It's 8:30 and we're in the fancy opening, ...
I kind of like the use of all the different images from movies, although the pace makes it feel a little like a theme-park ride. Roll call of sponsors, then Jon Stewart.
Stewart brings up the writers strike and it being over. "Tonight, welcome to the makeup sex." Vanity Fair joke, not bad. Reference to a "four or five" hour ceremony. Grim movie recap; "thank God for teen pregnancy." Javier Bardem hair joke; OK if there hadn't been a few zillion Bardem hair jokes already. Good line about "Away From Her" and Hillary Clinton. Excellent line about "Norbit" being nominated -- that the academy too often overlooks "movies that aren't good." Hoary Dennis Hopper joke. Decent line about keeping Iraq war movies in theaters -- and a nasty little one about Oscar and John McCain. Best line so far: Normally, when you see a woman or a black man as president, "an asteroid is about to hit the Statue of Liberty."
Wesley Snipes in the house. With Spike Lee.
Jennifer Garner as first presenter. Costume design. Winner: "Elizabeth: The Golden Age."
Alexandra Byrne accepts, concisely.
Flashback, of Barbra Streisand's tie win, with taped reminiscence by Streisand. Because, you know, the ceremony just isn't long enough with the presentations and acceptances.
Clooney. Struggling a bit with his lines. Clips and photos of "80 years of Oscars." The use of "My Heart Will Go On" is a bit much, especially since there's a lot of real emotion here without it.
Stewart, watching "Lawrence of Arabia" on his iPhone. Good gag.
Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell. Animated features. Nice piece with Carell acting as if these are documentaries. Carell drops one, two s-words. You think the Parents Television Council is scrambling to get out an outraged e-mail?
Winner: "Ratatouille." Brad Bird thanks his junior-high guidance counselor, for "perfect training in the movie business." Gets the wrap-it-up warning, and then the finish-up music.
Katherine Heigl. Nervoiiouos, and with really bad makeup, especially when you're giving out the makeup Oscar. Winner: "La Vie en Rose." One winner is brief, the other not, and she gets the finish-up music before being done.
First best-song performance. "Happy Working Song," from "Enchanted." Stewart starts to sing it -- then introduces Amy Adams. I would see her in any Broadway musical I can think of. And it's a nicely simple presentation: just her onstage. Very well done, even though it's not my best-song fave. ("Falling Slowly," please.)
Flashback: Catherine Zeta-Jones, with reminiscences by her and hubby Michael Douglas, and a clip of him winning an Oscar.
Commercials, including one for Channel 5's news. They really like hidden-camera stories.
Dwayne Johnson (no "The Rock" tonight). Best visual effects. Not bad with a line about thinking the face-melting scene in "Raiders" was real. Winner: "The Golden Compass." The effects were good in that film, but the movie was bad, much worse than "Transformers" or "Pirates of the Caribbean." But the winning guys are quite euphoric. And beat the finish-up music.
Cate Blanchett. Art direction. Winner: "Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." Well deserved. They get finish-up music.
Good Stewart riff on Cate Blanchett.