11:48 p.m.: That’s all, folks. The last awards of the night felt really rushed. At just over three hours, this is definitely one of the shortest ceremonies in recent memory. Thanks to everyone who checked in with Blast for all our Oscar coverage, and congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

11:45 p.m.: Looks like the show is going to come in under four hours. Stewart’s been a good host, but the night overall has been unremarkable. Best Director just went to the Coen brothers, virtually making No Country a lock for Best Picture. And … there it is. Scott Rudin’s “This is a complete surprise” takes the cake for least genuine line spoken all night. Most genuine? Ryan Seacrest’s “I’m nervous” as he was getting assaulted by Gary Busey on the red carpet.

11:32 p.m.: Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis. Do we even need to go through the other nominees?

11:27 p.m.: Wow, everyone’s favorite ex-stripper Diablo Cody just got an explosive semi-standing ovation from the crowd for her predictable win for Best Original Screenplay. She looks really nervous and sort of lost it at the end of her speech, thanking her parents for loving her for who she is. Ellen Page’s halfhearted “whatever” shrug when Cody thanked her amidst heavy applause = priceless.

11:15 p.m.: Obligatory troop shout-out by Tom Hanks, with soldiers in Baghdad presenting the nominees for Best Documentary Short. I guess that’s kind of cool, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s Hollywood’s way of saying “See, we really DO support our troops” and patting themselves on the back at the overindulgent afterparties to feel better about themselves. Oh, and “Freeheld” won. Now Hanks is announcing the Best Documentary Award. “Taxi to the Dark Side.” I’m surprised “No End In Sight” didn’t win, but “Taxi” is also about the War on Terror. Is this uncomfortably ironic for anyone else?

11:09 p.m.: Well, Atonement, the most overrated movie of the year in my opinion, took the Best Score award, thus avoiding an oh-fer.

11:05 p.m.: Hilary Swank just introduced the dead people montage. Wait, what?!?! The kid from Jurassic Park died?!? I had NO idea. Oh no, hold on. That was for Brad Renfro (they co-starred in “The Cure”). Whew. Anyway. The applause is rather subdued, spiking for Ingmar Bergman and, of course, Heath Ledger. And here’s the typical fade-to-black commercial. Hmm, the montage felt a little uninspired this year. Am I just tired?

11 p.m.: Has Cameron Diaz ever gotten through a presentation speech without stumbling? Someone should look into this. My money’s on “no.” There Will Be Blood just won the Cinematography award, meaning that if Atonement doesn’t take Best Score, it’s going home empty-handed.

10:57 p.m.: Oh my God, Jon Stewart, marry me right now. He just called Irglova back on the stage to give a very moving thank you and shout-out to struggling independent musicians. If not for Gary Busey, this would be my favorite moment of the night.

10:48 p.m.: Best song, after yet a third performance from “Enchanted.” YES! It’s “Falling Slowly”! Glen Hansard and and Marketa Irglova are as surprised as everyone else is. Awkward: the orchestra started playing the cutoff, Irglova went to speak, the orchestra stopped, she stopped, and then the orchestra resumed playing. End scene.

10:30 p.m.: After a strong start to the night, No Country for Old Men is really falling behind with the technical awards. It just lost the Best Editing award to The Bourne Ultimatum, which has a perfect record tonight — and, admittedly, deserved all the awards it’s won. Now Nicole Kidman is handing out the honorary Oscar to Robert Boyle, who looks like death warmed over and is clinging to the podium for dear life. See you in 20 minutes when he gets through his speech and things get interesting again.

10:23 p.m.: My montage radar is going off. Yep, Jack Nicholson ditched the shades for a Best Picture winners homage. Trivia buffs, get your pens out.

10:20 p.m.: A “chuffed” Colin Farrell just introduced “Falling Slowly” from Once. Fingers crossed that all the “Enchanted” songs cancel each other out and this goes home with the gold.

10:12 p.m.: Finally, back to awards people actually care about. Oh, in a perfect world Laura Linney would have taken home the Best Actress statuette. But Marion Cotillard is equally deserving. Even better than her reaction shot was Cate Blanchett’s; she obviously knew she didn’t have a chance and looked like she was going to jump out of her chair when Forrest Whitaker read Cotillard’s name. Cotillard’s acceptance speech was the most animated I’ve seen her and she actually seems pretty likeable. It was especially touching to see her lean against Whitaker for support as she walked off the stage. Everyone in the audience (including beaming should-have-won Amy Ryan) seems truly happy for the first-time winner.

10:02 p.m. I wish I would have thought to make a drinking game out of “references to pregnant actresses” tonight. This blog would have been much more incoherent if I had. I’ve counted at least seven so far, including Jon Stewart’s “And the baby goes to … Angelina Jolie.” Oh, The Bourne Ultimatum just won Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. These truncated speeches are really getting ridiculous, especially since it’s obvious they’re being cut short to allow more time for these insufferable montages. I don’t think anyone’s spoken for more than a minute and a half, including Javier Bardem, who delivered his speech in rapid-fire Spanish, looking like he was about to get tasered. People are booing.

10:01 p.m.: Busey update! I’m predicting, right now, the introduction of a new catchphrase: “He went Busey on his ass.” Too bad that didn’t happen before the “Juno” script was written. http://youtube.com/watch?v=krDoAUJDcKU

9:58 p.m.: Exhibit A that the effects of the writers’ strike are still being felt: A mini-doc about how Academy officials keep the winners under wraps before they’re announced on the big night. Stewart’s deadpan “Wow, that was amazing” hit the nail on the head. Now Kristen Chenoweth is singing “That’s How You Know,” another song from “Enchanted.” Let’s hope Miley Cyrus enjoyed her stint as a presenter, because it’s probably the only time she’ll ever set foot on the Kodak stage on Oscar night.

9:48 p.m.: The Coen brothers just won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. So far “No Country for Old Men” is two-for-two.

9:45 p.m.: Shotgun bride Jessica Alba just highlighted the technical awards that were given out earlier in the night that no one cares about. Fitting.

9:37 p.m. Well, the first “Holy ^$(%&” upset award of the night goes to Tilda Swinton for Best Supporting Actress, upsetting Cate Blanchett, Ruby Dee and (my choice) Amy Ryan. Entertainment Weekly called it, but I’m sorry, it’s an undeserved award. I admire Tilda Swinton as an actress, but she frightens me a little and her hair is unreal. But props to her for working George Clooney’s nipples into her acceptance speech.

9:34 p.m.: Owen Wilson just handed out the award for Best Live Action Short Film, to Le Mozart des Pickpockets. Wilson was conspicuously absent from the red carpet, probably trying to avoid questions about his recent suicide attempt. And just when you thought the “Bee Movie” hype was over, the Jerry Seinfeld-voiced animated bug just introduced a montage to, yep, bees before presenting the Best Animated Short award to Peter & the Wolf.

9:23 p.m. Jon Stewart just pointed out (probably not joking) that had the writers’ strike not ended, the show would have been “padded” with even more montages, before introducing mock-tributes to binoculars and periscopes and bad dreams. He’s got a point. These tributes are insufferable. Keri Russell is introducing Nominated Song #2, “Raise It Up” from August Rush. I’m going to use this opportunity to see if the Gary Busey insanity has been posted on YouTube yet.

9:18 p.m.: Finally, the actual award’s handed out by Jennifer Hudson (what ever happened to her after “Dreamgirls”?. Javier (Xavier, if you’re Regis Philbin) Bardem, no surprise there.

9:15 p.m.: First major award of the night, Best Supporting Actor. I have a horrible sense of foreboding that every actor award is going to be preceded by a montage of past winners, if this is any indication.

9:13 p.m.: Best Art Direction, courtesy of Cate Blanchett: “Sweeney Todd.” Yawn. Side note: Was anyone else unaware that Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford are still an item?

9:10 p.m.: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just announced the Best Visual Effects award winner as “The Golden Compass.” In his introduction, Jon Stewart introduced someone who “started out as a professional wrestler.” Has he really transitioned to actor first, wrestler second? I’m not sure, and “Walking Tall” doesn’t exactly offer a ringing endorsement.

9 p.m.: Amy Adams’ aforementioned nervousness isn’t showing during her performance of “Happy Working Song” from Enchanted. I’d venture a guess that most of the audience hasn’t even seen the movie. Good time for a bathroom break.

8:57 p.m. Katherine Heigl, presenting the award for Best Makeup to “La Vie En Rose,” looks like she’s on the verge of tears. Before announcing the nominees, she mumbled something about being nervous and fidgeted with her dress. I don’t buy it. Maybe she took another look at that Ryan Seacrest plate before coming onstage? Marion Cotillard, from the audience, looks like she just found God. Lord knows what she’ll do if her name gets called. And the “End Your Speech NOW” music is starting again. They’re really not giving the minor players much time here.

8:55 p.m.: Best Animated Feature: “Ratatouille.” No surprise there. Steve Carell, always good for some straight-man humor, erroneously began presenting the Best Documentary nominees until Anne Hathaway corrected him. (“How many people are watching this? Oh, I’m gonna be sick.”). Brad Bird is getting rushed by the teleprompter about a minute into his speech … and now the music is being cued. Where’s Kanye West when you need him?

8:48 p.m.: The first montage of the night has started, less than 20 minutes into the broadcast. And the soundtrack is Celine Dion singing “My Heart Will Go On.” It’s going to be a LONG night.

8:45 p.m.: Jennifer Garner just handed out the first award of the night, for Best Costume Design, to Alexandra Byrne for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age.” Let’s hope everyone’s acceptance speech is as short and sweet as hers. And now Barbra Streisand is recapping her Oscar win, in what will probably be the first of many homages in honor of the show’s 80th anniversary. This show is going downhill fast … oh, wait. Commercial. That wasn’t too bad.

8:39 p.m.: And now the political humor begins. So far, Stewart has riffed on Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Democratic Hollywood, U.S. policy in Iraq, and Barack Obama. The audience is in stitches. We’re 11 minutes in, and it’s shaping up to be a good night.

8:33 p.m.: Jon Stewart’s opening monologue is going well. He just called out Vanity Fair for canceling its Oscar Party “out of respect for the writers,” by suggesting that another way they could respect the scribes would be to actually invite them to the suaree one year. He’s getting good reaction from the crowd, particularly Jack Nicholson, who’s hamming it up in his trademark shades.

Blast continues our coverage of the Oscars with blog updates throughout the ceremony. Stay tuned!

Read our Red Carpet coverage here

About The Author

Elizabeth Raftery is senior editor of Blast. Follow her on Twitter.

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