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Watching the Oscars live

11:48 p.m. Show clocked in at three hours and 18 minutes. Not bad. I now have exactly 12 minutes to finish the story that will be on the front page tomorrow. My final tally: 11 out of 21. My worst showing ever, yes. But then again, I did call the No Country victory way, waaaaay back in August. So that counts for something.

11:46 p.m. No Country wins it. Producer Scott Rudin just said the victory was "a complete surprise." Nothing is more unseemly than false modesty, dude.

11:45 p.m. Coens didn't say much. I must interview them some day. Denzel is giving out Best Picture. A Juno upset now seems completely impossible.

11:42 p.m. Martin Scorsese is presenting Best Director. Here come the Coens again! Let's see if Joel says anything this time.

11:34 p.m. Daniel Day-Lewis wins Best Actor. He also wins Most Obviously Pre-Written Acceptance Speech of the Night. "My deepest thanks to the members of the Academy for whacking me with the handsomest bludgeon in town." Guess the writers really were on strike.

11:31 p.m. Helen Mirren, presenting the Best Actor Oscar, just said cojones on television worldwide. Why are Spanish curse words always OK to say, but English-language ones aren't?

11:25 p.m. Harrison Ford, who could smile a little more now and then, presents the Best Original Screenplay to Juno's Diablo Cody. Also, noticeably absent from the tribute to the actors and filmmakers who died in the last 12 months was Brad Renfro.

11:15 p.m. Tom Hanks videoconferenced with American soldiers stationed in Baghdad to present the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject, which went to Freeheld. Hanks himself presented the Best Documentary Feature award to Taxi to the Dark Side. Guess we'll never know if Michael Moore really was going to bring Fidel Castro onstage.

11:10 p.m. Amy Adams gives out Best Original Score to Atonement, so the overrated movie won't be shut out completely.

10:59 p.m. Cameron Diaz (who looked a wee bit stoned) presented Best Cinematography to There Will Be Blood's Robert Elswit. Double-nominee Roger Deakins (for No Country and The Assassination of Jesse James) a previous four-time nominee, goes home Oscarless again. But this brings me up to 7 for 14!

10:57 p.m. Jon Stewart just became the coolest Oscar host in history for bringing Once's Marketa Irglova, who was cut off before she could even start her acceptance speech, back onto the stage so she could say a few words

10:50 p.m. John Travolta presents Best Original Song to "Falling Slowly" from Once, which you really should watch on DVD if you missed it in theaters. On his way to the podium, Travolta slipped on the exact same spot in which Colin Farrell almost ate it earlier. Travolta handled it with class, but Farrell handled it like a spoiled, somebody-should-do-something-about-this brat.

10:43 p.m. Penelope Cruz presents the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar to The Counterfeiters, which opens in South Florida March 7.

10:31 p.m. My editor informs me that Jennifer Hudson has been busy making the Sex and the City movie. My apologies for implying she had vanished off the face of the Earth.

10:29 p.m. Renee Zellweger hands out Best Editing to The Bourne Ultimatum. I am now 4 for 12, without question my worst record ever in predicting the Oscars. No Country is still getting Best Picture, though.

10:27 p.m. According to that montage of Best Picture winners, I have seen 60 out of the previous 80.

10:17 p.m. My prediction record currently stands at an atrocious 4 out of 11. Hey, at least I put The Bourne Ultimatum on my top 10.

10:13 p.m. Marion Cotillard wins it for La Vie En Rose. Sorry, Julie. I cursed you!

10:10 p.m. Forest Whitaker is giving out the Best Actress award. Considering how badly I'm faring tonight, I fear for Julie Christie.

10:06 p.m. The Bourne Ultimatum wins Best Achievement in Sound, too. I knew I should have gone with Bourne for Best Film Editing. Can I change my prediction?

10:04 p.m. Superbad's Halle Berry and Dame Judi Dench Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen present Best Sound Editing to The Bourne Ultimatum instead of Transformers, proving my earlier, highly scientific theory that Hollywood hates Michael Bay.

9:45 p.m. Josh Brolin and James McAvoy give out the Best Adapted Screenplay to Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country For Old Men. If there was any doubt this was getting Best Picture, those doubts have now been erased. Cool to see Cormac McCarthy and his son in the audience, too.

9:39 p.m. Alan Arkin gives Best Supporting Actress to Michael Clayton's Tilda Swinton, who looked genuinely shocked to win. Also, I am no one's idea of a fashion guru, but something tells me Mr. Blackwell is going to have a field day with Swinton's black velvet potato sack dress.

9:24 p.m. For non-Spanish speakers, here's a translation of the Spanish portion of Bardem's acceptance speech: "Mom, this is for you, for your grandparents, for your parents Rafael and Matilde, for the comedians of Spain who, like you, have brought dignity and pride to our profession. This is for Spain and for all of us."

For those who don't know, Bardem hails from a family of actors and filmmakers. Bardem's mother, Pilar, and his grandfather, Rafael, are both renowned Spanish actors. His uncle, Juan Antonio, is a famed director.

9:17 p.m. Jennifer Hudson (who I had completely forgotten won an Oscar last year for Dreamgirls; where has she been?) gives the Best Supporting Actor trophy to Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men.

9:11 p.m. Cate Blanchett gives the Art Direction award to Sweeney Todd. Good to see Tim Burton's movie get some love, since I doubt it's going to win any others. Meanwhile, I'm 2 for 5 thus far.

9:09 p.m. Miami homeboy Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson makes his Oscars debut presenting Best Visual Effects to The Golden Compass. First upset of the night! How can computer-animated polar bears beat out the awesome robots of Transformers? Man, they must really hate Michael Bay in Hollywood.

8:57 p.m. A very nervous Katherine Heigl gives the Best Makeup award to La Vie En Rose. The orchestra is being very aggressive about keeping acceptance speeches short. This is a good thing.

8:54 p.m. Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway hand out Best Animated Feature to Ratatouille. The preceding montage of clips from 80 years of Oscar telecasts was pretty good, too.

8:45 p.m. Jennifer Garner hands out the first award of the night. Best Costume goes to Elizabeth: The Golden Age. I had chosen that movie as the winner when I turned in my predictions to my editor, then had her change it to Atonement. Why? I don't know. Always go with your gut, I guess.


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the editor

Make that 11 out of TWENTY-FOUR. One day I will shame you into picking those last three shorts categories... Hurry up and file that story!

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