Sunday, February 22, 2015

OSCAR NIGHT 2015

Academy-Awards-645x370

Hello, my friends, and welcome to my 10th annual LIVE, moment-by-moment, stream-of-consciousness Oscar commentary! Yes, I’ve now been doing this shit for a full decade. Nowadays, everyone and their Great Aunt Tilly live-blogs and live-tweets every damn thing, but I’ve been doing this since before Twitter was even a glimmer in its daddy’s eye! My first live-blog was on MySpace, for God’s sake -- I’m one of the OGs, baby! Thank you for stopping by and I do hope you will stay a spell (or, even better, ALL NIGHT LONG!).

It’s going to be fun. I have seen every nominated film in every category except for two (Best Documentary contender THE SALT OF THE EARTH and Original Song nominee GLEN CAMPBELL: I’LL BE ME), so my guesses/rants/raves will be highly educated (haha). The biggest story of the night, of course, is the battle between BOYHOOD and BIRDMAN for Best Picture. Linklater’s 12-year opus was the favorite for the longest time, but Inarritu’s rollicking satire has caught fire lately. It could go either way. On a personal level, BOYHOOD was my #1 movie of 2014 so I am very much in its corner -- in fact, it would mark the first time that my #1 movie of the year has won Best Picture since THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF KING in 2004. Eleven years ago! I am priming myself for an epic celebration if that happens... or conflicted disappointment if it doesn’t (conflicted because I actually really like BIRDMAN, too -- it was also in my Top 10 of last year).

Truth be told, I like most of the nominees and I’m not sure we’ll see any real major upsets. Linklater vs. Inarritu for Best Director is another close race that could go either way. All signs point to Eddie Redmayne snagging Best Actor for his fantastic portrayal of Stephen Hawking -- but a Michael Keaton win would be particularly sweet. Julianne Moore is poised to win her long-overdue first Oscar, while J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette are veritable locks in the supporting categories. I hope to see the aesthetically-pleasing THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL pick up a few design awards -- but I’ll be ecstatic if it also wins for Original Screenplay and Score. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is the favorite for Animated Feature, but could a little Irish gem called SONG OF THE SEA slay the beast -- or perhaps Disney and BIG HERO 6 will continue to ride the wave of its new Golden Age? Who will win between Martin Luther King, Jr. (“Glory”) and Legos (“Everything is Awesome”) in a Best Original Song battle for the ages? Is IDA necessarily a lock for Foreign Film thanks to its additional Cinematography nod, or can the gleefully deranged WILD TALES make a late surge? Will Steve Carell’s creepy fake nose win out over Dave Batista’s body paint for Best Makeup? Speaking of which, can the GUARDIANS conquer Visual Effects or will the night belong to Caesar and the APES? I’d be very pleased if A SINGLE LIFE, a tiny two-minute time-travel tale won Best Animated Short -- but which Documentary Short, all of which were utterly bleak, will take the gold (I’m rooting for JOANNA)? On the flip side, one thing that would really piss me off and cause the night to take a dark turn is if the vastly-overblown AMERICAN SNIPER rides its wave of box office success and flag-waving to some major wins. Finally, there’s little doubt that Neil Patrick Harris will be an awesome host, but just HOW awesome (or, dare I say it, LEGENDARY) will he be? And how much will we cry during what should be one of the longest & most devastating In Memoriam segments in recent memory (I’m legitimately scared to see it)? And perhaps most importantly, what will Lupita be wearing? So much intrigue!

My LIVE running commentary will begin with Red Carpet Madness at 7 p.m. EST sharp, followed by the 87th Academy Awards at 8:30. I’ll be updating this blog every few minutes with my play-by-play, observations, predictions, reactions, rants and musings. Please do bookmark this page and check back often... or keep your browser right here and click “refresh” constantly & obsessively. See you later! And by the way, please forget that I used the term “OG” before (to think, I haven’t even started drinking yet)....

THE RED CARPET

7:00 – Aaaaaaand we’re off! I’m watching the pre-show on ABC because I don’t have cable and thus am without E! for the first time in forever. I already miss Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osborne and Ryan Seacrest... just kidding! Then again, I have no idea who the ABC people are, so I can’t even properly make fun of them -- it’s hard to say which experience is preferable.

7:04 – Oh, Michael Strahan is one of the ABC Red Carpet hosts. I know who he is. No idea about the other people but they all seem kind of interchangeable. And the first celebs we see are John Legend and Common. “Glory” is a good song and will probably win gold tonight – but don’t count out THE LEGO MOVIE!

7:05 – Michael Keaton is here and seems a little manic, which reminds me of that one scene in BATMAN -- “You wanna get nuts?? Let’s get nuts!” God, I hope he wins.

7:07 – On Twitter, everyone is raving about Lupita and Zoe Saldana, which means I’m guessing they both appeared on the E! Red Carpet show. Dammit! Come on, ABC, get your shit together!

7:10 – Commercial break. Uhhhh, this live blog is off to a boring start, but it’s not my fault! Damn you, ABC!

7:11 – Oh, here we go. Rosamund Pike is here and she looks mighty nice in red with a healthy shot of leg. GONE GIRL is vastly underrepresented at the Oscars, and Rosamund doesn’t really stand a chance against the awesome (and deserved) might of Julianne Moore. But if there is going to be a shocking upset, I hope it’s her!

7:13 – Eddie Redmayne is very charming and was fantastic in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, which, on the surface, is a very Oscar-baity film but manages to transcend that stigma. If he wins Best Actor as expected, I will not be mad. But still rooting hard for Keaton. Also would’ve preferred Redmayne to hit the Red Carpet dressed up as his character from JUPITER ASCENDING.

7:16 – For the love of God, ABC, SHOW ME LUPITA. I’VE GOT A FEVER. AND THE ONLY PRESCRIPTION. IS MORE LUPITA.

7:19 – The ABC Red Carpet show is really pissing me off. They are terrible! I just sat through a retrospective of movie costumes, and now the nameless talking heads and talking amongst themselves about God knows what. SHOW ME THE DAMN CELEBRITIES. And now another commercial break?! Are you kidding me?!

7:20 – In happier news, my Indian food has arrived. And I’m just about ready for my second gin & tonic.

7:23 – Felicity Jones is pretty good. And pretty. Not sure her performance in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING was necessarily Oscar-worthy but now that she is appearing on my TV screen, I have no complaints.

7:25 – Sigh, now ABC is plugging Jimmy Kimmel’s post-Oscar special and it is taking FOREVER. This is ridiculous and unfunny.

7:26 – I’ve never been happier to see Kevin Hart because at least he’s not one of these nameless ABC talking heads. Also, Kevin Hart’s popularity gives hope to funny short guys like me! (Well, short guys, anyway.)

7:31 – FINALLY, ABC shows a brief glimpse of Lupita... and just like that, she’s gone. She looked amazing, though. And speaking of amazing, here’s Julianne Moore! She makes everything better with her mere presence, and this ABC red carpet debacle is no exception. She is destined to win the first Oscar of her career tonight, which is crazy because she should have like 12 of them already.

7:34 – Melanie Griffith thinks it would be strange to watch her daughter Dakota in FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. That’s probably true... but then again, Melanie Griffith is kind of strange nowadays. Dakota was actually very good in that movie and she looks nice on the red carpet, wearing bright red and exactly ZERO shades of grey. (I’ll be here all night!)

7:36 – Marion Cotillard is a perfect specimen and she is on my TV screen. Seriously, she is a goddess. And she’s also one of the finest actresses on the planet. She will not win this year despite an amazing performance in TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT, but in another year, she might have had a good shot.

7:41 – Chris Pratt and Anna Farris! Best couple ever. Chris Pratt is about to become the biggest movie star on the planet and it’s gonna be awesome. “Well, we have a little toddler at home... so we’re not going home,” Anna Farris says. “Yeah, we’re not going home for a week!” Pratt adds. Love them.

7:42 – Benedict Cumberbatch says that it was “a bit squishy on the carpet” with the rain and all, and Cumberbitches everywhere swoon in unison. Still think he would make one hell of a Grand Admiral Thrawn.

7:46 – ABC briefly showed Lupita again and then segued to some segment about a young filmmakers program. Dammit, ABC! This is the Oscars! Aspiring young filmmakers and the future of movies have no business here!

7:49 – Ooh, ooh, I caught a brief glimpse of Cate Blanchett as ABC cut to yet another commercial break. (Sorry for all the bitching, but this is seriously the worst red carpet show ever.) Anyway, Cate looked great, naturally.

7:52 – Reese Witherspoon is here and looks adorable as always. Also, is Reese super-tiny? Or is this interviewer lady a half-giant? Anyway, Reese was fantastic in WILD and I was happy to see her snag a nomination. In another year, she might’ve been my pick! But not this year because Julianne Moore must (and will) win.

7:55 – Jennifer Lopez looks lovely and has arguably the greatest cleavage of all time, but I hope that somebody asks her how she’s enjoying her first-edition Iliad.

7:57 – I just saw Scarlett Johansson looking amazing in green with, I presume, electro-pop girl band hair, and now, finally, an interview with Lupita! Holy shit, what is her dress, entirely made out of pearls? She is a goddess of unrivaled proportions and needs to be worshipped accordingly. Added bonus: she is going to be in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS!

8:00 – Okay, well, I’m gonna end this portion of the blog on a high note (I mean, there is none higher than a Scarlett-Lupita one-two punch). Also, I need to eat this Indian food and fix myself another G&T. I’ll be back at 8:30 for the big show! Stay tuned -- we’ve only just begun!

THE 87th ACADEMY AWARDS

8:30 – Aaaaaaand it’s time for the Oscars! Here’s our host, NEIL PATRICK HARRIS! I’m hoping his performance falls somewhere between Awesome and LEGEN – wait for it – and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DARY! “Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest – I mean brightest!” OOPS!

8:31 – Musical sequence! “No one’s drunk and bitter yet because no one has lost!” We’ll get there soon enough. He’s tracing the history of movies from Marilyn Monroe to Sharon Stone and the tension between Ben & Matt! Hehe. NPH is now making special guest appearances in such classics as THE WIZARD OF OZ and STAR WARS and more… and now here’s Anna Kendrick, also singing about moving pictures! And now Jack Black from the crowd, singing a version of the Witch’s bean song from INTO THE WOODS and now he’s rocking out TENACIOUS D-style!

8:35 – NPH stops Jack Black before things get out hand. He and Anna continue singing and the curtain rises and something crazy is going on behind them. I see Stormtroopers and brides and knights and not sure what else? This is both the greatest and wackiest Oscars opening number in a while and it’s awesome! “That whole thing, completely improvised,” he quips.

8:37 – Hmm, NPH continues with kind of a lame Oprah joke. Distant second to David Letterman’s Oprah/Uma joke once upon a time. And, hey, it’s time for an award already!

8:38 – The exquisite Lupita Nyong’o comes out to present the first award of the night for Best Supporting Actor. Aw, man, first Robin Williams mention of the night (tear). Not much excitement in this category because it’s all about JK Simmons. Robert Duvall was good, as he always is, in THE JUDGE, but the movie was really, really bad. Richard Linklater brings out the best in Ethan Hawke and BOYHOOD was no exception – plus he’s just cool. Edward Norton gave one of his best performances ever in BIRDMAN, as did Mark Ruffalo in the otherwise meh FOXCATCHER. But JK Simmons was an absolutely powerhouse presence in WHIPLASH and will not lose. “And the Actor goes to, er, the Oscar goes to...” aw, Lupita, adorable even when she botches her line... JK SIMMONS! And a standing ovation already! Fantastic and well-deserved. This is a guy who has been really good for a long time. Now get him back into the Spider-Man / Marvel universe as J. Jonah Jameson!

8:44 – “He won an Oscar, bum ba dum bum bum bum bum!” NPH quips along to the Farmers Insurance jingle. Hehe. And now a bit about NPH’s Oscar predictions that are locked in a briefcase on stage. Octavia Spencer is recruited to keep her eye on the case all night long! No snacks! Okay, this might get funny as the night goes on?

8:46 – Liam Neeson strides out to the theme of SCHINDLER’S LIST to introduce some of the Best Picture nominees. First, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, my #2 movie of last year and an all-around joyous, exhilarating movie-watching experience. It has a slew of noms tonight and I would not mind if it won most of them. And on the other side of the coin, vastly overrated AMERICAN SNIPER. God forbid it wins anything major.

8:48 – Dakota Johnson of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY takes the stage (wearing clothes, booo), and it looks like she is introducing Maroon 5 to perform “Lost Stars,” the nominated Original Song from BEGIN AGAIN. I liked that movie because it was written & directed by John Carney of ONCE fame. But this is not the song I would’ve chosen to nominate. Why not the song that Keira Knightley sings that entrances Mark Ruffalo and sets the stage for the whole movie? Oh well. It also doesn’t help that Adam Levine kinda sucks.

8:56 – “Welcome back to the Oscars, or as I like to call them, the Dependent Spirit Awards!” Hehe. NPH is doing well, though it’s going to be hard to top that opening musical number. And now, here’s J-Lo’s cleavage and Chris Pine to present the award for Best Costume Design. GRAND BUDAPEST looks amazing and already iconic, but I love the ‘70s aesthetic of INHERENT VICE. INTO THE WOODS and MALEFICENT have the fairy tale edge while MR. TURNER has the period piece edge, and the Oscar goes to THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL! Wow, I did not expect that! Could this signal a possible sweep for one of Wes Anderson’s best ever?

9:00 – “This next presenter is so lovely, you can eat her up WITH HER SPOON.” Nailed it, NPH. Cutie Reese comes out to present the award for Best Makeup. Hard to bet against Steve Carell’s gargantuan schnozz in FOXCATCHER, but I’m rooting for GUARDIANS here... or maybe BUDAPEST will grab another one? AND IT DOES. The Oscar goes to THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL! This is a shocker but not in a bad way! The more we get to hear that music, the happier I’ll be all night long (but maybe throw in some of that BOYHOOD music, too).

9:03 – Channing Tatum is here to talk more about the young filmmaker thing that took up way too much time during the ABC pre-show. Aw, look at them. They’re adorable with their ideals and dreams! Soon Hollywood will crush them.

9:09 – Using movie magic, Nicole Kidman will be playing Chiwetel Ejiofor tonight and Ejiofor will be playing Kidman. I dunno, NPH, who wrote these jokes? They are very hit-or-miss. Also not sure how I feel about the size of Nicole Kidman’s head – it looks like an orange on a toothpick. Ooh, Best Foreign Film, a really stacked category. IDA is the odds-on favorite, LEVIATHAN is a great Russian satire, TANGERINES, TIMBUKTU, both great, and my pick is the uproarious Argentinian anthology WILD TALES. And the Oscar goes to IDA. No surprise there and no disappointment – it is an incredible film. All of these nominees are worth checking out. Heh, ouch, the IDA guy is the first to get played off the stage. But he refuses to stop! He completely ignored the play-off music! This could set a dangerous precedent tonight, but you go, Polish dude!

9:12 – The great Shirley MacLaine comes out to introduce three more Best Picture nominees. First it’s BOYHOOD, the music of which fills me with instant feels. What a brilliant, moving piece of work – it is life-affirming as both a movie lover and a human being. Next up is THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, a wonderful biopic that transcends your typical Oscar bait on pretty much every level. And now BIRDMAN, an expertly-crafted, brilliantly-acted slice of cinematic exhilaration. Three great movies, but you guys know where my heart is! #TeamBoyhood

9:16 – NPH is walking around talking to seat fillers! First Heidi, then Laura, and now Steve, who looks suspiciously like Steve Carell! It’s his first time here and he’s excited to see Ed Norton, who’s right over there! Heh. And now, one of nature’s finest achievements, Marion Cotillard, takes the stage. She’s introducing Tegan & Sara and The Lonely Island, who are performing “Everything is Awesome!” This is incredible! Oprah is thrilled that she got a Lego Oscar! The stage is candy colored and awesome! Batman is rocking out! Everything IS awesome! Please let this song win.

9:24 – I was in the other room making another G&T so I missed NPH’s joke but I did hear the SUPERMAN theme when the show came back from commercial. Jason Bateman and Kerry Washington are presenting Best Live Action Short Film! I’m rooting for the hilarious BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM here but I think AYA will win... and the Oscar goes to THE PHONE CALL. Oh, yeah, I guess that is more up Oscar’s alley. None of these nominees were particularly memorable. NEXT!

9:28 – Best Documentary Short is next. All five of these noms are BLEAK, BLEAK, BLEAK, BLEAK, BLEAK. And the Oscar goes to CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1, which is what I expected. It’s about people who work at a crisis hotline for suicidal veterans... and somehow it is the LEAST bleak of the bunch. I was “rooting” for JOANNA, a dying mother’s video farewell to her young son. Now excuse me as I pound this drink.

9:30 – “Takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that,” NPH says about the crazy poof-ball dress that the Doc Short lady was wearing. (You had to be there.) And here’s the Viola Davis to talk about the Governor’s Awards. Miyazaki got an Honorary Award, as did Jean-Claude Carriere, and Harry Belafonte got the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Congratulations, all. (P.S. Miyazaki, please don’t retire.)

9:33 – NPH is praising the glory of the British accent and focuses on David Oyelowo. “Oh, sure, now you like him!” NPH quips when the crowd applauds. Oyelowo reads something in his British accent and the whole bit kind of falls flat. NPH needs to start singing & dancing again, stat. And now here’s Gwyneth Paltrow with a flowery shoulder to introduce Tim McGraw, who is singing “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell’s nominated song, which was also one of the two nominated films I did not manage to see. Why couldn’t I find it anywhere?! Grrr. The song is okay, I guess.

9:41 – NPH is nowhere to be found as the show comes back from commercial and now we’re roaming the halls, and, oh, he has taken off his clothes, BIRDMAN style, but also possibly a desperation tactic to make up for all the lame jokes. He passes Miles Teller who’s wailing on the drums, and whoa, now he’s onstage in his tighty-whiteys. “Acting is a noble profession.” Hehe.

9:43 – Miles Teller and Margot Robbie’s full lips and plunging neckline are here to talk about the scientific & technical awards. Was Margot the requisite hottie that presents the awards to all the nyerds? Heh, yup, she was. And a random crowd shot of Lupita as we return to the live room – more of that please!

9:45 – Sienna Miller and Chris Evans come out to present the award for Best Sound Mixing, which should go to WHIPLASH but I think will go to AMERICAN SNIPER because ‘Murrica. But the Oscar goes to WHIPLASH! WOW! Make music not war! That final scene alone probably sealed the win. Awesome.

9:48 – Sound Editing now. I’m rooting for THE HOBBIT just for the heck of it, but AMERICAN SNIPER wins this one, which I expected, and can’t really argue with, because the sound WAS pretty intense. Still, hopefully this is the only award that movie wins.

9:50 – NPH calls himself a changed man after changing his clothes. Wow. I realize he probably didn’t write these jokes, but they are not doing him ANY favors. Jared Leto comes out to present Best Supporting Actress! Excellent Streep joke from the former Jordan Cattalano-turned-Jesus. Patricia Arquette was fantastic in BOYHOOD and is the odds-on favorite. I really loved Laura Dern in WILD, though – so happy that she got nominated. I’ve had an unreasonable crush on Keira Knightley for a long, long time and she was fine in THE IMITATION GAME. Emma Stone took her game to a whole new level in BIRDMAN and she is so gorgeous, it’s almost alien-like – haha, and she’s holding a Lego Oscar in the crowd. And finally, Meryl Streep, who fucking ruled in INTO THE WOODS – who knew she could sing like that?! Plus that soundtrack has been stuck in my head two the past two months. And the Oscar goes to… PATRICIA ARQUETTE! And we get to hear the feel-inducing strains of “Hero” for the first time tonight!

9:53 – Hehe, I think Patricia got bleeped as she took the mix and now she is emotional as she rattles off her speech. She is so deserving and this is a very happy moment! Oh snap, she’s going off with a speech about wage equality! And Meryl Streep stands up and points emphatically and gives her props! That was pretty epic. Go Patricia!

9:59 – Oh, I almost forgot about NPH’s briefcase bit. Octavia still has her eye on it. But Robert Duvall does not give a fuck. And now Josh Hutcherson introduces Rita Ora singing the nominated song from BEYOND THE LIGHTS, which was another movie that could’ve been a cheesy romance but transcended the material with great performances.

10:02 – Huh, NPH sort of brushes off Rita Ora’s performance with a flippant, “Well done,” and then introduces Ansel Engort and Chloe Grace-Moretz who are presenting the award for Visual Effects. Looks of good geekery in this category this year… I mean, even more than usual. THE WINTER SOLDIER. APES. GUARDIANS. INTERSTELLAR. DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. All good stuff! And the Oscar goes to INTERSTELLAR! How about that? I was rooting for GUARDIANS but thought APES would win. Surprising but not disappointing – INTERSTELLAR was a great film in its own right.

10:06 – Kevin Hart and Anna Kendrick come out to the DIRTY DANCING theme? Okay. “Best Animated Short… animated and short…” Anna says as she glances at Kevin. Heh. Really strong category here. I’m rooting for the two-minute gem A SINGLE LIFE but would have no problem with Disney’s FEAST taking home the gold… and the Oscar goes to FEAST! The new Golden Age of Disney continues!

10:09 – Damn, NPH’s jokes are actually kind of on the mean side tonight. Not a nice one about THE LEGO MOVIE’s Best Animated Feature snub. Zoe Saldana (who looks absolutely incredible) and The Rock step out to present the award. I’m rooting for the wonderful Irish gem SONG OF THE SEA but I think the Oscar will go to HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2. And the Oscar goes to BIG HERO 6?!?! WOWOWOW. This is the first full-fledged legit shocker of the night, but again, not in a bad way. BIG HERO 6 may not be an instant classic like FROZEN but it is fun and lovable as hell. HAIL DISNEY.

10:17 – The President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences comes out to a rousing ovation! Just kidding. Everyone is taking a bathroom break now. Even I’m gonna run into the kitchen and pop some corn. Be right back!

10:20 – There better be a good payoff to this running briefcase joke or it could signal the end of our ongoing love-fest with Neil Patrick Harris. Now here’s Felicity Jones and Chris Pratt to present Best Production Design. I’m excited for this award because I’m fairly certain BUDAPEST is going to win. Wes Anderson movies are all about production design and this one took it to another level of aesthetic pleasure. But INTO THE WOODS looked mighty nice, too… and the Oscar goes to THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL! Yes! “They’ve won so many tonight,” you can hear Felicity say into the still-live mic. And they might just win more! Awesome.

10:23 – Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain would make one hell of a Hollywood power couple. They are presenting the award for Cinematography, which I am fairly certain will go to BIRDMAN because of all those crazy long takes. But BUDAPEST did some nice things, too, and seems to be riding a wave. OR maybe it’s finally time for Roger Deakins to get his first-ever Oscar in 12 tries? Nope – the Oscar goes to BIRDMAN! This guy actually won last year for GRAVITY, too – he’s pretty good with that there camera thingie. Is this the first of more BIRDMAN gold to come? Maybe… but hopefully not too many!

10:30 – Meryl Streep comes out to a tune from INTO THE WOODS, and oh shit, I think she’s introducing the In Memoriam segment. Yes. This is going to be rough. “We will miss them with the same sadness with which we miss an old friend.” And here we go. Mickey Rooney. James Garner. Maya Angelou. This is very slow and somber, with what looks like photo-art of each person. James Rebhorn. The ever-lovely Anita Ekberg. Richard Attenborough… “Welcome to Jurassic Park”… okay, now I’m legit getting choked up. Ruby Dee. ROBIN WILLIAMS and here come the tears. Rod Taylor. Lauren freakin’ Bacall. Eli Wallach. God, this list is long, as I knew it would be. Gabriel Garcia Marquez? I don’t even remember that, but shit. Bob Hoskins! Mike Nichols, jesus. Wait, and now the stage is opening and something is happening. Jennifer Hudson steps out to sing a song for the dearly departed. No Philip Seymour Hoffman, but I guess he died before last year’s awards and they honored him then? I forget. Also, no Joan Rivers? Well, in any event, that was rough indeed. F this world.

10:42 – My good friend Jay just pointed out via text that they also snubbed RICHARD KIEL!? Hey Academy, YOUR BALL STRUCK MY FOOT. And now here’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomi Watts, who looks like the prettiest brick wall ever. Film Editing is next, which could be a key award. AMERICAN SNIPER, no. BOYHOOD, yes! Twelve years in the making! BUDAPEST, maybe. IMITATION GAME and WHIPLASH… and the Oscar goes to WHIPLASH. Well, that’s very interesting indeed as we inch closer to the big prize.

10:46 – Terrence Howard is here to introduce more Best Picture nominees. And, uh, he gets strangely emotional before talking about THE IMITATION GAME? And then there were some weird noises. I think there was a teleprompter problem for a second there and he thought he was going to be talking about SELMA. Anyway, WHIPLASH first, which is suddenly gaining some momentum. IMITATION GAME is an okay movie about an extraordinary life but not really a worthy Oscar nominee. And then there’s SELMA, which just an incredible film and really deserved a bigger presence here tonight.

10:49 – I think NPH just made another mean-spirited joke about Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo’s snubs? Not sure. They’re presenting Best Documentary Feature. This is CITIZENFOUR’s award to lose. The others are pretty good, though, but the Oscar goes to CITIZENFOUR, the Edward Snowden flick. Powerful, intense stuff. However, it is worth noting that LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM was produced by a guy named Keven McAlester. Keep the change, ya filthy animal!

10:53 – “FALLING SLOWLY” AS THE SHOW GOES TO COMMERCIAL. SWOON.

10:58 – Octavia has given up her briefcase-watching duties to introduce John Legend and Common, who, of course, are performing “Glory” from SELMA. Octavia also talked about the time the Oscar telecast was cancelled because it was four days after MLK’s assassination, and you gotta figure it’d be kind of awkward to give the Best Song award to THE LEGO MOVIE now. “Glory” is a great song, though, and this set, which is designed to look like the Selma march, is incredible. One of the best moments of the show happening right now.

11:04 – Idina Menzel comes out and introduces her very dear friend, and makes up a funny name – Glom something – for John Travolta, who of course memorably mangled her name last year! Haha. And then he gets creepy and touches her face. Ew. They’re presenting Best Song, which pretty much HAS to go to SELMA now. And the Oscar goes to “Glory” from SELMA! Great song. Amazing movie – too bad it won’t likely win any more Oscars. Or will it? The live crowd is giving this movie a LOT of love. Is it possible that it could steal the big prize away from BOYHOOD, BIRDMAN and even WHIPLASH!? Nice speech by Common and John Legend, too. #SelmaIsNow

11:12 – Neil Patrick Harris looks sadly like a deer caught in the headlights at this point, and now here’s Scarlett Johansson, who looks off the charts amazing. Sounds like she’s introducing a SOUND OF MUSIC tribute for its 50th anniversary. A montage of clips from the movie for starters. I do enjoy a good montage. And now Lady Gaga takes the stage to sing a live medley. Is this really happening at 11:16 at night? There are 7 awards to go! This is going to be a really, really long night. That being said, Gaga does sound pretty good, and she got rid of those weird red rubber gloves from earlier in the evening.

11:20 – Gaga sort of kicked ass with that medley, unnecessary though it was. And hey, here’s Julie Andrews! “Dear Lady Gaga, thank you for that wonderful tribute.” Who ever would’ve guessed that we’d hear Mary Poppins say those words? She’s talking about the importance of music in film and even mentions Star Wars! Julie Andrews just said the words “Lady Gaga” and “Star Wars” in this segment. Mind blown. Oh, she’s also presenting the award for Best Score! I’m rooting hard for BUDAPEST here because it is a joyous romp, but I think THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is the fronturnner. Other good stuff here, too. And the Oscar goes to… ALEXANDRE DESPLAT FOR THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL!!! I JUST SCREAMED “YES!” IN MY LIVING ROOM! My favorite win of the night so far! I’ve been listening to this soundtrack non-stop for months! Didn’t think it would actually win! So awesome!

11:29 – Eddie Murphy, whose career as a funny comedian is completely, officially dead following his dismal SNL40 appearance, is here to boringly present Best Original Screenplay. I’m hoping for another BUDAPEST win here – it would be Wes Anderson’s first! – but BIRDMAN has a distinct shot. This is a rare case where I’m not sure BOYHOOD should win due to the nature of the film, but of course, if it did, I’d be thrilled. And the Oscar goes to.. BIRDMAN. Fuck. Great movie and screenplay, but not a good sign of things to come tonight.

11:33 – Oprah comes out to present Best Adapted Screenplay. AMERICAN SNIPER, no. IMITATION GAME, no. INHERENT VICE, yes please. THEORY OF EVERYTHING, maybe. WHIPLASH, pretty sure it will win… but no, the Oscar goes to THE IMITATION GAME?! Well, now I don’t know what to think. “Thank you very much to the Academy and to… Oprah…” the guy says. Heh. He also kind of reminds me of George McFly. When you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything! “Stay weird,” he says. Moving speech. But it’s weird that this movie just won this award. Also, it’s worth mentioning that I am quite tipsy at this point AND I don’t have to work tomorrow – an excellent combo!

11:41 – Ugh, Neil, just cut your losses and get out of there already. This was not your night. Ben Affleck comes out to present Best Director. Oh my God. I’m slowly starting to resign myself to a likely BIRDMAN Best Picture win, but please let Richard Linklater win this! I would also accept Wes Anderson, but I really really really want Linklater to win. I’m nervous. And the Academy Award for Achievement in Directing goes to… Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for BIRDMAN. Fuck. That’s it. Stick a fork in BOYHOOD and my dream of my #1 movie of the year winning Best Picture for the first time in 11 years. I’m so bummed, I can’t even appreciate Inarritu’s joke about wearing Michael Keaton’s tighty whiteys. Seems like a pretty good and humble speech. And yes, BIRDMAN was an expertly-crafted movie that was in my own top 10. But… argh. LINKLATER WAS ROBBED.

11:48 – Jesus, as if I wasn’t already depressed about Linklater’s loss, they were playing the song from TOY STORY 2 when they came back from commercial. And now it’s Best Actor time. Well, the one good thing about a BIRDMAN sweep would be if Keaton wins here -- I’ve been rooting for him from the get-go. Bradley Cooper has had Oscar nods in three straight years and is a potential dark horse. Or maybe Cumberbatch now that IMITATION GAME already has a prize under its belt. But Eddie Redmayne was the apparent favorite coming into the night. And Cate Blanchett tells us that the Oscar goes to EDDIE REDMAYNE. And he is so super excited that it actually brought a smile to my sad face! He’s legit giddy and it’s infectious. And let’s face it, he was damn good and deserves this award.

11:53 – Matthew McConaughey comes out to “Eye of the Tiger,” which makes some semblance of sense to my gin and beer-addled brain. “Good evening… alright.” Epic scraggly beard. He is presenting Best Actress, of course, and there is no chance in the world that Julianne Moore doesn’t win this. BUT if something crazy happens, I would not be adverse to a Rosamund Pike steal. And the Oscar goes to one of our greatest treasures, JULIANNE MOORE. Her first Oscar! Would’ve preferred to have seen her win for any number of superior films over the years, but I’ll take it! Yay!

12:00 – Sigh, NPH’s Oscar predictions / briefcase gag continues. Not a good night for our boy… but he’s still better than Seth MacFarland. So, now, let’s see what’s in the damn briefcase and it’d better be fucking good. Oh boy. It’s filled with “predictions” of various random moments that have happened throughout the night and it was… not good or funny at all. Wow. Poor Neil. Decidedly un-legen – wait for it – ah, forget it.

12:03 – Sean Penn comes out to present the final award for Best Picture. Pretty much a foregone conclusion that BIRDMAN is going to win, especially when you consider that Penn worked with Inarritu on the film 21 GRAMS some years ago. But until that envelope is opened, I am gonna cling to the last vestiges of hope for a BOYHOOD win! Here we go. I’m nervous. And the Oscar goes to........ BIRDMAN. Sigh. Though it is cool to see Michael Keaton standing up there accepting the award with the group. But arghhhh I’m so sad. #TeamBoyhood Forever!!!


Aaaaaand that’s a wrap. Definitely a mixed bag of a show tonight. The most shocking thing is how bad Neil Patrick Harris was, aside from the excellent opening musical number. It was all downhill from there, with bad jokes and bits and ugh. What the hell went wrong?? Hamstrung by bad material? Oh well. As for the awards… well, not so good. I only went 7/24 on my ballot – as always, I vote with my heart, and my heart has long proved that it has shit for brains. The early success of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL provided some early excitement, culminating with its thrilling and surprising Best Score win. But once the BIRDMAN dominoes began to fall, the night took a sad turn for #TeamBoyhood. Only one win for the best movie of 2014, but at least Patricia Arquette made the most of her big moment. It was great to see Julianne Moore take home her first Oscar, and hey, how about not one but TWO awards for Walt Disney Animation? As always, I must list my loveliest ladies of the night (in no particular order): Lupita! Scarlett! Marion Cotillard! Zoe Saldana! Emma Stone! Rosamund Pike’s leg! And a special lifetime achievement award to J-Lo’s cleavage! Despite the fact that I am drunk and bummed right now, I had a blast live-blogging the proceedings for the 10th straight year, and if you swung by and joined the fun for any length of time, I salute you and love you from the bottom of my heart. Goodnight everybody!

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