Monitor picks

Vanity Fair uncut

Celebrity may be a Vanity Fair staple, but once a year the glossy gives Hollywood the true red-carpet treatment. (Think VF's famous Oscar party.) If carefully composed portraits and heavily edited blurbs leave you wanting more, go behind the scenes at vanityfair.com for photos and videos from this year's noir-inspired Hollywood Issue and past shoots.

Oscar commentators

By the time the third musical number from "Dreamgirls" rolls around during the awards telecast, you may feel a desperate need for some distraction. Log on to Entertainment Weekly's website, ew.com, and read their witty live coverage of the awards. Come to think of it, the site's blogging during the red-carpet festivities is a welcome alternative to the awkward inanities of Joan and Melissa, too.

Oscar unmasked

Ever wonder who actors are addressing when they thank "the Academy"? Or where Oscar got his name? How about whether the winners really stay a secret until the envelope is opened? Check out How the Oscars Work for answers to these questions and more (entertainment.howstuffworks.com/oscar.htm).

The backup plan

The Oscars are the second most popular television event of the year – the first is the Super Bowl – but that doesn't mean that everyone swoons over the little guy in gold. If you're looking for something more, er, arresting, Bravo's running a Law and Order: Criminal Intent marathon throughout Sunday evening. Lock 'em up, detective (bravotv.com).

Best picture redux

The Academy Awards is exponentially more fun if you've seen the films nominated for Best Picture. To bring you up to date, on Feb. 24 AMC Theatres is offering a Best Picture Showcase of the five nominees plus popcorn and a drink for $30. Go to: amctheatres.com/promos/showcase to find a theater near you.

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