The 78th Annual Academy Awards 8:01:
The opening scene just demonstrates why we love Jon Stewart
: No one does self-deprecation so funny. Not even George Clooney. I think my dog would look great in a Steve Martin
8:05: At first, the Hollywood royalty aren't laughing quite as hard as I am at Jon's jokes — especially not at the one about the suffering caused by movie piracy. But nothing brings people together like a Bjork joke. (She was trying on her gown and Cheney shot her!) And then the gay Western montage. Not even Stewart knows how to follow up that hilarity, so I'm not even gonna try. Brilliant.
8:16: Nicole Kidman's weird intro for the best-supporting-actor nominees has me thinking right away that Clooney will win. And then he does; self-deprecation keeps working wonders. "So I'm not winning director." The music starts after about 10 seconds, though. Bring him back on stage soon, please!
8:26: Ben Stiller makes the visual-effects award kind of interesting with his green unitard act. So glad King Kong won something. That big ape made me cry three times.
8:32: If you haven't seen Howl's Moving Castle, rent it now. I have no idea why I haven't yet seen Wallace & Gromit or Corpse Bride. The Wallace & Gromit guys brought little bow ties for their Oscars. I hope this starts a trend.
8:34: Dolly Parton is stunning. Take note, young pop stars!
8:50: Memoirs of a Geisha wins the one award it seriously deserves: costume design.
8:59: Will Ferrell and Steve Carell are made up to look like Cirque du Soleil clowns! They're making quite an effort this year to remind us how important these other categories are. After Chronicles of Narnia wins for makeup, Stewart raises the price on his head (I mean, after all the Cheney jokes he makes on The Daily Show, that price should be pretty high already) by wondering why Cinderella Man didn't win for making Russell Crowe look like he got in a fight.
9:06: Rachel Weisz wins for best maternity gown... and supporting actress.
9:16: Steven Colbert (or is it Rob Corddry?) brings some Daily Show flavor with some political-campaign-style ads for the best actresses. Keira Knightley for acting while beautiful. For Reese Witherspoon, an old couple saying all those other names sound foreign. And of course, Dames for Truth claims: "Dame Judy took out my eye in a bar fight!"
9:22: Is Charlize Theron's gown made of penguins?
9:25: The car-crash scene behind Kathleen "Bird" York is scary. Like Stewart said, I want escapism here, people!
9:32: Take back what I said before about Geisha: The art direction deserves an award, too. As does the shrink who prescribes Sandra Bullock's sedatives — she's so very serene.
9:40: With one line, Stewart makes this "meaningful films" montage no longer a waste of time: "And none of those issues were ever a problem again."
9:42: The AMPAS prez's speech... time to dig in to my vegetable mu shu.
9:45: Love Salma Hayek's dress.
9:47: Itzhak Perlman's gray hair makes me feel old.
9:49: I'm glad Gustavo Santaolalla won, not only because the Brokeback music was great, but because it's so nice to hear Salma say his name.
9:57: All this anti-DVD propaganda is funny. And it appears that Jake, Michelle and Heath agree. They've been showing a lot of reaction shots of Michelle and Heath — they're so cute. And they live in Brooklyn now, so I love them even more.
9:59: Stewart declares they've run out of clips!
10:00: Jessica Alba's sparkly nude number is the first dress to really embody tonight's supposed theme: return to glamour.
10:05: Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep overdo this Robert Altman overlapping dialogue just a bit. And it appears Stewart spoke too soon: another montage! Love Altman, but this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we won't be getting to bed until the wee hours.
10:18: Ludacris introduces the Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." It's a new day in Hollywood, people: There are pimps and ho's dancing on the stage.
10:22: Queen Latifah: "Now how did I manage not to be in that?" She looks awesome, as usual. I am a bit worried, though: That dress must be hurting her sides a bit.
10:25: Stewart is giddy. "I think it just got a little easier out here for a pimp."
10:26: Oh, goody! Another Colbert ad, this time for sound editing.
10:27: Jennifer Garner slips onstage. This doesn't bode well for Sydney's postbaby comeback.
10:31: Michelle here says the "In Memoriam" bit is her favorite part. I'm a little worried for her.
10:38: Is the Academy too cheap to get clips for the foreign-language films? Tsotsi is fun to say. Try it. Yes, I am getting a little sleepy.
10:40: Stewart is still laughing about the pimp song. "Martin Scorsese: 0 Oscars. Three 6 Mafia: 1." He also says Ziyi Zhang all weird, and definitely not the way she says it. By the way, up until a year ago, Ziyi needed a translator at interviews, so she's made some pretty impressive progress here.
10:45: I might be alone in this opinion: Hilary Swank's dress this year is 100 times better than last year's.
10:47: Wow. Philip's win surprises me; it's all about the voice. And are they showing his girlfriend while he talks about his mom?
11:00: Reese Witherspoon wins for best Christmas-tree ornament. Sorry, I'm very happy for her. And she's a good thank-you speaker. Got a good balance of almost crying but still keeping it together enough to remember everything she'd planned to say.
11:10: Brokeback finally wins a big one: best adapted screenplay. Diana Ossana needs to call Sandra Bullock's shrink and change her downers. Larry McMurtry is so excited, he forgot to move his lips.
11:19: Yay, Ang Lee! Oh, he did not just quote his own movie. And now he's thanking his characters. Well, the man is a romantic.
11:22: That was quite a shot of Diana Ossana taking a huge gulp of something.
11:24: Wow, best picture named before 11:30. I would like to thank the Academy. Don't know what to say about Crash winning: I never saw it because so many people told me they didn't like it. Guess I should form my own opinion, which I'll do through the magic of DVD.
Thanks for watching with me, everyone.