Welcome to the 4th annual Making the Movie Oscars Liveblog, wherein I gave a running commentary on the Academy Awards – live. Who won, who should’ve won and background that will help you enjoy this festival of Hollywood navel-gazing!
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3:42 Watching the awkward pre-show interviews. There are plenty on fashion snarks live-blogging this, so I’ll keep it light until the real show begins.
4:08 George Penacchio was a wooden boy who wished he was a real Red Carpet interviewer.
4:15 Who is older, Regis Philbin or Clint Eastwood? Trick question, both are technically dead.
4:21 The Commentariat here thinks the fashion experts are being too charitable to Diablo “Leopardprint Mumu” Cody.
4:28 Jennifer Garner’s dress is too “funereal” sez the Peanut Gallery.
4:29 Is is just me, or does Tilda Swinton look like Conan O’Brien in drag tonight. (I really like Tilda, but I have to speak truth to power.)
4:44 IMDb is updating their photos already with pictures from the red carpet.
4:52 The web address is “ontheredcarpet.com” not “theredcarpet.com” or “redcarpet.com” or “carpet.com”.
4:53 Julie Christie shows some boob and some politics.
5:01 Regis kicks off the official official Red Carpet Show.
5:08 Non-nominee Miley Cyrus is ubiquitous.
5:12 Helen Mirren complains about roles for women. Sour grapes for not being nominated?
5:24 Regis talks to the dancers. At least one of them (old guy, bow tie) was in the movie Enchanted. Don’t ask me how I know.
5:26 With three minutes to go, Regis says “Bout a minute and a half to go.” Actually no. Hasn’t he done live television nearly every day for fourty years?
Liveblogging the 2008 Academy Awards
5:30 Here we go. How will Jon Stewart fare without a well-produced lead-in? Cheezy CGI lead-in is still something.
5:32 Stewart mic not on initially. Bad sign.
5:33 Stewart references the strike. Says writers should be invited to the Vanity Fair party.
5:34 Not a great response for his monologue from the commentariat here or the audience there.
5:35 Cheap joke on Bardem’s haircut in No Country goes over his head.
5:36 Jack Nicholson said something inaudible after getting called rabbi.
5:37 On Norbit’s nomination: “Too often, the Academy ignores movies that aren’t good.”
5:38 On Diablo Cody: “She used to be an exotic dancer. Now she’s an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. Hope you’re liking the paycut.”
5:39 Best joke so far: “The Iraq War movies haven’t been doing well. But if we just stay the course…”
5:40 The room here liked the comparison of Obama’s name to “Gaydolf Titler”.
5:41 Right to costume design… I’m guessing Atonement. Winner: Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Two out of six attendees claim to have predicted this here. I didn’t see it coming, myself. Never count out a costume drama for a costume award.
5:47 Here’s… Clooney!
5:48 80 years of unpredictability… Can we just see the predictable show of this year please.
5:51 Stewart mocks ‘new media’ with an iPhone playing Lawrence of Arabia. “Oh, that’s a camel.”
5:53 Carrell panics that the Belgians will be upset he messed up his intro to “Best Animated Picture”
5:54 Nevermind whether animated features should be in a ghetto, Ratatouille wins.
5:55 Great little speech from Brad Bird about not taking no for an answer.
5:56 A glamorous Catherine Heigl intros makeup. Winner is… La Vie En Rose. This bears well for Marion Cotillard winning Best Actress. Music plays them off – but not Brad Bird… hmm.
5:59 First song performance: “Happy Working Song” – normally I would mock the absurd background dancers – but this spare production is just Amy Adams on stage with nary a prop. I know they had little time to prep after the strike, but that was just sad.
6:06 Stewart says “During commercial breaks, we make catty remarks about what people at home are wearing.”
6:07 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gives Visual Effects Award to… Golden Compass – another surprise win!
6:09 The Nerd Brigade is short and sweet. Shout outs to two visual effects houses: Rhythm and Hues, who specializes in realistic animals, and Framestore CFC, who specializes in realistic environments.
6:11 Sweeney Todd wins, predictably, Best Art Direction.
6:15 The apotheosis of Supporting Actors: Cuba Gooding, Jr.
6:17 And the Best Supporting Actor is… Javier Bardem.
6:22 Jon Stewart translated Bardem’s speech. “He told his mom where the library was.”
6:23 Funny montage: “Oscars’ Salute to Binoculars and Periscope” and “Bad Dreams: An Oscar Salute”
6:24 Kerri Russel looks like Charlotte… from “Charlotte’s Web”.
6:25 Second song: “Raise it Up” – this one has production value at least.
6:28 Owen Wilson public appearance. He looks pretty medicated.
6:29 “Mozart of Pickpockets” wins Live Action Short. Lots of non-English-speaking winners so far…
6:31 Bad Bee Movie promo – just like NBC for that month.
6:32 “Peter and the Wolf” wins Animated Short.
6:35 Arkin announces Best Supporting Actress… people here like Amy Ryan… Tilda wins, big wows here. Tilda looks equally surprised. Tilda is giving her award away to her agent… that’s making the subtext text. Bad form.
6:40 Sidney Poitier “There is no honor in the motion picture business [pause] that is as great as winning an Oscar.”
6:44 “The never invisible Jessica Alba.” Technical Awards…
6:45 Stewart: “Alba. Blanchett. Two pregnant women at the Oscars. But the night is young.”
6:46 Josh Brolin & James McAvoy announce Best Adapted Screenplay… This could presage the Best Picture… The Coens for No Country for John McCain, er, Old Men
6:48 It’s like Penn and Teller, there’s one who doesn’t talk.
6:50 “How We Do It” – lame piece. Jon Stewart’s sarcastic “That was amazing” said it all.
6:53 Destiny “Miley” Cyrus introduces “That’s How You Know” – why Kristin Chenoweth? Because she’s on a show on ABC, duh.
7:01 Judi Dench and Halle Berry, no – Seth and Jonah. Funny bit. Goes on too long. Achievement in Sound Editing goes to… Bourne Ultimatum. Will Bourne win Mixing too? Winner: Bourne. The Sound Mixers acceptance speech got mixed down under the music. Oh the irony?
7:09 Forrest Whittaker auditions for an American Express commercial… Best Actress is… Marion Cotillard – as predicted by the bellweather Makeup category.
7:14 An adorable acceptance speech: “There truly are angels in this city!” I guess she hasn’t been south of Pico, says Brendan Clifford.
7:18 Jon Stewart playing Wii apparently constitutes a joke. Colin Farrell introduces the song from Once. My favorite, and it could win. I could be right for Once.
7:22 A shadeless Nicholson announces the Best Picture montage. Everyone in Peanut Gallery gets up to pee.
7:28 Renee “Squinty” Zellwegger announces Editing. Bourne Ultimatum may win since it swept the sound category. It did. His father is Russell Rouse. He won in 1960 for the Screenplay for Pillow Talk
7:33 Honorary Oscar to Robert Boyle. He gets the standing ovation I though Owen Wilson would get, and Heath Ledger will surely get in the death montage.
7:36 He thanks Hitch. Not Alfred Hitchcock. No, the terriffic Will Smith movie – he didn’t work on it – just really likes it.
7:42 Penelope Cruz intros Foreign Language – The Counterfeiters wins, for Best Movie with a Holocaust setting.
7:45 Server issues. Hopefully over before the last song nominee “So Close”.
7:48 John Travolta dance transition. Winner for Best Song Once – like I’ve said many times, not Juno but Once was true indie – they de-miked Irglova.
7:52 This just in: Winning Oscar Caused Spielberg to Experience Male Menopause
7:57 They gave Irglova her moment and goes on and on, cliche after cliche.
8:00 Cameron Diaz announces Best Cinematography despite her own best efforts. Winner is… Robert Elswit for There Will Be Blood. It was indeed a tremendous acheivement.
8:01 Hilary Swank announces the Death Montage. Prediction: it will end with Heath Ledger.
8:05 Yup, Heath was the climax. But the commentariat here says “No Brad Renfro?”
8:08 Amy Adams announces the Spielberg Scores award. Best Score goes to… Dario Martinelli for Atonement. Probably for that first piece with the typewriter percussion.
8:11 This is the first win for Atonement, which had seven nominations. It doesn’t bode well for Best Picture.
8:12 Best Documentary Short announced by soldiers. Interesting choice. I guess the anti-war category of Best Documentary would’ve been a little much. Then again, campaign contributions from soldiers have been going to the candidates who want to get out of Iraq ASAP.
8:15 Tom Hanks, All-American, intros this category instead. Taxi to the Dark Side – the poster of which was censored by the MPAA, wins. At least some good has come from institutional practices of torture.
8:23 “Movies are made of ideas” says Harrison Ford. Diablo Cody wins Best Original Screenplay, and proceeds to strip on stage. Honest to blog.
8:31 Helen Mirren announces Best Actor. Goes to Day-Lewis the overwhelming favorite.
8:36 Son of poet Cecil Day-Lewis gives a poetic speech. Thanking Paul (Dano? Thomas Anderson? The Biblical Figure?)
8:38 So far it’s been split in the acting categories in terms of indicators for Best Picture. Best Director will be the biggest clue. (Or red herring.)
8:42 Marty Scorsese gives the hardware to the director of… No County for Old Men, Joel & Ethan Coen
8:45 Running early… Best Picture… No Country for Old Men – well best two-thirds of a movie.
8:46 Scott Rudin “I’m so glad to have something heavy that I can put on my desk. So it’s within arm’s reach when I get angry with my assistants.”
8:48 Summary: It was a breezy, fun ceremony. The old men of the Academy clearly thought No Country was for them. In the coming days, I’ll have a deeper analysis. Thanks for tuning in. Tune back soon.