TRIBUTE TO HEATH LEDGER: The Hollywood crowd rose to its feet, with nominees Angelina Jolie and Anne Hathaway getting teary-eyed, as the late actor's family stepped up to accept his best supporting trophy for "The Dark Knight." Ledger's father, Kim Ledger, said the award "would have humbly validated Heath's quiet determination to be truly accepted by all you here tonight, his peers within an industry he so loved." Sister Kate Ledger told the audience the honor will go to "your beautiful Matilda."
MILKING IT: Sean Penn playfully taunted Academy voters as "commie, homo-loving sons of guns" while accepting his second Oscar for best actor for his role as slain gay-rights leader Harvey Milk in "Milk." Penn smiled and poked fun at his difficult reputation, saying, "I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me often." He then struck a serious note in urging "equal rights for everyone" amid intolerance. Dustin Lance Black, who won best original screenplay for "Milk," echoed that sentiment earlier in his emotional speech, thanking Milk for inspiring him to believe "maybe I could fall in love and one day get married."
AND TIGGER TOO: In one of Sunday's sweetest moments, "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle jumped up and down like Tigger the hyper tiger from "Winnie the Pooh" after winning for best director. Explaining his eccentric behavior, the British filmmaker said he'd told his children that "if this miracle ever happened, I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger - which is just what happened."
WHISTLING WINSLET: An unexpected moment came out of Kate Winslet's predictable best-actress win for "The Reader." Winslet, giddy and charming as ever on stage, searched for her father in the audience, asking him to "whistle or something 'cause I'll know where you are." Papa Winslet, looking very Johnny Cash in a black hat, whistled back from his seat at the Kodak Theatre.
BALANCING ACT: Philippe Petit, the tightrope-walking star of Best Documentary-winning "Man on Wire," showed his gratitude by balancing the Oscar on his chin. How's that for an acceptance speech?