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Countdown to the 86th Academy Awards

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Cullinan and Rosas from PricewaterhouseCoopers hold briefcases containing the winning envelopes on the red carpet at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood Photo: Video by Jeremy Schultz Reuters

Countdown to the 86th Academy Awards

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Feb 28, 2014

The larger than life versions of the golden statues are receiving a free shower while awaiting film's biggest stars along Hollywood Boulevard. The rain is not stopping outside of the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, as umbrellas may just be this year's hottest red carpet accessory. The show must go on for the soggy, yet stylish, 86th annual Academy Awards Sunday night. 

Chosen by more than 6,000 Academy members, there are 121 nominees this year broken down into 24 categories.

The true battle, however, is between "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" for best picture. According to Reuters, "The Academy could also make history this year if it chooses '12 Years a Slave' for best picture. It would be the first time that the top film honor goes to a movie by a black director in the 86 years of the Oscars."

David O. Russell, director of 10-time nominee "American Hustle," has an actor nod in all four major categories for the second year in a row, having previously accomplished that for "Silver Linings Playbook."

The Los Angeles Times predicts "Frozen" as the best animated feature winner and the film's "Let It Go" as the winner for best original song. Incredibly, according to the Times, a victory for “Frozen" would give Disney its first win for animated feature.

And will Leonardo DiCaprio, at last, have his huge Oscars moment with a best actor win? The Los Angeles Times thinks not, giving the best actor award to Matthew McConaughey for the "Dallas Buyers Club."

Reuters additionally reports that "the Oscars show will feature homages to movie heroes and 'The Wizard of Oz' on its 75th anniversary. U2 and Pharrell Williams will be among the performers for best original song."

Postponed by the Winter Games, the three-hour-long broadcast will air live in the U.S. on March 2 on ABC beginning at 8:30 EST/5:30 PST, and will be re-broadcast in 225 additional countries around the globe.

Follow our live coverage on Twitter and Facebook during the show.