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Oscars 2018: What to expect from this year's ceremony

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media captionA quick guide to the films up for best picture at the Oscars 2018

The Oscars are taking place later, in the shadow of the sexual assault scandal that has rocked the industry in recent months.

Hollywood's biggest stars will gather on Sunday evening at the Dolby Theatre for the 90th Academy Awards.

But a spotlight will be shone too on the issues that have transformed the film world, symbolised by the Time's Up movement.

The Shape of Water leads the field with 13 nominations.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionKimmel (right) was given credit for his handling of the La La Land and Moonlight mix up last year

Jimmy Kimmel is taking on hosting duties for the second year in a row, having coped admirably with the envelope mix-up that saw La La Land accidentally named best picture last year instead of Moonlight.

He's expected to address politics during the show but there's bound to be room for a couple of jokes at the expense of his A-list friends like Matt Damon.

The chat show host also hasn't ruled out a return to the stage for Warren Beatty, who was the best picture presenter - alongside Faye Dunaway - last year.

However, Kimmel has already told ABC he won't reference Me Too and Time's Up because he doesn't want the show to be about "reliving people's sexual assaults".

But it may be that Time's Up dominates the conversation both on the red carpet and in the winners' speeches anyway, with Hollywood having seen a seismic shift.

image copyrightNetflix
image captionMudbound's Mary J Blige will be performing at the ceremony and is also up for best supporting actress.

During the show there will be performances from each best song nominee, including Sufjan Stevens, Common and Mudbound's Mary J Blige - who, as well as singing on the soundtrack, is also up for best supporting actress.

Guillermo del Toro is tipped to take the best director prize for the otherworldly romance, starring British actress Sally Hawkins as a mute janitor who falls in love with an amphibious man.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is highly tipped to take home the night's top prize - best picture.

Others nominees include Get Out, the horror film starring Skins' actor Daniel Kaluuya, and Christopher Nolan's war epic Dunkirk, featuring Harry Styles's debut acting role.

image copyrightUniversal
image captionKaluuya goes up against Gary Oldman for best actor.

Kaluuya is also nominated in the best actor category - against fellow Brit Gary Oldman, for his transformation into wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Lesley Manville is nominated for best supporting actress for Phantom Thread, with other British nominees including costume designer Jacqueline Durran and cinematographer Roger Deakins.

Three Billboards' lead Frances McDormand, who stars as a grieving mother determined to avenge her teenage daughter's brutal death, is widely expected to be named best actress. She's already won that accolade at the Golden Globes and the Baftas.

However, she faces competition from three-time winner Meryl Streep for The Post, as well as Saoirse Ronan for her role in Lady Bird as Christine, a teenager on the cusp of adulthood.

image copyrightEntertainment One
image captionCould Allison Janney win best supporting actress for LaVona Golden in I, Tonya?

The best supporting actress Oscar seems sewn up, thanks to Allison Janney's portrayal of skating champion Tonya Harding's cold-as-ice mother. The West Wing star told the BBC she found playing the part of the embittered, uncaring LaVona Golden to be "liberating".

Laurie Metcalf has been praised too though, for her realistic portrayal of Lady Bird's mother. The film is Greta Gerwig's first as director and has seen her become only the fifth woman to be nominated for best director.

Outside of the acting awards, there are British contenders in the best short film category, with Rachel Shenton nominated for The Silent Child. And British animation company Magic Light Pictures is up for best animated short for Revolting Rhymes.

image copyright20th Century Fox
image captionThree Billboards triumphed at the Baftas with five awards.

In the best animation race, Coco - DisneyPixar's film set in Mexico on Day of the Dead - is expected to take home the prize. The best foreign picture is seen as a two-horse race, between The Square and Loveless.

After the ceremony, stars will flock to the Governor's Ball - with the lucky few clutching Oscars able to get them engraved there - or other parties including the star-studded one hosted by Vanity Fair.

This year, it seems there'll be much more to talk about at the after parties other than just envelopes.

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