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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Watch out! What to watch for during Sunday's Oscars® telecast

While there will surely be some political pulpit moments in a year where we’re kinda exhausted with that, there are a dozen reasons why the show looks to transcend and entertain. Here are some things to watch for (some facts, some predictions):

John Legend, Sting and Lin-Manuel Miranda will delight. 
John Legend will perform 'City of Stars' and 'Audition (The Fools Who Dream)' from La La Land. Sting will sing 'The Empty Chair' from Jim: The James Foley Story. And young 
Auli'i Cravalho will join Miranda to perform 'How Far I'll Go' from Moana.

Justin Timberlake will perform too, with trolls. Ugh.
Justin Timberlake should solidify his career low point Sunday with a (surely) colorful musical confection of 'Can't Stop The Feeling'—from Trolls. May be more tolerable if watched while eating cotton candy. 

There will be no musical tribute to Best Hair and Makeup.
Show producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd have promised there won’t be any extraneous musical numbers, except those pegged to the nominated Best Song and the In Memorium segment.

Viola Davis will set the tone.
The Best Supporting Actress award will likely be presented in the first third of the show. Whether she is political or focused on film or a mix of both, I don’t think the high-profile winners that follow will stray too far from the tone she sets.

Emma Stone will wear green.
Not my expertise, but it would be too costume-y to do a yellow dress like the La La Land one. And blue might inspire her to do this (above). Vegas has odds on gold, but redheads love green for events that matter. 

Jimmy Kimmel will pass out food.
The segments that saw peak social activity in past years were when Ellen Degeneres delivered pizzas and Chris Rock had girl scouts deliver cookies, so they are sure to repeat this stunt. When Jimmy Kimmel hosted the Emmys, he asked the Stranger Things kids to pass out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’m hangry for a new bit, but I doubt they’ll pass on another social buzz opportunity.

Little Saroo will steal the show.
If Mumbai native Sunny Pawar, who plays the young version of Saroo in Lion, appears, no one will notice who else is on stage.

Kate McKinnon (SNL) will make a surprise appearance.
She’s not listed as a presenter, but she slayed at the Nominees Luncheon so I wouldn’t be shocked to hear her to read the rules or introduce Price Waterhouse for some laughs.

The In Memorium segment will be a doozy.
Expect clips from movies and a simple nod to the double tragedy of Carrie Fisher and her mom Debbie Reynolds. Waitress the Musical’s Sara Bareilles (“Love Song”) will perform.

Halle Berry will get an unexpected standing ovation
I’m just guessing here, but Halle Berry may get a moment. It won’t be for her work in Kidnap or Catwoman, but this night will applaud both diversity and maybe presenter Berry, the first African American to win Best Actress, fifteen years ago for Monster's Ball (2002).

We will get tired of the Matt Damon/Jimmy Kimmel stunt
It’s no accident that Kimmel has resurrected the ongoing Matt Damon faux feud on his late night show; he’s reminding everyone so we’ll remember it and laugh at some future bit on Sunday. Ben Affleck has one more Oscar than Damon, for producing Argo, so he’s likely to play a role. 

I expect it will be Kimmel’s low point in the show — unless Casey Affleck wins Best Actor, for the role that Damon was set to play, setting up some actual humor for the end of the show. 

The Salesman will upset the highly-decorated Toni Erdmann.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Salesman) and Shahab Hosseini, the star of Best Foreign Language film nominee The Salesman have said they will not attend the ceremony in protest of Trump’s travel ban —nudging their movie to statement-vote status.

If White Helmets wins, tears will flow.
The White Helmets are a group also known as the Syrian Civil Defense who work tirelessly to rescue civilians affected by the country's devastating civil war. The film, The White Helmets, focused on three of them — all who are attending and will be a site on stage if this film wins Best Documentary Short.

History will be made.
It was a great year for diversity in film (and a year after #oscarssowhite), so it should not be surprising if history is made Sunday. Expect three actors of color towalk away with three of four acting Oscars. Denzel, Viola and either Mahershala Ali (or Dev Patel) are all front runners.

This land is La La Land, from California to Oscars podium. 
Expect ten trips to the podium from one big film. Oscars loves films about themselves and it doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the most daring films of most any year. Expect 10 wins for La La Land, tying West Side Story for second most wins.

Three hours and 31 minutes of Oscar.  
The producers promise a "swift" show with “some real candy in the middle.” 
I can’t wait.

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