Hello, friends, and welcome to my 7th annual LIVE moment-by-moment Oscar commentary! Depending upon who you talk to, tonight will either be a fun, frustrating or downright infuriating affair -- but personally, I’m psyched. Yeah, I’m also disappointed in the Academy for snubbing a number of the most Oscar-worthy performances (Shannon, Fassbender, Gosling, Dunst, Olsen, etc.)... but the fact is, I don’t outwardly dislike ANY of the major nominees. Three of my Top 10 films of 2011 are nominated for Best Picture, including my #1, HUGO, for which I will be rooting with great fervor. (Fun fact: My #1 movie of the year has not actually won Best Picture since THE RETURN OF THE KING in 2004, so it would be particularly exciting if HUGO pulls it out.) However, it looks like the night is poised to have a silent, black-and-white flair: THE ARTIST is the odds-on favorite to sweep, but seeing as how it was my #9 movie of the year, this is fine with me (frankly, I’m baffled by the anti-ARTIST backlash that has already permeated the interwebs). On the acting side, I’m rooting for Clooney over Dujardin, but I like ‘em both (though I’m REALLY rooting for a Gary Oldman upset!), and while I’d love to see Michelle Williams steal Best Actress from frontrunner Viola Davis, I’d have no problem with either of them (not to mention always-deserving Meryl Streep). Point being... unlike recent years when certain unfortunate developments (CRASH, THE KING’S SPEECH, Natalie Portman) have made me very angry, it seems there’s little chance of any unpleasant surprises this year. What will this mean for my commentary if I don’t start seething with drunken rage halfway through the show? Will drunken pleasantness be as entertaining? We shall see!
My LIVE running commentary will begin with Red Carpet Madness (starting with the telecast on E!, if you want to watch with me, though I might switch over to ABC at some point) at 6 p.m. EST sharp, followed by the 84th Academy Awards at 8:30. I’ll be updating this blog every few minutes with my play-by-play, observations, predictions, reactions, rants and random musings -- if it pops into my head, I will write it! Absolutely no censoring or filtering allowed. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often... or keep your browser right here and click “refresh” constantly & obsessively. See ya in a few hours!
THE RED CARPET
6:00 – Aaaaaand here we go! I’m watching the E! red carpet show, starring Giuliana Rancic, who is looking more fish-like than ever. And now here’s Mila Jovovich, who I have loved for a long time. She looks great. And lest we forget, she kicks ass!
6:02 – They’re doing prediction polls on E! 70% for Octavia Spencer for supporting actress. No argument from me, though part of me is rooting for Janet McTeer....
6:06 – Seacrest was interviewing Wolfgang Puck and they’re talking about the food spread. Yeah, it’s still pretty early here on the red carpet. Now here’s Rose Byrne, star of the year’s most overrated film, BRIDESMAIDS. I like her in general, but meh. Melissa McCarthy is there... and now Wendi McLendon-Covey, who was the real scene-stealer in the film. BRIDESMAIDS chicks are showing up early!
6:11 – Hey, it’s Lea Thompson! And Ellie Kemper, who is funnier on THE OFFICE than everyone in BRIDESMAIDS combined! I promise I won’t rip on BRIDESMAIDS too much in this blog – I actually enjoyed the film – it’s just not Oscar-worthy, dammit! But man, Ellie Kemper is adorable. She’s my early red carpet favorite.
6:13 – Berenice Bejo, arguably the best part of THE ARTIST, is pretty. Also she’s got an accent and therefore I enjoy her.
6:19 – Clooney and Stacy Keibler have arrived! Still can’t believe they’re dating. That’s a big win for WWE Divas everywhere – normally they just pose for Playboy and then fade into obscurity.
6:20 – Okay, well, if they’re going to keep interviewing BRIDESMAIDS people, then I guess I have to keep badmouthing it: MELISSA McCARTHY DOES NOT DESERVE HER NOMINATION! If she does, then Carell should’ve won Best Actor for the far-superior 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN. Bah. Meanwhile... there was a Jessica Chastain sighting, and now Shailene Woodley, who should have gotten the supporting actress nod over you-know-who!
6:23 – Ooh, Judy Greer looks all slinky! That’s an unexpected pleasantry. Closer look at Jessica Chastain with the black & gold dress... stunning indeed... any year in which she shows up in 7 movies is a good year!
6:25 – Seacrest and Chastain just met for the first time... amusing stuff. Chastain looks luminous. And she is funny & personable. She has just leapfrogged Ellie Kemper to be my red carpet fav so far. And she brought her grandma, aww!
6:32 – I guess Clooney doesn’t really NEED another Oscar because he is George Clooney and he is dating Stacy Kiebler and her 60-something-inch legs. But I still hope he beats the French dude. (Though I really hope Gary Oldman beats ‘em both!)
6:35 – Clooney dominates the fan prediction poll for Best Actor. And now here’s fellow nominee Demian Bichir, who I just can’t get behind, since his nomination means that Michael Shannon, Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling got left out. Sorry, Demian... not your fault, but still.
6:42 – Whoa, Viola Davis looks bad-ass! She’s a great actress, no doubt, and would be a worthy winner even though I’m rooting against her. Rooney Mara... something weird going on there... and oh hey Maya Rudolph is cool. Glenn Close should have come in full Albert Nobbs attire. Clooney hugging Bichir is a tender moment between Best Actor noms, but I’m guessing Bichir would have preferred a hug from Keibler. The action is heating up on the red carpet now!
6:45 – Took me a minute to figure out who is on screen right now, but duh, it’s Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann! They are funny. But someone needs to let Apatow know that his movies – even the good ones – are always like 20 minutes too long.
6:47 – Giuliana just said that Stacy Keibler looks like Clooney’s “statue” in her gold dress. In my head I’m seeing Ralphie caressing the leg lamp in A CHRISTMAS STORY... “Yeahhh, a statue...”
6:51 – Lots of commercials during the E! red carpet show, no? Annoying. But it does give me many opportunities to stop tying and drink my beer.
6:53 – Michelle Williams is always a vision on the red carpet and tonight is no exception. I hope she wins! “I feel like [Kate Winslet] made a path and the rest of us get to follow it,” Williams says. I agree!
6:55 – Oh, here’s Rooney Mara. I guess it’s a big deal that she’s wearing white because she a;ways wears black? I dunno. She looks really, really ridiculously skinny. And with the bright red lipstick, alabaster skin and that hairdo, she looks like a geisha samurai. I can dig it.
6:56 – WOW, THE HELP wins the E! fan prediction poll? See, this is why you don’t let Joe Q. Moviegoer vote for the Oscars. It’s a good movie, but jeez, people.
6:58 – Cool, the coach from the documentary UNDEFEATED is there. I wonder if the guys who were wrongly jailed for killing children only to later be vindicated & freed thanks to the PARADISE LOST trilogy will be there, too?
7:02 – Ladies and gentlemen, Oscar nominee Jonah Hill! So weird to say that. Wait, is he getting fat again? God I hope so!
7:06 – Jean Dujardin is a charming French person. But I think he should’ve kept that mustache that he was rocking in THE ARTIST. Also I think Seacrest just slipped his phone number to the translator, Tanya. Smooth!
7:10 – Ohhhhhh shit, The Dictator has arrived on the red carpet! Though since the whole thing has been sanctioned by the Academy, it’s probably not going to be as funny as it would have been if Cohen had flat-out crashed.
7:11 – All of my BRIDESMAIDS bashing aside, I’m happy that Kristen Wiig has finally hit the big time. She has been the best thing on SNL for a long, long time! Plus she looks pretty good all gussied up!
7:14 – A closer look at Michelle Williams’ dress. They should just keep that on in the corner of the screen the whole time. And now here’s the cast of THE DESCENDANTS... my God, Matthew Lillard is on the damn red carpet. The Mayans were right about 2012....
7:17 – OH SHIT, Sacha Baron Cohen, as The Dictator, carrying an urn supposedly containing the remains of Kim Jong Il, just spilled the ashes all over Ryan Seacrest’s tux! HAHAHA! This was unscripted! They’re taking Cohen away! Seacrest is pissed! This is outstanding!
7:19 – Hehehe, the best part of this whole thing is how legitimately pissed Seacrest was. Dude is all covered with ashes and he had to consciously restrain himself from throwing a hissy-fit – you could see it in his face. I thought the whole Dictator thing was going to be tempered down but clearly Sacha Baron Cohen remains one of the great unpredictable comedy geniuses of the moment. All hail the Dictator!
7:24 – Heh, I just wondered aloud if Tina Fey was getting chunky and Rachel reminded me that she was pregnant. Oh yeah. And now here’s J-Lo for some reason? I mean, I guess I can see the reason(s). Oh God, now Seacrest is telling J-Lo what happened with the Dictator – he is going to talk about this to everybody he encounters. Dude has just been scarred for life. Hilarious!
7:26 – Whoa, ol’ Fish Face Rancic with the line of the night so far: “Who are YOU wearing, Ryan, that’s the question!” Kudos!
7:28 – Emma Stone’s dress is wacky but I like the way she describes her accessories. “Louis Vuitton... jewels?” She rules. Hey, where’s her boyfriend, Spider-Man?
7:32 – Wait, I just figured it out: Rooney Mara looks like a geisha samurai as portrayed by Jennifer Connelly. Except she’s not as bodacious.
7:37 – This red carpet recap segment is taking a really long time, so I guess I should recap my favorites so far, too. Ellie Kemper. Jessica Chastain. Michelle Williams. Stacy Keibler. And of course, Ryan Seacrest covered in ash. Hehe.
7:40: Bah, E! has apparently given up on the red carpet – perhaps Seacrest finally went off the deep end? I’m switching over to the ABC telecast to see what’s happenin’ over there!
7:43 – Umm, first of all, why are the ABC cameras shooting with what appears to be some kind of red filter over the lens? This aura is weird. Colin Firth is so damn charming. And now there’s a montage of a kid from a TV show trying to see all 9 Best Picture nominees in one day. Okie doke.
7:45 – Dujardin is back and may be the happiest guy on the red carpet. Monsieur is always smiling! More raving over Michelle Williams and her coral dress – I’m right there with ya, Tim Gunn.
7:47 – By the way, wanna know what I’M wearing? A TITANIC t-shirt that I got at an advance screening a couple of weeks ago + STAR WARS PJ pants. Clooney and Dujardin ain’t got nothin’ on me!
7:51 – Has Jennifer Lopez ever NOT worn a dress with a big gap down the front? Not that I’m complaining. And now here’s Nick Nolte, a completely baffling nomination in my opinion. Hehe, Nolte can’t understand a word this woman is saying. And he’s apparently going to rock the sunglasses a la Jack Nicholson tonight, so that’s cool.
7:55 – Good point by Zack Galifianakis – if comics were accepted by the Academy and other such entities, they wouldn’t be comics! Looks crazy without his full beard, though – didn’t even realize it was him at first. And now Penelope Cruz... muy bonita! Add her to the top 5 (again)!
8:00 – Okay, gang, Indian food has arrived so it’s time for me to take a quick break. Can’t believe these two hours of red carpet madness have come & gone already! See you in a half-hour for the big show!
THE 84th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS
8:30 – It’s showtime! And, um, it looks like Billy Crystal is doing an awesome Morgan Freeman impression! No, it’s really Morgan Freeman... Crystal couldn’t replicate that voice. He’s talking about the magic & glory of cinema. “This is the 84th Annual Academy Awards!” And there’s Billy in a silent film parody! Clooney visits comatose Billy in the hospital – and a kiss, ew! Billy and the MONEYBALL team try to write some Oscar jokes. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Justin Bieber to get the younger demographic! The Beebs and Sammy Davis Jr. are gonna go kill Hitler! “Have fun storming the Fuhrer!” Uh-oh, Billy is eating Octavia Spencer’s pie... which segues into the first BRIDESMAIDS / poop joke of the night. Billy wearing 3D glasses as Tom Cruise busts in... and now it’s a TINTIN shout-out! Excellent! A world of film reels with POTTER and Puss-in-Boots and stuff. And Billy is ready for the big show! Ladies and gentlemen, Billy Crystal, yaaaaaay!
8:36 – Heh, oh yeah, it’s not called the Kodak theatre anymore. That’s weird. A shout-out to James Earl Jones’ baseball speech in FIELD OF DREAMS, and now Billy sings about Best Picture nominees! Classic! Missed ya, Billy!
8:42 – Oh yeah, awards and stuff. Here’s Tom Hanks... or perhaps this is Evil Tom Hanks, since he has a goatee? That’s frightening. Cinematography is up first. Yikes, reading the nominees too fast... and the winner is HUGO!?! WOW! Could this be a harbinger of awesomeness to come?! Amazing! And now Art Direction... tough category here... would love to see HUGO win again but POTTER needs some love. And HUGO WINS AGAIN! Two for two! What’s happening?! I’m ecstatic! Keep it going! “This is for Marty and for Italy!” YEAH BABY!
8:50 – Hey, Billy, I’ll have you know that I’ve seen nearly 300 movies in theatres since the bedbug epidemic began in NYC and I haven’t gotten ‘em yet! And heeeeeeere’s a montage, about movie magic, I guess, starting with FORRREST GUMP! TITANIC, which is still awesome. LEGENDS OF THE FALL, ha, I just made a joke about Brad Pitt’s hair on Twitter. AVATAR, ok… AMELIE, yay! APOLLO 13, INDY, HANGOVER, nice! “Those aren’t pillows!” Austin Powers, CAPE FEAR, THE GODFATHER! “You can’t handle the truth!” FRENCH CONNECTION, EXORCIST... STAR WARS all over the place! “I’ll be right heeeeere,” I’m crying! ROCKY, “I’ll have what she’s having!” Nice one!
8:54 – J-Lo and Cameron Diaz are blinding in both their bright shiny dresses AND their combined hotness (yes, still). Nominees for Costume Design. ANONYMOUS, can’t count out a Shakespearean era flick. THE ARTIST and HUGO both captured the same era in different countries. JANE EYRE and W.E., more period pieces. And the Oscar goes to... THE ARTIST! So it’s war you want, is it? Well, okay! HUGO vs. THE ARTIST... FIGHT!
8:56 – J-Lo is dangerously close to a wardrobe malfunction (to quote Dave Chappelle, “Come onnnnn, titty!”) and it’s Best Makeup time. ALBERT NOBBS, meh, Glenn Close already kinda looks like a man. I’m rooting for POTTER here – for God’s sake, one of the great cinematic acheivements of the past decade needs at least ONE damn Oscar! THE IRON LADY, meh, it was good, but mostly a testament to Streep’s acting. WHOA, J-Lo and Diaz just turned around & showed their butts! Who the hell won? Oh, shit, THE IRON LADY. Well that’s a shame.
8:59 – Ben Stiller talks about going to the movies. Now Morgan Freeman, and Adam Sandler, and cutie Reese Witherspoon, and Brad Pitt, and Steve Carell. Hilary Swank. Tom Cruise. Helen Mirren. Barbra is like buttah. They all love going to the movies just like you and me!
9:05 – Sandra Bullock has apparently had a close encounter with the alien race that did a number of Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger. Scary. Best Foreign Film time... I’ve seen two of these, A SEPARATION, the odds-on favorite, and BULLHEAD, which was decent. And the Oscar goes to A SEPARATION! Outstanding film (and in my top 10 of the year)! For those keeping score, I am not 3-for-5. Not bad.
9:09 – Nice quip by Billy about the Republican presidential candidates being a bunch of wackos. And now last year’s Supporting Actor winner, Christian Bale, is here to present Supporting Actress. Berenice Bejo may be the heart of THE ARTIST. Jessica Chastain was all over the place in 2011 and THE HELP was her best work. Forget Melissa McCarthy... what a joke. Janet McTeer could maybe pull an upset for breathing life into ALBERT NOBBS, and she should DEFINITELY win for Best Revelatory Breast-Baring in a Gender-Bending Motion Picture. Octavia Spencer was fantastic in THE HELP and is my choice and will probably win. And the Oscar goes to... OCTAVIA SPENCER! Well deserved! Standing O! Emotional speech! Don’t you dare cut her off! Aww, yay!
9:18 – Hehehe, after Billy Crystal saw THE HELP, he wanted to hug the first black woman he saw, which from Beverly Hills was about a 45-minute drive. And now... rare footage from a focus group for THE WIZARD OF OZ? Hehe, oh my god, it’s the Christophe Guest troupe! This is amazing! "Fred Willard likes the flying monkeys! “Lots of elevator faces in this movie,” says Stiffler’s mom. “I didn’t particularly care for the rainbow song.” Guest & Co. just won the Oscars!
9:22 – WOW, nice porno mustache, Bradley Cooper! That is awesome! He and Tina Fey are presenting Best Editing, which is often a harbinger of things to come later in the evening. Naturally I’m rooting for HUGO, but I actually think MONEYBALL and DRAGON TATTOO were exceptionally well-constructed. And the Oscar goes to... DRAGON TATTOO! That is outstanding! Fincher films have a very particular feel to them and the editing is a big part of that. Nifty choice, and totally throws the usual Best Picture predictor out the window.
9:25 – Sound Editing is next. I’m actually going against HUGO for this one and picking TRANSFORMERS or WAR HORSE and WHOA, HUGO wins! That’ll teach me! Yay, HUGO, even though it F’s up my ballot! Man, I can’t stop looking at Bradley Cooper’s mustache. I guess HUGO will probably win Sound Mixing now, too, but again, I’m going for TRANSFORMERS or WAR HORSE. I mean, say what you want about TRANSFORMERS but the sound is insane. And the Oscar goes to HUGO again! Yay! Keep ‘em coming, Academy!
9:34 – KERMIT AND PIGGY IN THE HOUSE! Whoa whoa whoa... they’re introduced the Cirque du Soleil performance, which is being including at the expense of letting the Muppets sing their Oscar-nominated song?? That is adding insult to injury! I’m so annoyed I can’t even be bothered to pay attention to this movie-themed Cirque act. And I’m sure as hell not writing about it! LET THE MUPPETS SING, DAMMIT!!! WE WANT MORE MUPPETS!!!
9:39 – Billy compares this year’s Oscars to a bar mitzvah, and now he’s talking about oldsters Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow. “Next year this will be called the Flomax Theatre!” And now here come Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr., who is filming a documentary called THE PRESENTER, hehe. God, Gwyneth’s suckitude is directly proportional to Downey’s awesomeness. And the Best Doc nominees are here. I’m rooting for the amazing PINA, but pretty sure PARADISE LOST 3 will win because, for God’s sake, it was responsible for releasing innocent men from prison. And the winner is UNDEFEATED??! Holy crap. Just saw that on Friday and didn’t think there was much to it. WOW, harsh speech cut-off with the music and then turning off the mics. They’re not fucking around this year!
9:45 – Chris Rock is apparently trying to bring back the Nat X afro. Nice! Rachel just looked it up and apparently this is the first time Rock has been back to the Oscars since he hosted in 2005. Wonder why? He’s good! Let him host again, maybe. best Animated Feature is next! Weird nominees here. I think I’m officially rooting for CHICO & RITA, which reminded me of a mix between ONCE and LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA. And the Oscar goes to RANGO! No surprises there... it’s easily the best mainstream animated film this year (since Pixar took the year off). For the record, my kitten, Shea, was rooting for A CAT IN PARIS....
9:51 – Uh-oh, Melissa McCarthy putting the moves on Billy. And Billy succumbs! That was funny, but she’s still not Oscar-worthy, sorry. And here’s Ben Stiller and Emma Stone, who is all wrapped up in a tidy little package with a big red bow. Aww, it’s Emma’s first time presented an award! She’s adorbs and basking in the moment. This is amusing. “We should have some banter!” Holy crap, Emma Stone is awesome and very easy to love. And now, Visual Effects. This is POTTER’s last chance to win an Oscar... unfortunately it’s up against RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, which will surely win for the incredible mo-cap work. And the Oscar goes to... HUGO! Wow! How about that!
9:57 – Billy with a little tip of the cap to the POTTER franchise, which is shockingly Oscar-less after all these years. And here’s Melissa Leo to present Best Supporting Actor. Branagh was great as Sir Lawrence Olivier in a film about great actors that was filled with great acting. Oscar nominee Jonah Hill with a loud ovation from the Oscar crowd! Nick Nolte, meh... he looks like a drunk Kenny Rogers all of a sudden. Aww, the score from BEGINNERS fills me with emotion. No way Plummer doesn’t win. Max von Sydow with the gimmick nod. And 82-year-old Christopher Plummer, wearing a velvet tux, wins his first-ever Oscar! Oldest actor ever to win an Oscar! Outstanding! And so deserved – if you haven’t seen BEGINNERS yet, please rent it immediately! “When I first emerged from my mother’s womb, I was rehearsing my Oscar speech.” And a shout-out to the man, Ewan McGregor! Awesome speech. Best winner moment of the night so far (with due respect to Octavia).
10:05 – Commercial for TITANIC 3D. I saw an advance screening a couple of weeks ago and loved it all over again. The movie is still awesome and the 3D is astonishingly well-done. See it in April!
10:08 – Hehe, Billy is now going to tell us what the stars are thinking. Brad Pitt has six parent-teacher conferences to attend in the morning! Morgan Freeman voices over himself! Marty is manic! Nolte is Frankenstein! Hey, it’s the dog from THE ARTIST! I still prefer the dog from BEGINNERS. (And Shea prefers the cat from A CAT IN PARIS – seriously, when I watched it the other day, Shea would glance at the TV screen whenever the movie cat meowed. It ruled.)
10:10 – President of the Academy, blah blah words. Cue the orchestra and turn off the mic! Oh, and LET THE MUPPETS SING!!!! “Thank you Tom, and thank you for whipping the crowd into a frenzy,” says Billy. Hahaha!
10:12 – Stars of two great recent Woody Allen films, Owen Wilson and Penelope Cruz, who looks phenomenal as always. Best Original Score is a meh category tonight because some of the best are nowhere to be found (BEGINNERS, hello!). But we DO have a double-dose of John Williams, and I would be very happy if he were to win. THE ARTIST probably wins, even though it stole from VERTIGO. HUGO is sweepingly epic. Whoa, almost forgot TINKER TAILOR existed. If HUGO wins this, then a true sweep may be in store... and the winner is... THE ARTIST! Well, okay, that’s cool. Was getting my hopes up too much! But I do love THE ARTIST!
10:16 – Hahahaah, Will Ferrell and Zack Galifiankis come out wearing white tuxes and crashing cymbals! This is going to be awesome. “I’m Zag Gagifagiabakkis.” They’re presenting Best Original Song, which will follow in the footsteps of such former winners as “When YOu Wish Upon a Star,” “The Way We Were” and “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”... hehe. Obviously the Muppets are winning this one... cymbals dropping all over the place... and the Oscar goes to... “MAN OR MUPPET” from THE MUPPETS!!! YAY!!! NOW LET THE MUPPETS SING!!! Bret McKenzie with the nod to the legend of Jim Henson. Jason Segel beaming in the audience (should have maybe been allowed up on stage, too?). Good stuff!
10:24 – Billy suggests that he & Clooney buy the Dodgers and then flubs his intro for the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Angelina Jolie. Holy leg, Angelina! I think she’s presenting Adapted Screenplay, but I am entranced by the leg. Gotta admit, haven’t been so enraptured by Angie since that topless scene in GIA. I’m rooting for HUGO here, but I’m guessing THE DESCENDANTS will get the win. Or maybe MONEYBALL? And the Oscar goes... Alexander Payne & Co. for THE DESCENDANTS! This probably means HUGO’s run is over. But guess what? I loved THE DESCENDANTS, too – it just missed my Top 10. Funny when the guy did the Angelina leg pose. Hehe.
10:28 – Oh, Angie is still here to present Original Screenplay. THE ARTIST is the favorite here, but how awesome would it be if MIDNIGHT IN PARIS won?? Ah, to hell with BRIDESMAIDS, as much as I love Kristen Wiig. MARGIN CALL was honored big-time at the Spirit Awards yesterday. A SEPARATION is an intriguing choice. But god, I love love love MIDNIGHT IN PARIS! Come onnnn, Woody! And the Oscar goes to WOODY ALLEN FOR MIDNIGHT IN PARIS!!! YES YES YES!!! SO AWESOME! Arguably the Woodster’s best film in decades... maybe ever... I love it so much.
10:31 – Oh, more movie memories & musings from movie stars. I missed the first bunch of these because I was busy exulting over Woody Allen’s win. Tremendous. Hehe, surprised they didn’t quickly edit Sacha Baron Cohen’s clip out of this. Adam Sandler, stop being serious... you’re done. Ooh short films are up next!
10:36 – Hey Mila Jovovich, how’s it goin’? Whatcha doin’ after the show? Um, I mean, oh hey, she was the annual hottie to present the tech awards to the geeks! As a geek myself, that may be my favorite Oscar tradition.
10:38 – And now here come all the BRIDESMAIDS, including Ellie Kemper, who remains one of my favorites of the night as far as lookin’ good. Did that make sense? I dunno, I’m tipsy. Wiig & Rudolph are talking and now they’re presenting Live Action Short. Very strong category this year. Come on TIME FREAK!!! Though THE SHORE was the very good, too. And the winner is... THE SHORE! That’s cool... it did, after all, star one of my fav actors, CIARAN HINDS!
10:41 – Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy are playing the Oscar drinking game and took a shot when someone said Scorsese! Best Doc Short is up next. I’m rooting for the TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM, but I bet GOD IS THE BIGGER ELVIS wins because it was not screened for some reason. And the Oscar goes to... SAVING FACE! Well, all right, no problem there... it was my second-fav. See, I’m happy about everything tonight!
10:44 – Now Wendy McLendon-Covey and my girl Ellie Kemper are presented Animated Short. I think Pixar is going to win this one with the lovely LA LUNA, but don’t count out MR. MORRIS LESSMORE. Aaaaaaaand... LESSMORE wins! Bah! Okay, this is the first time I’m pissed tonight. LA LUNA was by far the best. Lousy anti-Pixar short film bias! By the way, I’ve stopped keeping track of my prediction record because it ain’t good (but that’s only because I stupidly voted against HUGO and lost three times!).
10:50 – Michael Douglas, the original Occupier of Wall Street (good one, Billy) is here and is cool as ever. Wow, we’re up to Best Director already? Holy shit, as Rachel just pointed out, this is a key moment. COME ONNNNN, MARTY! Michel H. (forgot to program a macro for his last name, oops) is probably the favorite, but who knows after HUGO’s strong showing early? Alexander Payne is always good (he’s literally never made a film). Woody Allen... imagine if he won again?? Maybe we could see a MIDNIGHT IN PARIS upset in the end! Nah (but it’d be awesome). Oh yeah, almost forgot about Malick and TREE OF LIFE. COME ON MARTY!!! Do the right thing, AcademY! And the Oscar goes to... Michel Havabndhdhmnnciicius. Damn. I mean, yay? I do love THE ARTIST. But I really thought HUGO had a shot! Damn! Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Arthur from BEGINNERS would kick Uggie from THE ARTIST’s doggy ass!
10:51 – Hey, remember the last time Meryl Streep won an oscar? I don’t, because I was like 5 years old. Streep introduced the governor’s awards, I think? I don’t know. But James Earl Jones was given a lifetime achievement award and they showed clips from EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and THE LION KING and that was awesome! And Oprah got something, too. Cue David Letterman: Oprah… Vader… Vader… Oprah. Hehe, I’m cracking myself up. OH SHIT IN MEMORIAM IS NEXT!
11:03 – Sad music has kicked in, Billy Crystal is talking about fallen Oscar producers. And now In Memoriam begins as some Afro Lady sing “What a Wonderful World.” Jane Russell, shit. Whoa, Whitney Houston made it in already (sometimes they wait till the following year). Aw man, Peter Falk, one of my late grandfather’s favs... maybe they’re solving crimes together in Heaven. Sidney Lumet, damn... what a titan. Steve Jobs counts because of Pixar. Ben Gazzara! And of course, Elizabeth Taylor... goddamn. Yep, I’m sad now. Did they miss anybody?
11:11 – Make a wish! Shit, wait, I didn’t wish for another “actors sharing their movie musings” segment. But Phillip Seymour Hoffman rules, as does Edward Norton, as does Robert Downey Jr. I honestly have not listened to a word any of these guys have said in any of these segments. NEXT!
11:12 – “Last year’s winner for Best Actress, Natalie Portman”... still rankles my chain. (Is that a saying? It is now.) Oh, they’re going back to the thing where the presenter speaks directly to each nominee. Demian Bichir, eh, I dunno, I just didn’t think he was that great. Maybe I’m wrong (believe it or not, it’s happened before). Clooney WAS great in THE DESCENDANTS, even though it’s hard to believe that his wife would have cheated on him with Matthew Lillard. (Natalie DOES look mighty fine, by the way. I’m still allowed to lust after her even though she’s a shitty actress.) Jean Dujardin is the odds-on favorite here, even though his ARTIST mustache has now been outshined by Bradley Cooper’s. GARY OLDMAN needs to win because he was awesome in TINKER TAILOR and he’s awesome ALL THE TIME and deserves some recognition (also, remember when he & Natalie were THE PROFESSIONAL together?). Brad Pitt was great in MONEYBALL, the best baseball movie in many years. And the Oscar goes to… MICHAEL SHANNON FOR TAKE SHELTER! Oh wait, sorry, that’s what it SHOULD have been. The actual Oscar goes to... Jean Dujardin for THE ARTIST! .................................... <— that was me being silent. Because it’s a silent film, ya see. I’ve got a book coming out!
11:24 – Colin Firth is here to present Best Actress. Whoa whoa whoa... Glenn Close is an acTRESS?! (Imagine me saying that in Danny DeVito’s LORAX voice and it’s mildly funnier.) ALBERT NOBBS was a weird movie. Viola Davis looks awesome with the natural hairdo and she was awesome in THE HELP and will probably win here (it would be the first time two African-American women won in the same year... just throwing that out there). Rooney Mara was not even the best Lisbeth Salander we’ve seen recently, so she should not win. Meryl Streep has been nominated 17 times and has only won twice and not since 1982... crazy. THE IRON LADY sucked but through no fault of hers. Yay Michelle Williams – she fully embodied Marilyn and it was something to see. I was rooting for her last year for BLUE VALENTINE and I’m rooting for her again now! And the Oscar goes to MERYL FUCKING STREEP! WOWOW! I am seriously shocked! Hahaha, she is awesome. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re looking at the greatest actress of our lifetime. Maybe of all time. She could probably have 17 Oscars right now on some level. An awesome awesome awesome moment!
11:32 – Tom Cruise comes out the Mission Impossible theme to present Best Picture! Well, it’s all come down to this and I’m guessing THE ARTIST will be the winner. But hey, maybe HUGO still has some life left in it! MONEYBALL would be the first baseball movie ever to win. THE DESCENDANTS is fantastic. THE HELP is powerful. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is joyous. WAR HORSE was a pure Spielbergian old-school epic. TREE OF LIFE is, um, complex and stuff. EXTREMELY LOUD isn’t nearly as bad as everyone seems to think (but it shouldn’t be here). What’s it gonna be folks? What’s... it... gonna... be? And the Oscar goes to... THE ARTIST! The first silent film to win Best Picture since the very first Best Picture! I guess I’m a little bummed because for a brief, shining moment, I really thought HUGO had a shot – but THE ARTIST is a fantastic film and a a worthy win (we’ll just have to keep waiting for my #1 movie to win best Picture). Aaaaaaand that’s a wrap!
Well, hey, not a bad show this year! Got excited early when HUGO picked up a flurry of technical awards, but it couldn’t withstand THE ARTIST juggernaut in the end. That’s okay – I loved both movies, and in fact, I’m pretty pleased with most of the winners. The only one I’m kind of pissed about is Best Animated Short, because I thought Pixar’s LA LUNA was by far the best... but the winner, MR. MORRIS LESSMORE, was probably my second favorite, so even that wasn’t too bad. Definitely no rage-inducing debacles like in past years! Super surprising awesome Best Actress win for Meryl Streep, but otherwise the acting awards went to their expected recipients (Spencer, Plummer and Dujardin). I also REALLY loved that Woody Allen and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS won Best Original Screenplay. A pleasant evening all in all! Billy Crystal was great, as always, despite the lack of Jack Palance references (could’ve said something about the late Palance spotting God in the weight room or something, I dunno) – though I’d love to see Christopher Guest & Co. or the Muppets host next year! Or bring back Chris Rock and turn him loose! Or just let Billy do it until he dies, that’s fine. I think I only actually predicted 7 winners of however-many categories, which is pitiful and would not have won me any Oscar pools... but that’s what I get for voting with my heart. Hottest actresses of the night: Let’s go with Jessica Chastain, Ellie Kemper, Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman (yeah, what of it?), Penelope Cruz, J-Lo’s areola and Angelina Jolie’s leg! If you made it all the way through this epic commentary (close to 6,000 words!), I salute you and thank you from the bottom of my heart! Goodnight everybody... and Hail the Dictator!