Hollywood stars will parade across the red carpet for Sunday's Academy Awards after weeks of debate over whether a writers' strike that had derailed other award shows would be settled in time for the Oscars.
However, the Oscars competition itself appears to hold little suspense, with clear favorites generally expected to win.
Joel and Ethan Coen, screenwriting winners for 1996's "Fargo," look to come away as the night's big winners for their crime story "No Country for Old Men," which has dominated at earlier film honors.
The Coens could make Oscar history if they sweep all four categories in which they are personally nominated: best picture as producers on the film, director, adapted screenplay and editing, for which they were nominated under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes.
It would be the first time anyone has won four Oscars for the same film, and it would tie the record of four Oscars in a single year held by Walt Disney, a quadruple winner for 1953 as producer of three winning short films and a documentary for the 1953 awards.
No matter who wins, one key prediction from Academy Awards overseers already has come true: The show will go on.
It was a nail-biter for weeks as a Hollywood writers strike threatened to decimate the Oscars, with stars and filmmakers indicating they would not cross picket lines if the labour quarrel remained unsettled.
In the wake of the Golden Globes, whose celebrity bash was stripped down to a pitiful mid-January news conference because of the strike, Oscar organizers insisted their ceremony would go on as planned.