Oscars 2012 red carpet weirdness
Oscars 2012 red carpet weirdness abounded, with odd appearances by Nick Nolte, Sasha Baron Cohen, Melanie Griffith and others. oscar.go.com

Watch the Oscars 2012 here for free via online live stream. Once the coverage of Oscars 2012 begins, scroll to the bottom of this article to watch the free online live stream.

The official Oscars 2012 free live stream will also be available for free at this link once the festivities begin at 5:10 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Until then, sate your appetite for award fever by reading about the nominees at this link, and read about the history and culture of the Oscars at this link.

And if you want to go even deeper into pre-Oscars 2012 fun, you can pick your own Oscar winners online at this link, then follow along and see how you did as the show progresses.

Featuring a showdown in the Best Actor category between Brad Pitt and George Clooney, and Billy Crystal returning as the host, this year's Academy Awards promise to be one of the best Oscars in recent memory.

If you won't be following all the action online, the ceremony -- which will take place in Hollywood's Kodak Theater as it has since 2001 -- will be broadcast live on ABC, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern/4 p.m. Pacific. To determine which channel is ABC on your cable provider, consult channel information for Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish and Comcast, which is available on their Web sites.

This year's Academy Awards are the 84th, and there are plenty of thrills to be expected, as once again there are 10 films up for Best Picture this year, though for decades there were only five nominees for the top prize.

Many of Hollywood's biggest stars will be presenting at the 2012 Oscars, including Halle Berry, Penelope Cruz, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks and Angelina Jolie.

The Academy Awards have a long and colorful history. According to the Oscars' official Web site, the first Academy Awards ceremony took place out of the public eye during an Academy banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Two hundred seventy people attended the May 16, 1929, dinner in the hotel's Blossom Room; guest tickets cost $5. It's come a long way since then.

Press play below at 5:10 p.m. EST to watch the Oscars 2012 live via free online live stream:

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