Malibu Seen / By Kim Devore

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‘TIS THE SEASON

It’s been nonstop celebration and red carpet walks as Tinsel Town gears up for the Academy Awards. First came the Golden Globes, which turned into party central. Robert Downey Jr. looked dapper with wife Susan, who opted for a sexy little something in midnight blue. Oscar host-to-be Anne Hathaway sparkled in Armani Prive, while pregnant Natalie Portman was pretty in pink. Locals like Minnie Driver and Jeffrey Katzenberg mingled at one of the six super chic after-bashes set up at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. One of the biggest was the “In Style” fling with its black leather sofas, mirrors and modern art. Scenesters dined on 3,000 pieces of jumbo shrimp, beef tenderloin and sipped specialty Godiva chocolate cocktails.

“The Social Network” picked up a slew of statuettes while Colin Firth walked away with the big acting prize for “The King’s Speech.” As days, nights and even more awards presentations went by, “The King’s Speech,” the World War II era drama about King George VI and his stammer, started to gain momentum. There were wins at the Screen Actors Guild for Best Ensemble Cast. Director Tom Hooper took home the Director’s Guild of America award and “The King’s Speech” was also crowned with the Producer’s Guild title.

The big moment is Sunday so let the speculation begin. It’s all about who wore what and “the envelope please.” The best picture contest has been described as a “royal fight” with “The King’s Speech” leading the way with 12 nominations. Joel and Ethan Coen’s western, “True Grit,” isn’t far behind with 10, while “The Social Network” and “Inception,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, each earned eight. The Best Picture category is crowded to say the least.

The academy has selected a wide range of films in all different genres. In addition to “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech,” the nominees are “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “127 Hours,” “Winter’s Bone,” “True Grit” and even the animated blockbuster, “Toy Story 3.”

It’s wide open for the best acting prize. Colin Firth and Jesse Eisenberg both count themselves among the nominees, but so do Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges and James Franco.

As for the ladies, Natalie Portman is said to be a frontrunner for “Black Swan.” She’ll be up against acting vets Annette Bening and Nicole Kidman, as well as Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Williams. Sure bets are anyone’s guess, so stay tuned.