Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 89th annual Academy Awards
Football fans kicked off February with a bang, but for movie fans, the big show is at the end of the month. The Oscars is the Super Bowl of the film industry, and this year’s competition is intense.
Jimmy Kimmel (“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) welcomes the biggest stars in Hollywood to the Dolby Theatre as he hosts the 89th annual Academy Awards, airing Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC. America’s oldest entertainment industry award, the Academy Awards — or Oscars, as they are commonly known — recognizes cinematic excellence in the film industry over the course of the preceding year, from acting and writing to costume design, animation and more.
The iconic golden Oscar statuette has become the most coveted trophy in the entertainment industry, and, perhaps, in living rooms around the world. In the past, lavish Oscar parties were all the rage as movie fans gathered friends together to watch the ceremony and see their favorite stars accept the awards. These days, the party is a global one. Televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide, the event is expected to draw millions, if not hundreds of millions, of viewers. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson has faith that Kimmel will entertain them all.
“He is razor sharp, funny and unpredictable, and has proven himself a master of live event television, which is perfect for our audience around the world,” she said in an official ABC news release.
For his part, Kimmel already has his game face on: “I don’t think of this as my first time hosting the Oscars, I think of this as my last time hosting the Oscars,” he quipped in a promo for the show, later calling the gig “a tight wire act.”
Kimmel may be the quarterback, but the star players are the nominees. In a pre-Oscar special, celebs hobnob on the legendary red carpet in one of the fashion industry’s biggest nights of the year. Almost as highly anticipated as the ceremony itself, the walk down the red carpet offers viewers a glimpse of Hollywood glamor before any statues are handed out.
Chosen by members of the Academy, this year’s list of nominees includes a mix of major box office draws and heart wrenching gems. Nominations in 24 categories were announced during a global live-stream event on oscar.com and oscars.org, as well as “Good Morning America,” Tuesday, Jan. 24.
“La La Land” — the critically lauded old-school Hollywood musical — leads the list of nominees, earning an astounding 14 nominations, which ties it with “Titanic” (1997) and “All About Eve” (1950) for the movie with the most nominations ever. “La La Land” has doubled its odds in the Best Song category with two nominations, one for “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and the other for “City of Stars.” Ryan Gosling (“The Notebook,” 2004) and Emma Stone (“The Amazing SpiderMan,” 2012) are both up in their respective leading actor categories, and the film is up in the Best Picture category, which also includes “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Hidden Figures,” “Lion,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight.”
Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight” has been nominated for eight awards, while Australian film “Lion,” war drama “Hacksaw Ridge” and small-town drama “Manchester by the Sea” each earned six Oscar nods.
Gosling finds himself in good company in the Actor in a Leading Role category, which also includes Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”), Andrew Garfield (“Hacksaw Ridge”), Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”) and perennial favorite Denzel Washington (“Fences”). The women’s field is equally impressive with Stone and peers Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”), Ruth Negga (“Loving”), Natalie Portman (“Jackie”) and Oscar veteran Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”).
Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”), Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”), Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”), Dev Patel (“Lion”) and Michael Shannon (“Nocturnal Animals”) are up for an Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar, while Viola Davis (“Fences”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”), Nicole Kidman (“Lion”), Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”) and Michelle Williams (“Manchester by the Sea”) find themselves in contention for the supporting actress Oscar.
Also of note is the fact that Mel Gibson has been nominated in the directing category for “Hacksaw Ridge” after years of being shunned in Hollywood following a scandal involving leaked audio recordings of Gibson allegedly making racist and anti-Semitic remarks. The directing category also includes Denis Villeneuve for “Arrival,” Damien Chazelle for “La La Land,” Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea” and Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight.”
In addition to this year’s nominees, the ceremony includes appearances by all of last year’s winners in the big acting categories. Top actor Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”), actress Larson, supporting actor Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) and supporting actress Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) return to the Oscar stage to present the awards in their respective categories.
More than a few viewers will likely tune in to see whether the presenters and honorees will take a political stand when they take the stage. Since President Trump took office, many celebrities have been very vocal about their opinions of his policies and awards season has provided a prime opportunity to share their thoughts.
This year’s Oscar ceremony is one to watch. Celebrate the year in film as Kimmel hosts the 89th annual Academy Awards, airing Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC.
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as seen in “La La Land”