Hollywood is set for its biggest night of the year Sunday, as two odes to film-making -- silent movie The Artist and Martin Scorsese's Hugo -- vie for Oscars glory at the 84th Academy Awards.

After months of campaigning and a flurry of lesser prizes, Tinseltown's annual awards season reaches its high point with the most prestigious honors of them all, the coveted golden statuettes.

Hundreds of millions around the globe will tune in for the ceremony hosted once again by veteran Billy Crystal, after A-listers strut their stuff down the most-watched red carpet in the world.

"Added excitement for #Oscars. One envelope will contain a live scorpion!" Crystal, who has done the job eight times before, joked in a Twitter message ahead of the greatest show in Hollywood.

As usual, the annual march to Oscars coronation has not been without a few twists and surprises...

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