Indianapolis Monthly's Deborah Paul walked the red carpet with Los Angeles magazine editor Mary Melton and attended the ceremony as well. Follow here her live-blog from that night's fashions and follies!
12:01 p.m. And The Artist takes it for Best Picture! Unforgettable experience, this.
11:40 p.m. I think Viola Davis might have been robbed. It was Meryl's time.
11:32 p.m. Meryl sprinted up the stairs!
11:22 p.m. And Jean danced! Got hit by the curtain when it closed. Blew kisses to the audience. Sigh!
11:20 p.m. Jean Dujardin is a dreamboat! Looks like a movie star from the '40s. Natalie Portman was the best presenter so far—smart and gracious.
11:02 p.m. My view. >>
10:59 p.m. Oprah was here, and then gone in a flash! Her seat is empty now.
10:52 p.m. They just passed out popcorn—so cute! Everyone's rattling cellophane and munching!
10:41 p.m. The "Bridesmaids" just bombed. Their little skit was in bad taste and nobody laughed.
10:31 p.m. Angelina Jolie is ridiculous. She looked like a streetwalker up there, poking out her leg. I think I hate her.
10:28 p.m. Cigarette girls passing out snacks to the superstars up front. No fair!
10:05 p.m. Christopher Plummer got the first standing O! What a gentleman—and he's the oldest ever winner of an acting Oscar at age 82.
9:52 p.m. We went out for a little break. Had a little wine and some cookies, didn't fall off the third mezzanine in the dark on the way back to our seats.
9:14 p.m. Octavia is a crowd pleaser!
9:12 p.m. The cameras are right on stage, next to the speakers. not crazy about Sandra Bullock's dress—look for her to make a worst dressed list.
9:06 p.m. Brad and Angelina stopped to talk to Meryl Streep during the commercial. He walks in front of her, holding her hand. Her dress has a slit almost up to her eyes! (Angelina, not Meryl.)
8:57 p.m. Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez are ridiculously gorgeous. They talk to each other and wave to the audience while they show the clips.
8:48 p.m. During commercials, it's quiet in the theater. An announcer says how long until we're back, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... and then says, "Applause!"
8:27 p.m. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were the last two in. She's in black! In the front row.
8:23 p.m. We're seated! In the nosebleeds, but still—here! The stage is a long way down ...
8:03 p.m. The French dude from The Artist smiled at us! Wow!
8:01 p.m. We're at the top of the stairs—here comes Gwyneth Paltrow in all white, magnificent in a floor-length cape.
7:55 p.m. Bo Derek is still hot! Melissa McCarthy has on a "meh" dress.
7:48 p.m. So much fun—best bucket list item ever!
7:47 p.m. Jason Segel is really cute!
7:27 p.m. Unreal, all of this. The red carpet was a thrill beyond thrills! Stood arm's length from George Clooney (my heart stopped), the only one who broke through to sign autographs and talk to fans hanging down over him. Saw P. Diddy, Tony Bennett, Nick Nolte. Octavia Spencer is friendly and effervescent!
7:05 p.m. Michelle Williams—too beautiful to be human.
7:01 p.m. George Clooney, signing autographs.
6:56 p.m. The queen! Octavia! >>
6:34 p.m. In an endless line of black limos; helicopters, Goodyear Blimp hovering overhead, cops searching every car—a scene!
<< 6:06 p.m. The limo is here! On our way!
3:40 p.m. All mine! >>
3:23 p.m. First sighting! Rachel Zoe with a hot mate in front of the super chic Montage hotel. Sky-high black suede boots with zippers up the sides. Exciting!
SUNDAY, Feb. 26, 9:33 a.m. It's Oscar day! Spent the night in a posh Beverly Hills hotel after a jet-laggy dinner. I don't know why people eat broccoli rabe, which is just a bunch of leaves and stems.
Brunch later at the super hip Montage with my colleague Mary. Let the celeb spotting begin!
SATURDAY, Feb. 25, 9:37 p.m. Got off to a rough start. Plane delayed so would miss my connection in Dallas. Re-routed through Chicago and then sat on the plane for 90 minutes waiting for a repair. Worried over my bag, fearing it would be lost and I'd be the only one on the red carpet wearing Not Your Daughter's jeans.
Here in L.A. now, getting over jet lag and excited about tomorrow. No celeb sightings yet—just Abe, the bellman.