The biggest night in Hollywood is here and over the next few hours they’ll be tears, cheers and (hopefully) a few surprises as the 82nd Academy Awards are handed out.

The sordid trudge up the red carpet has finished and I’m going to be blogging live as the winners are announced, you can have a look at our Oscars predictions here and follow us on as the Twitter storm rages, or get all interactive with FilmXtra Tom who is video blogging the Oscars here.

My hopes are with Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan and I’m secretly hoping that Tarantino walks off with Best Picture for Inglourious Basterds and Coraline bests Up for Best Animated Feature.

Ok… the time is upon us.  I’ll be updating the blog with the winners as I go, as well as providing as coherent a commentary as possible.

Remember to keep hitting refresh to get all of the latest news as it happens…

Live Blogging Begins…

So here we are! It’s 1 AM here in the UK and the world and his blog are hunched over keyboards and I’ll do my best to keep up with all of the awards as they are handed out. Let’s hope Alec Bladwin and Steve Martin get the show off to a good start…

The red carpet wasn’t too onerous, depending on who you were watching…

People are still talking about Tarantino and what he’ll win tonight – Christoph Waltz is a cert for Supporting Actor, but Screenplay perhaps? Best Film? Hmmm, we can hope. I remember 1994 – Forest Gump… it still hurts.

It’s actually pretty cool to see District 9 standing up with those other films, I bet Neill can’t believe it.

I thought this thing started at 1 AM… My tea’s gone cold. Updates to resume as soon as anything Oscary happens. In the meantime if you’re feeling chatty head on over to our FilmXtra page to talk Oscars with Tom Perkins – you won’t regret it.

Here we go…

The Best Acting nominees are all on stage – are they lost?

Neil Patrick Harris is doing the Hollywood self parody song – nice!

Actually, I’m hoping this is all part of a Dr. Horrible sequel.

Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin take the stage – Jack Donaghy is here, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

This is already funnier than the BAFTAs, the two are a class act. I wonder if anyone is missing Hugh Jackman?

Ok, well it’s all very ‘Oh look – there’s (random Hollywood celebrity in the crowd) – wait for applause – joke of variable quality’… this could go on for ages – there’s a ton of people in that audience.

The Dude still looks great though.

Ok, awards time!

And it’s all go for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR.

* Matt Damon
* Woody Harrelson
* Christopher Plummer
* Stanley Tucci
* Christoph Waltz

Stanley Tucci was the best thing about The Lovely Bones, sorry – he was the only good thing about The Lovely Bones, but his character was far too one note, despite his good work, to walk off with an Oscar, so who’s left? Matt Damon? Woody Harrelson? Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy? You know what? This one was telegraphed so early on that if Christoph Waltz doesn’t leave clutching a statue tonight then I’ll rescind my faith in all things Oscar.  There was no other performance in 2009 (and for many years before) which had the same power and depth as Waltz’s Hans Landa. Tarantino created a monster but Waltz gave him ten thousand volts to truly bring him to terrifying life. If you’ve not seen Inglourious Basterds then you’re missing out on a sublime performance. Shall we see if he wins? Why not…

And the winner is…Christoph Waltz of course. Great pick – he was sublime in Basterds! Very gracious man. Great start!

What a great speech – the man is pure class – I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Ryan Reynolds is talking The Blind Side, it won’t win Best Picture but Bullock does all the right things to kick all the heartstrings.

So, off to a good start – I’m assuming Best Supporting Actress is up next? Wonder if the time of no surprise is here and Mo’Nique steps up…

Oh, I guess not… there’s some nice Animated Features ‘interviews’ Mr. Fox and Coraline… this is pretty cool.

Loving the Princess and the Frog section – that was such a great film.

BEST (Coraline) ANIMATED (Coraline) FEATURE (Coraline).

* Coraline — Henry Selick
* Fantastic Mr Fox — Wes Anderson
* The Princess and the Frog — John Musker and Ron Clements
* The Secret of Kells — Tomm Moore
* Up — Pete Docter

Subliminal suggestions aside I am still holding out hope that Henry Selick’s wonderful adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline gets this one. The sensible money is on Up, and it’s truly great to see so many different styles of animation getting a look in this year. Im hoping next year will be a toss up between Moldovan Shadow Puppetry and a Flick Book. Anyway – some great films here… who is it?

Balls…Up won it. Which is great, because the film is great, but I wanted Coraline to get some Oscar love.

Pete Docter looks so great, but I can’t work out why. Very strong category this year.

Amanda Seyfried and Miley Cyrus are on stage – Miley is taller than Amanda. Hmm.

They’re presenting for BEST ORIGINAL SONG now…

* “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
* “Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
* “Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36? Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
* “Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
* “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

As I’ve only seen Princess and the Frog out of the list of nominees my opinion may be a little biased, but I loved the music in Disney’s beautiful film, both songs are worthy choices. The could almost be called the Randy Newman Award, he won in 2002 for Monsters Inc.’s If I Didn’t Have You, and there’s usually a Newman somewhere in the nominees but I have an odd feeling that Crazy Heart may get the nod. Don’t ask me why. Ok, let’s have it then…

As a side note before the award is given out – Princess and the Frog is stunning. Go and see it if you haven’t already.

And so it was – Crazy Heart wins it. Isn’t Ryan Bingham part of Glee?

No, I’m wrong apparently. People seemed to expect that one. Loves who more than rainbows?

Now District 9 is getting the treatment – and it’s just great to see this film here – so well envisaged and executed. There’s no way it would have been there if the list for Best Picture was still five films, but it must blow Neill Blomkamp’s mind to see his film up there. And good for him too.

RDJ and Tina Fey are on stage – great pairing. I smell a dysfunctional romantic comedy in the offing…

These two are great…

So, who’s got your vote for BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY then? The nominees are..

* Marc Boal– The Hurt Locker
* Quentin Tarantino — Inglourious Basterds
* Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman — The Messenger
* Joel Coen, Ethan Coen — A Serious Man
* Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy — Up

When Marc Boal’s work on The Hurt Locker won the BAFTA recently I was surprised. Tarantino’s script for Inglourious Basters was a great piece of work, and for the sublime first act alone it should be seriously considered for this award. Pulp Fiction won this award in 94, and I that was the first night I watched the Oscars live, and was very annoyed to see F. Gump best Tarantino’s masterpiece in the other categories that night. I enjoyed A Serious Man a lot, and the screenplay was a truly wonderful piece of work, anyone who comes up with Sy Ableman should get something for their troubles. Recent winners of this award include Diablo Cody for Juno and the team behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and going back even further Alan Ball’s American Beauty scooped this one in 1999, and Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s script for Shakespeare in Love won the year before – I always get excited for this category, the capability of these people is truly astounding. In true Miss America pageant tradition – you’re ALL winners…

But really – the winner is Marc Boal. Well, not a huge surprise, but dammit Tarantino can’t catch a break. Boal’s screenplay was great though, and he really told his story well.

It’s Ferris Bueller! And Molly Ringwald – this is the John Hughes tribute. Let’s all slow a while and look around – don’t want to miss a thing…

Molly Ringwald looks better than Ferris – I haven’t seen her for years! That’s a surprise, maybe the only one of the night.

Got to love John Hughes though – HeyUGuys did a retrospective on him when he died – it was a shock and he was a director who inspired us all growing up. Of course I wanted to be Ferris Bueller. But for us on this site we all grew up independently of each other and we all had the same experiences watching his movies.

Great montage – in a non Team America sarcastic way. Wait… Is this… The Breakfast Club?

Seriously – this is great and strange seeing this kind of tribute – all these faces from our childhood grown up. It’s like an enormous mirror held up to us all… damn, I feel old…

Samuel L. Jackson is now introducing Up as Best Picture, there’s bound to be a Scouts on a Plane reference somewhere.

The Twitterverse is going crazy in regards to the Children of John Hughes (credit: Roger Ebert, 2010), but mostly it’s people seeing Judd Nelson for the first time in years.

Carey Mulligan and Zoe Saldana are on stage presenting Short Film.

The Best Animated Short goes to..Logorama – not Wallace and Gromit… that’s a surprise.

Only one I’d seen was Nick Park’s so can’t really add to much. But he looks very happy and French. And it’s a great speech – if this was the BAFTAs they’d have cut this bit out. And this is a guy who has worked six years for this film.

Best Documentary Short winner is…Music by Prudence.

I’m sure I’m not alone in having seen none of these, hopefully iTunes will step in and make them available….wait – who is this woman?

Oh, she’s involved. Right – I thought she was crashing that guy’s big moment.

Best Action Short now…

The New Tenants wins it – love seeing these snippets of these films – perhaps it’s easier to make a more personal short than a huge feature.

Now it’s Ben Stiller as a Na’vi… Where’s Borat?

Ok, new nightmares forged right here.

BEST MAKEUP is the award people are talking about now…

* “Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
* “Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
* “The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Not seen Il Divo so can only speak of the world of difference between Star Trek and The Young Victoria – one is a popcorn space epic with a whole host of alien makeovers and the other a period piece with some impeccable work on screen. Can’t decide myself – let’s see what the Academy came up with in their wisdom…

Fingers crossed in a Vulcan greeting for Star Trek…

Grand! One for Star Trek – and that’s an award well deserved.

It’s the Dude! Bigging up the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man.

Everything’s going to be fine…

This would have won Best Trailer.

Here’s the trailer for A Serious Man by the way…

Ok, who’s this then?

Jake Gyllenhaal and someone I can’t work out who…(It’s Rachel McAdams apparently)

Lots of great work on offer here for BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY.

* Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell — District 9
* Nick Hornby — An Education
* Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche — In the Loop
* Geoffrey Fletcher — Precious
* Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner — Up in the Air

Nick Hornby’s work on An Education was truly something special, giving Lynn Barber’s memoirs a cinematic voice which held, and transcended, the conventional story points and had enough depth to elicit some wonderful performances for a great cast. For sheer entertainment though In The Loop provided satire so fierce it could chew the face off of a Jabberwocky and set new standards for eloquent swearing – that’s the one I hope wins, but the transition from Neill Blomkamp’s short Alive in Joburg to the feature length District 9 was also an amazing piece of work. Nice to see a wealth of talent on offer here…

Come on In The Loop! Surprised they could show any of the film though…

Balls – Precious wins this one. Geoffrey Fletcher walks up – I’ve not seen the film, but this man looks emotional. Nice change of pace.

Bit of a surprise there…and not a good one really. But the man was grateful and that was good to see.

Nice quip by Steve Martin…

Lauren Bacall is all kinds of wonderful. Good to see everyone at the Oscars giving her a standing ovation.

Now it’s time for Robin Williams. I’m a big fan of his.

So here we are then, one of the big awards of the night. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS is up.

* Penelope Cruz
* Vera Farmiga
* Maggie Gyllenhaal
* Anna Kendrick
* Mo’Nique

It’s hard to see Peneiope Cruz winning this award again following her success for Vicky Christina Barcelona last year, but maybe one of the Up in the Air actresses will overturn the huge expectation everyone seems to have for Mo’Nique to take this one home for her work in Precious. I’ve not seen Crazy Heart so can’t comment on Maggie Gyllenhaal’s performance but, like the male counterpart category, I think this one is a foregone conclusion…

Ok, I now really want to see Up in the Air again now. Great film.

But the winner is Mo’Nique – really this was no surprise. Precious is doing pretty well tonight isn’t it?

Great speech, brilliant look from Samuel L. Jackson…

Now Colin Firth is on stage introing An Education – I’d like to say ‘Get used to being up on that stage Col.’ but I think that’s the only time he’ll be up there tonight…

And now… Ms. Sigourney Weaver is on stage to present an award…

What you see is what you get with the award for BEST ART DIRECTION.

* Avatar: Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
* The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus: Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
* Nine: Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
* Sherlock Holmes: Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
* The Young Victoria: Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

I will always have a soft spot for Terry Gilliam, so unlikely as it is to win my heart is with Dr Parnassus for sheer imagination and craftsmanship to get it to the screen. Sherlock Holmes was riddled with details and looked truly amazing, some dodgy CG notwithstanding. Can’t see Avatar winning it, but stranger things have happened…

Stranger things indeed – Avatar nabs it. Cameron is giving his film a standing ovation. Must be thinking – Glad we won at least one… Sigourney seemed almost embarrassed.

“This Oscar sees you…” Game Over Man…Game Over.

Sew…onto the BEST COSTUME DESIGN Award, as presented by Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker.

* Bright Star –Janet Patterson
* Coco before Chanel — Catherine Leterrier
* The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus — Monique Prudhomme
* Nine – Colleen Atwood
* The Young Victoria – Sandy Powell

You can see some of Sandy Powell’s designs exclusively on our site and they are truly remarkable, easily worthy of her BAFTA win of a few weeks ago. The costumes of Bright Star still stick in my mind, and while I’ve seen Coco before Chanel or Nine they would need to have been pretty impressive to win out. Colleen Atwood is a legend though, her work with Tim Burton is something wonderful, and she has won this award twice before for Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha. Right! Here’s the winner then…

Sandy Powell wins it – grand! Seriously good work being recognised here. The Young Victoria is doing well in the costume stakes – BAFTA and Oscar combo.

Precious is being paraded out in front of the audience now – check out Brendon Connelly’s dissection of Precious in Mouth Off Episode 7…

Back to Baldwin and Marty – they are introducing a skit before their horror movie montage. Now its the bait for the kids out there – Lautner and Stewart – the Twilighters.

This is a Horror Montage. Did I miss the reason for this one? John Hughes – yes. Giving Horror its due by showing snippets of films? Not so much.

Christ – the Shining Twins still freak me out. And they will forever and ever and ever.

Back to the awards…

Morgan Freeman does a post modern narration…
Next award is for BEST SOUND EDITING.

* “Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
* “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
* “Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
* “Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
* “Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

The Dark Knight picked up this award last year, and my pick is for The Hurt Locker, whose chaos and calm were underscored perfectly with its sound editing. Can’t claim any specialist knowledge of these editors or their previous work, so let’s see who gets it…

The Hurt Locker wins it – not a huge surprise… The guy’s wife looks so happy. That’s sweet.

Now… BEST SOUND MIXING is our next award.

* “Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
* “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
* “Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
* “Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
* “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Anyone out there think Transformers 2 is oscar-worthy? Maybe not, Razzie-worthy certainly. I’m a big fan of Star Trek, and the sound design was pretty fantastic, but chances are The Hurt Locker will emerge victorious…

It does – The Hurt Locker wins it and that guy is right back on stage…He didn’t have to go far. Great speech from those two guys – really, really seemed to appreciate it.

Now John Travolta is auditioning for the next career resurrection by showing us Inglourious Basterds – and Bowie’s song is so perfect here.

Everyone should see this film.

People are not sure which way it is going – with The Hurt Locker winning the tech awards it either means that Avatar will win the big prizes, or it means that this is the beginning of a sweep for Bigelow. There’s only one way to be sure…

Sandra Bullock is up – holding her Razzie perhaps?

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY is an interesting category this year…

* Avatar:Mauro Fiore
* Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Bruno Delbonnel
* The Hurt Locker: Barry Ackroyd
* Inglourious Basterds: Robert Richardson
* The White Ribbon: Christian Berger

There was something truly wonderful about the opening act of Inglourious Basterds that owes a lot to Robert Richardson’s cinematography. The wide expanse of the French countryside contrasted so beautifully with the confines of the farmhouse and Richardson is Scorsese and Oliver Stone’s man of choice and won this award in 2004 for The Aviator. Will Avatar’s computer powered look win out, or will The Hurt Locker win out? Our breath is baited…

The winner is Avatar – ok, well that’s interesting. Cameron looks very happy.

Demi Moore is out now to do the obituary section, with James Taylor on guitar.

Right back now…what’s up next? It’s 3.45AM in the morning and in two hours I’ll have been up for 24 hours straight. I’m amazed I can still type.

OK soundtrack fans, let’s see who’s getting the gong for BEST ORIGINAL SCORE.

* “Avatar” James Horner
* “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
* “The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
* “Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
* “Up” Michael Giacchino

I re-watched Sherlock Holmes last night and the Zimmer score jumped out at me, just as it did when I saw it in the cinema, plenty of nice touches, but with few unifying themes meant it fell short of being a great score for me, but I love the many details Zimmer puts in. Michael Giacchino’s score for Up was great fun, and suited the Pixar film to a tee, elevating it (ok, pun intended – sorry – it’s late here…) to truly great heights. Sneaking suspicion Horner may bag it. Why don’t we see what’ll happen, eh?

Oh… it’s dancing.

And still dancing. Bring back Judd Nelson.

Ok – here’s the winner…

Michael Giacchino wins it. Of course he does. Up’s theme is simply wonderful. Nice speech sir.

Up next is the award for BEST VISUAL EFFECTS.

* Avatar Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
* District 9: Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
* Star Trek: Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

This one seems obvious right? Avatar’s visual effects help elevate a mediocre story to epic heights, but if there’s one complaint it is that they are so obvious in their intent, and there are so many deliberately impressive moments that the subtlety of District 9 proved far more seductive for me. Seeing the Prawns mill about the shanty towns of Joburg seamlessly blending in under the huge mothership make District 9 my choice. Let’s see…

It’s Avatar. The whole world is in a severe lack of shock.

Now there’s an Up in the Air bit. It’s a great film. Really – if you’ve not seen it then you really should. Reitman makes good on his promised shown in Thank You for Smoking and Juno.

Here’s Matt Damon everyone, introducing BEST DOCUMENTARY.

* “Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
* “The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
* “Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
* “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
* “Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

The Cove’s tough subject matter and engaging narrative helped it win the Audience Award at last year’s Sundance Festival, and the story behind the documentary is almost as interesting as the subject matter itself – cameras disguised as rocks and such like. Burma VJ was a film we covered on the site a while back and what it truly humbling is the dedication of these film makers, who have risked their lives getting these stories to us, and so to see these films celebrated is a great thing. Let’s see whose name is about to be read out…

It’s The Cove, this one got a lot of buzz when it was on the festival circuit. Hopefully tons of people will now see it. Remember Man on Wire?

BEST EDITING Award? Why not…

* “Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
* “District 9? Julian Clarke
* “The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
* “Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Sally Menke’s work with Tarantino has been widely acclaimed and with good reason, Tarantino without good editing doesn’t bear thinking about, and Menke was nominated for her work on Pulp Fiction in 1994. She didn’t win there and I’ve a feeling that run will continue despite her being my pick. The Hurt Locker excelled at the BAFTAs, gathering a handful of technical awards as well as Best Director and Film, and perhaps the Academy have decided to continue this trend…

The winner is… The Hurt Locker gets it! The awards are being split down the middle.

Keanu Reeves is here to present The Hurt Locker. Wish he’d done it as Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan.

Ok… so, The Hurt Locker looks set to win Best Picture if tradition has any say. I can’t see Cameron winning for Best Direction so does this mean that The Hurt Locker is going to win both?

Et maintenant, le Oscar pour BEST FOREIGN FILM.

* “Ajami” Israel
* “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina
* “The Milk of Sorrow” Peru
* “Un Prophète” France
* “The White Ribbon” Germany

Well, I was lucky enough to see White Ribbon and Un Prophète at the London Film Festival and they are the two front runners in my mind given the amount of critical acclaim and awards already. Looking back at previous winners like The Bicycle Thief, Rashomon, La Strada, Day for Night this category has a great legacy, and more than the celebration of some truly astonishing work, there’s an excellent chance that the winner will receive a far wider audience than it would otherwise have received. That’s the hope anyway – ok, enough of my yakking – whose name est dans la envelope?

The winner is…El Secreto de Sus Ojos. That’s a bit of a shocker right?

It was a surprise, and here’s Kathy Bates introducing Avatar, for those three people who didn’t see it.

So, now it’s getting down to it – the big awards are left and Team Hurt Locker are looking very good from where I’m sitting.

I have to say that this ceremony seems a lot longer than previous years, with slightly odd choices and no memorable moments – no tears, no really heartfelt speeches. Maybe Cameron will blub and fall to his knees in gratitude/shock?

Bullock, Streep or Mulligan?

Firth or Bridges?

These are just a few of the things you might want to consider in the next few minutes…

K, home straight time.

Will this be The Year of the Dude? BEST ACTOR time…

* Jeff Bridges
* George Clooney
* Colin Firth
* Morgan Freeman
* Jeremy Renner

I’ve made my love for Colin Firth’s performance in Tom Ford’s A Single Man no secret, and to see him winning the BAFTA was a wonderful thing. I don’t think he’s going to repeat that success here tonight but it is a beautiful turn, but is it enough to stop the accolade roller coaster which has greeted Jeff Bridges for his turn in Crazy Heart. Renner’s nomination for The Hurt Locker is a nice touch, and he was the dark heart of that film, but I feel its technical merits are more likely to garner Oscar success. Clooney was great as himself in Up in the Air, but again I felt the Actresses are more likely to win tonight. So… does the Dude abide?

Blimey – this is protracting what should be a fairly simple opening of an envelope… It’s all so embarrassing.

Gotta love Mr Firth though. It would make this whole staying up all night worth while if he won.

The winner is… Of course – he is The Dude.

And a standing ovation. He’s won for Crazy Heart but this is for so many films.

For people new to Bridges I’d highly recommend his work with Terry Gilliam.

Ok – nearly done here! Will this be a Razzie/Oscar double bill for Sandy?

One of the most difficult to call is the BEST ACTRESS award.

* Sandra Bullock
* Helen Mirren
* Carey Muligan
* Gaborey Sidibe
* Meryl Streep

Carey Mulligan is my pick, and her success in the BAFTAs is indicative of how much we love her here in the UK, but this is the Oscars and this could be called the Meryl Streep Award but her Julia Child, great though it was, has a lot of competition in Sidibe for her first feature role and Sandra Bullock’s Southern Sass in The Blind Side. I’ve not seen The Last Station but I have heard commendations for Mirren’s performance as Tolstoy’s wife out to secure her husbands financial and literary legacy, perhaps not the role to match her Oscar win in in 2006 for The Queen. Good to see a great list of female roles up this year, I’m hoping for a few tears on the stage this year…

Of course – that’s after the ridiculous melodramatic mutual congratulatory moments…

But Michael Sheen rules. That is all.

Just lost the feed – now it’s back with Oprah – the Power of Oprah brings me the Oscars to me…

But now the moment is here, the winner is…Sandra Bullock?

Ok, that was a great speech. Respect to her for that.

So, this one will be interesting….the BEST DIRECTOR Academy Award is up next!

* James Cameron — Avatar
* Kathryn Bigelow — The Hurt Locker
* Quentin Tarantino — Inglourious Basterds
* Lee Daniels — Precious
* Jason Reitman — Up in the Air

Millions of words have been poured into blogs around the world about Avatar and The Hurt Locker, and Bigelow’s win at the DGA seemed to point to the Oscar win for the Hurt Locker director, but James Cameron and his Avatar juggernaut could win this one. I don’t see a win for Lee Daniels or Reitman, but it is great to see the Up in the Air director get nominated. Let’s hope if Bigelow wins then someone keeps a camera on Cameron’s table. Tarantino did great work for Inglourious Basterds but I don’t think the Academy is in that much of a radical frame of mind. Ok, waiting over – the Oscar goes to…

Kathryn Bigelow! It’s great to see a woman standing up on the stage with a Best Director Oscar.

Awarded accepted gracefully, now we’ve only to go…

Right then. Here’s the one they’ve been building up to…BEST PICTURE

* Avatar
* The Blind Side
* District 9
* An Education
* The Hurt Locker
* Inglourious Basterds
* Precious
* A Serious Man
* Up
* Up in the Air

Raising the number of nominations to ten films competing for Best Picture was a good move. It gave the Academy want it wanted, which is more debate and more investment as fans of ten films will be behind their nominee, but it is fair to say that this award is more than likely to go to Avatar or The Hurt Locker. Speaking to our readers there’s far more support for Team Hurt Locker than Team Avatar, and a few shouts for Team Basterds, but as great as it would be to see something like District 9 take this one home, it is unlikely. Could this be Tarantino’s night? Rumours (or a particularly well manned hype machine) have it that Inglourious Basterds may cause one of the biggest upsets in recent history and I’d love to see it happen. But – enough talk. Here we go…

Blimey…. The Hurt Locker wins it.

That crowns off a phenomenal night for Bigelow and her film – that is truly something to see.

Well, that’s it! What a night for The Hurt Locker – everyone on that stage looks so happy to be there.

Ok, that’s it for another year, thanks for staying with us, it’s now 5AM and I’m off to bed.

Same time next year?