Ballots were mailed out last week to all 5,777 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The ballots allow all members to vote in 19 categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Acting, Writing, and Music categories, to name a few. Several other categories (Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film) require members to attend special screenings; ballots for those categories will be separately distributed to members who can prove they have seen all nominated films.
All ballots are due back to PriceWaterhouseCoopers by 5 PM (PST) on Tuesday, March 2nd. Once the results are tabulated, they will be placed in sealed envelopes which will be opened on the air during the ceremonies on March 7. The results are only known by two PriceWaterhouseCoopers representatives until the envelopes are opened on stage during the live telecast.
For the first time in recent memory, the Academy is saying the nominees for Best Original Song will NOT be performed during the Awards telecast. Traditionally each nominated song is performed either by the songwriter or by the artist who performed it in the film. Often there are large-scale production numbers to go along with the performances.
This year, however, New York Magazine is reporting, "to streamline the show, the songs will be played in short clips set to footage from their movies."
Although the songs have traditionally been spread out throughout the telecast, during last year's telecast, the songs were all performed in one medley.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona), will be presenting the Best Supporting Actor award at this year's telecast. They have also confirmed that Kate Winslet, who won Best Actress in 2009 for The Reader, will present the Best Actor statuette. Sean Penn will be on hand to present at this year's ceremonies, as he is the incumbent Best Actor (for portraying the title character in Milk). No word yet on who will present this year's Best Supporting Actress trophy since the 2009 Best Supporting Actor was the late Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight.
So far, no other presenters for the telecast have been announced.