The 2014 Oscars: Everything you need to know

Gushing winners, a grinning Clooney and Jack Nicholson in shades—what to expect from this weekend’s Academy Awards



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When exactly are the Oscars again?

Sunday night, March 2.

RECOMMENDED: See all Oscars coverage

How can I watch them?

The 86th Academy Awards will air live on Sunday Mar 2, 7pm EST/4pm PST on ABC.

Has it really been a year?

Yep. It’s been 12 months since Lincoln and Les Misérables failed to beat Argo to win the Best Picture award and host Seth MacFarlane failed to amuse anyone by singing a song about actresses called “We Saw Your Boobs.”

Who will give the best acceptance speech?

Matthew McConaughey for sure, if he wins Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club. His Golden Globes acceptance was a dude of a speech. He did funny, he did gracious, he thanked his wife and mum, and he rocked a green velvet tux. The Texan actor won’t be preparing anything in advance, he told Time Out: “I’m superstitious. But I tell you this, if it does happen I won’t be at a loss for words” (read the whole interview here).

So which sacrificial lamb is hosting the event this time around?

Still Hollywood’s number one lesbian called Ellen (only just: Ellen Page came out recently), this year’s frontwoman, Ellen Degeneres, is a no-bullshit talkshow host who’ll hopefully convert her minority status into a licence to tell a few close-to-the-bone jokes. Surely none of them will be about seeing actresses’ breasts?

Will anyone cry?

Hope so. It’s not Oscars night if someone doesn’t do a Gwynnie. But looking down the list, it’s hard to see who. Cate Blanchett is dead cert for Best Actress, but she’s too cool to cry. Jennifer Lawrence (safe bet for Best Supporting Actress) is more of a tripper-upper than a blubberer. Matthew McConaughey won’t weep. This is not looking like a vintage year for waterworks.

Who’ll win the red-carpet Oscar?

Everyone’s new favorite actress and style crush Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), who has been owning the red carpet this awards season. In the proper Oscars, she’s nominated for Best Supporting actress, but Hollywood sweetheart J-Law is poised to win in that category.

Aside from some gushing speeches, what’s the best I can hope for on the night?

So many treats await: Jack Nicholson looking louche and predatory in the front row; someone telling a rude joke about George Clooney followed by a shot of him gamely laughing it off; two randomly mismatched stars (let’s say Barkhad Abdi and Liza Minelli) introducing an award with the words “the art of sound editing…”; someone tripping over their dress; a fistful of overblown, warble-tastic song ’n’ dance routines; that sad bit where they announce the obituaries and no one’s allowed to clap; at least one overexcited winner getting ordered off by the orchestra; some surprisingly normal-looking guys who’ve won for visual effects or animated short and just look completely thrilled about it; and, if we’re really lucky, a wildly inappropriate but heartfelt moment of political grandstanding. End fracking now!

One last thing. How do I pronounce Chiwetel Ejiofor?

Okay, this is the last time we’re going over this. It’s CHOO-it-ell EDGE-ee-oh-for. Got it?

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