The Oscars are just about a month a way, and between the Academy's official word and lead-up interviews, a picture is beginning to emerge of who might be there, who might sing, and who might be telling some dirty jokes. Final voting begins February 8 and ends February 19, and the ceremony is on February 24. So what do we think we know right now? Something like this:
There Will Be Adele
This morning the Academy announced that Adele will indeed be singing her hit song "Skyfall" at the ceremony, from the eponymous James Bond movie. This isn't surprising at all. Not only is this a great business move — Adele's music is still huge in America — but it also falls in line with the singer's awards season comeback tour, which began with her first post-baby appearance at the Golden Globes. (She hasn't performed live on U.S. TV since the Grammys last year.) "Skyfall" won the Best Original Song award at the Globes, and we'd be pretty shocked if it didn't take the same prize at the Oscars. Which probably means we'll get another adorable acceptance speech and the opportunity to learn more of Adele's Britishisms.
There Will Be Even More Bond
The Academy has announced that this year's awards will include a tribute to the 007 franchise as its seemingly endless 50th-anniversary tour continues. We're hoping for a parade of Bonds and Bond girls with Grace Jones front and center.
There Might Be More Celebrities Singing
It's still unclear whether or not Adele will perform as part of the Bond tribute or as part of her nomination for Best Original Song. The nominees did not perform at last year's ceremony, but last year only two songs were nominated. This year there are five — and with some pretty high-profile names behind them: Scarlett Johansson sings "Before My Time" from the documentary Chasing Ice, Norah Jones sings "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted, which was written by host Seth MacFarlane, and Hugh Jackman sings "Suddenly" from Les Misérables.
There Will Likely Be Lots of Les Miz
That said, "Suddenly" is not the biggest hit from Les Miz. And there's a strong chance we're going to hear singing from more than just Jackman. In a profile of Les Miz's Eponine, Samantha Barks, the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye pointed out that we'll probably get some rousing cast performance: "It’s still being decided what song will be sung, but Samantha will participate with other cast members such as best actor nominee Hugh Jackman, best supporting actress front-runner Anne Hathaway, heart-throb Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried and others in one of the rousing crowd numbers — One Day More or Do You Hear The People Sing." Bamigboye added that while nothing's been decided, we may also get a medley of hit songs from the musical. It would probably be most fun if they took the parody route, a lá Anne Hathaway on Saturday Night Live, but something tells us MacFarlane will be taking the most aim at the melodrama. The folks from Les Miz do want to win, after all.
There Will Definitely Be a Lot of This Guy
Here's the official Oscar poster, complete with Seth MacFarlane's smirk:
The Oscars, we think, are going to be chock-full of MacFarlane-isms, something that may or may not go over too well. It's almost as if he's rehearsing some of his jokes on Twitter:
Javert and Valjean just need to get une chambre already.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) January 19, 2013
Lotta flap over that Adolf joke. Look, Amour was a great film, so how about this: Austria, we'll give you the Oscar if you take back Arnold.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) January 11, 2013
We already know that that Mark Wahlberg and Ted from MacFarlane's Ted will be there — their movie does have that song nomination — so we'll probably get some dirty teddy-bear jokes. Aside from that, we're almost certain there will be crooning. Will we get Family Guy characters, too?
There Will Be Very Game Presenters
It's hard to guess who presenters are going to be, and we haven't really gotten any clues. But our assumptions lead us to bank on an appearance by Emma Stone, given her performance last year and the fact that the Academy had her announce the nominations along with MacFarlane. Will Ferrell has also been a game, funny presenter multiple times, most recently this year's Globes. Typically winners of last year's acting awards present this year's. So that means appearances from Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer, and some good banter opportunities from Jean Dujardin and Meryl Streep. Oh, Jean, please pretend to seduce Emmanuelle Riva in French. Meryl, please make a joke out of Jennifer Lawrence's "I beat Meryl" reference. James Franco's Oz movie also comes out just days after the Oscars, but, hey, these are supposed to be the not-terrible Oscars, right?