Good evening and welcome to my coverage of this year’s Academy Awards, live from Hollywood, California. Well, not the coverage, the Oscars. It may feel now like it’s going to be a predictable evening ahead, but who knows what the night will bring.
For the sake of clarity all posts will be submitted in Pacific Standard Time, which should help me tricking my brain into not thinking it’s 4am.
5.57pm – Almost ready to go. The stars are prancing their ways down the red carpet. I’ll avoid commenting on the fashion, that’s not quite my style, but I may make the odd comment here or there. Have I any last minute predictions? Well, I hope Winslet finally wins, and I am certainly backing Slumdog Millionaire for Best Picture. Other than that, let’s just hope Wall·E takes Best Original Screenplay. Here we go…
5.10pm – Bored waiting, here’s some clothes commentary: Sarah Jessica Parker seems to think this is the Princess Awards. She’s dressed like a 6-year-old girl on Hallowe’en. But Marisa Tomei is totally working whatever the hell kind of dress that is. And Kate looks gorgeous as ever. And while Taraji P Henson and Viola Davis have no chance of winning anything, it’s nice to see them dressing to the occasion. I see Angelina Jolie has gone for 1950s super-slut. Good for her.
5.13pm – Have they started yet? I’m sleepy.
5.23pm – Somewhere in Hell is a room waiting for me, in which there is always the promise of something entertaining, but instead I have to watch Sky Movies’ introduction… and it never ends.
5.26pm – I’m going to have to throw Best Actor to Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler. While I think Sean Penn is a great actor, I really dislike him as a person. I must admit however that Rourke’s performance comes down largely to such a wonderfully scripted character. Still, Rourke to win.
5.32pm – Live from the Kodak Theatre – it’s sleep deprivation!
5.33pm – I hope that’s fake crystal, there’s a recession on, or something.
5.33pm – Good evening Hugh.
5.34pm – Australia jokes. Solid start.
5.37pm – Super-cheap musical number? Good stuff so far. Oh dear, poor Anne Hathaway.
5.38pm – Hang on, I suspect she knew that was coming…
5.40pm – “I’m Wolveriiiiiiiiine!” Great end to a fun opening number, and some good old-fashioned whoring out for free advertising!
5.43pm – There’s something rather charming about Jackman’s interaction with the audience. He may not be a comedian but he has a lot of personality.
5.44pm – Oh dear, was there a giant curtain malfunction there? Seriously, WTF?
5.45pm – Hey look, some famous Best Supporting Actresses. This had better be going somewhere.
5.46pm – Doubt still hasn’t come out on this side of the Atlantic. I can’t help but feel very in the dark here.
5.48pm – Sweet, nun jokes. As for Taraji P Henson, am I the only one who thinks Tilda Swinton should be up there (well she is, but I mean nominated) for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?
5.49pm – Hooray for Penelope Cruz, looking a tad swan-like. Her squeaky lisping voice is a delight for the first award. A predictable start though, we may not get many big surprises tonight.
5.52pm – “Art is a universal language.” Well said. Not too soppy at all that.
5.54pm – Steve Martin and Tina Fey appear with at least one great gag. Here comes Best Original Screenplay. Go… Wall·E!
5.56pm – “No-one wants to hear about our religion.” Scientology, take that!
5.58pm – Milk it is. I guess I’ll allow it.
6.00pm – A touching speech to the gay community of America. Too bad it was said in a tiny liberal bubble.
6.02pm – Adapted Screenplay: does Benjamin Button even count as adapted? It has barely a thing in common with the original story. The first award for Slumdog, perhaps?
6.03pm – Yup. I think the night is pretty much spelled out now.
6.06pm – Jack Black bets on Pixar! Priceless. The animation yearbook – this should show why Wall·E must win over Kung Fu Panda.
6.08pm – Wall·E wins it! How gloriously wonderful!
6.12pm – It always bothers me that the short animations are so hard to come across. No carrot for Presto. La Maison en Petits Cubes wins. I did love Presto, but I didn’t see this so I can’t judge this – it looks pretty. Ha! Japanese robot humour! Domo arigato yourself, good sir!
6.16pm – Huh, backstage for the design awards. How very strange these Oscars are.
6.17pm – I predict a series of wins for Button here, though I’ll happily be proved wrong.
6.18pm – I was right so far. A deserved win for a very pretty film.
6.20pm – Craig and Parker are going to do all of these, no wonder they’re expecting to get through these so fast this year.
6.21pm – Ah, The Duchess. Fancy that.
6.23pm – I could think of more adjectives for Keira Knightley than just “classy”.
6.24pm – Button beats Hellboy and Dark Knight to make-up. Maybe a cleverer usage of make-up, but not necessarily more impressive since you can’t see where much of the make-up ends and digital effects begin.
6.26pm – Amanda Seyfried, so pretty. And that guy from Twilight. I never saw that film, because I’m not an angsty teenaged girl.
6.29pm – Romance. I’m kind of enjoying these genre mash-ups. Another moment for Wall·E to steal the show!
6.31pm – Cinematography. This has to be one for Slumdog. Hmmm, do we give credit for beard-related comedy? Not funny so far. Bad Stiller. Bad.
6.33pm – This is agonising. Is he parodying Joaquin Phoenix? Or is he just here to annoy me?
6.36pm – Predictable. This is really gearing up for a three-way race between Slumdog, Milk and Button for the big wins. “I’ll try to thank people more.” There’s a good rule to live by. What moral Oscars these are.
6.40pm – Is Jessica Biel lecturing me on technology history?
6.44pm – Oh wow, a Pineapple Express-themed comedy montage! And they’re laughing at the Holocaust movie! And calling Stellan Skarsgård Irish!
6.46pm – That was very trippy. What an odd trio these guys make. Did I see any short films this year? Isn’t one of them Irish?
6.48pm – Nothing worse than when the winning film is unpronounceable.
6.52pm – And we’re back! What will Hugh do now? Oooh, the musical is back he says – I think I see where this is going. I think The Reader would make a good one.
6.53pm – Jackman and Beyoncé do Fred Astaire. This is getting strange… do I like this?
6.57pm – Ok, High School Musical kids and fascist Mamma Mia marching. This has stopped working. And now it’s over.
6.59pm – My crush on Amanda Seyfried seems to know no end. Oh Baz Luhrmann, do you hear old musicals in your head at all times?
7.01pm – Who will be our Best Supporting Actors from Oscar Past?
7.03pm – Does Ledger deserve it? Probably. Has he a chance of not getting it? Not a fucking chance in hell.
7.04pm – Why is Philip Seymour Hoffman dressed like Ghost Dog?
7.06pm – Cuba Gooding Jr: “Brothers need to work.” Nice job retelling the joke to the comedian.
7.08pm – If Ledger doesn’t win there will be riots in the street.
7.09pm – Here come the Ledgers. Tissues at the ready…
7.10pm – A touching speech by a nervous non-professional.
7.11pm – And straight into documentary. I have shamefully seen none of the nominees this year yet.
7.13pm – I am torn between backing the legend that is Herzog, or Man On Wire, which covers a subject that is so fascinating and one-of-a-kind.
7.14pm – Did Bill Maher just make a Heath Ledger joke? And then pimp his movie?
7.15pm – It’s Man On Wire. Well done! And here sprints Phillipe Petit! Hooray for the crazy Frenchman.
7.16pm – YES! Magic and a hilarious insult to the Oscar itself! Balancing acts have never been so much fun. Maher’s right, that deserved an extra Oscar all of its own – just to balance it again!
7.18pm – Seriously, where does one get to see a Documentary Short Subject? I mean, honestly!
7.23pm – Now the post-production run. Might be some surprises here.
7.25pm – Oh dear. Here comes some serious grinning…
7.26pm – Ah Will Smith, trying to justify his career. I have no idea what will win Visual Effects. Button?
7.27pm – Yes it is. A technical treat that film was. I just hope its wins stop here.
7.29pm – Smith trips up over his words while delivering Sound Editing. How ironic. Wall·E or The Dark Knight?
7.30pm – The latter. Good job. Would have been happy with either. Never did think Wanted would get a nomination!
7.31pm – Ah Sound Mixing, the award not even those nominated for it understand.
7.32pm – An unexpected tech award for Slumdog. Great to see (hear).
7.33pm – My God Danny Boyle looks happy!
7.34pm – Editing is far too big a deal to be slumped in at the end of these tech awards. Gotta be Slumdog!
7.35pm – It had to be, there’s more energy in that film’s editing than there is the entirety of Benjamin Button.
7.42pm – Jerry Lewis wins the Jean Hersholt Award. This could be amusing… or maybe not.
7.45pm – A standing ovation. The man looks fighting fit for 82. Maybe even more so than Eddie Murphy.
7.47pm – I’m not complaining, but why exactly is Heidi Klum there? I mean, wow, but still. Why not just scatter Victoria’s Secret’s finest all throughout the crowd?
7.50pm – Here come the music awards. Surely two more for Slumdog Millionaire.
7.51pm – God, could the Defiance score be any more desperate to be Schindler’s List?
7.52pm – Now that I hear it alone, there are some instruments in the Wall·E soundtrack that I’ve never even heard of before. But the Slumdog music is beautiful also.
7.55pm – Had to be Slumdog, one more to take back to India. Well, England. Now a fight to the death with Wall·E for best song! But the little robot is outnumbered two to one.
7.56pm – “MUSIC.” “LONG.” Who is this woman?
8.oopm – Wow, mixing the songs together… it actually works! I don’t care who wins, these three are all great. Though I gues I’d give it to Slumdog.
8.02pm – Well-deserved for Slumdog, though I can’t help but feel sorry for little WallE left without any more Oscars. It deserved so many. “Choose love” reminds me of a Danny Boyle movie I once saw…
8.05pm – Liam Neeson and Freida Pinto. Hot stuff.
8.07pm – Departures eh? I know nothing of it. Look forward to hearing more though. And the Academy laughs racistly at the winner’s lack of English. Oh dear…
8.11pm – Queen Latifah introduces the sad part with a song. Wait for the sound that comes when they show Paul Newman. Sigh.
8.16pm – Yeah, that was sad. Always is. Nice to look back, though it wouldn’t have hurt to allow some dialogue out.
8.19pm – Oh dear, two seperate dresses crashed into each other at high speeds and made what Reese Witherspoon is wearing. Best director time. As predictable as we expect or will there be a split this year?
8.20pm – Danny Boyle! Good show. He’s been grinning about this win for hours now. Now he can start sulking. And hopping apparently.
8.21pm – Boyle compliments the show’s stagecraft. Nice that someone said it. Aw, Boyle’s kids are delighted.
8.23pm – Mumbai – “you dwarf even the sky.” Wonderful!
8.25pm – We’re in the thick of it now. Here come some famous actresses, most of them found out of work nowadays no doubt.
8.26pm – Damn. Sophia Loren. Just damn. What age is she now? Give the award to her.
8.27pm – Did Anne Hathaway just get a “don’t worry, you don’t have a chance” pat on the back from Shirley MacLaine?
8.28pm – Kate’s tearing up and she hasn’t even won yet…
8.29pm – So… does someone want to tell me who Melissa Leo is?
8.32pm – WINSLET WINS IT! Here she comes. I think I know what’s coming now.
8.33pm – “It’s not a shampoo bottle now!” One of the nicest lines of the night. She’s holding herself together rather well so far. Her dad whistles. Impressively loudly.
8.35pm – An excellent speech – all her critics can shut it. Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack get their deserves. But did she just slam Meryl Streep?
8.36pm – And now the old actors, who will it be…?
8.37pm – Wow, a great selection! No Day Lewis this year. Odd that. Man, imagine the film you could make with those five!
8.39pm – Seriously: Douglas, Kinglsey, Hopkins, Brody and De Niro. Amazing. And now Sean Penn’s sexuality has been questioned. Brilliant!
8.42pm – Might be a big toss up here between Penn’s Milk and Rourke’s “bleech blonde battered bruiser”. Tense stuff here.
8.44pm – And Penn takes it! Maybe the only big surprise tonight. Milk is back in the running. Voted for “commic, homo-loving sons of guns”! Good stuff.
8.47pm – A call for equal rights. A powerful end to his speech. Or is it… there’s more… final praise for Mickey Rourke. How nice. Shame he has no Oscar though.
8.48pm – Steven Spielberg is here to tell us we’re inspired. Thank goodness for him, or we’d never know. Any chance of Slumdog not winning this?
8.53pm – Wow, a terrific night for Slumdog, pretty much a clean sweep! Great to see a deserving work do so well.
8.54pm – Everybody on the stage now. Hee hee, look how cute the kids are!
8.57pm – Well that’s almost it. Now they show us clips from next year’s films? Bullshit! That’s just free advertising, and totally making next year’s show biased before it begins. Bad Hollywood. Bad.
9.04pm – Eugh, a nasty way to end what was otherwise a surprisingly pleasant show. Well, that’s it for this year. It’s been one hell of a night, if only in terms of Slumdog‘s success and my sugar intake. Thank you for staying with me, and now to bed…