Oscar show promises music, megastars and James Bond

Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:28pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bigger stars, more music and edgier comedy are on the menu for Sunday's Oscar ceremony, when the most coveted awards in the movie industry are handed out during a glittering Academy Awards show.

Producers of the three-hour Oscar telecast at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre are promising a faster-paced show and more face time with first-time host Seth MacFarlane, while honoring the best films not just of 2012 but also of decades past.

"We have more performances on that stage than we can ever remember there being in the past. And we are not trotting people out just to sing and dance. Every single thing you see on that stage will be related to movies," said Craig Zadan, who is producing the Oscar telecast for the first time with Neil Meron.

"We have devised ways that we are hoping will make the pacing faster ... That doesn't mean we are not going to give as much weight to honoring the winners, but there has been a lot of dead space in the show (in the past)," Zadan told Reuters.

Steven Spielberg's presidential movie "Lincoln" heads into Sunday's ceremony with a leading 12 nominations, followed by Ang Lee's shipwreck tale "Life of Pi" with 11, French Revolutionary musical "Les Miserables" and romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" with eight apiece, and Iran hostage drama "Argo" with seven.

All five are competing for Best Picture, the top prize, in a tight race that has narrowed in recent weeks to "Lincoln" or "Argo" and will be the last to be announced on Sunday night.


Before then, Zadan and Meron have assembled an array of performers and presenters that almost outshine the actors, actresses, directors and screenwriters who have been waiting since early January to see if they will go home with a golden Oscar.   Continued...

Silver Oscar statues stand beside gold statues during preparations for the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok