Hugh Jackman’s Oscars: Best Academy Awards show in years

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I’ve read many reviews of last night’s Academy Awards, and I can see that there is no general consensus on the show. To each his own, but I thought Hugh Jackman did an absolutely amazing job, right up there with Billy Crystal. I also thought that many of the other changes instituted last night worked out very well.

My favorite moments during the 2009 Academy Awards ceremony:

1. Hugh Jackman‘s opening number. It was the same type that Billy Crystal used to do, but Hugh Jackman has a fantastic voice. The moving scenery really added to it. I was already a fan of Anne Hathaway, and if it weren’t for Kate Winslet, would have routed for her to win Best Actress, but her part as Nixon in the medley made me a fan for life.

2. Hugh Jackman was funny. Everyone was worried about having an Oscar host that wasn’t a comedian. Many of his jokes were much funnier than many past hosts (remember Letterman).

3. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the 5 past winners presenting the acting awards. But, I really did grow to like it. It was very touching and for the most part they paired up the actors very well, with the exception of Adrien Brody and Richard Jenkins.

4. Heath Ledger winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. It obviously wasn’t a surprise, but watching his family accept the award brought tears to my eyes.

5. Although there were no big surprises, all of my picks in the major categories won. That always helps make it a better show for me.

6. The speeches by Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black for Milk were my favorites of the night. I am also so glad that Sean Penn won. He was Harvey Milk in that movie, and I did not see Sean Penn once while watching. That is a great actor.

7. Queen Latifah singing the song “I’ll be seeing you” was a great addition to the “People we have lost” montage. She did an amazing job and should be asked back every year to sing. I read that the reason they added the song was to put an end to the clapping which results in an after death popularity contest. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

8. The kids from Slumdog Millionaire were adorable and their excitement added to the ceremony. And I include star Dev Patel in that category, as he is only 18.

9. The Pineapple Express bit with Seth Rogen and James Franco was not for everyone, but it was funny and it is important to include something for all ages.

10. Steve Martin and Tina Fey were great as usual.

11. I’m undecided on the Ben Stiller/Joaquin Phoenix bit. I loved it at the time, but that is because I am under the assumption that Phoenix is acting this way on purpose. If he is like this because of a drug problem, then this was in poor taste.

12. Moment that made me cringe – Jennifer Aniston on stage making jokes with Jack Black and they cut to Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie. Very bad taste.

13. Kate Winslet finally winning after being nominated six times. She is one of the best actresses working today.

14. Finally, Slumdog Millionaire winning Best Picture, Best Director for Danny Boyle and many other awards. It was not just a great movie, but it was different and it appeals to a huge range of ages.

What were your favorite moments? What did you think of the 2009 Academy Awards ceremony and Hugh Jackman as host?

Added: 10 Academy Awards Articles to Read to Prepare for Oscars 2011

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  1. Thank you SO much for this review–I was astounded to see a lot of negative critiques of Hugh Jackman’s performance. Thankfully a lot of folks seemed to like him, too–I thought he was funny, exciting, talented, and adorable. I can be a fan of darker humor, but it actually was a nice change to have an emcee that didn’t make the actors uncomfortable with any scathing humor. Hugh was funny without being offensive, and it made everyone relax and have a good time.

    I liked Queen Latifah singing–I had no idea that was the reason, but it was a good one. I think it cut down on the clapping somewhat, but it just seems like people can’t help themselves. The only thing I didn’t like was that you couldn’t always see the memorial video clearly.

    I didn’t even pick up on the Jennifer/Angelina thing until my husband pointed out the connection, and then I was stunned that they’d do something in such bad taste. Since when do the Oscars cater to tabloid interests? Gah.

    I agree with you that Adrien Brody with Richard Jenkins wasn’t the best match-up. The Cuba Gooding/Robert Downey Jr. was also a bit awkward.

    Anne Hathaway was hilarious in the opening number and she and Hugh were so great together. I loved it. This really was the best show in years!

  2. Val, I’m watching Oprah’s after Oscars special and she is definitely in agreement with us. She said it was the best Oscars she ever saw in her life.

  3. I really enjoyed it even though I didn’t see a lot of the movies nominated this year. I love Hugh too and think he did a great job. I thought Australia was amazing and the Baz number was great. I wrote a stream on conscience post on my blog last night as I was watching.

  4. he deserved the oscars… he was the best joker ever….

  5. The producers missed a great possibility when they failed to get Jackman’s shirt off all night!

  6. I love Hugh Jackman anyway…but I agree he did a great job. I thought too Jen and Jack Black were duds and the cut to Brad and Angie…tacky

  7. This was the first Oscar’s ever, that Craig (my husband) Cody (our 21 year old son) and myself, watched the entire program.
    And it was all because of Hugh Jackman …
    Craig and Cody are huge X-Men fans and loved him as Wolverine –
    They totally got a kick out of his opening performance, when he concluded the song singing, “I am wolverine.”
    We had a blast watching this program.
    And it’s weird, because we never all watch anything together … except rented movies.
    Anyway … it was really a fun night!

  8. Dawn, that’s great. The Academy Awards were always a big family event at my house when both my sons were still living at home. I miss that.

  9. This was a good show! The Tina & Steve bit were my favorite!

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