Though the lingering fear that the writers strike will render the Oscars nothing more than the most -hyped clip show in show business history caused many to breathlessly bill last night's SAGgies as Hollywood's Only Chance To Throw Itself A Proper, Self-Congratulatory Orgy, we watched the ceremony without any of that unpleasant baggage, choosing to enjoy the show for what it is: two hours of attractive people throwing themselves a big party to publicly celebrate how amazing it is to get paid millions of dollars to prove their disappointed parents and nay-saying high school drama teachers wrong.

Though short on surprises—soon-to-be Oscar recipients Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis rightly had their brilliance recognized by their peers, as did anyone connected to The Sopranos—the telecast was not without highlights: a humbled Tina Fey recognized co-star and fellow SAGgie winner Alec Baldwin for elevating her "hat rack"-like presence to awards-worthy levels' No Country for Old Men's Josh Brolin hogged the spotlight by rambling for what seemed like a solid half-hour on behalf of the semi-amused castmates assembled behind him; Tom Cruise presented without a single, unnerving laugh; WGA president Patric Verrone's offered a subtle thank you to Cruise for the Guild's deal with United Artists by wearing the star's Valkyrie hairstyle. Of course, there can be no discussion of the show's most memorable moments without a nod to Day-Lewis's moving, extended tribute to recently deceased colleague Heath Ledger (video above), a stirring testimonial to the actor's talent that more than made up for the tacked-on-seeming Brokeback Mountain still at the end of the evening's In Memoriam montage.