Jai ho, everybody!
Yes, we're liveblogging the 2009 Oscars, everyone who asked. I don't know what we're going to say, just yet, but stay tuned for Libby's thoughts on fashion. The only thought I have is that Miley Cyrus is just growing up all weird and stuff. She increasingly looks like one of the monsters Hercules had to beat to prove his worth to Zeus.
Click below to follow along!
5:08 p.m.: Libby's best dressed are ... Kate Winslet, Amy Adams, Anne Hathaway and Robert Downey, Jr. I maintain this is unfair, as she ALWAYS picks him. But whatever. I agree on Anne Hathaway. She and I should really be in love, don't you think?
5:10: On the other hand, she picks Marisa Tomei and Sarah Jessica Parker as the worst-dressed, as well as Beyonce. I'm sure that choosing Sarah Jessica Parker is HERESY to the CNN/E!s of the world, but we don't care! This is cutting-edge commentary you don't get just anywhere.
5:11: ABC drags the entire cast of Slumdog Millionaire before its cameras, and they enjoy the continuation of their brief flirtations with fame. Then they make Mickey Rourke talk about his dead dog. "These people are assholes!" Libby says.
5:12: Now they're talking with Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron, who are described as "America's sweethearts," something we both quibble with. Vanessa Hudgens hopes she can meet Meryl Streep. "I think she's going to be here!" Hudgens chirps. "She is NOMINATED," Libby says.
5:14: Robin Roberts continues to apparently only be interviewing racial minorities, which seems a little ... odd, ABC. Tim Gunn gets to interview the really big stars, and he never has anything too critical to say. That said, Viola Davis' husband has a slammin' mustache.
5:15: Libby says Miley Cyrus looks like one of those special holiday-themed Barbies you can get at Christmastime. In addition, the revelation that the Hannah Montana movie is coming out on Good Friday (AND Libby's birthday), April 10, prompts her to say, "The real tragedy of Good Friday used to be the death of Christ. No more!"
5:17: Anybody mind if I just pause the DVR on Anne Hathaway and wait out the rest of this travashamockery?
5:20: This is actually kind of a fun way to introduce the accountants, and it's always nice to see the Oscars celebrating the relative boringness of being an accountant. (Actually, my sister is in school to be an accountant. She should work for Price Waterhouse!)
5:21: Do all of Meryl Streep's daughters look exactly alike? Discuss. Also, ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Holiday Barbie. Available exclusively at Sears.
5:23: Richard Jenkins is talking about how he hears people yelling "Dick" at him. I hope he knows that's his name and doesn't feel too bad.
5:24: Tim Gunn to Marisa Tomei: "Mickey Rourke says he loved seeing you with your clothes off. I love seeing you with your clothes ON!" Geez, Tim. Don't hurt her feelings! Her body is essentially all she has going for her at this point.
5:25: Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann! I really don't have anything to add to that.
5:27: I forgot Michael Giacchino was doing this show. Dude's a genius. And he's apparently tossed a swing beat behind the Lawrence of Arabia theme, which my mom used to thunder out on the piano.
5:31: Aw, no crappy montages before we get to the host? Just straight to the Jackman? All right. Robert Downey, Jr., applauds for himself. As well he should.
5:32: The Academy didn't have enough money for an opening number, yet Jackman's going to do one ANYWAY? YOU DON'T SAY.
5:33: Though, honestly, this whole, "I just threw this together in my garage aesthetic!" is pretty amusing.
5:34: This song about Milk, however, is not. But I DO hope he recruited his dancers on Craig's List. Though I'm sad I didn't see the ad if that was the case. I would have been a great addition to this show.
5:35: HE'S DOING A NUMBER WITH ANNE HATHAWAY. I WAS RIGHT.
5:36: Libby was comparing this opening number to that Stars of Tomorrow thing until Hathaway started playing Richard Nixon. Believe me, that won't make sense unless you saw this. Also, be honest, how many of you thought Frost/Nixon was a romcom when you first heard of it?
5:37: I think this may be more interesting in conception than in execution, but I'm not sure yet. Jackman could still pull it together here!
5:38: And he SORTA does with the Wrestler section and his running joke about not having seen The Reader, since, after all, NO ONE has seen The Reader. ABC cams catch the standing O he gets (James Franco included). If everyone tries to write this off as another Snow White debacle, producer Bill Condon will have PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF THEY LIKED IT.
5:39: Libby likes the whole wedding reception thing they have going on here, where Jackman just wanders around as though he's surprised all of these nominated people just came in off the street. He even sits on Frank Langella's lap.
5:41: LOL. They couldn't get the curtain open. The guy the mics picked up saying, "You need to OPEN IT" was FAR more restrained than the stage managers I worked with in college theater would have been. There would have been swearing. Lots and lots of swearing.
5:43: We're at our second standing ovation of the evening which is for ... uh ... Eva Marie Saint (makes sense), Whoopi Goldberg (whatever), Tilda Swinton (so, so great), Goldie Hawn (what?) and Anjelica Huston (yes).
5:44: They always threaten to cut the acting clips as something that extends the show by too long, but ... having these five women explain absolutely everything about the five performances is TAKING EVEN LONGER. I mean, it's cool (I'm, in general, in favor of VERY LONG OSCARS), and Goldberg gets a big laugh with "It's not easy being a nun," but this is going to seem very poorly thought out when they're giving out Actor and Actress late in the show. Libby and my choice for this category, Rosemarie DeWitt, wasn't even nominated, so, whatever.
5:47: Penelope Cruz wins, bringing back Woody Allen's dominance of this category in a rather predictable way. Libby is a bit non-plussed though she says that Cruz making out with Scarlett Johansson is ALL she asks for from a Best Supporting Actress winner. I am inclined to agree.
5:48: Libby: "There's a POD of best supporting actress winners standing behind her like the Ghosts of Christmases Past."
5:49: She says something in Spanish. Glenn Beck's head just blew up.
5:50: Kate Winslet cries for Cruz. "Maybe she's pregnant. She just weeps ALL THE TIME now," Libby says. So far, this is a surprisingly cool show.
5:51: Great snark from ~Jiffy~ over at AwardsDailyForums.com: "Tilda makes it seem like they're inducting the best supporting actress winner into their cult." Libby adds: "They made Steve Guttenberg a star." That's two Simpsons references. TWO! Ah ah ah!
5:53: They should bring back Steve Martin to host sometime. Seeing him and Tina Fey together was really a kick. Keeping the presenters a secret is turning out to be a good idea.
5:55: Again, my choice here wasn't nominated -- Rachel Getting Married. But I would go with Happy-Go-Lucky out of the nominees, though any of these films winning would be just fine.
5:56: Just tossing some love out there for Big Love, which Milk writer Dustin Lance Black got his start on. Also, do you suppose Tina Fey reads the Wall-E screenplay nightly to her daughter?
5:57: Milk wins, continuing the unsurprisingness. I guess Black is a sex symbol or something now, which strikes me as odd, but, hey, whatever works. He gives a nicely political speech without getting too political (unless you're one of those people who thinks the very mention of homosexuality is political).
5:58: Hollywood says, "Boo, Prop 8!" WHERE WERE YOU LAST OCTOBER, HOLLYWOOD?!
6:00: Fey and Martin continue to be funny. Man, it sucks to live-blog a show you don't want to snark at. Our pick in this category is ... Benjamin Button, we guess? It was a really weak year for this category. If all films, period, were included, maybe Dark Knight? Whatever. Slumdog's going to win.
6:01: And it does. Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of the film, but I can see why screenwriters are mad for the structural conceit of the game show framing the story. It's a bit convenient, but it's interesting, at least.
6:02: Simon Beaufoy calls Dev Patel Dev but calls Freida Pinto by her character's name. I guess she's just that uninteresting?
6:03: Libby is taking issue with Jennifer Aniston being there, and I'm taking issue with the continued actor insecurity about animated films. I do like Jack Black, who was the lead in Kung Fu Panda, goofing on how Pixar always wins this category, despite its complete inability to crack the Best Picture lineup. End the ghettoization, AMPAS!
6:04: A 2008 movie yearbook? This is going to be the longest show ever.
6:05: If you accept that animation is mostly good for kid flicks, then not showing Waltz With Bashir here makes complete sense.
6:06: Wall-E wins, and Jack Black feigns bitterness. Jennifer Aniston's Wall-E impression needs work, if we're being honest.
6:08: Aniston and Black are back, which is how I guess they're going to keep the show moving (by having presenters give out two categories at a time). You could have bought all of these on iTunes, and I'll bet you didn't!
6:09: I didn't either, so I ended up rooting for Presto by default, though the film that won looks really quite beautiful, with its subdued watercolors.
6:10: Japanese people will always get laughs in the U.S. by saying "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!" I laugh. "I hate America," says Libby. "So much."
6:14: I'm really cranky that my ABC HD service isn't working. It means I have to watch Lost and this in standard, and that is no way to live your life.
6:16: I DO sort of enjoy this conceit of following a film from its conception (the script) through its production, starting with the pre-production design work.
6:17: YOU JUST SHOWED US THIS, OSCARS. WE DON'T NEED TO SEE IT AGAIN. Anyway, Ben Button wins, which makes sense, as it had a LOT of art direction. I mean, let's be serious here. At least it won't be the losing-est film of all time at this rate!
6:19: This art director guy knows David Fincher is going to lose, so he gives him a big, verbal hug. Hope Finchy likes it.
6:20: I'm not sure how I feel about this weird, swirling camera movement when they're showing the screens displaying the nominees. It's a little unsettling. Also, why are the nominees out of alphabetical order? It is irritating my inner librarian.
6:21: The Duchess, a movie I actually forgot had been released, wins. I am willing to bet this does not prompt ANYone to rent it. The costume designer is all, "I want to thank Rachel Portman for the music in The Duchess. That (what the orchestra was playing) wasn't the music, but the music was terrific." I guess he's going to try to convince us we SHOULD see The Duchess?
6:23: SJP and Daniel Craig are giving out ALL the design prizes, as they move on to makeup. At least we can now say, "The Academy Award-nominated Hellboy," though Ben Button will likely win. The makeup was a character in that film.
6:24: And see how right I was? You should really listen to me more often. Anyway, anyone wanna bet this is the last award for Ben Button tonight? I guess it could win visual effects. Libby points out that they've completely cut the people introducing other people other Oscars ceremonies have been plagued with. "I like that!" she says, then adds, darkly, "Of course, I'm still sober."
6:25: Announcer lady messes up her ONLY job by mispronouncing Amanda Seyfried. For shame. Seriously, though, check out tonight's Big Love. Seyfried's amazing in it.
6:26: And now we get to see all the romantic movies of 2008. Wall-E is here too. I hope they find a way to fit Wall-E into all of their montages.
6:27: Literally every movie in 2008 featured romance in some way, so they're just going to feature all of them, I guess. Including IRON MAN. And, uh, Marley and Me? And The Hulk!
6:28: People will always enjoy watching people kiss. Though I better not hear about how pissed you are to have seen Harvey Milk and his boyfriend kissing, PTC. JUST SIT DOWN, ALL RIGHT?
6:31: So, uh, you DO pronounce Seyfried that way? Sorry, announcer lady! Meanwhile, Ben Stiller pays tribute to Joaquin Phoenix. "This will make no sense even a year from now," Libby says. I'm sure my mom is BAFFLED.
6:32: The Oscars usually save cinematography and editing for the last two tech prizes, so it's interesting to see it this early.
6:33: Listen, Ben Stiller, I made better fake facial hair in my college makeup class. Whatever he's doing, though, is making the audience and Natalie Portman laugh, though it takes a while for the directors to show us that he's wandering around the stage.
6:34: I do like how the yearly montage of cinematographers makes light meters seem like a hip new accessory. Anyway, Slumdog wins, again unsurprisingly, as the jittery camera work of the film captured the style of the moment accurately enough.
6:35: Again, I'm not a Slumdog fan, but Mantle's a good cinematographer. In general, I'm going to be pleased whenever someone wins for Slumdog because I like them as a film person. They're just winning for the wrong film, I think. Oh well. It happens all the time.
6:36: Libby adds, "It's how we'll feel if Winslet wins for The Reader. It's a THEME of these Oscars." Also, where has Hugh Jackman gotten off to?
6:37: Occasional blogger Jon asks, "Does ANYONE in Hollywood know that Pheonix is pranking them?" I actually think that's why people feel OK mocking him. After all, his brother DIED after a similar mental deterioration, so if people thought he was serious, I hope THEY'D take it more seriously.
6:38: Jessica Biel comes out to talk about the sci-tech awards and try to make them sound interesting. Libby thinks she has her kimono on backwards.
6:40: Uh ... that was very short. Bravo?
6:42: James Franco really should have been nominated for Pineapple Express. He was fantastic in that.
6:43: This best comedies montage is legitimately hilarious, including Franco watching HIMSELF in Milk.
6:45: And now they're hanging out with Janusz Kaminski? This may be the greatest Oscar thing ever. Naturally, Judd Apatow is involved somehow.
6:46: I SO WANT TO SEE A KAMINSKI-MANTLE FEUD HIT THE PAGES OF US WEEKLY.
6:47: We're pulling for The Pig, because PIGS ARE AWESOME, but clearly the movie about Nazis is going to win. And it does! (You didn't get these on iTunes either, did you?)
6:48: Random Oscar fun facts: I once wrote some pieces for a book edited by James Franco's mom!
6:50: My friend Bryan from Oklahoma is amused by his mom's reaction to all of the man kissing in the comedy montage (the scenes from Milk). I can hear Brent Bozell salivating already!
6:52: Hugh Jackman returns to remind us all that the United Kingdom (where Mamma Mia! is the biggest film of all time) has terrible taste. And he's going to sing, of course.
6:53: Producers of awards shows, inaugural balls and sporting events: There are people in America who can sing other than Beyonce Knowles!
6:54: Believe me, the 1989 Oscars were basically ALL THIS.
6:55: Is that Amanda Seyfried again? Curse you, standard definition for making everyone muddy and indistinct!
6:56: It WAS! IT WAS! And now the High School Musical people are singing! And I guess the fact that Beyonce singing At Last at the inaugural ball briefly turned into a viral sensation means she gets to sing it at every major event now?
6:57: Again, I liked the idea of this montage more than the execution, though I'm always in favor of drumlines!
6:58: Well, Baz Luhrmann was behind that. Everything makes much more sense now. And I guess that was just the Oscar equivalent of the halftime show or something.
7:01: Says Thomas Frovin, who is watching the awards in ALBANIA and is a pastor, so he knows his Biblical references: "The idea of Beyonce as Mary Magdalene in the Obama era is very fullfilling." I am inclined to agree!
7:02: Libby and I hope they've resurrected a lot of dead people to present the Supporting Actor award. Like George Burns! Instead, they've gone with Christopher Walken (yes!), Kevin Kline (yes!), Cuba Gooding Jr. (sigh), Alan Arkin (might as WELL be a dead man) and Joel Grey (when was the last time you thought about HIM?).
7:03: The, "Let's be sad Heath Ledger died" portion of the show commences. We will be respectfully silent until it's over. Unless there's an upset. Libby hopes Cuba's going to introduce Heath Ledger (though it's sadly obvious he's going to talk about Robert Downey, Jr., which is ... odd). I wonder if they just drew who they were going to speak about out of a hat?
7:11: ANNNNND we're back with the documentary award, which starts off with Werner Herzog, surprisingly nominated for the first time for his awesome Antarctica movie, Encounters at the End of the World. It IS sad that the great cinematographer Ellen Kuras could only score a nomination once she made a documentary (which I haven't seen), but it's nice to see her here anyway.
7:13: Oh, she swore. But Trouble the Water is good stuff!
7:14: So, uh, Bill Maher? Who informs us that that little piece was directed by Albert Maysles, who is really good (seriously, check out Salesman, Grey Gardens and Primary). Libby wants to know if he's wearing a pleather tuxedo, and I think he is. He gives a thumbs up to atheism, and Brent Bozell is angrily typing up a screed to post on his Web site.
7:15: Man on Wire wins, and now I'll break into another complaint about how, if animated features are stuck in their own ghetto, documentaries are REALLY stuck in a ghetto. They totally don't deserve that. Man on Wire absolutely deserved a best picture nomination.
7:16: Phillipe Petit, subject of Man on Wire, does a magic trick and balances the Oscar on his chin. These are the best Oscars ever!
7:18: The documentary short subject goes to Smile Pinki (that title should probably have a comma in it, producers of Smile Pinki). Now that the animated and live-action shorts are readily available, can we get the documentary shorts out there to the rest of the country? You can see them if you live in LA or New York, but that's about it.
7:21: Na. at the Awards Daily Forums asks, "Why does Sophia Loren look like she runs a whorehouse in 1889?" Indeed!
7:23: The Oscars salute all of the terrible action movies you went to last year, including one or two pretty good ones.
7:26: And here's Will Smith, the world's biggest star, telling us all about Visual Effects and how cool they are. Including Iron Man!
7:27: Anyway, Ben Button wins, and it's deserved. Iron Mans and Dark Knight had good effects, but Ben Button had pretty groundbreaking effects, and that's the sort of thing that wins in this category.
7:28: Now that Will Smith has worked "Boom goes the dynamite" in at the OSCARS, is that reference finally over? If Slumdog wins the Sound Editing award, that officially means it's going to win everything it's nominated for.
7:30: Bullet dodged, as The Dark Knight becomes the Roger Rabbit of its year! Now the orchestra is playing ELO? What? And Will Smith is comparing sound mixers to superheroes? Somewhere, Kevin O'Connell is weeping.
7:31: Dude, I had NO idea that Wanted was nominated for so many awards! Slumdog continues its run, and a charming Indian guy talks about winning. I guess Dark Knight and Wall-E (the two films that probably would have won had either been nominated without the other) split this vote but not the other one? Weird. Libby says she likes Will Smith, even though she doesn't want to.
7:34: Man, they're burning off editing soon! I forgot Frost/Nixon and Milk were nominated here, though Slumdog is almost certainly going to win here.
7:35: Will Smith reads Slumdog Millionaire with a slightly different inflection, somehow making it that much more likable. So how do we feel about all of these awards being presented at the same time? I still kind of like it, and it makes the show FEEL like it's going faster, even if it really sort of isn't.
7:36: "I always thought Moby deserved an Oscar," says Libby.
7:41: Eddie Murphy, who was supposedly done with the Oscars after he lost for Dreamgirls, returns to present the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Jerry Lewis (because they were both Nutty Professors, I guess?). Somewhere, my friend Tony Venhuizen is very excited.
7:42: When I think of Jerry Lewis, the first band I think of, obviously, is Coldplay.
7:43: There's really no way we're going to have anything to say about this, so we'll catch you when the actual awards start up again unless Jerry Lewis punches Eddie Murphy in the face or something.
7:46: So, Jerry Lewis' granddaughter/daughter is kinda hot? And his speech was surprisingly brief! Thanks, Jerry Lewis! I'll linger on your telethon for SLIGHTLY longer than I have in the past.
7:48: To JohnAsbury in comments: Sophia Loren is a previous winner, and all previous winners are Academy members. All Academy members get tickets. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if she's one of the five presenting Best Actress.
7:49: So Jerry Lewis' granddaughter is 17. Ugh. Now we look creepy. To be fair, it was Libby who first noticed her. Yeah. She swings that way.
7:51: The Oscars bring back the montage of selections from the nominated scores, which is always a good idea. I actually liked DeSplat's Ben Button score and Elfman's Milk score more than the films themselves, so it's good to see them here, while Newman's work on Wall-E is probably his best in quite some time. I'm indifferent to Rahman's Slumdog score, but I also won't mind if it wins. It's a better choice for the, "Here are non-traditional instruments!" prize than BABEL was.
7:53: The camera cuts to Steven Spielberg clapping for the nominated scores. Without Jack Nicholson there to cut to, the dudes in the production booth are having trouble knowing what to do. Where are you Jack? I saw you at the Laker game the other night. This is YOUR TIME!
7:54: Alicia Keys and Zac Efron present the score award to Rahman. Efron's hair is ... unfortunate, to say the least, while Keys' dress makes her look like a hologram (or so says Libby).
7:56: Alicia Keys pronounces "MUsic" in a way that makes her sound like she's hosting a late-night call-in and dedications love song show on a Lite FM station.
7:57: A.R. Rahman sets down his Oscar to perform "O Saya," the song that lets us say M.I.A.'s an Oscar nominee. And now John Legend steps in for Peter Gabriel to perform the Wall-E song, but the Slumdog dancers stay, presumably waiting for "Jai Ho" in a minute or so.
7:59: And Rahman is back to sing "Jai Ho" vaguely off-key. And the dancers are in the audience. What is this? A community theater production of Oklahoma!? And now John Legend is there to sing the Wall-E song? Will the person who sings the longest win the award? Is this They Shoot Horses Don't They?
8:00: If "Jai Ho" wins, I WILL mind because that means that it will pop up every time I go to Borders EVEN MORE.
8:01: A.R. Rahman now has more Oscars than you. Also, someone named Gulzar has an Oscar now, which I guess that makes this whole thing vaguely worth it.
8:06: They've paired Liam Neeson with Freida Pinto for some reason. At least Pinto is fun to look at!
8:07: Foreign film is a surprise, going to Departures from Japan, which is having a good night, if I'm remembering the producers of the animated short correctly. Foreign film tends to court surprise because it makes you see all of the nominees before voting, and Waltz With Bashir and The Class were probably too out there for the sorts of folks who have the time to see all five films (i.e., the old people). This means that the most Hollywood-like of the foreign films usually ends up winning. Hence, the somewhat sappy looking (haven't seen it) Departures.
8:11: Queen Latifah sings during the in memoriam, which was supposedly not going to have the applause-o-meter this year, but somehow does. It's not like it would be a contest this year, though. Paul Newman is going to win.
8:12: Though Michael Crichton gets a surprising amount of applause for a novelist who wasn't TERRIBLY known as a Hollywood presence, despite his novels and scripts being produced a lot.
8:13: Aw. Roy Scheider. And Richard Widmark! And Vampira! And Isaac Hayes! Best in memoriam ever!
8:14: I think everyone in America just said, "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!" Stan Winston died?
8:15: The sound of the orchestra is covering up the Applause-o-meter, though the applause for Charlton Heston, Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollock and Newman rises above it. Well. That was nice. Now on to the big four!
8:18: Sid Ganis, president of AMPAS, just stands up in the audience like this is a year-end awards dinner at a Kiwanis Club.
8:19: Reese Witherspoon is presenting director? Well, THIS is bizarre. And she makes fun of Ben Stiller. Were those two in a movie together? I think they would be fun!
8:20: Danny Boyle's going to win this, and I've liked his work considerably in the past, so I'll be pleased when he wins over Fincher and Van Sant, two directors I probably like more. When Boyle wins, I realize disconcertingly that he's surrounded by medium-breasted women with short, spiky hair.
8:21: I realize even MORE disconcertingly those are Danny Boyle's daughters. MAN, I am not doing well tonight. Anyway, Boyle gets up on stage and bounces around like Tigger, which is fun, AND he thanks the producers of the show. Somebody knows his usual type of film isn't going to get him many return visits!
8:25: JohnAsbury and E: Heath Ledger was honored in last year's in memoriam. He died in early 2008. Also, since it's clear Slumdog is going to win, where would you rank it in this decade's BP winners? For me, it comes smack in the middle, which says more about how many bad movies have won Best Picture this decade than anything.
8:26: Anyway, the five best actresses (who get a rapturous ovation) are Sophia Loren (nailed it!), Shirley MacLaine (shoulda won for The Apartment), Marion Cotillard, Halle Berry (odd) and Nicole Kidman.
8:27: Shirley really, really likes Anne Hathaway. She should play Anne's wacky grandma. Hell, she practically already is, since she tells her to "keep singing," apropos of nothing.
A BRIEF MOMENT FOR TODD TO TALK ABOUT HOW PRETTY ANNE HATHAWAY IS.
Anne Hathaway is so pretty!
8:29: Halle Berry is going to remind us all she has an Oscar. "We'd rather not think about that, thanks!" says Hollywood.
8:30: Sophia Loren talks about Meryl Streep, which is somehow apropos. I have this creeping fear that Meryl's going to win because everyone wants to hear what she has to say, but MAN, her performance in Doubt was strange.
8:31: Sophia Loren totally thinks SHE should have 15 nominations, not this Streep up-and-comer. By the by, Lib and I would pick either Sally Hawkins (sadly not nominated) or Anne Hathaway for this category. Hawkins is incredible in Happy-Go-Lucky, which is out on DVD soon. Check it out, yo!
8:32: Ricky Gervais was right! Winslet's easily the best thing in the mediocre The Reader. It's not her best performance by a long way (and she may have been better this year in Revolutionary Road), but now we can all breathe a sigh of relief and not spend every year talking about how Kate Winslet doesn't have an award.
8:34: Kate Winslet's dad makes the night by whistling at her. He's wearing an awesome hat! This, in general, has been a night of good speeches with nice moments.
8:37: Our actors are Robert DeNiro (wow!), Ben Kingsley (sure), Adrien Brody (when is he going to live up to his promise again?), Anthony Hopkins (of course) and Michael Douglas (who comes out for anything nowadays). Libby says, sadly, "I guess Daniel Day-Lewis has gone back to his woodworking hut."
8:38: Sean Penn glares at the camera immediately after laughing in good humor. I like to imagine that this is what Penn does after every time he laughs, mostly just to chastise himself. "NO. WE ARE NOT LAUGHING TODAY, SEAN. NOT TODAY."
8:40: Fun facts: This category contains 2/5 of the cast of Burn After Reading, which I really need to see.
8:41: I hope Anthony Hopkins' tribute to Brad Pitt includes a Meet Joe Black shoutout.
8:42: Ben Kingsley makes the name Randy "The Ram" Robinson sound like it comes out of King Lear or something. Place your last minute Penn/Rourke bets now! I say Rourke.
8:43: Anyone notice how Robert Pattinson is sitting in the devil position on Mickey Rourke's left shoulder and Tina Fey on his right? SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT. Anyway, Sean Penn wins, and I'm sad I backed off of predicting him.
8:44: Sean Penn, who was very good in Milk, gives a fine speech in which he appears to just be making up a lot of names. Also, for all the plaudits Slumdog has received, the Milk cheering section seems way more excited to be here.
8:45: I'm always surprised that Gus Van Sant looks so NORMAL. For someone who makes such offbeat films so often, he sure looks like a guy who starts every day with a bowl of Cream of Wheat.
8:46: Sean Penn turns political, as could be expected. Again, Hollywood cheers for gay marriage. HEY. WE WERE ALL HERE BACK IN OCTOBER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.
8:47: Penn concludes by saluting Obama as elegant and Mickey Rourke, who is about as far from elegant as you can get.
8:48: Steven Spielberg presents Best Picture, and there's another montage, which cuts in a somewhat scattershot sense from the current BP nominees to former nominees and winners, which is kind of cool once you get the hang of how it's all working out.
8:51: Nice cut from Milk to the deeply homophobic Braveheart. Also, the comparisons of Ben Button, which is really kind of remarkable, to Forrest Gump have to stop. They only have very specious connections on a screenplay level, and LOTS OF FILMS HAVE THAT. God.
8:52: Slumdog Millionaire wins. Spielbs is always a pretty great presenter, so they should just always have him do this.
8:53: For the record, here's my rank of the Best Picture winners of the decade, best to worst.
No Country for Old Men
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Million Dollar Baby
A Beautiful Mind
Man, that's a lot of weak movies winning Best Picture! Anyway, thanks for joining us, and we hope you have a good night! Ideally, we'll see you again next year. Good show, wasn't it?