With the Academy Awards just around the corner, the tabloid-iverse and blogosphere are abuzz with predictions, recaps of earlier awards shows, and countdowns to the big event: What will J-Law be wearing? Who will commit career suicide by forgetting to thank Harvey Weinstein? Will Quvenzhané Wallis be allowed to stay up past her bedtime? We offer you here a “top 10” list of highlights to expect from this year’s Academy Awards.
1. Seth MacFarlane pushing some buttons.
Seth MacFarlane, this year’s host, is following in the footsteps of greats like Billy Crystal and Steve Martin (and not-so-greats such as James Franco and Anne Hathaway). MacFarlane won’t want to risk sullying his reputation (see: Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes), but this is the creator of Family Guy and Ted we’re talking about; he wouldn’t be true to himself if he didn’t cross the line a little bit. Take a cue from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Seth … just don’t advise Taylor Swift on her love life.
2. Adele. Adele. Adele.
Skyfall is nominated for Best Original Song, and Adele will be performing at the ceremony, adding some much needed spice to the typically drab musical performances. With a win, she (and co-writer Paul Epworth) could make Oscar history by turning out one of the few chart-topping albums to take home a golden statue.
3. Twisted Tongues.
Not since Gabourey Sidibe was up for Best Actress has the potential for stumbling over names been so likely. This year especially, as the Best Actress award will be announced by last year's Best Actor, frenchman Jean Dujardin, the stakes are high. Best Actress nominee Emmanuelle Riva might be a no-brainer for her fellow countryman, but Quvenzhané Wallis might fare as well in the pronunciation department.
4. An awkward quote (or two) from Jennifer Lawrence.
This year’s “it-girl,” Jennifer Lawrence, has made a reputation for herself in interviews and at awards shows for being somewhat awkward and mildly inappropriate. If J-Law wins for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook, everyone will be listening to see if she can top her “I beat Meryl” moment at the Golden Globes. She’s unscripted, upfront, and very real, and that’s all part of her charm.
5. Déjà vu?
It was just three years ago that Kathryn Bigelow and Christoph Waltz were on stage accepting Oscars for their work on The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds, respectively. Both nominated this year — Waltz, again for Best Supporting Actor, and Katheryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty for Best Picture (but not for Best Director) — it wouldn’t be surprising to see one or both of these talents make an acceptance speech.
6. PDA from Hugh Jackman and his wife.
Recent interviews have revealed that Deborra-Lee Furness is hurt and upset over allegations that her heartthrob of a husband is gay. Given Jackman’s Best Actor nomination, lenses are sure to be zooming in on him throughout the broadcast, and I’d be surprised not to see the couple cozying up for the camera.
7. Unexpected Fashion Choices.
Perhaps more than at any other awards show, there is an intense focus on the red carpet fashion. This is the ceremony to go big or go home fashion-wise. Watch this year for big splashes of color, asymmetrical hemlines, oodles of bling, and risqué cut-outs (see: the trendy and now infamous “boob-window” dresses).
8. All eyes on Anne Hathaway.
Hathaway’s portrayal of Fantine in Les Miserables has been the talk of critics, fans, and her fellow actors for months. At recent awards shows, Hathaway has been incredibly stylish, disarmingly emotional, and favored to win. Expect nothing less on Sunday.
9. Odd Behavior.
Looking back on past broadcasts, the Academy Awards are a hotbed of strange celebrity antics. Remember Adrian Brody’s spontaneous make-out with Halle Berry? Jack Palance doing one-armed pushups on stage? Or Roberto Benigni climbing over chairs? This year, with Joaquin Phoenix as a nominee for Best Actor, if we learned anything from his appearance on David Letterman, I’d recommend laser focus on the TV if he wins for his performance in The Master.
10. Argo on fire.
Argo has quickly become the frontrunner this season to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The initial controversy over director Ben Affleck’s snub — as often times the Best Director and Best Picture winners go hand in hand — has passed, but now the attention is on Argo for nearly sweeping every recent awards ceremony. It would be no surprise to see the film win the evening’s top award.