Hollywood's A-listers will hit the red carpet Sunday for the Oscars -- the climax of a long, eventful awards season that could yield some big surprises.
Alfonso Cuaron's black-and-white cinematic ode to his childhood, "Roma," leads with 10 nominations and is a firm favourite for the coveted best picture Academy Award.
If it does win, it will be the first foreign-language film, and the first from streaming giant Netflix, to earn the honour.
But civil rights dramedy "Green Book" has overcome controversy to remain on the radar, and could benefit from the Academy's complex preferential voting system to snatch the top prize.
Hot on their heels are a variety of films, from offbeat royal romp "The Favourite" (also with 10 nominations), to Spike Lee's race drama "BlacKkKlansman," to crowd-pleasers like superhero flick "Black Panther" and musical romance "A Star Is Born."
Two biopics -- "Vice" about former US vice president Dick Cheney and "Bohemian Rhapsody" about the band Queen -- round out the list of contenders for best picture.
The 7,900-odd voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had bold choices in front of them -- traditional art-house Oscar bait, and big, rousing blockbusters.
"With eight best picture nominees, every film has passionate supporters, but no film has a consensus," Tim Gray, awards editor for showbiz trade publication Variety, told AFP.
All will be revealed at the Dolby Theatre, in a ceremony beamed around the world to millions of showbiz fans, with a twist -- there will be no host for the first time in three decades.