The 2017 Oscars are fast approaching! While you’re finalizing your viewing party guest list, you might be wondering who the Academy has confirmed to show up to their big party, too. From the performers to the presenters to the honorees themselves, the guest list is star-studded from top to bottom. First of all, there’s…
Jimmy Kimmel will be stepping up to the mic to carry the show Sunday night. The star (whose Jimmy Kimmel Live! also airs on Oscar network ABC) has hosted the Emmys twice, in 2012 and 2016, but this will be his first turn as emcee of Hollywood’s biggest night. But of course, a running joke or two, a quick pizza– or cookie-serving interlude, a snarky monologue making fun of Hollywood, and/or an introductory musical number do not a whole telecast make. To fill in Kimmel’s gaps with some additional memorable Oscar moments, we’ve got…
This year, the ceremony will include live performances of all five Best Original Song nominees (unlike last year’s show, during which only three of the nominated songs made it to the stage). John Legend’s La La Land song “Start a Fire” didn’t score a nod, but the crooner will be representing the acclaimed modern musical by performing both of its nominated tracks on Oscar night. Covering for La La Land stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Legend will sing both Gosling’s romantic “City of Stars” and Stone’s confessional “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” on Sunday.
Lin-Manuel Miranda could make history this weekend: Nominated for Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go,” if Miranda wins the Oscar for Best Original Song, it will make the 37-year-old the youngest EGOT winner ever. The already much-decorated artist behind Hamilton (who has a Pulitzer Prize in addition to all that Grammy, Tony, and Emmy love) will perform the nominated tune along with Auli’i Cravalho, the 16-year-old actress who provided the voice of the animated film’s title character.
Sting picked up his fourth Best Original Song nod this year, for “The Empty Chair,” his contribution to the documentary Jim: The James Foley Story, and he will perform the ballad at the ceremony. Justin Timberlake scored his first nomination, for last summer’s disco-inspired smash “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from the animated film Trolls, and the former boy-bander will take the Oscar stage to perform the buoyant pop track on Sunday night. In addition to the nominated song performances, Sara Bareilles will be on-hand to deliver the In Memoriam tribute to the stars we lost in the last year.
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“Wait a minute,” you say. “This isn’t the Grammys! We’re here for the awards, not just the performances!” And right you are, Oscarologists! That’s why, in between Kimmel’s jokes and Legend’s serenades, the teleprompter will devote its energies to…
Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, Mark Rylance, and Alicia Vikander are all scheduled to appear in accordance with the Academy’s tradition of the previous year’s Best Actor presenting to the new Best Actress, and vice-versa, in both the lead and supporting categories.
Also slated to present are current nominees Matt Damon (Manchester By the Sea producer), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Dev Patel (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Emma Stone (La La Land), and Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), past winners Javier Bardem, Warren Beatty, Halle Berry, Shirley MacLaine, Charlize Theron, and Faye Dunaway, as well as past Oscar nominees Amy Adams, Salma Hayek, Taraji P. Henson, Samuel L. Jackson, Felicity Jones, and Hailee Steinfeld. Rounding out the list of stars handing out prizes are Riz Ahmed, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Gael García Bernal, Sofia Boutella, John Cho, Jamie Dornan, Chris Evans, Michael J. Fox, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Leslie Mann, Kate McKinnon, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo, Seth Rogen, and Vince Vaughn.
But what good are presenters without presentees? The real stars of the night, whose outfits will be the most glamorous, their reactions the most GIF-able, and their speeches the most political, are…
While only one star in each category will take the stage to accept an award, the camera is sure to cut away from the action to linger on faces in the audience — especially the ones who might be taking home a statuette later in the show. Keep an eye out for Meryl Streep, who picked up a record 20th nomination this year, for her lead role in Florence Foster Jenkins. Joining Streep in the Best Actress category, look for past winner Natalie Portman and repeat nominee Emma Stone, who got nods for Jackie and La La Land, respectively. Last but not least, the roster of the year’s best leading ladies includes first-time nominees Ruth Negga, nominated for Loving, and legendary French actress Isabelle Huppert, recognized for her performance in Elle.
Their counterparts in the Best Actor race are Stone’s dancing partner in La La Land, two-time nominee Ryan Gosling, as well as the actress’s former web-slinging rescuer in The Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield (nominated for the first time, for Hacksaw Ridge). Viggo Mortensen scored a surprise nod (his second) for the indie Captain Fantastic, but prognosticators have confidently narrowed this race down to two: Batman’s little brother Casey Affleck, who racked up his second nomination for his star turn in Manchester by the Sea, and Denzel Washington, whose Tony-winning role in Fences could land him a third Academy Award.
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But hey, movies — and awards shows — would be nothing without supporting players, too! In the running for Best Supporting Actress, frontrunner Viola Davis is nominated for her role in Fences (for which she, like Washington, previously won a Tony); Davis’ former The Help costar Octavia Spencer, who took home an Oscar in 2012 for that film, got a nod for Hidden Figures; Lion’s Nicole Kidman and Manchester by the Sea’s Michelle Williams are both four-time nominees (and Kidman a past winner) and reliable best-dressed list dwellers; and finally, the race’s only first-time nominee, Naomie Harris, picked up a nod for her role in Moonlight.
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Moonlight leads the Best Supporting Actor race, with predictors’ favorite Mahershala Ali, who landed his first nomination for his role in the drama. Joining him are fellow first-timers Dev Patel, for Lion, and Lucas Hedges, who broke out this year in Manchester by the Sea. This isn’t Nocturnal Animals’ Michael Shannon’s first rodeo, as he’s been nominated once before, but even he looks like an Oscar newbie next to the fifth Best Supporting Actor nominee, onetime winner Jeff Bridges, who collected his seventh nod for Hell or High Water.
But of course, the above list only includes about 50 people, and the Dolby seats 3,400. So that leaves…
It’s hard to know exactly who will be attending other than those who are scheduled to appear onstage, have nominations themselves, worked on a nominated film, or are the date of anybody who falls into one of those categories. In addition to those directly connected to this year’s ceremony, each studio gets a number of seats, and there’s a ticket lottery for Academy members (of which there are over 6,600). So you’ll just have to tune in on Sunday night to see who else, exactly, will appear — not to mention who won’t. Four-time winner and 24-time nominee Woody Allen has consistently skipped the ceremony, for instance; George C. Scott and Marlon Brando, among others, famously refused to attend in years that they ended up winning; and just last year, Spike Lee was among the stars who boycotted the show due to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. This year, we already know of one notable no-show at least: Iranian nominee Asghar Farhadi, whose film The Salesman is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, spoke out against Trump’s immigration ban — and stated that he will not be attending the Oscars.
The Academy Awards kicks off live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 26, with a 7 p.m. ET pre-show and 8:30 p.m. ceremony. See all the Oscar nominees and get your own ballot here!