Morgan Freeman turned his intense gaze to God, while the makeup artists might have been better off with a quick glance at a stopwatch.
The best winners early in the Oscars Sunday kept it tight, not forgetting those who got them there, but also remembering their producer-imposed 45-second time limit.
Morgan Freeman called “Million Dollar Baby” a “labor of love” while thanking the Academy and all involved in the movie.
The supporting-actor winner then cast his eyes upward.
“I thank you, so very much,” he said, bowing.
Animation winner Brad Bird had more earthly beings in mind when he thanked the “holy trinity of Pixar.”
Bird, director and writer of “The Incredibles,” got in one of the best keep-it-grounded lines of Hollywood’s biggest starry-eyed night.
“Animation is about creating the illusion of life and you can’t create it if you don’t have one,” he said, before thanking his mother, wife and children for being part of his life.
Editing winner Thelma Schoonmaker also kept it simple, mentioning her assistants and others involved in “The Aviator” before turning her attention to director Martin Scorsese.
“You gave us an incredibly dazzling ride on this film,” she said. “It’s really you Marty, it’s you. Thank you,” she concluded, as Scorsese appeared to sob.
An effort to tweak the show with in-audience award presentations may have backfired on producers.
The makeup award winners, for “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” used the time saved by not walking up to the stage for extra thank-yous.
They repeated jokes and names in nervous rapid-fire succession.
Bill Corso thanked director Brad Silberling multiple times, then lead actor Jim Carrey.
“I share this with you, Morgan, Valli, everybody, thank you,” he blurted as the dreaded orchestra began blaring — the first play-off of the night.