Eddie Murphy presents the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award to Jerry Lewis, who gives a short, humble speech. The orchestra then launches into a medley of Oscar nominated scores, and Slumdog’s A.R. Rahman wins that category. We then get a medley of Oscar nominated songs, in which John Legend aquits himself nicely doing Peter Gabriel, and we learn Jai Ho and We’re Going Down mix beautifully together ( Peter Gabriel- there’s your next record!). A.R. Rahman wins that one as well, for Jai Ho.
We finally get a WTF? winner- Freida Pinto and Liam neeson announce the only real surprise of the evening as Japan’s Departures beats out the better known Baader Meinhoff Complex, The Class, and preshow fave Waltz With Bashir ( the one that won almost every pre Oscar award it could). There has to be a surprise every Oscar,a nd this appears to be this years. So far.
Queen Latifah does the In Memorium section of our show. She sings ” I’ll Be Seeing You” beautifully as Paul Newman and Sydney Pollack win the applause-o-meter. So sad to see the faces of Stan winston, Michael Crichton, Bernie Mac, Sydney Pollack, Anthony Minghella, Harold Pinter, James Whitmore, Charlton Heston, Cyd Charrise, Newman, and Van Johnson pass by and remembering what they contributed to cinema.
Danny Boyle accepts his best director Oscar ” in the spirit of Tigger”, and gives a warm sppech in which he pays tribute to the city of Mumbai. He’s a delightful man. The award is well deserved ( Shallow Grave was one of my favorite films of the 1990s).
As the show now runs 20 plus minutes over schedule, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Shirley MacLaine, and Marion Cotillard present Kate Winslet with her long overdue Oscar. Kate was warm, witty, and charming in her speech, almost tripping over her words as she honored Pollack and Mingehella for their role in The Reader. Sean Penn eked out a win over Mickey Rourke, and was funny and shit stirring in his speech, as he was the only one who acknowledged the protesters on the way in. Then Steven Spielberg presents the best picture award to Slumdog Millionaire.
Overall, I think that the show was one of the best in years. Hugh Jackman was a delightful host, and the show, while it did run long, felt a lot shorter than usual. I thouroughly enjoyed myself despite the telegraphed winners.
And I’ll be back in 2010.