2017 Oscars: 5 Things to Know Before Hollywood's Biggest Night

89th Annual Academy Awards will broadcast on ABC tonight
By McKenna Aiello Feb 26, 2017 11:00 AMTags
Oscars 2017: Notable Nominees
ABC/Randy Holmes

1. Man of the Hour: Kicking things in a few short hours is Jimmy Kimmel, who will host his first-ever Oscars only months after playing emcee at the 2016 Emmy Awards. The late-night TV extraordinaire follows in Chris Rock's footsteps, who didn't shy away from tackling the tough stuff during last year's telecast. Will Kimmel address the nation's political climate à la Meryl Streep at the 2017 Golden Globes?

Outwardly, his plan is still mostly up in the air, as he told The New York Times, "There definitely is a point at which [politics] becomes too much. There's also a point at which it becomes too little. And finding that balance is, for me, the most difficult hurdle, when it comes to this broadcast." One thing audience members can expect from their host? Snacks! After his PB&J hit at the Emmys, Kimmel promised food will be incorporated "in some way again."

Dale Robinette

2. La La Land v. Moonlight: The Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling-starring musical has swept the 2017 award season, and it only needs to win 12 of the 14 categories its nominated in to become the most honored film in Academy Award history. La La Land already broke the record at the Globes, and given its co-stars penchant for almost always dominating the Best Actor and Actress lineups, the "City of Stars" appears poised to award the film with top honors. 

Not so fast, though. La La Land faces its stiffest competitor in Moonlight, a Barry Jenkins-directed drama with a plot that couldn't be further from its rivals cheery song and dance numbers. Moonlight most recently bested La La Land at the 2017 Writers Guild Awards, and if the Academy dubs the latter's hype overexposed at this point, it's really anyone's game.  

Oscars Class Photos Throughout the Years

3. #OscarsNotAsWhite: After facing an onslaught of criticism over the lack of diversity within last year's nomination pool, The Academy responded with its most multicultural class yet. After two consecutive years in which there weren't any actors of color nominated, seven people of color were among the 20 acting nominees, including best actor nominee Denzel Washington for Fences and best actress nominee Ruth Negga for Loving.

Four of the nine films up for Best Picture (Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Lion and Fences) star predominantly diverse casts and each have been honored with several accolades across the 2017 award season. Get ready for more than a handful surprises later this evening. 


4. Liquid Courage Anyone?: The Academy Awards is no doubt an incredibly nerve-racking experience for anyone nominated, but lucky for party goers, they'll be able to sip on one (or a few) of more than 12,000 glasses of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne being served. That's a whopping 1,400 bottles to go around, so dehydration certainly won't be an issue for the stars. Add that to 2,200 bottles of Francis Ford Coppola wine, 10 kilograms of caviar, 7,500 pieces of shrimp, 250 Maine lobsters, 800 stone crab claws and 15 pounds of winter black truffles from Burgundy and one word comes to mind: Decadent

Don't even get us started on dessert, which includes 20 gallons of homemade gelato, 1,050 handmade waffle clones and 7,000 mini-chocolate Oscar statues. Treat. Yo. Self. 

Oscars 2017: Party Pics
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

5. He's Bringing Sexy Back: Bringing animated flick Trolls to life at the 2017 Oscars is none other than Justin Timberlake, who will perform his nominated song, "Can't Stop the Feeling." Sorry La La Land lovers, as E! News exclusively revealed, Emma and Ryan will not take the stage to sing "City of Stars," but they've got good company in co-star John Legend, who will perform that and  "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)."

Rounding out the Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song category is Sting, who will perform "The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story and Lin Manuel-Miranda, who will perform "How Far I'll Go" from Disney's Moana alongside  Auli'i Cravalho. If Miranda wins, he'll join an elite group of fellow EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winners and become the youngest to do so. 

The Oscars airs tonight on ABC at 5:30 p.m. 

For complete Oscars coverage, tune in to E! News at 7 p.m. and Fashion Police at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27.