Fair. Balanced. American.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Liveblogging the Oscars

It's almost time.

8:28 So who'll get the first award? I say it will be Best Supporting Actress, if only because Christopher Waltz' extended soliloquy on the meaning of "support" and "actor" won't get the ratings off to a bang.

8:31 New opening, all the actor and actress nominees on stage. Cheesy.

8:32 Neil Patrick Harris!

8:33 NPH ups the cool quotient of the Oscars, somehow tarnishes his own. But we still love him.

8:37 Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin a bit stiff together. Should have been just Steve for the warmup.

8:41 Nikki Finke: "Out come the two over-the-hill white guys who are hosting, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Meryl Streep jokes? Didn't Saturday Night Live already exhaust that lame material? Have you laughed yet? I haven't. Not once. Kill me now.... Steve Martin just made a reference to one of his movies that's something like 45 years old. Nothing like staying relevant, Oscars."

8:43 Why is Taylor Lautner at the Oscars?

8:44 Oh my goodness. They're presenting Actor first. And the got rid of the five presenters for acting awards, the best thing about last year's ceremony.

8:45 Maybe they just figured Penélope Cruz's appearance would keep viewers despite Waltz' upcoming snoozer of a speech. Not a bad bet tonight; she looks radiant.

8:46 Nominees for MTV's Best Onscreen Kiss: Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren in The Last Station.

8:48 Waltz on Penélope: "That's an überbingo."

8:49 Awww, that was a nice speech, and thankfully unpretentious; I'm guessing he wrote his previous speeches himself. Waltz no doubt deserved his award.

8:50 Oh no... We're going to be subjected to 10 movie clips. Bring back Randy Newman's crappy movie songs!

8:55 Great Jimmy Kimmel teaser.

8:57 Coraline won't clean her room? I'm going to have to send Alec Baldwin after her.

8:58 Up was better than Hurt Locker or Avatar, and it's a shoo-in here.

9:02 OMG Randy Newman actually is nominated again.

9:03 "The Wrestler" was way better than "The Weary Kind." Anyway, good for T-Bone Burnett... who's no Randy Newman, but then who is.

9:05 Best line from a speech thus far: Ryan Bingham. "To my wife Anna, you're better than rainbows, baby!"

9:07 @NYDNgossip "I love you more than rainbows" is the new "you complete me" #Oscars

9:08 @dougbenson: Amanda Seyfried seemed professional and not nervous. I guess Miley Cyrus didn't get the memo. #oscars

9:09 @DukeStJournal: Win for Up making me realize that this show would be better with Ed Asner hurling insults at the presenters. #oscars

9:10 @acarvin: T-bone Burnett looks like the love child of James Cameron and Roy Orbison. #oscars

9:12 Nikki: "You know how last year I kept saying that was the Gayest Oscars Ever? Well, these are the Straightest Oscars Ever! And lemme tell you: I prefer the gay version. At least that had entertainment! Academy Award producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman won't get hired for the Covina Dinner Theater when this broadcast is over."

9:13 First surprise of the night: screenplay award early. Second surprise: first laughs of the evening, thanks to Tina Fey and Robert Downey, Jr.

9:14 WABC returns to Manhattan cable, 17 minutes after the telecast begins.

9:15 Wow. The Hurt Locker beats Tarantino for screenplay. He isn't pleased, and you can't blame him. Camera pans to a stoic James Cameron, who's seated behind Bigelow. He knows what this means.

9:17 An extended tribute to John Hughes. Now there's something they'll never do for the likes of David Lynch. While it's proof of Hollywood's misplaced priorities--this would have been more appropriate to the TV Land Awards--it was still well done.

9:23 Taylor Lautner: "John who?"

9:24 Up is presented by... Samuel Jackson?!

9:27 @andylevy: The opening scene of UP should've been nominated for best animated short.

9:35 I have a feeling the Zimbabwe debacle is going to go viral within minutes.

9:36 It has begin: @SaracasticMom LMFAO She totally just ran up and steam rolled him. #Oscars

@carriekerpen: I think my bubbe just busted on stage and accepted an award with this nice man. #oscars


@funnyordie: Kanye West had to dress up like an overweight redheaded white lady to get into the Oscars.

@DJShinobiShaw: Oh shit Mrs Garrett just bumrushed the Oscars #oscars

9:41 Star Trek beats Avatar for Makeup! Backlash against the king of the world? Avatar shutout now more likely than Best Picture win.

9:50 HUGE UPSET: Precious beats out Up in the Air. Hooray!

9:56 That was the best speech of the night too, though Mo'Nique will probably eclipse it now.

9:58 These clips are about 15 seconds longer than they need to be.

9:59 Why is Robin Williams presenting this? Was Howie Mandel not available?

10:01 Not Mo'Nique's best. She congratulated the Academy for rewarding her performance even though she didn't campaign for it, and while she isn't wrong, somehow it felt self-serving, given the moment and what will have been the most ecstatic audience reaction of the evening.

10:19 A tribute to horror! Will we see any clips of Nell Carter's head popping out of Aladdin's lamp?

10:22 That was probably Quentin Tarantino's only unexpected pleasure tonight.

10:24 Morgan Freeman explains sound editing. But going back to David Lynch again, is there any director who has used sound more effectively?

10:25 Hurt Locker back on track with a win for sound editing. Is Precious more likely than Avatar to take it down?

10:26 Oh God... Another award for The Hurt Locker, this time for sound mixing. The least political film ever made about an American war continues to clean up. That's probably why, of course.

10:29 John Travolta presents Inglourious Basterds. Finally, an intro that makes sense.

10:35 Cinematographer. Hurt Locker, you think.

10:36 Surprise!, it's Avatar.

10:38 Demi Moore? They're doing in memoriam with a pole this year?

10:46 Interpretive dance and ten movie clips? For this they cut everyone else's time off?

10:49 The interpretive dance for Up features a guy doing the robot? What?!

10:52 Yay, Up has three for the night.

10:56 Avatar special effects guy: "Remember the world we live in is as amazing as the one we created."

11:01 Food, Inc. was an incredible documentary.

11:05 They gave it to the dolphin movie. Figures.

11:07 Big surprise: Tyler Perry wasn't funny.

11:08 Hurt Locker's film editing guy: we did the movie "without focus groups, without studio notes." So true. Who needs notes and focus groups when you can just watch a bunch of recruiting vids?

11:14 ¡Pedro Almodóvar! Royalty arrives at the Oscars to announce Best Foreign Film. As usual, the Spanish nominating authorities robbed him of his nomination.

11:15 How did La teta asustada become The Milk of Sorrow?

11:17 Argentina's El secreto de sus ojos upsets! The White Ribbon was supposed to win.

11:18 He may have upset the frontrunner, but you only get more than 45 seconds if you're compelling. They were right to play him off.

11:20 Avatar wasn't just better than The Hurt Locker. It was more substantial. Many denigrate Cameron's film by comparing it to Pocahontas. Guess what? Pocahontas had more to say than The Hurt Locker, too.

11:22 Yes, and? @baratunde: "It's an epic. It's a love story. It is Pocahontas."

11:26 Ah. They've kept the five presenter concept for the two big acting awards.

11:27 This time it's people who actually know the stars well, or at least much more accomplished at acting like they do.

11:29 And it's co-ed!

11:30 Colin Farrell definitely seems to know Jeremy Renner.

11:31 I think last year's idea, the set of Oscar winners actually presenting the award, adds much more gravitas to the moment. This just felt like clubby sentimentality.

11:33 Lloyd Bridges is awesome, too.

11:34 Awww. Bridges remembers his parents.

11:36 Nikki: "Tyler Perry: 'They just said my name at the Oscars. I'd better enjoy it because it'll probably never happen again.' He sure got that right since he specializes in racial sterotypes. And he's a union-buster."

11:40 Forest Whitaker for Sandra Bullock!

11:46 At least Oprah gave a good speech.

11:48 Good for Sandra Bullock. I don't know anyone who dislikes her, whether or not she deserves an Oscar. And clearly the room adores her.

11:52 Best speech of the night.

11:53 Oh oh. It's Barbara.

11:56 It's hard to believe that it took till 2010 for a woman to win for directing in such an allegedly liberal community.

11:57 Bigelow leaves stage to the strains of "I am Woman."

11:58 Ugh. Tom Hanks.

11:59 Best part of The Hurt Locker's victory: the jubilant actors standing behind the principals.

12:02 I wonder what foreign audiences will think. Not only did the film that actually had something to say end up losing, but the eventual winner thanked the U.S. armed forces not once but twice. When they actually see the movie, they'll be appalled. Too bad the voting system didn't end up awarding Precious instead.

12:38 Nikki's postscript:
So David slew Goliath. Or, to put it another way, Academy voters rewarded a tiny film that made no money just because almost everyone in Hollywood really dislikes James Cameron. This shows how out of touch the Oscars are with moviegoers around the world, who loved Avatar. But what can you expect from a bunch of mostly geriatrics who decide on the Best Picture by watching them on small screens instead of in the movie theater. Most of the 5,000+ voters only saw Avatar in 2D. So, of course, The Hurt Locker played better. And people wonder why I have nothing but contempt for the Academy?

Oh, and remember that the Academy wouldn't even let Nicolas Chartier who financed Hurt Locker attend the show tonight because he mass-emailed members and supposedly broke the campaigning rules -- even though he never even mentioned Avatar by name. That guy has to celebrate at a private party in Malibu tonight away from all the Industry accolades he so richly deserves. And people still wonder why I have nothing but contempt for the Academy?
12:50 Jimmy Kimmel: Mo'Nique is an abbreviation for "More Nique."

12:53 John Edwards wins an Oscar on Jimmy Kimmel!

1:06 Prediction: 5 million YouTube and Hulu hits for "The Handsome Men's Club" by Friday.

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