Oscars 2012: George Clooney, Jessica Chastain, Sacha Baron Cohen's ‘Dictator’ Hit the Red Carpet

The telecast, from the Theater Formerly Known as the Kodak, begins at 5:30 PT; watch TheWrap for up-to-the-minute coverage

George Clooney, Jessica Chastain, Jean Dujardin and a costumed Sacha Baron Cohen hit the red carpet outside of the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday.

The sun is shining outside of the Theater Previously Known as the Kodak as this year's nominees and the industry's biggest stars strut their high fashion stuff. 

Also read: Oscars 2012: Red Carpet Arrivals (Slideshow)

Berenice Bejo, Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Lopez, Emma Stone and Viola Davis are among the bold-faced names already working their way into the Oscar theater. 

Baron Cohen is not even a nominee, but he caused perhaps the biggest stir on the red carpet. The comic showed up decked out in his Muammar Gaddafi-inspired outfit from his upcoming film, "The Dictator." 

Also read: 2012 Oscars: Complete List of Nominees

The British comic spilled what he claimed to be the ashes of Kim Jong-il on red carpet interviewer Ryan Seacrest. He then pretended to be carted off by security. 

With the broadcast scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. PT on ABC, momentum seems to be with "The Artist," which is widely expected to capture the Best Picture statue — especially after its wins Saturday night at the Indie Spirit Awards — but there are always surprises at every Oscar show.

Could Martin Scorsese's groundbreaking 3D film "Hugo" be an upset winner? Will Meryl Streep pick up her first Best Actress Oscar in three decades for her uncanny portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady"? Does Christopher Plummer ("Beginners") have a lock on Best Supporting Actor or will fellow octogenarian Max von Sydow score a come-from-behind victory?

Also read: Academy Won't Stop Sacha Baron Cohen's Oscar Stunt — But They'd Rather He Didn't Do It

These questions and more will be answered over the course of the biggest night in film. Just keep watching this space.