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“We don’t expect to depart with anything but our integrity,” Affleck said on the Oscar red carpet before the show.
If some longshots came in, the night could produce two more three-time acting winners _ Sally Field from “Lincoln” and Robert De Niro for “Silver Linings Playbook.”
There’s also a chance of the oldest or youngest acting winner ever _ 86-year-old “Amour” star Emmanuelle Riva and 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis for “Beasts.”
The show will feature a tribute to British super-spy James Bond to mark the 50th anniversary of his first big-screen outing in “Dr. No.” Adele will perform her Oscar-nominated title tune to last year’s Bond tale “Skyfall,” while the show features Shirley Bassey, who sang the Bond theme songs for “Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Moonraker.”
The show presents a salute to movie musicals of the last decade, with “Chicago” Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones and “Dreamgirls” winner Jennifer Hudson joining “Les Miserables” cast members that include best-actor nominee Hugh Jackman, supporting-actress front-runner Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter and Amanda Seyfried.
Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have lined up a bubbly mix of young and old Hollywood as presenters, performers and special guests _ from Barbra Streisand, Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda to “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe, “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart, and Robert Downey Jr. and his superhero colleagues from “The Avengers.”
Affleck’s thriller “Argo” is in line for best picture after winning practically every top prize at earlier honors. Hollywood was shocked that Affleck was snubbed for a directing nomination, possibly earning the film some sympathy votes, particularly from actors, who love it when one of their own succeeds behind the camera.
The story of how Hollywood, Canada and the CIA teamed up to rescue six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis, “Argo” would become just the fourth film in 85 years to claim the top prize without a best-directing nomination and the first since 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy.”
The best-picture prize typically ends the Oscar show, but this time, MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth will perform a closing number on the Dolby Theatre stage that producers Zadan and Meron called a “`can’t miss’ moment.”
AP writers Sandy Cohen, Beth Harris and Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.
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