theSkimm's Guide to

THE OSCARS 2016

THE STORY

While you’re sitting on your couch in sweats, Hollywood will be having prom night. One red carpet, eight Best Picture noms, and a lot of people wearing white to blend in.

WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?

For the second year in a row, the Academy ended up with a ballot that has pretty much zero diversity. And surprise -- people noticed. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith said ‘pass’ to showing up. President Obama weighed in. #OscarsSoWhite started trending. Cue the Academy saying ‘we swear we’ll change.’ But a lot of people think this goes way beyond the Academy, and that the entire industry has a diversity problem. Chris Rock should have plenty of material to work with as the host. Expect things to get racy.

HOW DO I WATCH?

On ABC. Red carpet starts at 7pm ET, the show starts at 8:30pm ET. Livestream here. Go to bed around midnight, or whenever the double-stick tape starts to wear out.

WILL I HAVE TO LISTEN TO RAMBLING ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES?

Always. But this year, the Academy wants to streamline the process by having nominees submit their ‘thank yous’ before the ceremony. The names of people winners want to thank (think: agents, managers, high school drama teachers) will scroll at the bottom of your screen, so people’s speeches can be used for more important things...like thanking God and Meryl Streep.

WHAT MOVIES DO I NEED TO SEE?

Meet your weekend plans. These are the ones to watch, and the **s are the films nominated for Best Picture.

**“The Revenant”...as in Leo didn’t hang out inside a dead horse just to go home empty-handed again. Grin and bear your way through it.

**“Spotlight”...as in the true story about how Boston Globe reporters uncovered widespread child abuse within the Catholic Church. Regina George and Mark Ruffalo are there.

**“The Big Short”...as in the one starring no-names like Carell, Pitt, Gosling, Bale, and Margot Robbie in a bathtub. Based on the Michael Lewis book about the financial crisis.

**“Bridge of Spies”...as in the token Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg movie. A US pilot is arrested by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and sh*t hits the geopolitical fan.

**“Brooklyn”...as in do not text your ex after watching. About an Irish immigrant who falls in love with an Italian boy in...yup...Brooklyn. It will make you ugly cry..

**“Mad Max: Fury Road”...as in this was really nominated. It’s a post-apocalyptic action flick starring Charlize that will make you feel like you’re on mind-altering substances.

**“The Martian”...as in the one that will make you regret not going to space camp. Matt Damon gets stranded. On Mars. And yes, you see him shirtless.

**“Room”...as in the one that’ll make you feel claustrophobic. About a mom and son being held captive. This one put Brie Larson – who’s the fav to take home Best Actress – on the red carpet map.

“Joy”...as in the one where Jennifer Lawrence plays the woman who invented the ‘Miracle Mop’ and became a QVC and HSN star. There’s a chance JLaw could win Best Actress, trip on the red carpet, or both.

“Carol”...as in Lisbeth Salander and Cate Blanchett are lesbian lovers in the ‘50s. Think: “Mad Men” vibes with a twist.

“Straight Outta Compton”...as in the one that got rave reviews from movie-goers, but only got a nod for Original Screenplay. Keyword: only. It has a mostly African American cast. Hence, #OscarsSoWhite.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”...as in the Force was strong with this one. It crushed box office records, and got a lot of love for editing and effects. Insert happy wookiee noise.

theSKIMM

This year’s Oscars is all about the racial elephant in the room. And Leo getting his first statue...or at least going home with a model instead.

Sign up for the Daily Skimm
and join the millions who already wake up with us.