7:10: I wasn’t going to live-blog the Oscars this year. I’m rusty at blogging, my computer enjoys stalling at crucial moments just to toy with my sanity, and I have a cold and have just come off of a week of intense party planning. So maybe I’ll just lay low and watch from home this year, with Nyquil, leftover birthday cake and beer. (In no particular order.)
Oh hey, did you hear that the Oscars are doing a salute to movie musicals this year, which only happens to be my favorite genre? And there will be real live performances of some of the best movie musical numbers of all time?
Okay, fine. FINE. Damn you, Academy, consider your bait taken.
Back at 8:30 with cake, beer and a quasi-functional laptop. Enjoy the red carpet, b-rollers.
8:30: Ladies and gentlemen, Seth MacFarlane! He makes Tommy Lee Jones laugh on the first attempt! TLJ clearly took his Xanax this evening.
8:31: Annndddd we leap right in to the jokes. Apparently we have to sprint through a monologue to get immediately to the musical numbers.
8:32: A Jean Dujardin joke! It’s a little mean, thank God he barely speaks English.
8:33: Is there a laugh track? The Coppola joke was kinda lame, and yet garnered a huge laugh. I call shenanigans. (Or maybe they installed a laugh track after the Franco/Hathaway debacle.)
8:35: I was expecting a lot of star cameos. I did not see Shatner getting the primo spot. I mean, I’ve seen Shatner recently on ads for local law firms.
8:36: “Why can’t Tina and Amy host everything?” Amen, Shatner. Amen.
8:38: If Channing Tatum doesn’t turn this into a striptease, I WILL BURN THIS PLACE DOWN.
8:40: But damn, I can’t deny a good fox trot.
8:41: I’m ashamed of how much I enjoy sock puppets.
8:42: I would watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt in anything. Which I kinda did in 2012, since he was in every damn movie.
8:46: Maybe not so much with the Joaquin Phoenix cutaways, Oscar director. He’s the only guy who could out-grumpy Tommy Lee.
8:49: Best Supporting Actor goes to Christoph Waltz. I have yet to see Django Unchained, but have the general feeling that this performance was Inglourious Basterds’ Colonel Landa 2.0. Am I wrong, b-rollers?
8:51: Jack Nicholson is wearing his own sunglasses and Pee Wee Herman’s tie. So that is happening.
8:55: A sample of the score to ET – maybe the best film score EVER, I’ll say it – introduces Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy, who go on an extended riff on voice acting that is only sporadically funny, though they try as hard as possible.
8:57: The Oscar for Best Animated Short goes to Paperman, which I hear is quite awesome. The director enters from some kind of stage right opera box. I’m not quite following the set-up of the audience this evening, but it seems quite snug.
8:59: Best Animated Feature goes to Brave. Pixar is The Daily Show of the animated feature category – un-freaking-stoppable.
9:00: Reese Witherspoon walks onstage to a weirdly carousel-like version of Walk the Line. Poor Johnny Cash. Also, apparently they’re combining the Best Picture clips into three-at-a-time montages, which is…odd. Les Miserables, Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild aren’t exactly cohesive thematically.
9:04: Is there anyone better than George Clooney? He catches a mini liquor bottle and opens it immediately.
9:06: The Avengers cast introduces Best Cinematography, which is hilarious considering how much of their film was CGI’d. And the Oscar goes to the cinematographer behind Life of Pi, a man who could easily star in his own shampoo ad. (I didn’t catch his name. Whatever. He has an Oscar.)
9:08: Samuel L. Jackson is so good at sharp exasperation (and Robert Downey Jr. so good at sarcastic comebacks) that I can’t tell if this bit is scripted, or off the cuff. Mark Ruffalo cracking up doesn’t help.
9:10: Life of Pi wins best Visual Effects, which is extraordinarily deserved. I saw it in 3D, and that fake tiger scared the holy hell out of me.
9:11: The Jaws music is the play-off music? BEST. OSCAR. DECISION. EVER. Though not showing Spielberg’s reaction to this is a massive cutaway fail. (Sadly, the visual effects winner’s mic is turned off just as he says: “I just want you all to remember…”)
9:15: Channing Tatum is co-presenting the Costume Design Oscar. We all appreciate the irony of this, correct?
9:17: Anna Karenina wins for Costume Design. This Oscar is deserved just for the wedding ring Keira Knightley wore in the film; I’m not a huge bling girl, but I nearly fainted when I saw it.
9:19: The Oscar for hair and makeup goes to Les Miserables. It is not easy to make so many people look like destitute French peasants, but dammit, they did.
9:20: Is it really appropriate to wear pink leggings to the Oscars, as one of the Les Miz hair/makeup ladies has? I’m thinking no, but I’m no Joan Rivers.
9:21: Wow, we’re really packing in the tributes this evening. I approve of a Bond music montage though. That main theme is also an all-timer.
9:23: I once played a Bond’s greatest hits medley in my college symphonic band, so I’m humming the bass clarinet part to all of these songs right now. Don’t judge me.
9:24: Whoa, Shirley Bassey! This is cool as hell. Still vibrato-ing, after all these years.
9:26: Shirley Bassey would like to remind you that she has been Adele-ing it up for a long, long time. Please don’t forget it.
9:32: Curfew wins the Oscar for Best Life Action Short. Best Documentary Short goes to Inocente. Just keeping you apprised, folks.
9:37: I think Liam Neeson should have a voice-of-God-off with Morgan Freeman. How can we make this happen, exactly? (Also, it’s a little cold of them to ask Liam to intro Lincoln‘s clip considering he almost played the part that DDL is about to win an Oscar for.)
9:39: The Lincoln clip ends where the film should have ended. I think the Oscar editors were trying to tell Spielberg something.
9:43: Best Documentary Feature is up! Am I the only dork who’s excited about this? Bueller? Okay fine. I’ll keep it to myself. (I’ve seen three of these – The Invisible War, 5 Broken Cameras and How to Survive a Plague. All three are absolutely astonishing. See them immediately.) Anyway, Searching for Sugar Man takes the prize.
9:48: Let’s put a ban on all dancing/diving/whatever-ing with “the stars” reality show ads during the Oscars. We’re watching THE OSCARS. We know stars when we see them, thanks.
9:49: On an evening when women seem to be obsessed with pale or nude-colored gowns, I hope everyone is taking note of how gorgeous Jennifer Garner’s purple gown is. COLOR, DAMMIT. (Amour wins Best Foreign Language Film, because of course it does. Like, duh.)
9:51: Salma Hayek could not look less interested in the proceedings. Meanwhile, I’m interested as to why she was invited.
9:52: John Travolta is on to introduce a celebration of the finest movie musicals of the last decade. Shouldn’t he be in drag for this? (You know, Hairspray?)
9:53: Chicago gets picked on, but that was one damn fine movie, and sucks to be you if you can’t appreciate it.
9:55: I’m not sure if Catherine Zeta Jones is singing live, but this is absolutely flawless. I’m also a total sucker for “All That Jazz,” so I’m just kvelling right now anyway.
9:57: Clearly whoever booked Jennifer Hudson to sing “And I Am Telling You” does not watch American Idol or any other singing show, and is unaware that our nation’s collective tolerance limit for this song was reached in 2011.
9:59: That being said, Jennifer Hudson. DAMN.
10:00: Oh, we’re having Russell Crowe sing immediately after Jennifer Hudson? That’s not the world’s best decision. producers.
10:01: STOP TRYING TO MAKE THE NEW LES MIZ SONG HAPPEN.
10:03: A very powerful rendition of “One Day More,” followed by French flags falling in what appears to be an attempted coup. (I’m okay with Jean Dujardin replacing Seth MacFarlane, if that’s what this implies.)
10:06: You know, I liked the Les Miz movie very much, and there were some incredible set pieces in the film (those barricades, my God). But I think this performance conclusively proves that it is, first and foremost, a stage play. In person, that song nearly stops your heart.
10:08: Another smart decision: Having the Star Trek cast host the sci/tech Oscars. They made a lot of dreams come true.
10:11: A fake teddy bear is presenting the Oscar for best Sound Mixing, which has to be a little upsetting for the winners. (It goes to Les Miserables. I just learned that Sound Mixing is for sound recorded live on a set, and Sound Editing is for editing of sound done in post-production. So this is essentially for that whole singing live thing. Did you know that the cast of Les Miz sang live on-set? I know, they totally kept that under wraps.)
10:13: A tie! The audience gasps, even though it’s for sound editing rather than, like, directing. The first sound editing Oscar goes to Zero Dark Thirty, and the second to Skyfall.
10:18: An empty door and a frantic Nazi to intro Christopher Plummer? That’ll do, Oscars. That’ll do.
10:22: Anne Hathaway wins Best Supporting Actresses, and if she pulls the Taylor Swift Memorial “I can’t believe this is happening!” Crap, they should take it back.
10:23: This may be an inappropriate time, but I’m not sure Anne Hathaway’s dress works with that necklace.
10:24: That was pretty well composed and delivered. I’m glad Anne had time to polish the rough edges of her speech throughout this endless awards season.
10:29: I can’t even tell you how much I adore this idea of film students (rather than random models) handing out the Oscars. So brilliant.
10:31: Sorry, did Sandra Bullock just say “rump roast” on the Oscar telecast? (Argo wins best editing, so no potential upsets brewing so far. For the record, not-Argo would count as an upset. It’s gonna be Argo.)
10:34: Jennifer Lawrence gets to introduce Adele’s performance. I’m unclear what the connection is. They’re both kinda badass? Whatever.
10:37: I kind of want to be Adele when I grow up. (While we’re on the subject, she’s like 7 years younger than me.)
10:47: “Is Kristen Stewart galloping onstage?” I ask my roommate, who informs me that she apparently broke her foot or something. Okay, that makes more sense.
10:48: Production design goes to Lincoln. Well, at least it won something.
10:51: I’m wondering if Salma Hayek is speaking extra slowly because of Seth MacFarlane’s dig about not being able to understand her.
10:56: George Clooney introduces the “In Memoriam,” which will be sung by Barbra Streisand (eventually). This joint just got classy.
11:00: And Barbra Streisand sings “The Way We Were” in honor of Marvin Hamlisch. And I am trying not to cry.
11:04: For the record, tonight’s standing ovations have gone to Shirley Bassey, Jennifer Hudson, Adele and Barbra Streisand. Ladies rock.
11:07: The cast of Chicago comes on to present Best Score. Life of Pi wins. It’s getting late, and my cake sugar rush is wearing off. Let’s move this along, fellas.
11:12: We apparently have to hear 60 seconds of each nominated song, even though “Skyfall” is clearly going to win. (Also, they ain’t kidding that “Pi’s Lullaby” is a lullaby. Maybe don’t play that song at 11:12pm, okay?)
11:15: Adele wins! Sadly, we won’t get to watch her high-five Daniel Craig this time. We all lose, people.
11:17: You can’t ever play “Singin’ in the Rain” and not perk me up. Thank you, Oscar orchestra.
11:22: We’re up to the screenplay awards! Homestretch, b-rollers! Speaking of stretch, someone paired 15 foot tall Charlize Theron with pint-sized Dustin Hoffman for this presentation. It’s a little incongruous.
11:24: Argo wins best adapted screenplay. It’s going to happen, folks. Brace yourselves.
11:25: Quentin Tarantino wins original screenplay for Django Unchained, in the first speech I am actively dying to watch. He maybe could’ve straightened his tie, though I understand we’re nearing the three hour mark here.
11:27: Tarantino is paying tribute to his actors by somehow kinda making it all about him. Yes, that sounds about right.
11:30: Since tonight is an evening of public gratitude, I would like to pay tribute to The Hollywood Reporter for this year deciding to consolidate their “Breaking News” email alerts into a handful of emails, rather than one per award. I salute you for not clogging my inbox with emails I’ll have to delete from the show I am already watching. Thank you.
11:32: I’m going to need those Jane Fonda exercise videos. Apparently, they have some pretty fantastic long-term effects.
11:34: And Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas present Best Director to Ang Lee. This guy made Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountain, Sense and Sensibility and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I have no words for that kind of crazy, versatile talent.
11:40: Jean Dujardin is on to present Best Actress. Where is Uggie? I DEMAND TO SEE UGGIE!
11:41: The clip of Amour makes me kinda want to see it less.
11:43: The Oscar goes to Jennifer Lawrence, who trips on her crazy dress on the stairs. This, children, is why you wear sensible clothing. Her speech is short, sweet, and less funny than I expected.
11:44: Meryl Streep. That is all.
11:47: I kinda wonder if Denzel is drunk now. I would be.
11:48: Daniel Day-Lewis wins, because of course he does. Is there any other actor alive who could have pulled that off? No. And scene.
11:49: Look at DDL, bringing the best comedy of the night. I adore him so, so much.
11:51: Jack is on for Best Picture. He sort of looks like he borrowed his grandpa’s tux and his grandma’s glasses to do the honor.
11:52: Whoa, Michelle Obama is helping present from the White House. I’m thinking Lincoln‘s odds just went up.
11:55: Best Picture goes to Argo, and I am thankful to the Oscars for bringing George Clooney to the stage once more. Well done.
11:57: This show is now a half-hour over. I know it’s uncouth to play off the Best Picture winners, but let’s wrap this s&%# up.
11:59: Ben Affleck’s speech is a bit Jodie Foster-ish, but has flashes of poignancy. I approve.
12:00: I like Kristin Chenoweth, but now I’d like to just go to bed, please. Make it quick.
12:03: And the song that ends the evening is rather emblematic of the show and Seth MacFarlane’s hosting stint: Good in theory, well-sung, slightly funny, botched at times, and way too long. And with that, I wish you a long-overdue goodnight!