Musical La La Land could make Oscar history on Sunday when the Academy Awards are handed out in a ceremony likely to be dominated by political speeches.
The glittering love letter to Los Angeles has been nominated for 14 prizes, tying the record set by All About Eve and Titanic, and could become the most decorated film of all time.
The record for the most Oscar wins is jointly held by Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King, which all scooped 11 statues.
In the wake of the #Oscarssowhite controversy last year, the 2017 ceremony could see African American stars take home three out of the four acting prizes.
Viola Davis is widely expected to score the best supporting actress award for Fences, while Mahershala Ali is the frontrunner to win best supporting actor for Moonlight.
Denzel Washington could snatch victory in the best actor category, also for Fences, nudging former favourite Casey Affleck out of pole position for his performance in Manchester By The Sea.
La La Land star Emma Stone is widely expected to take home the best actress prize while the film is the frontrunner to scoop best picture.
It will face off against Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell Or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion, Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight for the biggest prize of the ceremony.
It could be a disappointing night for British nominees, as the UK slumped to its lowest number of Oscar nominations for at least 10 years.
Britain has just 12 nominations at this year’s ceremony, the lowest for at least a decade.
This number excludes films that were co-productions with other countries, and does not double-count people who are credited in the same nomination.
By the same calculation, Britain received 29 nominations in 2016.
Among the hopefuls this year are three actors – with supporting nods for Naomie Harris for Moonlight and Dev Patel for Lion and a best actor mention for Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge – down slightly on the six recognised in 2016 and five in 2015.
British hopes also lie with musician Sting, who is up for best original song for The Empty Chair from Jim: The James Foley Story and in nods for costume design, original score, best production design, visual effects, sound mixing and editing.
Comments about President Donald Trump and his controversial Muslim travel ban are expected to dominate much of the ceremony and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who will host the show, has said the president will be a target for jibes.
Meryl Streep’s explosive anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes has been regarded as opening the floodgates for political rhetoric from the winner’s podium.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose film The Salesman is nominated for best foreign language film, has already announced he will not attend the ceremony in response to President Trump’s stance on immigration, as has one of the stars of the film, Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti.
The ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.