The Oscars are tomorrow night. Have you filled out your ballot? Me neither, but that’s because I am still optimistic I’ll squeeze in a few more viewings of nominated films before the red carpet begins. (That’s at 6:30 p.m. Eastern; the ceremony starts at 8. The Times’s live coverage starts in the afternoon. Don’t forget to turn your clocks forward tonight!)
I admitted to some colleagues the other day that I’d yet to see “Top Gun: Maverick,” and they reacted as though I’d insulted them, insisting I had to see it immediately, and on the big screen. In this strange cinema-optional universe we’re inhabiting now, it’s so tempting to default to streaming.
When I think back on my favorite movies of the year, the ones I saw in the theater did leave the biggest mark. I’m grateful for the afternoon I saw “Everything Everywhere All at Once” in an empty theater in Downtown Brooklyn, sitting through the credits as the lights came up. And for the full house at “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” a film so emotionally devastating that the crowd felt like a support system.
Tomorrow, I’ll watch the Oscars from my living room, on the small screen, the way they were intended. I’ll be half on my phone, texting and reading Twitter, half watching the spectacle before me. It’s easy to be cynical about “Hollywood’s biggest night,” when the film industry awards its own for doing their jobs, but the ridiculousness of it is part of the fun.
I’ll be watching the best actress category with the most anticipation. Will it be Michelle Yeoh in “Everything Everywhere”? Cate Blanchett in “Tár”? Blanchett has won twice before, for “Blue Jasmine” and “The Aviator.” This is Yeoh’s first nomination, and she would be the first Asian woman to win in this category. Their competition includes Andrea Riseborough, the star of “To Leslie,” an under-the-radar contender whose grass-roots social-media campaign for the nomination was the subject of an academy investigation.
The supporting actor and actress categories are full of nostalgic favorites. Ke Huy Quan, nominated for “Everything Everywhere,” recently returned to acting decades after starring in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” as a child. (Film buffs will recall he was in “Encino Man” in 1992 with Brendan Fraser, a nominee for best actor.) Judd Hirsch (“The Fabelmans”) is also in the running. He was nominated in 1981 for “Ordinary People.” Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere”) are both nominated for best supporting actress. Bassett was nominated for “What’s Love Got to Do With It” in 1994. This is Curtis’s first nomination.
On the heels of her Super Bowl halftime show performance, Rihanna is slated to sing her nominated song, “Lift Me Up,” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” David Byrne will perform “This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere” with Son Lux and Stephanie Hsu, a nominee for best supporting actress. I will remind anyone who loves Son Lux’s score from “Everything Everywhere” that the theme song to the NXIVM documentary series “The Vow” is a version of their song “Dream State” and it’s very good.
Will Fraser win for “The Whale”? Will the ceremony include drama on the order of last year’s slap? Will Austin Butler speak in his Elvis voice? Will viewership of the show remain low? Could “All Quiet on the Western Front” win best picture? We’ll have to stay up until the bitter end to find out. See you on the couch.
THE WEEK IN CULTURE
📚 “The Candy House” (out in paperback): Jennifer Egan’s sequel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Visit From the Goon Squad” was one of The Times’s 10 best books of 2022. Through a series of related characters — each gets a chapter — it tells the story of a future technology that allows human memories to be uploaded to the cloud and experienced by all. Sometimes, wrote our critic Dwight Garner, “you pick up a novel and it makes your skin prickle.”
📺 “Ted Lasso” (Wednesday): Given the amount of time it feels like we’ve been talking about this Apple TV+ series, one of TV’s most beloved comedies, it’s a bit surprising that it’s only starting its third season. But break out your Jason Sudeikis ’staches for the return of the ever-beleaguered AFC Richmond.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Roasted Cod and Potatoes
Everyone should have a few three-ingredient recipes in their back pocket, and Mark Bittman’s roasted cod and potatoes is one of mine. In it, thinly sliced potatoes are tossed with olive oil or butter, then baked until soft. Cod fillets are perched on top (though you can use any kind of fish), then the whole thing is broiled until the potatoes singe at the edges and the fish cooks through. It’s simplicity at its best, easy to throw together but flavorful, and can be dressed up in innumerable ways. Add dollops of salted yogurt for creaminess, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice for tang, or chile crisp or flakes for heat. Or add all of the above for a deeply complex, satisfying dish that’s still an utter snap to make.
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ADVICE FROM WIRECUTTER
Clean your air fryer
We’d like to think air fryers can take the chore out of cooking and add some charm. And though they cut cook times in half and leave fewer dirty dishes, cleaning them can be pesky. Wirecutter’s editors rolled up their sleeves to identify the best way to clean air fryers. The good news: It takes only 10 minutes. The bad: You should clean yours after every use. — Caira Blackwell
New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Lakers: This is not where either team expected to be three-quarters through the N.B.A. season. The Knicks are red hot: They have won eight of their past 10 and are set to cruise into the playoffs, thanks in large part to Jalen Brunson, their new do-it-all point guard who is having the best season of his career. The Lakers, on the other hand, have struggled all year. And with LeBron James out with a foot injury, there’s a chance they might miss the playoffs — something James’s teams rarely do. 9 p.m. Eastern tomorrow on ESPN.