra Streisand wasn’t picked to present the 2009 Best Director Oscar simply to hand it over to James Cameron, after all. Then again, Harrison Ford clearly wasn’t bargaining on presenting the 1998 Best Picture Oscar to “Shakespeare in Love.” Oscar history abounds with mixed messages.)
Anyway, the four presenter assignments we can reasonably sure of is last year’s quartet of acting winners to present the performanmce awards. Mark down Sci-Tech ceremony presenters Michael B. Jordan and Kristen Bell for that interlude. Beyond that, your guess is as good as anyone’s. Just feast on the potential combinations and pairings. Tyler Perry and Sally Field, together at last! Kim Novak to present the Best Original Score award solo, after a lengthy preamble about musical originality! Sassy banter between Benedict Cumberbatch and Gabourey Sidibe, while presenting the In Memoriam reel! So many possibilities.
The list of presenters as follows:
Robert De Niro
Samuel L. Jackson
Michael B. Jordan