8:58-- It's (nearly) over. "The Hurt Locker" wins Best Picture and a stunned Bigelow comes back to the stage, clutching an Oscar in each hand.
"This has been such a dream for all of us who have lived for so long with this story," says Boal. Nicholas Chartier, who was expelled from the ceremony, is thanked twice.
8:56-- "I would not be standing here if it wasn't for Mark Boal, who risked his life for the words on the page... I think the secret to directing is collaborating and I had an... extraordinary crew."
8:53-- Barbara Streisand, who was famously bitter for not receiving a Best Director nomination for "Yentl" (despite winning the same award at the 1983 Golden Globes), introduces the nominees for Best Director. Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to ever win an Academy Award for Best Direction.
8:52-- "I thank you for the opportunity that I get to share with these extraordinary women... And my lover, Meryl Streep!" Sandra Bullock = great speech.
8:48-- Sandra Bullock wins, goes to say a word to Meryl, who moves in for the hug... And then walks away. "Did I really earn this, or did I wear you all down?" Bullock is charming, recouning a story of George Clooney who threw her in a pool. "I'm still holding a grudge." "And Meryl, you know what I think of you and you're such a good kisser."
8:40-- Another five personalities come out to honor the nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Everyone whose name is not Sandra Bullock gets comfortable in their chair.
8:33-- Bridges thanks his parents posthumously for "turning [him] on to such a groovy profession."
8:31-- Kate Winslet hands the Best Actor in a Leading Role statuette to Jeff Bridges. (Far out, dude.)
8:30-- Colin Farrell and Jeremy Renner spooned in Mexico? Did I hear that right?
8:26-- This is interesting. To introduce the nominees for Best Actor, five actors who have worked with the various nominees give personal testimony and congratulate each. Michelle Pfeiffer introduces Jeff Bridges as "an amazing human being," while Julianne Moore says that Colin Firth "managed to exceed every one" of her expectations while shooting 'A Single Man.' Ok, it's a nice touch, but so much for shortening the telecast.
8:14-- Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino announce the nominees for Best Foreign Film. Argentina wines for "The Secret in Their Eyes," which is an upset to "The White Ribbon."
8:07-- Best Film Editing nominees announced, and "The Hurt Locker" wins again. The Summit Entertainment afterparty is going to be awash in statuettes.
8:03-- Best Documentary Nominees are announced, and "The Cove" wins.
7:53-- Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper introduce the visual effects category, which is taken by "Avatar."
7:50-- Interpretative dance numbers animate the Best Original Score nominees. The composer for "Up" wins.
7:37-- Demi Moore-- "looking great at 73," as one of my friends says--introduces this year's In Memoriam. Seeing Brittany Murphy's name roll, as James Taylor sings, is sad--taken with Michael Jackson and Natasha Richardson, it's a reminder of the number of tragic celebrity deaths that 2009 brought.
7:24-- Sandra Bullock introduces the award for Best Cinematographer, which goes to "Avatar."
7:28-- Is John Travolta wearing jeans to the Oscars!?!
7:24-- Morgan Freeman, who has twice played the Voice of God, explains what Sound Mixing and Editing are. "The Hurt Locker" wins for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
7:08--Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker, described by Martin as "two clothes whores," announce the award for Best Costume Design which goes to "The Young Victoria." "Well, I already have two of these," the winner says. So gracious.
7:06-- Sigourney Weaver announces the award for Art Direction, which goes to Avatar.
6:59-- Mo'Nique wins and accepts her award to a standing ovation. "It can be about the performance and not the politics," says Mo'Nique.
"Sometimes you have to forgo doing what's popular in order to do what's right," she says as she thanks her husband.
6:56-- The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are announced. Four of the five whose names are not Mo'Nique get comfortable in their chairs and enjoy watching the clips play.
6:52-- "I wrote that speech for him," Martin cracks, as he introduces Queen Latifah. Latifah introduces the 2010 Oscar Governors Award Honorees. Roger Corman and Lauren Bacall are acknowledged
6:48-- Jake Gyllenhall and Rachel McAdams introduce the nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay. Geoffrey Fletcher wins for "Precious." "This is for everybody who works on a dream everyday. For precious boys and girls everywhere." Fletcher is genuinely overwhelmed by emotion as he thanks his family for their support and exits the stage.
6:43-- Jeff Bridges introduces "A Serious Man" as a Best Picture Nominee. Aaaaand cut to commercial.
6:38-- Ben Stiller as a Na'vi presents the award for Best Makeup, despite that film not being nominated. The camera cuts between him and James Cameron, who laughs as Stiller whips out his... Braid. And tail. Out of control tail attached to a fishing rod. (Award goes to 'Star Trek.')
6:36-- Right now, given the Oscar pool going at the moment, I'm really glad I picked "The New Tenant." No, I didn't see it. (Thank you, lady luck.)
6:33-- Mulligan and Saldana introduce the Best Short Film nominees, which goes to 'Music By Prudence.' The question of the moment at this Oscar party is, "Who is this lady who's just come on stage?"
6:30-- Carey Mulligan and Zoe Saldana introduced the Best Animated Short Film category, which features commentary by John Lasseter.
6:22-- John Hughes eulogized by a group of actors who had worked with him, including Macaulay Culkin... who still looks young enough to have his cheeks pinched.
6:15-- Mark Boal wins for Best Screenplay. I've spoken to Boal several times over this awards season and have always found him affable and accessible. Boal eulogizes his father as he accepts the awards and exits the stage-- and there is a quick shot of Jason Reitman looking slightly pensive in his chair.
6:13-- "We writers dream of a future where... actors performances can be edited on a laptop, by us," says Fey, to a flabbergasted Downey Jr. Touche.
6:11-- Robert Downey Jr. and Tina Fey are introduced by Baldwin, who cracks that Fey revived his career.
6:05-- 'District 9' introduced as a nominee for Best Picture.
6:04-- T Bone Burnett quiet as he accepts the Oscar for Best Original Song. Interesting, considering how heavily he's been marketed throughout the season so far.
6:00-- Oh my God, an explosion of tulle onstage with Miley Cyrus and Amanda Seyfreid. Tulle for all! (Somewhere, Gwyneth Paltrow's dress from her Best Actress win is weeping.)
5:55-- Cameron Diaz and Steve Carell present animated feature nominees. 'Up' wins for Best Animated Feature. 'The heart of it came home,' says Pete Docter in accepting his award, acknowledging his family as the greatest journey.
5:43--Penelope Cruz introduced as first presenter of Best Supporting Actor. The buzz is that Cheistoph Waltz has it as a lock. His agent, Adam Schweitzer, was someone included in The Hollywood Reporter's 2009 Next Generation issue. Schweitzer found Waltz and over the course of many months wooed the actor. Now repped by Schweitzer at ICM, who both receive kudos in Waltz's remarks, his speech hits all the notes by telling the story of his journey to the podium tonight-- but is not a laundry list of inside Hollywood names.
5:40--First Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron crack of the night, about sending each other a gift with a timer and a Toyota, respectively.
5:37-- Meryl is, at the outset, the evening's sitting duck. An easy target from uptop, I suppose.
5:36-- Opening dialog between Martin and Baldwin is entertaining, if full of ovbvious jokes.
5:33-- Between Neil Patrick Harris's opening, the decor and and the entrance of hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, this is already a camp classic.