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81st Oscars 6:33 p.m. (Pre-Show)

Posted by Wesley Morris  February 22, 2009 06:32 PM

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Supporting-actor nominee Michael Shannon has hit the carpet. He's selected the same pouffed-out hairdo that made Drew Barrymore look like Tippi Hedren in the climax of "The Birds." Don't worry, Michael. You can be Suzanne Pleshette.

Vanessa Hudgens, who's a doll in the literal sense, compared herself to a "young Audrey Hepburn." She was talking about her cheap-looking dress (sorry, Marchesa), and still it was jarring. She and her partner in chastity, Zac Efron, might be doing a number together. Heaven help us.

A gentleman on E! just announced some kind of elaborate, "dramatic" presenter situation. It could be interesting, but, really it sounds very much like "Deal or No Deal."

The new producers, Larry Mark and Bill Condon, attempt to upstage the gawking foreplay might be working. This is the slowest pre-show ever.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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