You didn’t see it on TV, but there was a moment at the Oscars, right in the front rows of the Kodak Theatre, where the most important nominees always sit, that perfectly encapsulated the entire evening. James Cameron walked straight up to Kathryn Bigelow, grabbed at her throat, and pretended to wring her neck. In Hollywood, apparently, that’s how ex-spouses say “Congratulations!” (Cameron, obviously, was kidding.)
Of course, there were other dramas unfolding on the podium, and elsewhere in the Kodak, even if they weren’t all quite so gripping. Sandra Bullock winning Best Actress for her turn as a pistol-packing Southern socialite in The Blind Side had a bit of suspense (who knew she’d have to play a Republican to get an award in Hollywood?). On the red carpet, Bullock was already planning her next career move. “A lesbian comedy with Meryl Streep,” she quipped, referencing a jocular smooch she and fellow nominee Streep had shared earlier in the season at the Critics’ Choice Awards. But nobody was shocked that Jeff Bridges finally picked up a statue, for Best Actor in Crazy Heart, after four previous nominations. “It’s like what the Dude says—strikes and gutters,” the star philosophized at the Governors Ball, referring to another, non-nominated role in The Big Lebowski.
For more from behind-the-scenes at the Oscars, including George Clooney‘s reactions, Woody Harrelson‘s gracious neatness, and tequila shots with Quentin Tarantino, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, March 12.