The Oscars: Five Reasons to Watch

PHOTO: The Oscars: Can Billy Crystal Still Bring It?PlayCharley Gallay/Getty Images
WATCH Oscars: Countdown to Hollywood's Biggest Night

Hollywood's biggest night of the year is upon us. Before the ceremonies start, here's what to look forward to at the 2012 Oscars:

-- Billy CrystalThe veteran Oscar host's head writer told that Crystal has updated his act to hold the attention of even the most text and Twitter-happy viewers. "Billy is a really smart host," Carol Leifer said. "I don't think most people realize how intensely he works on the show and how seriously he takes it. He is so in the moment and has such a good time that to the audience in the Kodak and out in TV land, it will be obvious." He's been tweeting to show he's in tune with the times. On Friday, Crystal posted, "Added excitement for #Oscars . One envelope will contain a live scorpion!" Two days before, he wrote, "Great news! Hosting Oscars counts five hours toward my community service!"

Profiles of the best picture nominees

-- Sacha Baron Cohen AKA, "The Dictator." Hollywood's current king of satire will be on the Oscar red carpet as the title character from his upcoming movie. On Friday, amid word that the Academy had taken away his tickets, he posted a video online as "The Dictator" warning of "unimaginable consequences" if the Academy banned him from the Oscars. Guess we'll see what he has up his sleeve tonight.

-- High Profile Presenters The Academy is going heavy on star power at the podium. Tonight's presenters include Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Michael Douglas, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis ... and the Muppets!

-- Octavia Spencer She's been the toast of town leading up to tonight's show, and many believe that the best supporting actress Oscar might as well be placed on top of her mantel right now. Considering her SAG and Golden Globe wins, if Spencer scores tonight, her speech and backstage candor are sure to be memorable.

--Uggie This little guy charmed millions in "The Artist" and won more fans when he donned a bow tie on stage at the Globes. Here's hoping he meets the Muppets this time.

Your backstage pass to the Oscars