8:30: Here we go! Morgan Freeman comes out first, which is a much classier intro than I was expecting.
8:31: George Clooney kissing Billy Crystal?! Oh, so beautifully played. Also, way more interesting than The Descendents.
8:32: “I’m here to get you the 18-24 demographic.” That’s the only time it’s acceptable to integrate Justin Bieber.
8:35: “Showtime.” Welcome back, Billy.
8:36: After last year’s debacle, I’m surprised the audience isn’t leaping out of their chairs and charging the stage. Especially since they keep showing the older audience members, who look, let’s just say, appreciative.
8:37:”The Chapter 11 Theatre.” An inside baseball joke that totally made me laugh.
8:38: I could watch Jean Dujardin smile broadly for hours. Of course, I saw The Artist, so I kinda did.
8:39: Martin Scorsese’s tween daughter looks underwhelmed by Billy Crystal’s medley. She’s probably the only person who misses James Franco and Anne Hathaway.
8:41: Tom Hanks comes on to present our first awards! Moving right along, eleven minutes into the show.
8:43: First up: Cinematography. Way to start with the sexy awards, producers. Robert Richardson wins for Hugo, which I totally called! (Here are all of my picks, for your easy perusal.)
8:44: And we move on to Art Direction. Again, we couldn’t have started with something more interesting? Not knocking the art directors, but we’d all like to know what Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer have to say.
8:45: Art Direction goes to Hugo, and I’m officially 2 for 2! BOOM. (Those weren’t hard to call, by the way; if you saw Hugo, you know how beautifully shot/designed it was.)
8:46: Unless Martin Scorsese speaks fluent Italian, I have no idea how he communicated with his art department. Their English is not awesome.
8:50: This GCB show kinda reinforces to me why I don’t belong in Texas.
8:51: Ooh, a montage! I’m not gonna lie, I love these. I was thrilled to see Forrest Gump and Titanic – the movies of my childhood – but then Twilight came on and kinda ruined the mood for me. Ooh, The Princess Bride! Never mind, we’re cool.
8:52: Apparently this is just a montage in which the theme is “awesome movies.” I’m unable to distinguish any other thread. (And how did Twilight sneak in? We already got the Bieber cameo, the tweens have deserted us.)
8:54: “Tight enough to show you’re a woman, loose enough to show you’re a lady.” Neither Cameron Diaz nor JLo feel obligated to follow the second half of that pesky rule.
8:55: I like this idea of people speaking about the costume design (and, presumably, makeup, etc.). Interesting insight that you don’t usually get, though this will probably extend the show by twelve minutes or so.
8:56: The Artist wins for Best Costume Design, breaking my streak. It was fun while it lasted.
8:57: We skid right into Best Makeup; my pick for this was Harry Potter, and I stand by my Potterphilic pick. HP FTW.
8:58: Cameron Diaz and JLo return from the montage to strike a pose. For no apparent reason. Ladies, leave the comedy to Billy, kay? Your skills lie elsewhere.
8:59: The Iron Lady wins for Best Makeup, and I’m now running at 50% on my picks. I would like to remind you that .500 is still an amazing batting average for a baseball player. Remember this, please.
9:00: I’m loving this montage of actors talking about dreaming at the movies. Until Adam Sandler talks about seeing Sean Connery onscreen and saying, “Can I do that?” I hate to break it to you, Adam, but no. You cannot.
9:05: Sandra Bullock comes on to present best Foreign Film. I love the electronic map behind Sandra as she introduces them – very cool touch, producers! No way A Separation loses this, correct?
9:07: Correct! The director has a seriously impressive mustache and goatee; he looks like Ben Kingsley’s Georges Melies character in Hugo, only Persian.
9:09: “You’ll get to choose one on Super Tuesday!” My favorite joke so far.
9:10: Christian Bale is so good at subsuming his accent onscreen that it is beyond jarring to hear it in real life.
9:11: Best Supporting Actress! Finally, something interesting! (No offense, art directors.)
9:12: Octavia Spencer wins! You can’t possibly be shocked by this. I am not, but I am thrilled because my batting average just went up.
9:13: We’re about to find out how cruel the producers are about to be with their play-off music, because Octavia is crying too hard to articulate right now.
9:17: Hey, you know that commercial in which the woman uses her credit card points to go rock climbing? In a related story, I now hear that “somebody left the gate open” song in my nightmares. Time to retire that ad, guys.
9:18: I would give seriously amazing money to be in one of those film focus groups.
9:19: Christopher Guest must have directed this focus group segment. I’m waiting for the Catherine O’Hara appearance to clinch it.
9:20: Yup, there she is.
9:21: This is amusing, but a bit too long. Of course, the same could be said for some of Guest’s movies. Not Waiting for Guffman though, that was wall-to-wall hilarious.
9:22: Tina Fey is presenting with Bradley Cooper, and it is not nearly as glorious as her intro with Robert Downey, Jr. a few years ago. Anyway. They’re presenting for Film Editing, and it goes to the team behind The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, one of whom looks a lot like Ben Stiller. Just FYI.
9:25: “Let’s just get out of here!” That was probably a smart decision.
9:26: Next up is the award for Sound Editing. Who’s napping? It goes to Hugo, which means that the guy from Transformers who is essentially the Susan Lucci of the Oscars – like 27 nominations and no wins – loses again. Maybe if he worked on something other than a Michael Bay movie…
9:27: I’m wondering if a Hugo upset is brewing. I’m not saying I believe it yet, but it may be percolating.
9:28: And now for Sound Mixing. Embarrassing admission: I majored in Electronic Media (film/TV, basically) and I have no effing clue what the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing is. Anyway, it goes to Hugo as well, because if the sound is edited that well, then it must have one helluva mix, too. I’m guessing.
9:30: Folks, we’re at least 90 minutes away from Best Actor. Don’t tease like it’s imminent. That’s just mean.
9:34: Kermit and Miss Piggy! I gasped aloud. I’m a little surprised that she didn’t hit on George Clooney, but apparently she’s not close enough to the stage.
9:35: Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock do not look they want to participate in this Cirque du Soleil performance, but I, for one, am enthralled.
9:36: Oh, hell. I could do that. (No, I could not. I have the balance of a sedated toddler.)
9:40: This bit with RDJ would have worked better with Tina Fey. Just saying. Although Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress looks gorgeous without the cape/coat thing.
9:42: The Oscar for Best Doc Feature goes to Undefeated, because apparently P. Diddy has a ton more pull in Hollywood than we think he does. (He’s an executive producer.)
9:44: Chris Rock wanders onstage looking like he needs a GPS to find his microphone. He will be presenting Best Animated Film, and his breakdown of voiceover work is hysterical. Why wasn’t he this funny when he hosted the Oscars?
9:46: I’m so rooting for Rango. Such an imaginative movie, and also, Johnny Depp. Always, Johnny Depp.
9:47: Rango wins! And Gore Verbinski has gone gray since I last saw any “making of Pirates of the Caribbean” footage.
9:51: How did they come up with these Oscar pairings? Emma Stone and Ben Stiller? At least they paired two people with comedic ability. And this bit explains why Emma Stone was waving on her way out like she was in a motorcade.
9:54: Visual effects! I added the exclamation point to get you excited, but I’m fading too. Hey, we’re only halfway through this damn thing; buck up, people!
9:56: I picked Harry Potter to win this thing, but at this rate, it’ll probably be Hugo, no?
9:57: Yup, it’s Hugo! Hmmmm. Either these tech awards are “thanks for playing” prizes, or my Artist best picture choice is wavering.
9:58: Whoa, not loving Melissa Leo’s dress. Black sequins, copper sequins and a shirt dress? It looks exactly the way it sounds.
9:59: Nick Nolte’s voice has dropped an octave in the past few years. How did that happen, exactly? I heard him on the red carpet, this was not an affectation for the movie.
10:00: Christopher Plummer wins for Beginners! We knew it was going to happen, but still awesome. He was wonderful. And how many others include the phrase “When I first emerged from my mother’s womb” in their Oscar speech? You go, Captain von Trapp.
10:02: My roommate: “Jonah Hill looked pissed off.” Me: “Right, like he was gonna win.”
10:03: Okay, let’s wrap it up, Mr. Plummer. I need a jelly bean break.
10:07: Did Billy Crystal change his tux? How very Lady Gaga of him!
10:08: UGGIE! I thought he was banned from the Oscars, like The Dictator.
10:11: And now, Hans Zimmer’s tribute to Hans Zimmer! Kidding. Time for best music. If the Muppets don’t win Original Song, I WILL BURN THIS PLACE DOWN.
10:13: Ludovic Bource wins for his score for The Artist, and I look forward to Kim Novak’s complete overreaction to it.
10:15: “Please accept me, because I have so much love to give.” I have to feel like that did not translate in English the way he meant it.
10:16: Okay, I am already laughing at the cymbals.
10:17: I would still like to lodge a formal complaint that “Life’s a Happy Song” is not nominated. UNACCEPTABLE, Academy.
10:18: “Man or Muppet” wins! I would like a Swedish Chef cameo now, please.
10:19: Everyone should thank Jim Henson. EVERYONE. (Okay, I like the Muppets. What’s your point?)
10:20: I’m confused as to why we spent an entire minute watching popcorn girls pass out snacks. Although, there’ve gotta be some hungry, hungry people in the audience there. Still, I didn’t need to actually watch the popcorn distribution.
10:24: “Front row, you know what I’m thinking? Let’s chip in and buy the Dodgers!” Maybe I’m nostalgic, but I think Billy is killing it tonight.
10:25: There’s an awful lot of butt to Angelina’s dress, and not a lot of leg. Know what I mean? No? You’re right, that wasn’t clear. It’s getting late. (Okay, there’s a ton of material in the back and a slit that goes from the floor to her naval. Better?)
10:26: The writers of The Descendents win for Adapted Screenplay, and leave it to Dean Pelton to adopt Angelina Jolie’s come-hither stance. (Anyone else watch Community? Just me? Start Netflixing immediately, it’s hysterical.)
10:28: Interesting tidbit: Alexander Payne used to be married to Sandra Oh (Cristina from Grey’s Anatomy.)
10:30: Woody Allen wins the Original Screenplay for Midnight in Paris! Dammit, I almost picked him to win that. And he’s not there! Champagne all around.
10:31: Another interesting tidbit: Reese Witherspoon and my Mom share the same favorite movie, Overboard. Not joking.
10:32: Every time they show Melissa McCarthy footage from Bridesmaids, I’m howling. Why didn’t she win again?
10:36: I don’t know why I feel the need to share this, but I have eaten an entire bag of Sour Patch Jelly Beans today. CVS needs to stop selling Easter candy in February, this is completely out of hand.
10:37: Oh good, the recap of the science and technology awards! Now we’re getting somewhere! I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be snarky. I didn’t get my nap today.
10:38: Okay, it’s maybe good they scheduled this Bridesmaids sketch so late in the evening. Not that it isn’t cracking me up.
10:40: Are the non-Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph bridesmaids getting to present anything, or did they just come to the Oscars so they could walk onstage hand-in-hand?
10:41: Nope, Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy are presenting Documentary Short. And I realize that I have not been playing the Scorsese drinking game all night. How is this possible?
10:42: Saving Face wins, and it looks like a worthwhile and deeply sad film. I’m sure I will see it and sob someday.
10:44: Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper present the Best Animated Short to The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore, which I picked to win because it’s got a stupendously awesome name. It was a super-educated guess.
10:49: President Shepard! (If you have not memorized The American President then we cannot be friends.) He’s presenting Best Director, and if it goes to Scorsese, not only will there be drinking, there will be unease in Artist-ville.
10:52: Leave it to Ben Kingsley to get all eloquently philosophical.
10:53: Nope, it goes to Michel Hazanavicius. Uggie can rest easy.
10:54: Just had the following exchange with my roommate, after Michel Hazanavicius kissed Berenice Bejo (after winning). Roommate: “Oh, are they together, or are they just making out? Like friends make out?” Me: “No, they’re together. (Laughing hysterically.) Like friends make out?!” Guys, it’s getting late.
10:55: For luck, this evening Meryl Streep has dressed as an Oscar. (I like it, for the record.)
10:57: I love how in the footage of Oprah receiving her honorary Oscar, they immediately cut to Gayle King’s reaction.
11:03: We pass the 11pm mark and head into the In Memoriam montage. Who do we think will get the final slot? Elizabeth Taylor’s my guess, although Whitney Houston wouldn’t shock me either.
11:05: I’m not sure how I feel about the montage. I like seeing the people in action, as opposed to seeming to peer down at us from heaven. Although they’re nicely integrating clips as this gets going. And Peter Falk saying, “As you wish” broke my heart.
11:06: When you think that Steve Jobs was remembered at the Grammys, and now the Oscars – and that’s the very least of it – it kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
11:08: Well, that was quite touching. I’m impressed. Okay, let’s take stock of what’s left: Actor, Actress, Picture, and…wait, that’s it? Hot damn, this thing will end on time!
11:11: “When I see myself onscreen, I know that I exist.” Am I just tired and befuddled, or did that not make sense?
11:13: Why have the Oscar editors been hiding Robert De Niro, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman this whole time? Were they entirely uninteresting on the day they recorded these? Who else is back there?
11:14: Best Actor time! Who ya got, b-rollers? Clooney, Pitt, Dujardin? Actually, can I get Natalie Portman’s necklace? It’s so sparkly!
11:15: Why are they showing the one clip from The Artist with sound? How many people at home are saying, “Wait, wasn’t that supposed to be silent?!”
11:18: Jean Dujardin wins! And he starts making out with his friends. Kidding, he politely pecks his fellow Artists. I’m hoping this speech will be subtitled.
11:19: Actually, his English has improved noticeably from the Golden Globes. But bring Uggie onstage next time, okay, Jean?
11:25: I’m enjoying these “I salute you” speeches much more in Colin Firth’s British accent.
11:28: Wait, Michelle Williams and Colin Firth starred in a movie together? How did I not know this, and more importantly, why isn’t this film in my Netflix queue?
11:29: Meryl Streep wins! Weird that it’s kind of an upset, but there it is.
11:30: “But, whatever.” My new life motto.
11:32: We’re officially running overtime, but I think the conductor would’ve been stabbed with his baton had he cut off Meryl Streep.
11:33: Tom Cruise on to present Best Picture, looking dapper and like he hasn’t aged a day since Top Gun. That’s just infuriating.
11:35: The Artist wins! I’m b-roll, and I approved this win.
11:36: Jean Dujardin has Uggie’s leash. The spotlight is about to be stolen, producers.
11:37: Uggie is getting restless. Join the club, pal.
Well, that’s a wrap! I had a wonderful time and hope you did too, b-rollers. See you here tomorrow for some post-Oscar chatter, and then on Tuesday for The Voice recap. Oh, will I ever sleep again?