Will Hollywood give all the awards to a film about itself or celebrate diversity? Are we in for a night of political speeches slamming President Donald Trump? And will host Jimmy Kimmel kill or be killed?
Those are some of the biggest questions looming over the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday.
Hollywood’s biggest night begins with lots of buzz about whether “La La Land” will sweep.
A musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as a pair of lovers looking for their big breaks in Los Angeles, “La La Land” has been a favorite during this awards season.
But there’s also been a great deal of attention paid to the diversity of this year’s nominees following two years worth of discussion over #OscarsSoWhite.
Seven out of the 20 performers nominated in the acting categories are people of color.
History has already been made: “Moonlight’s” Barry Jenkins is the first African American to score nominations for best director, best picture and best adapted screenplay in the same year. That film’s co-editor, Joi McMillon, also became the first African American to earn a nomination for achievement in film editing.
Viola Davis, who is nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Fences,” is now a three-time Oscar nominee, a first for an African American woman.
That theme of inclusion could also become a part of what’s expected to be a prominent part of the evening: politically-tinged messages from those on stage.
Legendary actress Meryl Streep set the tone this year with her Golden Globes acceptance speech in which she denounced Trump’s campaign rhetoric without ever mentioning his name. A few stars including Jodie Foster and Michael J. Fox helped kick off the Oscars weekend’s politics as speakers at a rally held Friday in lieu of United Talent Agency’s annual pre-Oscars party.
The event, which included speeches in support of immigrant rights, is just one way Hollywood has voiced its displeasure with President Trump’s administration and policies.
But it’s the potential speeches from the Oscars stage that will probably provide fodder for Monday morning water cooler chatter.
As host, Jimmy Kimmel is sure to mine the current political climate for a few jokes as well.
The 89th Academy Awards air at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC.