You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Red Carpet

  • Miss New York chosen as Miss America 2015
    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Miss New York Kira Kazantsev was named the new Miss America Sunday night, marking the third year in a row that a contestant from her state has walked away with the crown in the nationally televised pageant.
  • Make the Emmys ‘one-and-done’
    There was something embarrassing about the rash of repeat treating on Monday’s Emmycast. It might have left viewers wondering if they had stumbled on a rerun of last year’s show, or the one before that.
  • Not a good night for movies stars at Emmys
    The Emmys welcomed plenty of movie stars to television’s biggest awards show, including Julia Roberts, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Spacey, Mark Ruffalo and the reigning Oscar winner for best actor, Matthew McConaughey.
Advertisement
Associated Press
Preparations continue on the red carpet during rainy weather for the 86th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Friday.

Surprises at Academy Awards may be few

LOS ANGELES – After a blustery few days of torrential downpours, Hollywood appears ready for smooth sailing at the Academy Awards.

The 86th annual Oscar ceremony kicks off Sunday night from the Dolby Theatre. Unlike the stormy hosting of Seth MacFarlane last year, this Oscar show with host Ellen DeGeneres has a deliberately safe vibe of cheery song-and-dance.

The nimble and amiable DeGeneres is expected to return the broadcast to more traditional territory. Many of the night’s biggest categories, too, seem to hold little chance for surprise.

The well-established favorites include Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto. Each comes into Oscar Sunday having won a parade of awards over the last few months, including honors at Saturday’s Spirit Awards.

The night’s biggest question mark won’t come until the very end. The historical drama “12 Years a Slave,” the 3-D space spectacle “Gravity” and the con-artist caper “American Hustle” are vying for best picture in the night’s closest contest.

“Gravity” is expected to lead the ceremony in total awards, cleaning up in technical categories like visual effects and cinematography. Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron is considered a lock for best director for seamlessly marshalling new digital technology to render the lost-in-space drama. He would be the first Latino to win the category.

While the global hit easily topped the other eight best-picture nominees at the box office, the lower budget, less widely seen “12 Years a Slave” is believed to have a narrow edge for the academy’s top honor.

Though voters last year chose entertainment over history lesson (Ben Affleck’s “Argo” over Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln”), many see Steve McQueen’s brutal adaptation of Solomon Northup’s memoir as a landmark film difficult to watch but impossible to overlook.

ABC, which is telecasting the ceremony, hopes the drama of the best-picture race will be enough to entice viewers. The show last year drew an audience of 40.3 million, up from 39.3 million the year before when the silent-film ode “The Artist” won best picture.

–––

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake–coyle

Advertisement