10 Reasons We're Excited About Tonight's 86th Annual Academy Awards

Lupita Nyong'o, Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Oscars 2014
Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages, Lester Cohen/WireImage (2), Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Hollywood's biggest night is tonight and we're counting down the minutes till our favorite stars hit the red carpet in their finest designer frocks and suits for the 86th annual Academy Awards. We picked the top ten reasons why we're excited about this Oscar season, in particular.

1. Lupita Nyong'o (In General)Lupita Nyong'o has been the girl-of-the-moment ever since her breakout role in Steve McQueen's 2013 film, 12 Years a Slave and for good reason. Her mesmerizing performance left critics speechless, which explains her countless nominations—from Golden Globes and SAGs, to BAFTAs and Oscars. InStyle first met Nyong'o during the Toronto International Film Festival and from that moment on, she has won everyone's hearts, whether it be from her inspirational and eloquent speeches, to her bold red carpet style. We can't wait to see what she wears for the ceremony (maybe another cape-dress?) and if she'll take home an Oscar.

2. Ellen DeGeneres Is HostingThe famed comedian is taking on the job of host for this year's Oscars for the second time since 2007. What's more? DeGeneres and Whoopi Goldberg are the only two female emcees to have taken the stage without a male sidekick. Now that's girl power.

3. Idina Menzel Performing "Let It Go" From Frozen Idina Menzel is bringing her character Elsa from the nominated film Frozen right to the Oscar stage. “It’s really happening,” says Menzel on her personal Twitter account. “I’m singing on the Oscars! Surreal. Thank u Frozen family and Oscar producers for this incredible opportunity.” We're thankful for this moment, too.

4. Matthew McConaughey's SuitThe Dallas Buyers Club star has been pulling off a myriad of suits for this year's awards season—including a printed tux, a velvet tux, and a teal tux—and it suits him just fine. Sure we're excited to see if he takes home a golden statuette for Best Actor, but we can't help but wonder just what kind tux he is going to wear. A thematic gold-hued one, perhaps?

5. Jared Leto's Hair Jared Leto is getting a lot of attention these days, not just because of his transformative role in Dallas Buyers Club, but for his hairstyle. At the 2014 Golden Globes, the Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture donned a chic man-bun and for the Grammys just weeks later, he let his golden ombré locks loose. So what's it going to be this time around?

6. More Memorable Moments, Courtesy of Jennifer LawrenceJLaw stole everyone's hearts during last year's awards season—especially with her unforgettable Dior slip at the 2013 Oscars and admitting how hungry she was on the red carpet—and the buzz continues to build on what gown the American Hustle-nominated Best Supporting Actress will wear this year. “I know she renegotiated her relationship with Dior so she is very attached to the designer there and he’s very much inspired by her so I can’t see the likelihood of her wearing something else," says InStyle's Fashion News Director Eric Wilson during InStyle‘s Google Oscar Hangout Debate. But what we're also looking forward to is if she'll surprise us with something memorable for 2014, maybe another star-studded photo-bomb?

7. The Buzz for Best ActressThere are a lot of talented women up for a golden statuette in the Best Actress category and this year looks like it's going to be a tough one! From Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), to Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) the race to Oscar has never looked this good (just take a look at their red carpet moments!)

8. Fingers Crossed, This Could be Leo's Big YearThis could very well be Leonardo DiCaprio's (The Wolf of Wall Street) year, but will Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) steal the show? The two stalwart actors are also up against Best Actor nominees Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave). It's going to be interesting!

9. The Potential for Another Iconic Hat Moment from Pharrell Williams Pharrell Williams' Vivienne Westwood hat from the 2014 Grammys got as much attention at the show as his winning 4 gramophones. Not only did the headwear get its own Twitter account @pharrellhat, but now you buy Williams' exact hat for a good cause. Even though it's up for auction on eBay, we're hoping Williams' infamous hat will make an appearance at the Oscars, especially since the musician is set to perform his hit song "Happy" onstage.

10. An Appearance by Brangelina Angelina Jolie may have already won an Oscar based on her humanitarian efforts, but that doesn't mean she won't hit the red carpet with her snazzy plus-one, Brad Pitt (whose film 12 Years a Slave is also nominated)! The couple is set to present during the telecast and if we could get a repeat of Jolie's right-leg-baring Atelier Versace gown, we'd be much obliged.

Want more Oscars? See what this year's contenders had to say about their nominated roles in our gallery!

MORE:• The Most Breathtaking Oscar Gowns• See the Most Outrageous Oscar Looks• Get the Full Red Carpet Breakdown Of This Year's Oscar Nominees

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