We looked forward every year to The Oscars for a number of reasons. There is the anticipation to find out which of the last year’s films will be immortalized through recognition, and of course the build up to the unparalleled glitz and glamour of the event. Some of the wealthiest, most beautiful people in the world are gathered in one place for us just for one night.

Jimmy Kimmel hosts the event again after positive reception to his performance last year. A talk-show stalwart, expect measured, professional comedy, drawing comfortable laughs from his the crowd and the audience at home. Also anticipate an undertone of political commentary, as Kimmel made several remarks on the then-recently concluded American elections last year.

On to the awards. The favorite for the Best Picture award this year is The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro. Complete in its cinematic presentation, the film combines beautiful visuals, savvy direction, and strong performances to emerge as the top contender. The two biggest potential threats to this coup are the dreamy Call Me By Your Name and the masterful dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Both have a shot, but don’t count on it. Expect to see Del Toro take Best Director as well.

The Best Actor and Actress picks are straightforward. While the lineup for Best Actress this year is absolutely stacked, with luminaries such as Judi Dench, Jessica Chastain and Annete Bening receiving nominations, it is difficult to see beyond Frances McDormand’s striking, inch-perfect performance in Thre Billboards. Gary Oldman surely has Best Actor in the bag this year, following his definitive performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Expect Three Billboards and The Shape of Water to dominate the ceremony. Three Billboards is the favorite for Best Supporting Actor, after Sam Rockwell’s surprising disappearance into his role as a wayward cop, and Best Original Screenplay. The Shape of Water is in line for further awards such as Best Production Design and Best Original Score.

This year’s red carpet may not replicate the excess of the past. The #MeToo movement that has swept Hollywood has found its way to award shows by attendees dressing in black in solidarity for victims of sexual harassment, and the trend is expected to continue at the Oscars. Still, look out for exceptions to the norm.

Image credit: Screen grab Oscars 2017