I may not have blogged since last year’s Oscars, but WHAT THE HELL. Let’s do this, b-rollers.
8:19: I should mention: I’m on my second glass of wine. S**t is about to get real, folks.
8:22: Dear ABC: Best not to start a promo with “Everyone on Twitter agrees…” since no one on Twitter has ever agreed about anything. You could say “Human trafficking isn’t great” and you’d find dissenters.
8:26: Before we get into it, just a note that it would be very classy and righteous to hear someone mention the name Sarah Jones this evening. Let’s hope it happens.
8:30: And we’re live! The stage is filled with weirdly silicone Oscars who look a tad too alien-ish for my comfort level.
8:31: “It has been raining. We’re fine. Thank you for your prayers.” Oh, Los Angeles…
8:32: June Squibb looks like she’s having the time of her life at the Oscars. As would I, though I would be gaping more openly at celebrities.
8:33: For the record: I am the wine captain now.
8:34: Really? People are too squeamish for a drag Liza Minnelli joke?
8:35: This monologue is really clever and funny, without being mean at all. I’m laughing heartily.
8:36: “And by Her, I mean Meryl Streep.” Joke of the night so far, I think.
8:37: “If you win tonight, we should bring YOU the Oscar.” Never mind, new favorite joke!
8:38: No lie, on TV I saw Jared Leto on the red carpet, from behind, and thought, “Huh, Julia Roberts went with the tuxedo look again.” The man has luscious locks, people.
8:39: We start with Anne Hathaway presenting wearing a dress far superior to last year’s, if a bit blinding in a disco ball kinda way. (I still dig it.) She’s presenting Best Supporting Actor (to Jared Leto.)
8:42: Called it! Along with every other Oscar prognosticator ever. Dallas Buyers Club is one of the 2 best picture nominees I haven’t seen yet (along with Wolf of Wall Street). But I’ve seen 12 Years and Gravity so I’m pretty sure I’m good.
8:44: Not to overly lighten this very lovely tribute to Jared Leto’s single mom, but with his tan and long hair he bears a striking resemblance to the lead actor in Son of God, or as my friends and I have renamed the film, Hot Jesus.
8:46: Jim Carrey is here! Why, again?
8:47: The man is totally ageless, I’ll give him that.
8:49: First montage! A tribute to animation. Now, I adore animation, but we wonder why the Oscars are 47 hours long…
8:50: But for Dumbo, that was basically just a tribute to animation of the late 2000s. C’mon, guys.
8:51: Oh thank God, Pharrell Williams is wearing the Smoky hat. That would have been my disappointment of the night. I love this song, also (though I’m gonna need “Let It Go” to take the Oscar, because IDINA MENZEL.)
8:51: As if Lupita Nyong’o and Meryl Streep weren’t already the apex of awesome, they just DANCED with Pharrell Williams. I would pay good money to see him stop by Judi Dench next.
8:54: Commercial break! More wine.
8:57: There’s a gigantic backdrop of roses behind Samuel L. Jackson and Naomi Watts, right? Or am I drunk already?
8:58: The Great Gatsby wins costume design, which it should. The costumes and art design on that film were incredible, the best thing about it. The worst thing: That they thought the plot “guy pines for girl” was enough to sustain a three hour movie.
9:00: You know, you really don’t hear “Jackass Presents” enough during Oscar telecasts. (Makeup goes to Dallas Buyers Club.)
9:02: The makeup lady from Dallas Buyers Club has one of my favorite dresses of the night (a gorgeous eggplant princess dress). How often does that happen? (Answer: Rarely.)
9:03: Harrison Ford enters to Indiana Jones’ theme, and he’s reading his intro with pretty much the same monotone he delivers all of his lines in now. I miss 1980s Harrison Ford.
9:05: Channing Tatum is not stripping, and so I am a little bored. But he is introducing the film students who get to present the Oscars, which I think is the greatest Oscar innovation of the past few years.
9:06: We don’t get a clip of the film students/ work, because we had to make room for the “Animation of 2007-2011” montage. But I bet it was good stuff!
9:10: I’m not sure why Kim Novak got stuck bantering about animation, but I’m guessing hanging onto co-presenter Matthew McConaughey is her consolation prize, so fair enough. They present to Mr. Hublot, a charming little animated film (I actually saw it!), and everyone is pretty shocked that Disney didn’t take it. Because, you know, Disney.
9:13: I love when a filmmaker is so thrilled yet non-English speaking. He has to nervously say, “Excuse me! I have to take a paper” as he unfolds his speech and then thanks his “childrens.” That is way charming.
9:14: If best animated feature doesn’t go to Frozen then I will make some very angry noises. Only my roommate and immediate neighbors will hear it, but still.
9:15: Crisis averted! Frozen takes it. Onward to the Idina Menzel “Let it Go” performance.
9:17: Sally Field comes onstage to talk about “quiet acts of heroism,” and I wonder where this is going. Ah, it’s an intro to a montage – did you hear that the Oscars really enjoy a good montage? – about movie heroes.
9:18: This is a pretty cool montage, but again, the editors/producers seem to think that movies mostly existed after 1990. (Nice inclusion of Atticus Finch, though. He’s the ultimate.)
9:20: Many of the people in this montage have amazing stories, but “hero” is a stretch. Also, framing the whole montage through a relatively recent movie (42‘s Jackie Robinson) is strange, even though Robinson was undoubtedly heroic.
9:22: Gravity wins for visual effects, and that is pretty much the least difficult decision in the history of ever. I mean, seriously.
9:24: Karen O is on to perform “Moon Song” from Her. I loved this movie and this song is delicate and lovely, but I’d completely forgotten about it in the couple of months since I saw the movie.
9:26: I’m not sure whether to be mad that the Muppets have kinda sold out (to Lipton, and Toyota) or just happy that they’re on my TV more frequently. I guess I’ll split the difference.
9:30: The Oscar for best live action short goes to Helium, a short film about a little boy who is dying. It’s very sweet and yet after I saw it, I leaned to the friend next to me and said, “The next film better be happy or I will kill myself.” I don’t do well with films about terminally ill children.
9:33: Best doc short goes to a film I am dying to see: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. It’s about a Holocaust survivor, so again with the happy, peppy movies. (Sadly, the remarkable lady about whom this doc was made just passed away last week.)
9:36: “Is anybody hungry?” Ellen offers to order pizza, and pregnant Kerry Washington cannot raise her hand in agreement fast enough.
9:37: I am ashamed that I have not seen any of the Oscar-nominated doc features, but 20 Feet from Stardom takes the Oscar. It will soon join the 4 jillion other things in my Netflix queue.
9:39: In case you didn’t know 20 Feet from Stardom was about singers, one of the film’s stars takes the mic and promptly bursts into song (to a standing ovation).
9:40: Kevin Spacey starts his presentation in character as Frank Underwood, and I’m not sure he even emerges anymore. He also pushes Kate Mara offstage. (No, he doesn’t; he’s by himself. Spoiler alert!)
9:41: Angela Lansbury is 88 YEARS OLD. And she’s about to do another play in London. So let’s all just feel less accomplished while we watch the Oscars in our pajamas and chug wine, shall we?
9:44: I’m switching from red wine to ice cream, because life is really all about balance. (I might switch back shortly.) Be right back.
9:48: I would happily listen to Ewan McGregor’s voice all evening. Can he present the rest of the awards? (Viola Davis isn’t so bad herself.) They present best foreign language film to The Great Beauty from Italy. I expect a speech of Roberto Benigni-level exuberance.
9:50: Short, sweet and barely in English. That’s how I like my acceptance speeches.
9:51: Tyler Perry is onstage at the Oscars. Take a moment to process it.
9:52: I really, really loved Her. I think Joaquin Phoenix is kind of a wingnut, but he was completely robbed of a Best Actor nomination for it.
9:54: Ellen emerges in an all-white tux. She saw McConaughey and Leto and knew which way the wind was blowing, fashion-wise.
9:55: Brad Pitt gets to introduce Bono and U2, and women everywhere who were disappointed to see Channing Tatum fully clothed perk up quite a bit.
9:58: A standing ovation for U2, as mandated by international law.
10:00: We’re 90 minutes in, and will hopefully get rolling soon with some of the big name awards. Not that these aren’t delightful – I’m one of the handful of people who has seen Helium and Mr. Hublot – but let’s get to the Lupita v. Lawrence showdown before my wine wears off.
10:02: Liza Minnelli has a blue streak in her hair, which is pretty badass. I feel like she’s also had some other enhancements, no? She looks my age.
10:03: This Oscar selfie is completely epic. “I’ve never tweeted before!” Meryl exclaims happily, but since she doesn’t have Twitter, she clearly still doesn’t fully understand the concept.
10:06: You guys. CHARLIZE THERON FOUND THE HEART OF THE OCEAN. Seriously, those diamonds are enough to distract me from Chris Hemsworth.
10:07: Thor and Charlize Theron’s diamond necklace present the sound mixing Oscar to Gravity.
10:08: We’re also having a heated discussion in Casa b-roll about whether Charlize Theron’s dress is strapless or has invisible straps. Thoughts? (Let’s be honest, this is more interesting than the sound mixing Oscar speech.)
10:09: My roommate votes strapless just as we segue into sound editing.
10:10: “No, I think I see a strap!” I exclaim as Gravity also takes sound editing.
10:11: Final verdict: We have no idea.
10:12: Christoph Waltz looks like he’d be a delightful person to do tequila shots with. He’s on for Best Supporting Actress, a mere 105 minutes after Best Supporting Actor.
10:13: The shot of Lupita Nyong’o answers the question, “Who was the guy who photo-bombed the epic Oscar selfie?” Answer: Her date.
10:14: June Squibb deserves an Oscar for that scene, as everyone now sees.
10:15: Lupita Nyong’o wins! She was unreal in 12 Years a Slave. Her date (brother?) grabs her for a hug! 12 Years director Steve McQueen grabs her for a hug! Liza Minnelli grabs her for a hug! Wait, what?
10:16: Lupita gives a sweet and gracious speech, and most importantly, confirms that her date is her brother. Okay, that’s maybe not the most important part, but I feel smarter.
10:18: Excuse me, new ABC show Resurrection? You’ve reached my saturation point of commercials. You get one more before I refuse to watch you in this lifetime or the next.
10:21: “Pizza’s here!” Ellen is actually delivering pizza, as a bunch of publicists and fashion designers gasp at the thought of grease on the couture.
10:22: Brad Pitt is passing out plates and Kevin Spacey is handing out pizza. I couldn’t love them more.
10:23: Ellen Degeneres: Amazing Oscar host and American hero. That pizza bit was one of the funniest in memory.
10:24: Hey, world: We bought over 5 million movie tickets last year! I think I’m personally responsible for about 15% of that total.
10:25: The movie museum that Cheryl Boone Isaacs is promoting (to open in 2017) looks like the Death Star. Is that intentional?
10:26: Bill Murray and Amy Adams on to present cinematography. I feel like this banter should work better than it does. Gravity takes it. Looks like Gravity sweeping the techs is a good sign for its Best Picture chances…
10:29: I just hung up on my mother by saying, “I’m live blogging, I DON’T HAVE TIME TO TALK TO YOU PEOPLE.” Best film editing also goes to Gravity. In retrospect, I could have talked to her since that was an easy call, and I probably just wrote myself out of the will.
10:33: Whoopi Goldberg on to discuss The Wizard of Oz, though I think a munchkin would’ve been way cooler. P!nk sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It may not be the most obvious pairing of singer and material, but she’s doing a wonderful job. I didn’t realize this was in her wheelhouse.
10:36: Also, P!nk’s dress is a shimmering ruby knockout. She’s just killing it all around.
10:38: P!nk just got a rousing standing ovation, in case you think I’m overexaggerating.
10:42: During the commercial break my dad just asked if I liked the song from She. I’m cutting him off, you guys. But at least now you know where I get my taste for red wine.
10:43: Ellen Degeneres is wearing Glinda the Good Witch’s outfit, complete with sky-high tiara. She should’ve taken the selfie in this.
10:44: Benedict Cumberbatch is on to present best production design with Jennifer Garner, who is wearing a silver lampshade fringe dress. (It’s cool, just trying to paint an accurate picture here.) Anyway, production design also goes to The Great Gatsby. The day a Baz Luhrman film doesn’t win this award, it’s time to retire it.
10:46: Chris Evans is on to present what appears to be another montage about popular film heroes. It’s so full of macho men in capes that when they show Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley I sarcastically say, “Oh look, a girl!” Most random inclusion is a tie between Jaden Smith’s karate kid and Kevin Bacon in Footloose. Oscar Editors: Go home, you’re drunk.
10:49: This Pepsi commercial with famous movie lines made me laugh until the end, when Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared to spoof his own Jerry Maguire line and now I just feel sad.
10:53: Introducing someone as “multiple Oscar nominee” sounds classy, but sounds like they should also say, “but she’s never won, JUST SO WE’RE CLEAR.” I should stop making jokes as Glenn Close intros In Memoriam.
10:54: I’m glad they turned off the audience microphone during In Memoriam. This is not a popularity contest; the applause-o-meter is just inappropriate.
10:57: Bette Midler singing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” and I wondered if this was what she’d be doing when they announced that she’d sing live on the show. I mean, duh.
10:58: It might be inappropriate to say this right at this moment, but Bette looks fabulous. And her pitch is otherworldly.
11:01: Bette ends with a wing flapping motion that is maybe a tad too literal, but it’s the only hiccup on a lovely and flawless performance.
11:02: A graphic for Sarah Jones! Thank you, Academy. (If you wonder what I’m talking about, google “Slates for Sarah” and try not to cry.)
11:04: Goldie Hawn introduces the clips for Philomena, Captain Phillips and 12 Years a Slave, lumped together because they all involve…travel?
11:07: I’m upset that they didn’t introduce John Travolta with a rousing rendition of “Summer Lovin’.” After doing a (drunkenish) Grease singalong for my roommate’s birthday, I can tell you that we would’ve provided awesome backup.
11:09: Idina Menzel – whose name was pronounced “Adele Buzzie” by John Travolta, unless I’m mistaken – is already getting a standing ovation from me for her “Let It Go” rendition. This song rocks. Talented girls rock.
11:11 Even Bono – a competitor – leaps to his feat. BECAUSE IDINA.
11:12: Jamie Foxx has been raiding Ellen’s minibar backstage. It’s really entertaining, but I just realized that we’re still on Original Music with a bunch more to go, so I’m okay with skipping the banter and zooming ahead to awards presentations at this point.
11:14: Another Oscar for Gravity: Best score. Poor Sandra Bullock; as the only actor in the film besides Clooney (and he’s not here), she’s got to applaud enthusiastically on camera for every damn award.
11:16: The Oscar for best original song goes to “Let It Go,” and Bono magnanimously hi-fives them. The couple who wrote the song gives a rhyming speech. It’s Seussian and kind of adorable. I approve.
11:19: They are predicting a snow day tomorrow here in Washington, and if I do not get one after this enjoyable but very long Oscar telecast, I cannot be held responsible for my actions. Make it happen, weather gods.
11:22: The backdrop for the writing awards is a rusty shelf full of typewriters. It may be time to bring in the Gatsby production team, just a thought.
11:24: With the world’s thickest Spanish accent, Penelope Cruz still manages to pronounce every writer’s name more correctly than John Travolta said “Idina Menzel.” John Ridley wins best adapted screenplay for 12 Years a Slave and gives an appropriately intense speech.
11:26: I will never stop laughing that Blue Jasmine is an “original” screenplay. *cough* *A Streetcar Named Desire *cough*
11:27: Spike Jonze wins best original screenplay for Her! Its a brilliantly original movie and that’s just freaking awesome, Academy. Good decision.
11:29: A Google ad about making movies? At 11:30pm? To the Finding Nemo score? Way to make me cry AGAIN, Google advertising team. (Remember their “It Gets Better” ad? I DO.)
11:32: Our next presenter duo is Angelina Jolie and Sidney Poitier. It just got all classy up in here. He is still an absolute fox, by the way.
11:34: Best director is up next, and the Oscar goes to Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. Good call, voters; Cuaron’s work was absolutely visionary, plus he made the most atmospheric Harry Potter movie.
11:41: Daniel Day-Lewis is onstage and I don’t care how long this show is, he can stay onstage all night.
11:44: Cate Blanchett wins for Blue Jasmine, kisses Day-Lewis on both cheeks and in my opinion, that would be more exciting than winning the Oscar. I’m just saying.
11:46: Cate Blanchett says that women are not a niche audience. PREACH.
11:48: Apparently they don’t play people off anymore because Cate Blanchett just talked about Australia for a while. We’re already 28 minutes over, so apparently they’re just letting it fly.
11:49: Best Actor is up! I’m rooting for Ejiofor, understanding that it will probably be McConaughey.
11:51: McConaughey completes the McConaughssaince with an Oscar. I would not have predicted this while watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
11:52: McConaughey is giving quite a spiritual speech, as he starts by thanking God. This happens way less at the Oscars than it does at the Grammys.
11:53: McConaughey is very eloquent and yet I just said, in a weary voice, “This speech is gonna go on a while.”
11:54: The fact that he ends with “Alright, alright, alright” saves what was otherwise a kinda Jodie Foster-esque soliloquy.
11:55: Why does Will Smith get to present Best Picture? His last movie was After Earth.
11:56: Best Picture is 12 Years a Slave! I approve, Academy. That film was absolutely remarkable. And we get a Brad Pitt acceptance speech, which is the proper way to end the evening.
11:58: Steve McQueen has a lovely accent and is full of adrenaline and I am only catching about one out of every few words. But his ending call to eradicate modern slavery is relevant, heartfelt and completely articulate.
12:00: We end the show half an hour late, but you know what? This show beat the hell out of last year’s telecast. Better movies, funnier winners, a looser vibe and Seth MacFarlane was nowhere to be seen. Well done all around, Academy!
Same time, next year.