The 2013 Oscars: Live Report

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0555 GMT: As the Dolby Theater empties of its glamours guests, AFP is closing our live report from the 2013 Oscars.

0551 GMT: MORE FROM BACKSTAGE as Affleck still has to answer questions about not getting a Best Director nod.

He said, "Naturally, I was disappointed. But when I look at the directors who weren't nominated. Paul Thomas Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper, Quentin Tarantino, these were all amazing directors who I admire. It was just a tough year. You're not entitled to anything. I am honored to be here, among these movies, and I'm honored to win an Academy Award."

0530 GMT: The stars are headed to the after parties and Seth MacFarlane is no doubt breathing easier with the ceremony is over, but before we know how many people tuned in - and kept watching.

0525 GMT: Unlike previous years when a single film dominated, the night ends with the wealth spread among the nominees.

It wasn't the best night for favorite "Lincoln," which went into the race with a leading 12 nominations and emerged with just two statues - production design and, of course, Best Actor for Day-Lewis.

Meanwhile "Zero Dark Thirty," also an early favorite and nominated for five awards, came away with just one - for sound editing.

"Life of Pi," which had 11 nominations, scooped four including Best Director for Ang Lee.

"Les Miserables," which had eight nominations, won three, including Hathaway's Best Supporting Actress.

"Argo," which had seven nominations going in, got three, including the top prize of Best Picture. It becomes only the third film in Oscar history to do so without a best director nomination.

It was also a good night for Tarantino - his film won two.

The heavily-promoted "Silver Linings Playbook," which entered with eight nominations, however, only won one, although a good one - Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence.

0515 GMT: FROM THE TROPHY ROOM our Robert Christopher Wollard reports that Adele continued to be candid. Reporters asked her what was next and she joked, "I dunno maybe I'll do an HBO special like Beyonce did. Maybe a Tony. Nah, not my kind of thing a musical. No offence."

She also made it sound like she's a dedicated mom. When asked how she'd be celebrating, she responded, "I think I might go to the Vanity Fair party but I've got to be up at six. One glass of champagne and I'm done these days."

Poor Jennifer Lawrence had to answer questions about her fall. "How did it happen? Look at my dress. I tried to walk up stairs in this dress. That's what happened," she replied.

What was going through her mind when she fell, "A bad word that I can't say. That starts with 'F.'"

Day Lewis tells the reporters in the press room to do an "intervention" if he slips back into character.

He's then asked if he was getting help with his eloquent acceptance speeches. He said, "I wish. But no. If you can't find your own words at moments like this it would pretty sad. I kind of love it when people are inarticulate. Because it says so much."

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE we are learning that Obama appeared from the Diplomatic Room of the White House.

Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, sent this statement: "The Academy Awards approached the First Lady about being a part of the ceremony. As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all - especially our young people - with their passion, skill and imagination."

0500 GMT: MacFarlane and Kristen Chenoweth perform a song dedicated to the losers as the credits roll, wrapping up the ceremony.

0455 GMT: The Best Picture is "Argo." The seven-time nominated film comes away with three Oscars, including the big one.

Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslove take the stage to accept.

Affleck sounds genuinely nervous as he babbles through his acceptance speech. He says, "I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran living in a terrible circumstance right now."

He continues, "I want to acknowledge Steven Spielberg who I feel is a genius."

He says he was "just a kid" when he won his first Oscar for "Good Will Hunting" and he never thought he would be back.

"It doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life, because that's going to happen. All that matters is you got to get up."

0452 GMT: Jack Nicholson comes on stage to present the Oscar for Best Picture, but he throws it via video link to Michelle Obama at the White House. She's wearing a stunning, silver Naeem Khan dress and sparkling earings.

She makes a speech about engagement with the arts, praising the nominees and thanking everyone there tonight for being a part of it.

Obama opens the envelope to announce "Argo" as the Best Picture winner.

0445 GMT: Meryl Streep comes out in a sequinned, silver gown to announce the nominees for Best Actor.

Daniel Day Lewis wins - making him the first actor to win three times in this category.

Streep didn't even pause as she announced the winner - no fake suspense needed here. Was there even an envelope?

Day-Lewis's acceptance speech is graceful and quite possibly the funniest part of the evening. He jokes that three years ago he and Streep decided to do a straight swap as he had been committed to play Margaret Thatcher and Meryl was Steven's "first choice for 'Lincoln.' I'd have liked to have seen that version."

0440 GMT: Last year's Best Actor Oscar winner Jean Dujardin enters to present the Best Actress Oscar.

And the Oscar goes to Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook."

"My Cherie Amour" plays - it's the song that sends Bradley Cooper's character crazy in their film - but oh no! She fell as she was trying to get on stage.

She gets a standing ovation, but says, "You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell." Then she continues, "This is nuts!"

She thanks her fellow nominees and remembers to wish Emmanuelle Riva a happy birthday - the French actress turns 86 today.

0435 GMT: The surprises keep coming as the Oscar for Best Director goes to Ang Lee for "Life of Pi."

Steven Spielberg is upset again by Lee.

This is Lee's second Oscar (his first was for "Brokeback Mountain").

The versatile director, who also helmed "Sense and Sensibility" and the Oscar nominated "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," bows to the crowd before thanking all his collaborators on "Life of Pi," the adaptation of the book many said was unfilmable.

It looks like "Lincoln" will be the big loser tonight, unless it pulls an upset of its own and wins best picture.

0434 GMT: Introducing "Hollywood legends" Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas, MacFarlane comments they can "remember when this town was nothing but cocaine trees as far as the eye could see."

"It's late," he adds.

Just before the last commercial break he had commented that the telecast was going on for so long the 2014 Oscars would start immediately afterwards.

0426 GMT: A surprise in the Best Original Screenplay category as the Oscar goes to Quentin Tarantino for "Django Unchained."

This is Tarantino's second Oscar - his last was also a screenplay award for "Pulp Fiction" in 1995.

"It's such an honor to get it this year because I have to say, in both the original and the adapted categories, the writing is just fantastic. This will be the writers' year, man. I love the competition!"

He ends his acceptance speech yelling, "Peace Out!"

0422 GMT: Seth MacFarlane says he will free associate the names of the two most opposite Oscar winners he can imagine and see if they appear. And they do - Charlize Theron and Dustin Hoffman. They're on stage to announce best adapted screenplay.

Pundits have been speculating wildly about this one and most agree it was very hard to call.

Chris Terrio wins for "Argo."

He looks stunned and is out of breath, thanking his fellow nominees including Pulitzer-winning Tony Kushner and acknowledging the real life Tony Mendez.

"Argo's" chances for Best Picture tonight look even better.

0416 GMT: And the Oscar goes to Adele and Paul Epworth, who co-wrote the Bond number "Skyfall." The British singer already has awards galore but this is her first Oscar.

She gets tearful as she accepts the golden statue, managing a "this is amazing" before breaking down early into her thank-yous and handing over to Epworth.

He says he "can't really believe I'm up here to receive this."

"You're all amazing as well!" Adele shouts out to the audience as they leave the stage.

0414 GMT: Norah Jones comes out to sing Best Original Song nominee, "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from MacFarlane's "Ted."

0408 GMT: The cast of the Oscar winning film "Chicago" Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta Jones reunite in the role of presenters. MacFarlane jokes that they were needed because "we're concerned tonight's show isn't gay enough already."

The Oscar for Best Original Score goes to Mychael Danna for "Life of Pi."

0401 GMT: The screen lifts and it's Barbra Striesand in a special tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. This is her first Oscar appearance in 36 years. She sings "The Way We Were."

0356 GMT: George Clooney introduces the In Memoriam remembrances.

The theme from "Out of Africa" accompanies the images of Academy members who died in the past year.

0347 GMT: MacFarlane introduces the next presenters saying, "He's a boy wizard and she's a girl vampire, so together they're pretty much everything the Christian right says is wrong with Hollywood." Enter Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart.

They award the Oscar for Best Production Design. The winners are designer Rick Carter and Set decorator Jim Erickson for "Lincoln."

Spielberg's 12-time nominated film gets its first Oscar of the night

0335 GMT: Jennifer Lawrence introduces "the unstoppable Adele" to sing "Skyfall", her nominated song from the Bond film. Both women are likely Oscar winners tonight and Lawrence seems touchingly a little nervous.

Adele's takes the microphone wearing a second glittering black number. This one is T-length. It also looks like she has glitter on her nails.

She's on stage with an orchestra and a back-up choir. It's not as exciting as the evening's earlier musical performances, but her confidence makes you wish you could sing half so well in the shower - let alone in front of a millions-strong television audience.

0331 GMT: Sandra Bullock presents the Oscar for Best Film Editing to William Goldenberg who was also nominated in this category for work on "Zero Dark Thirty." It's his first Oscar win and the night's first Oscar for Argo.

0323 GMT: Anne Hathaway wins as expected. This is her first Oscar and second nomination.

"It came true" she says softly as she accepts her statuette.

The 30-year-old actress has been the favorite to get this throughout the awards season for her role as the consumptive, tragic prostitute Fantine (she lost about a fifth of her body weight and had all her hair cut off on camera).

She says, "Here's hoping that someday in the not too distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and not in real life."

0320 GMT: Christopher Plummer enters to the theme of "The Sound Of Music." He's here to announce Best Supporting Actress.

Plummer praises all the nominees and says, "I look forward to the honor of working with any of these ladies, in my next 30 films."

Who's competing? Amy Adams, Sally Field, Anne Hathaway, Helen Hunt and Jacki Weaver.

0314 GMT: The Best Sound Editing category has a tie! The first Oscar goes to Paul N.J. Ottosson for "Zero Dark Thirty" and the second goes to Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for "Skyfall."

Many thought Sam Mendes' Bond movie would win for this.

0310 GMT: The Oscar for Best Sound Mixing goes as expected to "Les Miserables."

Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes rush to the stage to accept the golden statues.

0309 GMT: MacFarlane jokes: "You guys have made some inspiring movies, I made 'Ted.'"

There is applause. Then he introduces "the stars of my mediocre effort" - the highest grossing original R-rated comedy. It made half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

Mark Wahlberg and Ted take to the stage. Potty mouthed Ted asks where the post Oscars orgy will be - Wahlberg says it's at Jack Nicholson house.

0305 GMT: Twitter spoofs strike again!

An account inspired by Anne Hathaway's rather pointed dress this evening - @HathawayNipple - has so far amassed 2,385 followers: "It's an honor to be considered this year's @AngiesRightLeg. I'd like to thank Victor Hugo. #Oscars," it Tweeted.

0304 GMT: Hugh Jackman leads the cast of "Les Miserables" in a performance of "Suddenly." The crowd is on its feet again.

0256 GMT: It's John Travolta, introducing a tribute to film musicals. Oh yes, he was in "Hairspray."

Catherine Zeta Jones comes on to perform "All That Jazz" from "Chicago." She won the Oscar for her performance in the musical and looks just as good in the costume ten years later. She sounds great too.

Then Jennifer Hudson brings down the house with a reprisal of her 2007 role in "Dreamgirls." Her rendition of "You're Gonna Love Me" gets the second standing ovation of the night.

0250 GMT: Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastain take the stage to announce the Best Foreign Language Film. As expected the Oscar goes to "Amour" from Austria.

The director of the unflinching and intimate end-of-life drama, Michael Haneke, 70, takes the stage to accept his award - his film is also in the running for Best Picture.

0243 GMT: Affleck takes the stage to award the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn win for "Searching For Sugar Man."

Many pundits predicted the feel-good musical detective story would win and it does.

0241 GMT: MacFarlane tries some more jokes saying the actor who best got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth.

The room goes quiet. "150 years and it's still too soon," MacFarlane counters. "I've got some Napoleon jokes coming up, you guys are going to be so mad."

He introduces Ben Affleck, and pokes fun at his journey from starring in "Gigli" to his status as feted director saying we're close to having to call him Benjamin Affleck.

Reading the teleprompter he pauses and says, "I thought we cut this joke," but ploughs ahead anyway. "The first time I saw him with all that hair I thought, 'Oh my god - the Kardashians have finally made the jump to film."

MacFarlane gets a laugh.

0239 GMT: MacFarlane introduces Liam Neeson as the definition of a "modern American superhero."

The Irish star introduces another three of the nominees for Best Picture - "Argo," "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

Clips from the three films are shown.

0236 GMT: "Star Trek" star George Takei is also weighing in on MacFarlane, Tweeting, "Bill Shatner, Seth McFarlane [sic] the gay men's chorus of LA and a musucal [sic] number about boobs. This is epic."

0235 GMT: The Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar goes to Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine for the film "Inocente."

It is the first tearful acceptance of the night with a call to action to support the arts.

0233 GMT: It's time to honor short films.

Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx, stars of "Django Unchained" award the Oscar to Shawn Christensen wins for "Curfew."

It's the first nomination and Oscar for Christensen.

0227 GMT: Dame Shirley Bassey - in gold - takes to the stage to sing "Goldfinger."

This is the 76-year-old Welsh singer's first Oscar appearance.

She kills the song, spurring the audience to its feet for the first standing ovation of the evening.

0222 GMT: It's Bond time. Halle Berry enters and says, "Tonight we celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond in motion pictures."

A montage of best Bond moments from the franchise's half-century follows, including clips featuring Berry

0220 GMT: The Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling goes to Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell for their work on "Les Miserables."

Many predicted the British team behind the transformations in Tom Hooper's musical would get this award - among them turning Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman into ragged shadows of themselves with incredibly bad teeth.

0219 GMT: Jennifer Aniston and Channing Tatum come on to the stage to announce the costume design Oscar. Tatum jokes about the work costume designers do, even the "waxing" - no doubt a reference to his role as a stripper in "Magic Mike."

"Waxing?" asks Aniston.

"Welcome to the club, Chan. Not so fun, is it?"

The Best Costume Design Oscar goes to Jacqueline Durran for "Anna Karenina." It's the first Oscar for the British costume designer.

0216 GMT: Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke is weighing in on MacFarlane.

"This show opening is just interminable. It has nothing to do with the movies. It has nothing to do with the Oscars. It's just an incredibly annoying self-indulgence on the part of MacFarlane and show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron who have many musicals on their resumes."

0208 GMT: "The Avengers" announce the next award, Best Visual Effects Oscar. And the winner is - "Life Of Pi."

It's the second Oscar of the night for Ang Lee's 11-time nominated film, which has been hailed for its stunning visual effects.

The thank you speech goes on for too long and the "leave the stage now" music starts to sounds like the "shark attacks" moment from Jaws.

0205 GMT: The stars of "The Avengers" take the stage to present the award for cinematography.

The Oscar goes to Claudio Miranda for the film "Life of Pi."

It's his first Academy Award.

Many predicted he would win for Ang Lee's visually sumptuous film.

A breathless Miranda stumbles over his speech, "I can hardly speak," he gasps after declaring "this movie was quite a beast to make."

MacFarlane is back on stage. He introduces Quvenzhane Wallis, the youngest best actress nominee, who's sitting in the audience.

He says every nominee should be told that what they've accomplished is something "a nine year old could do".

He then takes a swipe at George Clooney and how he likes to date younger and younger women. He tosses the front-row seated star a mini-bar bottle of Jack Daniels to make amends.

0204 GMT: Reese Witherspoon, who won Best Actress for "Walk the Line" in 2006, introduces clips from some of the best picture nominees - "Les Miserables," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Life of Pi."

0159 GMT: "Brave" beats a strong field for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

Mark Andrews, sporting a kilt, and Brenda Chapman come onstage to accept for the Pixar fairy tale.

They're also brief with the thank-yous. Many thought "Wreck-It Ralph" would take this one.

0157 GMT: Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy take the stage and joke about the amount of animation voiceover work they're not getting. The bit they prepared kinda falls flat.

"Paperman" by John Kahrs wins the Oscar for Best Short Film (Animated) as expected.

It's the first award for John Kahrs.

He thanks everyone at Disney, his producer, the cast and crew, wife and kids, keeping his speech short and sweet, no doubt how the producers like it.

0154 GMT: We're seeing mixed reviews of MacFralane's first minutes on Twitter.

"Seth MacFarlane already more entertaining than Billy Crystal," tweeted one fan.

"Probably the most boring opening monologue I've ever seen," a detractor retorted.

And this: "Is this the Oscars? or an episode of Glee?"

Comedian Bill Maher weighed in, "Yup he killed it - Shatner device really clever/worked, lots of lol, just enuf of the old school s(expletive) they love. Pour yourself nother JD pal"

0148 GMT: Finally an award. A radiant Octavia Spencer enters to announce Best Supporting Actor - one of the night's closest, most anticipated races. The five nominees share 21 nominations between them and about half a dozen Oscars.

And the first Oscar of the night goes to Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained."

A shock, second Oscar and second nomination for Waltz. His last was for "Inglourious Basterds," also with Tarantino.

The actor, 56, looks taken aback as he thanks Quentin Tarantino and his cast mates.

"You scaled the mountain because your not afraid of it," he says to his director, quoting his character in the film, Dr King Schultz.

"You slay the dragon because you're not afraid of it, and you cross through fire because it's worth it." The night's first surprise - many were predicting De Niro or Tommy Lee Jones for this one.

0147 GMT: Shatner encourages MacFarlane to claw back support with a host of old-school Hollywood song and dance numbers, first with Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum, and then Joseph Gordon Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe. The future headlines about his performance go from worst to pretty bad to mediocre.

There's some laughs as Shatner shows a clip from a reenactment of "Flight" featuring sock puppets and a video of MacFarlane making a pass at Sally Field backstage and telling her she's not going to win Best Supporting Actress - Anne Hathaway is.

Be welcoming, Shatner tells MacFarlane.

"Be Our Guest," is the title of the next song the comic sings surrounded by a stage-full of dancers. One line quips,

"There's Joaquin in his threads, let's hope he's on his meds."

The headline of the future declares him the best Oscar host ever.

0136 GMT: MacFarlane also tests the waters with some more risky humor, referring to the violence-soaked "Django Unchained" as what Chris Brown and Rhiana call "a date movie." The audience gasp and he comments, "Ooh, that's what we were afraid he would do."

He adds: "That's as bad as it gets, if that makes you feel better." And then claims it's not. He says the profanity-strewn script was based on Mel Gibson's voicemails. There are more oooohs.

The opening monologue is then interrupted by William Shatner dressed in full Captian Kirk regalia. Shatner says he's traveled through time to stop the comic from ruining the Oscars and shows him a headline from tomorrow, "Seth MacFarlane Worst Oscar Host Ever."

"Why can't Tina and Amy host everything?" Shatner asks.

Shatner shows a clip of what MacFarlane does wrong - a musical number called "We Saw Your Boobs" listing the roles Oscar-nominated actress appeared topless in.

0130 GMT: And here he is - Seth MacFarlane.

The first-time host gets some early jokes in, poking fun at Tommy Lee Jones, whose famous 'grouch face' at the Golden Globes went viral - "And the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh starts now."

He then refers to Ben Affleck's best director snub - the film's story was "so top secret that the film's director is unknown to the Academy," MacFarlane quips.

0127 GMT: Queen Latifah, being urged to take her seat as first-time host Seth MacFarlane prepares to take the stage, tells ABC hosts she would consider hosting the Oscars if asked.

0124 GMT: More gold and more side boob spotted on Renee Zellweger, wearing Carolina Herrera.

0122 GMT: Daniel Day-Lewis, who could make history if he wins Best Actor, becoming the first man to win three, is one of the last nominees to arrive. He's with his wife Rebecca Miller.

He describes working with "Lincoln" director Steven Spielberg as "wonderful" praising his "generosity" and says the director's "deep love and understanding of the subject made every single moment an absolute pleasure."

0118 GMT: Hollywood's A-list men have mainly opted for the basic black tux.

"Django Unchained" star Jamie Foxx glams it up with a gray Calvin Klein tuxedo, black shirt and sparkling black bow tie.

0115 GMT: Can anyone remember the Oscars before George Clooney?

The bearded actor-director-producer, who is up for best picture for "Argo", which he produced, now holds a record shared only with Walt Disney - eight Oscar nominations in six different categories.

"I'm a trivia question now," film's Renaissance man quips.

"What's next, costume design?" he's asked. "I'm thinking about choreography," Clooney replies.

Whatever happens tonight, he's preparing to celebrate. "Win or lose, I'll be drinking," the Oscar winner (for "Syriana") declares.

0112 GMT: Our Los Angeles Bureau Chief Michael Thurston (@mickyt) points out that Ryan Seacrest has survived his red carpet interviews without having to change jackets - a reference to Sacha Baron Cohen dropping an urn full of Kim Jung-Il's purported ashes on him live on the red carpet last year, when the "Borat" star turned up as his then film’s title character the Dictator.

0105 GMT: Oscar winner Halle Berry is preparing to take part in the ceremony's tribute to the 50-year-old James Bond franchise and claims "it's going to be fabulous."

Jennifer Aniston, a presenter tonight, describes her red, strapless Valentino as "princessy."

Asked if she goes to all the Oscar parties she says, "No! That's a lot of action. And it's work!"

She'll go to one or two, she says, but that's it.

0100 GMT: Daniel Radcliffe, the "Harry Potter" star who's appearing on stage during the ceremony, reveals his first Oscar red carpet experience is "pretty intense" and "slightly overwhelming."

POLL RESULTS COMING IN and Jennifer Lawrence is winning the ABC's viewers' best dressed poll so far.

0053 GMT: Best actor nominee and former Oscars host Hugh Jackman trades compliments with fellow Broadway star Kristen Chenoweth, who is doing red carpet interviews for ABC.

He then lifts her up to see if she's lighter than an Oscar statuette. She is, the "Les Miserables" star reveals.

0047 GMT: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck just got dropped off. He's kept his full beard (which apparently has a Twitter account), she's opted for a simple, strapless, purple Gucci gown with ruffles on the back and a statement necklace.

A nervous Garner says she, "can't even talk about it" when asked about "Argo's" chances tonight.

0045 GMT: Just spotted Adele. She's returned to black after sporting a colorful frock at the Grammy Awards. It's a sleeved, beaded and very attractive.

The nominated singer is towering over all round her - she reveals 6 ft 1 inches in her Christian Louboutin heels.

The singer, favorite to win Best Original Song for "Skyfall," is also performing on stage which could be a challenge in her 15 kilo dress.

0039 GMT: Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban lovingly hold hands while doing red carpet interviews.

Kidman's L'Wren Scott black and gold dress is so tight it practically looks painted on.

She tells ABC that her husband picked it.

0036 GMT: Not to ignore the men, Bradley Cooper is on the red carpet with his mother.

The neatly-bearded Cooper, who's up for best actor and surely not expecting to win tells the ABC television red carpet host he "fell in love" with his bipolar character Pat Solitano in "Silver Linings Playbook" when he was approached with the role.

Robert DeNiro is also schmoozing the red carped interviewers. About his "Silver Linings Playbook" co-star Cooper he says, "Bradley is a very smart, compassionate young man, and he cares about what he's doing… and he likes me!"

The Best Supporting Actor contender is enjoying his seventh nomination. He's won two Oscars before, but this is his first nod in 21 years.

0019 GMT: Charlize Theron wears a strapless, white Dior Couture gown.

She buzzed her head for a role in the film "Fury Road" and says her new pixy cut is about three months of growth.

She says having short hair is "freeing."

"Every woman should do it," she raves.

Anne Hathaway also goes for a light shade dress by Prada.

The favorite to win Best Supporting Actress, didn't know what she was wearing until 3 hours ago, but tells Seacrest she, "really loves it."

E!'s fashion pundits are talking about the trend for "side boob" and "half boob" on the red carpet. Side boob is what Hathaway is sporting.

Naomi Watts, gets brave sporting a stunning, cutaway Armani Prive gown.

0014 GMT: Helen Hunt, 49, rocks a strapless dress from the high street chain H&M and $700,000 worth of jewellery.

0008 GMT: Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, who's performing in the telecast, looks slender and glamorous in a dark, sparkly Roberto Cavalli gown.

Seacrest invites her to try out the "mani-cam", a camera position at waist-height for stars to show off close-ups of their manicures. Interesting idea...Hudson appears to be sporting a neat but unremarkable pale brown varnish but her giant ring is pretty impressive.

Hudson also seems to have taken a hint from the First Lady, rocking Michelle Obama-like bangs.

Catherine Zeta Jones arrives with husband Michael Douglas.

She's due to perform on stage with her Chicago co-stars - and from first glance appears to be dressed as an Oscar - in a tight glittery gold number by Zuhair Murad.

Zeta Jones tells Seacrest she was "thrilled to be asked to perform tonight" and says that "lots of surprises are in store."

0001 GMT: Looks like Valentino is having a big red carpet night. Sally Field and Jennifer Aniston have chosen to wear the house.

Field, a best supporting actress nominee, tells Seacrest she fought for her role as Mary Todd, the president's troubled wife, in Steven Spielberg's top nominated "Lincoln."

"I killed it," she proclaims, "and Steven actually invited me to fight for it."

She also confirms that Daniel Day-Lewis would send her text messages in character while they were making the film, adding, "It's not that unusual." Really?

Asked about the pressure about what to wear to the Oscars, Field reminds CNN's Morgan, "We didn't used to feel any pressure at all in the old days. We just walked into a store, got a dress and put it on."

2375 GMT: Our lifestyle editor Robert MacPherson (@romacpher) points out tonight's youngest nominee Quvenzhane Wallis. She charms the crowd with a puppy-dog purse complementing a dark blue puffy-shouldered gown.

She told CNN's Morgan, "Everybody I wanted to see was at the Grammy awards...(but) I didn't go to the Grammy awards."

Amanda Seyfriend tries to keep her nerves in check as she greets Seacrest - she's due to sing live on stage along with her "Les Miserables" cast-mates in the musical-focused telecast.

2352 GMT: A theme seems to be emerging on the red carpet with lost of stars going for classic Hollywood looks. Jennifer Lawrence chooses a stunning, tight Dior Haute Couture strapless gown with huge puffy skirt. The gown she's wearing was among the wedding-dress finales of the Spring 2013 Dior Couture show.

She tells E! television's Ryan Seacrest that she is "starving!" because her day was so busy and stressful that she didn't have time to eat. He assures her there will be plenty to eat after the show.

"But the show is so long!" the 22-year-old "Hunger Games" star cries.

The second time nominee is fresh off her win last night at the Independent Spirit Awards.

2345 GMT: Zoe Saldana opts for a belted Alexis Mabille dress which accentuates her tiny waist.

Way less frumpy than her character in "Sliver Linings Playbook," Jacki Weaver arrives on the red carpet in a stunning red gown and $2 million worth of diamonds.

2339 GMT: Amy Adams goes for a grey Oscar de la Renta strapless gown. The actress is nominated for her supporting role in "The Master."

She tells Morgan, "I'm so happy to be here that it really supersedes any competition or any need for victory."

2333 GMT: Best Actress nominee Jessica Chastain is on the red carpet. The "Zero Dark Thirty" actress sparkles in a strapless, beaded, flesh-colored Armani gown, her red tresses trailing down her back.

She tells CNN's Piers Morgan that her dress is, "a 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' kind of dress" - evoking Marilyn Monroe and old Hollywood.

While dripping in Harry Winston diamonds, she goes on to say, "I'm not going to win the Oscar tonight. I just don't think its my year."

WELCOME TO AFP'S LIVE REPORT ON THE 2013 OSCARS, the film industry's biggest night and one of the most exciting Oscar races in years.

With the exception of Daniel Day-Lewis, who's all but guaranteed Best Actor gold for "Lincoln", many of tonight's 24 categories are still the subject of furious debate.

The big questions: will Ben Affleck's "Argo" continue its triumphant march through the 2013 awards season and beat Steven Spielberg's top-nominated "Lincoln" to the night's big prize, despite Affleck's best director snub (only once in 80 years has a film won best picture without a best director nod)?

Can "Life of Pi's" Ang Lee snatch the directing category from Spielberg like he did in 2006 with "Brokeback Mountain"?

And what about the showdown between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain for best actress? Lawrence appears to have the edge but Academy members could be keen to give "Zero Dark Thirty" something after Kathryn Bigelow was ignored for best director and the film's best picture chances soured amid rows over its depiction of torture.

Less predictable still could be best supporting actor where five Oscar-winning heavyweights face off including Tommy Lee Jones, Christoph Waltz and Robert De Niro.

On stage, expect lots of singing and dancing from the likes of Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey - new producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (of "Chicago" and "Hairspray" fame) booked so many live performances they nearly ran out of dressing rooms.

And, after years of ping-ponging between perceived safe hands (Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, etc.) and more youth-focused hosts (Anne Hathaway, James Franco, Chris Rock), the Academy is once again betting a riskier rookie, "Family Guy" and "Ted" creator Seth MacFarlane, can supply the frisson, younger viewers and ratings boost the marathon telecast desperately needs.

So, what's in store for the "thin-skinned" nominees arriving on the red carpet? Let's go to the Dolby Theatre and find out...

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