TV presenter Jonathan Ross offers his exclusive insights and predictions for this year’s Oscars in an engaging interview. With a keen eye for cinema and a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry, Ross delves into the highly anticipated nominations, sharing his thoughts on the frontrunners.

Looking at this year’s nominations, what are your predictions on the big categories?

“Best Picture, I can see why they’re all nominated, I think they all deserve a nomination. Some of them, as a viewer and audience member, didn’t excite me as much as others, so I have been a little mystified at the praise heaped on Oppenheimer and Killers of the Flower Moon, I’m not huge on either of those two. I love Poor Things, American Fiction I loved as well. It felt quite of the moment. Anatomy of a Fall I think is incredible. I’ll be very surprised if that wins, but it might, you never know, Parasite pulled it off a few years ago. And Anatomy of a Fall isn’t exclusively non-English language, it’s got a mix, so who knows. Barbie, that will be fun if Barbie got it. I love Barbie, though. I think that’ll be a very popular one with voters. Killers of the Flower Moon I don’t think will get it and personally don’t think it deserves it, I know a lot of people love it. Maestro left me somewhat cold, Past Lives I quite liked… Poor Things and The Zone Of Interest both felt very fresh, very unique and very outside of the normal mode of storytelling so I’m pleased to see them there… I’d be surprised, I suspect it’ll go to Oppenheimer.

“As you get older and a bit more circumspect you realise that just because a film isn’t for you doesn’t mean it’s not a film which a lot of people adore and love and isn’t a good film, you know? Clearly Oppenheimer, the craftsmanship.. I love the way it looks, I love the way it sounded… it was the script I had a major problem with. It felt meandering and somewhat unfocussed. I’d be very happy for it to win. Christopher Nolan is an incredible talent, a real master of his craft. Some of his movies I’ve adored, some of them I haven’t liked, but I’d be very pleased to see him get it because he’s such a massive talent and, of course, British.

“On Best Actress and Best Actor I’m not surprised at the list particularly. Bradley [Cooper], it was one of those movies that was designed for award season. Once again, didn’t excite me. Rustin [Colman Domingo], I think is in with a very good chance. I suspect Paul Giamatti will get it for The Holdovers, he’s really well loved and it is a tremendous performance, he kind of is the film really. Oppenheimer, Cillian [Murphy] is in with a good chance. I loved American Fiction, I thought Jeffrey Wright did an incredible job in it. I think the film is a little messy and undercooked in some areas, I think that will work against it and I don’t think he’ll get the award but it’s nice to see him on the list.

“Annette Bening, I’ve interviewed her a few times, she’s lovely and she kind of deserves a nod. I think it’ll go to Lily Gladstone for Killers of the Flower Moon. Once again a movie I didn’t particularly like, but I thought her performance was absolutely stunning. Really, without her in the film it’s nothing in my opinion. I think she was really a standout performance in a movie I think should have been a bit more engaging. I suspect she will probably get it. Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall, an incredible performance and she’s also tremendous in The Zone of Interest, but once again Anatomy of a Fall a really engaging film and her performance is central to it. I’m not surprised to see her name there. Emma Stone in Poor Things is a real tour de force performance – that could be an underdog that comes through and steals it from Lily Gladstone, but I’d be surprised.”

What do you think makes a good Oscars host and why do you think Jimmy Kimmel is returning?

“He’s an interesting choice because he’s edgy enough to make it interesting and fun, he’s got a bit more edge and he’s a bit more surprising than Jimmy Fallon for example, but he isn’t too edgy. You have to walk that fine line, you don’t want it to be completely anodyne and bland, which they’ve gone in that direction a few times over the years, but you don’t want to go full Ricky Gervais and have the actors sat there panicking thinking, ‘What are they going to say about me?’

“It’s a tough job, it’s tough to book the right person. I can see why they’ve gone with Kimmel; he’s well known and well liked by most of the people in the room. He’s very good. I’ve met him a couple of times over the years, he’s a really likeable, smart, really funny man and also he’s the kind of host who would definitely take notes, so if they say, ‘Don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’ he would listen, he’s not going to be precious, so I can see why they’ve gone with him; he’s a safe pair of hands, but not too safe.”

What’s your favourite speech or moment that stands out from Oscars nights over the years?

“History has changed so much. We look back to the year Marlon Brando didn’t turn up and he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, and that at the time was kind of mocked, but now you look back and go, he was so far ahead of the curve. That was amazing historically. There was a night where Sir Michael Caine, Roger Moore, and Sean Connery all joined each other on stage; that was such a lovely moment and captured such a period in film history, but also they’re all kind of British stars, so that was an amazing thing to see. I love Halle Berry’s speech when she won for Monster’s Ball. Olivia Colman’s speech was wonderful when she came out and blew the raspberry at the man trying to hurry her off the stage, and Frances McDormand did similar… My favourite is when there’s a mixture of genuine pride and excitement in getting the award, but also a level of authenticity. ‘I’m not going to let you take this moment away from me because you’ve got a TV schedule to stick to’. Those kinds of moments stick out – there are so many. That’s what’s fun about the Oscars; there are always moments you remember and want to see again.

It’s a late-night slot for you hosting exclusively for UK viewers on ITV1 and ITVX – how are you prepping?

“If this were a regular gig and we were doing this once a week, I think I would have to change the way my weekends look, but as it’s a one-off I’m just going to try to have a restful day, maybe have a mid-afternoon nap, and get plenty of coffee on the side!”

What kind of film watcher are you?

“It depends where I am. If I’m in a cinema, I’m nice and quiet, as you should be and I enjoy the experience. If I’m at home, I’ll certainly chat with Jane a lot during the film, not chat about other things, but talk about the film. Occasionally we’ll Google stuff, but rarely. More often than not I’m fairly respectful.

“If I’m watching a movie for work reasons or I really want to enjoy it, I make sure I turn off my phone otherwise you do get distracted, even if it’s just instinctively reaching for a phone, it’s such a bad habit. And bear in mind, there’s a bunch of people who have given two years or three years of their lives to make that film, the least I can do is give them two hours back and give it a chance.”

What film would you watch over and over again?

“Fun action films like The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Ultimatum, Bond movies. I love from coms; Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Julie & Julia which is amazing. I love 70s films, Three Days of the Condor I watch on a regular basis, Marathon Man I love… horror films, I’m very fond of what they call giallo movies, a sub-section of Italian horror, films like Deep Red, Godfather of course, 1 or 2 I’ll re-watch those occasionally, there’s probably 100 more I could tell you.”

Do you have any film memorabilia?

“I’ve got one or two pieces. I’ve been on several of the Bond films sets and I collected a few bullets so I’ve got some bullets that were discharged in Pierce Brosnan’s last film and I’ve got some bullets from Daniel Craig’s first Bond movie. But tragically I’ve mixed them up… so I can’t tell you which one came from which film.

“My friend, Matthew Vaughn, he directed Kick-Ass – my wife wrote the script for that – he gave me one of the weapons that Hit-Girl had, one of the grenades she uses, that’s quite cool. Normally film props don’t look any good, they’re designed to look good on screen.

“I was watching Maverick, the new Top Gun film, when Tom Cruise lands and he throws his helmet to someone and I thought, man if I’d been the person he threw it to I’d have just turned and run off with it. That would be a great piece to have, Tom Cruise’s helmet from Top Gun!

Credit: Jonathan Ross hosts Oscars LIVE Sunday March 10th from 10.15pm on ITV1 and ITVX (plus Ross King is live on the red carpet from 9pm exclusively on ITVX)