Los Angeles, Feb 21 (IANS) Who will win filmdom's most prestigious award is the question figuring in the minds of movie buffs as the Dolby Theatre readies to host the 87th Oscars Sunday. But with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's black comedy "Birdman" and Wes Anderson's comedy "The Grand Budapest Hotel" leading the race with nine nominations each, either seems set to take home the maximum of the coveted golden statuettes.
The final nomination list of the 87th Academy Awards was announced at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills here earlier this year.
Apart from "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel", "The Imitation Game" landed eight nominations while Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" and "Boyhood" had six each.
There is a tough fight among directors with "Birdman" (Inarritu), "Boyhood" (Richard Linklater), "Foxcatcher" (Bennett Miller), "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Anderson) and "The Imitation Game" (Morten Tyldum) competing for the award.
The contenders for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role are Steve Carell for "Foxcatcher", Bradley Cooper for "American Sniper", Benedict Cumberbatch for "The Imitation Game", Michael Keaton for "Birdman" and Eddie Redmayne for "The Theory of Everything".
Those competing for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role trophy are Marion Cotillard for "Two Days, One Night", Felicity Jones for "The Theory of Everything", Julianne Moore for "Still Alice", Rosamund Pike for "Gone Girl" and Reese Witherspoon for "Wild".
For the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Robert Duvall ("The Judge"), Ethan Hawke ("Boyhood"), Edward Norton ("Birdman"), Mark Ruffalo ("Foxcatcher") and J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash") are in the race, while the actresses in the same category include Patricia Arquette ("Boyhood"), Laura Dern ("Wild"), Keira Knightley ("The Imitation Game"), Emma Stone ("Birdman") and Meryl Streep ("Into the Woods").
The Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) nominees are "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Alexandre Desplat), "The Imitation Game" (Desplat), "Interstellar" (Hans Zimmer), "Mr. Turner" (Gary Yershon), and "The Theory of Everything" (Johann Johannsson).
The Foreign Language Film nomination list has five entries: "Ida" (Poland), "Leviathan" (Russia), "Tangerines" (Estonia), "Timbuktu" (Mauritania) and "Wild Tales" (Argentina).
The awards night will be hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris while Adam Levine, John Legend and Tim McGraw are expected to perform live. One will also see special performances from Lady Gaga, Jack Black, Jennifer Hudson and Anna Kendrick.
Moviegoers also expect another round of selfies to build on that by last year's Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres with Bradley Cooper, Lupita Nyong'o, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, and Meryl Streep, among others.
And, not to forget some of the fashionable moments at the red carpet that will surely set trends for many to follow.
So are you ready for the big night?
The Oscars will be live at 7 p.m., ET (Eastern Time)/4 p.m., PT(Pacific Time) in the US on ABC while Indian audience can see the Oscars live 5.30 a.m,, with a repeat at 8.30 p.m. on Feb 23.