LOS ANGELES: All eyes will be on Hollywood later to see whether Everything Everywhere All At Once can cap its extraordinary awards season by sweeping the Oscars.
The eccentric multiverse adventure is the favorite to win best picture after success at a host of precursor events but it faces competition from All Quiet on the Western Front and The Banshees of Inisherin, among others.
Austin Butler, Brendan Fraser, Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh are the frontrunners in the acting categories.
The 2023 awards season has been one of the most unpredictable of recent years, with three of the four acting categories too close to call.
Winners have varied at the other major ceremonies, such as the SAG Awards, Baftas and Golden Globes, and there is a lack of consensus over who will triumph at the Oscars as a result.
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
It will be the chat show host’s third time hosting the Academy Awards. He most recently presided over the 2018 event.
The US comic is probably trying to forget about the other occasion, in 2017, when the ceremony descended into chaos after the wrong best picture winner was mistakenly announced.
As part of a media call at the Dolby Theatre on Wednesday, Kimmel joked about how the venue’s red carpet has changed color for the first time since 1960.
Referring to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars, Kimmel said: “People have been asking if there’s going to be any trouble this year, is there going to be any violence this year?
“I certainly hope not. But if there is, I think the decision to go with a champagne carpet rather than a red carpet shows how confident we are that no blood will be shed.”
The decision to change the carpet’s color was actually made for practical reasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new one means organizers “can transition more seamlessly from daytime arrivals to an elegant evening setting”.
Viewers in the US can watch the Oscars live on ABC. The network is also streaming the ceremony on its website and app.
In the UK, Sky will air the ceremony across four of its channels simultaneously, Sky Arts, Sky News, Sky Showcase and Sky Cinema Oscars.
Unusually, that means British viewers can watch the Oscars on Free-view and Freesat. It will also be available on streaming service Now (formerly Now TV).
The ceremony starts at 17:00 PT / 20:00 ET on Sunday. In the UK, it starts at midnight as Sunday becomes Monday.
The prizes are scheduled to be handed out over three hours – but the ceremony runs late almost every year, often by at least 30 minutes.
Excitingly, this year’s winners are the hardest to predict for some time, due to the variation at the many precursor ceremonies.
The only acting category awards pundits are confident about is Everything Everywhere All At Once star Ke Huy Quan winning best supporting actor.
Otherwise, it’s all to play for. Brendan Fraser (The Whale) and Austin Butler (Elvis) have both won a host of best actor prizes at other major events and either one could take the Oscar.
There is another dead heat in the actress category, with Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) enjoying a late surge of momentum, challenging the early frontrunner Cate Blanchett. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)