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The Academy Awards 2009 Blog

1:30am
Will Slumdog rule? Will Kate conquer? Will Hugh be funny? The 81st Academy Awards are ready to roll at the Kodak Theater in LA and we're here to blog you through it. The stars have all shuffled off the red carpet and into their seats. Buckle up...
 
1:40am
Hugh Jackman, looking immaculate, starts by singing - yes, singing - us through the nominees. And dancing. That man can move. Scoops Anna Hathaway on stage for a Frost/Nixon duet. Jon Stewart never did that.
 
1:41am
"I'm Wol-ver-iiiiiiiine!"
 
1:45am
Tells Mickey Rourke that the anti-profanity seven-second delay swtiches to a 20-second delay for him. Best joke yet. Did Ricky Gervais write it?
 
1:45am
Bit lovey-lovey. Whoopi, Tilda, Goldie, Angelica Huston and Eva Marie Saint pour praise on the Best Supporting Actress nominees. Whoopi to Amy Adams: "It's not easy being a nun."
 
1:50am
And the Oscar goes to... Penelope Cruz! The Vicky Christina Barcelona star threatens to faint. But doesn't. No one really understands what she's saying. But everyone claps anyway.
 
1:55am
Steve Martin and Tina Fey intro the Best Screenplay awards. Fey gets bigger applause than Penelope Cruz. Gasp! Scientology gag! Then Martin hits a zinger at Fey: "Do NOT fall in love with me."
 
2am
Milk wins Best Original Screenplay. Lots of cuts to Sean Penn and Gus Vant Sant looking very moved. Screenwriter tells all the gay children in the world that God loves them. Which is nice of him.
 
2:05am 
Thirty minutes in and we're off. Slumdog Millionaire wins Best Adapted Screenplay. Stick around, people. We've got a nagging feeling - just a hunch - that this one has got legs...  
 
2:10am
WALL-E win Best Animated Feature. Shock.
 
2:20am
Oooh, almost... Sarah Jessica Parker so very nearly trips on her stupidly big dress as she waddles out with Daniel Craig to intro Art Direction and Costume Design. Wins for Benjamin Button and The Duchess.
 
2:25am
So far, so very well behaved. Too well behaved. No crying. No faux pas. No camera-cuts to Jack Nicholson. Not even anyone dressed as a swan.
 
2:35am
Brilliant! We spoke way, way too soon. Ben Stiller rocks up with a bird's-nest fake beard, mad hair, sun glasses and a magnificent Joaquin Phoenix impression. Natalie Portman aces the gag, too. Oh, and Slumdog wins Best Cinematography.
 
2:45am
Pineapple Express skit: James Franco and Seth Rogen question why Step Brothers has been cruelly neglected at this year's Academy Awards. True.
 
2:50am
Franco makes a complete mess of pronouncing Best Short Film winner Spielzeugland. Rogen cracks up. Classy, guys. Very classy.
 
2:55am
Uh oh... More singing and dancing. But hang on. Hello Beyonce! Dressed in a glittering red dress, the B-girl medleys Grease, Chicago, Moulin Rouge and more with top-hat-and-tails Jackman. Very good stuff. Until Zac Efron loses his hat while bowing. Tsk, tsk. 
 
3am
Heads up: Best Supporting Actor is next. Will Ledger win?
 
3:10am
And the Oscar goes to... Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Everyone, and we mean everyone, is on their feet. Ledger's mother, father and sister step up. Massively humbling and very touching. A big moment in movie history.   
 
3:15am
Apparently wearing a tea-towel round his neck, Phillipe Petit legs it up on to the stage as Man On Wire wins Best Documentary. Promises the shortest speech in Oscar history: "Yes!" Then keeps talking. Then does a coin trick. Then balances Oscar on his chin! "They deserved to win just for that," nods Bill Maher.   
 
3:25am
Benjamin Button wins Best Visual Effects for "turning Brad Pitt into a garden gnome", as Will Smith puts it. Four FX guys get an Oscar each. Make one very boring speech. But don't sing. Or dance. Phew!  
 
3:30am
Sound Editing goes to The Dark Knight. No one really notices.
 
3:32am
Sound Mixing goes to Slumdog Millionaire. Everyone goes wild! Danny Boyle looks like he's going to cry with happiness. This is Sound Mixing, right? Steady.
 
3:35am
Dev Patel is punching the air. He hasn't got cramp. It's another Oscar for Slumdog - editing, this time. We're on a roll and the biggies are yet to come... 
 
3:45am 
Eddie Murphy! Oh. But he's not being funny. Gives an honorary Oscar goes to comedy legend Jerry Lewis. Who's not being funny either. Cue montage of him hugging kids. This is a very, very sensible Oscars.
 
3:50am
Now there's an orchestra playing. Never thought we'd say that Ben Stiller wearing a fake beard would be the highlight of an Academy Awards ceremony.
 
3:55am
Zak Efron and Alicia Keys? Because all the good presenters were busy? It's Best Original Score. It's Slumdog's fifth Oscar.  
 
4am
Songs from Slumdog and WALL-E performed on stage. Jack Nicholson is probably on his way home in taxi right now. 
 
4:05am
Number six for Slumdog. Best Original Song. Danny Boyle's face has gone red. And he's rocking in his seat like an infant. Goodness know what's he'll be like when Best Director comes up.
 
4:10am
"I will hunt you. I will find you. And I will kill you!" Is exactly what Taken star Liam Neeson doesn't say this time. Instead he presents Best Foreign Film to the Japanese drama Departures.
 
4:15am
Queen Latifah celebrates all the Hollywood players who've passed away in the last year. She does this by singing. Because it's that kind of Oscars this year. Happily, Jackman resists the temptation to do a merry jig. 
 
4:19am
Here come the big guns. Reese Witherspoon's chin joins Reese Witherspoon on stage to intro Best Director. Get ready for Danny Boyle. He's holding it together so far...
 
4:20am
He's up! He's kissing Reese's chin! He's jumping up an down in the air! It's Danny Boyle, accepting his Oscar in the spirit of Tigger apparently. Great guy. Lovely acceptance speech. Fantastic achievement. 
 
4:30am
Can Kate Winslet keep us Brits on a roll? She's almost crying already. Anne Hathaway's bottom lip is trembling with anticipation. Angelina is breathing hard. Meryl's playing it cool (it's her 15th nomination). Melissa Leo knows she isn't going to win.
 
4:35am
And the Oscar for Best Actress goes to... Kate Winslet!! She's done it. Hugs. Kisses. Hand-hold with Angie. Gasping for breath, she gives a shout-out to her dad - who's wearing a truly massive hat - and pours out the love. Lots of love in the room for Kate. And she deserves it.     
 
4:40am
"How did he do it?" asks Robert De Niro, "For all those years, how did Sean Penn get all those roles playing straight men?"
It's time for the Best Actor to come out of the golden envelope. Will it be Penn or Rourke? Rourke looks confident...
 
4:45am
...But it's Sean Penn!
 
4:46am
"You Commie, homo-loving, sons-of-guns!" That would be Penn's acceptance speech.
 
4:52am
If you've stayed with us this long, there's no going to be bed now. It's time for Best Picture. Can Slumdog scoop the big one? Or will Milk surprise everyone? Steven Spielberg tears opens the envelope...
 
4:52am
"Slumdog Millionaire!"
 
5am
They've done it. The Slumdog gang fill the stage with ear-to-ear smiles. An unbelieveable true underdog story for the little British movie that could. And that's all, folks! For us, it's straight to bed. For them, it's an all-night party. And for Hugh Jackman, probably some more dancing. See you next year!
 
 

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