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Final touches in place for Academy Awards

February 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The countdown to Hollywood's biggest night is winding down to its final hours, as the 83rd Annual Academy Awards promises a tight race for the big prizes up for grabs.

Rain or shine, Hollywood Boulevard and the Kodak Theatre are just about ready for the big night. Crews put on the final touches surrounding the red carpet and the security team swept the area.

All of the preparations were done in sunny but chilly conditions, as the award show found perfect timing following a late winter storm that hit the Southland over the weekend.

Up until late Saturday night, the red carpet was tented. But as the lingering possibility of rain diminished, the tent was taken down.

Sunday night is expected to be a chilly one, especially for the stars strutting the red carpet in their fabulous gowns.

Expect something different for Sunday's show - it features new producers with new hosts. While James Franco and Anne Hathaway are not comics, producers say they are not an unusual choice.

"There has been a long tradition of movie stars hosting the world's greatest movie show," said producer Bruce Cohen.

There are 10 nominees for best picture, but it looks like it's really down to two films: "The Social Network" and "The King's Speech."

In the last few weeks "The King's Speech" has been on a royal roll taking the top prize from the Directors Guild, the Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Many expect Colin Firth to win his first Oscar for his role as King George VI.

Natalie Portman's en pointe performance in "Black Swan" puts her in the spotlight in the best actress category, though it may be about time for Annette Bening.

"You know for Jeff Bridges, it was his time. With Sandra Bullock, it was her time. And it could very well be Annette Benning's time," said Ann Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood.

The upsets often happen in the supporting actor and actress categories. Melissa Leo from "The Fighter" seems to have the upper hand among actresses but look out for newcomer Hailee Steinfeld.

Leo's co-star Christian Bale is a favorite for best supporting actor, but if it's a big night for "The King's Speech," keep an eye out for Geoffrey Rush.

Sunday night might feel like déjà vu for Rush. Back in 1998, he was nominated for best actor in a movie that was also up for best picture.

However, "Shakespeare in Love" won that year and Rush did not.

This year's Oscar ceremony is set to air live on ABC7 from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2011. Check out a full list of Oscar nominations.

ABC7 and OnTheRedCarpet.com are your news sources for Oscars coverage. Live coverage from the Oscar red carpet begins at 2 p.m. PT. "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars" broadcasts LIVE on ABC7. We're also streaming the show online and on the free On The Red Carpet iPad app, available now in iTunes.

When the last awards have been given out, watch continuing coverage of the Governor's Ball and all the Oscar night parties as "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars" broadcasts LIVE on on ABC7. We're also streaming the show online and on the iPad app.

Oscar.com is your home for the 83rd Academy Awards.
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