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Hanna and I watched the 81st Annual Academy Awards last night, from red carpet to closing montage. Why, we are not quite sure given that between the two of us we had seen exactly two out of the entire slate of nominees (Hanna saw Dark Knight and both of us had the great pleasure of seeing the spectacular Wall-E in the theater). A few others are on the list (eg. I would like to see Milk eventually, and we keep saying to each other, “we really should go see Slumdog Millionaire“) but student schedules and student budgets have conspired to put most of these on the Netflix list.

Still, the ceremony was a fun way to spend Sunday evening. Danny Boyle’s acceptence speech for Best Picture was eclipsed by the way he bounced onto the stage (“in the spirit of Tigger”), and Dustin Lance Black’s acceptence speech for Best Original Screenplay (Milk) was a beautiful, heartfelt piece of extemporaneous oratory — and I say this as someone who finds most speechifying, yes even Obama’s, stilted and dull.

Poor Hugh Jackman seems to have gotten scant mention for his turn as Oscar host, which I think is a shame given the exuberance with which he embraced the role. Perhaps it was just my own childhood ambition to be a broadway musical actress welling back up to the surface, but he seemed to me to be having such a brilliant time. So for this week’s Midweek post, I’m sharing the YouTube video of his opening monologue/song with cameo appearance by Anne Hathaway as Nixon (no, Hanna and I aren’t quite sure why either, but somehow it totally works).

And for the dedicated musical junkie (read: me), his later number with Beyonce, composed by Baz Luhrmann (yes, you could tell), was also thoroughly entertaining.

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