As usual, the star-studded roster includes Academy Award winners and past and present nominees, as well as a major player who helped orchestrate the downfall of a perennial Oscars fixture, disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. (We’re looking at you, Ashley Judd.)
Who will win? And who should win? Our critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang sat down to swap predictions and favorites in the top eight categories: best picture, director, lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, original screenplay and adapted screenplay.
KENNETH TURAN: Ready or not — and, frankly, by this time people are likely more than ready — the Oscars ceremony is upon us. We’re both going to be glued to our TVs on Sunday, but before that happens we thought we’d take one last look at the nominees in the major categories and talk a little about both who we’d like to win and who we think will win, which are often not the same thing at all.
JUSTIN CHANG: With the exception of one or two categories, I doubt there will be any overlap between my favorites and the academy’s. I'm not complaining, really: It’s good to be going into the night with few expectations, and if a pleasant surprise awaits, so much the better. Shall we begin with the screenplay races?
"Meryl Streep!" the 7-year-old shouted. "I've met Meryl Streep!"
Viola Davis' daughter, Genesis, bounded down the steps of the Oscars stage and hopped into the seat where "The Post" star would sit just a day later. With roughly 24 hours left until the Dolby Theatre opened its doors to for the Academy Awards, the auditorium was filled with production staffers, seat holders featuring the images of nominees and one very excited kid.
One might imagine that the child of an Oscar-winning actress might be unfazed by celebrity. Not Genesis. As she watched her mother rehearse her presentation for Sunday's show, she was wide-eyed, taking note of all the stars who would be in attendance.
Guillermo Del Toro’s sci-fi romance “The Shape of Water” leads the pack of nominees with 13 nominations and is trailed by Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic, “Dunkirk,” and Martin McDonagh’s satirical crime drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” with eight and seven nominations, respectively.
Jimmy Kimmel is back as the 2018 Oscars host and ready in case there’s another best picture snafu after last year’s “Moonlight”/“La La Land” mix-up.
Oscars producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd invited the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” star back as this year’s host — despite the envelope drama, which he had nothing to do with but did a decent job of handling in its wake.
But that doesn’t mean Kimmel isn’t rooting for something similar to happen this year.
Rob Paine, supervising producer of the Academy Awards, remembers an urgent message — one that no one ever imagined they'd hear — coming over his headset: "It's wrong! It's wrong!"
Stationed in a production trailer behind the Dolby, the show's announcer, Randy Thomas, remembers simply thinking, "What the …?"
For those who work behind the scenes on the Oscars production team, last year’s epic best-picture snafu wasn't just a crazy, “did that really just happen?” TV moment. It was a four-alarm disaster that played out on one of the world's biggest stages.
The 2018 Oscars will begin at 5 p.m. Pacific and will be broadcast live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
The ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide, will stream depending on your local cable provider, and ABC has planned additional coverage that will stream live, too.