The 88th annual Academy Awards gets underway at 6 p.m. MST on Denver7.
Below are seven things the host and producer of In Focus on Colorado Public Television says viewers should watch for during tonight's telecast.
#OscarsSoWhite – The hashtag was actually coined just over a year ago when the 2015 Oscar nominees also lacked diversity, however the conversation around inclusion and the film industry reaches back to the beginnings of the Academy. This year host Chris Rock will again have an important platform to address the issue with humor. Many expect he will meet the challenge. How will he accomplish it?
The Orchestra – In recent years the Oscars telecast has kept the orchestra out of the theater and piped the music in from the Capitol Records building about a mile away. While it was a technical accomplishment, there is something special about live music, in the same theater.
Thank You – The producers of this year’s Oscars (David Hill, Reginald Hudlin) invited the nominees to submit their “Thank You” lists in advance. The idea is to avoid the winner using up their 45 seconds reading a list of names from a crumpled slip of paper, (or avoid the regret of leaving someone out) but instead use their time for a more heartfelt speech. The list provided will scroll across the bottom of the screen during the speeches. Perhaps we may see several screen shots posted on social media by those listed.
When is that category? – Another change the producers are planning is the order of the evening. They shared this idea with GMA’s Lara Spencer. So don’t expect the Supporting Acting categories to necessarily be at the top and the remaining marquee awards to be at the end.
Vice President Biden – Yes, Vice President Biden will attend the ceremony. He will introduce Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You” from the documentary on sexual assault “The Hunting Ground”. The song is co-written by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga. It is nominated for Best Original Song. The White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted the Vice President is involved in efforts to end violence and sexual assault against women. This will not be the first time a sitting Vice President attends the ceremony. In 1931 Vice President Charles Curtis spoke at the 4th annual banquet. (CIMARRON – RKO Radio won Best Picture that year.)
Back-to-Back - Alejandro González Iñárritu is widely favored to win for Best Director for The Revenant which would make him the first to win that category back-to-back since Joseph L. Mankiewicz (A Letter To Three Wives in 1950 and All About Eve in 1951). Iñárritu won for best director for Birdman last year.
A Three-peat? – There could be a history making three-peat on Sunday if The Revenant takes home Best Picture. New Regency produced 12 Years a Slave and Birdman; this would be the first time a production company wins that category three years in a row.
You can print out your own ballot by clicking here.