Hollywood (United States) (AFP) – Hollywood’s award season reaches its extravagant finale at the Oscars on Sunday, with war epic “1917” tipped to dispatch a brigade of winners to the stage at the movie industry’s biggest night.
Impeccably dressed A-listers and upstart documentary filmmakers will brush shoulders on the red carpet at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, as months of campaigning for 24 gold statuettes boil down to a single night.
The event comes as Hollywood mourns the death of Kirk Douglas, one of cinema’s greats, who died Wednesday aged 103.
Sam Mendes’s “1917” launched a late assault on this year’s Academy Awards — it was first shown to voters barely two months ago — but experts predict it could outflank all rivals.
The World War I odyssey about two soldiers crossing no-man’s-land — filmed to appear like one continuous shot — has conquered nearly all in its path in the award shows building up to Sunday.
It is the favorite for multiple Oscars from best director to cinematography, and the frontrunner for best picture, the night’s top prize.
“It falls into traditional Hollywood — it’s what the Oscars like,” Variety awards editor Tim Gray told AFP.
“It’s big, it’s epic, but it’s hardly a formula film. It really is a knockout… it’s just filmmaking at its best.”
The unique ballot system for best picture — which involves voters ranking films — makes it somewhat tough to predict, and could create an opening for an unlikely candidate.
Despite the best efforts of star filmmakers Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”), Mendes’ main rival appears to be Bong Joon-ho.
The charismatic South Korean director has become Hollywood’s darling in recent weeks, drawing unrivalled crowds at campaign events for his black comedy “Parasite.”
The film about a poor family infiltrating a wealthy household looks to be a shoo-in for best international feature — but could also triumph in some of the top categories.