Hollywood’s night of nights is underway in spectacular fashion, with more than 2500 people from the entertainment world walking the red carpet in designer gowns and tuxedos for the 94th Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre.
Among the first arrivals late on Sunday (LA time) were the darlings of King Richard Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, who starred as tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams.
The Power Of The Dog star, Australian-born Kodi Smit-McPhee, 25, told ABC’s On The Red Carpet prior to Hollywood’s glitziest night he was “going to be pulling out all the cards tonight” for signatures.
“I’m going to fanboy and I don’t want to do that, I just want to play it cool” he said.
When Nicole Kidman – nominated for best actress for playing Lucille Ball in Being the Riccardos – stopped by to chat to Seven’s Natalie Barr, Smit-McPhee kept his word and remained calm.
“You look beautiful,” the rising star – who wore a custom-colour Armani suit – told the Australian acting legend.
As does Kristen Stewart in Chanel shorts, who’s up for best actress in her portrayal of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Jamie Lee Curtis, Lily James and the cast of Japanese best picture nominee Drive My Car were also there, along with more of the Australian contingent, cinematographers Ari Wegner (The Power of the Dog) and Greig Fraser (Dune).
Wegner described the night as “like a fairytale” while Curtis said at 63, she was thrilled to be invited to the party of the year.
Comedians Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes will host the show, the first time three women have guided the ceremony.
In a bid to draw more viewers, especially younger ones, after years of declining ratings, the three-hour show starting at 11am AEDT will add two awards, the results of fan votes for favourite film and scene.
King Richard star Will Smith is the best-actor favourite for his role as the determined father of the Williams sisters. Competitors include Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog) and Andrew Garfield for musical Tick, Tick … Boom!.
Troy Kotsur (CODA) is the frontrunner to take out best supporting actor with Smit-McPhee close behind.
Best actress is the most unpredictable. Many experts say Jessica Chastain’s portrayal of TV evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker will triumph with The Eyes of Tammy Faye, though some give the edge to former Twilight vampire Kristen Stewart, who played Princess Diana in Spencer.
The US’s E! News fashion quartet watched excitedly as Hollywood’s mojo returned – with everything from “ethereal” old school glamour, to the “trending” plunging dress … to Wesley Snipes’ maroon satin short leg pants suit.
And there was even a rare appearance by a Kardashian and a few pairs of shoes (thankyou Kodi) were among best on ground.