8:01 p.m. Good evening everyone! The ceremony doesn’t start for another half-hour, so take this time to settle in, practice your snark, and load up on snacks and DayQuil. (Whoops, maybe only I need that last one. But hey, could make parts of the telecast more interesting.)

8:20 p.m. Starting the montages early with an ode to…accountants?

8:25 p.m. “The lack of concern for Jerry Lewis is horrifying.” Funny, Red Carpet Guy. But I’d probably save Judd Apatow, too.

8:30 p.m. Ack! Technical difficulties! DVR keeps trying to make me watch Amazing Race!

8:32 p.m. Love Robert Downey Jr.‘s fake ego as opposed to Kate Winslet‘s fake modesty.

8:34 p.m. Not feeling the song-and-dance number, particularly rhyming “sentiment” with “excrement.” But who knew Anne Hathaway could sing?

8:37 p.m. OK, The Reader bit is making me laugh.

8:42 p.m. Ladies and gentlemen, all the Best Supporting Actress mistakes we’ve made over the years…

8:45 p.m.
This doesn’t exactly seem like a great way to shorten the ceremony.

8:48 p.m. Does Tilda Swinton try to look alien?

8:49 p.m. Dammit! I’m already 0 for 1 in my pool. That was kind of an anticlimactic way to hand out an award, don’t you think?

8:55 p.m. Steve Martin, stay! Host!

8:58 p.m. Yay, Milk! (Though how cute was that WALL*E clip?)

8:59 p.m. What a touching speech, particularly when he thanked his mother, “who loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to.”

9:00 p.m. And now, back to the comedians.

9:02 p.m. Let the Slumdog droolfest begin.

9:08 p.m. Of course it’s WALL*E.

9:10 p.m. Uh, I didn’t realize one of the animated shorts was titled Lavatory – Lovestory. I’m guessing it’s not as seedy as I’m thinking…

9:11 p.m. Nice self-deprecation with the Mr. Roboto line.

9:18 p.m. That jazz is really annoying.

9:19 p.m. Come on! The Dark Knight deserves recognition! (Besides the billions of dollars it made.)

9:22 p.m. Big hats, big award.

9:23 p.m. Just say thanks, costume guy. Nobody cares.


9:30 p.m. Aww, the romance montage was pointless but sweet. Except the “I hate you” part.

9:33 p.m. LMAO! Headline after the show: “Phoenix Murders Ben Stiller.”

9:36 p.m.
Boo! Better catch Dark Knight in IMAX this weekend, ’cause it’s not going to be around much longer now.

9:40 p.m. Oh, so that’s why Jessica Biel is there. She’s the skirt who got stuck hosting the tech awards.

9:47 p.m. The Pineapple Express bit? Inspired. (Or at least the most inspired thing I’ve seen so far.)

9:49 p.m.
WTF? What is Steven Spielberg‘s cinematographer doing with James Franco and Seth Rogen?

9:56 p.m. Wait, is Jackman serious? Did Mamma Mia! really outsell Titanic in the U.K.? (Also, is “gullible” really not in the dictionary?)

10:02 p.m.
The musical may be back, but that doesn’t mean we’re suddenly not bored. (Even as classy and well-sung as the number was — though it looked to me like Ms. Beyonce forgot the lyrics at one point.)

10:07 p.m. I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to cry.


10:15 p.m. Lovely.

10:19 p.m. Kinda cruel to have Bill Maher present the doc award when Religulous is as good as any of them.

10:21 p.m. The sprightly scamp (aka Philippe Petit) is here!

10:23 p.m. Well, there’s $2 I’ll never see again.

10:27 p.m. Has there been an action sequence this past year that wasn’t set to “Tick Tick Boom?” The Hives are making themselves some money.

10:29 p.m. Ha! “They can take Brad Pitt and turn him into a garden gnome.”

10:33 p.m. Sound? The Dark Knight wins for sound?

10:36 p.m. That guy is barely taller than an Oscar.

10:39 p.m. That guy is as bald as an Oscar.

10:46 p.m. Nothing against Jerry Lewis, but the Lifetime Achievement Award is about when I tune out. Time for a coffee…

10:49 p.m. Damn, dude looks good for a nearly 83-year-old.

11:03 p.m. But where’s Bruuuuuuuce?

11:05 p.m. Peter Gabriel‘s kind of a douche for not performing his own song. Is it such a slap in the face to sing it as part of a medley? Would you rather have John Legend make it sound better than your own version?

11:09 p.m. Woo-hoo, “Jai Ho!”

11:11 p.m. Freida: “Um, you can get your hand off mine now, Liam. You’re creeping me out.”

11:13 p.m. The Oscar goes to what? This isn’t the kind of upset we were looking for.

11:15 p.m. Oh no. No one told me the In Memoriam portion of the evening would be accompanied by song. And could they make it a little more difficult to see who we’re remembering?

11:21 p.m. Reese, your dress is uneven. And that Ben Stiller joke wasn’t funny.

11:23 p.m. Swelling….predictability….

11:24 p.m. Is the FCC going to get its panties in a knot over Boyle’s indecent use of “bloody?”

11:30 p.m. Kate Winslet: “Yeah, I’ve made about 10 thousand more movies than you, Frenchie. Give me my Oscar.”

11:35 p.m. Did Winslet just tell Meryl Streep to suck it?

11:40 p.m. Robert De Niro‘s speech about Sean Penn is my favorite so far. Except for Ben Kingsley‘s about Mickey Rourke.

11:44 p.m. GO PENN! Commie, homo-lovin’ son of a gun right back at you. Nice giving love to Rourke; the political commentary was just right. (But, um, shouldn’t he have thanked Robin, too?)

11:54 p.m. And the Oscar goes to…exactly the film everyone’s been calling for months. Yawn.

And there’s your 81st Academy Awards, everybody. Can’t say I had many of the tingly moments I usually do — maybe it’s because I had a computer on my lap all night, but more likely because the night was pretty paint-by-numbers.

Jackman was a class act but I wouldn’t mind going back to a few more yuks in 2010. The telecast was still as long as ever; with all the soft-shoe and tastefulness, this year’s changes didn’t achieve much beyond making you feel the equivalent of having to suck it in all night.

The end-credit coming attractions was a nice touch, though — definitely boosted my energy a bit and got me excited about what’s ahead. At least as excited as I can be after hours and hours of sitting in front of my laptop and the telly. So goodnight!