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81st Oscars 8:31 p.m.

Posted by Wesley Morris  February 22, 2009 08:30 PM

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So the show has begun. Will anyone watch? The set looks great in a throwback-to-the 1930s way -- the crystal curtain, the vaguely Art-Deco set. Hugh Jackman, the showman with the GQ face and triple-X name, might turn out to be a genius host. He'll kill himself for a standing ovation.

Who did this opening production number, with the homemade sets? It's very Michel Gondry. But the number's themselves... We're at the Tonys. "Ohhh, Nixon," Jackman moans to Anne Hathaway, who carried on the stage King Kong/Rhett Butler style. This sequence was really special, including the shout-out to the barely nominated "Dark Knight." The giant auditorium feels like a cabaret. It's like he's sitting on my lap. (Again: not that I'd like that. No, not me.)

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

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