Academy Awards: Lady Gaga announces surprise performance, Avatar sequel NZ's best hope for Oscars glory

Lady Gaga will perform at the 95th Academy Awards today despite saying last week she wouldn't due to Joker: Folie a Deux filming commitments.

Variety magazine quoted sources as saying the 'Poker Face' singer would make a "surprise appearance" to perform her Oscar-nominated song 'Hold My Hand' from Top Gun: Maverick.

Pop star Rihanna will also sing her nominated song 'Lift Me Up' from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Stephanie Hsu, David Byrne and the band Son Lux will perform 'This is a Life' from Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Speaking to AM from the Kodak Theatre Oscars venue in Los Angeles, Newshub's Kate Rodger said there's also talk in Hollywood that perhaps the Tom Cruise action film may be the surprise big winner overall.

Everything Everywhere All At Once has already won plenty of accolades prior to the Oscars (which kick off at 1pm NZT) with its stars Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan tipping to repeat trophy glory today.

"A lot of people are saying 'What if Top Gun wins', how random would that be - it would be very Hollywood if it did, but my money is going on Everything Everywhere All At Once," Rodger said.

Meanwhile, Wellington-based Wētā FX could bring home the Oscar glory again for its visual effects work in three nominated films: Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

The Avatar sequel has already taken out awards including the BAFTA for Best Special Visual Effects. Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, Daniel Barrett and Richard Baneham is the Wētā team nominated for the 2023 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects with Avatar: The Way of Water.

Letteri already has four Academy Awards under his belt.

We will have live updates on with all the latest on the Oscars as the ceremony kicks off at 1pm, then later on Newshub Live at 6pm Kate Rodger will wrap up all the best bits.