Prepare Your Tuxes And Cynicism For Oscars 2009

It's time to get over your Dark Knight snub-inspired bitterness and embrace the Oscars for all their shallow showbiz glitz. Here's our rundown of who and what to watch for tonight.

Thanks to Yair Raveh's rundown of the planned scheduling for tonight's show, it's become much easier for us to plan your evening out for you, letting you know just when you can stop paying attention and start ordering pizza (All times PST):

5:38: Host Hugh Jackman's opening performance: How can you not want to see Wolverine himself in what is likely to involve some comedy and some singing? You can't, if only for the potential car-crash potential in working in an awkward X-Men Origins: Wolverine plug. Me, I won't be happy unless Liev Schreiber appears for a cameo.

5:45: Actress In A Supporting Role: The closest thing SF has to a horse in this race is Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, although the A Different World fan in me is hoping for a Marisa Tomei victory here.

5:51: Original Screenplay: Wall-E! Wall-E! Sadly, as much as I want Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter to win for their pitch-perfect script for the Pixar movie, I think they're going to lose out to favorites like Milk and In Bruges, sadly.

5:55: Adapted Screenplay: As much as I'm hoping that Simon Beaufoy clinches it for Slumdog Millionaire, the genre-correct thing would be to point to the fact that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is nominated here.

6:03: Animated Feature Film: Look, come on. Kung-Fu Panda may be fun and all, but if this doesn't go to Wall-E, then someone's managed to bribe the entire Academy.

6:05: Animated Short Film: Unless you're a big animation fan, this would be a good time to go check on your drinks situation; you won't have heard of any of these nominees and, sadly, you'll probably never hear of them again, either. Wait, was that too cynical?

6:14: Art Direction: In fact, you're in the depths of the awards by now - The next big one isn't until 7 o'clock, so if you need to go out and walk the dog or something, feel free. Although this is the first of The Dark Knight's nominations of the evening, so you may want to stick around after all...

6:18: Costume Design: And this would be a good time to flip over to see whether Sci Fi's Lake Placid is looking worth checking out, unless you have any costumer friends.

6:20: Make-Up: Not that I didn't like Aaron Eckhart's Two-Face in Dark Knight, but if Hellboy II: The Golden Army doesn't win this one, it'll be my scream that you'll be hearing around this time of the evening.

6:30: Cinematography: Another Dark Knight nom here - and one that it deserves, considering the beautiful look of the movie and the technological challenges involved in shooting it.

6:36: Science and Technical Awards Recap: That embarrassing part of the evening when they say that the technical awards aren't as important as all the other awards, and cut to a video of some poor actress who had to host a separate ceremony all on her own.

6:41: Live Action Short Film: Remember what I said about Animated Short? Yeah, that applies here, too.

7:03: Actor In A Supporting Role: Welcome to one of the most cynical scheduling decisions of the night. This is one of the - if not the - most anticipated awards of the evening, thanks to Heath Ledger's nomination for The Dark Knight, and it's being used as the prop in the middle of the boring awards in order to keep everyone tuned in at home. It's enough to make me want Robert Downey Jr. take it for Tropic Thunder just to spite everyone.

7:08: Documentary Feature: See what I mean? At this point, I think they're hoping that the Ledger effect will take you through this and 7:10: Documentary Short Subject.

7:20: Visual Effects: Oh, this one is entirely in our wheelhouse: Iron Man, Dark Knight and Benjamin Button are the nominees, and I'm pulling for the Stark Industries entrant, I have to admit.

7:22: Sound Editing: Another case where all nominees (Dark Knight, Benjamin Button, Wall-E, Wanted and Slumdog Millionaire) are equally deserving. Well, except Wanted, of course.

7:26: Sound Mixing: We're back in the woods of the duller categories, in case you couldn't tell. Unless you're a particularly big fan of Jerry Lewis or music, you can start thinking about skipping the next 45 minutes or so without fear.

7:29: Film Editing: Again, a Dark Knight nom, but don't feel too guilty if you ignore it in favor of... well, almost anything else, really. Especially considering what's coming up next.

7:37: Jean Hersholt Award to Jerry Lewis: I know, I know. Breathe calmly and think of The Nutty Professor. It'll be over soon.

7:48: Original Score and 7:55 Original Song: We're nearing the end; fans of Wall-E and Slumdog Millionaire will undoubtedly like these two categories, but everyone else may want to stay away until 8:14.

8:01: Foreign Language Film: Everyone who's voting for Waltz With Bashir, raise your hands. Everyone who hasn't seen any of these films, do the same. Yeah, that's what I thought.

8:10 In Memoriam: The most depressing, saccharine part of the evening, and yet, you know that you're going to get choked up at at least one point during the montage of people who've died in the last year.

8:14: Directing: And the Oscar goes to... Christopher Nol - No, wait, he wasn't nominated in what really was the snub of the year. Not to get too fanboyish on you all, but I refuse to believe that, as good as Frost/Nixon is, Ron Howard really deserved the nod more than Nolan did. Neither, for that matter, does Fincher's Benjamin Button. Controversial!

8:23: Actress In A Leading Role and 8:31: Actor In A Leading Role: This may be where the schedule falls apart, if they're really hoping for short acceptance speeches from the likes of Meryl Streep, Sean Penn or Frank Langella. There aren't really any io9-friendly movies in the running for Best Actress, but my crush for Kate Winslet means that I'm pulling for her success in that category. For Best Actor, io9 loyalty to SF pushes me to hope for Brad Pitt's success.

8:38: Best Motion Picture: Will it be The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader or Slumdog Millionaire? My money's on the latter, to be honest, but this is your last chance to complain about your movie of choice not getting recognized before it's all over bar the fashion analysis. But don't worry; we get to do the whole thing again next year.