10 things to look out for at this year’s oscars

Penises, superbowl style theatrics and a win for Boyhood all in the mix at this year’s Academy Awards on Sunday

by Colin Crummy
20 February 2015, 10:00am

It's the Oscars on Sunday and while a lot of the award categories already feel locked down, there are still plenty of surprises to watch out for. Here's i-D's rundown of what to expect at this year's Academy Awards.

1. There will be penis jokes
The 2013 Oscars started out on a flat note after host Seth McFarlane's opening number. We Saw Your Boobs name checked all the actresses whose breasts the Family Guy creator had seen at the cinema that year. YouTube it to check out Charlize Theron's reaction at 0:42; it looks like she's just witnessed McFarlane defecate live onstage. So, taking its cue from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's heroically feminist opening section at this year's Golden Globes, 2015 feels like the Academy Awards' moment to balance its books. With penis gags. Host Neil Patrick Harris has plenty to work with, starting with his own, which had a big screen outing in Gone Girl.

2. There will be mishaps
Speaking of making a bit of a dick of yourself, it's time for John Travolta to muscle in on the joke when he gets to explain how he mispronounced Let it Go singer Idina Menzel's name at the Oscars 2014. Reading off the autocue, he went with 'Adele Nazseem'. Should have gone to Specsavers, JT.

3. There will be beefs
Hollywood actress, pop star and multiple brand advocate. Is there anything Rita Ora can't do? Well, according to songwriter Diane Warren, Rita's not so arsed with promoting her Oscar nominated song Grateful, from the film Beyond the Lights. She did however, tweet about it to her 4.5 million followers, twice. To top it all off, Grateful is likely to lose out to The Lego Movie's Everything is Awesome in the Best Song category, which leaves Diane plenty of idle time to get #gratefulnotgrateful trending.

4. There'll be some awards
Think of this paragraph as the written equivalent of that breezy montage they do of the technical categories no one really cares about. This year three of the four acting categories are dead certs, so we can skip them and head straight for a loo break. Here goes: best actress will be Julianne Moore in Still Alice, supporting actress should go to Patricia Arquette for Boyhood and J.K. Simmons can legitimately trash the place if he isn't going home with a supporting actor gong for Whiplash.

5. It's between Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor
I'm going to say Michael Keaton for this. The pull of watching a former action hero star gone to seed on a Broadway side show played by a former action hero star gone to seed feels too strong not to crown with an Oscar win.

6. It's probably a straight fight between Boyhood and Birdman for Best Picture and Best Director.
In the two big categories it looks like a race between Boyhood and Birdman. After its success at the BAFTAS, Boyhood has frontrunner status. It's the kind of film that Hollywood can feel good about rewarding. Director Richard Linklater is an outsider, an auteur who prefers Austin, Texas to California. He's created a film with real emotional heft in Boyhood that, you know, resonates with anyone alive in the world. Up until the BAFTAS, Birdman enjoyed frontrunner status, scooping up all the awards in its pathway. It's the kind of film that Hollywood would feel good about rewarding because as well as being very good it resonates with anyone alive in the business they call show. This could go either way so here's some hedging of bets: Boyhood for picture, Birdman for director.

7. Cute underdog of the night #1
Off the back of their BAFTAs win, the boys behind Boogaloo and Graham are in with a good chance to nab the short film Oscar. Their story is about two young brothers who care more about their new pet chickens than the Northern Irish troubles brewing about them in 1970s Belfast. It's written by schoolteacher Ronan Blaney, who said he's been checking emails to Hollywood awards luncheons in between spelling tests. In a hyphenated word: super-cute.

8. Cute underdog of the night #2
Wes Anderson might not appreciate the underdog tag but he'll be undeniably cute come Oscar night in a tremendously Wes Andersonian get-up of wonky bow tie and pink pinstripe shirt. And despite the CV, he is an underdog in Oscar terms; nominated numerous times without success. The Grand Budapest Hotel should see him making room on the mantelpiece. The film is up against Boyhood and Birdman for Original Screenplay but it would be amiss of the Academy not to recognize the singular boldness of Anderson's vision. The film should at least win in production, costume and original score, but it could be WA's night.

9. The British invasion stops here
We caught a whiff of what the American acting profession thinks of Brits in Hollywood with Tina Fey's Golden Globes dig at our dodgy U.S. accents. Despite a plethora of nominations between them, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything are unlikely to steal thunder on foreign turf, the Academy's polite way of suggesting all this public school boy luvvieness has been well, lovely, but it's time to go home, y'all.

10. It could all go a bit Beyonce Superbowl half time
Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris is an awards show veteran whose been at the helm of both the Emmys (for television) and Tonys (for Broadway musicals). If you want a heads up on the way the Oscars opening number will go, watch the opening number when he hosted the Tonys in 2013, an epic, show off distillation of the year in musicals. The Oscars opening number is shaping up similarly: there's new music from Frozen songwriters in a special number called Moving Pictures, special guests (though they're keeping tight lipped on that front) and it is directed by Hamish Hamilton, who steered Beyonce through her Superbowl performance. In terms of theatrics, Birdman won't have anything on this.



Text Colin Crummy
Film still from Boyhood