10:30am: Ben Affleck goes berserk accepting the award for the Best Film
This is a moment, the whole awards seem hurtling towards. And it's so much more rewarding when someone like Ben Affleck wins for a film as jaw-dropping awesome as Argo.
Affleck makes no attempt at hiding his delight - face flushed, Affleck goes on a thanking spree warbling away gleefully like a child. And that will go down in history as yet another perfect Oscar moment - real, unpretentious and so overwhelming, that miles away, you wring your hands, slap the desk in your workstation and aim a high five at imaginary people!
10.20am: Michelle Obama announces best film award
Surprise! The first lady, Michelle Obama from the White House introduces the Best Picture award! Jack Nicholson ushers in the big surprise as the first lady embarks upon a mini lecture about human striving, struggle etc which feels horribly tacked on. Wearing black and silver gown -- a la Halle Berry and Stacy Keebler. Do three Oscar gowns make a trend?
Lakshmi Chaudhry says: "It's a liberal wet dream: Obama reelection, the great liberal victory, erases the humiliation of Carter's loss. Just as Argo puts a new spin on Carter's handling of Iran -- focusing on a small, lesser known victory to rewrite the hostage debacle.Paranoid rightwingers feel hugely vindicated! It is a vast liberal conspiracy!"
10:17am: Daniel Day Lewis shows you why he is such a stunner!
"Ever since we were married 16 years ago, my wife has had to live with some very strange men," says Lewis as he accepts the award, hinting how his wife had to put up with his eccentricities and also, subtly, pointing how how hard he has worked for this film. Now, some real word play in the Oscars at last!
With Seth MacFarlane's attempt at humour going completely awry, Lewis seemed to have taken it upon himself to inject the ceremony with some wry humour that doesn't make you yawn.
While thanking Spielberg, he jokingly said that Meryl Streep (who was presenting the award), was the director's first choice to play Lincoln. And Lewis himself wanted to play Margaret Thatcher!
10:11am: Jennifer Lawrence gets the best actress award for Silver Linings Playbook
Lawrence, who tripped on the endless train of her gown, rose to pick up her first . The 22-year-old looked more shocked than delighted. A perfect aww-moment was in creation as Lawrence, eyes rolling, breathless, thanked everybody she could probably think of. What was even better was Lawrence going 'wow' as a clip from her film was being played on screen! Smitten, someone?
9.53am: Ang Lee should also probably win a prize for the most boring speech ever
Yes, it had a namaste too! At the end. And he thanked everybody from Yann Martel, Taiwan, his wife and India in the same bored tone. Or maybe it is Oscar ennui - given that his films have bagged ten Oscars in previous years!
However, that doesn't mean, we in India should stop cheering. In fact, the first name he took was that of Suraj Sharma, the St Stephen's student who played a young Pi. "Suraj where are you? You are truly a miracle!," he said.
9.53am: Argo set to sweep Best Film?
Chris Terrio bags the award for writing the Best Adapted Screenplay of the year. With editing and screenplay awards already in its kitty, everything seems to be going for Argo. However, chances of a big upset are as conspicuous because it is in competition with the mammoth film of the year - Lincoln.
Tarantino, on the other hand, picks up the award for the best original screenplay - and accepts with little humility. "When my films will be watched 30-40 years from now, they will be remembered for the characters I created," says Tarantino. Pompous yes, but can we afford to disagree? Not really!
9.50am: It's Adele all the way!
Just as we were getting our hopes up about Bombay Jayashri, Adele, like was predicted, picked up the award for the Best Original Song.
However, there were complaints that in the AV featuring the nominations Jayashri's song was hardly there... her voice was not played out the way Adele's was.
9.40am: Michael Danna gets his first Oscar for the music in Life of Pi
Things looking up for Bombay Jayashri then?
9.17am: Lincoln awarded for production design
Presented by Daniel Radcliffe and Kirsten Stewart, the award went to Rick Carter for production design and Jim Erickson for set decoration.
9.12am: Adele's rendition of Skyfall lives up to the hype
There's little doubt about the fact that Skyfall is a stunning song, there's even less doubt about Adele's vocal histrionics. So her rendition of Skyfall, as expected, was mesmerising. However, the backdrop - shimmery, deep blue and Adele's sequinned black dress made the performance truly the Bond of all the performances this year! Visually at least!
9.03am: William Goldenberg wins Best Film Editing award for Argo
Things are looking up for Argo already. With the best film editing award, in its bag, is it poised to sweep away the best film award too? Given that an editing award has on several occasion been a prelude to the best film award, Ben Affleck and his fans, should be keeping their fingers crossed.
8.52am: Anne Hathaway wins the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Les Miserables
"So it came true," Hathaway almost whispered to the statutette. Nominated once before, the 30-year-old's acceptance speech was probably touching because of that very delicate, personal gesture with which it started. And yes, though her voice wavered a bit, she didn't quite break down as is the Oscar tradition when it comes to women...
Roy says: "That's it? Kept thinking there would be more of her since I'd heard she'd got that Oscar nomination. But nope it was just a really small role. However she loses her job, teeth and hair in that brief role which obviously really struck a chord with the voters. Now she can go out and campaign for Obama's healthcare plan I guess. But the bigger question is why is Anne Hathway so polarizing?"
8.45am: Les Misérables wins the award for Best Sound Mixing, Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall win for sound editing
Sandip Roy says: "An Oscar tie! OMG. that's like Zee Bangla Sa Re Ga Ma last night where obviously unable to decide between the top two they made them joint winners. So all four finalists went home with a prize. Unfortunately because the top spot for Rs 5 lakhs was a tie, each winner might have gotten only Rs 2.5 lakhs while the 1st runner up got 3 lakhs! However no such problem in the Oscar tie between Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall.
There is something very poetic about the dark side of American's secret service and the suave side of British secret service sharing an Oscar."
8.20am: Michael Haneke wins the Best Foreign Language Film award for Amour
Haneke, which has earned Emmanuelle Riva a nomination in the Best Actress category, predictably bagged this one. In fact, the film has been nominated in the regular category too. The French language film directed by Austrian filmmaker Haneke is about the travails of two retired music teachers.
8.12am: Searching for Sugar Man wins the Best Documentary Film award
A Swedish/British documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul follows two Cape Town fans as they embark on a journey to ascertain if their favourite musician, an American singer very popular in South Africa, Rodriquez, was dead as rumoured.
8.05am: Inocente wins the Best Documentary Short, Curfew wins for the Best Live Action short
Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine accept the award for Inocente teeing off the first bout of female weeping, says Firstpost senior editor Lakshmi Chaudhry.
A visibly jubilant Shawn Christensen accepts the award for Curfew.
Sandip Roy says, "Yes you can make an Oscar nominated with a Macbook Pro on your couch went a Digital Trends article about Curfew. Make that an Oscar-winning film. It was the cheapest of all the live action shorts nominated, and the only American one. It was made for about $50,000."
8.00am: Musical tribute paid to the James Bond franchise
Seventy-six-year-old Shirley Bassey just sounded the bugle against Adele - the current toast of Hollywood music. She had reportedly said, that she will not share stage with Adele and will perform "(her) Bond song and Adele will be singing hers". Given how stunning, dramatic and truly Bond-worthy her number was, Adele just got stiff competition!
'I'll be wearing my own jewels, I'm not borrowing them. I own them', Dame Bassey said. And like a good Bollywood star, she had an outfit change. On the carpet she wore a black Isabel Christianson gown but changed into a gold one for the show.
7.45am: Jacqueline Durran wins the Best Costume Design award for Anna Karenina, Les Miserables wins the Best Hair and Make-up award
Durran had been nominated twice previously for Conan and Pride and Prejudice. Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell accept the award for best hair-styling and make up for their work in Les Miserables.
7.35am: Claudio Miranda wins best cinematographer for Life of Pi
Miranda, who has been nominated twice including this time, won the award for the first time. With Life of Pi being hailed world over for its stunning visuals, there was little doubt, however, that Miranda would win. "It was quite a beast to make," says Miranda.
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott accept the award for visual effects created for Life of Pi. Lakshmi Chaudhry, senior editor with Firstpost speculates: "The odds increase that Life of Pi will not win the big one. It will be recognised as what it is: a very pretty movie."
Firstpost senior editor, Sandip Roy says: "Life of Pi is one of the few Oscar nominees that actually had a good run in India. Worldwide the film earned at least half a billion dollars. Silver Linings Playbook had to cancel its Indian premiere despite the Anupam Kher connection because no one cared about it in India. Or those who did had already downloaded it and seen it."
7.30am: Paperman wins Best Animated Short Film, Brave wins Best Animated Feature Film
Paperman, a warm, funny, black and white short film produced by Disney and set in 1940s New York wins in the Best Animated Short Film category. Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy presents award for best animated film to John Kahrs for Paperman.
The award for the Best Animated movie goes to Brave. Brenda And Chapman Mark Andrews, accept the award.
7.21am: Cristoph Waltz wins best supporting actor for Django Unchained
Each nominee in this category has won an Oscar once before. Together they have won 21 Oscars. Christoph Waltz wins, beating Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook, Phillip Seymour Hoffman The Master and Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln. Though most US dailies had predicted a win for Tommy Lee Jones, it was Waltz who had the last laugh.
That's pretty impressive!
Los Angeles: Hollywood's glitziest night is under way as Academy Awards nominees in their finest gowns and tuxes hit the red carpet for Sunday's show, with nominees Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams and Charlize Theron among the more statuesque arrivals.
Chastain, a best-actress contender for "Zero Dark Thirty," blew a kiss to cheering fans while wearing a glistening copper-tone strapless gown, who chanted "Jessica!" while hunky best-actor nominee Bradley Cooper of "Silver Linings Playbook" drew some of the loudest screams from fans. Amanda Seyfried revealed she was wearing a corset: "I feel super tucked in," she said.
Composer Mychael Danna, a dual nominee for the score and theme song to "Life of Pi," joked with red-carpet host Chris Connelly that he was keeping his acceptance speeches in separate pockets of his tuxedo.
Keeping them straight, Danna said, "is one of the reasons I won't be having any cocktails before I go in."
Nine-year-old best-actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" sang a few bars of "Tomorrow" from "Annie," the upcoming movie musical whose title role she snagged in an announcement from Sony Pictures earlier Sunday. She wore a navy-blue dress with black, navy and silver jewels scattered on the skirt and a big bow on the back.
Lawrence was bleeped long before the show even started when ABC silenced her cheeky red-carpet response to actress Kristin Chenoweth. The two were bonding, when Lawrence asked Chenoweth if she liked it too. Chenoweth asked, "Is the pope Catholic?" Lawrence said something about what a bear does in the woods.
Chef Wolfgang Puck showed off some of the eats he'll be serving at the governor's ball after the show, including baked potatoes with caviar, smoked salmon oscars, chicken pot pie with truffle and kobe steak.
"It's going to be the greatest party ever," Puck said.
A giant black-and-white photo of Oscar host Seth MacFarlane towered over the carpet, and some of his family also were among early arrivals, including his sister and father, who wore a green plaid kilt.
"It's not going to be too over the top," said MacFarlane's sister Rachel of her sibling's gig.
Fans have pondered how far MacFarlane the impudent creator of "Family Guy," might push the normally prim and proper Oscars.
MacFarlane may be a wild card, but as for the show itself, predictability could be theAcademy Awards' middle name. This time looks the same, with clear favorites in the main categories.
So Oscar organizers hope they've assembled a show that will be good time on its own performance merits, with wily, bawdy writer, director, animator, singer and all-around vocal talent MacFarlane as host and a ceremony packed with song and dance.
The awards themselves do hold some potential firsts and other rarities.
Ben Affleck's "Argo" looks like it will be an uncommon film to claim best picture without a directing nomination, while "Lincoln" filmmaker Steven Spielberg and star Daniel Day-Lewis are favored to join exclusive lists of three-time Oscar winners.
Affleck was not counting on anything, though.
"We don't expect to depart with anything but our integrity," Affleck said on the red carpet.
If some longshots came in, the night could produce two more three-time acting winners — Sally Field from "Lincoln" and Robert De Niro for "Silver Linings Playbook."
There's also a chance of the oldest or youngest acting winner ever — 86-year-old "Amour" star Emmanuelle Riva and 9-year-old Wallis for "Beasts."
The ABC broadcast itself could set some fresh highs or lows. Oscar overseers keep talking about pacing and trimming fat from a ceremony that's dragged on interminably, approaching four and a half hours one year. Can they keep it tight and lively enough that viewers don't think about gouging out their eyes around the three-hour mark?
And what about host MacFarlane? He's a classy, low-key guy in person, with an old-fashioned Sinatra-style singing voice that he'll no doubt put to use in a show that's shaping up as a music-heavy, Broadway-style celebration of cinema.
Yet MacFarlane's career is built on pushing the envelope — or crumpling it and tossing it in the trash — as he's tested the boundaries of good taste with such brazen shows as his animated series "Family Guy" and last summer's F-bomb-laden blockbuster "Ted," which earned him a songwriting Oscar nomination.
The result could be a fun night for younger, hipper TV audiences that Oscar organizers are courting but a crude awakening for traditionalists who like their Academy Awards to lean more toward the sacred than the profane. Or it could be that MacFarlane makes the most of the thankless task of shepherding the Oscars, striking a nice balance between respecting Hollywood and poking it in the eye.
"I think a little bit of that injected into the mix will go a long way, but I do also have to be mindful, in this instance, of not losing the audience that's there every year," MacFarlane said amid a hectic rehearsal schedule. "It's a different audience from my own, but I do have to be respectful that they will be watching."
So maybe it's an Oscar show that's shaken, but not stirred up too much. That might suit one of the evening's special honorees, British super-spy James Bond, whose adventures will be the subject of a tribute to mark the 50th anniversary of his first big-screen outing in "Dr. No." Adele will perform her Oscar-nominated title tune to last year's Bond tale "Skyfall," while the show features Shirley Bassey, who sang the Bond theme songs for "Goldfinger," ''Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker."
The show presents a salute to movie musicals of the last decade, with "Chicago" Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones and "Dreamgirls" winner Jennifer Hudson joining "Les Miserables" cast members that include best-actor nominee Hugh Jackman, supporting-actress front-runner Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter and Amanda Seyfried.
Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have lined up a bubbly mix of young and old Hollywood as presenters, performers and special guests — from Barbra Streisand, Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda to "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe, "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart, and Robert Downey Jr. and his superhero colleagues from "The Avengers."
Along with front-runners Day-Lewis as best actor for "Lincoln" and Hathaway as supporting actress for "Les Miserables," the other favorites are "Hunger Games" star Lawrence as best actress for "Silver Linings Playbook" and Tommy Lee Jones as supporting actor for "Lincoln."
Affleck's thriller "Argo" is in line for best picture after winning practically every top prize at earlier honors. Hollywood was shocked that Affleck was snubbed for a directing nomination, possibly earning the film some sympathy votes, particularly from actors, who love it when one of their own succeeds behind the camera.
The story of how Hollywood, Canada and the CIA teamed up to rescue six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis, "Argo" would become just the fourth film in 85 years to claim the top prize without a best-directing nomination and the first since 1989's "Driving Miss Daisy."
The best-picture prize typically ends the Oscar show, but this time, MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth will perform a closing number on the Dolby Theatre stage that producers Zadan and Meron called a "'can't miss' moment."
Keeping the wraps on whatever surprises they have in store has been a chore for them and MacFarlane.
"It's been difficult. The press, as you know, is very nosy and sneaky. They're always sniffing around trying to get any advance notice," MacFarlane said. "It's like (expletive) Christmas. Wait till Christmas morning. Don't spoil the surprise."
with inputs from AP