Sun comes out as stars arrive on Oscars red carpet
By Mary Milliken
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The world's top actors and actresses gathered for the Academy Awards on Sunday to honor a year of high-quality film and crown the best picture, a cliffhanger race led by "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity."
As if on cue, the sun came out after four days of heavy rain just before the first movie stars began arriving on the red carpet for Hollywood's biggest night.
Workers unwrapped the giant golden Oscar statues and prepared a slightly soggy carpet for the glamorous parade of A-listers in designer dresses and tuxedos.
The 86th annual Academy Awards will be hosted by comedian and day-time talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who producers are banking on to deliver an entertaining yet tasteful three-hour show after critics widely panned last year's ceremony and host Seth MacFarlane's provocative humor.
As the crowds along Hollywood Boulevard cheered on arriving talent, nominees celebrated the end of the long awards season and the culmination of work on their films.
"This has been such a long time coming," said director Chris Sanders of the nominated animated film "The Croods." "It's like Christmas is finally here and it comes and goes so quickly, you just try to remember as much as you can."
Apart from the best picture race, it may be a night of predictable outcomes, from "Gravity" filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron's likely win of the best director statuette to the virtual shoo-in of "Frozen" for best animated film. The four acting races might also be foregone conclusions.
This year's Oscars celebrate what is widely regarded as one of the most high quality years in film and performances in recent memory. The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, called it the best line-up "in the last decade or so." Continued...