Hollywood shines up for the Oscars

Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:06pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood polished up its golden boy statue, the Oscar, for its glittery awards ceremony on Sunday with "The King's Speech" and "The Network" leading the field for the world's top movie honors.

The presentation will feature two youthful co-hosts, actors James Franco, 32, and Anne Hathaway, 28, marking the first time a man and woman have presided over the Oscars. Hathaway is the youngest person to emcee what is annually the second most-watched TV show in the United States and broadcast live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

"The King's Speech" and Facebook film "The Social Network" are widely considered front-runners to be named best movie by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Best actress and actor nominees including Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem and Colin Firth will parade up the red carpet outside Hollywood's Kodak Theater in fashionable gowns and tuxedos ahead of the ceremony on Sunday night.

Producers say the ceremony, at which more than 20 awards will be given out in just over three hours, is meant to connect movie fans to the Hollywood of old, while also giving a nod to the future with web cams and Twitter feeds.

The show's best moments occur when Oscar winners give emotional acceptance speeches.

"(Audiences) want to see when people are moved or touched," producer Don Mischer said.