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This Sunday evening, ABC will host what is arguably America's most prestigious awards show, the 87th Academy Awards. Last year, Oscar host Ellen Degeneres entertained 43.7 million viewers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was the most-watched Oscars of the past 10 years. To put that into perspective: Super Bowl 2015 drew 114.4 million viewers. But hey, progress! For those of you who will be dressing up and digging into themed popcorn bowls, here's a complete cheat sheet for Sunday night.
Neil Patrick Harris is this year's host (after Ellen Degeneres reportedly refused an encore performance) and people are generally pretty optimistic about it. Harris hasn't been shy about the fact that an Oscars hosting gig is on his bucket list; he's generally considered a safe choice given his success at hosting multiple Emmy and Tony Award shows. He's an old hand at this. As Harris told the AP, he's hoping for a Kanye moment and/or scandal of some other sort to liven up what Vanity Fair predicts will be a boring show.
The Red Carpet
The festivities officially kick off at 7pm ET on ABC and the actual show is slated to run from 8:30pm to 11:30, although Harris told the Associated Press that he'll be happy if the entire thing wraps in under five hours. For red carpet enthusiasts, E! will start its own coverage at 1:30pm ET, giving pre-red-carpet hosts Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, Ross Mathews, Jason Kennedy, Terrence Jenkins, Brad Goreski, Catt Sadler, Maria Menounos, and Orly Shani plenty of air time for awkward banter. Ryan Seacrest, A-team player, won't join the festivities until actual celebrities begin walking the carpet at 5:30pm. Look forward to forced mani cam action and some additional commentary from special guest host Khloé Kardashian.
Who's Favored to Win
As far as the nominations go, there are no huge Leonardo DiCaprio-like upsets expected. Forbes has a complete rundown of the nominees professional gamblers are betting on, because of course there's a massive gambling market for the Oscars. In case you're unfamiliar with any of the nominated actors or actresses, The Daily Beast pulled together a compilation of each nominee's most embarrassing role ever. But for serious Oscar watchers, we listed all of the nominees from the top categories below, complete with links to the films on Amazon Instant Video. You've got roughly 58 hours to get acquainted with every single nominated movie... or just watch the trailers.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Best Supporting Actor:
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Edward Norton, Birdman
Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Emma Stone, Birdman
Laura Dern, Wild
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game