Humbled after a few humiliating spins on a roller coaster that began with the announcement, then eventual retraction, of the “Best Popular Film” category back in August of 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is attempting to appease its now thoroughly ruffled membership, as well as the audience for the 2019 Academy Awards at large, with a solemn ritual offering of a Bette Midler performance.
In other words, Midler has been tapped to perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns on the telecast next Sunday, as Variety reports. She’ll do so accompanied by composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, who co-wrote the song with lyricist Scott Wittman. Like seemingly everything surrounding this clusterfuck of a ceremony, the Best Original Song category at this year’s Oscars was briefly mired in controversy, after AMPAS announced that only two of the five nominated Best Original Songs would be performed live during the broadcast. The Academy eventually relented.
The Oscars have yet to elaborate on what exactly it was planning to air during a three-hour telecast with no host, reduced live performances, and key awards given out during commercial breaks. But, based on what happened the last time the Oscars went without a host (see below), we’d rather watch Midler belt out a show tune than whatever the show’s writers had planned in her place.