If the current line-up of performers and presenters at the Oscars hasn't gotten you all sorts of excited, curious and confused, then you're about to experience a whirlwind of surprises. While previous reports have announced the familiar line-up of performers who will sing the Best Original Song nominees, there hasn't been too great of an understanding of what the show itself will be like. It has only been a week and it looks like we'll be having one of the craziest ceremonies in years. Or at least one of the most inventive.
Let's quickly run down who was previously announced to perform: Rita Ora, Tegan and Sara with The Lonely Island, Adam Lavine of Maroon 5, John Legend with Common, and Tim McGraw. There will also be an original song penned by the duo behind Frozen song "Let It Go" for host Neil Patrick Harris to perform. Names scheduled to present awards include Marion Cotillard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black and Reese Witherspoon.
It's a decent line-up, but the list has only become more indicative of what this year's show will be. In the past week, there have been a few names announced that will suggest that yes, this is going to be a very musical year. Despite the nominees featuring a lack of musicals (the last Best Picture nominee of this sort was Les Miserables in 2012), the show plans to use Harris to the best of his abilities and make every ounce of the running time full of chaotic, artistic entertainment.
Among the newly announced performers include Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. The former is said to be performing something that you'd see "only at the Oscars." Speaking as both are highly qualified singers, it is only a curio to wonder what their big numbers are going to be.
Still, there isn't anything that is likely to scratch more heads and confuse more people than the next name. Where the Oscars have had a quandary of how to appeal to younger audiences for years now, it is one that feels both smart and a little late. For those who wish to watch the Oscars out of sheer curiosity, there's no better reason to watch than... Lady GaGa. While little is known, she will be part of a special tribute. What this is remains unknown. Is it the greatest In Memoriam performance in Oscar history? Is it a tribute to any 75 year old movies from 1940 (or subsequent quarter centennials for that matter)? The wild artist is sure to do something noteworthy as even her fashion would make Edith Head ecstatic.
Among the other names of presenters at the Oscars are: Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong'o, Josh Hutcherson, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, Octavia Spencer, Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley McLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, John Travolta, Kerry Washington, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Evans, Dakota Johnson, Jennifer Lopez, Chloe Moretz, Eddie Murphy and Margot Robbie.
A lot of these names are predictable, especially with many being last year's winners. However, there will be a few to keep an eye on. John Travolta, who is a notorious offender of mispronouncing words (see: Les Miserables and Idina Menzel), will be top priority for those wondering if he'll go for a third consecutive mispronunciation trophy. There's also Kevin Hart, whose ego made him one of the most loathsome presences at the Golden Globes. However, to see Eddie Murphy's name on this list is especially off due to his rocky relationship with the Oscars following his notorious boot from Oscar host in 2011. It will be interesting to see if that was for good reason.
Otherwise, the Oscars are only 10 days away and the line-up is looking very impressive. Speaking as it is my favorite day of the year, I am eagerly looking forward to see what Harris does on the show and if he can make something spectacular and memorable. While the Oscars have had trouble trying to be hip to younger audiences in the past few years, I do feel like there's something here that should make things pop a lot better. Either way, it's time to start speculating what everyone will be doing.