What To Expect At The Oscars

Oscar Statues
AP / CBS
Despite the war in Iraq, Hollywood is going forward with its biggest night. CBS News Correspondent Hattie Kauffman reports that under the tightest security, last-minute touches signal the Academy's resolve to go forward.

And The Early Show Entertainment Contributor Jess Cagle says you can expect actors to use the stage as their soapbox for the war.

Many Americans agree that the show should go on. Josh Mann, a Hollywood tourist, explains, "I feel that since our soldiers are protecting our freedom across the globe we shouldn't change the way our lives are going on here."

Another tourist, Brenda Tatro, disagrees with those who say an Oscar celebration is inappropriate. "That makes no sense to me," she says. "It's a celebration of their work. We're at war. How do those things intersect?"

That will be the biggest challenge for Oscar host Steve Martin.

At a press conference, producer Gil Cates was asked, "How many times have you had to throw the script out the window and how many times has Steve Martin had to rewrite his monologue?"

To which he answered with a laugh, "There's been a lot of work in the writer's room, is all I can say."

On Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, a last-minute shopping rush is on as actresses choose gowns and jewelry for a wartime Oscars cermeony.

Anne Fahey, of Chanel Couture says people are concerned about what is appropriate. "It's definitely the buzz in Hollywood: What's the appropriate tone. Everyone's asking,'What is she wearing? What is she wearing? Is she wearing long? Is she wearing color?' It's definitely the big question in Hollywood this week," she says.

It's not only last-minute wardrobe changes, but the way those changes affect your hair, makeup and accessories.

Susan Sterling, make-up artist for Chanel cosmetics, explains: "Even though we won't see the Red Carpet this year, we might see some red lips. And as far as the eye-make up goes, they're really choosing beautiful pastel colors."

To calm last-minute jitters, the Garden Sanctury spa is the final stop for Hollywood's "A" list. Spa director Cynthia Silorey says in the last few hours before the Oscars, a Best Actress nominee came into the spa. "For the Best Actress nominee, we did a glow and tan. We did a facial," she says.

Remembering winners Julia Roberts and Halle Berry, Hollywood columnist Anne Thompson says it's not the makeup but the stunned, jubilant and tearful expressions on the winners' faces that audiences notice and remember.

"The joy on their faces, that may have even happened 30 or 40 years ago, is something you can't take away from them. And you shouldn't," says Thompson. "It's a Hollywood classic moment, the Oscars."

Sunday night's ceremony will honor 75 years of Oscars. Though it may be a bit subdued, it will continue the tradition of glamour.

Thompson says there is something particularly American about it. "It's not just America. It's people from Britain, Italy, Japan...watching this global ritual."

When the winners take the stage, it is very likely some of them will express their pro- and anti-war sentiments.

The Early Show Entertainment Contributor Jess Cagle says remarks were kept in check Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards, and the same thing may happen at the Oscars.

When stars speak out about a cause in an inappropriate moment, he says, it doesn't really change people's mind about the issue but it does make the celebrity look bad. Celebrities, he says, are mindful of that.

The parties are still going on, although the media is not being allowed into most of them. But at the pre-Oscar parties Cagle attended, he says the talk was not so much about the war but about whether the awards show was going to be telecast or taped.

With only hours away, a major loss of life or attack on home soil may lead to cancellation of the awards. But the buzz is that the show will air again on Tuesday night if it gets preempted or interrupted many times.

The general feeling in Hollywood is that the Oscars should go on, Cagle says. The season is a long and stressful time for the movie stars and studio executives in Hollywood and they want too get it over, he notes. And the Oscars can also offer some relief to Americans who may want to get away from the constant war coverage.

What they don't want to do is look like they don't care, Cagle notes. Tom Hanks may not attend the ceremony. If he doesn't, a lot of people may follow suit. Earlier in the week, Will Smith announced he was not going to show up as well.

As for who the winners will be, Cagle says the feeling is that Chicago will be a big winner and Adrien Brody or Jack Nicholson will get the Best Actor award. The rest of the awards are up in the air, he says.