The 2009 Academy Awards telecast was one of the best in years. After last year's show (the lowest rated ever), the Academy announced that they would keep the names of the presenters secret in order to boost interest. I was skeptical about this change, but it worked surprisingly well. I especially liked how they had 5 previous winners each in the 4 acting categories serve as presenters for the respective category in which they had won. I hope that they continue this practice for future Academy Awards telecasts.
Even though there was little suspense regarding who would win the various awards (it was basically a Slumdog sweep), the ceremony was still entertaining. Here are some of my favorite moments:
*Host Hugh Jackman's opening number. Although I knew the dude was talented (I caught a performance of his on the Tony Awards a few years ago), I never really gave him much thought. Props to him and to Anne Hathaway (who knew she could sing?)
*Dustin Lance Black's heartfelt acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay for the film Milk.
* Presenter Ben Stiller's parody of Joaquin Phoenix' recent interview with David Letterman. Co-presenter Natalie Portman held her own with Stiller comedically, saying that he looked like he worked at a Hasidic meth lab.
*The speeches of Heath Ledger's family (his parents and sister) as they accepted his Best Supporting Actor statuette on his behalf. Doing what they did couldn't have been easy.
*Danny Boyle's "Tigger" impersonation as he accepted his Best Director Oscar.
*Jerry Lewis humble acceptance of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
* Sean Penn's acceptance speech for Best Actor. He was surprisingly humorous as he thanked the members of the Academy (aka the commie, homo-loving sons of guns) who voted for him. Sean also took the moment to get political in his references to President Barack Obama and the passing of Proposition 8.
What were some of your favorite or least favorite moments of the Oscar telecast?
Below is the opening number from the telecast featuring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway: