Black Tie, Red Carpet 

Hollywood hits Memphis Sunday, February 25th, and this time it's got nothing to do with Craig Brewer. This time of year, out there on the Left Coast, the film industry gets all hot and bothered over a gold statue of a naked guy holding a sword. But this isn't just any old gold statue of a naked guy holding a sword, just as the Maltese Falcon wasn't just a bird. It's the stuff dreams are made of: It's the Academy Awards, the Oscars -- and this year marks Hollywood's 79th nervous breakdown.

Millions around the globe pin their eyes open so they won't miss a second of it, from the pre-red-carpet coverage to the final thank-yous and host jokes about the show running so long. But, if you're going to watch it, why squint at your TV when you can ogle Scarlett Johansson or Ryan Gosling on the Pink Palace's four-story IMAX screen? The museum is hosting Oscar Night America, a black-tie gala officially sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar people).

Proceeds from the night will support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis and the Pink Palace Family of Museums, and attendees will get the full movie-star treatment, including a red-carpet, "paparazzi"-laden arrival, live music from Soul Incision with Steve Cropper, a silent auction, official Academy Award programs and posters, great food from Memphis restaurants, and, of course, the broadcast of the show.

This year's awards have lots of built-in drama. Will Martin Scorsese finally win one? Will Helen Mirren? Are we going to have to start saying Academy Award-winner Eddie Murphy? And can any musical performance beat last year's Three 6 Mafia crunkathon?

Oscar Night America, Pink Palace Museum, Sunday, February 25th, 6 p.m. Tickets $125 each (320-6398)

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