Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images
Sharon Clott Kanter
Feb 22, 2015 @ 8:00 am

This Sunday is what red carpet fans have waited for all year: the 87th Annual Academy Awards! The red carpet’s rolled out and the countdown clock is on. So, what should you be looking forward to? This:

1. Three Words: Neil Patrick HarrisWe think he’ll be worth the tune-in alone. Ellen DeGeneres’s turn as a host was a funny and memorable one—who can forget that epic Oscar selfie?—but we’ve seen Harris host the Tonys four times (twice in person), and he’s proven that he’s got the chops to up the ante. He can dance, he can sing (the “Let It Go” songwriters are even penning a tune for him), he can act, and he can tell jokes. And on top of all that, he can do magic. Really, what else is there? Plus, he really wants to bring you a good show. Earlier this week, he told Jimmy Kimmel that the Oscars is “the last hurdle in the award show marathon.” We certainly think he's out to win.

Jeff Vespa/WireImage

2. Whatever Julianne Moore Is Going to Wear Will Go Down in HistoryThis woman is unstoppable. She’s swept every award show Best Actress category, from the Golden Globes to the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her role in the powerful movie Still Alice, and we're rooting that she’ll take home the Best Actress Oscar come ceremony time. What makes this so exciting is three-fold: (1) It will put the cause of Alzheimer’s disease awareness at the center of the entire entertainment industry and the millions of viewers watching for a moment (2) It will be her first win of five nominations, and (3) Whatever she wears—be it Givenchy, Tom Ford, or Chanel—it’ll get plenty of airtime.

RELATED: Why You Should See Still Alice With Julianne Moore

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

3. Lady Gaga’s Goosebumps-Inducing PerformanceThe producers of the show, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, announced Mother Monster’s performance just eight days ago—post-Grammys, pre-engagement. The only hint they gave us is that it’s going to be a “tribute piece,” and she’s already been busy in the studio with rehearsals getting “goosebumps already” over the material. We really don’t know what to expect from the newly-engaged singer, but we do think it’s going to be not-to-miss TV. Plus, we think she’ll be debuting that heart-shaped engagement ring her beau Taylor Kinney gave her, so there’s that. (Fun fact: Gaga’s been rehearsing with the Oscars orchestra, but they won’t even be in the building that night. They perform in the Capitol Records studio down the street instead of under the stage, so there is more room to house the gigantic set changes. Cool, right?!)

4. The Rest of the Performances Sound Quite Promising!Anna Kendrick! Jennifer Hudson! Rita Ora! Common! John Legend! Adam Levine! Tegan and Sara! The Lonely Island! Jack Black! Tim McGraw! This isn't the Grammys, yet the talent that’s going to belt out notes at the Oscars is going to be just as breathtaking, we hope. (Side tangent: The first time I went to the Oscars, I went to the bathroom during a commercial break and the security didn’t let me in because it starting filming live again. I missed the performance of the Les Miserables cast and Jennifer Hudson—not doing that again!)

Jeff Vespa/WireImage

5. The Wild Style of the Best Actor CategoryMatthew McConaughey’s win last year was predictable, this year all bets are off. Will it be The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne, who took home the Golden Globe and SAG Award? Or will it be Michael Keaton’s triumphant return in Birdman that sways the Oscar voters? Or will Bradley Cooper’s American Sniper character piece steal all the votes? This one is truly a gamble, and those categories are the most fun to watch. We’re sure jaws will drop after the name is called.

6. Finally, The Fashion and the FunSave the best for last, right? The Oscars are ultra-formal and hoity-toity and all, but it’s also one helluva time when all the most talented people in show business are under one roof. What got them to this event is years in the making. What they’re wearing to the event is days and months in the making. What happens that night will last forever. It’s amazing to see pop culture being created live as you watch—it's truly the best part. Enjoy!

Follow @sharonclott on Twitter and Instagram for up-to-the-minute updates live from the Oscars. Tune in to watch starting 7 EST on ABC and visit InStyle.com for all our Oscar coverage.

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