Best Foreign Film
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2008) (Germany)
Entre les murs (2008) (France)
Revanche (2008) (Austria)
Okuribito (2008) (Japan)
Vals Im Bashir (2008) (Israel)
I think Japan wins? Neeson announces it as "Departures." The winner is very, very happy! He is here because of films! Man, he is doing so much better than I would be doing in Japan right now.
Commercial break! (Help! I thought I checked off "don't email comments" each time, but apparently my inbox is on fire anyway!)
Please welcome! Queen Latifah in royal blue! Oh dear, it's the Annual Death March of Deathly Death. I do like this innovation--if we have someone sing ("I'll Be Seeing You") through the montage, no one will clap till it's done. Genius: this is a stroke of it. Except that the names are moving past really fast, so I'm not even going to try to transcribe them this--YOU GUYS THEY ARE STILL CLAPPING, WTF. STOP IT! STOP CLAPPING! IF YOU DIDN'T BRING ENOUGH APPLAUSE FOR THE WHOLE CLASS, STOP CLAPPING! (Winners so far on the Death-O-Meter: Isaac Hayes and Paul Scofield; a cheer and whistle for Stan Winston. Wait--wait--Sydney Pollack's louder and--nope, here's Paul Newman with a knockout.)
You stay classy, Oscar audience.
Commercials. Now my hands are starting to seize up.
Here's Jackman again. President of the Academy Sid Ganis is stepping down, and "as a farewell gift, he's promised not to make a speech to us." Okay, I snerked.
Here's Reese Witherspoon with a fantastic sparkly midnight blue gown, although I don't know that she needed to have matching eyeshadow. Best Director! Witherspoon mentions how directors can be hostage negotiators talking actors out of their trailers. "I'm not naming names. You know who you are. Ben Stiller."
Given that she actually had to deal with Joaquin Phoenix on Walk the Line, this just adds an extra layer to that whole running gag.
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Stephen Daldry for The Reader (2008)
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Gus Van Sant for Milk (2008/I)
Whoa, are they serving alcohol at this thing? There's a BIG cheer for Fincher, as well as Boyle and Van Sant. Danny Boyle wins, and apparently he promised his kids to "accept this award in the spirit of Tigger," which is why he jumped up and down three or four times when he got to the podium. Seriously, that tiny man has got some bounce. And he thanks Warner Bros. for "having the grace" to let Fox Searchlight take Slumdog Millionaire. Given the Fox/WB fight over Watchmen, that's kind of hilarious. Also, he thanks the choreographer of the end credit sequence, who he had just found out got his name left off the movie. Aw.