5:58 p.m.: The Oscars red carpet is due to begin broadcasting in two minutes, but right now, I’m just seeing KOCO-5 chief meteorologist Rick Mitchell showing the radar of the only thunderstorm in the state in far northern Oklahoma. Rick says they are mindful of the Oscars airing tonight and will keep us ahead of the storm but let us enjoy programming, too. Let’s hope we don’t get too many interruptions – and that the weather behaves itself not just in Oklahoma but in our northern neighbor, Kansas.
6: “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts is wearing of lovely pale pink gown but touting some of the historic moments: the first-ever 90-minute red carpet and the first red-carpet interview with the Oscar hosts. Um, yay. (Sarcasm there.) Right now, we’re just getting introduced to the hosts and seeing behind-the-scenes shots. Let’s get on with it! I’m hoping this isn’t setting the pace for the night.
6:03: The first red-carpet interview is with Oscar-snubbed “Black Swan” actress Mila Kunis, who looks stunning in a lavender gown with a plunging neckline. Tim Gunn asks the first hard-hitting question of the night: Which is harder, walking the red carpet in high heels or dancing ballet in toe shoes? Sheesh.
6:05: Best supporting actress nominee Hailee Steinfeld, 14, is looking incredibly glamorous in her pale and sparkling gown with her dark hair in a formal updo. She is talking about how much her life has changed in the past year. I really hope we see much more from her. She’s an incredible actress. (For the record, this is my first rant of the night about Hailee being nominated in the supporting actress category when her film-carrying turn in the Coen brothers’ “True Grit” clearly belongs in the best actress category. It’s just the games the studios and Academy play.)
6:06: Best actor contender Jesse Eisenberg says “This is like the Super Bowl, but I don’t play football, so this is the closest I’ll ever get.” He’s looking very much the cool cat in his classic black suit, white shirt and black tie. He tells Robin he really doesn’t have a TV, but “I love watching you in person.” Yes, a cool cat indeed.
6:12: Wow, after all the pale gowns, best supporting actress Amy Adams looks stunning in her sparkling deep purple gown. It really looks great with her blue eyes and red hair, and the dramatic Cartier jewels are gorgeous. But I hate the old-lady neckline. I think that dress goes up to her chin.
6:13: Another wow, Jennifer Lawrence – best actress nominee for “Winter’s Bone” – looks absolutely stunning in her long, unadorned red gown with the just-right scooped neckline. She definitely looks ready to play Mystique in “X-Men: First Class.” She says she’s excited to see Jeff Bridges, whom she quotes all the time, and she claims she’s just there “to have and lose.”
6:15: Kevin Spacey is rooting for his “American Beauty” co-star Annette Bening to win best actress. It’s her fourth Oscar nomination, but I’m betting Natalie Portman wins it.
6:16: Russell Brand in wearing all navy and a new darker ‘do, which makes him look like a Johnny Depp impersonator. His date is his mom, since his sweetie Katy Perry is on tour. Russell will be presenting at the Oscars tonight, and he’s giving a frightening explanation of his upcoming “Arthur” remake. I didn’t want to see that movie before, and now I’m really dreading it. Dudley Moore he ain’t.
6:17: Former Tulsan Melissa Leo looks positively regal in her white and gold floral patterned dress with the high collar and deep V neckline. Tim Gunn is asking her a Facebook-submitted question: She plays a lot of complicated characters, does she ever turn down easier roles? She thinks maybe she just complicates the roles. I loved Melissa in “Frozen River,” for which she earned her first Oscar nod, and in “The Fighter.” So I’m really rooting for her. The question is will her online and trade publication campaign on her own behalf work for or against her.
6:20: We’re getting a preview of the P.S. 22 Chorus, an elementary school chorus from Staten Island, N.Y., who will make a joyous musical appearance at tonight’s Oscars singing “Over the Rainbow.” These talented kids have become deserving YouTube sensations with some very high-profile fans. I’m so glad to see the Academy is bringing music back to the Oscars; we’re going to get full performances of the best original song noms, too.
6:27: Tim Gunn is lavishing praise on presenter and past Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, who looks like she’s wearing a pimply alien skin for a dress. Tim calls her a risk-taker and praises the gown as gorgeous. It’s a pale lavender gown with a pleated long skirt and all kinds of round purple and yellow ornamentation on the shoulders and around the waist. It is a very weird and not very pleasant looking gown. I’m not an expert like Tim Gunn but I’m just not a fan. Of the gown. I think Cate is great.
6:30: Mark Ruffalo looks very classic in his tux, and his wife, Sunrise, also appears very elegant. Mark is nominated for best supporting actor, and he credits his spouse for getting him to take the part in “The Kids Are All Right.”
6:32: Past winner Marisa Tomei always looks great, and her flowing dark blue gown is “staggering,” as Tim puts it. Mr. Gunn and I are in agreement on her vintage gown. She says she was stunned but very flattered to hear that Lady Gaga said she would like Marisa to play her if there was a movie made about her life. I’m not sure that I can see it, but Gaga knows how to pick a great actresses.
6:37: I think we’re seeing a trend color: purple. Scarlett Johansson is dressed in a sleeveless vibrant violet gown done in flowery lace. Love the dress and makeup, but didn’t much care for the tousled bedhead ‘do.
6:41: Matthew McConaughey is wearing a great-looking tux, but even with the classy threads, the man still can’t be troubled to shave. I love men with facial hair but I’m not a fan of scruffy stubble with elegant outfit.
6:42: Annette Bening is all sparkles tonight, with a dark-colored column with a spiderweb of silvery accents. I loved her terrific ear dangles. Warren Beatty says he’s in awe of her because she’s not just an amazing actress, she’s an equally amazing wife and mother. Aw.
6:43: Anne Hathaway is wearing Valentino and is walking the red carpet with Valentino. Love, love, love her sleeveless siren-red gown with the flowery gathers in the skirt. Her hair is lovely and soft, and she is wearing a mint worth of jewels. She looks like a winner to me, I think red is another trendy color here tonight. I adore all the jewel tones.
6:48: Tim Gunn is back “making Oscar history” by interviewing host Anne Hathaway before the show. She is the youngest host ever and one of the few female hosts. She said she took Shirley MacLaine’s advice to work as many wardrobe changes into the show as possible. She is wearing Tiffany jewels and a Valentino Archival gown, and she says she feels like a “princess/movie star/luckiest girl in the world.”
6:49: Mark Wahlberg is talking about how hard it was to get “The Fighter” made and how pleased he is to have such a great response to it. He not only stars in the film, he produced it. It’s a shame he didn’t get a best actor nod. He’s giving Robin her due for predicting the movie would be a success.
6:51: Geoffrey Rush (who is cue-ball bald) and Colin Firth are acknowledging their bromance, with Firth dubbing it a shocking display. “The King’s Speech” has a leading 12 nominations, but Rush says even if it goes home empty handed, he’s glad it touched a chord with viewers and allowed he and Colin for forge a great working relationship. I think it’s pretty much a guarantee that Colin is getting an Oscar this year.
6:52: Reese Witherspoon is wearing a black and white Armani gown with green ear dangles, with a bouncy ponytail that would look great on ’50s cheerleader. She doesn’t remember much about winning her Oscar a few years ago for “Walk the Line,” just that she had too much adrenaline and Jamie Foxx was very sweet to her. And now that she has co-starred with Robert Pattinson in the upcoming “Water for Elephants,” she has to be Team Edward. A “Twilight” reference at an entertainment event. Imagine.
6:54: Personal fave Robert Downey Jr. and his producer wife Susan have stepped up. Susan is wearing earrings Angelina Jolie designed, and Robert is wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and white tie. Susan says that they usually hang out in sweats when they’re not making movies, and Robert sardonically comments that his wife’s earrings are the most exciting part of the evening. He and Jude Law, who just finished filming the forthcoming “Sherlock Holmes” sequel, have been paired as presenters tonight.
6:56: Great trailer for “Source Code,” director Duncan Jones’ followup to “Moon.” It’s in theaters April 1, and I really want to see it.
7:00: Just got a glimpse of Halle Berry’s dress, and I’m not a fan of the raggedy-looking skirt. She is so lovely, and I wish she were wearing a gown that emphasized it.
7:01: Jennifer Hudson looks awesome in her flaming red-orange gown with the dramatic neckline, updo and earrings. She does look so svelte and beautiful these days.
7:02: Natalie Portman is wearing a canny plum gown that neither hides nor emphasizes her baby bump. She called “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky “the bee’s knees,” and she feels so lucky to have learned to dance for the movie. She is ready for awards season to be over and to leave the dress-up gowns in the closet. She’s ready for sweats and messy hair. I hope she has her speech ready because I’m betting she wins best actress.
7:03: “Oh, yeah, I am nominated tonight, aren’t I?” James Franco ponders. He’s got a lot on his mind, and he’s got the charm to pull off such a goofy remark. The killer smile helps. He’s praising co-host Anne Hathaway as full of energy and a great performer, and he’s revealing that he has wardrobe changes tonight, too. “Look for the change in suits.” He trails off sort of awkwardly to end the interview. Hopefully, he will be more at ease onstage.
7:05: Tim Gunn is gushing over Justin Timberlake, who took about an hour to get down the carpet. “It’s a long walk on that carpet,” Justin says, adding that it looks more pink than an TV. That prompts Tim to dub him “Justin Timberlake, color theorist.” Justin looks handsome in his classic tux and neatly trimmed facial hair. Maybe he can give Matt McC some tips.
7:07: Sandra Bullock looks so elegant in another of these popular candy-apple red gowns. Love the dramatic neckline and bare back. She is going to present the best actor award and she says she knows how nominee Javier Bardem feels at least – sleep deprived since he has a newborn. Sandra says that since she adopted her baby boy last year, her priorities have changed. She’s back to work but she wants to make sure that she manages her time well because she wants to get back home to him. She always seems like such a classy lady, and life hasn’t been all pretty gowns and golden statuettes for her since she won best actress last year. Good to see her with her head held high.
7:12: “I think it’s just beautiful to be nominated,” says Nicole Kidman, who is wearing a white gown with silvery accents and a sort of giant ribbon wrapped around it. “I like the structure of it,” she says, and it’s got a very unusual line. This is her first nomination since she married Keith Urban, who is holding her hand loyally. He says they have very similar but eclectic taste in music and they picked mellow music for the ride over.
7:14: Gwyneth Paltrow is wearing a gorgeous shimmering, gold column with stunning sparkly earrings. She is singing “Coming Home,” a best original song nominee from “Country Strong.” She says if she could have a dream duet, she would do it with Jay-Z.
7:15: Best supporting actor shoo-in Christian Bale is going with an all-black suit and full beard. He says that Dicky Edlund and Micky Ward, the real-life brothers he and Mark Wahlberg portray in “The Fighter,” are at the Oscars and he saw them having a good time earlier. Christian is glad that “the Fighter” finally got made and pleased that it has captured the attention and imagination of film fans.
7:20: News flash: Most of the stars interviewed on the red carpet are rooting for their own films or co-stars to win tonight. Shocking, I know. At least they’re honest.
7:21: We’re less than 10 minutes away from the start of the actual Academy Awards. Robin has moved the activity inside the Kodak Theatre, and past Oscar host Hugh Jackman is making a playful entrance. He said he is nervous for co-hosts Anne and James, even though he just decided to relax and have fun. He is reiterating his advice to Anne and James: eat a lot. They will need to keep up their energy; this show is three hours long and they are in charge of keeping it running smoothly and sort of on time. If they keep it on time, they will be my favorite hosts ever.
7:24: I love the color and bodice of past winner Halle Berry’s pale gown, but I hate the ragged tulle skirt and neckline adornment. It looks sort of ’80s. She says she loves seeing everyone’s interpretation of glamor; clearly she and I have different interpretations. Of course, she is much more experienced than I in the glamor department. She says she is sending up her love for the late Lena Horne and looking forward to her Broadway debut.
7:26: Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is the last interview of the red carpet and will present the first award. He recalls as a nominee that when your category comes up the blood rushes to your head and all you can hear is gibberish. “This town makes time for a lot of things but it only shuts down for the Oscars.”
And with those words of wisdom, we’ll end the Oscars red carpet live blog. Please join me in minutes for the Academy Awards live blog right here on BAM’s Blog.