The 89th Academy Awards, honoring outstanding achievements in film, will be held Feb. 26, 2017. The biggest night of the year for cinephiles, the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, marks the culmination of a season of awards leading up to the event. Held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles, the Academy Awards will be broadcast on ABC.
Who is hosting?
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel will emcee the ceremony, marking his debut as the host of the prestigious awards. Kimmel, who hosts the late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC, previously hosted the Emmy Awards in 2016 and 2012. His 2016 stint earned 11.3 million viewers, which Nielsen reports was the least-watched Emmys on record. Despite the low numbers, Kimmel's performance received positive reviews. Kimmel has also hosted the American Music Awards five times and the ESPYS.
Nominees and predictions
The nominees will be announced Jan. 24, 2017, but bets on who will win in the coming year began after the 2016 awards show ended, with predictions favoring either Natalie Portman or Emma Stone for best actress, for their respective performances in Jackie and La La Land. Denzel Washington's performance in Fences has earned acclaim, along with Casey Affleck's turn in Manchester by the Sea for best actor.
La La Land, the musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, has been considered a frontrunner for best picture, but it has recently faced some backlash, which may result in a victory for Hidden Figures, the story of three female mathematicians working at NASA. While victories at the Critics' Choice Awards seem to predict some victories at the Oscars, the Golden Globe nominations point to some potential surprises at the Academy Awards.
Diversity, or lack thereof, has been a hot topic for the Academy Awards. Previous nominations received a great deal of backlash for not including any black actors, inspiring the popular hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Membership in the Aaademy's voters has significantly lacked diversity in the past, and, in an attempt to increase racial and sexual diversity, 683 people were invited to join the most diverse class in the academy's history.
Lack of racial diversity was addressed by Chris Rock, who hosted the 2016 ceremony, which garnered 34.4 million viewers and was ranked as the third least-watched Oscars in the award show's recent history.