The Top Five Moments to Watch for at Sunday’s Oscars


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a night full of glitz, glam, and a lot of memorable moments, but Film Critic Jackson Murphy says there are five in particular to watch out for at this year’s Oscars.

Moment number five is the animation throwdown between Zootopia and Kubo and the Two Strings. Which film will come out on top?

“Disney has dominated this category the past few years,” Murphy said. “Zootopia made so much money when it came out in March, but Kubo and the Two Strings just won the BAFTA, the British version of the Oscars, and the BAFTAs have picked the animated feature for the Oscars nine out of the past 10 years.”

So it will be a tight race to the finish line on Sunday night. Oscar moment number four is the lead actor and actress categories, whose nominees are neck and neck for the win this year.

Murphy says Casey Affleck, who starred in Manchester by the Sea and Denzel Washington from Fences, are both contenders. But Washington, he points out, won the SAG award for best actor.

“The past 12 SAG Awards best actor winners have gone on to win the Academy Award,” Murphy explained.

But then there’s Ryan Gosling, whose role in La La Land has everybody talking.

When it comes to lead actress, Murphy says Natalie Portman was the frontrunner a couple months ago, for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the film Jackie.

“But the tide has turned a little bit to Emma Stone,” Murphy said. “If there is an upset, it will be for Isabelle Huppert for the foreign film Elle.”

Oscar moment number three are the musical performances. Four superstars will be featured this year’s awards show, including Justin Timberlake, Sting, John Legend and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Miranda is performing How Far I’ll Go, the nominated song from the Disney film Moana. Murphy says he’s most excited to see Timberlake perform.

“I think he’ll do something a little bit different with Can’t Stop the Feeling,” he explained.

Memorable moment number two is the man of the hour, Jimmy Kimmel, who is hosting the Oscars for the first time.

“I think he’ll do a great job,” Murphy said. “He did a great job at the Emmys in September. If he’s on his A-game, he will be sharp and on-point throughout the entire show.”

Last but not least, memorable moment number one is what could be a record-setting win for La La Land. Heading into the Oscars with 14 nominations, it’s tied with two other films — Titanic and All About Eve — for the most Oscar nominations of all-time. But Murphy says the film is also up for an even bigger win.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Ben-Hur, and Titanic have all won 11 Oscars,” he explained. “La La Land is trying to do the same — either tie with the all-time record, or break it with 12.”

Be sure to tune into News 8 and ABC on Sunday, February 26. For more about Jackson Murphy and his take on the latest films, visit

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