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10 burning questions about tonight's Oscars, answered

Who should the Irish be watching out for? Will it get political? Will Trump be watching? Here’s what you need to know.

THE 89TH ANNUAL Academy Awards takes place tonight. La La Land leads the way with 14 nominations, while Irish eyes will be on Ruth Negga.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of tonight’s ceremony.

First things first, who’s hosting it?

2016 Primetime Emmy Awards - Show Source: AP/Press Association Images

The one and only Jimmy Kimmel. This is Kimmel’s maiden outing and he told The New York Times that he’s hoping to strike a balance between political material and lighthearted jokes.

There definitely is a point at which that becomes too much. There’s also a point at which it becomes too little. And finding that balance is, for me, the most difficult hurdle, when it comes to this broadcast.

Expect a few Trump jokes, so.

What’s up for Best Picture?

source Source: Giphy

The nominees for Best Picture are Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight.

As of February 23rd, Paddy Power has La La Land at 1/6 odds to win with Moonlight far behind at 11/2. La La Land has already nabbed all the important precursor awards – PGA, DGA, WGA, Golden Globes and BAFTA – so its victory looks to be a bit of a done deal at this point.

Don’t movies about movies always win anyway?

Not always, but often. In fact, since 2011, three Best Picture winners have been about films or acting — The Artist, Argo and Birdman.

What can we say? Hollywood loves celebrating and honouring Hollywood.

giphy (2) Source: Giphy

Remind us again – what should the Irish be looking out for?

Ruth Negga is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her powerful, understated turn in civil rights drama Loving, while Dubliner Consolata Boyle is nominated for Best Costume Design for her work on Florence Foster Jenkins.

Additionally, Irish co-production The Lobster is nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

Elsewhere, our very own Jamie Dornan will be presenting an award and Game of Thrones actor Art Parkinson may be there showing support for Kubo and the Two Strings, which is nominated for Best Animated Feature.

Does Ruth Negga have a chance?

2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Virtuosos Award Source: AP/Press Association Images

We’d love to say yes, but her category looks to be all sewn up already. Emma Stone has won the Golden Globe, SAG Award and BAFTA for her performance in La La Land. If she were to lose, it would be a gargantuan upset.

Next time, Ruth.

What are the juicy categories we should we looking out for, so?

BAFTA Film Awards 2017 - Press Room - London Source: Ian West

The juiciest right now is Best Actor, which is viewed by many as a two-horse race between Denzel Washington and Casey Affleck.

Denzel Washington is nominated for his performance in Fences, which he also directed, while Casey Affleck is up for his turn in Manchester by the Sea.

Affleck was widely presumed to be the frontrunner until Washington came out of nowhere to win a trophy at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, indicating widespread love for Denzel among actors, who just so happen to be the largest voting branch in the Academy.

Affleck’s campaign has also been marred by ugly sexual harassment allegations, which were settled out of court many years ago, but resurfaced last year, prompting a backlash among some actors and commentators.

Whether he’ll pay the price remains to be seen, but this is definitely among the most competitive races of the night.

Are things likely to get political?

In a way, they already have. Following President Donald Trump’s travel ban, Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi announced that he would be boycotting the event, despite being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

In a show of solidarity, Farhadi’s fellow nominees released a statement condemning the “climate of fanaticism and nationalism” in the United States.

As for whether any of the evening’s main winners will get political? That seems inevitable given the speeches we have seen at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. It’s not a question of if, but rather a question of who will stick their head above the parapet.

Will Trump be watching?

If his viewing habits over the past few years are anything to go by, then quite possibly.

This was his reaction to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu winning Best Director in 2015.

Here he is calling the Oscars “bullshit”.

And here he is going in on the ceremony in 2013.

No doubt you’ll see a tweet or two from him about it on Monday, so.

Now for the most important question: is Ryan Gosling going to bring Eva Mendes?

The question that has dominated the tabloids all week.

Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 19.49.27 Source: E!

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Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 19.50.49 Source: Celeb Dirty Laundry

So is he? Nobody knows, but some “sources” have said no.

Stay home, Eva. The Oscars are more fun with wine and crisps anyway.

Finally, how can I watch the Oscars?

E!’s red carpet coverage kicks off at 10.30pm tonight and goes on until the wee hours. If you fancy watching it live, Sky Cinema Oscars will be broadcasting the event from 1.30am. 

Otherwise you can catch the highlights at 9.30pm on RTÉ 2 tomorrow night.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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