Here's the giant Swarovski curtain, the circular stage, the band onstage, and Hugh Jackman using his normal Australian accent, which I still can't quite get over. "The Academy loves to salute range," he says, pointing to Kate Winslet (English playing German) and Robert Downey Jr. (American playing Australian playing African-American), whereas he himself "is an Australian, playing an Australian, in a movie called... Australia." Then he announces that the Academy has no money for an opening number, but he did one anyway! So here's what he whipped up in his garage. No, he actually says this. He sings about Slumdog Millionaire in front of a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire set made of pizza boxes. I'm not sure what he crouched down and sang to Kate Winslet in the audience, but I heard something about "human excrement." It wasn't a lap dance, I know that much. And then Bollywood street dancing breaks out. I think? Cardboard cityscape! I think that was supposed to be a bat bike? Then a Life Stages of Benjamin Button insert-your-face-here cutout thing ending with a baby doll and Brad Pitt roffling from his seat. And then Jackman carries Anne Hathaway up out of the audience to the stage and starts singing WHY DIDN'T YOU BURN THE TAPES at her under a makeshift Frost/Nixon set. I mean, she's clearly in on it because she starts singing with him, and ends up flashing the two V for Victory signs before she runs back to the audience. It's the crackiest thing ever and kind of in a good way. You're just gonna have to watch it on YouTube tomorrow, that's all I'm gonna say.
Wow, I don't know what this bit with dancers in silver and gold bodysuits is about but it seems to be for The Reader, which is... probably one of the least appropriate things ever. Awesome. And here's a makeshift Wrestler set and it's going so fast and now he's done and getting a standing ovation. And now he's sitting in Frank Langella's lap. Here he is over with Mickey Rourke, promising to switch to a twenty-minute profanity delay if he wins. Here's Brangelina, and he admits to not having any jokes, he's just "contractually obligated to mention them." Then he accuses Meryl Streep and her fifteen nominations of steroids. Segue from Meryl to a Best Supporting Actress montage--oh Lord, already? Wow, I think they are literally showing every single actress who has ever won Best Supporting. Please welcome! Eva Marie Saint, Whoopi Goldberg, Angelica Huston, Goldie Hawn, and Tilda Swinton! Because SWINTON wasn't famous enough to present by herself! I'm not kidding, that's really what they said yesterday! And Eva Marie Saint starts talking about Viola Davis and--is this what we're going to do instead of showing clips? Tongue baths? Really? This is new heights of srs bsns and it takes up even more time. (Whoopi Goldberg in leopard print: "It's not easy being a nun.") Are we going to do all the categories this way? Holy shit, I can't believe this.
Nominees, stolen from IMDB:
Amy Adams for Doubt (2008/I)
Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Viola Davis for Doubt (2008/I)
Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler (2008)
First winner: Penelope Cruz! SWINTON pronounces her name with flair. "Is not going to be forty-five seconds," she says, laughing. "I can tell you that. Has anyone fainted up here?" She's talking about staying up to watch the show as a kid, and someone just bellows something from the audience, I have no idea what. And then she finishes by saying in Spanish, the best that I can tell, that everyone in Spain is sharing this with her and something about all the actors of her country.