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Academy Awards: Top 5 things to look forward to at the Oscars

La La Land is expected to win, but here are the top 5 things you should look forward to at this year’s Academy Awards.

oscars 2017 Updated: Feb 26, 2017 15:45 IST
Academy Awards,Oscars,La La Land
Dev Patel arrives for the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) at the Royal Albert Hall in London.(REUTERS)

It’s no secret that La La Land is the big favourite to earn major Oscars glory on Sunday. But there are other stories sure to unfold on Hollywood’s biggest night.

Here are five things to watch for:

Clean sweep for La La Land?

This image released by Lionsgate shows a dance scene from the Oscar-nominated film, La La Land. It's not easy to stage a successful dance scene for the cameras, especially on a highway interchange, but when such a scene works, it can be memorable. ( AP )

La La Land, Hollywood’s love letter to itself, heads into the Oscars with a record-tying 14 nominations.

The whimsical musical romance is favoured to win the most coveted best picture prize, beating out fellow frontrunners Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea, as well as six other nominees.

The film has already nabbed many of the top honours -- Golden Globes, BAFTAs, guild prizes -- leading up to the Academy Awards.

Should 32-year-old Damien Chazelle walk away with a statuette, he would be the youngest director ever to win an Oscar.

Will Oscars be Trumped?

Hosts John Mulaney (L) and Nick Kroll sing at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica. ( REUTERS )

Given the tension roiling the country since Donald Trump was elected president, it is all but sure that Sunday’s ceremony will have a tinge of politics.

The gala already took a political turn after Iranian director Asghar Farhadi -- nominated for best foreign language film for The Salesman, after his A Separation won in 2012 -- said he would not attend the ceremony following Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting seven mainly-Muslim countries.

The film’s lead actress has also said she would snub the event, even though the travel order is currently on ice.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump likely would not watch the Academy Awards as he will be hosting the annual governors’ ball in Washington.

That does not necessarily mean, however, that the president won’t take to Twitter to react to any Meryl Streep moment -- she hit out at Trump in a speech at the Golden Gloves that won praise and criticism.

A miffed Trump reacted by calling her overrated -- and Sunday might just be Streep’s chance to respond.

Streep: another win on the cards?

Actress Meryl Streep arrives at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California.

Streep received her 20th Academy Award nod this year for her starring role in Florence Foster Jenkins, besting her own record for the most acting nominations in Oscars history.

Should she win on Sunday, the 67-year-old actress will earn her fourth Oscar, tying her with Katharine Hepburn for the most Academy Awards in the best actress -- leading and supporting -- categories.

Oscars not so white

This image released by A24 Films shows Alex Hibbert in a scene from the film, Moonlight. ( AP )

It has been a landmark year for diversity at the Oscars with African-American actors nominated in all the top categories.

The diverse slate of nominees will help the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences put to rest the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that has dogged the awards gala for the past two years.

However, a new Oscars hashtag -- #OscarsSoMale -- appears to be gaining steam, over the fact that a majority of speaking roles in films go to men.

Ultimate hosting test for Kimmel

A Jimmy Kimmel poster is seen outside the Dolby Theatre as preparations continue for the 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood. ( REUTERS )

Comedian and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel will preside over the Oscars for the first time, and critics will be watching to see how he pulls it off in front of a television audience of tens of millions.

Kimmel, 49, faces the stiff challenge of keeping the more than three-hour show -- usually the most-watched non-sports telecast in the United States -- upbeat in a year where no major surprises are expected and where the Oscars So White controversy seems to be a thing of the past.

“I’ve come to terms with the fact that someone is going to be disappointed in me at the end,” the emcee, who recently hosted the Emmys, told The New York Times in an interview published this week.

“I just don’t know who it will be yet.”

Follow @htshowbiz for more

First Published: Feb 26, 2017 12:17 IST