Thompson on Hollywood

There's some juicy Oscar material out there about the most-watched show in five years. At the Governor's Ball, Sandra Bullock was among the nominees getting her Oscar engraved (everyone got their own statues engraved except Jeff Bridges; notable no-shows were Tivi Magnusson, producer of short The New Tenants, and Sandy Powell, costume designer of Young Victoria). Exhausted producer Bill Mechanic said that he and Adam Shankman had aimed for a more populist show (his red carpet interview is below).

Check out the LAT's panoramas and obligatory best-and-worst-dressed. Here's the Oscar thank-you cam. And a party round-up. Gawker explains ten Oscar mysteries.

Here's the Neil Patrick Harris opener--and yes, he'd make a fine Oscar host. While I had no problem with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, and loved the George Clooney staring contests and Paranormal Activity sketch, I'd vote for the next Oscar host to be Ben Stiller, who killed at both the Indie Spirits and the Oscars. He gets it. While I dug the horror tribute, Shankman's dance number with the film scores was a total snooze.

At the real alternate Oscars--on the beach in Malibu--banned Hurt Locker producer Nicolas Chartier gave a 13-minute acceptance speech.

Here's Kathryn Bigelow on her Hurt Locker win, backstage:

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Early morning Today Show inebriated Hurt Locker interview wtih Mark Boal, Anthony Mackie, Greg Shapiro, and Brian Geraghty:

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MTV Movies' Josh Horowitz talks to Neil Blomkamp about sequel to District 9:

And here's co-producer Bill Mechanic on the red carpet before the show:

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