article

03.07.108:56 PM ET

The 22 Best Oscar Moments

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Hurt Locker Wins!

Hurt Locker bypassed its chief rival, Avatar, for the final award of the evening, giving Kathryn Bigelow an even bigger anxiety attack and capping off the night with the lowest-grossing Best Picture in recent history.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

"And the winner is… well, the time has come. Kathryn Bigelow!"

Presenter Barbra Streisand could not hold back her joy as she conferred the Best Director title on Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win the award. In her speech, Kathryn did not come across as a great female director, but simply a great director, thanking her cast and crew as well as the servicemen and women who inspired her film.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

 Jeff Bridges Dedicates His Oscar to His Family

It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Jeff Bridges cemented his reputation as the most likeable man in Hollywood with a rambling, touching speech thanking his showbiz parents and his wife.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Sandra Bullock: From Razzie to Oscar

It was quite a weekend for Sandra Bullock! On Saturday she was dishonored with a Razzie award for her cringe-worthy turn in All About Steve, and one night later she was bringing home her first Oscar for The Blind Side, beating out Meryl Streep and buzzy newcomer Gabourey Sidibe and giving a speech that was the epitome of grace. (Take note, Ms. Powell.)

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Best Costume Winner Picks Up Third Oscar

Maybe it was a little tactless for Sandy Powell to act so unimpressed with her third Oscar. But the real question on everyone's minds: Where did she get that hat?

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Is That Kanye in That Purple Dress?

Proving once again that the best speeches always come in the smaller categories, Music by Prudence director Roger Ross Williams—whose film won Best Documentary Short—was rudely interrupted during an acceptance speech by Elinor Burkett, his producer, shaking up an otherwise sleepy ceremony.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Mo'Nique Nabs the Gold

OK, maybe this race wasn't exactly a nail-biter, as Mo'Nique was pretty much a lock for Best Supporting Actress, but it was still gratifying to see her win for her gutsy portrayal of the mother to end all mothers in Precious.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

The Oscars 2: Electric Boogaloo

Yes, that was interpretive dance accompanying those Oscar-nominated film scores. No, we don't know why.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

What's Na'vi for "WTF"?

Avatar LARPers, meet your new god. To introduce the award for Best Makeup, Ben Stiller came out in full Avatar regalia, complete with a very improper proposition for James Cameron.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Liz Lemon and Tony Stark, Together at Last!

Thankfully, not every joke went down like a lead balloon. In an inspired bit of mismatched comedy, Robert Downey, Jr. and Tina Fey debated the roles of actors versus writers in Hollywood. Or, as Downey put it, "A collaboration between handsome, gifted people, and sickly little mole people."

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

John Hughes' The Tribute Club

The former teen stars of the late John Hughes' beloved filmography gathered on stage to pay tribute to the recently deceased director, led by ‘80s sweetheart Molly Ringwald.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Geoffrey Fletcher Becomes First African American to Win a Screeplay Oscar

The most touching speech was made by Geoffrey Fletcher—the first-ever African-American winner of a screenplay Oscar—whose deeply felt emotion didn't prevent him from giving a memorable, gracious speech.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

A Very Tone-Deaf Opening

Hollywood often gets criticized for being run by white men, which is why it was such a a delight to see such a diverse set of nominees. Unfortunately, many of the jokes by hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin relied on jabs at women, African-Americans, and other minorities.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Neil Patrick Harris Brings the Camp

After making the 2009 Tony and Emmy Awards infinitely more watchable than they had been in years, Neil Patrick Harris dropped by the Oscars to give the opening number a hilarious bit of razzle-dazzle.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

The Oscars' Hall of Presidents

For reasons beyond understanding, the Academy opened the show with the acting nominees standing onstage like a bad Epcot exhibit. If it wasn't for Jeff Bridges' goofy smile, we probably would have stopped watching right here.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Catfight Averted!

Ryan Seacrest seemed to be angling for a red-carpet cat fight when he got Anna Kendrick and Mo'Nique together to talk about being nominated against each other for Best Supporting Actress. Thankfully, the two classy actresses took the high road. "For any of us to be walking on this carpet, including you, we're nothing but kids with grownup faces," Mo'Nique said. Well played.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Antonio Banderas' Mel Gibson Beard

It's hard to pinpoint the most awkward person in this red-carpet clip. Antonio Banderas and his Mel Gibson beard? Totally out-of-it Melanie Griffith? Or poor animated short film nominee Javier Recio Gracia, who is first ignored by the interviewers, then forced to admit to his crush on Scarlett Johansson?

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Party

Thanks to TV Guide anchors asking about the party he threw for the Inglourious Basterds cast, America finally learned what's more annoying than Quentin Tarantino showing off his extensive knowledge of film history—Quentin Tarantino showing off his taste in music!

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Steve Carell Tries to Take Down Anna Kendrick

What would we do without Steve Carell? Amid an avalanche of squirmy pre-show interviews and forced laughter, the Office star was genuinely funny and charming on the CW's red-carpet show.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Mariah-a-Go-Go

OK, fine, by Mariah/Seacrest red-carpet standards, this wasn't a total disaster. But it was hard not to cringe as the Precious costar basically gave herself a full-body patdown on camera.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Gabourey's Money Shot

Gabourey Sidibe is most decidedly not the shy, introverted character she plays in Precious. And in case you thought she was, witness her make Ryan Seacrest blush by comparing her dress to a NSFW moment.

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Vera Farmiga: Jason Who?

When Ryan Seacrest asked Best Supporting Actress nominee Vera Farmiga who she was rooting for to win Best Director, she threw her support firmly behind Kathryn Bigelow—before remembering her own Up in the Air director, Jason Reitman, was also in the running. Awkward!

Kathryn Bigelow's historic win, Ben Stiller's Avatar impression, a graceful Sandra Bullock and graceless Sandy Powell were just a few of the night’s highs and lows. WATCH OUR VIDEO

Plus: Check out more of the latest entertainment, fashion, and culture coverage on Sexy Beast—photos, videos, features, and Tweets.

how do i comment?
Get The Daily Beast In Your Inbox
By clicking "Subscribe", you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason
Follow The Daily Beast