Ten Reasons to Watch The Oscars Tonight

By Christopher Rudolph

Originally published on Advocate.com February 22 2013 3:29 AM ET

 

It’s here, the time has finally come: today marks Hollywood's most important, and occassionaly queerest, awards show, the Academy Awards (though this year, they've dumped that moniker and are simply calling it the Oscar). While there isn’t an overtly gay film in the races this year (like Milk or Brokeback Mountain in years past), the Oscars will still be a glitzy glam event that you won’t want to miss a moment of. Here are ten reasons to tune in.
 
 
Babs Returns to Serenade Us
 
Barbra Streisand makes her epic return to the Oscar stage to sing for the first time on the telecast since 1977. What she will be singing is still under wraps, but it doesn’t matter. Will she sing one of the nominated songs or lend her pipes to the James Bond tribute? Who knows, and who cares. It’s Barbra singing at the Oscars and it will be epic.
 
 
Bond Girls Belt it Out
 
Speaking of the James Bond tribute, Adele will be on hand to sing her Oscar-nominated song for Skyfall, and Ms. Goldfinger herself, Shirley Bassey, will help celebrate the secret agent’s 50 years in cinema. Between Adele, Bassey, and Babs belting from the stage we can only hope the roof of the Dolby Theatre makes it through the night.
 
 
Musicals Tribute
 
With Moulin Rouge and Chicago ushering in a new age of movie musicals the Academy thought it was fitting to pay tribute to the past decade of musicals that have danced across the big screen. Jennifer Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones (both of whom won Oscars for their roles) will each sing from their respective musicals, Dreamgirls and Chicago, while the cast of Les Miserables will sing numbers from their 2013 nominated film. 
 
 
Eye Candy
 
The ladies are all well and good, but don’t forget the man candy. Former Sexiest Man Alive, Bradley Cooper is nominated for Silver Linings Playbook and Hugh Jackman for his transformative turn as Jean Valjean in Les Mis (though both will most likely lose out to Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln performance). Oscar night is all about representing the best in cinema, but there’s nothing wrong with tuning into celebrate the best looking guys in Hollywood, too.
 
 
Kristen Chenoweth's Closing Number 
 
Unlike previous years, the Best Picture winner reveal will not be the final moment of the telecast. It was revealed this past week that host Seth MacFarlane and Kristen Chenoweth will be doing a musical number to close out the ceremony. Tacking on a musical number at the end of a literally day-long awards ceremony and procession may not stand out as the best idea, but it’s Chenoweth so we'll stick around those extra few minutes as the credits roll.
 
 
Tony Kushner's Nominated Screenplay
 
Only the man behind Angels in America and Munich would choose to tackle the greatest president in the history of the United States as his follow-up screenplay. Gay writer Tony Kushner’s screenplay for Lincoln is based on a small portion of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Pulitzer Prize winning historical novel, Team of Rivals. Rather that cover the life of Lincoln (including the gay rumors) he chose to focus on just a few crucial months in his presidency when he fought to end slavery. If Kushner wins on Sunday we can look forward to him thanking his husband and hopefully saying a few words about LGBT civil rights during his acceptance speech.
 
 
Tom Hooper and his Les Mis Cast
 
While Tom Hooper himself may not be nominated for Best Director, he will be at the ceremony cheering on and supporting his cast and team from Les Miserables. Anne Hathaway is the only sure-bet this weekend, so look for Les Mis to walk away with at least one statuette out of the eight it’s nominated for.
 
 
How to Survive a Plague
 
The Documentary Feature category is a tight one, but hopefully what many critics called one of the best documentaries of last year, How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France, will take home the gold. The film depicts the revolution that led to pharmaceutical companies manufacturing drugs that saved the lives of millions of people with HIV/AIDS in the early '90s, and the brave folks (many LGBT) who fought for their lives and the lives of future generations.
 
 
Paranorman's Out Director
 
This category belongs to Disney this year with their three films Wreck-It-Ralph, Brave, and Frankenweenie leading the race to gold, but Paranorman (the most awarded animated film in 2012) really deserves more than an honorable mention. Gay writer and co-director Chris Butler's brilliant stop motion animation tale of a boy who sees ghosts and fights bullies was a delightful John Carpenter meets John Hughes treat, and featured the first out gay lead character in mainstream American animated movie.
 
 
Meryl Streep
 
Meryl is presenting. Need we say more?
 
The Oscars begin at 8:30 EST this Sunday on ABC.