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Oscars 2015: How to watch tonight's big show

02/22/2015 05:00 EST | Updated 04/23/2015 05:59 EDT
The 2015 Oscars, the biggest, glitziest and most-coveted movie industry awards are being handed out tonight in Hollywood. Here's what you need to know to take in the star-packed show.

What: 

The 87th Annual Academy Awards. Our CBC arts team is on the ground in Hollywood and will be live blogging from the parties, the red carpets and behind the scenes at the yearly Tinsel Town love-in.

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Where:

The Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif.  

When:

The red carpet pre-show starts at 7 p.m. ET with the awards ceremony beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET. The brodcast, which has run more than 4 hours long in years past, will be televised live on ABC and simulcast on CTV in Canada.

The host:

Neil Patrick Harris, star of the hit TV show How I Met Your Mother, is going for an awards-show trifecta, hosting the 2015 Oscars after four hosting stints at Broadway's Tony Awards and two at TV's Primetime Emmy Awards. 

- PHOTOS | 10 top memorable Oscar hosts

Audience members can bet their coat check chits that they'll be in for some big Tony-style musical numbers and NPH's signature snappy sense of humour.

The big race:

The biggest race of the evening, and possibly the hardest to predict, is in the best picture category. For months, critics and fans have agonized over the seemingly neck-and-neck race between Birdman and Boyhood.

The former is a bombastic satire about a washed up Hollywood actor by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu. The later is an emotional and sentimental portrait of an American family as told by indie director Richard Linklater.

Critical acclaim and awards season success for both Birdmanand Boyhood make the winner even harder to predict. Dare we mention the other deserving nominees also running in the best picture category.

- Whiplash.

- The Theory of Everything.

- The Imitation Game.

- American Sniper.

- Selma.

Bookmakers and film critics will have up until the last minute to make up their minds. The Oscar for best picture are the very last golden statuettes to be handed out at the yearly gala. A full list of the nominees can be found here.

CBC's arts reporter and resident film critic, Eli Glasner, makes his predictions here.

The Canadian contenders

Canadians are up for a number of golden statuettes, three in the animated film categories alone.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 director Dean DeBlois,who took a Golden Globe for best animated feature, is up for an Academy Award in the same category. He's from Aylmer, Que. Longtime Waterloo, Ont.-resident, Chris Williams, co-directed Big Hero 6, which also has a nod for best animated feature.

Graham Annable of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is also nominated for a best animated feature Oscar as a co-director for The Boxtrolls.

And Norway-born, Montreal-raised Torill Kove is up for a prize in the best animated short film category for Me and My Moulton.

The Lego Movie's ubiquitous anthem Everything is Awesome, which was co-written by Canadian songwriter Joshua Bartholomew, is up for best original song.

Oakville, Ont.-born sound mixer Craig Mann is nominated, along with two colleagues, for his work in drumming movie Whiplash in the best sound mixing category.

Watch for full coverage, including photo galleries and all the winners, here on CBC.ca/arts.

CBC's film critic Eli Glasner will be live chatting with the CBC Community Team in the aftermath of the awards on Monday starting at 12 p.m. ET.

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