Hollywood's biggest night is here! The 87th Academy Awards to honour the best films of 2014 will be held on February 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Like every year, Oscars 2015 too will keep the film fanatics glued to their screens. Here are 10 things to watch out for at the 87th Academy Awards:
1. The Host
Neil Patrick Harris makes his debut hosting the Oscars, and if his past gigs at the Emmys and Tonys are any indication, he is sure to offer plenty of witty one-liners.
Harris, who is also a magician, has hinted at displaying a few magic tricks to keep the audience entertained.
He will also perform an original song 'Moving Pictures' by the Oscar-winning writers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the duo behind 'Let It Go' from 'Frozen'.
Also read: Neil Patrick Harris to host 2015 Oscars
2. The Presenters
The 42 stars hand-picked to present the Oscars range from 18-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz to 80-year-old Shirley MacLaine, from newcomer Ansel Elgort to the veteran actress Meryl Streep.
Others on the list include Dakota Johnson, who is basking in the spotlight for 'Fifty Shades of Grey', and 'Selma' star David Oyelowo, despite the fact that he was snubbed in the Best Actor category.
While simply reading the lists of nominees can get dull, hopes are pinned on presenters Jason Bateman and Eddie Murphy to add the fun quotient.
3. The Performers
As always, each of the nominees for Best Original Song will perform: Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island with 'Everything Is Awesome' ('The Lego Movie'), Tim McGraw with 'I'm Not Gonna Miss You' (Glen Campbell…I'll Be Me), Rita Ora with 'Grateful' ('Beyond the Lights'), Adam Levine with 'Lost Stars' ('Begin Again') and Common and John Legend with 'Glory' ('Selma').
There will also be special performances from Lady Gaga, Jack Black, Jennifer Hudson and Anna Kendrick, but Oscar producers, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, haven't revealed much on their sequences, keeping the fans intrigued and excited.
4. Who is expected to win?
Julianne Moore (Best Actress, 'Still Alice'), JK Simmons (Best Supporting Actor, 'Whiplash') and Patricia Arquette (Best Supporting Actress, 'Boyhood') are widely perceived to win the golden statuette. The Best Actor award is a close race between Michael Keaton ('Birdman') and Eddie Redmayne ('The Theory of Everything'). 'Boyhood' and 'Birdman' will fight it out for Best Picture, with their respective directors Richard Linklater and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu running neck and neck for Best Director.
5. Who were snubbed?
On one hand 'Birdman' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' top the nominations list with 9 each, while on the other hand 'Selma' languishes at the bottom with 2. Though 'Selma' garnered a Best Picture nomination, the director of this Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, Ava DuVernay, missed the opportunity to become the first black woman to be nominated in the Best Director category. Fans were in for a rude shock when 'The Lego Movie', which was widely expected to win the Best Animated Feature, did not get nominated at all. Other snubs include Jake Gyllenhaal for 'Nightcrawler', Jennifer Aniston for 'Cake' and Amy Adams for 'Big Eyes', a performance that won her a Golden Globe. Films like 'Gone Girl' and 'Unbroken' were also expected to get more nominations from the Academy.
6. The Acceptance Speeches
When it comes to acceptance speeches, Oscars have a reputation to bring the best out of its winners (Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Meryl Streep), sometimes the worst (Angelina Jolie, James Cameron, Hilary Swank) and sometimes a stunner (Marlon Brando's refusal to accept his Oscar for 'The Godfather' due to Hollywood's poor treatment of Native Americans). What can we expect this year? If the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild, among other award shows, are to go by, Eddie Redmayne might dedicate his award to people coping with ALS, Michael Keaton may get emotional and thank his son Sean, while JK Simmons is sure to thank his 'Whiplash' co-star Miles Teller for his support and co-operation.
7. The Viral Moment
One of the most memorable moments of last year's Oscars was when Ellen DeGeneres took a star-studded selfie with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong'o and other celebs. The picture set a retweet record on Twitter and broke the internet. Can 2015 Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris - or any other star - top that spectacle this year? Keep your smartphones ready.
8. The Red Carpet
The starry parade on the Oscars red carpet is, for some fashionistas, almost as big as the Academy Awards itself. Who will wear what? Which colours will be in? Who will be the best and the worst dressed celebs? Will anyone make a fashion statement as bold as Lady Gaga who emerged from an egg at the 2011 Grammys? Or as quirky as Bjork who wore a swan dress at the 2001 Oscars? One thing is certain, we won't be hearing Joan Rivers asking her signature question “Who are you wearing?” or calling out on the fashion faux pas. The comedian, television host and long-time red carpet doyenne passed away last September.
9. The Unscripted Moments
Don't some of us watch the Oscars not for the awards, but for those fumbled speeches, nervous moments and crazy antics? Last year, it was John Travolta introducing "the one and only, Adele Dazeem" to sing 'Let It Go' instead of Idina Menzel. And this year, surprisingly, Travolta has been invited again to redeem himself as a presenter. Can we expect some unscripted moments again?
10. In Memoriam
Every year the Academy dedicates a segment to Hollywood's talent that passed away in the year gone by. This time around, the film fraternity's biggest loss was actor Robin Williams, who committed suicide in August. Others who will be remembered include 'The Graduate' director Mike Nichols, veteran actress Lauren Bacall, Sir Richard Attenborough and Bob Hoskins.
For fans in India, the Star Movies channel will offer live coverage starting at 5:30 a.m. local time on Monday, February 23, with the red carpet followed by the ceremony. A repeat is scheduled for 8.30 p.m. the same night.