As it happened: Academy Awards 2013

As it happened: Academy Awards 2013

As it happened: Academy Awards 2013

Updated 25 February 2013, 19:50 AEST

Hostage thriller Argo beats eight rivals including Steven Spielberg's Lincoln to claim the best picture Oscar, despite Ben Affleck's omission from the best director shortlist.

Hostage thriller Argo has bested eight rivals including Steven Spielberg's Lincoln to claim the best picture Oscar, despite Ben Affleck's controversial omission from the best director shortlist.

Argo is just the fourth film in Academy Awards history to take out the top prize at the Oscars without its director also being nominated.

While Spielberg left empty-handed, Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis made Oscar history, becoming the first person to take home three best actor trophies after winning for his role as America's 16th president.

Jennifer Lawrence picked up the coveted best actress statue, while Anne Hathaway and Christoph Waltz won the supporting categories and Ang Lee picked up best director.

Look back at how the action unfolded at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre. All times AEDT.

4.00pm: And that's all she wrote, folks. You can look back on all today's winners here.

3.57pm:

Affleck pays tribute to 'genius' Spielberg Video: Affleck pays tribute to 'genius' Spielberg (ABC News)

Best picture: Argo

The movie is based on the true story of the CIA rescue from Islamic revolutionary Tehran of six US diplomats who pretended to be producing a fake film.

Accepting the award, director Ben Affleck gives a nod to Iran in his acceptance speech.

I want to thank Canada, I want to thank our friends in Iran, who live under terrible circumstances.

I want to thank you my wife, who I don't normally associate with Iran.

There are eight great films that have as much right to be up here as we do.

You have to work harder than you think you can. You can't hold grudges. And it doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life ... all that matters is you got to get back up.

Argo is just the fourth film ever to win best picture without also having a best director nomination. It follows Wings, Grand Hotel and Driving Miss Daisy.

3.54pm: In a surprise move, Michelle Obama helps introduce the nominees for best picture: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.

I want to congratulate all the nominees on their tremendous work.

They reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we dig deep enough.

Every day through engagement in the arts our children learn .. to dream just a little bigger.

Jack Nicholson is on stage with the First Lady, and says: "Well, nobody is going to mess around with that are they."

Official photographer Pete Souza took this photo from the Diplomatic Room of the White House:

3.48pm:

Best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

Day-Lewis just made history, becoming the first person to win three best actor Oscars. He also won in 1989 for My Left Foot and in 2007 for There Will Be Blood.

It's a strange thing because three years ago, before we decided to do a straight swap, I had been committed to play Margaret Thatcher.

And Meryl was Steven's first choice for Lincoln - I'd like to see that version.

Steve didn't have to persuade me to do it. I had to persuade him that if I was going to do it that Lincoln shouldn't be musical.

He thanks Steven Spielberg and makes reference to Lincoln's impact on history, and wraps up by thanking his mum.

For my mother - thank you so much.

His win means Hugh Jackman misses out - ending Australia's chances of taking home a gong.

Day-Lewis thanks wife for tolerating 'strange men' Video: Day-Lewis thanks wife for tolerating 'strange men' (ABC News)

3.46pm: Best actor time. Up for the award are Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, and Denzel Washington for Flight.

3.43pm:

Best actress - Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook

Every Oscar winner's worst nightmare comes true as Lawrence trips on the stairs before accepting her Oscar.

You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell, and that's really embarrassing.

This is nuts. Thank you to the women this year - you were so amazing.

"This is nuts" ... Jennifer Lawrence on winning the Oscar for Best Actress Video: "This is nuts" ... Jennifer Lawrence on winning the Oscar for Best Actress (ABC News)

3.41pm: Time for the best leading actress award. It's between Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook, Emmanuelle Riva for Amour, Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Naomi Watts for The Impossible.

3.34pm:

Best director - Ang Lee for Life of Pi

Thank you movie God. I really need to share this with all 3,000 who worked with me on the Life of Pi.=

I want to thank you for believing in this story.

Thank you to Yann Martel for writing this incredible book.

Lee thanks his wife of 30 years, and also thanks his lawyer and agent, saying "I have to do that".

Steven Spielberg has now lost best director twice to Lee.

Ang Lee takes home Best Director Oscar Video: Ang Lee takes home Best Director Oscar (ABC News)

3.32pm: Time for the coveted best director gong. It's between Michael Haneke for Amour, Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, and David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook.

3.28pm: Seth MacFarlane jokes that the ceremony has gone on so long the 2014 Oscars will have to kick off right away. I feel you, Seth.

3.27pm:

Best original screenplay - Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained

Tarantino, who's wearing a leather tie, accepts the award from Dustin Hoffman and his neighbour, Charlize Theron.

I actually think if people are knowing about my movies 50 years from now, it's going to be about the characters I create.

I have to cast the right people to make those characters come alive and live for a long time. And boy, this time, did I do it!

It's such an honour to get it this year because in both the original and the adapted categories, the writing is so great. This will be the writer's year, man. Peace out.

3.25pm:

Best adapted screenplay - Chris Terrio for Argo

3.12pm:

Best original song - Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth for Skyfall

Adele gives us the first on-stage tears of the night, but just manages to hold it together.

"You're all amazing," she tells the crowd.

The win marks the first Bond-related Oscar win since Thunderball picked up a trophy for visual effects in 1965. It's fitting given Hollywood is celebrating 007's 50th anniversary this year.

3.09pm:

Best original score - Mychael Danna for Life of Pi

2.57pm: Steel yourselves: George Clooney introduces the In Memoriam section.

A video montage pays tribute to those who shone both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, including Jack Klugman, Michael Clarke Duncan, Marvin Hamlisch, Tony Scott and Nora Ephron.

Barbra Streisand then takes the stage to sing Memories, receiving a standing ovation.

2.49pm:

Best production design - Rick Carter and Jim Erickson for Lincoln

2.35pm: Adele time! The songstress is on stage to perform her Bond hit Skyfall.

She is good, but not great - and the crowd might just agree, as they didn't give her a standing ovation.

2.33pm:

Best film editing - William Goldenberg for Argo

2.23pm:

Best supporting actress - Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables

She dreamed a dream, and accepting her Oscar, says: "It came true".

She thanks Les Miserables director Tom Hooper, the film's cast and her friends and family.

I must thank you Hugh Jackman - Hugh you're the best.

My husband, by far and away the greatest moment of my life was the one where you walked into it. I love you so much.

Here's hoping that one day not too soon, the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories, and never in real life.

Hathaway's win means Australian Jacki Weaver has missed out on the award for her part in the film Silver Linings Playbook.

Watch Anne Hathaway's Best Supporting Actress speech Video: Watch Anne Hathaway's Best Supporting Actress speech (ABC News)

2.21pm: Best supporting actress time. It's between Amy Adams for The Master, Sally Field for Lincoln, Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, Helen Hunt for The Sessions, and Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook.

2.18pm: Here's a recap of the winners so far:

Best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

Best foreign language film: Amour

Best animated feature: Brave

Best cinematography: Life of Pi

Best costume design: Anna Karenina

Best documentary feature: Searching for Sugar Man

Best documentary short: Inocente

Best make-up: Les Miserables

Best short animated film: Paperman

Best sound mixing: Les Miserables

Best sound editing: Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall


2.15pm:

Best sound editing - It's a tie! Paul N.J. Ottosson for Zero Dark Thirty, and Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for Skyfall

A tie is very rare, but it has happened before.

The first tie in 1932, when Wallace Beery and Frederic March both won best actor.

In 1968 Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand shared the best actress award.

There were also ties in 1949 for documentary short subject, in 1986 for documentary feature and 1994 for live action short.

2.12pm:

Best sound mixing - Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes for Les Miserables

2.10pm: Here's a snap of MacFarlane backstage.

2.01pm: The cast of Les Miserables is on now, singing the classics from the musical.

Poor Rusty's voice stands out like a sore thumb. Points for effort, I guess.

1.54pm: John Travolta dances onto the stage to introduce a tribute to musical films.

Catherine Zeta-Jones nails All That Jazz before Jennifer Hudson absolutely belts out And I Am Telling You.

Enjoy it while it lasts, because Russell Crowe is coming soon.

1.50pm:

Best foreign language film - Michael Haneke (Austria) for Amour

He thanks the Academy for the honour, and pays tribute to his wife:

You are the centre of my life.

1.44pm:

Best documentary feature - Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn for Searching for Sugar Man

The Jaws theme makes a return to cut their acceptance speech off.

1.41pm: Seth MacFarlane makes his most inappropriate joke so far, saying Daniel Day-Lewis is not the first actor to get inside Abraham Lincoln's head.

The actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth.

Really, 150 years and still too soon?

Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in 1865. Lots of people on Twitter are saying it was in poor taste, but I think it's surprising the Family Guy creator didn't cross the taste line sooner.

1.36pm:

Best short documentary - Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine for Inocente

Fine pays tribute to one of the subjects in the doco:

We want to thank this young lady who was homeless a year ago, and now she's standing before you.

1.34pm:

Best live action short film - Shawn Christensen for Curfew

1.31pm: Jessica Chastain gives us a peek at what she's up to backstage.

1.21pm: Seth MacFarlane jokes that the sacrifices made by female stars in order to fit into their dresses were worth it:

To those of you who gave yourself the flu a few weeks ago to get there, it paid off.

Halle Berry then takes to the stage to introduce the Academy's video tribute to James Bond's 50th anniversary.

Shirley Bassey is in the house now, singing Goldfinger in a tribute to 007. She gets a standing ovation from the crowd after a strong finish.

1.19pm:

Best make-up and hairstyling - Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell for Les Miserables

The win means Australian Rick Findlater misses out on an Oscar for his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

1.18pm:

Best costume design - Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina

1.09pm:

Best visual effects - Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott for Life of Pi

For the first time so far, music is brought on to end the acceptance speech. It's the Jaws theme song.

Their win means Australian Dave Clayton, who had been nominated for his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, misses out.

1.08pm:

Best cinematography - Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi

1.06pm: MacFarlane jokes that The Avengers was the most popular movie of the year, "which is why it's only nominated once".

1.01pm: Here's a look back at how the first ever Oscars unfolded:

About 270 people attended the first Academy Awards ceremony on May 16, 1929.

Tickets costs $5 each and the ceremony lasted 15 minutes.

American Janet Gaynor won best actress for Sunrise and Seventh Heaven, both from 1927, and Street Angel from 1928.

The best actor award went to Swiss-born Emil Jannings for The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh.

Wings won best picture and musical The Jazz Singer received a special award as the "pioneering outstanding talking picture".

It was ruled ineligible for best picture because the Academy thought it would be unfair to let sound films compete with silents.

In total 15 awards were given out, with the winners decided months earlier.

The next year, the Academy decided to keep the results secret until the ceremony.

12.59pm:

Best animated feature: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman for Brave

12.58pm:

Best animated short film - John Kahrs for Paperman

12.55pm: You can peek inside the Oscars program here.

12.50pm:

Best supporting actor - Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

Waltz pays tribute to his character in the film - a German dentist turned bounty hunter.

My unlimited gratitude goes to Dr King Shultz - and the creator of his awe-inspiring world, Quentin Tarantino.

You can watch Tarantino narrate a scene featuring Waltz here.

12.48pm: Best supporting actor time. It's between Alan Arkin for Argo, Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook, Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master, Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, and Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained.

Historian William Loren Katz is hoping Tommy Lee Jones wins for his turn as Congressman Thaddeus Stevens.

Writing in the Huffington Post, he looks at how Hollywood has painted Stevens in the past and expresses hope that Spielberg's movie will shine a spotlight on Stevens. It's an interesting perspective.

12.31pm: In the words of the Academy... ready Seth go!

Best picture winners of the past 20 years

2012 - The Artist
2011 - The King's Speech
2010 - The Hurt Locker
2009 - Slumdog Millionaire
2008 - No Country for Old Men
2007 - The Departed
2006 - Crash
2005 - Million Dollar Baby
2004 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2003 - Chicago
2002 - A Beautiful Mind
2001 - Gladiator
2000 - American Beauty
1999 - Shakespeare in Love
1998 - Titanic
1997 - The English Patient
1996 - Braveheart
1995 - Forrest Gump
1994 - Schindler's List
1993 - Unforgiven

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane takes to the stage, saying his quest is to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh.

He gets big laughs for touching on the Academy's perceived snub of Argo director Ben Affleck, saying the story is "so top secret the film's director is unknown to the Academy".

Ben, they know they screwed it up.

He turns the act into a running joke about whether he will be deemed the worst ever Oscars host, and William Shatner arrives as Captain Kirk to save MacFarlane's broadcast.

MacFarlane launches into a song listing the actresses who have gone topless in films. "We saw your boobs," he sings.

Shatner hits back that actresses want to be honoured, not mocked.

MacFarlane is joined on stage by Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum, and he croons a version of The Way You Look Tonight.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe then join MacFarlane on the stage for another musical number. But Shatner says it's still not enough to evade the "mediocre host" tag, so MacFarlane launches into an Oscar-themed version of Be Our Guest.

The host gets big cheers from the crowd, but it feels a little too safe and self-aware for my liking.

Like many, I expected MacFarlane to ruffle a few Tinseltown feathers and push some boundaries with his humour, and it's not happening just yet.

12.30pm: The stars are taking their seats for the Oscars ceremony.

Here's a reminder of who's vying for the top four awards:

Best pictureAmour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty
Best directorMichael Haneke (Amour), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Best actressJessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Best actorBradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight)

12.05pm: Poor Seth MacFarlane. It seems many people were expecting actor Seth Rogan to host.

Rogan didn't do much to discourage that view, tweeting that he was "so psyched" to take to the stage.

12.02pm: Twilight actress Kristen Stewart is on the red carpet with crutches. Here's a photo.

While today's event celebrates the best in cinema, Stewart yesterday received a less honourable award in the form of a Razzie.

11.55am: Jacki Weaver is speaking to Channel Nine's Richard Wilkins, joking she is now so posh that she has a stylist.

She says going to bed with Robert DeNiro in Silver Linings Playbook "wasn't bad at all - and I got paid to do it".

She also offers to buy the "rich" a drink:

I think they're lucky to rub shoulders with me.

11.48am: Last year a Twitter account was made for Angelina Jolie's leg after the actress caused a stir with her revealing split dress (and awkward posing).

This year, it's Ben Affleck's beard making waves on social media.

@BenAfflecksBeard Let's be serious: Tonight WILL be a Showdown of the Beards: Mine, Valjean's and Abraham Day-Lincoln's.

11.45am: Adele, who will be singing during the ceremony, is bucking the fashion trend of nude and pale gowns, rocking a black dress.

On performing, she says: "I feel like Beyonce". I wonder if that mean's she'll be miming?

11.30am: Ladies, George Clooney is in the house. He's continuing today's trend of gents wearing bow ties.

Here's a photo.

Also spotted: Jennifer Aniston (who is wearing red on the red carpet), Jane Fonda (in bright yellow) and Nicole Kidman with partner Keith Urban.

11.27am: Nominee Bradley Cooper has brought his mum Gloria along. She tells E! she is proud as punch:

I was very excited. He did a lot of work on this movie. I'm very excited to be here - this is my first Oscars.

Meanwhile actress Helen Hunt, who is nominated for The Sessions, says she never made it to her high school prom, but says the Oscars makes up for it

11.21am: Naomi Watts, who's up for best actress for The Impossible, is on the red carpet with partner Liev Schreiber.

The film is based on a true story, and Watts says she has become good friends with the woman she portrays.

11.20am: Best supporting actress nominee Anne Hathaway, who looks glamorous in a pale pink cut-out Prada gown, says her life has been great since she tied the knot:

I'm just overjoyed. It's a blessing.

All this has just been the cherry on top of a wonderful dish of vegan ice-cream.

11.16am: Les Miserables Amanda Seyfried is upfront about the comfort level of her gown:

I can't sit down and feel like my organs are being pushed out of my body.

11.03am: Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Hudson and Charlize Theron are on the scene. I think Theron, who is sporting a short crop, is an early frontrunner for best dressed.

11.01am: Lincoln stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Sally Field, who is nominated for best supporting actress, give E! an insight into Daniel Day-Lewis's commitment to the role.

Field says the actor would send her text messages in character as Lincoln:

I hate talking on the phone, so if you're thinking of calling me, I'd rather have a text. It's like letters, and that's how Mary and Abraham corresponded.

Gordon-Levitt reveals he got a letter from Day-Lewis that closely mimics Lincoln's penmanship:

He actually signed it as both - it was D/A. It's one of my most prized possessions.

10.51am: Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence is on the red carpet now, looking pretty in pale pink Dior.

She says she is enjoying the "amazing ride":

This was such a passion project for all of us, we just care so much about it and we love it.

She's renowned for being down to Earth, and she jokes with E! presenter Ryan Seacrest:

I have had no time to eat and I am starving. Is there food here?

She also makes good on a dare with fellow actress Emma Stone. "Your ass is mine, Stone," Lawrence says into the camera.

10.51am: Argo's Bryan Cranston, who's also known for his role in Breaking Bad, tells E! that director Ben Affleck is more nervous than excited.

Regardless of how much experience you have in front of the microphone, when it comes to that time when you're being honoured, there's butterflies.

He also spills on his entertainment expectations for the evening:

We're hoping for a wardrobe malfunction, at least on someone, that's always exciting.

10.46am: Australian star Jacki Weaver, who is up for the best supporting actress gong for Silver Linings Playbook, looks gorgeous in a red gown which she has teamed with $2 million worth of diamonds.

She also reveals it took her almost four hours to "get my face on".

"What beautiful eyes you have," she jokes to E! presenter Ryan Seacrest.

10.45am: Did you know... Daniel Day-Lewis originally turned down the lead in Lincoln, but reconsidered after Steven Spielberg insisted he couldn't make the film without him. Smart move, Daniel.

10.40am: What do Johnny Depp, Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson and Glenn Close have in common?

They've never won an Oscar!

The Huffington Post has compiled a gallery of baby boomer actors who have never won the prized gold statue, and the inclusions may just surprise you.

10.33am: Quvenzhane Wallis tells E! she chose her gown because "it was sparkly and fluffy". She has teamed it with a puppy bag.

She also says her Oscar nod is "crazy", and reveals her views on her best actress nominees:

They're older and they're more sophisticated.

[The Oscars is] fun, it's a lot of people, but you got to get use to things.

10.27am: Nominee Amy Adams is among the early red carpet arrivals, as are Samantha Barks (of Les Miserables fame), Viola Davis and Reese Witherspoon, who critics say has the most glamorous hair so far.

Meanwhile the crowd goes wild for Channing Tatum, who arrives alongside his pregnant wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum.

He tells E! the baby is his "greatest production yet".

10.20am: Jessica Chastain brought her grandmother to the Oscars for a second time - what a sweetheart.

The actress tells told E! she is soaking up the atmosphere of Hollywood's premier awards:

I'm freaking out. Last year I was a bit stunned by the fog of it ... and this year it's like I can see clearly now.

She also spills on why she chose her nude-toned gown, which is winning over fashion critics:

It's a very 'Happy Birthday, Mr President' kind of dress. It remind me of old Hollywood glamour.

10.15am: Even the US State Department is weighing in, backing Ben Affleck's Argo for best film.

US secretary of state John Kerry has tweeted his best wishes for the film, and the State Department has shared a photo showing a scene from Argo being filmed in their Washington building.

10.10am: Rachael MacFarlane, the sister of host Seth, reveals he has been rehearsing for five months.

But she isn't giving much away about what we can expect:

I got some funny emails and texts with some music and some gags, and I think everybody's going to be absolutely blown away.

10.07am: Quvenzhane Wallis, the young Beasts of the Southern Wild star, has arrived on the red carpet, as has her best actress rival Jessica Chastain.

Chastain is tipped to win, but I'm crossing my fingers for nine-year-old Wallis, who will become the youngest ever Oscar winner if she picks up a trophy.

10.02am: Model Heidi Klum has tweeted a sketch of her Oscars dress. I think some jaws will hit the floor when she arrives.

All about Oscar

The holy grail of Hollywood is 34cm tall and weighs 3.85kgs

The gold statue, officially called an Academy Award of Merit, was created in 1929

Oscars were first made of gold-plated solid bronze but are now made of 24-karat gold

For three years during WWII, they were made of painted plaster

They cost about $18,000 each to make

Engraved on the base of each Oscar is the statuette's individual serial number

They also feature a plaque telling the owner that it cannot be sold, given or transferred to anyone else without having been offered to the Academy

The Academy has the right to buy them back for $US10

Hugh Jackman's also taken to Twitter, sharing a photo of himself getting ready.

Earlier this morning Jackman, who's up for the best actor gong for his role in Les Miserables, told Triple M he thinks tipped Argo will win best picture and Ang Lee will take out best director:

I went to rehearsals last night and I caught a glimpse of Seth MacFarlane who's hosting it and it took me back to 2011 when I hosted, and I was like - being nominated is a walk in the park.

It also helps being in a category where there's Daniel Day-Lewis, you don't even have to worry about an acceptance speech.

9.55am: Ben Affleck is on the red carpet now. He was snubbed by the Academy in the best director category but his flick Argo is up for best picture.

If Argo wins, it will be the first movie to take home Oscar for best picture without its director winning even a nomination since Driving Miss Daisy in 1990.

9.49am: Life of Pi star Suraj Sharma hopes the film's director Ang Lee takes out an Oscar tonight:

I really hope so. At this point, that's all I want. He's been in it every single day, 100 per cent.

9.35am: Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who has the daunting task of preparing the post-Oscars feast, has made an early red carpet appearance.

He has catered the event for nearly 19 years, and will feed 1,500 guests this year.

He will serve nearly four dozen dishes. The spread will include a sushi bar, a shellfish station, mini burgers, baked potato, tortellini with truffles, lamb and lobster.

Puck's team will also craft thousands of traditional gold-dusted chocolate Oscars.

A kitchen staff of 350 will help prepare the food and drinks, that will be served up by an army of 600 waiters and bartenders.

9.31am: The Academy has tweeted a 360-degree look at the Dolby Theatre's grand staircase.

Check it out here ... definitely the calm before the storm.

9.30am: Before we turn our attention to the glitz and glamour of the red carpet, let's look back on Triple j film critic Mark Fennell's picks for the Oscars.

Fennell says Ben Affleck's Argo will "almost definitely" beat Steven Spielberg's presidential drama Lincoln in the best picture stakes.

Although Lincoln was the early frontrunner, Argo has dominated Hollywood's awards season so far, so I'm inclined to agree.

Check out Fennell's other tips:

Argo a favourite for best film Video: Argo a favourite for best film (ABC News)