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Oscars Will Be Presented this Sunday

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's almost here: the Oscars.  The ceremony -- officially known as the 85th Academy Awards until recently -- will be presented Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif.

Seth MacFarlane will host ABC's live telecast, which begins at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time and 5:30 p.m. Pacific time.  It will be preceded by the network's hour-and-a-half red carpet special.

Steven Spielberg's historical drama Lincoln is the leading nominee.  It has 12 nods, including best picture and best director for Spielberg.  The film's stars, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones, are nominated in the acting categories.

Life of Pi trails Lincoln with 11 nominations.

The Ben Affleck thriller Argo has won several major awards in recent weeks and has emerged as the front-runner to take the best-picture Oscar.  There are nine nominees for the top prize: aside from Argo, Lincoln and Life of Pi, they include Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, and the French-language film Amour.

Day-Lewis is considered a shoo-in to win the best-actor Oscar for his performance as President Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln.  His competition is Denzel Washington, nominated for Flight; Hugh Jackman, for Les Miserables; Bradley Cooper, for Silver Linings Playbook; and Joaquin Phoenix, for The Master.

The best-actress race essentially boils down to two women: Jennifer Lawrence, who's a contender for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, and Jessica Chastain, who's nominated for Zero Dark Thirty.  But there's another interesting name in the mix: 9-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhane Wallis, the youngest-ever actress nominee.  The Impossible star Naomi Watts and Amour actress Emmanuelle Riva -- who turns 86 on Oscar night -- round out the field.

The best-director category is as notable for the snubs as it is for its nominees.  MIA: Affleck, Zero Dark Thirty's Kathryn Bigelow and Les Miserables' Tom Hooper.  The most recognizable nominees are Spielberg, Life of Pi's Ang Lee and Silver Linings Playbook's David O. Russell.

Announced presenters for the telecast include Affleck, Chastain, Lawrence, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Garner, Kristen Stewart, Kerry Washington, the cast of 2003 best-picture winner Chicago, and more.

During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will salute the James Bond franchise, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.  Adele will perform her Oscar-nominated Bond theme, "Skyfall," from the movie of the same name.

A special edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live will air after the Oscars, with guests Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum.  It will include a sequel to the star-studded spoof trailer "Movie: The Movie," which debuted during Jimmy Kimmel's 2012 Oscars special.  Cooper, Chastain, Jude Law, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski and Samuel L. Jackson are among the many celebrities who will appear in the trailer "Movie: The Movie Twovie."

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