Oscars: Will UK-Style Weather Prove Good Omen?
Organisers of the 86th Academy Awards are praying for a break in the weather to save the iconic Oscars red carpet for a Sunday night wash-out.
Hollywood has seen 72 hours of torrential rain, thunder and lightning and flash flooding, hampering preparations around the Dolby Theatre ahead of the movie industry's biggest night.
Even a plastic roof, erected to protect the walkway which will host the great and the good of Hollywood, started to spring leaks under the weight of the deluge.
The rain would normally be welcomed in a state suffering its worst drought on record and the British-style weather might prove an omen for the more than 20 Oscars nominees from the UK.
The epic 12 Years A Slave is among the favourites to be named Best Picture with its British director Steve McQueen and star Chiwitel Ejiofor up for Oscars as well.
McQueen told Sky News: "You can win and you can lose so therefore let us appreciate it for what it actually is: a celebration of film. So I'm hoping to take a back seat."
But 12 Years faces tough competition from the "made in Britain, set in space" Gravity and the 1970s true crime caper American Hustle.
Hustle's Christian Bale is also up for Best Actor while Dame Judi Dench's performance as Philomena Lee has put her in the Best Actress Category.
Sally Hawkins has been nominated for the first time as Best Supporting Actress for her role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.
The movie's star Cate Blanchett is favourite to be named Best Actress after sweeping the board at awards show leading up to the Oscars.
Similarly Matthew McConaughey is odds-on favourite to pick up the Best Actor prize for his striking performance in another true story, the Dallas Buyers Club. His co-star Jared Leto could make it a double as Best Supporting Actor.
So where could the big surprises come from?
Steven Gaydos, the executive editor of movie industry bible Variety, told Sky News: "By the time the Oscars happen there are almost no surprises left. But there's always one.
"I'm studying it and asking people and we're perplexed. Matthew McConaughey, for instance, is perceived as the front runner but there's Leonard Di Caprio there so maybe the upset is there."
British talent fills a number of the technical categories, particularly those who worked on Gravity at Pinewood and Shepperton studios under British-based director Alfonso Cuaron.
This year's event is expected to be shown in more than 200 countries with 40 million people expected to watch in the US alone.
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:: You can also watch the Oscars live on Sunday, March 2 on Sky Movies from 11.30pm.
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