My return to the blogosphere has been nicely timed to coincide with this year’s Oscars. As I did last year, I will be keeping my thoughts rolled out here as the night develops. Hopefully it will be a fun one, there’s definitely more room for controversy than last year. The double hosting act of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin is an interesting one; Baldwin is at the top of his comedic game right now and Martin has managed to stay away from bad comedies sufficiently of late to be forgiven his trespasses. Although one can’t help but feel they may have missed a big chance to win a larger audience for their modestly received It’s Complicated, released a few months back.
My money is unfortunately on Avatar to take Best Picture, although there is still hope that The Hurt Locker might unseat it. Other worthy contenders such as Up, A Serious Man and Up in the Air, and indeed District 9 (hardly amazing but certainly a more worthy winner than Avatar) seem to have hardly any hope at all of winning the top award. That said, if Kathryn Bigelow can at least take Best Director the night will not be a complete disaster should Avatar win Best Picture and prove you can just fire as much money as possible at the screen and eventually people will give you prizes.
Indeed, a contest of similar intrigue has emerged in the Best Foreign Language category, where the frankly haunting The White Ribbon goes up against the outstanding A Prophet. While Hollywood may not care, it will be the big one for cinéastes to watch, aside from the battle of the mainstream behemoth and the indie upstart waged by exes James Cameron and Bigelow.
Up has Animated Feature in the bag, and will hopefully at the very least take home Best Score. The beautiful and charming film’s five nominations very much speak for themselves.
As for actors, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Mo’Nique and Christoph Waltz seem to have their four categories all cornered. Only a surprise upset in Best Actress looks at all probable, and not very at that.
Proper commentary will resume later this evening, in the meantime I must feed and prepare for the all-night event.
In the meantime, bask in the glory of this wonderful pisstake trailer for every Oscar-winning film ever from Cracked.com…
The following takes place between 3.30pm and 9pm
Events occur in real Pacific Standard Time.
3.38pm – James Cameron is selling his wife’s dress as “Na’vi blue”. Wonder what colour Kathryn Bigelow is wearing…?
3.39pm – Vera Farminga looks amazing, although her dress looks like it might come alive an devour her.
3.44pm – E! Entertainment TV are carrying considerably less obnoxious coverage of the red carpet than Sky, so looks like I’ll be following them for the next 90 minutes or so. Just in case you needed a point of reference.
3.49pm – Is Sigourney Weaver wearing a blood-red toga?
3.51pm – Lots of nice dresses, nothing mind-blowingly stunning or godawful yet though. And no outlandish variations on the tux either. The next hour could well be hell. Why am I even live-blogging the red carpet at all?
3.57pm – For the record, the following films are the main contenders tonight that, for a number reasons (including at least one that has yet to come out in Ireland) I have yet to see: Precious…, The Blind Side, An Education, The Last Station, A Single Man, Julie and Julia, Invictus. Just so that we’re on the level here.
4.01pm – A part of me is hopeful for Sandra Bullock, as she’s one of those actresses who has always been likeable but you just assumed she would never win an Oscar. I mean The Net, Two Weeks Notice, All About Steve. She’s so feisty that no matter what trash she makes you can’t quite bring yourself to hate her.
4.03pm – Amanda Seyfried is still the perfect woman. I know I said it last year, but seriously, who in the last year has challenged her crown?
4.05pm – So what, Crazy Heart gets a few nominations and suddenly every country/western singer gets an Oscar invite?
4.06pm – Miley Cyrus’s dress appears to be made out of bra.
4.08pm – Antonio Banderas appears to be preparing for his role as Saddam Hussein. In… a film I just made up?
4.13pm – Who the hell is Elizabeth Banks? Why am I only discovering Elizabeth Banks this evening? And by this evening, I mean it’s long after midnight…
4.15pm – Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing a beautiful silk… sack. It’s a sack.
4.17pm – How tall is Kathryn Bigelow? As a talentless male I like to think that an Oscar-nominated director would be as unattractive as she is talented. But nope, she’s just a bit yummy. There, I said it.
4.19pm – Charlize Theron looks like a delicious frosted cake. Her dress invites far too many suggestive jokes. I’ll keep quiet.
4.25pm – I wonder was Nelson Mandela invited… and what did he RSVP?
4.28pm – Damn you Colin Firth, so darn charming!
4.29pm – Can someone clear this up for me, is George Clooney grey or not? He looks like he’s half-dyed his hair sandy.
4.31pm – Meryl Streep’s dress looks like it’s made out of cream, smoothly flowing cream. It’s good.
4.39pm – Poor Keanu Reeves, he’ll never win an Oscar. Tonight Sandra Bullock leaves him behind.
4.43pm – Robert Downey Jr is the first major black-tie breaker, wearing a teal bowtie. Yes, that’s right, I know the colour teal!
4.52pm – As ever, Kate Winslet looks enchanting. Nothing I say here can add to how wonderful she looks in that dress.
4.58pm – Ha! Remember Cameron Diaz.
5.09pm – Anna Kendrick looks like a pink Grecian goddess. Where did she come from this past year? And how our lives have been made better. Well, not counting that Twilight nonsense.
5.12pm – Zoe Saldana’s dress looks like someone ate a Na’vi then threw it back up on her.
5.27pm – Good lord who let Nicole Richie in?
5.30pm – And we’re off! So the last two hours were pointless then?
5.32pm – Eugh, the stars are a bit pointlessly on display here. Why are the Oscars always looking for new means to make sales pitches?
5.33pm – Yay! Neil Patrick Harris!
5.34pm – Singing a solo number about the need for duets. Irony!
5.35pm – Jeff Bridges does not look impressed.
5.35pm – Here come the boys…
5.36pm – A few light stabs at Hollywood now. Fun times.
5.38pm – Meryl Streep threesome gag, they’re totally going for an It’s Complicated DVD push.
5.39pm – Alec Baldwin’s delivery is way off. Not a good start.
5.40pm – Martin and Baldwin are harassed by Avatar forest creatures. What is this, Family Guy?
5.44pm – Penelope Cruz presents the first award. My those two were quite embarrassing. Penelope’s dress looks like fire. In all the best ways.
5.46pm – Christoph Waltz came from nowhere this year with knowing but a broad knowledge of languages and a knife and fork with which to devour scenery. If he doesn’t win, then this whole night could go in any direction.
5.48pm – Phew. Thought we were going to have a night of surprises there.
5.49pm – That’s an über-bingo.
5.52pm – Wow, ads already? We’ve only had one award. Have I missed something, what’s will all this (fake?) animosity between the hosts and George Clooney?
5.56pm – Cameron Diaz and Steve Carrell, make a mess of it all. Ouch. Animated characters talk about being nominated. Fun stuff!
5.58pm – Yay! Dug is licking the camera. I love the Oscars!
5.59pm – Up wins! Thank goodness. My word that film was sheer delight.
6.00pm – Pete Docter makes a very quick but pleasant speech. Is it just me or is his head tiny?
6.01pm – Seyfried and Cyrus present the nominees for Best Original Song and slip over their lines again. A lot of teething pains this year.
6.03pm – Could a Colin Farrell-sung song win the prize?
6.04pm – Yes, ‘The Weary Kind’ takes it – first win for Crazy Heart.
6.06pm – Ouch, Chris Pine has to introduce District 9, which essentially nabbed the nomination from Star Trek. Who on earth thought that was a fair idea?!
6.11pm – Best Original Screenplay could call the rest of the night. Hurt Locker seems a lock, but Inglourious Basterds is a contender.
6.12pm – “Great movies begin with great writing,” says Tina Fey. So why is Avatar not in this category again…?
6.15pm – The Hurt Locker takes it. Interesting…
6.17pm – Mark Boal’s speech was simple but to the point. Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick talk about John Hughes. Don’t they usually do all the obituaries en masse?
6.19pm – This seems like an odd way to make the Oscars seem more mainstream. He made some fun films though.
6.22pm – And the stars of his films all come out. I wonder who else will get an homage like this?
6.23pm – Samuel L Jackson presents Up - no, don’t show the sad bits, I’ll cry!
6.28pm – Zoe Saldana and Carey Mulligan to present Best Animated Short Film.
6.31pm – No Pixar this year, though the fun Irish short Granny O’Grimm is worth a mention.
6.32pm – French short Logorama wins. Looks fun. Hope it’s up on YouTube…
6.33pm – Documentary Short now. I said it last year, I’ll say it again: where the hell can one see these?!
6.35pm – Music By Prudence get shuffled off stage by the orchestra pit. Poor them.
6.37pm – Danish short The new Tennants wins Best Short. That’s those three knocked down swiftly…
6.38pm – Ben Stiller as a Na’vi. Better idea than last year.
6.39pm – Best Makeup; here’s hoping for Il Divo. And Ben Stiller is rapidly becoming unfunny.
6.41pm – Na’vi tail joke = win! Win for Star Trek too. Guess it was deserved.
6.43pm – Jeff Bridges introduces A Serious Man. It is oddly under-represented at this year’s awards.
6.47pm – Best Adapted Screenplay. Lot of options. Up in the Air is the likely winner. In the Loop would be fun though.
6.48pm – Thank god they keep calling Precious just Precious. That is one exhausting title.
6.50pm – Precious (which I believe is based on the novel Push by Sapphire) wins.
6.52pm – Queen Latifah and Steve Martin have a bit of a flirt.
6.53pm – The… Governor’s… Awards? What’s going on?!
6.54pm – Hooray for Lauren Bacall!
6.56pm – Robin Williams presents the Award for Best Supporting Actress. Alas, it’s got Mo’nique scribbled all over it, despite the two charming ladies from Up in the Air.
6.59pm – Mo’nique. Bo’ring.
7.00pm – A nice speech that one, shameless plug for BET though.
7.02pm – I’m sure I’ll see it eventually, but nothing about An Education made me want to rush to the cinema.
7.06pm – Sigourney Weaver presents Best Art Direction. Surely Avatar will dance home with this.
7.07pm – Avatar wins. The presenter kinda gave that away, no?
7.09pm – Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker present the costume award. It’s like beauty and the bitch. Ha, I went there!
7.10pm – This is probably the most open category yet – The Young Victoria wins!
7.17pm – Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin do a Paranormal Activity skit. Brilliant.
7.18pm – Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner give a little talk on respect for horror films. If only we could respect these two worthless upstarts.
7.19pm – My word these are some obvious clips they’re showing.
7.23pm – Morgan Freeman talks about sound editing and mixing. I could listen to him all day.
7.24pm – Sound Editing – surely a win for Avatar?
7.25pm – Wow, The Hurt Locker takes a techie award. Shocking!
7.26pm – Sound Mixing, another for Hurt Locker perhaps?
7.26pm – Yes it is. If Revenge of the Fallen had won an Oscar I would have hunted every one of you down and killed you all.
7.27pm – Elizabeth Banks! Who are you?
7.29pm – Know what the problem with Inglourious Basterds was? The Inglourious Basterds – they were the worst part of their own film.
7.35pm – Sandra Bullock presents Best Cinematography. She’s already acting like she’s won Best Actress.
7.36pm – Avatar wins! Seriously? How hard is it to point a camera at a green wall?
7.38pm – Demi Moore is here for the roll call of the lost. Actually, there were few huge deaths in Hollywood this year. James Taylor sings The Beatles!
7.39pm – Dom DeLuise. Now I’m sad again.
7.41pm – Karl Malden, Patrick Swayze, Jack Cardiff?! I take it back, this was a terrible year!
7.43pm – Best Special Effects coming up. Thank god, finally, an award Avatar genuinely deserves!
7.46pm – First, Jennifer Lopez (oh dear) and Sam Worthington (oh lord, his accent is death) introduce the best scores, with dancers!
7.47pm – Never thought I’d see someone dance the robot to The Hurt Locker score.
7.48pm – Eugh, The Fantastic Mr Fox music sounds like Deliverance for kids.
7.49pm – The Up score is just enchanting. Oooh, ballet.
7.52pm – Yes! Michael Giacchino wins for Up. Such gorgeous music.
7.54pm – Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper present the Avatar Award for outstanding Avataryness.
7.55pm – One of these guys is Irish. Should I care? Which one? Can the Irish guy say something now?
7.56pm – Jason Bateman introduces Up in the Air. Finally, someone actually involved in the film!
8.01pm – Matt Damon is here to present the Best Documentary Feature award. Once again, I suspect I’ve seen none of these.
8.03pm – Ok, at least I’ve heard of The Cove and Food, Inc.
8.04pm – The Cove wins! Three great reasons to see it now, dolphins, Hayden Panettiere and now an Oscar!
8.05pm – And Fisher Stevens. I love Fisher Stevens!
8.06pm – Wow. Editing explained by a sexist simpleton. Now I know everything!
8.07pm – The Hurt Locker wins! Damn straight. Sublimely edited thriller that there Hurt Locker was.
8.13pm – Back to the hosts. My they’ve been dull.
8.14pm – Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino present Best Foreign Language Film. Why is this a separate category again? I suspect The White Ribbon will take it. Haneke’s film is damn haunting.
8.17pm – Wow, a surprise win – Argentinian film El Secreto de Sus Ojos takes the gong. Didn’t see that coming. “Thank you for not considering Na’vi a foreign language.” Nice.
8.18pm – Cathy Bates is here to masturbate Avatar. Thank goodness, we didn’t have anyone else doing that already.
8.22pm – Down to the last four. Here come the big ones! Acting gongs seem pretty predetermined.
8.25pm – Former co-stars come out to sing the praises of the Best Actor nominees. A much better idea than last year’s former idols approach.
8.27pm – This is almost too sweet. Finally, George Clooney doesn’t look miserable any more.
8.29pm – Poor Morgan Freeman, he’s really not supposed to be there.
8.30pm – Colin Farrell and Jeremy Renner spooned. Right. There’s the quote of the evening.
8.31pm – Why can’t Kate Winslet give me awards?
8.32pm – Jeff Bridges wins, utterly expectedly. Good for him!
8.33pm – Oh dear. He’s channelling the Dude just a little…
8.35pm – Wow, Jeff Bridges is really being allowed to talk!
8.39pm – Best Actresses now. God Sandra Bullock’s accent in that film is grating.
8.40pm – Oprah? Seriously?
8.40pm – Curious. Jeff Bridges went first, now Sandra Bullock. I see a pattern forming…
8.42pm – Helen Mirren: Royalty with a tattoo.
8.43pm – Carey Mulligan is so cute it makes me want to bite off my own arm. “We’re lucky she’s so young,” says Peter Sarsgaard. Which means: “You’ll win another year, dear.”
8.46pm – Oprah did not annoy me there. Maybe it’s time for to learn how to spell Gabourey Sidibe. Thanks Wikipedia!
8.47pm – God I hate Sean Penn. What is he prattling on about?
8.48pm – This is the first Academy Award and nomination for Sandra Bullock. What, she didn’t get one for Speed 2: Cruise Control?
8.51pm – She’s crying! Tears! Finally! Several hours, we finally got there!
8.53pm – Barbara Streisand is here to remind us that an African American and a woman are nominated for Best Director. Aw, bless.
8.54pm – Kathryn Bigelow takes it! Incredible stuff, and a huge upset for Megabucks Cameron. Not very important history is made, but history nevertheless.
8.57pm – Who’d have thought the director of a piece of piss like Near Dark could win an Oscar. Still, most deserved. Cameron looks none-too-pleased.
8.58pm – Tom Hanks gives Best Picture to The Hurt Locker! Amazing stuff. What a night! That’ll teach Avatar a lesson about actually waiting til the script has been finished to make the damn movie.
9.00pm – Well that’s a delightful surprise. Kathryn Bigelow is giving her final thanks and holding back the tears, dedicating her award to men and women in uniform the world over.
9.01pm – That ran over time a little. Very disappointing show but great awards, mostly deserved. Another fun night at the Oscars. Here’s to next year!