Producers Power Down The Oscar Grieve-O-Meter

Rookie Oscarcast producers Bill Condon And Larry Mark gave their most expansive interview to date about the changes forthcoming for their inaugural show; we're not sure we agree, let alone understand.

To wit:

· "Surprise presenters" really means surprise presenters: Maybe it was just odd phrasing on the part of USA Today's Susan Wloszczyna, but we read, "Instead of lining up last year's winners and stars with upcoming movies to tout, Condon and Mark are reaching out to those names associated with a 2008 movie" to mean not all of last year's recipients will necessarily present awards to this year's winners. On one hand we can't believe it; it's decades-old tradition, and what fools would miss an opportunity for Javier Bardem to present an Oscar to Penelope Cruz? Then again, the prospect of a Marion Cotillard/Mickey Rourke liaison is too eerie to contemplate. What gives? (And we're not the only ones puzzled, but then again, everything confuses Tom O'Neil.)

· Jennifer Aniston will be seated directly across an aisle from Angelina Jolie: Or at least that's how we'd choose to interpret Condon's call for a cozier "party" atmosphere. If he and Mark plan anything less, we'd rather not consider it.

· Hold your applause until the dead people are safely offscreen: We're also persuaded to go along with a grave change to the In Memoriam segment: Condon and Mark are turning the audience sound down lest the annual feature devolve into "popularity contest." Are they fucking kidding? This is Paul Newman's last shot at eternal cosmic ownage over Charlton Heston! Here's a cheer for you: RE-CON-SI-DER (*clap-clap-clapclapclap*)

· Shocker: Jack Nicholson will be invited! What will they think of next?