Big screen’s night to shine on the lit­tle screen

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - MICHAEL STOREY The TV Col­umn ap­pears Sun­day, Tues­day and Thurs­day. Email: mstorey@arkansason­line.com

It’s Oscar’s night on ABC and it all be­gins with Os­cars Open­ing Cer­e­mony: Live From the Red Car­pet, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

You know the drill — 90 min­utes of in­ter­views with nom­i­nees, pre­sen­ters and per­form­ers ar­riv­ing for the awards cer­e­mony, each told they look fab­u­lous and asked who they are wear­ing.

Full dis­clo­sure: Try as I may, I just can’t work up en­thu­si­asm to watch peo­ple walk down a car­pet and say they’re wear­ing Ralph Lau­ren. It comes off as disin­gen­u­ous, hokey and 90 min­utes of my life that could be bet­ter spent.

But for those who en­joy this sort of thing, ABC has you cov­ered. In fact, E! be­gins its Oscar count­down show at 12:30 p.m., with live red car­pet cov­er­age at 4:30.

ABC fol­lows at 7:30 p.m. with the ac­tual awards, hosted by Jimmy Kim­mel at the Dolby Theatre in Los An­ge­les. It’ll be three hours of wait­ing to see which celebri­ties will take their mo­ment in the spot­light to bash Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Don’t doubt me. It may be a long night of Hol­ly­wood one- up­man­ship as win­ners try for their own Meryl Streep Golden Globe mo­ment.

Maybe Streep will have the chance to one-up her­self. The ac­tress (whom Trump tweeted was “over­rated”) has won three Os­cars and been nom­i­nated 20 times, go­ing back to 1978’s The Deer Hunter. This year, she’s up for Best Ac­tress again.

Among those sched­uled to per­form this year’s nom­i­nated songs are Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Mi­randa, Sting, Justin Tim­ber­lake and John Le­gend.

Mi­randa will per­form his song, “How Far I’ll Go,” writ­ten for Moana. Six­teen-yearold Auli’i Cravalho, who was the voice of Moana, will join him.

Sting, a 17-time Grammy win­ner, will per­form “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Fo­ley Story. Sting cowrote the song with J. Ralph.

Tim­ber­lake will sing his “Can’t Stop the Feel­ing” from Trolls, and Le­gend will per­form “Au­di­tion (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars,” both from La La Land.

The pre­sen­ters in­clude past Oscar win­ners and nom­i­nees. They are Halle Berry,

Jamie Dor­nan, Chris Evans, Gael Gar­cia Ber­nal, Sa­muel L. Jack­son, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son and Hailee Ste­in­feld.

Oth­ers on the list are Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Lar­son, Shirley Ma­cLaine,

Dakota John­son, Kate McK­in­non, Mark Ry­lance and Alicia Vikan­der.

All the above is an­cil­lary glam­our and glitz. The real rea­son for the night is to honor Hol­ly­wood’s best of 2016. It’s the 89th time the cer­e­mony has been held and a to­tal of 3,048 Os­cars have been handed out so far.

Here are the Big 4 nom­i­na­tions.

Best Pic­ture: Ar­rival, Fences, Hack­saw Ridge, Hell or High Wa­ter, Hid­den Fig­ures, La La Land, Lion, Manch­ester by the Sea, Moon­light.

Best Ac­tor: Casey Af­fleck, Manch­ester by the Sea; An­drew Garfield, Hack­saw Ridge; Ryan Gosling, La La Land; Viggo Mortensen, Cap­tain Fan­tas­tic; Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, Fences.

Best Ac­tress: Is­abelle Hup­pert, Elle; Ruth Negga, Lov­ing; Natalie Port­man, Jackie; Emma Stone, La La Land; Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenk­ins.

Best Di­rec­tor: De­nis Vil­leneuve, Ar­rival; Mel Gib­son, Hack­saw Ridge; Damien Chazelle, La La Land; Ken­neth Lon­er­gan, Manch­ester by the Sea; Barry Jenk­ins, Moon­light.

What about di­ver­sity this year? Oscar has come un­der heavy crit­i­cism the past two years for a lack of di­ver­sity among the nom­i­nees in the ma­jor cat­e­gories. There was not a sin­gle black face to be seen.

This year, how­ever, there are seven mi­nor­ity ac­tors nom­i­nated, in­clud­ing a record-ty­ing six black ac­tors. Ex­pect some com­men­tary about that from the stage.

Fi­nally, be­ing a TV guy, it’s rare that I go out to the movies while they are still in the­aters. Nonethe­less, I find it fas­ci­nat­ing how many view­ers watch the Os­cars with­out ever hav­ing seen the films.

I looked up the box of­fice num­bers for this year’s Best Pic­ture nom­i­nees. As of this writ­ing, Hid­den Fig­ures leads the way with $133.8 mil­lion in ticket sales, fol­lowed by La La Land with $127.9 mil­lion.

The other nom­i­nees in or­der were (in mil­lions): Ar­rival ($99.5); Hack­saw Ridge ($66.6); Fences ($54.2); Manch­ester by the Sea ($45.1); Lion ($31.5); Hell or High Wa­ter ($ 27.0); and Moon­light ($20.5).

Is there a con­nec­tion be­tween qual­ity and the box of­fice? Not usu­ally. Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War pulled in $408 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally in 2016 and $1.2 bil­lion world­wide. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Find­ing Dory and Zootopia weren’t far be­hind.

By the way, the pro­duc­tion bud­get for Hid­den Fig­ures was $ 25 mil­lion. The cost for Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War was a stag­ger­ing $250 mil­lion, not in­clud­ing mar­ket­ing costs.

Jimmy Kim­mel hosts the 89th Academy Awards be­gin­ning at 7:30 p.m. to­day on ABC.

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