In a nod to the recession, Hugh Jackman gives an hilariously scaled-back opening musical number (think pizza boxes, lawn chairs) which references all of the nominated films, and includes self-deprecating cracks about Australia, plus a shameless plug for his next movie, Wolverine. Priceless. All\'s forgiven, Drover!
Now, it’s into the first award. Though it doesn’t bode well for producers if they\'re keen to keep the awards under time"¦ for Best Supporting Actress, they’ve brought out past winners Eva Marie Saint, Whoopi Goldberg, Tilda Swinton, Goldie Hawn to introduce each nominee, with their own glowing tribute. It\'s loooong. At this rate, they might actually play music over the presenters... A quick awards show\'s a good awards show, people!
WINNER: Penelope Cruz
\"This is not going to be 45 seconds, I can say that right now. Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one.\"
Tina Fey and Steve Martin present with comic relief about writers... until she gets back into writing films, this is the one Awards show this year from which Tina will go home empty handed. Cue another lengthy montage...
WINNER: 'Milk" (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black
Tina and Steve double up for Adapted Screenplay...
WINNER: 'Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy
The first of probably many gongs for Slumdog...
Jennifer Aniston (gasp! Brad and Angelina are in the front row!), and Jack Black present the animated films. Guess what? Another montage of films - and that\'s even before the nominee montage.
WINNER: WALL-E (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton
This one seemed obvious - it\'s a pity it wasn\'t also up for best film.
Short Film, Animated
WINNER: 'La Maison en Petits Cubes" A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato
Sarah Jessica Parker and Daniel Craig up to present Art Direction gong.. an aged Brad Pitt will pretty much sew this one up for Benjamin Button...
Achievement in Art Direction
WINNER: 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
Jeez, they play the winner off...
Here\'s the costume category. Can Catherine Martin get her gong for Australia\'s lone nomination? or wil it be pipped by the obvious choice, the sweeping royal epic, The Duchess?
Achievement in Costume Design
WINNER: 'The Duchess" (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor
Make Up. Again, a crinkly-to-baby-faced Brad Pitt is expected to dominate ....
Achievement in Makeup
WINNER: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom
Twilight\'s emo-hunk du jour, Robert Pattinson, presents a montage of romance in the movies. Get comfortable!
Now to some comic relief (finally!). Ben Stiller does his a convincing Joaquin Phoenix impersonation to help Natalie Portman with the cinematography gong.
Achievement in Cinematography
WINNER: 'Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle
Jessica Biel appears as a silver version of the Oscar to present the Sci-Tech Oscar results. But... huh? No montage!!! The crafts people won\'t be happy to be cut from the broadcast...
James Franco and Seth Rogen reprise their roles as Pineapple Express stoners for a couchside viewing of the nominated films, which includes a self-referential turn from Franco planting one on Sean Penn in Milk, and Rogen contemplating th logistics of pulling a bong using the Oscar statuette. Nice.
Live Action Short Film
WINNER: 'Spielzeugland (Toyland)" A Mephisto Film Production, Jochen Alexander Freydank
Hugh Jackman comes back in a spiffy tux to salute the resurgence of the musical... with a bit of help from Beyonce in a fire-engine red sequined leotard. Oh, and an all-singing, all-dancing cast of thousands. This screams out toilet break!
Now we\'re up to Best Supporting Actor. Again, a parade of past winners to do the honours: Sean Connery, Joel Grey, Kevin Kline, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin. Funny moment for Cuba Gooding Jr on Robert Downey Jr\'s nomination: \"Are you out of your mind?!?! The
brothers need to work! Congratulations on your upcoming film, Shaft\'
WINNER: Heath Ledger
The late actor has won every award for which he has been nominated for this role, and it makes a fitting tribute for an outstanding performance to take out the Oscar.
In keeping with the sombre tone of the proceedings, the next segment is a documentary montage.
WINNER: Man on Wire (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall in association with Red Box Films Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn.
Documentary Short Subject
WINNER: 'Smile Pinki" A Principe Production, Megan Mylan
Will Smith takes a swipe at the fact action movies are overlooked in categories other than the tech ones he\'s presenting, starting with Best Visual Effects.
Achievement in Visual Effects
WINNER: 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
Achievement in Sound Editing
WINNER: 'The Dark Knight" (Warner Bros.), Richard King
Achievement in Sound Mixing
WINNER: 'Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
Will Smith\'s still up there... for editing. xpect the quick cuts of Slumdog to take out top honours..
Achievement in film editing
WINNER: 'Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens
Eddie Murphy fronts up for the Jean Herscholt Award, to be presented to the original Nutty Professor, funnyman and advocate for muscular dystrophy research, Jerry Lewis. For an honorary recipient, Lewis gives the shortest speech of the night. Take note, Kate Winslet!
Now the music montage for best score...
WINNER: \"Slumdog Millionaire\"
Followed by a mix of the Original Song contenders - Jai Ho and O Saya from Slumdog Millionaire and Peter Gabriel\'s WALL-E closing credits ditty. It\'s the first year they haven\'t spread the songs throughout the ceremony.
WINNER: \"Jai Ho\"
Next up, Liam Neeson and Frido Pinto frontup for Best Foreign Film.
WINNER: 'Departures" (Regent Releasing), A Departures Film Partners Production, Japan
First upset of the night. Waltz with Bashir was the hot favourite to win this one. Interesting...
Queen Latifah takes the stage for a live accompaniment to the In Memoriam montage. To the strains of Billie Holiday\'s \"I\'ll be Seeing You\", images of Claude Berri, Richard Widmark, Van Johnson, Charlton Heston, Cyd Charisse, Stan Winston and Roy Scheider, flicker, before ending on Sydney Pollack, Anthony Minghella and Paul Newman, to appreciative applause.
Reese Witherspoon perkily introduces the Best Director nominees.
WINNER: Danny Boyle, \"Slumdog Millionaire\"
Next up a love-in from past best actresses Sophia Loren, Halle Berry, Marion Cotilliard, Nicole Kidman and Shirley Maclaine.
WINNER: Kate Winslet
Less teary than expected and you\'ll have to put down to excitement her advice to Meryl Streep that she\'ll just have to \"suck it up\".
And now the past best actors follow suit - Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro (\"How did Sean Penn for so many years get away with playing straight men?\"), Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley and Adrian Brody.
WINNER: Sean Penn
\"You commie, homo-loving sons of guns,\" he cracks, upon taking the mic In a nice speech that melds politics (of course, it is Sean Penn!) with sentiment, he also gives a shout-out to his \"brother\", Mickey Rourke, who was equally deserving of the gong.
Steven Spielberg takes the stage for the Best Film award montage... The editors of this sequence did well to keep the Forrest Gump and Benjamin Button footage separate, for fear of confusing the two films...
WINNER: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE