...I found Hugh Jackman amazing and the opening number excellent. I agree with most of Nikki's reportage below, especially for the shame of Foreign Oscars awards and not having Marion Cotillard, last actreess incredible Best Actress winner, on the show...(Shocking!)

Starts at 5:30 PM PT... Come for the cynicism. Stay for the subversion. Add your comment. Refresh for updates. Warning: Not for the easily offended or shocked.
81st Academy Awards BEGINS!
Hugh Jackman looks great although that Mystic Tan is a bit dark. (Is it rubbing off on his cuffs?) Now, to get ratings, he'll take his clothes off. Have you seen his bulging biceps? Howza!
OHMYGAWD, it's not the Oscars: IT'S THE TONY'S! Worst Academy Awards opening ever. None of these lyrics are funny. Alan Carr's showstopper of Snow White and Rob Lowe (remember how our jaws went slack?) is starting to look like a masterpiece in comparison.
I really feel sorry for Jackman having to perform this crapfest number. Leave it to the Academy to find a completely inappropriate way of acknowledging the financial crisis. Maybe he'll just keep the Wolverine suit on for the rest of the year so no one will recognize him.
OK, I'm going to say it: GAYEST OSCARS EVER! (Not that there's anything wrong with that. I voted against Prop 8.) But Hugh sitting on Frank Langella's lap? Talking about kissing him? After performing a song and dance number? Seriously, did producers Larry Mark and Bill Condon, or director Roger Goodman, or designer David Rockwell, and the usual team of writers like Bruce Vilanch, deliberately try to ruin Jackman's career by giving him such ridiculous material and props (a lawn chair?) to work with? More importantly, tell me how this number is going to widen the viewership for the Oscars which the Academy was desperate to accomplish tonight? As one of my commenters noted, "I would hope these younger audiences the Academy is attempting to reach this evening are smarter than this entertainment eyesore!"
This is the Oscars, people, a celebration of the movie industry, not the touring company of some low-tech Off-Off-Off Broadway musical. Where are the special effects, eye-popping visuals, and other high-tech gizmos?
As I already told you, the Oscars producers this year dissed last year's actor winners by deciding that France's Marion Cotillard (Best Actress for La Vie En Rose) and Spain's Javier Bardem (Best Supporting Actor for No Country For Old Men), Scotland's Tilda Swinton (Best Supporting Actress for Michael Clayton) and even England's Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor for There Will Be Blood) weren't big enough names to carry on the time-honored tradition of announcing this year's winners by themselves. So the unusual step was taken to bring onstage from a riser 5-person groups including other Best Actor or Best Supporting Actress winners from past eras in order to add more glitz and glamour to the presentations.