Oscars 2015: Brit invasion to viral moments, fun facts at a glance

  • AFP, Hollywood, United States
  • Updated: Feb 21, 2015 12:44 IST

The Academy Awards have seen their fair share of 'moments'--both scripted and unscripted--over the years. Here are 19 things to look out for at the 87th Oscars on Sunday:

1)New host


Neil Patrick Harris has a tough task ahead of him despite having hosted Emmys and Broadway's Tonys

All eyes will be on Neil Patrick Harris, who has the tough task of following widely-praised Ellen DeGeneres as Oscars host. The Emmy-winning 41-year-old is not short on talent--his past hosting duties include the Emmys and Broadway's Tonys, and he can sing and dance with the best of them--but how will he make his Oscars mark? Watch for that opening monologue/set piece.

2) Viral moment


Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar selfie is among the best remembered moments from Oscars 2014

Speaking of Ellen, the daytime talk-show hostess nearly broke the Internet with her famed selfie with Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep and a host of other stars at last year's show. Can Harris--or anyone else-- top that this year? Watch out for those smartphones.

3) Brit invasion


All Brit: Eddie Redmayne (top left), Keira Knightley (top right), Benedict Cumberbatch (bottom right) and Rosamund Pike have all been nominated in different categories

The Brits are in town again, and this time in force: Eddie Redmayne leads the pack as a favourite for best actor as astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, but other nominees include Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).

4) Fashion alert


Shock value: From Bjork's swan dress in 2001 (left) to Lady Gaga emerging from an egg at 2011 Grammys, bizarre dresses have been a staple at award functions

The parade of stars on the Oscars red carpet is, for some, almost as big a show as the Academy Awards themselves. Who will wear what? What colours will be in (and out)? Will anyone make a fashion statement on the scale of Bjork in her swan dress at the 2001 Oscars? Or Lady Gaga emerging from her egg at the 2011 Grammys? Watch out, Gaga is due to perform at this year's Oscars... 5) Name game


Oops! Actor John Travolta goofed up badly when he mispronounced Idina Menzel's name (sounded like Adele Dazeem)

Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction icon John Travolta is among a star-studded line-up of presenters--but he will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's mangling of Frozen songstress Idina Menzel's name (it came out as Adele Dazeem). Read those lips.

6) Mexican repeat?


Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (left) and Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron (right)

Can Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu repeat fellow Mexican Alfonso Cuaron's best director triumph last year--and maybe go one better? Inarritu is frontrunner in the category for his dark comedy Birdman, which is also tipped for best picture honours. Cuaron won best director last year for Gravity, but missed out on the evening's top prize.

7) Finally Moore?


This is Julianne Moore's fifth nomination for the coveted award

Veteran Julianne Moore, a self-declared 'late bloomer' at the age of 54, is hoping to make it fifth time lucky, after four previous Oscar nods. She is the frontrunner for best female actor for her portrayal of a linguistics professor suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's in Still Alice.

8) Politics?


Marlon Brando (left) won the award for The Godfather but refused to accept it. The Clooneys put their weight behind Charlie Hebdo victims at the Golden Globes this year

Probably the most famous political moment in Oscars history came in 1973 when Marlon Brando won for The Godfather--and refused the award, sending up on stage a native American woman to protest at the abuse of her kin by the film industry. Possible causes this year--the recent surge in police killings of African Americans? The lack of any black acting nominees? The Charlie Hebdo attacks? Watch those acceptance speeches. 9) Snowden flick


A poster from the documentary on Edward Snowden (left) and Laura Poitras (right)

Talking of politics, a movie about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden could generate some debate: Citizenfour by US filmmaker Laura Poitras is a frontrunner for best documentary. Watch out for her speech, if she wins. 10) In memorium


In memory of the dead: Robin Williams (left), Lauren Bacall (centre) and Richard Attenborough (right)

Each year the show includes a segment dedicated to Hollywood greats who passed in 2014. This year, Tinseltown's biggest loss was comic actor Robin Williams, who committed suicide in August. Others mourned include The Graduate director Mike Nichols and actor Lauren Bacall, along with Britain's Richard Attenborough and Bob Hoskins. 11) All white


David Oyelowo played Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma

Every single one of the 20 acting nominees is white, for only the second time in nearly two decades. The last time there were no non-white nominees was in 2011. Before that, 1998. Notable snubs include Britain's David Oyelowo, widely tipped for playing Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma.

12) First-timers


Stills from Birdman (left) and Boyhood (right)

Nearly half the acting nominees are first-timers vying for Hollywood's biggest awards. They are Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, JK Simmons, Felicity Jones, Rosamund Pike, Patricia Arquette and Emma Stone. Four nominees are previous winners: Robert Duvall, Marion Cotillard, Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep. 13) Three in a row


A still from American Sniper

Bradley Cooper is nominated for his third consecutive year--this year's leading actor nod for American Sniper follows nominations for last year's American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook the year before. The last actor to do the same was Renee Zellweger (2001-3), preceded by Russell Crowe (1999-2001).

14) English not required


Italian legend Marcello Mastroianni (left) and French actor Marion Cotillard

French actor Marion Cotillard received her second nomination for a role in a language other than English, in Two Days, One Night. She won for La Vie en Rose (2007). She is the fifth performer to receive two or more nods for a foreign language performance. Italian legend Marcello Mastroianni won three, while Sophia Loren, Liv Ullmann and Isabelle Adjani won two each.

15) Streep sweep


Academy's darling: Actor Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep extends her lead as the most nominated actor ever with her 19th nod for Into the Woods. She has won three times, most recently in 2012 as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Before that she won in 1980 for Kramer v. Kramer and 1983 for Sophie's Choice.

16) Black and white


In black and white: Ida and Raging Bull

Ida is the 11th mostly black and white film nominated for cinematography since 1967, when black and white was cut as a category. Previous films included Cold Blood (1967), The Last Picture Show (1971), Lenny (1974), Raging Bull (1981), Zelig (1983), Schindler's List (1993), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), The White Ribbon (2009) and The Artist (2011). 17) Battle of hulks


Edward Norton (left) and Mark Ruffalo have been nominated in the supporting actor category

Two actors who have played muscle-bound Marvel superhero The Hulk are slugging it out in the best supporting actor category: Mark Ruffalo (up for Foxcatcher) and Edward Norton (Birdman). 18) Double Desplat


Posters of The Grand Budapest Hotel (left) and The Imitation Game

French composer Alexandre Desplat is a rare double nominee in the same category: best original score for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game. The last person to do so was Steven Soderbergh, nominated for best director for both Erin Brockovich and Traffic in 2000 (He won for Traffic.). 19) Gone (Bond) girl


Rosamund Pike in a still from Gone Girl (inset) and as a Bond girl in Die Another Day (2002)

Britain's Rosamund Pike becomes the third former Bond girl to be nominated for an Oscar, for Gone Girl. Both her predecessors won: Halle Berry for Monsters Ball in 2002 and Kim Basinger for LA Confidential in 1998.

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