Love it or hate it, there’s no doubt that it’s the biggest night in Hollywood.
It’s the 88th Academy Awards, where the biggest names in film making are preparing to vie for glory and a golden Oscar.
Earlier this afternoon, Mike Robards with TV Week joined CKNW Weekend’s Shane Foxman to set the scene for tonight’s show.
While there’s plenty of buzz about who will take home the evening’s top prizes (particularly the hotly sought after Best Picture award), Roberds says there’s one part of the show generating even bigger interest.
“I’m really interested in Chris Rock’s opening monologue. I think with all the controversy of diversity and the such I think it’s going to be really interesting to see his take on it, and I think it will be really classy, but I think it will be really biting.”
That, of course, in reference to the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite that cropped up when it was revealed people of colour had largely been shut out of nominations this year – despite strong performances in films like Creed and Straight Outta Compton.
The backlash led the Academy to revise it’s membership rules to try and improve diversity earlier this year, but with a black MC, the issue will no doubt take centre stage for at least part of the show.
Roberds says he’ll be watching a couple of buzzed over categories, including Best Actress.
Larson scored a Golden Globe for the performance, and Roberds says he thinks she’ll pull a repeat despite a strong field of contenders including Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn.
Though he admits his pick is based partly on buzz since the heavy subject matter has so far steered him away.
“I just can’t bring myself to watch it… every once in a while those films come along, and you’re going – you know 12 Years A Slave was that way for me a couple of years ago – I know it’s supposed to be really good but it took me forever to get into that frame of mind to go, okay, today’s the day.”
“There’s an awful lot of sentimentality that goes into the nominations in this, and that’s why my money’s on Stalone taking this one for Creed. Not only – he was great in Creed, he deserves it. But Mark Ruffalo was really good in Spotlight, and Tom Hardy in The Revenant… I mean, this was Tom Hardy’s year. To me, the real competition is Tom Hardy.”
When it comes to the big prizes, Roberds hints it may be a sweep for the year’s most buzzed about film – the partially B.C. shot The Revenant, which is up for awards in 12 categories.
“When I saw it it was like ‘Okay, this is Best Picture, this is best actor for Leonardo Dicaprio, and this is Best Director too – this is going to sweep all the big awards.”
He says the film’s gritty feel, it’s scale and scope, and the fact that director Alejandro González Iñárritu took huge chances like filming entirely in natural light give the film a chance to dominate the awards.
“It had everything going against it to fail, and the fact that it doesn’t fail, the fact that it succeeds monumentally I think is great.”
Of course, as they say in football, “any given Sunday” someone can win or lose… and there’s plenty of room for upsets even on the red carpet.