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82d Oscars 11:38 p.m. (best actress)

Posted by Wesley Morris  March 7, 2010 11:38 PM

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Another reason I love these live on-stage tributes is because they add a touch a drama and equality to categories that seem to have foregone winners, like Bridges and best actor. Before a name is called, an unknown guy like Jeremy Renner is revealed to be as special and as good as Morgan Freeman and George Clooney. Look at the gang assembled to salute best actress! Forest Whitaker extols Sandra Bullock. Michael Sheen recalls working with Helen Mirren on "The Queen" and hot he was for her on the set. Peter Sarsgaard cracks a joke at Carey Mulligan's expense. Oprah Winfrey Oprahfies on Gabourey Sidibe's behalf. Sidibe's crying. I'm crying. She doesn't need to win. That was her Oscar. Stanley Tucci deprecates for Meryl Streep (he proposes a nomination cap; imagine that).

Sean Penn then arrives to present to the award to... Sandra Bullock. Wow. Wow. Wow. Not in my wildest dreams. Her speech is actually touching and funny. It's the kind of thing only a star could give. Uncle. Bravo. 

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

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