10 things to look out for on Oscars night

HOLLYWOOD, USA – The Academy Awards have seen their fair share of "moments" – both scripted and unscripted – over the years. Here are 10 things to look out for at the 87th Oscars on Sunday, February 22 (Monday, February 23 in Manila):

New host

All eyes will be on Neil Patrick Harris, who has the tough task of following widely-praised Ellen DeGeneres as Oscars host. The Emmy-winning 41-year-old is not short on talent -- his past hosting duties include the Emmys and Broadway's Tonys, and he can sing and dance with the best of them – but how will he make his Oscars mark? Watch for that opening monologue / set piece. 

Check out his performance at the 2013 Tony Awards:


Viral moment

If only Bradley's arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars pic.twitter.com/C9U5NOtGap — Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014

Speaking of Ellen, the daytime talk-show hostess nearly broke the Internet with her famed selfie with Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep and a host of other stars at last year's show. Can Harris – or anyone else – top that this year? Watch out for those smartphones.

Brit invasion

Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction icon John Travolta is among a star-studded line-up of presenters – but he will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's mangling of "Frozen" songstress Idina Menzel's name (it came out as "Adele Dazeem"). Read those lips.

Mexican repeat?

Can Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu repeat fellow Mexican Alfonso Cuaron's best director triumph last year – and maybe go one better? Inarritu is frontrunner in the category for his dark comedy Birdman, which is also tipped for best picture honors. Cuaron won best director last year for Gravity, but missed out on the evening's top prize. 

Finally Moore?

Veteran Julianne Moore, a self-declared "late bloomer" at the age of 54, is hoping to make it fifth time lucky, after four previous Oscar nods. She is the frontrunner for best actress for her portrayal of a linguistics professor suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's in Still Alice.


Photo by Ian Langsdon/EPA

Probably the most famous political moment in Oscars history came in 1973 when Marlon Brando won for The Godfather and refused the award, sending up on stage a native American woman to protest at the abuse of her kin by the film industry. Possible causes this year – the recent surge in police killings of African Americans? The lack of any black acting nominees? The Charlie Hebdo attacks? Watch those acceptance speeches.

Snowden flick

Talking of politics, a movie about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden could generate some debate: Citizenfour by US filmmaker Laura Poitras is a frontrunner for best documentary. Watch out for her speech, if she wins.

In memoriam

Photo by Claudio Onorati/EPA

Each year the show includes a segment dedicated to Hollywood greats who passed in 2014. This year, Tinseltown's biggest loss was comic actor Robin Williams, who committed suicide in August. Others mourned include The Graduate director Mike Nichols and actress Lauren Bacall, along with Britain's Richard Attenborough and Bob Hoskins. – Rappler.com

John Travolta and Julianne Moore photos from Shutterstock