For movie lovers, the annual Oscars ceremony is the highlight of the year. As the year's biggest event for cinema, it's a chance to catch impossibly beautiful people in wildly beautiful (and expensive) outfits get super excited for a little gold man on a pedestal. And for many of us, it's a chance to get together with friends on a Sunday night, eat lots of snacks, and snark and cheer away!
But in case you're not quite ready for the 92nd annual Academy Awards, we're happy to walk you down the virtual red carpet with some handy tips that'll help you feel like a winner:
What are the Academy Awards?
Given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy Awards (or "Oscars") honor the best films from the previous year. During the televised ceremony, 24 awards will be given out.
What's an "Oscar"?
The statue handed out to winners during the ceremony is technically called the Academy Award of Merit. It's made of gold-plated bronze on a black metal base and is 13.5 inches tall and weighs 8.5 pounds. The image is of an art deco-style knight holding a crusader's sword, standing on a reel of film. The reel has five spokes, representing the original Academy branches: actors, writers, directors, producers and technicians.
Where can I watch?
The 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony will air on ABC on Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. ET. There are approximately eight hours of red carpet coverage on various other channels ahead of time, as well. (OK, not actually that much, it just can feel like it.)
For the second year in a row, there will be no host.
Who is nominated? And what are the awards to keep an eye on?
"Joker" received the most nominations (11), including one for star Joaquin Phoenix. The film has been divisive, but also has excited fans of comic books, since the character is a riff on the Batman villain. Last year, "Black Panther," also sprung from the pages of comics, earned multiple nominations (including one for best picture), so maybe this year the comics will bring new pow to the ceremony.
The biggest awards go to the actors, the director and the writers, but no one film seems guaranteed to sweep. Acting nominations for "Marriage Story" leads Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are generally considered locks, but this is 25-year-old Saoirse Ronan's ("Little Women") fourth nomination, so she might be considered due. Meanwhile, Johansson also has a supporting actress nomination for "Jojo Rabbit."
As for the men, it's a lineup of power veterans, including Tom Hanks ("A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"), Anthony Hopkins ("The Two Popes"), Al Pacino and Joe Pesci ("The Irishman") and Brad Pitt ("Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood") — and that's just the supporting actors!
Canny Oscar pool gamblers make sure to pay attention to what's called the "below-the-line" categories like costume, hair, makeup, sound, special effects and so forth. John Williams earned his record-breaking 52nd Oscar nomination for "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," and might be picking up his sixth win that night.
Best picture remains tricky; "Joker" has a lot of attention, but the combination of director Martin Scorsese and his crew of Joe Pesci, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in "The Irishman" will tweak the nostalgic hearts of voters, even if it's four hours long. "Little Women" has gotten great buzz, but director Greta Gerwig was not nominated for her directing, which tends to be a bad sign.
Voters do love war films, but "1917" hasn't made much of a splash, except technically. Voters also love things that celebrate showbiz, which means it could be Quentin Tarantino's year for "Hollywood." No clear front-runner means quirky outsiders like "Jojo Rabbit" or even "Parasite" might really have a shot.
In other words, who knows!
But be sure to tune in Feb. 9 and find out.