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Queen to perform at 91st Academy Awards show

HOLLYWOOD — The rock band Queen, immortalized in the Oscar-nominated film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” will perform during the Academy Awards telecast Feb. 24, the band and the Motion Picture Academy announced this week.

Former “American Idol” contestant Adam Lambert, who toured with Queen from 2014-18, will join original band members Brian May and Roger Taylor as the lead vocalist, stepping in for the late Freddie Mercury.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is the story of the band’s career from 1970 through 1985’s Live Aid concert, with an emphasis on Mercury’s contribution.

It is nominated for best picture, best actor (Rami Malek for playing Mercury), best sound editing, best sound mixing and best film editing.

“We will rock The Oscars,” Lambert tweeted Feb. 18.

Previously announced musical performances include Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Hudson and Bette Midler.

After a week of backlash, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reversed its course and canceled plans to present four Oscars during commercial breaks of this year’s telecast.

“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards — cinematography, film editing, live action short and makeup and hairstyling,” a statement from the Academy’s Board of Governors said Feb. 17. “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format.”

The Academy had announced Feb. 11 that Oscars in those four categories would be presented during commercial breaks, with acceptance speeches by the award winners being edited and aired later during the broadcast.

The move was made as part of a stated Academy goal of ensuring the Oscar telecast — which in some years has stretched to the four-hour range — is held to three hours. Academy President John Bailey said in an email to members that the four categories awarded during commercial breaks would rotate each year.

But some members of guilds representing the affected Oscar categories lashed out at the decision to push their categories into commercial breaks, saying it belittled their contributions to filmmaking.

Directors Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Ang Lee were among those who publicly criticized the decision.

The Academy’s decision to scrap the commercial-break presentations was the latest mishap affecting this year’s Oscars. The Academy announced last year that it would be creating an Oscar category to recognize “popular” films, but that move was put on hold amid an array of questions about how such box-office blockbusters would be nominated and judged.

In December, comedian Kevin Hart was named host of the ceremony, but he withdrew days later in response to criticism of past homophobic comments and jokes. No replacement for Hart has been chosen, so this year’s ceremony will be held without a host.

Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white foreign-language drama “Roma” and the bawdy period film “The Favourite” both collected 10 nominations for the 91st Academy Awards, while “Black Panther” became the first comic-book-based movie ever nominated for best picture.

The three films will compete for best picture honors with “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Green Book,” “A Star is Born” and “Vice.”

“Green Book,” the story of a white New York nightclub bouncer working as a bodyguard for a black pianist during a tour through the 1960s Deep South, is considered an Oscar front-runner, thanks largely to winning the top prize at the recent Producers Guild of America awards — an honor that often foreshadows success on Oscar night. The film also won a Golden Globe for best musical/comedy film.

“Roma,” writer/director Cuaron’s drama following the life of a domestic worker in 1970s Mexico, won the best-picture prize at the Critics’ Choice Awards. The 10 nominations for “Roma” tied the record of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” for most Oscar nominations received by a foreign-language film.

Cuaron received four overall nominations for “Roma,” for his work producing and directing the film, along with best original screenplay and best cinematography. He will compete for best-director honors with Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman,” Pawel Pawlikowski for the Polish film “Cold War,” Yorgos Lanthimos for “The Favourite” and Adam McKay for “Vice.”

This year marks the first time that two directors of films nominated for best foreign-language picture —“Roma” and “Cold War” — have been nominated for best director.

Christian Bale is the front-runner for the best actor prize for his shape-shifting role as Vice President Dick Cheney in “Vice,” having already scored Golden Globe and Critics’ Choce Awards. Malek has already collected a Golden Globe for his performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Bradley Cooper was nominated for best actor for his work in “A Star Is Born,” although he was snubbed in the best director category. Also scoring best-actor nominations were Willem Dafoe for “At Eternity’s Gate” and Viggo Mortensen for “Green Book.”

Bale is the only nominee in the category to already have an Oscar. He won a supporting-actor trophy in 2010 for “The Fighter.”

Glenn Close, also a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice winner, led the nominees for best actress for her role as the suffering spouse of a Nobel Prize honoree in “The Wife.” Globe winner Olivia Colman also scored a nod for her lead role in “The Favourite.” Yalitza Aparicio was nominated for her role as a Mexican domestic worker in “Roma,” along with Lady Gaga for her work alongside Cooper in “A Star Is Born” and Melissa McCarthy for her lead role in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Close has six previous Oscar nominations, but she has never won. She was nominated for best actress for the films “Fatal Attraction,” “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Albert Nobbs.”

Mahershala Ali is the front-runner for best supporting actor for his portrayal of pianist Don Shirley in “Green Book.” Ali has already collected Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards for his work in the film. He will compete for the Oscar with Adam Driver for “BlacKkKlansman,” Sam Elliott for “A Star Is Born,” Richard E. Grant for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Sam Rockwell for “Vice.”

Rockwell won the supporting-actor Oscar last year for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Ali won the same prize three years ago for “Moonlight.”

Regina King, another Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award winner for her work in the romance “If Beale Street Could Talk” topped the list of supporting-actress nominees. Also vying for the prize will be Amy Adams for “Vice,” Marina de Tavira for “Roma” and Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz for “The Favourite.”

For Adams, the nomination is the sixth Oscar nod of her career, but she has never won. Weisz won a supporting-actress Oscar in 2005 for “The Constant Gardener,” while Stone was named best actress in 2016 for “La La Land.”

“Roma” also was nominated for best foreign-language film, along with “Cold War” (Poland), “Capernaum” (Lebanon), “Never Look Away” (Germany) and “Shoplifters” (Japan).

Nominated for best animated feature film were “Incredibles 2,” “Isle of Dogs,” “Mirai,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”