Besides the glitz and gold, this Sunday's Oscars should be a far more comforting experience for seasoned watchers.
After years of trying to jazz up the Academy Awards with flashy hosts, emcee Billy Crystal is returning for a ninth time in 2012, bringing what Oscar experts say is a level of predictability.
Front-runner films - silent romance "The Artist," civil-rights story "The Help" and drama "The Descendants" among them - bring familiarity, comedy, love, humanity and a triumph of spirit that contrasts with recent years of darker Best Film winners such as "The Hurt Locker" or "No Country for Old Men."
Exactly what Crystal has in store for Oscar night is still anybody's guess - the producers and host are notoriously tight-lipped.
But it's likely that Crystal will start as he has in past years, comically editing himself into a video reel of scenes from major movies.