Last night, while presenting the award for Best Actress, Sean Penn did a bit of improv: "I never became an official member of the Academy, but the Academy and I do have in common that we neglected to acknowledge the same actress in our own ways two years running," he said. "So I'm going to start fresh with the Academy and acknowledge these wonderful actresses." What in God's name was he talking about? (Update: Video removed by request of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.)
It was his ex-wife, we think. Last year, while accepting his Oscar for Best Actor, Penn opted not to thank Robin Wright Penn in his speech, claiming that the pair had discussed it beforehand and decided that Penn simply wouldn't have enough time (possibly related: the couple divorced last August). Also, Wright Penn's performance in last year's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee made her a plausible-ish contender for Best Actress this year, but she wasn't nominated. Ergo, both Penn and the Academy "neglected to acknowledge the same actress in [their] own ways two years running."
Anyway, it's really too bad Mickey Rourke didn't win last year's Best Actor Oscar so this year's Best Actress nominees could have had a proper, lucid introduction.