The 89th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Here’s what we’re hoping will (and won’t) happen on the night.
Don’t try and do a Chris Rock, Jimmy
Not that anyone would be able to replicate Rock’s searing hosting job at the Oscars last year, but middle-of-the-road Kimmel is especially unsuited for it. Like the other late-night Jimmy, who hosted the Golden Globes this year, Kimmel is a professional; if gets through the opening monologue and tosses in a Matt Damon joke or two, he’ll probably go over okay.
There’s nothing more inelegant and self-congratulatory than a selfie stuffed with celebrities. The Cannes Film Festival banned selfies on the red carpet last year. The Oscars haven’t announced any such measure, so we’ll settle for a string of two- or three-celeb selfies and nothing like the photograph Ellen DeGeneres orchestrated in 2014.
Fireworks when Best Foreign Film is announced
The five nominees in this category released a statement on Friday condemning nationalist politics. Regardless of the result, you can expect a stinging rebuke of the travel ban that has prevented director Asghar Farhadi from attending.
Bonnie and Clyde revisited
To mark the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, the film’s stars, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, will reunite to present the award for Best Picture. One can only hope they come out dressed like they did in the film (or at least wear the hats).
Om Puri in the In Memoriam section
He was included in the BAFTA tribute reel, and while Puri has worked more in the UK than in the US, it would be nice if the Academy took note of his contribution to Indian, and world, cinema.
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A little bit of Jackie
Since 2009, the Honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement is presented at the annual Governors Awards rather than at the Oscar ceremony. Jackie Chan got his first Oscar there last year, and it was beautiful. It would be very satisfying if he and his fellow winners Lynn Stalmaster, Anne V. Coates and Frederick Wiseman could get a few minutes on this much bigger stage.
An Isabelle Huppert win
Emma Stone was winsome in La La Land, Natalie Portman formidable in Jackie. Yet, it’s difficult not to root for an Isabelle Huppert Oscar win to go with her two Césars, two wins at Cannes and the European Film Festival, and two Volpi cups at the Venice Film Festival.
Less pretence about honouring the best in cinema
The fewer presenters who talk about “honouring the best in cinema”, the better. The Oscars, as always, has done an admirable job this year of ignoring the rest of the world and concentrating on the US and UK. They remain the awards for the best in English-language cinema, and frankly, not even that a lot of the time.