Oscars 2014: 5 things to watch for at this year's ceremony
Marlene Leung, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, March 2, 2014 1:53PM EST
All eyes will be on Hollywood's Dolby Theatre Sunday night, as the film industry's best and brightest are awarded top honours at the 86th Academy Awards.
Millions of people from around the world are expected to tune into the ceremony, which will be broadcast on CTV starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The ceremony is known for being long – very long. (Last year's ceremony clocked in at three hours and 35 minutes.) So just in case you can't commit for the long haul, here are five things to look out for:
1) Will DiCaprio finally get Oscar gold?
Leonardo DiCaprio is heading into tonight's ceremony with a best actor nomination and a best picture nomination for his role as lead actor and producer in the Martin Scorsese blockbuster "The Wolf of Wall Street."
If DiCaprio wins the best actor award, it will be the first for the 39-year-old. Despite being hailed as one of the best actors of his generation, and routinely starring in Oscar-nominated films, DiCaprio has only been nominated three other times throughout his lengthy career.
This has led many critics and fans to decry the Academy for routinely snubbing the actor, who has so far racked up a whopping 10 Golden Globe nods, and brought home two wins (one of which was for "The Wolf on Wall Street").
But DiCaprio faces some stiff competition this year, going up against Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey.
Hours ahead of the big show, Twitter was abuzz about DiCaprio's chances. Many are rooting for the star, while others were cheekily pointing out the so-called injustice of the entire affair:
Honestly, really don't care what happens tonight at the Oscars other than Leonardo DiCaprio needs to get his. Was the best this year. Do it— Chad Nolan (@MadChad412) March 2, 2014
Juicy J has an Academy Award and Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't. #Oscars— Darius Spencer (@Darius_Spencer) March 2, 2014
Not to brag about my acting skills, but I have the same amount of Oscars as Leonardo DiCaprio— brandon harrop (@internetfaqqot) February 24, 2014
the oscars is tonight prayer circle for leonardo dicaprio pic.twitter.com/wDodhGDSDP— ♡ bones ♡ (@wifiziall_) March 2, 2014
2) A nod to Woody Allen?
The last time Hollywood's elite gathered for a major awards show was at January's Golden Globes, during which director Woody Allen was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.
The fallout from the event was swift, with Allen's son Ronan Farrow tweeting: "Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?" during the show.
Farrow was referencing allegations made by Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan, who accused the filmmaker of molesting her when she was a child. His mother and Allen’s ex, Mia Farrow, had also made veiled comments on Twitter about the Golden Globes tribute.
In her letter, Dylan Farrow pointedly questioned a number of stars, including Oscar-nominated Cate Blanchett, about their willingness to work with Allen.
Blanchett is considered the forerunner to win the best actress award for her role in Allen's film "Blue Jasmine." When Blanchett picked up the Golden Globe for the role in January she thanked the director, and fans will be watching to see if she will once again pay tribute to him on Sunday night if she wins.
This image released by NBC shows Cate Blanchett accepting the award for best actress in a motion picture drama for her role in "Blue Jasmine" during the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)
3) Pharrell Williams gets "Happy"
One musical performance not to miss will be Pharrell Williams performing his hit song "Happy," which is nominated for best original song.
An Oscar win for Williams would add to his growing collection of awards. Back in January he picked up four Grammys, including one for record of the year and another for producer of the year. Also, earlier this week "Happy" clinched the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, unseating Katy Perry's "Dark Horse."
"Happy" is part of the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack and features a delightful video, with guest appearances from a slew of stars including Magic Johnson, Steve Carell, Jimmy Kimmel and even the Minions from the movie.
Watch the original video below and check out the special interactive 24-hour version here: http://24hoursofhappy.com/.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for a repeat appearance of Williams' famous hat, which instantly became an Internet star after the Grammys (it even spawned its own Twitter account).
Pharrell Williams accepts the award for record of the year at the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Matt Sayles / Invision)
4) Best actress gowns
While the Oscars are an official competition rewarding excellence in film, there's also an unofficial competition of sorts: one that rewards and trashes Oscar fashion. And for many fans, it's the parade of gowns on the red carpet that really matters.
This year expectations are high for many female nominees, including fan favourites Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o. Nyong'o in particular has become the fashion world's newest star, winning praise for the gowns she wore at the Golden Globe and the BAFTA Awards.
Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (John Shearer / Invision)
Actress Lupita Nyong'o poses for photographers on the red carpet at the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Opera House in London on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. (Jon Furniss/Invision)
5) Canadian connection
Canadians have left their mark on this year's Academy Awards, with Canucks contributing to a number of Oscar-nominated films.
Montreal director Jean-Marc Vallee directed the drama "Dallas Buyers Club," which is up for best picture. The film, which stars Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner, has a total of six nominations.
Toronto-based composer Owen Pallett and Arcade Fire member Will Butler are nominated for best original score for their work on the "Her" soundtrack.
Rounding out the pack are sound engineer Andy Koyama, from Toronto, is nominated for his work on the film "Lone Survivor," and Toronto-bred producer David Gerson's film "Omar" is up for the best foreign-language film.