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Oscars 2009: The Full Story

 

totalfilm.com's crack squad of coffee-quaffing hacks covered every moment of last night's Oscar ceremony - live on Twitter .

Our people in London and LA sponged up the whole thing, from red carpet arrivals to red-eyed winners and losers.

Even Dep Ed Jamie - a man who still gasps at the technological wonder of fountain pens - managed to find the Twitter button.

So, pull up your morning brew and sticky pastry and relive the whole bleary, blingy business... (Timings are UK GMT, as we saw it).

1:30am

And here... we... go!  Hugh Jackman - and particularly producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark - had a lot to prove after promising a revamped Oscar show with plenty of surprises.

Jackman's opening patter could have come straight from the old fashioned Oscar playbook - chit-chat with the front-row stars, little bit of self-deprecation (a gag about Australia - cue cut to Baz Luhrmann).

But while his opening musical number proved to be a mixed bag, it mostly succeeded, with a recession-nudging take on how to stage this year’s Best Picture nominees on a budget.

We loved his cheap-as-chips sweding of The Dark Knight and the Benjamin Button budget “aging” was ace.

 

1:36am
Extra points to good sport Anne Hathaway, who proved she's got quite a pair of pipes.

After the musical bit, came the audience interaction portion of the evening. Nice Ricky Gervais-written gag in the direction of Mickey Rourke ("I want you to say whatever is on your mind because you know we have a seven-second delay. But if you win, we switch to a 20-minute delay.")[page-break]

 

1:38am

A brief moment of Curtain Fail (during which agitated stage-hands could be heard hollering about the problem), the first category rolled in...

One of the less successful changes this year was the use of five previous winners in each acting category as award presenters.

It was a decent concept that produced some cute moments, but it didn't half drag on a bit.

Plus, the first cateogory was Best Supporting Actress - and someone had foolishly let Goldie Hawn onto the stage. She was fine. This time.

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz

Not a real shocker, despite suspicions that one of Doubt's women - Amy Adams or Viola Davis - could snatch the gong.

Cruz was classy in her speech - teary yet cool - worrying that she might faint and recalling a few childhood moments.

1:51am

Jackman briefly returned to the stage to introduce one of the night's highlights... Tina Fey and Steve Martin, who showed how it should be done. We’d pay to see these two present every year. They could present the FA Cup fourth round draw and it would be funny.

First real competitor for line of the night - “Don’t fall in love with me…” (Martin to Fey.) Steve, Steve... Pink Panther 2 Steve... Be funny again.

Martin and Fey even managed to take a seat-shuffling sideswipe at Scientology.

1:55

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk

Mr Black is humble, nervous, but utterly heartfelt and just a teeny bit political as he reminds gay people everywhere that God really does love them and that one day gay marriage will be legal.[page-break]

 

1:58am

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire

And so it begins... The Slumdog avalanche kicks off with Beaufoy’s win. He’s self-deprecating and even gets in a good gag about the Oscar stage being one place he never though he’d be – the others including the South Pole, the moon and the Miss World podium.

2:03am

It's beloved comedy team Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black, everyone! Here to present the animation awards...

Black takes time out to plug Kung Fu Panda and sneaks in a superb little crack at DreamWorks: "I have so much money because I take my DreamWorks earnings and bet it all on Pixar."

Cue Jeffrey Katzenberg cackling like a good sport on camera, before retiring to his doom-plotting room to figure out if he can cobble together Kung Fu Panda 2 without Jack.

Best Animated Feature : Wall-E

Like it could be anything else. Friend of the mag Andrew Stanton gets up to deliver his speech, which includes thanking his old high school teacher for casting him in Hello, Dolly!

For our money, that's the best teacher shout-out since Tom Hanks outed one of his former educators during his Philadelphia speech.[page-break]

 

2:10am

Black and Aniston (yes, they showed a picture of Brad and Angie - must've been a contractual thing) stick around to hand out Best Animated Short.

Best Animated Short: La Maison de Petits Cubes

Sorry, Pixar fans, but Presto goes home with an empty magician's hat.

We'd describe winning director Kunio Kato's speech to you, but it's better to just see it...

Got to love that reference to Mr Roboto.

2:15am

Daniel Craig and the Bride Of Fran... sorry, Sarah Jessica Parker arrive to kick off the new section awards. We've done writers, now it's on to pre-production...

Er, so why have the Best Supporting Actress Award first? Oh yeah - because if they front-loaded the technicals, everyone would skip the start.

Best Art Direction : Donald Graham Burt, Victor J Zolfo, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

We'd have preferred The Dark Knight, but given the lack of Button love elsewhere, fair enough.[page-break]

 

On to that hotly-anticipated award - costumes 'n' such!

2 :19am

Best Costume Designer: Michael O'Connor, The Duchess

Isn't a period drama with Keira Knightley all corseted up a bit of an easy call?

We finish up this chunk of the technicals with...

Best Make-up: Greg Cannom, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Cannon sounds like he's trying to win a bet based on how many names he can rattle off in his extra-short time at the podium.

2:25am

Look, kids! It's Robert Pattinson... Isn't he dreamy? Er, no, actually. He's stilted and nervous. Mamma Mia's Amanda Seyfried does marginally better.

Bob and Amanda announce a big ol' romance montage. We start hearing the montage song from Team America in our heads.

Er, kissing. Yuck.[page-break]

 

2:30am

Hugh returns briefly from where he's clearly been working up another musical moment to introduce Natalie Portman and... is that... Joaquin Phoenix?

No, silly - it's Ben Stiller!

Again, it's better if you watch this one...

Stiller's pretty darn good - particularly when he goes a-wandering, but they let it play just a little too long.

Still, Portman's, "You look like a Hasidic Meth addict" was worth it.

They're here for the Production portion of the night. Also known as...

Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire

Yes, the Slumdog is still having its day... er... evening. Not a real shocker.[page-break]

 

2:39am

 

The sci-tech Oscars is always just a sexy actress having to spend an evening in a ballroom talking about lots of techie types.

This year is no different - Jessica Biel, who, for some reason, has decided to wear one of the tablecloths, blabs briefly about winners such as Pixar's Ed Catmull.

2:43am

Planned as the comedy highlight of the evening, Judd Apatow's Pineapple Express-themed short sees James Franco and a noticeably slimmer Seth Rogen riffing on why comedies get no love and how some of the nominated pics were actually funny.

To stoners, at least.

While it was definitely hit-and-miss (and felt like it had been written in a hurry), our choice moment was Franco feeling the man-love after watching scenes from Milk.

But then legendary Janusz Kaminski joined in the fun - both in the footage and on stage. "Suck it, Anthony Dod Mantle!"... Hello, new favourite line. ("They made me do it, Mr Spielberg...")

Rogen and Franco are doing double duty - presenting...

Best Live Action Short Film : Spielzeugland

 

Franco can't pronounce it, Rogen can't keep it together. Director Jochen Alexander Freydank manfully picks up the award. [page-break]

 

2:55am

Hugh's back, and he's brought the music. No thanks, Hugh.

This bit is an impressive display of his showtune prowess (and Beyonce legs), but for all the rah-rah-musical vibe, it just stretches out the show.

And... Grease? Really? Really!!?

3:00am

Another cavalcade of past winners - including Christopher Walken (who looks disturbingly like he's hiding Chewbacca's head behind his own) and Kevin Kline arrive to hand out Best Supporting Actor.

We thought Cuba Gooding Jr was forever banned from the Academy Awards for Boat Trip.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

As if it could be any other way. Heath's dad and sister offer moving speeches. Chris Nolan looks numb with grief.[page-break]

 

3:14am

After an introductory montage - MONTAGE! ALWAYS FADE OUT IN A... sorry... - featuring Werner Herzog rhapsodising about the subject, Bill Maher arrives to present the Documentary awards.

He manages both a bad-taste ref to Ledger ("How could I follow that?") and enough plugs for his own documentary (Religulous) to make us like it a little bit less.

But we're cheered up by...

Best Documentary Feature: Man On Wire  

Another highlight arrives in the wire-walking shape of Philippe Petit, who wins over the crowd with a magic trick and a balancing act.

Best Short Documentary: Smile Pinki

Director Megah Myland graciously accepts.[page-break]

 

3:27am

Will Smith arrives to talk up the joys of action films. Cue another MONTAGE!

He's here to stumble over the line, recover with, "Boom goes the dynamite!" and to hand out...

Best Visual Effects : The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Eric Barba and crew take their bows. We secretly wanted Iron Man to have this one. Maybe Robert Downey Jr could suit up and steal it?

Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight

 

We'd thought Ben Burtt and the Wall-E team might be a lock for this - they did all the characters as well as the entire soundscape! But Richard King takes it for The Dark Knight.

Nice to see the Knight win something , at least.

Best Sound Mixing : Slumdog Milionaire

 

Oh, Slumdog... must you win everything? It would seem so. David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Mark Weingarten are the over-excited recipients.[page-break]

 

3:33am

Best Editing: Chris Dickens, Slumdog Millionaire

 

Dickens is suitably chummy and British. Plenty of cuts to Dev Patel looking cheeky.

Someone has let Eddie Murphy into the Oscars! And handed him one! HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN? Oh, wait... He's just presenting Jerry Lewis with the Jean Hersholt humanitarian award.

Lewis, you see, does a hell of a lot of work for charidee. He gives a superb, short and sweet speech. If only more winners would follow his lead.[page-break]

 

3:45am

Alicia Keys and Zac "why is he here?" Efron arrive to hand out the musical awards. First up...

Best Original Score

AR Rahman and his Slumdog experts nab it.

It's time for more music - this bit is the reason Peter Gabriel refused to take part - the three songs (two from Slumdog, one Gabriel's track from Wall-E) mashed together into a Bollywood-style sequence.

Best Original Song

Rahmaaaaan![page-break]

 

4:07am

Liam Neeson has acquired a particular set of skills... One of them is co-presenting Best Foreign Film with Slumdog's delightful Freida Pinto.

Best Foreign Film: Departures (Japan)  

Argh! We really wanted Waltz With Bashir to win. Oh, well... On to the big leagues![page-break]

 

4:10am

But before we can actually do that... It's time for the Memorial Montage.

Queen Latifah sings an accompaniment. The plan was to turn down the audience sound this year, so there's no respect-off in terms of who gets most applause. Doesn't seem to have happened, though.

 

Paul Newman wins by a mile.

4:20am

Reese Witherspoon, folks! She's here to honour directors. And one in particular... Might his initials be DB?

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Yes! World's Acest Man Boyle bounds to the podium...

"My kids are too old to remember this now, but when they were much younger, I swore to them that if this miracle ever happened, I would recede into the character of Tigger from Winnie The Pooh."

Good on yer, Danny. A great speech.[page-break]

 

4:31am

It's another Actress parade as past Best Actress winners arrive to anoint another member of their club.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader

At last! Winslet gives us one of the more spontaneous moments of the night by having her family whistle so she can spot them. Her dad's hat deserves an award of its own.

And so it's down to the final two...

Adrien Brody, Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson and "Sir" Ben of Kingsley arrive to welcome a new Best Actor.

Seriously, did Kingsley ask for the "Sir? Hopkins has been touched by the magic sword too - but he didn't seem bothered not to get the title-check.

So, of course, they give the award to Mickey R...

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk

Hang on... who? That wasn't supposed to happen, was it? But yes... The man not many (including totalfilm.com , though) suspected might steal Mickey Rourke's wrestling gold ascends to the podium.

Best opening line ever: "You commie, homo-loving sons of guns!"

Penn fires off some predictable political jabbing and offers a nice shout-out to Rourke at the end.

Time to wrap this sucker up... The Spielbeard arrives to dish out...

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

And so the Oscar train returns to its predicted course. Slumdog completes its sweep and seemingly the entire cast gets on stage with the producers and has a smiling/bouncing-around competition.

Our verdict: Jackman nailed it - minus the musical stuff - and the show managed to feel fresher and less predictable. Still a bit overlong and padded, though.

That's a wrap, folks.

A huge shout out to everyone who Twittered with us during the night. Catch up with the #tfoscars Twitter conversation in full here .

So, how was it for you? Tell us in the Comments...

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