Reese Witherspoon presents. Danny Boyle continues "Slumdog Millionaire's" big night, which has yet to include a surprise. Boyle jumps up and down at the podium, saying he promised his children that, if he won, he would act like Tigger from "Winnie the Pooh." Also praises the Oscar show. Also, consulting notes, thanks the people of Mumbai, those who helped and those who didn't.
Best actress clips. Five former winners: Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard. Not crazy about Berry's dress. Big, rowdy ovation from the audience. Pairings: MacLaine/Anne Hathaway (and Hathaway looks incredibly moved at getting MacLaine's praise, and MacLaine tells her to "keep singing, too"), Cotillard/Kate Winslet, Berry/Melissa Leo, Loren/Meryl Streep (with Loren looking less than thrilled to be giving her speech -- and pausing to check how many Oscar nominations Streep has had), Kidman/Angelina Jolie.
Winner: Kate Winslet. She hugs each of the women onstage. Recalls Cruz's reference to "that fainting thing." Says she began making this kind of speech when she was 8 and her Oscar was "a shampoo bottle." Asks her dad to whistle so she will know where he is; a loud whistle ensues. Calls the other nominees "goddesses," and says they all can't believe they're in the same category with Streep.
Best actor clips. Five: Robert DeNiro, Anthony Hopkins, Adrien Brody, Ben Kingsley, Michael Douglas. Douglas starts with Frank Langella. DeNiro asks how did Sean Penn "get all those jobs playing straight men." Brody/Richard Jenkins. Hopkins/Brad Pitt. Kingsley/Mickey Rourke.
Winner: Sean Penn. "I did not expect this," he says. "I know how hard I make it to appreciate me, often." Also says people who voted against gay marriage should feel "great shame. ... We've got to have equal rights for everyone." And pays special tribute to Rourke, saying, "Mickey Rourke rises again. And he is my brother."
Steven Spielberg to present best picture, introduces clips from the nominees and great films of the past.
Winner: "Slumdog Millionaire," capping a night of no big surprises. The closest to a surprise was Sean Penn beating Mickey Rourke for best actor, but even that seemed like a seesaw battle between the two.
And so, at about 3 hours, 23 minutes we wrap up, with Jackman trying to say goodnight while the orchestra blares behind him. Then clips from flims that might contend for Oscars next year.
Not the worst telecast ever -- we shall never forget 1989 -- but not remotely exciting overall.
And I'm off to file for print again.