Jimmy Kim­mel hosts the 89th an­nual Academy Awards

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - TV TIMES - By Kyla Brewer

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”

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