According to L.A. Weekly blogger Nikki Finke, there will be three presenters of the Oscar for Best Achievement in Directing. Those presenters? None other than Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Finke doesn't go on to make assumptions, but I'll go ahead and speculate that the planners of the telecast know something about who will win this award -- or they're making a hopeful gamble. Of course it will be great television to feature three of the most important "New Hollywood" directors hand a long overdue award to a fourth member of that era, Martin Scorsese. Personally, though, I think if Scorsese is a definite lock for the award, then Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Barry Levinson and Roman Polanski should be the ones presenting it.

Finke has learned of a few other "surprises" we can look forward to on Sunday night, including an appearance by Tom Cruise to present his old boss at Paramount, Sherry Lansing, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Also, the supporting acting awards will not be announced at the beginning of the ceremony, as they usually are, and none of the scheduled performers from Dreamgirls (Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose) will sing the song they sing in the movie -- who will perform what is not revealed, however. As for montages, we can expect one directed by Michael Mann about the portrayal of America in movies and one directed by Nancy Meyers about the portrayal of writers.

It is being rumored that this year's Oscar telecast will be extremely long, so hopefully the Academy and the planners have some other surprises that are more exciting than these. Of course, many of us will be glued to the set the whole way through to find out which picture will be revealed as the best, but I think the media is overestimating the public curiosity this year and I doubt that many people will really care enough to be up that late.