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Posted at 12:27 AM ET, 02/27/2012

Oscars 2012: The comprehensive Academy Awards recap

The 84th Annual Academy Awards came, got doused by ashes and silently sashayed off into the Hollywood night. The show managed to bring some drama, despite the crummy audio, the questionable black face, and only one semi award upset. It shone with plenty of French, Iranian and Pakistani pride, one tearfully happy Octavia Spencer and lots of pretty dresses. Relive the whole shebang by reading our live blog from the night below.

Also read:

Hank Stuever’s TV review of the Oscars wishful thinking

Did your best picture nominee win?

Watch the nominees for the best picture

11:40 p.m. | And scene!

Despite Sacha Baron Cohen’s best efforts, it was not the most exciting Oscars show, but we had a blast here. Join us tomorrow for plenty of rehashing, after-party updates and a live chat at 1 p.m. EST to answer any lingering questions about the show.

Thank you for joining us tonight!

11:37 p.m. | ‘The Artist’ wins the top award

The cast of “The Artist” on stage. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
In an unsurprising win, the highly favored film “The Artist” is now the best picture. Uggie made an appearance on stage, proving once and for all he was at the show.

From Ann Hornaday:

Done and done. Not my favorite movie of 2011, but I’m not an “Artist” naysayer. Its emotional pull on Academy voters is understandable and it captured imaginations the way a best picture should. C’est tout!

11:29 p.m. | Best actress goes to Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep just won for “The Iron Lady.” She’s now at three Oscars and 17 nominations. “I had this feeling that I could hear half of America go, ‘Oh no! Come on! Not her again!’ ” She then shrugged it off in the charming way only Streep can.

Meryl Streep (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Seems she was at least partly correct. Jen Chaney reports from the press room:

The entire press room just went ‘Oh!’ when Streep’s name was announced. Seems we were all prepared for a Viola Davis win. At least I was.

From Ann Hornaday:

Meryl Streep wins for “The Iron Lady” — something of an upset, in that Viola Davis was favored to win as the awards season progressed. Davis had a technically flawless performance that was far superior to the film that surrounded it. (With luck there’s an Oscar in Davis’s future, and soon.)

11:15 p.m. | Best actor goes to Jean Dujardin

And the French have it. With only two spoken words in the entire film, Jean Dujardin still had the chops to impress the Academy. He jumps on stage to begin his speech with a hearty: “I love your country.”
Jean Dujardin (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

From Ann Hornaday:

Jean Dujardin wins best actor for “The Artist.” (Jen, we’ll have to wait for our Brad Pitt win another year!) Incredibly strong line-up in this category. I hope viewers check out all the nominees’ performances. They were superb.

11:13 p.m. | More montages take up more time

The many interruptions in the film do not have many fans.

11:05 p.m. | Esperanza Spalding lends a song to In Memoriam

Esperanza Spalding (Amy Sancetta/AP)
With a slow, sweet version of “What a Wonderful World,” Esperanza Spalding sang over the black-and-white images of men and women who died over the past year, including Steve Jobs, Tim Hetherington, Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor and Whitney Houston.

11:02 p.m. | Short film wins

“Saving Face,” “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” and “The Shore” won in their short-film categories; unfortunately no time to see all the nominees this year, but I did catch “The Shore,” which was charming. Good on ‘em!

10:53 p.m. | ‘The Artist’ wins for best director

French Director Michel Hazanavicius kisses his wife Berenice Bejo. (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)
From Ann Hornaday:

Michel Hazanavicius wins for best direction, for “The Artist” — for a minute there, I thought it might go to Scorsese. Oh well, c’est la ... you know.

10:52 p.m. | ‘Saving Face’ wins for short documentary

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy becomes the first Pakistani to win an Oscar. She wins for her documentary “Saving Face,” which followed two victims with disfiguring acid injuries as they attempt to reclaim their dignity and identities.

10:40 p.m. | ‘Midnight in Paris’ wins for original screenplay

From Ann Hornaday:

Woody Allen wins for “Midnight in Paris” — all together, now! — as expected. Where are the upsets? Please, movie gods, send us a doozy! Great to see “A Separation,” “Bridesmaids” and “Margin Call” nominated in this category, an incredibly diverse line-up — an Iranian film, a comedy and a first-time effort. Bodes well.

10:30 p.m. | Angelina Jolie gets a leg up

Angelina Jolie (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
While presenting the awards for best writing, Angelina Jolie took a bit of a strange stance, firmly showing off her gams thanks to a slit in her skirt. She gave a moving tribute to the craft of writing, but one writer overlooked her kind words. After winning for “The Descendents,” Jim Rash imitated and mocked her posture.

10:30 p.m. | ‘The Descendants’ wins for best adapted screenplay

From Ann Hornaday:

“The Descendants” wins for best adapted screenplay, good! A tricky assignment brilliantly executed by Alexander Payne and his co-writers.

10:24 p.m. | Did the Oscars go to the dogs?

Sarah Anne Hughes was happy to see beloved dog Uggie appear during the show during a bit about Billy Crystal being a mind reader. But, she wonders: was he really there or was the dog pretaped?

Billy Crystal talks about Uggie during the 84th Academy Awards (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

10:18 p.m. | Bret McKenzie wins best original song

Bret McKenzie poses with his Oscar. (Joel Ryan/AP)
From Ann Hornaday:

Excellent! Bret McKenzie wins for the brilliant “Man of Muppet” — unfortunately the viewing audience was robbed of the chance to hear it in live performance. (Couldn’t the producers have lost one or two gratuitous montages and let ‘em sing? Unfortunate.)

10:18 p.m. | Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis add some humor — and noise

Thanks to some cymbals, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis add a breezy moment of humor to the somewhat flat ceremony.
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

10:17 p.m. | ‘The Artist’ wins for best musical score

From Ann Hornaday:

Ludovic Bource wins best musical score for “The Artist” — no doubt bad news for Kim Novak, who took issue with his composition’s heavy borrowing from “Vertigo.”

10:07 p.m. | Requisite Academy president speech

From Ann Hornaday:

Tom Sherak delivers a boilerplate speech ending with thanking the audience at home for going to the movies — considering last year’s attendance figures, he probably meant to add, “And for the love of all that’s holy, please come back!”

10:07 p.m. | Photos of the show

Miss some important moments? Check out the photo gallery here:

10:03 p.m. | Christopher Plummer wins for best supporting actor

Christopher Plummer, left, poses with presenter Melissa Leo. (Joel Ryan/AP)
“You’re only two years older than me. Where have you been all my life?” the dignified Christopher Plummer addresses his new Oscar statue when he arrives on stage.

From Ann Hornaday:

Christopher Plummer wins, as expected (getting kind of tired of typing “as expected”), for “Beginners” — a lovely humor-infused drama by Mike Mills. (Sidenote: If you happen to look up pictures of the young Christopher Plummer, he bears a remarkable resemblance to Ewan McGregor, who plays his son in the film.)

10:00 p.m. | ‘Hugo’ wins for visual effects

From Ann Hornaday:

“Hugo” wins for visual effects, putting it on a bona fide sweep (I called this one for “Planet of the Apes,” ensuring my reputation as the world’s worst Oscar predictor.)

9:52 p.m. | What’s Brett Ratner doing during the show?

Brett Ratner was supposed to produce this year’s award show, but after backlash over his use of a homophobic slur, he resigned from the gig. So what’s Ratner up to on Hollywood’s biggest night? While producer Brian Grazer is running the show, Ratner is at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party — and he’s hanging with Jack Dorsey (@Jack), the co-creator of Twitter.

Brett Ratner on WhoSay

9:50 p.m. | ‘Rango’ wins for best animated film

From Ann Hornaday:

“Rango” wins for best animated feature, in keeping with tonight’s theme of nostalgic looks back at beloved Hollywood movies and genres. Another good call — so far, no major “what were they thinking” moments. (Then again, the night is young!)

9:49 p.m. | Chris Rock finally brings some humor to the show

As a presenter, Chris Rock charmed a restless audience. Lisa de Moraes called it the “first genuine moment of the night.”
Chris Rock in the audience at the Oscars. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

9:46 p.m. | ‘Undefeated’ wins for best documentary

From Ann Hornaday:

“Undefeated” wins best documentary feature — great news for them, and for Washington, D.C. viewers. They’ll get to see this inspiring movie first-hand when it opens here next Friday. A terrific story well told. Good call, Academy!

Jen Chaney reports the team behind “Undefeated” was clearly surprised by the win — surprised enough to use the f-word. An audible gasp ripped through the press room, but the five-second delay seemed to have caught it as TV viewers didn’t seem to hear it.

9:40 p.m. | Cirque du Soleil; Muppets interrupt the show

Members of Cirque du Soleil's "Iris" (Mark J. Terrill/AP)
The always-long show has been interrupted by a number of somewhat oddly selected montages. In the latest mid-show interruption, Cirque du Soleil performed a flashy tribute to past films. Jen Chaney asked:

This Cirque du Soleil performance is impressive. But really, why have Piggy and Kermit introduce it and not have the Muppets song performed?

An earlier clip showed actors mulling over why they love films. Dan Zak remarked: “People who watch the Oscars don’t need to be reminded that they like movies. Montage begone!”

9:32 p.m. | Backstage report

From Jen Chaney:

“I was allowed to have five wigs made and that was it,” J. Roy Helland, one of the two makeup artist winners for “The Iron Lady,” said backstage. Five wigs. Total. For decades of Margaret Thatcher’s life. That’s called more with less, ladies and gentlemen.
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and Jim Broadbent as Dennis Thatcher. (Alex Bailey. Courtesy of Pathe Productions Ltd/ The Weinstein Company)

Octavia Spencer is not coming back to the press room yet. We were told she had to return to her seat and will come back to speak to press at the end of the telecast. Wonder if she was too emotional to start taking questions.

9:28 p.m. | ‘Hugo’ wins for sound editing and sound mixing

From Ann Hornaday:

The teams from “Hugo” win for sound editing and for sound mixing. The wins put Martin Scorsese’s 3-D movie squarely in the lead over “The Artist” tonight. An augur of more upsets to come?

Often these tech awards, such as sound mixing, go to movies like “Transformers,” so this is another welcome surprise.

9:24 p.m. | ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ wins for film editing

Charming first speech award goes to the winners of best film editing for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter say they did not expect to be up on stage and, for once, they meant it. They clearly had no speech prepared and after just a few seconds say, “Let’s get out of here.” They won for “The Social Network” last year.

Ann Hornaday says:

The editing award is shaping up to be David Fincher’s consolation prize.

9:17 p.m. | ‘Meet Joe Black’ trends on Twitter

The song from the 1998 film “Meet Joe Black” suddenly became a hot topic on social networks when it popped up in the opening montage.

9:12 p.m. | Best supporting actress goes to Octavia Spencer

To a standing ovation, Octavia Spencer walked to the podium looking as if she were about to faint. From Ann Hornaday:

Octavia Spencer wins for her supporting turn in “The Help,” true to most predictions. Still to be determined: whether Viola Davis ekes out a win over Meryl Streep for, like Spencer, elevating an otherwise mediocre movie.
Octavia Spencer (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

9:11 p.m. | Backstage updates

Jen Chaney reports from the press room:

Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo — winners for art direction for “Hugo” — are in the press room now. After answering a question in Italian, Ferretti noted that his Oscar win — his third — comes on a special day.

“Today is my birthday and this is the most incredible gift,” the frequent Scorsese collaborator said.

9:08 p.m. | Iranians win best foreign language film

From Ann Hornaday:

Iranian filmmaker Ashgar Farhadi wins best foreign language Oscar for “A Separation,” as expected. The real suspense lies in whether he’ll also win for best original screenplay, one of the few genuine surprise nominations this year. (Great speech, too!)

9:04 p.m. | Sound issues and wardrobe malfunctions

The show is getting off to a rocky start. People are complaining about spotty audio, and Oscar presenter Jennifer Lopez seemed to have shown a bit more skin than she had hoped.

9:02 p.m. | ‘The Iron Lady’ wins for best makeup

Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland win for the Best Achievement in Makeup. (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)
From Ann Hornaday:

“The Iron Lady” wins for makeup, as expected, and as deserved. If Viola Davis winds up winning for best actress, this might be the next best thing for Meryl Streep.

8:56 p.m. | ‘The Artist’ wins costume design

From Ann Hornaday:

Mark Bridges wins for best costume design for “The Artist” — this might be the beginning of the sweep most prognosticators have been predicting.

8:53 p.m. | Billy Crystal’s black face

That didn’t take long. Billy Crystal has already annoyed Oscar viewers. During a skit that included a back-and-forth with Justin Bieber, the nine-time Oscar host impersonated the late Sammy Davis Jr. — complexion and all.

While some greeted the opening scene with mirth, Billy Crystal’s face paint scene — followed by a skit about the racially charged film “The Help” — drew mostly jeers on Twitter.

Crystal took over the hosting job after the award show’s original director Brett Ratner was dropped for using a slur for homosexuals.

8:49 p.m. | Notice the name change on the theater?

Billy Crystal joked in the opening monologue that during economic hard times, there’s nothing like watching millionaires giving themselves awards. If those economic hard times may be hard to miss amid all the jewels adorning the actresses, look no further than the theater name. The Post’s Lisa de Moraes points out the Oscars are now being hosted at the “Hollywood & Highland Center” — not the Kodak Theater. After Kodak filed for chapter 11, the company could not keep paying to have its name on the theater.

We’ll likely hear a few more jokes about it. Crystal opens the show after the first commercial break by saying, “Welcome to the ‘Your name here’ theater.”

8:44 p.m. | ‘Hugo’ wins first two awards

Robert Richardson won for cinematography in "Hugo." (Reuters)
“Hugo” wins for best cinematography and for art direction.

Ann Hornaday reports:

Good for Robert Richardson, who wins the night’s first Oscar for cinematography. One of the all-time greats, and one of the rare times 3-D has given true added value. The first two wins are good news for anyone hoping that “The Artist” wouldn’t make a clean sweep of it. It’s well deserved recognition for designs that took viewers from a Paris train station to the imagination of Georges Melies. Well done.

8:30 p.m. | The show begins

Morgan Freeman starts the show with a short introductory speech about looking back on the history of Hollywood. Billy Crystal starts his opening scene traipsing through the Best Picture nominees, a quick monologue and then a brilliant song and dance routine. Jen Chaney reports, “In case you didn’t think this Oscars would be dignified, Morgan Freeman showed up. Billy Crystal is definitely getting some laughs in the press room, especially that Bieber bit.”
Oscar host Billy Crystal sings at the start of the show. (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

8:20 p.m. | Gwyneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie stun

Katherine Boyle’s take on some of the high-profile actresses’ outfit options:

Natalie Portman shunned Dior last year after disgraced designer John Galliano’s anti-Semetic comments caused a stir on the red carpet. She wore Rodarte to accept her Best Actress award, but this year, she makes nice with the house she represents, wearing vintage Dior.
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied (Frazer Harrison?Getty Images)

Penelope Cruz looks every bit Betty Draper channeling Grace Kelly in Armani Prive. She’s definitely looking to play the good girl after the gaudy red sequins she wore on last year’s red carpet.
Penelope Cruz (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Cameron Diaz ruins her strapless Gucci with a trip down memory lane. Is she channeling Mary? There’s just something about that terrible hair.
Cameron Diaz (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Gwyneth Paltrow goes retro in the most glorious 1960s-styled cape in Tom Ford. This dress surpasses her poofy taffeta Ralph Lauren gown that made her a household name.
Gwyneth Paltrow. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Sandra Bullock channels an ’80s pageant queen with her black-and-white Marchesa gown. We like the back, but the front is too mother-of-the-bride for the red carpet.
Sandra Bullock. (Matt Sayles - AP)

Angelina Jolie goes back to her basic black roots in Versace Atelier. Black velvet, if you please.
Brad Pitt and actress Angelina Jolie (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

8:05 p.m. | Menswear at the Oscars

The Post’s Ned Martel likes Zachary Quinto’s cool glasses and sharp tux, while George Clooney looks very La Dolce Vita.
J.C. Chandor, left, and Zachary Quinto (Matt Sayles/AP)

George Clooney. (Joel Ryan - AP)

Other notable male standouts: Oscar nominee Jonah Hill’s black-on-black tuxedo and Zach Galifianakis who told ABC how he prepared: “I took a bath today and I washed my mustache.”
Actor Jonah Hill (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

7:58 p.m. | Mr. Darcy!

Colin Firth on the red carpet (Jen Chaney)

7:42 p.m. | Robin Roberts’ arms the talk of the show

“Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts is behind the mic interviewing stars on ABC, but everyone on Twitter seems to want to discuss Roberts instead. She’s become a top trending topic, thanks to her impressive and athletic physique.

Jen Chaney caught this photo as she entered the red carpet area:

7:20 p.m. | Report from the red carpet

Jen Chaney has an up-close-and-personal view of the actors passing on their way into the theater. A few tidbits and photos from her perch on the red carpet:

7:17 p.m. | Oscars on Twitter

From T.J. Ortenzi:

Moments after Sacha Baron Cohen poured ashes all over Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet, co-host Giuliana Rancic attempted to comfort the annoyed Seacrest with the notion that this will be “trending worldwide on Twitter” soon.

That’s likely to be true correct. Oscar chatter is dominating Twitter as people flood the social network with Oscar-related words or names. Aside from one promoted trend, all of the other top ten trends are focused on the red carpet.

The Academy is chasing the sort of social media buzz that propelled the Super Bowl and the Grammys into stratospheric social media levels. Both events scored more than 12 million comments.

7:15 p.m. | Maya Rudolph keeps it honest

Sarah Anne Hughes reports, “Maya Rudolph tells Tim Gunn she’s wearing enough shapewear to support the entire industry.”
From left, Viola Davis, Maya Rudolph and Julius Tennon (Matt Sayles/AP)

7:11 p.m. | The Dictator arrives on the red carpet

Stirring up the scene on the red carpet, Sacha Baron Cohen just appeared bedecked as his new character “The Dictator.” He’s accompanied by two female guards, evoking the late Moammar Gaddafi.

He’s holding an urn, which he tells Ryan Seacrest are the ashes of Kim Jong Il. He then proceeds to pour the ashes all over Seacrest. Seacrest does not seem very amused.
Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as his character 'General Aladeen’ (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

6:57 p.m. | Michelle Williams comes dressed to win

From Katherine Boyle:

Coral peplums is a smart move for Michelle Williams, wearing Louis Vuitton. She looked a bit underwhelming at the Golden Globes in Jason Wu. It shows she’s there to win. She’ll look radiant accepting a prize for playing an iconic figure. Since the film, she’s been trying hard to differentiate herself from the role, and in this outfit, she shows she can be glamorous and retro without evoking Marilyn. The Mia Farrow pixie helps.
Michelle Williams (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

6:48 p.m. | Fashion show attendance predict Oscar dresses

George Clooney and Stacy Keibler (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
George Clooney and girlfriend Stacy Keibler made their way onto the red carpet looking striking as always, decked in Giorgio Armani and Marchesa, respectively. As we predicted last week after spotting Keibler at designer Georgina Chapman’s fashion week show, her strapless golden gown was plucked straight from the Fall 2012 collection from Marchesa. Keibler will likely not be the only attendee to sport a creation by Chapman.

Sarah Anne Hughes reports Clooney told the AP he doesn’t have a speech prepared. He’s betting on a win for “The Artist’s” Jean Dujardin. “It’s gonna be a very French night,” he said.

Viola Davis was likewise front row at Vera Wang’s presentation, leading us to guess she would likely select a gown from the designer. While she didn’t choose one of the radiant tangerine gowns from the fall 2012 collection as we predicted, she did wear a strapless, emerald creation by Wang.
Actress Viola Davis (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

6:25 p.m. | A coalition of redheads

From left to right: Lea Thompson, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Berenice Bejo (L-R: Jason Merritt, Jason Merritt, and Michael Buckner )

Another trend: red hair is all over the red carpet. Even Viola Davis is boasting a crimson shade. The Post’s Katharine Boyle says: “It’s so nice to see so many redheads wearing so many different colors on the red carpet. Fair-haired and freckled people like myself always complain that they clash with anything but black or pastels, but these red heads are wearing everything. Good for them.”

Actress Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen. The Post’s Katharine Boyle says, “The butterfly-effect is a bit too runway for the red carpet. That sort of artistry works on someone like Cate Blanchett, who wore a daring Givenchy dress last year. But Chastain is a bit too young and perky to pull off that sort of bold artistry.” (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

6:22 p.m. | The year of the Greco-Roman goddess

Milla Jovovich (Matt Sayles/AP)
The Post’s Katherine Boyle notes the night’s first trend: the Greco-Roman goddess gown. From Milla Jovovich to Melissa McCarthy, the style is making a strong showing. They work because they look good on a variety of body shapes and can drape any frame. They’re also really classic, evoking Elizabeth Taylor.
Melissa McCarthy (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

6:11 p.m. | Hopes are high for the Billy Crystal opening number

After last year’s disappointing duo of Anne Hathaway and James Franco, the Academy is turning to Billy Crystal in the hopes that he’ll bring the funny back to the hosting gig. If his tweets are any clue about how his presentation will go, we’re hopeful:

6:07 p.m. | Wolfgang Puck delivering food to the red carpet

Jen Chaney reports (with what we assume is disappointment) that while Wolfgang Puck is running around with Oscar-inspired food on the red carpet, there are no In-N-Out burgers on his tray.

Since it’s the Oscars, even Puck’s chef outfit has a brandname behind it: Ozwald Boateng, a well-known British menswear designer.

5:54 p.m. | ‘The Artist’ first on the red carpet

Two of the first few interviews on E!’s Red Carpet show were stars from front-running film “The Artist.” Penelope Anne Miller and Missi Pyle were two of the first celebrities to appear. The Post’s Ned Martel says, “This is why Harvey Weinstein is a maestro at marketing.” The executive producer of “The Artist” wanted the American actresses front and center, as they are better known then their French co-stars.

Laurence Bennett, one of the art directors for “The Artist,” spoke to Jen Chaney on the red carpet about how the film transcends international borders. He teared up during their talk. “I get a little emotional,” he said.

5:26 p.m. | Red carpet arrivals

Nancy O'Dell (Matt Sayles/AP)

Actress Milla Jovovich is in Elie Saab couture. Elie Saab designed Halle Berry’s dress when she won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2001. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

”The Artist” star Penelope Ann Miller arrives in Badgley Mischka (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

TV personality Maria Menounos arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

“Modern Family’s” Sarah Hyland arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

5:23 p.m. | The E! Crew arrives on the red carpet

Dispatch from Jen Chaney: The E! Crew — Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kostiopoulos — popped on to the carpet to much fanfare from fans. Other than that we are still playing the waiting game.
TV personality Giuliana Rancic (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Rancic changed for the red carpet, but on her E! pre-show, she wore a severe dress that was vaguely reptilian. It might make more sense in the Superheroes exhibition at the Met.

5:12 p.m. | Let the show begin!

Jen Chaney captures this photograph of Oscar fans waiting for the red carpet show to start:

4:27 p.m. | Halle Berry pulls out of presenting at the Oscars

Halle Berry will not present at the Oscars this evening due to issues with her broken foot, producer Brian Grazer told E! News. The actress first injured her foot in September.

4:15 p.m. | Kermit the Frog duets with Darren Criss

E! started airing Oscars coverage at 1:30 p.m. EST, nearly four hours before the troops start marching down the red carpet. To fill the bizarre pre-pre-show to their pre-show to the Oscars, Kermit the Frog performed his Muppet hit song “Rainbow Connection” with “Glee” star Darren Criss, and Victoria’s Secret presented a random mini-fashion show by a Los Angeles pool.

4:01 p.m. | Let the Oscar rumpus start

Welcome to our comprehensive Oscars live blog, with up-to-the-minute feed straight from Los Angeles from reporters Jen Chaney and Monica Hesse. In Washington, The Post’s expert movie critic Ann Hornaday will let us know if the Academy chose the right winners. TV columnist Lisa de Moraes, and Style reporters Dan Zak, Amy Argetsinger, Katherine Boyle and Ned Martel will also be on hand for instant analysis of the 84th annual Academy Awards.

By  |  12:27 AM ET, 02/27/2012

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