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Hollywood Gets Ready For Big Party

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Kodak Theatre is abuzz as Hollywood prepares for its biggest party of the year Sunday, the 79th annual Academy Awards.

Oscar presenters such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Reese Witherspoon have been rehearsing inside the theater.

Outside, two giant golden Oscar statues are flanking the entrance but the red carpet is still covered with plastic. Fans have been snapping photos as workers adjust lights and journalists set up cameras and microphones.

As one visitor puts it, "There's a lot of excitement in the air, you can feel it."

Organizers hope the suspense of an up-for-grabs best-picture race will be enough to keep TV audiences tuned in through the finale. TV ratings have been in general decline the last decade.

The best-picture nominees are "Little Miss Sunshine," "The Queen," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "Babel" and "The Departed.'
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