Will La La Land clean up? Will the stars come out against Trumps travel ban? And will Ryan Seacrest give a certain debonair British film critic the red carpet moment he deserves?

I have to admit that I am rather excited about the 2017 Oscars ceremony. Because this year, for the first time in its history, the ceremonys dinner-jacketed audience is to include me. After years of pining, Cinderella-like, at home in London, or watching the ceremony in the office, mashing Pringles and Diet Coke into the gaps between the laptop keys, I have been invited to the ball. Stepping daintily out of the Uber that has transported me from the Econo Lodge in Burbank, I get to go on the red carpet apparently a brief and heavily policed admission with a herd of other overseas, overexcited bozos and then I get to sit in the theatre, way up in the nosebleed seats.

So my wishlist for this years event is topped by a yearning desire that Ryan Seacrest, hosting E!s Live from the Red Carpet special, will excitedly call me over to the velvet rope for a long and ruminative discussion of Toni Erdmanns chances of nabbing best foreign film, while Amy Adams and Ryan Gosling wait patiently behind me for their turn.

Peter
In the limelight Peter Bradshaw, second from left, at Cannes. Photograph: Lionel Cironneau/AP

And when the lights go down and host Jimmy Kimmel comes on what do I want from him? What do any of us want from Mr Kimmel? This is a tricky one. His opening song-and-dance routine has clearly got to reference La La Land in a big way, but Jimmy Fallons spoof sequence for the Golden Globes already did that with a witty setup showing all the limos stuck in a traffic jam. He also pastiched the song City of Stars (Room full of stars theyve been getting drunk since three.) Still, Kimmel can always grab the wire harness and fly across the stage for a re-creation of the films planetarium scene.

As for spoofing the other films, the choice isnt as big as you might think. A huge comedy number based on Manchester By the Sea isnt really a goer, unless Jimmy Kimmel wants to re-create Casey Afflecks bar-room punch-up scenes maybe giving them a production-design makeover inspired by Hail, Caesar! Perhaps Martin Lawrence can come on in drag as Meryl Streep for a wacky musical takeoff of Florence Foster Jenkins, with Kimmel in the Hugh Grant role. In 2015, Neil Patrick Harris came on for one segment in his tighty-whitey underpants in homage to Birdman. Perhaps Kimmel can arrive dressed as one of the aliens in Arrival, splodging his announcement up on a pane of glass in alienspeak, and Amy Adams can translate it.

Wheres
Wheres Emma? Emma Stone points out herself in the Oscars annual nominees photo to Kimmel, on his talk show. Photograph: Randy Holmes/Getty Images

As for big political speeches, its not clear what the legal status of President Trumps ban will be by the time Oscar night rolls around. His failure to make it stick legally so far means that the temperature of this issue has lowered a little. But whatever happens, the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, a foreign-film nominee for his film The Salesman, is going to boycott the ceremony in solidarity with everyone else affected by the proposed ban. And there will be a special outdoor protest screening of The Salesman in Londons Trafalgar Square, attended by Mike Leigh and Sadiq Khan.

Nonetheless, I hope every single nominee at the ceremony will protest, the way award-winners at Cannes protested the Iranian governments treatment of Jafar Panahi. If Sully wins best sound editing, I hope that there will be a speech from the stage demanding that the films executive producer Steven Mnuchin now Trumps treasury secretary exerts his influence to get the ban reversed. The same goes if the Disney films such as Moana or Zootopia win animated feature. Whatever artist or technician accepts the Oscar, they might like to make an impassioned plea to Disney CEO Bob Iger: either quit your post on Trumps policy committee, or use your clout to change the presidents addled mind.

As for the awards themselves, I hope La La Land has the great night that everyone is expecting for it. But not necessarily a colossal landslide in which everything else is forgotten. If the Baftas are anything to go by, it will win big, perhaps even snagging the acting awards for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. But simply as theatrical or televisual entertainment, an awards show in which everything is won by the same film gets repetitive. It is almost impossible to build a crescendo of excitement based on the same tuxed and beaming people repeatedly coming up on to the stage.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2017/feb/26/oscars-2017-peter-bradshaw-wishlist-red-carpet-trump-la-la-land