For all the suspense of this year's Oscars, the one thing you're guaranteed to see is winners making political speeches. "It's a political time, so I imagine the Oscars will look exactly like your Twitter or Facebook feed," Best Song nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda told The Hollywood Reporter this week. "Why should we ignore for three hours what we're talking about 24 hours a day?"
So you might as well either enjoy the speeches or ignore them. After all, there's plenty of other reasons to watch, from the glamour and star power to the jokes to the chance of seeing some of your favorite 2016 movies and actors win prizes -- and maybe make history in the process.
Here's what to watch for during the 89th Academy Awards on Feb 26.
1. Jimmy Kimmel
Everyone not named Matt Damon seems pleased that the ABC late-night comic has graduated from snarking about the Oscars from his perch across the street to hosting the big event. If anyone can strike the balance between making the bigwigs in the Dolby Theatre laugh and deflating their egos for the amusement of hundreds of millions watching at home, it's Kimmel. BTW, there could be a wonderfully awkward moment if Damon wins Best Picture (he's nominated as one of the producers of "Manchester by the Sea").
2. A-List Presenters
As is traditional, every actor who won last year will be back to present, so say hello to Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander, and Mark Rylance.
Also, watch for big winners and prominent nominees from years past, including Amy Adams, Javier Bardem, Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Felicity Jones, Shirley MacLaine, Hailee Steinfeld, Emma Stone, and Charlize Theron. Other presenters will include "Rogue One" star Riz Ahmed, "Fifty Shades" stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, "Hidden Figures" star Janelle Monae, Ghostbuster Kate McKinnon, action heroes Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Dwayne Johnson, and international stars Gael Garcia Bernal and David Oyelowo.
3. Some Really Great Songs
Kimmel doesn't sing and dance (thankfully), but you'll still get to hear all five nominated songs performed. Justin Timberlake will sing his "Trolls" tune "Can't Stop the Feeling" -- yes, we could soon find ourselves living in a world where JT has as many Oscar trophies as Martin Scorsese. Sting will sing "The Empty Chair," the song he wrote about slain journalist James Foley for the documentary "Jim: The James Foley Story."
Auli'i Cravalho, Moana herself (above), will perform "How Far I'll Go," along with Miranda, who composed the song. As for the two nominated songs from "La La Land," "City of Stars" and "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)," they'll be performed by the movie's co-star, John Legend. (This might be in an effort to make us forget that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are better actors than they are singers.)
4. Speaking of "La La Land..."
The musical is up for 14 awards, tying with "All About Eve" and "Titanic" as the most nominated movie ever. It's not expected to sweep every category, but you can still pretty much count on it to win Best Picture, Best Actress (for Stone), and Best Director for Damien Chazelle. It is also a shoo-in for Best Song and some of the technical awards.
Despite all the likely love for "La La Land," this was a good year for movies about people of color, with Best Picture nominations for "Fences," "Hidden Figures," "Lion," and "Moonlight." And, with at least one black nominee in all four acting categories, an Academy first. This after two years without any such nominees.
Mahershala Ali is the front-runner for Supporting Actor for "Moonlight," and "Fences" star Viola Davis is all but a lock for Supporting Actress, while her co-star, Denzel Washington, has arguably pulled slightly ahead for Best Actor against "Manchester" star Casey Affleck. "Moonlight" is also likely to win Best Adapted Screenplay. So this could be a historic night for African-Americans in Hollywood, especially if two-time winner Washington becomes the first black actor ever to win three Oscars.
6. Governor's Awards
The Academy used to give out its lifetime achievement prizes during the show, but now, to keep the telecast from running four hours, they do it at a separate ceremony in November. That's a shame, but at least they let the winners come to the main ceremony and wave from the balcony. So keep an eye out amid the nosebleed seats for Jackie Chan, editor Anne V. Coates, casting director Lynn Stalmaster, and documentarian Frederick Wiseman.
7. In Memoriam
2016 was such a brutal year for celebrity deaths that here's no way they'll fit all your favorite departed stars into this year's montage. Hollywood royals Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher will make the cut, and probably Mary Tyler Moore. Beyond those, who knows? Expect angry fans of snubbed stars to start firing off angry tweets on Monday.
8. Historic Wins
It's not just Denzel who might enter the record books. "La La Land" could conceivably beat the record for the movie with the most wins (it's 11, a record held jointly by "Ben-Hur," "Titanic," and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"). Since Emma Stone is the favorite for Best Actress, Streep will probably instead top her own record as the actor with the most losses (16 so far).
"Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins could become the first black winner of the Best Director prize in the 89-year history of the Oscars. (And his film could become the first Best Picture winner with a gay protagonist.) Instead, however, Chazelle will probably become the youngest winner of the directing prize, or at least he could tie Norman Taurog, who was also 32 when he won in 1932 for "Skippy."
Oh, and cross your fingers for Kevin O'Connell, nominated for Best Sound Mixing for "Hacksaw Ridge." He's the record-holder for most Oscar nominations (20) without a win. Could the 21st time be the charm?
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