As with the Globes, no big surprises tonight. Unless you count Sean Penn's (who, as expected, used his speech to shame those who supported Prop 8) "upset" over Mickey Rourke - which really isn't much of an upset, given the Academy's penchant for biopic performances.
Supporting Actor, of course, went to Heath Ledger, whose family accepted on his behalf in a moving tribute, and Kate Winslet took home a deserved Best Actress statue (her first). Milk got Original Screenplay, Penelope Cruz won Supporting Actress, and while it probably should've taken Best Picture, Wall-E got the consolation prize of Best Animated Feature.
Also anticipated was Slumdog Millionaire's sweep, including Best Picture, Director (Danny Boyle), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Score, Song, and Sound Mixing. Pretty impressive for a film originally headed straight to DVD.
Hugh Jackman proved an affable host for the newly youthed-up show (which included a hilarious, Judd Apatow-helmed clip of Seth Rogen and James Franco's Pineapple Express characters reviewing nominated films), though his song-and-dance tribute to musicals, directed by Baz Luhrmann and featuring Beyonce and High School Musical stars, was about as painful as it sounds.
John Legend was an exceptional stand-in for Peter Gabriel, who refused to perform his "Down to Earth" (from Wall-E) as part of a Best Song medley. Instead, Legend shared the stage with the Soweto Gospel Choir - as well as drummers, dancers, and Slumdog composer/back-to-back winner AR Rahman - for what turned out to be the ceremony's standout segment. Jai Ho, y'alls!