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Hollywood on edge as Oscars loom

entertainment Updated: Feb 24, 2008 18:50 IST

AFP
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Final preparations were being made on Sunday ahead of the 80th Academy Awards, where a crop of films notable for their grim, dark themes were expected to dominate the Oscars top honours.

After months of uncertainty during the Hollywood writers strike, the movie industry's biggest party of the year will get underway at 5:00 pm (0630 IST tomorrow) at the Kodak Theatre.

Streets around the venue were being cordoned off as authorities prepared to drape a security blanket over the neighbourhood that is normally packed with tourists, Marilyn Monroe and Darth Vader impersonators.

Around 3,400 guests comprising hundreds of A-list celebrities and movie industry powerbrokers will descend on the red carpet, although forecast rain could dampen the party atmosphere.

The awards themselves are expected to be carved up between several violent, bleak movies, with the eight-times nominated "No Country for Old Men" heading the field along with "There Will Be Blood."

"Their Will Be Blood," an edgy movie about a tyrannical oil prospector, is joined in the best picture category by legal thriller "Michael Clayton," historical drama "Atonement" and comedy "Juno."

But after scoring a sweep of the movie industry's professional awards -- seen as key Oscar indicators -- Joel and Ethan Coen's "No Country for Old Men" looks unstoppable as the best picture winner.