Dear Gossips,

It’s Oscar week! It’s also Family Day for half of Canada and President’s Day in the US – if you’re joining us, it means you’re working too. We’ll try to get you through a light day. 

As for the Oscars, the Academy reversed yet another decision late Friday after protest from much of its membership over which awards to present live during the broadcast and not on commercial break. So, to recap, at the beginning of the season, they tried to introduce a “Popular Film” category, which got shut down. And they tried to not include all five nominated Best Songs, which got shut down. After that, they tried to shorten the show by volunteering four award categories to be presented during commercial break and then edited to be included later on, which got shut down. That’s three reversals, on top of the mess with the host. On top of the fact that it’s a tight race in several categories, closer than it’s been in years. 

You know what that means? 

I don’t want to build it up too much but… it’s going to be a fun night. I’m always excited for the Oscars but this year, I’m the most excited. It’s always more exciting when it’s unpredictable. And the Writers Guild Awards last night added to all of that because they went with Eighth Grade and Can You Ever Forgive Me? as their bests of the year. Eighth Grade was not nominated for Oscar. But the point is, the guilds don’t agree. Some have chosen Green Book, others have gone with Roma, and the Screen Actors went with Black Panther. Given that the Oscar Best Picture category is determined by a preferential voting system, requiring voters to rank the nominees, in a situation like this, it means that second and third place votes count more than ever. Which, possibly, favours a movie like A Star is Born

This probably makes your ballot considerations much more complicated. Our Annual Contest details and entry forms will be posted tomorrow, just as voting ends. At this point if you close your eyes and pick randomly, your chances might be just as good. 

We’ll be breaking down more Oscar updates through the week. In the meantime…

Bette Midler has been confirmed to perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns at the Oscars. That’s a pretty solid get – for a song that, remember, originally it wasn’t supposed to have a place during the show! 

Also… have you heard? Serena Williams is presenting. Apparently Serena’s part of a group of eight people “outside the world of entertainment” who’ll be on stage to presumably introduce each of the eight Best Picture nominees. 

For celebrity junkies, this is the best week of the year. And we’re just easing in on a light day. 

Yours in gossip,