Rather than having two celebrities announce the nominees in a live press conference broadcast from Hollywood at the crack of dawn, the Academy chose to livestream a pre-taped piece for the 89th annual Academy Award nominations — with past winners and nominees like Brie Larson, Jennifer Hudson, Terrence Howard, Glenn Close, Dustin Lance Black, Jason Reitman and Gabourey Sidibe sharing their Oscar memories in between nominees.
The piece was split into two parts — with an intermission break of sorts built in to premiere the trailer for this year’s ceremony and introduce host Jimmy Kimmel.
It had its pros and cons, of course. On hand, no stars had to get up and get camera-ready at the crack of dawn. On the other hand, the morning lost that unpredictability and the excitement of the live audience reaction.
But though the Academy had announced the change beforehand, it still took many on Twitter by surprise:
La La Land leads all nominees this year, tying the record for most Oscar nominations with 14 nods. That puts it in the same company as Titanic and All about Eve, which also scored 14 nominations.
Moonlight and Arrival followed close behind in second place, scoring nine nominations each — both including Best Picture.
And after sparking increased controversy over the past two years, this year’s Oscars produced one of its most diverse crop of nominees ever. A number of high-profile performances and films featuring actors of color have been recognized for top honors, including Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Dev Patel, Ruth Negga, Octavia Spencer, Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris.
The Oscars will air live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.