Alibi V.26 No.8 • Feb 23-March 1, 2017 

Idiot Box

Go For the Gold

“The Oscars” on ABC

Hardcore movie fans: It’s time to clip out that Oscar ballot in the middle of the Alibi and dust off your cinema-inspired crock pot recipes. The 89th annual Academy Awards—known these days simply as “The Oscars”—is going down this coming Sunday inside the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.

ABC will, of course, save you the trouble of flying to Los Angeles and trying to pass yourself off as Nicolas Cage by simulcasting the evening’s events starting at 5pm with the “Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live From the Red Carpet.” This is your best opportunity to rate the stars’ insanely expensive dresses—at least until NeNe Leakes comes along to officially tell you they’re ugly on Monday night’s “Fashion Police.”

The actual award ceremony begins at 6:30pm. “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” star Jimmy Kimmel inherits the enviable/angst-ridden job of hosting the ceremony. His snarky style could be a nice tonic to the night’s pomposity and self-congratulations. But he seems more like a David Letterman (one time host) than a Johnny Carson (five times). It’s hard to imagine how well the guy who gave us “Crank Yankers” will play to the overseas audience. (Speaking of which: James Corden has got the Grammys, and Stephen Colbert is locked for September’s Emmys. Seth Meyers, I think that means you’re up next in the batting order.)

Entertainment-wise, things are looking solid. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sting, Justin Timberlake and John Legend are scheduled to perform the “Best Original Song” contenders, which would be impressive if you could actually recall any of them. Jackie Chan will get an honorary Oscar, which is cool. And as far as star-watching goes, Halle Berry, Javier Bardem, Leslie Mann, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, Shirley MacLaine, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are listed among the night’s presenters.

So who’s gonna win big? La La Land obviously leads the pack this year with an impressive 14 nominations, tying the record held by 1950’s All About Eve and 1997’s Titanic—meaning those are the three greatest films in Hollywood history (probably not). Although there are more worthy contenders among the night’s nominees (Arrival and Moonlight, for example, which landed eight nominations each), odds are high you’ll be hearing the words “And the Oscar goes to ... La La Land” a lot. The movie industry was largely enchanted by the film’s unabashed embrace of old-school Hollywood musicals. (Never mind it’s not nearly as good as any of the classic musicals it slavishly emulates.) Moonlight and Fences will probably sneak wins into the few categories in which La La Land isn’t nominated (Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress). Beyond that, it’s La La Land’s night to dance off with the spotlight and a whole lot of Oscar gold.

“The Oscars” airs Sunday, Feb. 26, at 6:30pm on KOAT-7.