Stand by for the start of TWoP's Oscars liveblog in 3... 2... 1...
8:30: And we're off! Here comes Morgan Freeman. Is he replacing Billy Crystal at the last minute? Has he been sent by Eddie Murphy to take Crystal out?
8:31: Nope, there he is. In a filmed bit that crosses Metropolis with The Artist insisting that he shouldn't host again. We'd agree with that.
8:32: And now he's kissing George Clooney, talking to a pre-weight loss Jonah Hill and doing a bit with Justin Bieber, who has clearly never heard of either Hemingway or Fitzgerald.
8:33: Ahh, yes the shit pie scene. This is why The Help deserves Best Picture.
8:34: So we've moved on from movies that were nominated for Best Picture to just any random movie that came out last year. Bonus points if star of said movie (like Tom Cruise) is willing to show up.
8:35: Those five minutes felt more like five hours. Let's avoid filmed bits for the rest of the night, please.
8:36: Yikes, a joke about how old his relatives are? He's really aiming for the young demographic here.
8:37: Uh oh, here comes the song! "You didn't think I wasn't going to do this, did you?" Well, we kinda hoped not.
8:38: Does anyone under-25 know that Mister Ed was a thing? Or does their talking horse knowledge begin with Friendship is Magic?
8:39: Liked how quickly Crystal moved on from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Not much opportunity for comedy there, what with the subject matter and the quality of the movie itself.
8:41: We were wrong -- the film clips were better than this. Crystal's medly has got nothing on Garfunkel and Oates at the Indie Spirit awards.
8:42: And Tom Hanks walks onstage to hand out the first award of the night. But first he takes a moment to salute the Academy's oldest seat filler. Yes, it's a thrill-a-minute night at the ol' Oscars!
8:43: Oh wait, he wasn't a seat filler. Guess that gag was... wait for it... filler.
8:43: First award is for Cinematography. Tree of Life, please?
8:43: Nope, it's Hugo for Cinematography. Well, that's okay, too. Accepting the Oscar, Jesus Christ.
8:44: Moving right along, it's time for Art Direction. And Hugo wins again! Nice to see the night's most nominated film go home with something. (But why didn't the show start with Best Supporting Actor or Actress as per recent tradition? Perhaps the producers want to give Amazing Race viewers a chance to click over?)