The 95th Academy Awards take place on Sunday, with the wacky multiverse film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” topping the nominations with 11.
Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel returns to host the Oscars for the third time. Its first stint ended with the infamous mix-up that saw “La La Land” accidentally named Best Picture of 2017.
Assuming the right envelopes are handed out this year, here are five more things to watch for on Hollywood’s Biggest Night:
Rihanna and ‘RRR’ but no Gaga
All five Best Song nominees are invited to perform live at the Oscars.
It means pop superstar Rihanna will be on stage, just weeks after her long-awaited Super Bowl halftime show, during which she revealed she was pregnant.
She will sing “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” while Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and “Everything Everywhere” star Stephanie Hsu will perform “This Is A Life.”
Perhaps the biggest spectacle will be “Naatu Naatu”, the infectious spectacle of India’s “RRR”, which recently had audiences dancing in their seats at Hollywood cinemas.
Unfortunately, there will be no Lady Gaga. Nominated for “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” she’s unavailable because she’s “filming a movie,” Oscar producers said.
Lenny Kravitz will bring even more stardust to the gala, performing music to accompany the annual “In Memoriam” tribute.
Best actress in history?
This hotly contested category risks shaking up tradition and breaking records.
If Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere”) defeats Cate Blanchett (“Tar”), she will become the first Asian woman to win Best Actress.
If Blanchett wins, she will become only the eighth actor in history to win three Oscars.
Meanwhile, Andrea Riseborough would surely be the most unlikely winner of all time, having earned her nomination for obscure indie flick ‘To Leslie’ thanks to a controversial campaign by celebrity friends from the film’s cast and crew. .
Finally, there is the question of who awards the prize.
Traditionally, it’s the previous year’s Best Actor winner.
Considering Will Smith is serving a decade-long Oscar ban (see below), that doesn’t seem very likely.
Click the cat
Just as it’s impossible to write a preview of this year’s Oscars without mentioning “The Slap,” expect the ceremony to deal with the incident.
For those who live under a rock, Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock onstage at last year’s Oscars for making a joke about his wife.
Rock himself got the ball rolling last weekend, joking in a live Netflix special that he recently rooted for the slave master who beats Smith’s character in his latest movie “Emancipation.”
Oscar organizers say the plan is to “acknowledge it” – presumably in Kimmel’s opening monologue – and then “move on”.
But will the various presenters and winners be able to keep Smith’s name out of their mouths?
Will Angela Bassett “do the thing?”
Before becoming the subject of a viral meme — courtesy of Ariana DeBose’s goofy rap lyrics at the BAFTAs — Bassett was best known for her enviable acting resume.
With acclaimed movies like “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “Boyz n the Hood,” to name a few, it’s surprising she’s never won an Oscar.
It would be even more surprising if his first win came for a superhero movie.
But that seems like a likely outcome, after his role as Queen Ramonda in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ earned the first-ever Oscar acting nomination for a Marvel film.
She will have to face Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere”) and Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) to claim victory.
‘All Quiet’ makes noise
Karl Marx said that history repeats itself – the first time as a tragedy, the second as a farce.
He probably wasn’t talking about the Oscars, but if “All Quiet on the Western Front” wins Best Picture, it will be the first movie to win Hollywood’s biggest award twice.
The original English-language film adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel won top honors in 1930, at the third Academy Awards.
If this year’s German-language version wins, it will be Netflix’s first Best Picture – just a year after Apple made it the first streamer to win Hollywood’s biggest prize.
If there’s one movie that can stop the “Everything Everywhere” juggernaut on Sunday, it’s probably this one.