From sausage fingers to severed fingers and with indie wackos vying alongside billion pound blockbusters, Hollywood’s big night is here and this year there are cinematic treats to suit just about every taste.
While more box office hits like Avatar and Top Gun made the shortlist than usual, they’re not the ones everyone’s talking about on the sandy carpet in rainy Los Angeles.
Instead, Ireland’s hopes rest on a twisted view of a broken male friendship.
The brilliant The Banshees Of Inisherin brings together two of cinema’s best in Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, and looks strong with its nine nominations.
Not that director Martin McDonagh is too bothered.
“I’m not good at public speaking so I’m almost happy when we lose so I don’t have to go up there,” he told Sky News at the start of this awards season.
“But no, it’s better to be in the mix than not to be.
“So it’s weirdly exciting and scary at the same time.”
It’s a year for rookies with 16 of the 20 acting contenders having never been nominated for an Oscar before – including Irishman Paul Mescal and Briton Bill Nighy – with the latter embracing the stiff upper lip stereotype.
“I think it’s probably regrettable and psychiatrists would probably say it’s profoundly unhealthy,” Nighy said.
“But there’s also something heroic about that and it’s funny that you weren’t allowed to really express anything.”
To know more:
Movement coaches, prostheses and learning German: the transformations behind this year’s nominees
Everything Everywhere All At Once Directors In This Year’s Craziest Movie
What about his chances though? Critics say it’s a “Butler vs. Brendan” showdown.
Both gave transformative performances, with Austin Butler impressing as the king in Baz Luhrmann biopic Elvis, while Brendan Fraser returned after a period of absence and was visibly moved by the strong reception his part received. in The Whale.
“The award stuff, it’s new to me, but we’re all frothy and happy and giddy and happy about it, with our fingers crossed and our best hopes for success,” Fraser told Sky News.
“But who knows what the result will be.
“But I’m confident, I think we have a chance to finish.”
Angela Bassett is the one to beat in the Supporting Actress category, where she could very well provide Marvel’s first acting win for her role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
But Jamie Lee Curtis might just take her to the award Sunday for her part in Everything Everywhere All At Once.
And whether Michelle Yeoh can beat out Cate Blanchett for best actress is a tough decision, as it seems written in the stars — an awards prophecy if you will — that Blanchett’s Oscar-winning films come out every nine years — she won for The Aviator in 2004 and Blue Jasmine in 2013, so Tar (released last year) will probably deliver a third to her.
And Ke Huy Quan, a supporting actor nominee those of a certain age will remember from The Goonies, says he’s winning regardless.
Quan, who was nominated for his part in Everything Everywhere All At Once, told Sky News: ‘Honestly, when I made this film, when I decided to go back to acting, I didn’t think this was possible.
“I just wanted a job. I just wanted to be on camera again.
“All of these nominations are so, so awesome. That’s already a win for me.”
When it comes to the big prize, don’t rule out All Quiet On The Western Front causing a major Best Picture shakeup – after all, that’s what happened at this year’s BAFTAs.
But the film to watch is Everything Everywhere All At Once, the unlikely indie, multiverse sci-fi hit that leads the pack with 11 nominations.
And if he doesn’t end up ruling the night, fans can take comfort in the fact that out there in another dimension, he’s sure to take home every award, somewhere multiple times over.
You can watch the Academy Awards on Sunday 12 March from 11pm exclusively on Sky News and Sky Showcase. And for everything you need to know before the ceremony, don’t miss our special Backstage podcast, available now, and don’t miss our special winners episode from Monday morning.