7:42: Happy Oscars 2017! It is admittedly a different world since last year’s annual live-blog, but life and the Oscars go on and so shall I.
Before we begin, I would like to inform you that I’m on day one of a sugar/carb detox so I may be snarkier than usual. I’m not in the full stages of withdrawal — by this time next week I predict that I will be willing to strangle Ryan Gosling in exchange for a single Cadbury Mini Egg — but it seems appropriate to issue a warning.
My early take on this year’s nominees: I saw and loved Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Arrival and La La Land, and am apparently one of the few outside of the actual Academy who is totally cool with La La Land taking Best Picture. I haven’t yet seen (but plan to add to my endless Netflix queue someday) Manchester by the Sea, Fences, Lion and Hell and High Water. Hacksaw Ridge wins this year’s “The Revenant Memorial Best Picture Nominee I Have No Desire To See Ever, Thank You For Asking.”
This year’s most notable red carpet trend appears to be metallic gold lame, because this is Trump’s America now. Also, Kris Jenner is doing fashion commentary on E! so I’m channel surfing for a Law and Order rerun or something to carry me to Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue.
See you at 8:30!
8:26: Before we begin, a moment of silence for the great Bill Paxton. Twister and Apollo 13 were two of the movies of my adolescence — and don’t even get me started on Titanic.
8:30: And we’re live! Apparently we’re starting with a Justin Timberlake performance of his nominated song “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” Let’s be honest: We’ve started way worse. (#HathawayandFranco #NeverForget)
8:31: Are they doing “The Carlton” dance from Fresh Prince of Bel Air or am I having a carb withdrawal-fueled hallucination?
8:32: This song is so freaking catchy. Also, I’m doing the routine set to this song that we do in Jazzercise. It’s a little more cardio-heavy than this evening’s choreography. Not that I’m bragging.
8:34: The only one not dancing is Ryan Gosling, who apparently decided he got all the dancing out of his system while filming La La Land.
8:35: And Jimmy Kimmel is on for the monologue. What’s the over/under on Matt Damon jokes? Like 485?
8:36: “Countries that now hate us!” First Trump mention. Drink! (Actually, don’t. You’ll be dead of alcohol poisoning by 9pm. Please don’t drink.)
8:37: First Matt Damon reference. Drink!
8:38: “Black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz. That’s what you call progress!” Well played.
8:39: If I mention that the stage looks like an homage to Fritz Lang’s early film classic Metropolis does that justify my expensive film degree? Still no? Okay cool.
8:40: A joke about how men get praised for losing weight for roles in a way that is expected of every actress doesn’t get nearly enough reaction. Look alive, people.
8:44: The Oscar live show director heard the phrase “bowel movement” and thought a cutaway to Seth Rogen chuckling was the appropriate shot. He’s not wrong.
8:45: The intro to the supporting actor category is a montage of past winners and speeches. Hey, you know what the Oscars have been skimpy on, historically? Montages.
8:46: Alicia Vikander is stunning even though her hair looks like she just threw it into an updo bun for spin class.
8:47: Jeff Bridges grows less intelligible with each passing performance. (They’re all nominated for Oscars, though.)
8:49: Mahershala Ali wins for his beautiful turn in Moonlight. He was also in Hidden Figures and had a baby a week ago, so he’s about the only one enjoying 2017 so far.
8:51: Mahershala thanks his wife for being “a soldier through this process,” which might sound a little workmanlike but perfectly captures awards season, in case you were wondering.
8:56: “This is the part of the show when everyone still has hope!” Indeed, for I have hope that the show will end on time. (Spoiler alert: it won’t.)
8:57: Kate McKinnon! Give her all of the movies, please.
8:58: Suicide Squad wins for hair and makeup, which is the only possible way this film could have become an Academy Award recipient.
9:00: The costume design Oscar goes to Colleen Atwood for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, who says “Sting told me I was going to win tonight!” Who among us…
9:06: The segue/intro music this year has been rather…odd. Alicia Vikander walked out to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and we return from the ad break to Blondie’s “Call Me.” Okay, sure.
9:07: Up next: The trio of badass ladies from Hidden Figures to present the Doc Feature award. It would be awesome if they were presenting it to fellow badass Ava Duvernay, but it’s probably going to Ezra Edelman’s O.J.: Made in America. (Which is a masterpiece, so I’ll allow it.)
9:08: The real Katherine Johnson is there! Okay, never mind. The true badass has taken the stage.
9:11: O.J. takes it. I know you probably have very little desire to devote another eight hours of your life to the O.J. Simpson trial, but I promise it’s worth your time.
9:13: Jimmy Kimmel segues into an O.J. bit and I’m officially back to being oversaturated on O.J.
9:15: The Oscars are allowing Lin-Manuel Miranda to perform an original rap prologue to his nominated song from Moana because he is the sun around which we all now orbit.
9:16: Imagine being Auli’i Cravalho, sixteen years old and self-possessed enough to sing live on the Oscars. (In a related story, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling punted their performances of La La Land‘s songs to John Legend, who’s doing a medley. Just saying.)
9:18: My roommate and I are rewinding to see if she got bopped on the head by a flag-waving backup dancer during that Moana number. She did, and didn’t even miss a note. She’s far more composed than I was in high school marching band when the color guard wandered into my spot. Which they did with great frequency. Not that I’m bitter, twenty years later.
9:23: Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs takes the stage, and this will shock you, but her speech is about the inclusivity of art and movies. I feel like there’s a subtext here but I can’t put my finger on it…
9:25: Jimmy Kimmel makes a show of handing out candy to the attendees. First of all, no way any of these people eat processed sugar in real life. Secondly, the “giving out food to the movie stars” shtick has been done before. Let’s find a new trick.
9:27: Chris Evans is wearing a dapper two-toned tux and is a Patriots fan so if someone in the audience could slip him my phone number that would be super. Also, Arrival wins sound editing.
9:29: Hacksaw Ridge wins Sound Mixing and also, I think my sugar withdrawals have begun because I’m dreaming of the mini box of Junior Mints I saw in the package that landed in Pharrell’s lap. And I don’t like Junior Mints. Damn you, Kimmel.
9:33: Text from my mom about Chris Evans’s co-presenter, who was apparently in the new Star Trek movie: “She’s your age! I thought she was 26.” GEE THANKS, MOM.
9:34: She just sent me a middle finger emoji. I rue the day she discovered the emoji panel.
9:36: Mel Gibson is chewing on a red vine and laughing gamely at the jokes aimed his way, but I still can’t quite believe he’s back at the Oscars and all. After, you know, the anti-Semitism and misogyny. But whatevs.
9:40: We’re on to best supporting actress, presented by Mark Rylance in a porkpie hat. He’s weirdly pulling it off.
9:41: All of these clips are powerhouse performances that kind of make me want to drink myself into a stupor to escape the sadness. Sweet Jesus.
9:44: Viola Davis wins for Fences. Her awards show speeches are deserving of Oscars in and of themselves.
9:48: I’d really love to know how much Walmart paid these directors to make short films based upon a Walmart receipt. It’s not an un-clever concept (nor do these films look low-budget), but I’d think it would take a lot for an A-list director to hear “Walmart is on line one” and not take a hard pass.
9:52: At the commercial break we see Meryl Streep and her husband sharing a box of Junior Mints. Their PR team has to be pretty damn delighted right about now.
9:53: For the record, I made the joke about Viola Davis winning awards for her speeches before Jimmy Kimmel. Somebody check the time stamp. I SAID IT FIRST.
9:54: Charlize Theron apparently discovered The Apartment when she was 17 years old. I believe 17 is the age at which I was discovering 10 Things I Hate About You. (Shut up, it’s an underrated masterpiece.) This all leads into Shirley MacLaine and Charlize Theron presenting Best Foreign Film to The Salesman, whose Iranian director, Asghar Farhadi is not attending thanks to a certain travel ban by He Who Shall Not Be Named.
10:00: Dev Patel has matured rather nicely since the Slumdog Millionaire days. Is he so much younger than me that that’s creepy to say? (Checking.) He’s 26, I think we’re fine.
10:06: I’m not sure this tour group joke is going to fully pay off, but damn if I’m not invested in finding out now.
10:07: Apparently the longest Best Picture winner is nearly four hours long, or shorter than the Oscars every damn year. The Oscar for Best Animated Short goes to Piper.
10:10: Gael Garcia Bernal turns the Best Animated Feature intro into a political argument against walls and migrant workers, in the way that you think he’s doing a bit about the category and suddenly you realize he’s not talking about animated zoo animals. It’s quite eloquent, if you’re quick on the uptake. Which I’m not at 10:10pm. Anyway, Zootopia wins.
10:13: The stars of Fifty Shades of Grey are on the stage because…no, I’m not sure why either. Dakota Johnson is wearing a dress with an element that my roommate and I have named the “vagina bow.” It’s not my favorite look. Best Production Design goes to La La Land, which should start the ball rolling on the La La Land victories. Get used to that walk-up music, folks.
10:16: The tourist bit payoff is our modern world in a nutshell: Everyone is too engrossed in staring at their phones to process what’s going on.
10:18: One lady has a selfie stick ready for a picture with Denzel. This is the only time I’ve ever approved of a selfie stick.
10:21: Okay, I’m done with the non-famous people. Let’s move this bit along.
10:29: Hey, did you know that movies are universal and bind us all together? May I interest you in another montage in which people tell us that? #subtlety
10:30: Two actors from Rogue One are on to present Best Visual Effects. Either it will go to Rogue One, which will seem rigged; or it won’t, which will be kinda mean. Why not give them Best Costume Design or something?
10:31: Indeed, it goes to The Jungle Book.
10:32: Pro tip: Even if you’re a total master with a shelf of these, maybe don’t start your speech with, “This never gets old!” That’s like hearing the supermodel who says, “I love ice cream!” or “I don’t exercise.” Just shut up forever.
10:34: Seth Rogen was inspired by Back to the Future, and gets to present Best Film Editing with Michael J. Fox. That’s very cool, except for the reminder that Biff is actually the president right now so after the brief glow of the Oscars we all return to a living nightmare. But hey, a Delorean is onstage!
10:36: Best Film Editing goes to Hacksaw Ridge. That win was predicted by exactly no one, including the editor of Hacksaw Ridge.
1o:41: I would not cut commercials/trailers for Will Smith’s next movie where his only line of dialogue is, “I’m assuming this doesn’t end well.” With his recent track record, the jokes kind of write themselves.
10:43: Selma Hayek and David Oyelowo onstage to present Doc Short and Live Action Short, and they sound as sleepy as I feel. Best Documentary Short Subject goes to The White Helmets, a short about the Syrian conflict, and Live Action goes to Sing.
10:49: What we should all take out of this sci/tech awards recap is that John Cho and Leslie Mann are an unexpected comic dream team. She’s married to Judd Apatow, surely he can greenlight some romantic comedy for them, right?
10:57: I’m sure Javier Bardem was actually inspired by The Bridges of Madison County, but I still feel like he named that movie so he could share the stage with Meryl Streep. They present Best Cinematography to La La Land.
11:00: Hey, Oscar orchestra? It’s 11pm, and we have at least one performance and several awards left. You can play off the cinematographer.
11:02: I guarantee that it was a bratty film student who made the “white balance” joke about Jessica Chastain. (It’s how you calibrate the colors on a camera. #expensivefilmdegree)
11:04: Instead of describing their songs from La La Land, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone could have, maybe, sung them? Not that I ever say no to a John Legend performance.
11:10: I just checked to see how many categories we have left and cursed. I won’t get to bed for a while, apparently.
11:12: Justin Hurwitz wins Best Original Score for La La Land. He and Damian Chazelle (the writer/director, who’s about to pick up some hardware of his own soon I’m sure) graduated from college together in 2007. Let’s all feel elderly and unaccomplished together, shall we?
11:17: “City of Stars” from La La Land wins Best Original Song and Lin-Manuel Miranda is denied his EGOT. But he’s working on the new Mary Poppins, so there’s still time. Also, no pressure writing music for a Mary Poppins sequel. It’s not like the original movie/music is iconic or anything.
11:20: Oh God, I am not emotionally prepared for this year’s In Memoriam.
11:27: So, the payoff to all of the movie stars who were inspired by movies is Jimmy Kimmel talking about We Bought a Zoo. This is the funniest moment of the night and of course it’s happening as the show is supposed to be ending.
11:29: I’m not sure the Kimmel-Damon feud will ever get old, but it’s pretty much the only thing giving me life at the moment. We’re about 90 minutes and change past my usual bedtime and I haven’t had any sugar today, so…
11:32: Manchester by the Sea wins Best Original Screenplay, and not to brag, but I am CRUSHING my Oscar pool with this pick.
11:33: Moonlight wins Best Adapted Screenplay. They must be giving Barry Jenkins the “hurry up” sign because he’s rushing through this speech like an auctioneer.
11:35: Taraji P. Henson looks deeply disappointed that no cookies or donuts fell into her lap. She is officially my spirit animal.
11:41: Damien Chazelle wins Best Director for La La Land. The degree of difficulty for a modern movie musical is through the roof, so to everyone who’s unhappily losing their minds on Twitter right now: Settle the hell down.
11:48: Brie Larson is on to present Best Actor. I have Denzel Washington in my Oscar pool but I have this weird suspicion about an out-of-nowhere Viggo Mortensen upset…
11:50: Just kidding, Casey Affleck wins for Manchester by the Sea. I’m still a little surprised those, um, allegations didn’t derail his awards season momentum.
11:53: Onto Best Actress! I’m rooting for a Natalie Portman win, and not just because she’s not here.
11:55: Emma Stone wins for La La Land. She gives a lovely speech and kind of looks like if an Oscar statue came to life as a 1920s-era flapper. Is it time to go to bed yet?
12:03: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are presenting Best Picture on the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, and still looking pretty damn sprightly.
12:04: I know Warren and Faye have earned the right to do a lengthy intro, but could someone clue them in that it’s past midnight on the east coast? Thanks a heap.
12:08: Best Picture goes to La La Land, which has tied for most Oscar wins in history and most disgrunted tweets.
12:10: The producer sure had the “here’s to the fools who made me dream!” comment all cued up for this speech.
12:11: Wait, HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS.
12:12: So they gave Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty the wrong card. Moonlight is the actual Best Picture winner. Chaos has erupted onstage. I’m too stunned to make any jokes.
12:13: Barry Jenkins finally gets to step up to the microphone. Credit to all of the producers from Moonlight and La La Land who are handling this bizarre situation with class.
12:14: Why can’t we have nice things anymore, you guys?
12:16: Okay, well, that was an Oscars unlike any other! I loved Moonlight and I’m sure all of those who wanted to see it beat La La Land are thrilled by the schaudenfreude of the film literally having the trophy ripped out of its hands. But I think they’re both great, and I’m sorry to see two worthy movies get swallowed up in what will be an Oscar controversy forever.
Anyway, thanks for reading. Now go to bed!
As usual, great commentary, Betsy. Look forward to it every year.
Just wanted to see this site – as I have one that is betsywalters7.com. 🙂