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The Oscars

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Jen Chaney
washingtonpost.,com Movies Editor
Sunday, February 25, 2007; 7:30 PM

Don't watch the Academy Awards alone. Spend Oscar night on washingtonpost.com.

For the fourth year, Jen Chaney-- washingtonpost.com's movies editor -- hosted a live discussion during the Oscar telecast, beginning Sunday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

2007 Academy Awards Package

Chaney dissected all of the hoopla, including the deserving (or not-so-deserving) winners, every moment of awkward award show banter and any fashion disasters that occur on the red carpet. No ray of "Little Miss Sunshine" will go unexamined. As always, snarky comments and brilliant insights from readers were welcome.

A transcript follows.

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Jen Chaney: Hello, everyone. Welcome to this year's Oscar chat. Before we get started, I must disclose the following: I had a baby less than three weeks ago. Consequently, I have spent the past two weeks immersed in diaper changing and breast pumping. If at any point during this chat I sound semi-incoherent, please keep that in mind. Although I guess I needn't apologize in advance since most of the people on E! sound semi-incoherent half the time.

Should be an interesting night, particularly with the Best Picture race so wide open. I'd love to hear your predictions, your take on the fashions and really anything Oscar-related you want to share. So let's get going.

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Arlington, Va.: Jen,

I don't get why "Who Killed The Electric Car?" wasn't even nominated for the Oscars in the documentary category? What happened? It was an excellent movie that was equally engaging, entertaining, and informative.

Jen Chaney: I can't say for sure; it wasn't even on the short list of documentaries being considered for a nomination. Maybe "An Inconvenient Truth" sucked up all the oxygen for docs related to environmental issues? Plenty of deserving docs don't get nominated for Oscars. With more of us watching docs these days, I think we're just more aware of the omissions than we used to be.

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Washington, D.C.: Will winning Best Actress finally free Helen Mirren from doing any more nude film roles? Hasn't she had trouble keeping her clothes on?

Jen Chaney: I wouldn't say she's had trouble. It's not like her clothes fell off of her by accident.

I actually say kudos to her. I bet she looks better at her age with no clothes on than I do right now.

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Crestlline, Calif.: Hi! I am at a location without a television, so I am depending on YOU to keep me posted. I was most looking forward to see what Al Gore said when (as I predict!) he wins the best documentary feature prize. I also like Ellen DeG. And good luck with your office pool!

Jen Chaney: You're depending on me? Oh boy, are you in trouble.

No, seriously, I'll do my best to keep you apprised of everything that's happening. Currently, Barbara Walters is interviewing Eddie Murphy on ABC and Joan Rivers is interviewing Alan Arkin on the TV Guide network.

Oh, and Maryland just beat North Carolina (hooray!). But perhaps that's better fodder for a sports chat.

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Ottawa, Ontario: Gonna do dresses too? Some doozies dragging along the carpet

Jen Chaney: But of course we're doing dresses. Bring on all that gown chatter, by all means.

I have seen some doozies. I just caught Nicole Kidman, who apparently slapped Charlize Theron's awful shoulder bow from last year's Oscars onto her dress this year. Not liking Jennifer Hudson's bolero jacket either.

Jodie Foster looks very nice, though.

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Vienna, Va.: I love that you're so up front with the pregnancy-induced semi-incoherence. And as someone who is recently out of that passage, the question is whether parenthood makes a difference in how you see the movies. Do you care more or less about something like "The Queen" vs. "The Departed"? I know I can't watch the blood and gore of the latter anymore! It's not what I'm going to do with two rare spare hours.

From Vienna, where sleeping through the night again is oh so wonderful!

Jen Chaney: It's only been a couple of weeks, so it's hard to say how it impacts my movie preferences. I doubt it will have an impact, though. I'm still looking forward to seeing "Zodiac" and "Grindhouse" and those definitely qualify as darker fare.

A Meryl Streep-related digression: Her outfit is awful, but I love the fact that she just doesn't care. And the fact that she fixed her bra strap on live television and just told Ryan Seacrest that she's a size 14. Bless that woman.

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Boston, Mass.: What on EARTH has Penelope Cruz got on her bottle half? It looks like a feather duster.

Jen Chaney: Yes, she's rocking a lot of feathers. I really like the top of that dress though, although I wish she had gone with a color rather than nude. She looks a little washed out on TV.

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Stumptown, Ore.: Jen,

First, congratulations on the recent arrival and thanks for taking the time to do this chat. So, anything interesting occur yet on the preview show?

And what is your pick for Best Picture? I'm leaning towards "The Departed" after having watched it for my second time last night! Besides Martin S. deserves one if not for this film alone then certainly for his contribution to the industry over the years.

Thanks!

Jen Chaney: Actually, the preview shows have been remarkably uninteresting. Even Joan Rivers's gaffes haven't been as high-larious as usual.

I am having a really hard time predicting Best Pic, but I ultimately marked my ballot for "The Departed." I must admit I would be psyched if "Little Miss Sunshine" won, but I'm not sure if enough of the Academy voters will deem it serious enough to merit a win.

My other predictions are the standard bets (Mirren, Whitaker, etc.) with the exception of Supporting Actor. I think Alan Arkin might steal it from Eddie Murphy.

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E?: Why aren't you watching Joan and Melissa on the TV Guide Channel? Way, way dumber stuff happens over there.

Jen Chaney: I'm doing a little something I call flipping channels. There's so much dumbness to go around that I like to consume as much stupidity as possible.

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Soda Springs, Calif.: The answer to "Who Killed the Electric Car" is easy. No one. It died a natural death. That is the reason the film also died.

Jen Chaney: Yes, but who killed its nomination?

We're 30 minutes away from Oscar time, and now the ABC pre-show is starting. Don't you love the smell of Oscar anticipation in the evening?

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Crestline, Calif.: Martin Scorsese is obviously a great director and he seems like a beautiful human being, but why did he think he should put people through the experience of "The Departed"? How is humanity uplifted or culture improved by that experience? It is a bit baffling. Also, he has great taste in and love for music, and I like the music that played during "The Departed," but it was almost like, while you were watching the movie, he was putting records on his turntable and saying, oh, listen to this one, it's really great. --ja

Jen Chaney: Does humanity have to be uplifted by a movie? Or does it have to be by a Best Picture winner?

I personally thought "The Departed" was well made and enormously entertaining, although I would agree that it's not what you usually think of as an Oscar movie. It's not a "Lord of the Rings" epic and it doesn't deal with any social issues a la "Crash." But I also think there's something to be said for movies that just plain entertain, and in an intelligent, well-crafted way.

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And the winner...:...for best dressed goes to Reese Witherspoon. I wish she had looked this beautiful when she won!

Jen Chaney: I so agree. Love that purple dress. I didn't think the dress she wore to the Oscars last year was particularly flattering.

Interesting, she's been en fuego on the red carpet ever since she got separated.

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Humboldt, Calif.: Hi Jen,

Hope you're enjoying the Oscar night and congrats on the new one. But more importantly how are you coping with the blizzard/snow emergency? Got all the essentials and an emergency generator just in case?

Jen Chaney: Um, I have no generator and the lights literally just flickered, so if this chat suddenly ends you'll know why.

I do have lots of water, soda and, oddly enough, carrot cake. So I'm covered as far as provisions go.

Speaking of the new one, he has been crying almost non-stop since I handed him to my husband 35 minutes ago. I owe him big.

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Chesapeake Beach, Md.: Isn't the documentary film category just an excuse for a Hollywood political statement?

Jen Chaney: Technically no. But it sometimes seems that way since political movies often win. I think the Academy members feel they should give the Oscar to something "important," not just with documentaries but in general.

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Boston, Mass.: Speaking of washed out, two words: Kirsten Dunst.

This girl needs to stop bleaching her bangs. She looks like a zombie.

Jen Chaney: I don't know if she looks washed-out, but I do not like that dress at all. There really are a lot of ugly gowns this year. What's up with that?

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Maryland: Don't know how many dresses you've seen yet, but I think Gwyneth Paltrow looks fabulous. Cameron Diaz, Cate Blanchett and Jessica Biel top my list of best-dressed so far. What do you think?

Jen Chaney: I haven't seen Blanchett yet, but she rarely missteps. I can't decide how I feel about Gwyneth's dress, but I don't like Cameron Diaz's very much. Jessica Biel has been rocking red carpets lately and she looks pretty top-notch again tonight.

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Austin, Tex.: Oh, Naomi Watts is definitely preggers. Pretty yellow dress.

Complete with baby bump.

Jen Chaney: Oh my God, I just had the same thought. I spotted a bump, too. Guess this means Mr. Schreiber is a baby-daddy.

Okay, I must retract my previous statement about Penelope Cruz. In HD, I can see that her dress is more of a rose color and she looks much less washed-out.

Cameron Diaz, on the other hand, looks exceedingly orange. Hello, Mystic Tan.

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I'm in PJ pants on my couch: First, congrats on the dedication to your job and the Oscars ... oh, and the baby!

To get to the glamour: Leo needs to cut back on the gel - ick. His hair looks sticky.

Jen Chaney: Agreed. That's a dippity don't. But he still looks pretty good.

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Red Carpet Guy: Who is the chubby gray-haired former MTVer doing the interviews? Don't care for him one bit. No ma'am I do not.

Jen Chaney: Chris Connelly often hosts these shows. I don't think he's so bad. That dude from Vogue is getting on my nerves, though.

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Baby Bump?: It's called a FUPA. Or "Front Butt". By your reasoning, Kate Winslet is also preggers.

Jen Chaney: Let's be clear: On a normal person, I would not think anything of Watts's bump. But she is so rail-thin that the tiny lump is noticeable. Also, rumors have been swirling that she is indeed pregnant, which lends credence to the bump theory.

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Silver Spring, Md.: I don't know that humanity was particularly uplifted by "Crash" last year.

I so hope Scorsese wins.

Jen Chaney: It wasn't? I thought the lives of everyone in America were changed by "Crash," as they have been by every movie that has ever won Best Picture. And that includes "Dances With Wolves."

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Durham, N.C.: How often are children nominated for an award? On a related note, I just sadly learned that Abigail Breslin wore a fat suit for her role...

Jen Chaney: Children get nominated every once in a while. Freddie Highmore got a nod a couple of years back for "Finding Neverland." Anna Paquin, Justin Henry and Tatum O'Neal also have been nominated, too.

I don't think Breslin will win, if only because Jennifer Hudson seems unstoppable. Please tell me you're joking about that fat suit...

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Logan Circle: Where are Pitt and Jolie?

Jen Chaney: Good question. Maybe they're skipping the carpet and going in through the back? Or maybe they're not coming, but I assumed they would because of "Babel."

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Silver Spring, Md.: UGH! Who is the "fashion" guy on ABC? He's so annoying, pretty poor at communicating, and seems more interested in kissing up to the "stars" than anything else. Where did they find this guy?

Jen Chaney: Amen. He's the guy from Vogue, whose name is escaping me at the moment.

When he's not sucking up, he sounds like he's reciting cue cards.

Ooh, ooh, it's starting soon.

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A better question is...: why is Lisa Ling wearing that 1980's dress on the red carpet?

Jen Chaney: Because she punched in the year 1988 when she got into her DeLorean, complete with flux capacitor?

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Jim in College Station: Tatum O'Neal was not only nominated, she won for Best Supporting Actress in "Paper Moon."

Jen Chaney: True. Anna Paquin also won for "The Piano."

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I read too many celeb mags: It's true that Abigail Breslin wore a fat suit and Jolie won't be there cause she's in Africa. So sad that I know this...

Jen Chaney: I feel sad that I somehow missed this information. I bust out my first get-out-of-jail-free-because-I-just-had-a-baby card.

The Oscars have begun and they're showing a montage of actors and filmmakers talking about movies and the Academy Awards.

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Arlington, Va.: When is Mark Wahlberg going to win Sexiest Man Alive? Because he's looking that way tonight. Ryan Gosling, too.

The ladies aren't doing quite as well. It looks like several are still suffering from the "nude color dress" virus. Would color really kill them?

I'd like to go on the record (again!) and say how much I adore Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro. Their interview was adorable.

Congrats on your baby! Yay!

Jen Chaney: I agree that Wahlberg looks good. And Ryan Gosling? Definitely sexy.

I think there was a little more color amongst the ladies tonight than there was at the bridal show that was the Golden Globes red carpet. But some definitely strange choices.

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Mike, Bethesda, Md.: Have any awards been handed out? I have a computer but no TV!

Jen Chaney: Not yet. All the nominees are standing up in the audience now and applauding themselves. So no, the official self-congratulations have yet to begin. This is just the warm-up.

Here comes Ellen DeGeneres, decked out in burgundy suit.

And ... Jack Nicholson is bald as a cucumber.

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Peter O'Toole looks like a vampire: I mean really. What happened to the color of his skin? Is he a corpse?

Jen Chaney: Actually, yes. Unbeknownst to many, he died after receiving his lifetime achievement award.

No, I kid. He's probably had some work done on his face. Also, dude has lived quite a life. You drink as much as he has, just watch what happens to your face.

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Washington, D.C.: Now that you've gone through childbirth, you are finally prepared to endure the pain of some acceptance speeches we'll probably hear tonight. Any word on how they are going to try to keep them short this year?

P.S. I'm starting the voting for cutest Hollywood couple by voting for Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes.

Jen Chaney: They're not. Let's be honest. They threaten everyone every year to keep it short and it never has much impact. I just hope Forest Whitaker has worked on his speech-making skills. He mumbled his way through the Globes and the SAGs.

Winslet and Sam Mendes are very cute.

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Chicago, Ill.: Is Ellen bombing or is this her normal act? I can't tell.

Jen Chaney: Don't know if she's bombing but she didn't start strong. She got some applause for her comment about Gore being voted for by the American public. And now she's getting a little better.

I enjoyed the strange look Steve Carell just gave the camera.

Uh-oh, Ellen is going to do a musical number ... with a gospel choir.

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London U.K: I'm unable to watch - but how is Ellen doing? I love her and really hope she does well tonight.

Jen Chaney: That gospel number turned out to be much ado about nothing. Ended before it began.

She was not great, but we have a long night ahead. I think she's better at improvising rather than doing stand-up monologues.

We're on to the first award: Best Art Direction, as presented by Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.

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NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!: Nicole why did you do it? WHY did you put that bow on your shoulder?

Jen Chaney: Oh, such a good question. Sans bow, she looks great.

"Pan's Labyrinth" just won for art direction. Yes! That's what I had on my ballot.

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Weak opening monologue: When the only BIG laugh/ovation a line gets is an -easy- political jab then you're not doing so hot.

Jen Chaney: Not a great monologue, I agree. But also not Ellen's strong suit, in my opinion.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is on stage recapping science and tech awards. This is not a great way to start the show. Usually they jump right in with supporting actor awards. Clearly, they want people to change the channel.

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Washington, D.C.: You know, this past year I rediscovered Leonardo DiCaprio. I have a lot of respect for the choices he has made in his career.

Whoah! Gospel choir parading into the audience. I think this is going to be a very different Oscars.

Jen Chaney: I think DiCaprio is a great actor. After "Titanic" people forgot that, but he has more than proven himself, especially this year.

We're on to a commercial break. It's 8:50 p.m. Number of awards handed out: One. Oy. It's going to be a long night.

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How can I be a seat-filler?: Is that just a job for up and coming starlets or can any old Jane with the right connex do it?

Jen Chaney: I think anyone can do it. Look on the Academy Web site in advance of next year's Oscars. I bet there's a way to apply.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: I love the shadow acrobats, but I hate Ellen's shoes! Plus, her pants look like a tracksuit. But I covet the jacket...

Jen Chaney: I thought she looked pretty good, actually. The shoes are a little shiny, but the burgundy color is flattering on her.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, Juan Epstein. No wait, that's Will Ferrell doing a musical number with Jack Black.

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Naomi Watts: Okay, yeah, looking at her photo on E! and yes, there's more than a "bump" there. That girl is preggers!

Jen Chaney: Thanks for resolving the baby bump vs. front butt debate.

Now John C. Reilly is involved in the number, about comics not getting Oscar recognition. This is actually pretty funny.

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Bel Air, Md.: Is it me or did some others also think that the montage shots at the beginning were just a waste of time? Ellen's monologue was borderline passable; the one crack on Jennifer Hudson and Al Gore was good.

Jen Chaney: The montage theoretically could have been cut for time. It was semi-entertaining but certainly not necessary. But that's so true of so much of the Oscars.

"Pan's Labyrinth" just won for Best Make-up, and they played the winners off the stage after about 30 seconds.

Here comes the cute kid factor: Abigail Breslin and Jayden Pinkett-Smith

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Arlington, Va.: So, is that Will Ferrell's real hair, or just a wig? It's very, ummmmm... retro.

Jen Chaney: I believe it is his real hair. I believe he's grown it out for a movie. At least I hope that's his excuse.

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Seat Filler: I'm a seat filler at the Commerce Dept. Pretty easy gig to get, actually.

Jen Chaney: Ba-dum-bump. Everyone's a comedian tonight.

For those keeping score at home, "The Danish Poet" just won for Best Animated Short. And Jayden Smith just botched one of his lines. But he did it so cutely.

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Orchestra Playoff: Yes! They'd played off the makeup dude. Awesome. I love when that happens.

Jen Chaney: They only do it to these poor people who never get a millisecond in the spotlight, though. It always makes my heart hurt a little.

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Fairfax, VA: Those kids are sooo cute!

Jen Chaney: See? The cuteness factor wins people over every time.

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No such luck: A Google search turned this up info up: The Oscar folks use ABC employees and Academy people as seat-fillers.

Jen Chaney: Really? I swore that some regular folks got to be seat fillers. Maybe I'm thinking of another awards show.

Clearly, there's only one answer then: Get a job at ABC or the Academy.

Another award given: "West Bank Story" just won for Live Action Short Film.

Okay, can we get to supporting actor and actress now?

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Philadelphia, Penn.: A few times during nomination clips, unrelated text has flashed at the top or bottom of the screen. "Frodo," "It's alive," and a few we've not been able to read.

Does anyone know what these are about?

Thanks for any answers.

Jen Chaney: I believe it's all related to a subplot on "Lost." Hurley's numbers will flash later in the telecast.

Actually, I think those are quotes from movies, which have been part of the Academy's ad campaign this year.

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Chesapeake Beach, Md.: What happened to the best supporting actor/actress being first award announced?

Jen Chaney: I asked the same thing earlier. They obviously decided to go in a new direction this year. To which I say: Go back.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Hi Jen! I'm so glad you're doing this chat, my husband refuses to participate in the Oscar/clothing gossip. I'm wondering why so many people in the audience are chewing gum. Are they smokers biding time til the next cigarette break?

Jen Chaney: Well, your husband is just no fun at all, is he?

Perhaps the gum-chewing is all Nicorette. Or it could be nerves. At the Globes, there's champagne on the tables for anxious people to sip. At the more proper Oscars, the best you can do is Bubble Yum, unless you want to step outside to the bar.

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Dwarves: has a dwarf ever won an Oscar?

Jen Chaney: First of all, the appropriate term is little person.

Now, to answer your question: No, Tom Cruise has never won an Oscar.

Oh, that was too mean. As a person who barely surpasses five feet, I have no right to bust on anyone's height.

Now we're watching a salute to sound effects. Just a reminder: It's 9:15 and the number of awards presented: four.

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No Spotlight for Makeup Dude: OK, now I feel like an ass. I'm sorry he got played off. Thanks for putting it in perspective.

Jen Chaney: Oh, don't feel like an ass. I welcome snarkiness in all its forms.

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Arlington, Va.: Thank goodness Jennifer Hudson took off that collar thing! Dress is much better without it.

Jen Chaney: Agreed. We're on to sound editing. Really, they're trying to bore everyone away from this show. And they may be succeeding.

I find sound editing interesting, but it's not exactly a money category.

P.S. "Letters From Iwo Jima" just won in this category.

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The sound effects choir?: Okay, so now I have to stay up for an extra five minutes to see the end of this show for that????

Jen Chaney: Yeah. Try using that as an excuse when your boss asks why you're so freaking tired tomorrow.

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Hello?: The Apple iPhone ad was great.

Jen Chaney: I think I had run upstairs to check on crying baby, so I missed it. I'll take your word.

Jessica Biel and James McAvoy are presenting sound editing. I hope that poor Kevin O'Connell wins -- 19 nods and no win? That has to hurt a little.

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Juan Epstein?!: Outstanding semi-obscure 70's TV reference! Clearly, sleep deprivation caused by breastfeeding hasn't taken away your skills. So, do we know why Jack Nicholson is bald?

Jen Chaney: If I never sleep again, I will still be able to pull a "Welcome Back, Kotter" reference. That is my promise to you.

Oh, "Dreamgirls" just won for sound mix. So Mr. Connelly is now 0 for 19.

As for Nicholson, I should know why he is bald but I don't. Again, I assume it's for a movie. If Will Ferrell could find it in his heart to loan just half of his mane to Jack, they both might look normal.

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Is there another D.C. chance to see the shorts?: It's a shame we don't get to see these. And I don't see them on the Web either.

Jen Chaney: As I'm sure you know, they showed them at the National Archives and at E Street over the weekend. Don't know if they'll be screened again, but they may be on DVD eventually. If memory serves, I think the shorts have been released on DVD in the past.

Oh, now we're on to Supporting Actor -- finally!!

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Prediction: They're gonna play off the two sound editors.

Jen Chaney: You were almost right. It was the sound mixers. But kudos nonetheless.

Eddie Murphy looks very nervous right now.

Alan Arkin won. I knew it!!!

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Boringville, ZZ: What a slow start to the show! The supporting awards are traditionally first, and that amps up the excitement. Seriously, they need to change that back. Oh, and yay, Alan Arkin!

Jen Chaney: I agree, yay to Alan Arkin. But not a very good speech. He read the whole thing and I hate it when people do that. He also seemed oddly unsurprised. Maybe he's in shock.

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Falls Church, Va.: Hey! I liked the sound effects choir! That must have been crazy to arrange.

Who are the God-like voices after each winner is announced? Do they have a script for every possible outcome?

PS LOVE Rachel Weisz dress... but that hair and makeup makes her look like a walking corpse.

Jen Chaney: I think the God-like voices are the announcers they showed earlier, including the guy who does all the voice-overs in movie trailers. (Perhaps you've seen him in those Geico commericals.)

And my bet is they do have a script for every outcome since they probably prepare a lot of this before the winners have been tallied.

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Tracey Edmonds is gorgeous!: But Eddie didn't win! This was his one chance at an Oscar. How sad.

Jen Chaney: It doesn't have to be his one chance. If he chooses more challenging roles, he could be nominated again.

"Norbit," however, isn't going to make that happen.

I think Eddie is very talented, but I don't think he's widely liked. And I think Alan Arkin's three nods with no win -- coupled with the older leanings of the Academy members -- turned things to his favor.

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My take on it: I think Eddie Murphy may have been partially relieved that he didn't have to get into the spotlight.

Jen Chaney: Maybe so. But I think he has an ego, and after all those people saying he would win, he probably wanted it. I mean, wouldn't you want it?

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Alan Arkin: I also saw Alan Arkin on the E! preview show and he seemed oddly anti-social and more than a wee bit mellow, which definitely carried over into his acceptance speech. So strange.

Jen Chaney: Maybe he just didn't think much of the whole thing, having been nominated without winning before. I would have liked to see him show a little more excitement, though. He did choke up for a second when he mentioned his sons, not that we could see it when the camera kept cutting away.

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College Station, Tex.: An upset! Is that Alan Arkin's first Oscar?

Jen Chaney: It was indeed Mr. Arkin's first Oscar and his third nomination.

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Couch Potato: OK, we're about an hour in. I'm glad Arkin won, and the Scorsese bit was cute, but this has got to be the most boring Oscars EVER.

Jen Chaney: It is fairly dull. And just when you thought it couldn't get duller, they bring out James Taylor.

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Greenbelt, Md.: Alan Arkin didn't seem surprised. Do you think they know in advance who won?

By the way, the lady Terps beat BC today too. Go Terps!

Jen Chaney: I may be naive, but I don't think they do know in advance who won. I think the Academy tries really hard to keep everything tightly under wraps.

I didn't realize the lady Terps won today, too. Excellent!

Now Melissa Etheridge is singing the song from "An Inconvenient Truth." Which means the three nominated "Dreamgirls" songs are next up onstage.

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New York, N.Y.: Do you think Mark Wahlberg or the guy from "Blood Diamond" got robbed for Best Supporting Actor?

Jen Chaney: Not really. I think both of them will be nominated again in the not too distant future.

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Is it me:: Or does Etheridge look just like Hillary Clinton?

Jen Chaney: Now you're just seeing things.

Although that guy standing next to Leo DiCaprio looks a lot like Al Gore...

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Bethesda, Md.: Alan Arkin was on stage only a few minutes in "Little Miss Sunshine"! As one of the admittedly few people who did not like this movie, I hope it does not bode well for its other prospects.

Jen Chaney: Judi Dench was only in "Shakespeare in Love" for five minutes, but she won an Oscar. I thought Arkin's role was really memorable and beautifully handled. I'm curious to know why you didn't like the movie, though. Did you find it too cute?

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Haddonfield, N.J.: Weird that funniest moment so far provided by Al Gore.

Jen Chaney: Indeed. Although it was obvious he wasn't going to announce a bid for the presidency. The man's not stupid enough to go through that again.

I did see Jerry Seinfeld in the audience, though. Perhaps another Oscar host possibility?

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Washington, D.C.: Al, seriously. Easy on the doughnuts, dude.

Jen Chaney: You said it. I didn't.

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Virginia: Wow - so boring. SOO boring. Thank god there is a MASH episode on... I keep flipping back and forth and oh holy....I am being lectured to on the environment? Aye-aye-aye...

Jen Chaney: Hey, this is a green show. You're not allowed to complain about it or you'll be taken to a recycling plant.

Hey, another upset: "Happy Feet" just won for Best Animated Feature. Fully expected Pixar to win as usual.

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Dreamgirls: I love the "Dreamgirls" cast, but after seeing, once again, all the clips from the other movies, "Dreamgirls" seems kind of blah --like a bunch of professional singers pretending to be professional singers. BTW, Arkin was HORRIBLY rude to Seacrest on the red carpet. Very uncomfortable.

Jen Chaney: I missed Arkin with Seacrest. What did he do?

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Writing a Thesis on Oscar Night is No Fun!: Sneaking in to get an update! What's the update on everyone's favorite global warming crusader? Donuts and all....

Jen Chaney: You'll miss the days of thesis-writing someday. Trust me.

The update: Gore is still not running for president. "An Inconvenient Truth" has not yet won for Best Doc. And now we're watching a montage of clips that salute writers.

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From Mad Max to dancing penguins?: Do you realize that the guy who made the Road Warriors movies just won the Oscar for animated films? No way...

Jen Chaney: Oh, way.

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SIlver Spring, Md.: Random question: are Guillermo and Benicio del Toro related? I haven't been able to find an answer anywhere.

Jen Chaney: No, they are not related. Unless I've been grossly misinformed.

We're on to the Best Adapted Screenplay category, presented by Tom Hanks and Helen Mirren, who looks fabulous.

I love that they are showing clips of "Borat" while Mirren reads an excerpt from the script. It adds the film a certain gravitas.

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Indianapolis Ind.: Cameron Diaz is getting a little too long in the tooth to be playing the coy card. Go ahead, girl, give sophisticated a shot, you might like it.

Jen Chaney: Dang.

I think she needs to brush her hair at the very least.

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Jack Nicholson..:...is channeling King Vidor?

Jen Chaney: Or Yul Brynner.

"The Departed" just won for adapted screenplay. Let's see how fast they play off William Monahan.

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Brighton, Mass.: Just a random thought, but Tom Hanks has aged REALLY well. Wow.

Jen Chaney: He has, but not as well as Sting. I realize Sting is not at the Oscars, but every time I see him I am stunned by how young he still looks.

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Washington, D.C.: First, we have the most boring Super Bowl ever. And now this. 2007 is not off to a strong start

Jen Chaney: I actually did not think the Super Bowl was boring this year. The bad weather, all the fumbles and the fantastic performance by Prince made it more interesting than usual for me. I'm not being sarcastic either.

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Utah: Yikes! I have a thesis to write, but instead I'm watching the

Oscars and playing Tetris. Am I a horrible student?!?!?

Jen Chaney: You're three hours behind us, right? No, you're a fine student.

Come midnight, if you haven't started the thesis and are still playing Tetris, then you're officially a burn-out.

I love that Am Ex commercial with Wes Anderson. I had only seen that online; nice to see it on TV in its entirety.

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Coy Cam: Here here. She needs to grow up a bit. In her movie choices

and her fashion choices. Oh and her boyfriend choices. And

her...

Jen Chaney: That's one opinion on Cameron. And here comes another...

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Still loves Cameron: Poor Cameron, getting picked on like that. She is just going through a rough age for her personality. When she is 45, she is going to be awesome and untouchable again just the way she is.

Don't lose yourself, Cameron! Gnothi seauton!

Jen Chaney: Not judging Cameron, just passing it on.

We're in the best costume category. I have "Marie Antoinette" as my winner. God, I hope I get it. I hope I get it!

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Bethesda, again:"Little Miss Sunshine": I definitely didn't think it was overly cute! I thought the send-up of little girl beauty pageants was fine, but there was no chemistry at all among the cast, none of whom I found even remotely appealing. I expected more from Toni Collette, whom I love, Greg Kinnear, and the rest. Maybe my expectation going in were way too high, but I was pretty disappointed.

Jen Chaney: Interesting, I thought the cast made the movie. I wonder if you had heard so many great things that by the time you saw it, your expectations were, as you said, too high. That's happened to me on more than one occasion.

And "Marie Antoinette" was indeed the winner.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you think that "Norbit" torpedoed Eddie Murphy's chance to win an Oscar?

Jen Chaney: I don't think "Norbit" alone killed his chances. But I don't think it helped.

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College Station, Tex: We need a streaker.

Jen Chaney: Or we need Michael Moore to make a speech that causes people to boo.

Hey, here comes Tom Cruise, presenting the humanitarian award to Sherry Lansing. Ironic, since she was chair of Paramount, the studio that ousted Mr. Cruise.

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D.C. : Tom Cruise actually looks pretty good! Yuck.

Jen Chaney: Whatever you may think of the man, he's another who has aged incredibly well. At least in terms of looks.

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South Boston, Mass: Little Miss Sunshine was poorly directed, too slow, boring, I fell asleep! But what do I know, I am from the Bronx!

Jen Chaney: A sudden backlash against "Little Miss Sunshine"! Am I alone in this chat as a "Sunshine" lover?

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Biggest question of the night--: Will the "In Memoriam" list include Anna Nichole Smith?

Jen Chaney: I'm going to say no.

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Snowy, Washington, D.C.: I just did something I have not done in 10 years. I changed the channel on the Oscars. Ellen is not funny, the lack of meaningful awards being given, and the inane commentary (a horse race?), even snarking about what the women are wearing could not get me to continue to watch.

Jen Chaney: But you're still chatting with us, right? I feel honored.

Okay, I don't like Gwyneth's dress. There, I said it and I feel better.

The bit Ellen just did in the audience, taking her picture with Clint Eastwood? That was funny. That's what she's good at. It also helps when the audience members are willing to play along, as Clint and Steven Spielberg gamely did.

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North Boston Massachusetts: I loved Miss Sunshine. It was the best movie I have ever seen. Of course, I only had my sight for one day last year. I have been blind all my life and it was the only movie I have ever seen.

Jen Chaney: Geez, you all are ruthless. You don't have to like the movie, but it wasn't that bad.

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You're not alone: I loved Little Miss Sunshine and would like nothing more than for it to win Best Picture!

Jen Chaney: Phew. I feel partially validated.

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Clarksville, Md.: What are the chances for Babel? I thought it was really well made.

Jen Chaney: I also thought it was better than some have given it credit for. I think it has a good chance of winning Best Picture. To me, that's between "Departed," "Babel" and "Sunshine" and could really go any way. I marked "The Departed," but very nearly went with "Babel."

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Reston, Va.: I am one of those people who always liked Tom Cruise. I always thought he had a certain charisma. I was sad and indifferent when he unraveled so infamously over the last couple of years. Am I the only one glad to see him at the Oscars today? Oh BTW, he was robbed of an Oscar for his performance in "Magnolia."

Jen Chaney: I think Cruise has great onscreen charisma. But I find his behavior during the past couple of years extremely bizarre.

But I know what you're saying because I still harbor a little affection for him, too. Maybe it's because I saw "Top Gun" at an impressionable age.

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Fairfax County, Va.: Okay, I'm getting ticked off at Cox Cable. The HD on

Channel 707 keeps clicking off and I really notice the lousier

sound & picture.

Jen Chaney: The same thing was happening to me and I have Comcast. If they take my HD away, I have no reason to go on. I need to be able to see all of this boring show in full, vivid, colorful detail.

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D.C.: I don't like Gwyneth's dress either. Nor the hair on one side look. Though she did rock the pronunciation of Guillermo Navarro's name.

Jen Chaney: Yes, "Pan's Labyrinth" -- which won for cinematography, the award Paltrow presented -- is cleaning up.

"Pirates of the Caribbean" just won for visual effects. Now they can call that movie an Oscar winner, which just seems wrong to me. The effects were good, though.

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R.I.: You are not alone, I LOVED "Little Miss Sunshine." What I did not love was Kirsten Dunst's dress. Felony assault on my eyes.

Jen Chaney: Felony assault on my eyes: Nice.

The visual effects guys? About to get played off any minute. You pause for two seconds, that orchestra slams you.

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Washington, D.C.: I initially felt bad for Eddie Murphy not winning. He is a pretty great actor, and I honestly thought he should have been more recognized for his extensive character work in "Coming to America" and "The Nutty Professor." But thinking about how he crudely insinuated that he may not be the father of Scary Spice's baby, I'm okay with him getting taken down a notch.

Jen Chaney: You forgot to mention his nuanced performance in "The Adventures of Pluto Nash." Shame on you.

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Philadelphia, Penn.: This is really not very entertaining. And I say this as a pg woman going on six weeks of bed rest, I've been entertained watching dust bunnies.

Just saw Naomi Watts presenting and now I'm not sure about the pg hypothesis. But I do think that yellow was not the right color for her. And Robert Downey Jr, who is a good-looking guy, was looking a bit mad scientist there.

Jen Chaney: When you can't entertain someone on bed rest, who can you entertain? Sorry you've been cooped up for so long, by the way. Hang in there, and best of luck with the baby. (Mine finally started crying. I think all the wins for "Pan's Labyrinth" cheered him up.)

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Washington D.C.: Ms. Chaney, are you related to the Vice President?

Jen Chaney: Nope. Different spelling. I am amazed how often I am asked this question.

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Flicker: There have been flickers without HD too, including earlier in the day also on channel 7. Maybe the weather is having some effect.

Jen Chaney: Perhaps so. I shouldn't complain. At least we still have power (cue lights shutting off....)

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Clarksville again: I've seen almost every Tom Cruise movie and he has a great screen presence but anyone who is that into Scientology and disregards Brooke Shields' postpartum depression should be ridiculed and exposed for the buffoon he is.

Jen Chaney: No argument here.

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Owen: God, he's so steamy. He's eyes kill me.

Jen Chaney: Yes, he and Cate Blanchett make quite a stunning couple of presenters, don't they?

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Baltimore, Md.: OMG, this is so boring. Time to break out the martinis! want one?

Jen Chaney: I would like one, actually. Can you pour it to me through my cable hook-up?

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how tiny is Cate Blanchett....: I love her but please someone get her a sandwich (er after she's changed into something that will allow her to eat obviously)

Jen Chaney: She is quite thin, no question.

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Carbondale Colo.: I'm about to join the naysayers after this long boring montage of film clips on a topic I missed - Go do your thesis and I'll go write my brief, and give the baby a burp! Who cares about Tinseltown?

Jen Chaney: Oh, now you're just being lazy. Or gaining perspective, one of the two.

Did I just watch a shadow puppet tribute to "Snakes on a Plane"? Perhaps I was hallucinating.

Yum, here's George Clooney and that means, Best Supporting Actress.

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Re: Tom Cruise: My issue with his acting is that he always sounds the same. Will Smith has the same issue. I guess I feel that the best actors can at least pull of dialects.

Jen Chaney: In some roles, Cruise has been great. In others, he's clearly coasting along and doing his Tom Cruise thing.

I would definitely agree that there are more versatile actors out there.

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Clarksville, Md.: Stop your whining at least you have TV because of the snow I have no signal from Direct TV and have to read this for my info and enjoyment.

Jen Chaney: You're absolutely right. So sorry about your signal.

And Jennifer Hudson is now an Oscar winner. And, as expected, she's bawling.

Okay, who's running the camera tonight? They cut away when Hudson gets up to hug Beyonce? Come on, people.

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Rockville, Md.: Glad the Academy didn't let the fact that Jennifer Hudson can't act stand in their way.

Jen Chaney: Dang. I actually thought she was really great in "Dreamgirls." It will be interesting to see what comes of her career now, or if that was just a blip.

I appreciated her emotion if only because this awards show is in dire need of some sense that someone cares about something. Besides the environment, that is.

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Aging best: Clooney. Hand's down.

Jen Chaney: That goes without saying. He gets more handsome the grayer he gets.

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Ann Arbor, Mich.: OK - I'm switching to the Weather Channel - that's how boring this telecast is!

Jen Chaney: Well, do you think the Weather Channel has shadow puppet salutes to "Snakes on a Plane"? Because if you do, you're in for a rude awakening, my friend.

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Clarksville: You've got admit that Tom Cruise is best when he is running rapidly on screen. He looks almost 5' 10".

Jen Chaney: He is a fast runner.

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Wesleyville, Pa.: Is there any male out there who enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine as an Oscar winner?

Jen Chaney: I don't know, let's find out. Anyone?

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Washington, D.C.: I'm finding this chat vastly more entertaining that the show, and this is the first time in years that I've actually seen most of the nominated films. They're managing to suck all the entertainment out of the room.

Jen Chaney: I don't know if that's a compliment for the chat or a reflection of how slow this year's show is. But I'll take it.

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Bozeman, Mont.: Just saw a pic of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony on the red carpet--he looks like a heroin addict. What's up with that?

Jen Chaney: He always looks dangerously thin to me, I don't know why.

I didn't care for J. Lo's dress this time, either. She looked like she was trying to look girlish and didn't pull it off.

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Best Documentary presenters: Who is that woman? I thought Yvonne DeCarlo as (Lily Munster) died?

Jen Chaney: I was going to make a Corpse Bride reference, but Lily Munster works, too. That's Eva Green, she was in "Casino Royale."

Jerry Seinfeld is presenting Best Doc, but he's actually doing stand-up. And it's funnier than Ellen's opening monologue.

Get ready for the "Inconvenient Truth" win.

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Virginia: How rude of someone to say that about Jennifer Hudson. Her story is amazing and her performance in that movie was unbelievable.

And as for this awards show. If you see every single movie in all categories, it might not be that boring to you.

Jen Chaney: People are entitled to their opinion. But I agree with you, that her performance was certainly deserving.

I've seen a majority of these films and I love awards shows, and I am a little bored.

"An Inconvenient Truth" just won. Al Gore has now become a deity. Let's see if they play off Gore; no, he was concise and articulate, so no need.

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Males and Little Miss Sunshine: My boyfriend's verdict: eh.

Jen Chaney: And there you have it. The boys give it an "eh."

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Philly: Ok..Jerry Seinfeld funniest tonight...and interesting focusing on Hilary (oops, Melissa Etheridge) while Gore is speaking.

Jen Chaney: Well, Melissa Etheridge did sing the song from his movie. Not sure if there's some conspiracy there.

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Youth wants to know: Who was the audience member who was looking so orgasmic when Gore was on the stage?

Jen Chaney: Which one? Seemed like a lot of them were.

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Anonymous: Gore wins - what a shocker. My Husband loved Little Miss Sunshine. And you're right about Jennifer Lopez's dress

Jen Chaney: A male vote for "LMS." Excellent. My husband liked it too, for the record.

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Just curious in Fairfax, Va.: Do you know what happens when a group of people win an award? Do they each get an Oscar statue, or is there only one and they have to figure out who gets to keep it?

Jen Chaney: Yes, each of them gets one, as I understand it. I don't know if Gore will get one, though, if that's what prompted your question. He technically isn't the official nominee for Best Doc, I believe director Davis Guggenheim is.

Now we're watching a salute to Ennio Morricone, recipient of the lifetime achievement award. I might have to take a break for carrot cake sometime soon...

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Hampton, Va: Do you think Forest Whitaker got nervous when Alan Arkin won? I thought Eddie was a lock--lately I've heard that Peter O'Toole might get the sentimental vote and sneak a victory. Your thoughts?

Yikes! It's Celine Dion!

Jen Chaney: Yikes. That's the same word I just used.

I think it's very possible O'Toole could win. I don't think he will, but it's certainly not out of the realm. Would be curious to hear his speech, that's for sure.

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Baltimore, Md.: Celine 'Freakin' Dion! Are they trying to drive everyone to the Weather Channel? Someone shoot me.

Jen Chaney: Apparently they've already driven at least one of our readers to the Weather Channel. I cannot believe it's already 11. If they don't wrap this up around 12, my reserve of breast milk is going to disappear and my husband might very well divorce me.

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Paris, France: Hi,

I thought Penelope looked like a wedding cake, though lovely. I'm in France, with no video at all, only sideshows and this... FWIW, I'm a man, like "Little Miss S" which was intelligent, unpresuming, charming and most nicely about something. Sure it's obvious? Sure it's sweet. Is that a crime? You'd all love it if it was less successful and cite it as an example of how Hollywood's moved away from what people want. It's high quality audience-pleasing stuff. And Alan Arkin made it, for me.

Jen Chaney: Thanks for joining us from Paris. Shouldn't you be out staring at the lights of your beautiful city? I'm sure this chat is just as lovely, right?

Interesting points about "Sunshine." The fact that it became so popular probably contributed to a bit of backlash.

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The thesis isn't going so well!: because this chat is so entertaining (and sounds a heck of a lot more fun than actually watching). And Al Gore as deity ... well, that about all one can ask for after the little debacle that was 2000, right?

Jen Chaney: If living well is the best revenge, Al Gore certainly got his. His life could not be better right now, it seems.

Eastwood is now trying to translate Morricone's Italian. Morricone might be the only guy in the place with thicker glasses than Scorsese.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you think Clint Eastwood is actually translating, or just making something good up?

Jen Chaney: Clint's a Renaissance man, but I assume this is scripted so Clint knows what to say. Morricone could be mixing it up and calling everyone in the Academy a bunch of bastards for taking so long to give him an Oscar. We would never know.

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Haddonfield, N.J.: I kind of hope O'Toole wins, its probably his last chance.

Jen Chaney: It is ridiculous that he's never won before. Not counting the lifetime achievement, that is.

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Sinkhole, Fla.: So how was the carrot cake?

Jen Chaney: I still haven't had any yet. I can't break away from the chat!

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Brightwood NW, D.C.: re: Jennifer Hudson and Dreamgirls

Really entertaining. Amazing debut performance. But none of it Oscar- worthy.

I watch AI regularly - when you make it to the top 12, that alone is proof you are talented. You almost don't have to win. Just choose your representation carefully as soon as your are voted off - or maybe as soon as you are one of the top 12.

The movie was good holiday entertainment. Hudson, didn't just sing that song - she acted every bit of the emotion.

But a good story should not automatically translate into winner and celebrated icon. Need an example of a great story with a "eh" product? Cake Love.

So praise Hudson for talent and praise the powers that be for taking a chance on an unknown kid - but I bet 15 years from now this Oscar win will be right up there with Marissa Tomei's win.

Jen Chaney: To your last point, that's what I meant when I said we'll have to see what happens with her career going forward. If she takes on some other challenging roles, then it will say she's a real talent. If not, then like I said before, Oscar = blip.

Who did you want to win in that category, out of curiosity?

"Babel" just won for original score. Got that one right, though I haven't been so on in some of these lesser categories.

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Sisters, Ore.: Who actually votes on the Academy awards?

Jen Chaney: The members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In other words, the people who work in the movie industry.

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Valley Center, Calif.: It's 8:06 here and we are just as bored as the East Coast. I think it's time to do the lesson plans. I agree that Melissa looks like Hillary, Al is getting chunky, Ellen is boring but likable, and this is the worst Oscars in years. It used to be fun and exciting!

Jen Chaney: That's a great summary. Does that mean the show is over?

Nope, here come Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire. There's your answer to why Dunst is at the Oscars, which someone mentioned: To subtly promote "Spider-Man 3."

They are presenting original screenplay. My money's on "Little Miss Sunshine."

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Leesburg, Va.: How come the commercials are better during the Oscars than most were during the Super Bowl? I feel like I'm gonna miss a good one if I get up and go do something.

PS: I think Ellen is doing great.

Jen Chaney: It's true, the Super Bowl ads were horrible.

I think Ellen is doing the best she can. The show is badly paced and not well-written this year, which is not her fault. But her opening should have been stronger.

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Washington, D.C.: Why so much hate for LMS? I thought it was great and I have TONS of hair on my chest. Certainly better than the completely underwhelming Babel. The Departed should, however, take home the gold.

Jen Chaney: That's my prediction, too. Perhaps we'll find out if we're right before the Memorial Day weekend.

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Washington, D.C.: It's so nice to hear Hugh Jackman speak with his Aussie accent. I'm trying to think if I've ever seen any recent films where he has gotten to use it.

Jen Chaney: He hasn't lately. In both "The Prestige" and "The Fountain" he came from other places.

And "Sunshine" just won for its screenplay.

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Carbondale, Colo.: My son, and the men's snowboard team out here, all made me watch little miss sunshine, and all have bought it. The starting the van scenes by running were my favorite - other than grandpa's in the trunk of my daddy's car. Thanks! Glad the baby's sleeping - it's a blessing.

Jen Chaney: An entire snowboarding team loved it? Wow.

The baby is now crying again, so that little reprieve is over. My husband is so filing for divorce. Or suing the Academy for the emotional distress caused by the fact that this show is dragging on for so long.

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College Park, Md.: Since LMS just won for screenplay, does that mean it's Best Picture chances are gone?

Jen Chaney: Not necessarily. It could signal a sweep of several big awards.

Or, coupled with Arkin's win, it could mean that it will not win Best Pic. In short, I have no idea.

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Arlington, Va.: I am seriously incensed that whoever wrote the announcement said The Departed was adapted from a JAPANESE movie Infernal Affairs. NOOOO! Infernal Affairs was the all time box office champ of HONG KONG! Just further solidifying the impression that Americans, including Hollywood, are so clueless about "all you Asians".

Jen Chaney: Your irritation has now been duly noted.

Now, J. Lo is introducing the "Dreamgirls" number, which means the award for Best Original Song cannot be far behind.

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Silver Spring, Md.:"Please welcome a screen star, a recording star, and a good excuse for High Definition... Jennifer Lopez".

Huh? Ewww.

Jen Chaney: Yes, that was odd. Many of the intros have been. My favorite: Mentioning that Penelope Cruz was in "Volver" and then referring to Hugh Jackman as "Volverine."

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Snowy, D.C.: So, I tuned back in just in time to see Jennifer Lopez introduce the Dream Girls. Whatever the Scientology fertility treatments are, they are making her look bloated.

Jen Chaney: I think it's just the dress.

Or perhaps it's the high definition.

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Silver Spring, Md.: I know this is more a TV question, but what do you think Jennifer Hudson's win mean for Idol and Simon?

Jen Chaney: I don't think it means anything, really. I can't stand "American Idol," though, so I tend to think that most issues related to it are meaningless.

Wow -- Anika Noni Rose's dress in this "Dreamgirls" number is a stunner.

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Silver Spring: Why is everyone complaining that the show is boring? It's AN AWARDS PRESENTATION!!!! What do they expect? Girl on Girl kissing????

Jen Chaney: Well, the MTV Video Music Awards often delivers that.

I know it's an awards show, but this is a more lackluster one than usual.

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San Diego, Calif.: But will ABC end up getting fined when Jennifer Hudson has a wardrobe malfunction?

Jen Chaney: Nope, she kept her friends in their place. So we're all good.

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Huh? in silver spring: Why isn't Eddie Murphy singing Patience? Didn't he sing it in the movie?

Jen Chaney: Just wondering the same thing. Guess he didn't want to perform.

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Houston, again: I answered my own question.... IMDB reports that Jack is filming "The Bucket List" with Morgan Freeman. Here's the synopsis: Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

Jen Chaney: Ah, thanks for the clarification.

Holy Moses, Melissa Etheridge just won for Best Original Song. With three noms in that category, I totally thought a "Dreamgirls" song would win.

But this provides another reason for someone to praise Al Gore.

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Washington, D.C.: Did you know that Mike Arndt, who just won for LMS, is a local boy? Langley High, think maybe class of '84. (Also in that class was Lauren Graham, incidentally.)

Jen Chaney: I did know that. The movie originally was set in Maryland, but eventually changed to New Mexico. Since he's local, that explains why.

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Vienna, Va.: Very boring show so I am online at Wikipedia which is instantly updated with the results without the nonsense!

Good conversations on your blog though.

Jen Chaney: Wikipedia ... it solves so many problems.

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Philly, Pa.: Al Gore - more shout-outs than mom or the lord this year? Maybe we should start counting?

Jen Chaney: I think he has gotten more shout-outs than the Lord. Al Gore is bigger than God ... and the Beatles.

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Austin, Tex.: Ha! Girl on girl kissing did occur! Melissa Ethridge

smooched her girlfriend. Things are pickin' up!

Jen Chaney: Really, it was only a matter of time.

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Last Chance, Nev.: zzzzzzzz

Jen Chaney: Wake up, Nevada. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is about to present ... oh no, Michael Mann's montage clip about American film.

Okay, this is not necessary when the show is past the three-hour mark.

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Arlington, Va.: A comment on the MEN's attire:

I'm a traditionalist, but open to new ideas.

However, the black necktie in place of the traditional bow doesn't seem to work very well, in my opinion. I think it takes a certain panache' to pull it off (e.g. Will Smith). Toby Maguire looked like "Geeks-on-Call".

Just one man's opinion.

Jen Chaney: I think Tobey only looked that way because of the slicked hair. I like the regular tie instead of the bow when it's done well.

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Fairfax, Va.: What's up with all these montages?? It's 11:37 EST already! Hand out some awards!

Jen Chaney: Yeah! For God's sake, get on with it.

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Northeast Bethesda: So now you have to stay up all night to write your Post article for tomorrow's paper?

Jen Chaney: Actually, the good people on the print side of the operation are handling that. I do have to be on the air on Washington Post Radio at 6 a.m., though. I'll probably still be up at this rate.

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Comments in Md.: I bet that a Dreamgirls song did not win because the voters that wanted a Dreamsgirls song to win were split between the 3 songs (kind of like when Leo is nominated for for the Departed and Blood Diamond).

I bet Eddie was not asked to sing. I bet the producers wanted the focus of the segment to be on the "Dreamgirls". I noticed Eddie is no longer there.

Jen Chaney: That's a very good point. The vote may have been split.

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Alexandria, Va: Wow, I bet those Dreamgirls people are PO'd.

Jen Chaney: Especially since Etheridge said she wrote that song in a day.

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Rohnert Park, Calif.: How about this Al Gore shout out? CNN did one of their red banner breaking news headline on their Web site announcing his win. A little overboard, don't you think?

Jen Chaney: A tad. Unless they've been doing it for other winners throughout the evening.

"Departed" just won for film editing. Thelma Schoonmaker just thanked Scorsese and he's crying in the audience. Dear Lord I hope he wins tonight.

I think that's what we're all waiting for tonight.

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Philly, Pa.: Should we start placing bets on when it will end? I'm putting two fake cents down on 12:18..

Jen Chaney: I see your two fake cents, and I raise them with five fake cents on 12:25.

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Why Hollywood gets a bad name: I'm a moderate to liberal Democrat but I was ticked off by Michael Mann's summation of how the movies depict America. We get violence, greed, war, crime and religious fanatics, but when they pay tribute to foreign films, it's all quality and heart-warming emotion. That's just wrong and unfair.

Jen Chaney: You forgot the anti-Bush swipes, which was sort of funny but perhaps reflective of a bias as well.

That whole montage just didn't need to be, no offense to Michael Mann.

We're doing in memoriam now ... oh, there was Darren McGavin in "A Christmas Story."

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Washington, D.C.: When do we set the record for longest Post chat ever?

Jen Chaney: Actually, I think Gene Weingarten set that record in 2003, with his infamous seven-hour filibustering-on-fart-jokes chat.

I seriously no longer know what I'm typing anymore...

I've taken this beyond midnight before, so we have a little ways to go. But my fingers are definitely getting tired.

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Washington, D.C.: Jodie Foster has aged well!

My goodness, can they cram anymore montages into this thing?

Jen Chaney: Yes, she looks great tonight. Great color on her.

And I love me some good montage, but this is utterly ridiculous.

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St. Louis, Miss.: Is it just me or does anyone else start to hum the old Schoolhouse Rock song "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here" when the orchestra starts to play.

Jen Chaney: I hadn't been doing that. But I will from now on. I'll try to mix it up with "Interplanet Janet" just to keep things interesting.

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Longmont, Colo.: If Departed wins, I'll be ticked. That move was great, but

no where near as good as the Aviator, which should have

won to begin with. I'm hoping for win by Pan's Labyrinth.

Why is no one mentioning this incredible move? Did it's

focus on Spain (rather than America) turn people off?

Jen Chaney: Well, "Pan's" is not a nom for Best Picture. But it certainly was well-received so I don't feel like no one has talked about. In fact, it's gotten quite a bit of critical acclaim.

An unkempt Philip Seymour Hoffman is about to present the Best Actress Oscar to Helen Mirren.

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10 cents on 12:32: This is insanity.

Jen Chaney: Now we're getting incredibly precise.

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Seattle: I'll take the under...12.10 (please!) oh my more commercials, make that 12.12

Jen Chaney: You've only got 17 minutes left, my friend.

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Alexandria, Va: You know, seeing Penelope Cruz just there made me think about how normal she must be for not being with Tom Cruise.

Jen Chaney: Perhaps so.

Helen Mirren indeed just won. And she's giving a classy, short speech.

More shadow dancers acting out "The Departed" ... we've still got Actor, Director and Picture to go. At this point, they should do away with the commercials.

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Pluto: You humans are idiots to be watching this.

Jen Chaney: Well you're not even a planet anymore, so what do you know?

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Seattle, Wash.: Out here on the West Coast we still have the Barbara Walters special to go after this ends (in 1000 more hours). Did you watch it? Is it worth it?

Jen Chaney: I saw bits and pieces. Depending on your stamina, I think it's safe to skip it.

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Rohnert Park, Calif.: how odd would it be if Reese Witherspoon would have to present an Oscar to her ex? Is that a sign that the world is coming to an end (if not the show)?

Jen Chaney: Very odd, especially since he is not nominated for Best Actor.

Now Ellen is vacuuming in the front row. Again, this is the sort of shtick they should have done more of.

Here comes Reese, who must weigh approximately 65 pounds. She is soooo teeny these days.

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This planet: Or was it Pluto the dog?

Jen Chaney: Fair point. But I'll be darned if I'm going to be insulted by a Disney cartoon ... unless it's that cute fish Nemo.

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Springfield, Va.: Reese Witherspoon has apparently had a dolphin nose installed as her new chin.

Jen Chaney: That's the weight loss, my friend. Her face has thinned out along with the rest of her.

And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to ... Forest Whitaker. No surprise. He looks so nervous. And he's about to read his speech. His wife is crying.

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Washington, D.C.: Poor Peter O'Toole.

Jen Chaney: Yes, indeed. Tis sad.

Whitaker's speech was actually very touching.

Okay, in case you didn't think Scorsese was winning tonight, the presenters are Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, all of whom are part of that '70s generation.

If he doesn't win, something is drastically wrong.

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Lorton, VA: I miss Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. Heck, I think Chris Rock at this point. Who do you think has been the best host? I just read a book watching this show. Although, to be fair, as someone said earlier, this is an Award's show. But is it me? Between the dresses, the speeches and host.......this is Oh So Boring.

Jen Chaney: It's not you, it's us.

Scorsese just won and the entire place is on feet. Justice has been served!

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Rockville: The standing O for Scorsese is the nicest moment of the evening.

Jen Chaney: No question. Too bad it took us almost four hours to get to it.

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Detroit MI: Go Forest Whittaker. Passion...finall.

Oh, and I would guess Clint Eastwood is fluen in Italian. Isn't that where he made all of the Spaghetti Westerns?

Jen Chaney: Yes, although I wish he hadn't read his speech. Eastwood may be fluent. I'm sure he picked up some things when making those films, though that was several decades ago.

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Earth: Thanks for having this chat(yay for procrastination). I was just wondering if you knew offhand how long the longest Oscars were? (Is this one close to that?)

Jen Chaney: Wow, Diane Keaton looks great. She and Nicholson are on stage presenting Best Picture.

I should know how long the longest were, but I don't off the top of my head. I'm sure they've run into the four hour territory before.

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Overland Park, Kan.: Peter O'Toole had a huge audible sigh when Whitaker's name was announced. I saw "Venus" last night, and boy, was that a hilariously creepy movie.

Jen Chaney: I really liked O'Toole's performance in that.

And the Oscar for Best Picture just went to "The Departed" ... kudos to all of you who predicted that. I actually went eight for eight in the major categories this year. Darn, I should have entered a pool. Not that I condone gambling...

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Philly, Pa: Come on... 12:18 !!! This may be the only thing I've won in my life.. 15 fake cents!

Jen Chaney: Congratulations. That is some impressive predicting.

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Fairfax Station, Va.: Thank you, Jen. Goodnight.

Jen Chaney: No, thank YOU.

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Baltimore, Md.: Ok, The Departed won, can I go to bed now?

Jen Chaney: Wait, you're not watching the post-show coverage on E!?

Sure, go to bed.

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Everywhere: lolly lolly lolly 12:17

Jen Chaney: Nice. I got some adverbs for this show right here. Bada-bing!

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Pasadena, Md.: Little Miss Sunshine loses? Huh? I guess it wasn't serious enough for the voters. I mean, good on Scorsese and all, but for once I'd like to see a win for a movie that doesn't make me want to slit my wrists.

Jen Chaney: I had a feeling voters would think it lacked weight. "The Departed" shouldn't make you want to slit your wrists, though. "Babel," maybe, but not "The Departed."

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Chiba, Japan: My goodness! This is the first time I've read a chat

"transcript" and run into a live chat! Are you people crazy?

Get to bed!

Jen Chaney: Yes. We are all bat-flying nuts, me especially.

Speaking of which, I have a son to feed and a marriage to save. So I must *depart* (please note the witty double entendre) and get on with my life. Thanks as always for joining me on this Oscars chat. Hopefully we'll all do this again next year under less boring circumstances.

Don't forget to be with us tomorrow when more Oscar chats will take place during the day; go to washingtonpost.com/oscars for all of our continuing coverage.

Good night, all. And may all your days be filled with little miss sunshine.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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