Screenwriting tribute, with a script read by Steve Martin and Tina Fey leading into their presence. Much mocking: Martin notes that a movie may begin "with a good idea for the poster."
Original screenplay presented with scene from nominated films and bits of the script onscreen (with the WALL-E lines referring to "Wally"). Winner: Dustin Lance Black, "Milk." Sean Penn applauds very hard. Thanks the real people who talked to him, Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and more, and then Black gets very emotional and effective about his own life, and being gay, and promises young gays they will soon have equal federal rights. So we've had a terrific moment already.
Steve and Tina are fun.
Adapted screenplay: Same motif as for original screenplay. Winner: Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire." No surprises in the winners so far. Reading from notes, thanks author of the book, parents, wife, manager, agent, cast and crew, and "Danny and Christine, the other two musketeers." Or maybe that was Christian. Moving on ...
Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black with animated awards. Aniston says animation is showing that actors are becoming obsolete, Black says he makes more money in animation -- taking his salary from Dreamworks to the Oscars "and betting it on Pixar." Reads better than it sounded.
Animated piece blending the feature nominees and an Oscar. Winner: "WALL-E." As well it should be. OK acceptance speech.
Animated short film: "The shorter your movie, the less time your panda has to work its way into America's heart," says Black. Winner: "La Maison en Petits Cubes." Okey-doke. The man accepting has a shaky grasp of English, but ends with a Styx tribute: "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto."
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