Will Penélope Cruz’s Oscar Victory Be the Sexiest Awards Handoff Ever?

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Development of Barack Obama campaign identity, by Sol Sender, Andy Keene, and Amanda Gentry (2007) Photo: Photo-illustration: Everett Bogue;
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Despite the Academy's inexplicable plan to keep the names of this year's presenters a secret until Oscar night, we already know that, as tradition dictates, all acting awards will be handed over by last year's winners. And with Kate Winslet's performance in The Reader unexpectedly promoted to the lead category this morning, Spanish bombshell Penélope Cruz is the presumptive front-runner to collect a Best Supporting Actress trophy on February 22 — from her handsome Vicky Cristina Barcelona co-star and real-life paramour, Javier Bardem.

Has there ever, in all of awards history, been a hotter Oscar handoff? Not that we recall! Since the Academy generally likes to honor old actors and young actresses, we usually get creepy or half-sexy ones, like Martin Landau giving a trophy to Mira Sorvino, or Jim Broadbent to Catherine Zeta-Jones (see comment below) — but a Bardem-Cruz statue pass might actually fog up our flat-screen.

So will they hide their affections and let the sexual tension melt the faces of everyone in the first ten rows? Or will they bow to public demand and consummate Cruz's victory right there behind the podium? If the show's producers can somehow invent a way for Scarlett Johansson to be involved, we bet it would fix their ratings problem! Also, it might serve as the only truly effective counterweight to the crushing unsexiness of ice-cold Tilda Swinton presenting a posthumous Oscar to Heath Ledger.