theSkimm's Guide to

THE OSCARS 2015

THE STORY

It’s almost prom night in Hollywood. One red carpet, eight Best Picture nominations, and lots of double-stick tape. The Oscars are coming.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Sunday, February 22nd at 7pm ET on ABC. Barney Stinson is hosting. If you’ve cut the cord, the Academy isn’t letting you inside. But you can live stream the Red Carpet and backstage here.

WHAT MOVIES DO I NEED TO SEE?

These are the ones to watch, and the **s are the films that are nominated for Best Picture. Click on the movie titles to get your tickets...

** “American Sniper”... Bradley Cooper plus 40 pounds of steel is Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in US history. Everyone is seeing it, and everyone has an opinion.

** “Birdman”... A washed up actor who used to play a superhero tries to turn his career around. Meet Birdman: Michael Keaton (who, meta, also played Batman). Emma Stone’s there too. This could easily take home Best Picture, so you should see it.

** “Boyhood”... “Birdman’s” biggest competition. A slow-cooker, this follows the same boy for 12 years. Imagine your awkward stage being filmed, and actually making a good movie. Deserves an award just for that.

** “The Imitation Game”... A gang of British math geniuses race to break Germany’s code during WWII. Keira Knightley plays herself again. If you like British people and high-stakes Sudoku, this one’s for you.

** “The Grand Budapest Hotel”... The only one that’ll really make you laugh. About a has-been hotel in Eastern Europe, where Ralph Fiennes (aka Voldemort) preys on wealthy cougars. It’s a Wes Anderson movie. And is very much a Wes Anderson movie.

** “Selma”... A look into MLK’s life, focused on a famous civil rights march that started in Selma, Alabama. This movie brought up the white elephant in the room: there were no black actors or directors nominated this year. Many think actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay deserved noms.

** “The Theory of Everything”... The British invasion continues with Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking, and Felicity Jones as his wife Jane. Redmayne’s expected to win Best Actor, and he doesn’t even talk for most of the movie. Impressive.

** “Whiplash”... Not a funny band camp story. Follows a teenage drummer prodigy and his sometimes abusive relationship with his professor.

“Foxcatcher”... Steve Carell gets serious as a multi-millionaire who throws his financial weight behind wrestler Channing Tatum. Because, wouldn’t you?

“Wild”... Reese is nominated for hiking more than 1,100 miles and putting your Outward Bound trip to shame. This is not a typical self-discovery story.

“Still Alice”... If Julianne Moore doesn’t win Best Actress, Kanye might show up. She plays a young Alzheimer’s patient.

“Gone Girl”... Hide yo boyfriends. Rosamund Pike had men everywhere wondering if they should change their passwords and lock the woodshed. That’s why she’s nominated for Best Actress.

theSKIMM

The Best Picture race is for all the popcorn. And this year, it’s a total toss-up between the two B’s: “Birdman” and “Boyhood.” That, plus NPH, will make for a good show.