If you're a Moonlight fan, don't be late for your friends’ Oscar party; the film’s best chance for an award (barring an exciting upset) comes early in this year’s telecast. Best Supporting Actor, for which Mahershala Ali is a front-runner, will be the first award given out at Sunday night's Oscar ceremony, followed by a stretch of craft and tech awards, the documentary prize, and Best Supporting Actress.
Notably, the academy is avoiding last year’s midtelecast tech/craft pil-up, which led to a delightful stretch of Mad Max: Fury Road speeches in Australian accents but caused everyone at your Oscar party to stop paying attention. Instead those awards are scattered through the telecast, interspersed with animation, the shorts, and music.
An interesting note from Vulture's Kyle Buchanan: It’s quite possible that half the first eight awards (Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Documentary Feature, and Foreign Film) could go to people of color, while La La Land could pile up the trophies toward evening’s end.