My humble observations from the 81st Academy Awards Broadcast . . .
1. The Person I Was Most Happy to See Win.
Penelope Cruz. I loved her in Vicki Christina Barcelona. The Best Supporting Actress category had the strongest performances. Picking a favorite was tough but I was very happy Penelope won.
2. The No Surprise Win.
Heath Ledger. Did anyone doubt he would win?
3. The Presenter Who Needed to Loosen Up.
Daniel Craig. I am a huge fan and I watch anything he does. But loosen up, Daniel. You were presenting at the Oscars, not delivering the State of the Union Address.
4. The Huge Green Ring Appears Again.
At the Golden Globes, both Mickey Rourke and Amy Adams wore large green rings. At the Oscars, it was Angelina Jolie's turn. Plus, Ms. Jolie had big green earrings to match.
5. The What Was He Wearing On His Head?
Philip Seymour Hoffman. Was it a black beanie? Stick with the big green ring, Philip. It's the new trend.
6. The Close Ups You Knew Were Coming.
The producers couldn't resist cutting to Angelina Jolie when Jennifer Aniston was presenting an award. The audience held their breath. Would there be a cat fight?
7. The I've Never Seen that Done with an Oscar.
High-wire artist Phillippe Petit balanced an Oscar on his chin after helping to accept the award for the documentary on his life.
8. The I Forgot How Great She Can Sing.
Queen Latifah sounded beautiful singing I'll be Seeing You during the In Memoriam segment.
9. The Great Musical Number Surprise.
Beyonce joining Hugh Jackman. The musical number was great and only improved when Beyonce joined. She sounded amazing.
10. The Right-Back-at-You Moment.
Beyonce singing a few lines of At Last. Etta James bashed Beyonce for singing the song at the Presidential Inauguration (later said she was only kidding). Beyonce returned the bash by singing it again! And she sounded great!
11. The Best Presenters.
Steven Martin and Tina Fey. I want them to host next year!
12. The Best New Format.
I loved having five past Oscar winners present the awards for the acting categories. It was so personal to have former winners talk directly to each nominee.
13. The Celebrity that Wasn't Missed.
Jack Nicholson wearing sunglasses, sitting in the front row and the producers feeling the need to cut to him 50 times an hour. Yes, Jack is still in the front row and yes, he is still wearing sunglasses. We get it.
14. Moment Number One when the Oscar Audience and the Aegis Event I Attended Broke into Applause and Cheers.
Dustin Lance Black's speech after winning Best Original Screenplay for Milk. A quote from this speech is well deserved:
I think [Harvey would] want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours.
15. Moment Number Two when the Oscar Audience and the Aegis Event I Attended Broke into Applause and Cheers.
Sean Penn's speech after winning Best Actor for Milk. Again, part of this speech deserves to be quoted here.
I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grand children's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone.16. Moment Number Three when the Oscar Audience and the Aegis Event I Attended Broke into Applause and Cheers.
Sophia Loren coming on stage to present the Best Actress Award. Ms. Loren appeared wearing an incredible gown, her hair and makeup styled within-an-inch of her life. She hit her mark, placed her hand on her hip and gave the crowd a look that said, "Stand up and cheer you bitches. I'm on stage." And they did.
17. The Best Diva Moment of the Evening.
See number 16.