Welcome, friends, loved ones, long-lost acquaintances, Twitter pals, Instagram crushes, random trolls, and anyone else who may have stumbled upon my 11th Annual LIVE, moment-by-moment, stream-of-consciousness Oscar commentary! Yes, I’ve been doing this since before the concept of live-tweeting was a twinkle in the Internet’s eye. But guess what? This is it, folks -- my final year live-blogging cinema’s biggest night. Next year, I will be watching like a normal person for the first time in over a decade. Hard to imagine and maybe a little bittersweet, I know... but here’s hoping they give us a good show tonight so we can go out with a bang!
For only the second time in my life, I’ve seen EVERY Oscar nominee in EVERY category. Go me! So you can expect all sorts of well-educated predictions and insight tonight (or something). Five of the eight Best Picture nominees were in my Top 10 of the year, but I did not love two of the current favorites for the big prize: THE REVENANT and THE BIG SHORT. My hope is that the other frontrunner, SPOTLIGHT, takes charge tonight -- but actually, I am rooting hard for the wondrous ROOM to surprise everyone and steal some major gold. On the acting side, I think Leonardo DiCaprio is a lock for Best Actor -- which is fitting, since THE REVENANT is kind of a metaphor for his long, painful quest to win an Oscar. Brie Larson also appears to be a lock for Best Actress (and rightly so), though I would not be disappointed if BROOKLYN’s brilliant Saoirse Ronan shocked everyone. Seems like Sylvester Stallone will deservedly win Supporting Actor for his great work in the otherwise-snubbed CREED, while the lovely Alicia Vikander is poised to win Supporting Actress (albeit for the wrong movie; she was good in THE DANISH GIRL but transcendent in EX MACHINA) -- however, I would be thrilled beyond belief if Kate Winslet won, thus setting up some awesome photo ops of LEO & KATE & THEIR OSCARS.
Elsewhere... my #1 movie of 2015, INSIDE OUT, should win Best Animated Feature with ease, but few things would please me more than if it also won Original Screenplay. And how about a little film called STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS? It has a slew of nominations, some of which it could possibly win (Visual Effects) and some which it surely won’t (Film Editing). But above all, I really hope the great John Williams can win Original Score for the first time in over two decades. In any other year, he’d probably be a nostalgic shoo-in -- but this year he’s up against the 87-year-old maestro Ennio Morricone, who has incredibly NEVER won before. It could go either way. Or maybe Carter Burwell’s swoon-inducing CAROL score will steal it. Speaking of which, CAROL is my pick for Cinematography, while I’d love to see Disney’s surprisingly-great live-action CINDERELLA win Costume Design. It will also be crazy to see Lady Gaga take yet another step towards an EGOT when she wins Best Song. And to think, we haven’t even gotten into the Foreign Films (SON OF SAUL, devastating Holocaust drama) and Docs (THE LOOK OF SILENCE, devastating look at the Indonesian genocide) and short films (STUTTERER, WORLD OF TOMORROW and CHAU, BEYOND THE LINES -- all kind of devastating on some level) and ahhhhhhh I’m excited!
And yes, it should be interesting to see what happens with the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, especially with Chris Rock as host. My LIVE running commentary will begin with Red Carpet Madness at 7 p.m. EST sharp, followed by the 88th 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. (And did I mention that I’ll be drinking heavily??) Please do bookmark this page and check back often... or keep your browser right here and click “refresh” constantly and obsessively. In fact, hey, if you’re among the five or six people who are still planning to boycott the big show, you should DEFINITELY follow along here -- you know you’re gonna wanna know what’s going on. See ya soon!
RED CARPET MADNESS
7:00 – And we’re underway for the 11th straight ridiculous year! I’m already feeling a little tipsy from this martini I’m drinking (shaken, not stirred), so it should be a fun night. This is one of the few days of the year that I regret ditching cable because it means I can’t watch the E! pre-show (sorry, Ryan and Giuliana), but I’ll be tuning into ABC for those who want to follow along. I’ve already seen Saoirse Ronan looking amazing and making me feel very old, so we’re off to a good start!
7:03 – Daisy Ridley is there, too! The Force with the red carpet. I’ve also noticed that side boob is a thing this year once again, if Saoirse and Olivia Wilde are any indication.
7:04 – By the way, this is the first time in several years that I am not watching the Oscars alone like a lonely loser. Everybody say hi to my girlfriend Kristin! (She says hi back. She’s drinking, too.)
7:05 – I’d like to hang out with Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudekis. That would be fun. And now here’s Alicia Vikander! She’s looking very good in yellow. She might just win Oscar gold tonight -- too bad it’s for the wrong movie. EX MACHINA > THE DANISH GIRL.
7:07 – Everybody be quiet, Saoirse Ronan is on screen and talking in her adorable Irish accent. I’ve noticed that Irish people tend to talk a lot (I’m specifically thinking of Glen Hansard when I’ve seen him in concert)... but it’s okay because they sound awesome.
7:09 – Haha, the dumb ABC red carpet host thought that Nick Hornby was Saoirse’s dad. That would be pretty cool, actually. I’m currently reading Hornby’s latest book, THE FUNNY GIRL, and it’s very good.
7:13 – This is live television, BRIE LARSON! Ooh, her dress is very blue and flowing. Brie is the best and makes every movie better with her mere presence. I’d also like to hang out with her, too (and Jacob Tremblay so we can talk about Star Wars).
7:15 – Not sure what’s going on with the diamond in the middle of Rooney Mara’s dress but I don’t dislike it. Rooney is cool. She looks like a living doll. She just confirmed that yes, it is easy to fall in love with Cate Blanchett, which I do not doubt because Cate is one of the world’s greatest wonders. Can’t wait to see her!
7:18 – Hehe, here’s Jacob Tremblay. This kid is hilarious. It feels pretty cool to be called “the king of awards season” and he thinks Brie has a pretty good chance to win tonight. I agree! And now he’s saying that his bedtime is 8 p.m. but he’ll be staying up late tonight. Me too, Jake... me too.
7:25 – The President of the Academy is talking about the diversity issue, which will certainly be the elephant in the room all night tonight. Can’t wait to see what Chris Rock has to say about all that. And now here’s Eddie Redmayne, who is just impossibly charming. He was very good in THE DANISH GIRL but personally, I would’ve nominated him for his over-the-top batshit-crazy performance in JUPITER ASCENDING.
7:37 – Ack, sorry for the delay -- we were ordering Indian food for dinner and it’s going to be awesome. At the moment, Matt Damon is on my screen. Matt Damon is cool and he was perfect in THE MARTIAN. Great movie.
7:38 – The biggest problem with the ABC pre-show is that there’s way too much self-fellation. There’s no reason for Jimmy Kimmel to have been on the screen for this long.
7:41 – There’s a commercial on ABC right now, but according to Twitter, I missed Margot Robbie. THIS IS NOT FAIR.
7:44 – JULIANNE MOORE IS HERE. She is an Oscar winner and a national treasure. She looks great, too. Oh, they’re talking about the new “scroll” technology that will allow winners to thank people via a TV scroll, presumably to save time during the telecast. There’s no way this will work.
7:46 – Louis Gossett, Jr. just talked about some stuff and now here’s Tina Fey looking lovely in basic purple. She has no advice to offer Chris Rock because he’s “the greatest living comedian,” but personally, I still want her to host the Oscars, and indeed, my entire life.
7:49 – Cate Blanchett doesn't even look real. She looks like a gorgeous statue of a glorious statue. Her dress is light blue and feathery and wow. I would not be disappointed if she won Best Actress out of sheer domination.
7:53 – Sylvester Stallone is here! He seems like a lock to win Best Supporting Actor, and rightly so, because he was tremendous in CREED. Plus he’s just the goddamn coolest guy on the red carpet right now.
7:55 – Lady Gaga is here looking relatively low-key. She will almost certainly win an Oscar for Best Song tonight, which will leave her just a Tony short of an EGOT. That’s wild!
7:56 – Naomi Watts is looking very sparkly tonight in her sparkly purple dress. She is here tonight as Liev Schreiber’s arm candy but that’s cool. Go SPOTLIGHT! (That is to say, go ROOM, really -- but go SPOTLIGHT over THE REVENANT.)
7:59 – This portion of my live-blog is about to end but I just have to say that Jacob Tremblay’s mom has got it going on. And now I’m gonna take a half-hour break and make myself another martini and I’ll return at 8:30 for the 88th Academy Awards! See you then!
The 88th Academy Awards
8:30 – Aaaaaaaaand we’re back! Let’s do this, friends. It’s gonna be good. Welcome to the Dolby Theatre and the Oscars! We’ve got a MARTIAN spoof to kick things off. AND IT’S BB-8. And basically a montage of this past year’s movies, good and bad. Hey, JURASSIC WORLD made the cut. “THAT’S NOT HOW THE FORCE WORKS!” Wow, TED 2? There really were a lot of good and bad movies in 2015 and they are all represented here. INSIDE OUT! MAD MAX! CREED! Rey! “You’re gonna love it.” “What?” “The world!” GO ROOM!
8:33 – Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Rock! Not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous. “I counted at least 15 black people in that montage!” Hehe, he’s going right in with the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. “How come it’s only unemployed people that tell you to quit something?” “The last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.” Hehe... he’s right, though. Better to be there (and to watch) than the boycott.
8:36 – Ummmm wowie wow, this isn’t awkward at all! I’m not even going to touch the lynching jokes, but Chris Rock is right on. To be fair, I wasn’t invited to Rhianna’s panties, either. Will Smith jokes -- and now a “cops shooting black people” joke. We’ll be here all night folks!
8:38 – Black categories, like “Best Black Friend,” and the winner for the 18th year in a row is Wanda Sykes. Ooh boy. Is Hollywood racist? It’s a different type of racist, Chris Rock says. Hollywood is “sorority racist... we like you, Wanda, but you’re not a Kappa.” Heheh, ROCKY is a science fiction movie in which white athletes are better than black athletes! Paul Giamatti is great because he was whipping Lupita last year and crying at Eazy-E’s funeral this year! That’s range!
8:43 – “If George Clooney showed up wearing a lime green tux and swan coming out of his ass, someone would ask him, ‘Whatcha wearing’ George?’” Awesome job by Chris Rock. And now here’s an infusion of beauty and awesomeness with Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron presenting Best Original Screenplay! Apparently the order of awards presented this year represents the movie-making process. STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON is great but I felt it was more of an acting showcase than writing (plus, all the writers are white, oops). BRIDGE OF SPIES, hey, the Coen Bros. are involved. EX MACHINA is awesome and original and I would have no problem with this one. SPOTLIGHT is a taut screenplay with absolutely zero body fat. And my fav, INSIDE OUT, which is actually the most ORIGINAL film of the year (with all due respect to Herman’s Head). And the Oscar goes to... SPOTLIGHT! Okay! Hopefully this a sign of things to come, if SPOTLIGHT is going to overtake THE REVENANT tonight.
8:48 – Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are here to present the award for Best Adapted Screenplay AND surreptitiously plug their new comedy that’s coming out this year. THE BIG SHORT is my biggest “meh” of the major nominees. Nick Hornby is one of my fav authors and BROOKLYN is amazing -- would be very happy if this wins. I also recently read Highsmith’s THE PRICE OF SALT and appreciated CAROL even more. THE MARTIAN is one of those movies that feels like it was literally shaken out of the pages of the source material. And ROOM... just wow... great book and arguably an even greater movie. This is a really tough one. And the Oscar goes to... THE BIG SHORT. FUCK. This is a worst-case scenario because it implies that this movie could have a big night. It is kind of surreal, too, that Adam McKay (ANCHORMAN, STEP BROTHERS, etc.) has an Oscar now.
8:57 – Oh boy, here’s a sketch about how difficult it is for black people to get roles in movies. Whoopi Goldberg in JOY! And Leslie Jones as the bear in THE REVENANT! Tracy Morgan: “I’M THE DANISH GIRL! THESE DANISHES ARE GOOD, GIRL!” Chris Rock in THE MARTIAN. That was pretty good. I don’t know what this Stacey Dash thing was all about. Was that her? Who is she? Anyway, Sarah Silverman is here now and saying whatever comes to her mind. “Here’s something: James Bond, not a grower OR a shower.” Oh, she’s introducing Sam Smith’s performance of this year’s crappy Bond theme. It’s seriously terrible. Worst of the nominated songs by far, and maybe the worst James Bond theme ever? I don’t know. But it’s bad.
9:06 – Hehe, Chris Rock’s favorite song is “Father Figure.” And here’s Henry Cavill and Kerry Washington to present a clip from THE MARTIAN. Such a great movie (and for the record, it IS more of a “comedy” than a “drama,” for anyone out there making Golden Globe jokes). They’re also presenting a clip from THE BIG SHORT, which is probably my least favorite of the Best Picture noms.
9:09 – Was that “The Time of My Life” from DIRTY DANCING playing as JK Simmons takes the stage? Weird. He’s presenting Best Supporting Actress, which is a tough one. Jennifer Jason Leigh is fantastic in THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Rooney Mara is wonderful in CAROL and could easily win. Oh, I almost forgot about Rachel McAdams -- she could steal one here in the event of a SPOTLIGHT sweep. Alicia Vikander is the favorite here, but as previously mentioned, it should’ve been for a different film. And now Kate! Kate Kate Kate Kate! Go Kate! Kate is the best, and easily the best part of STEVE JOBS. I hope she wins. And the Oscar goes to... ALICIA VIKANDER. No surprise there, and she does deserve the recognition for her body of work in 2015. Very heartfelt speech, though she is looking a bit too bronze (or dare I say, Oscar gold?) for my taste.
9:18 – They were definitely playing “The Power of Love” when they came back from commercial. And now here’s Cate Blanchett, who looks amazing in that feathery blue dress. She presenting the award for Costume Design, which I think has to go to CINDERELLA, which was such a beautiful film. THE DANISH GIRL was also well-dressed, and CAROL even more so. Fuck THE REVENANT, and MAD MAX, meh… and the Oscar goes to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD!?! Holy shit! Could THIS be a sign of a Mad Max steamroll? “What another lovely day!” the costume lady says. Heh. And she gets played off while making a political statement -- maybe say the important stuff at the beginning, people!
9:22 – Tina Fey and Steve Carell! They’re making jokes and “Tina has been drinking!” Hey, me too. Production Design time. BRIDGE OF SPIES and THE DANISH GIRL looked good, sure. THE MARTIAN basically recreated Mars and looked incredible in 3-D (not sure if that counts for anything). THE REVENANT, sure. MAD MAX may be the favorite here now? And the Oscar goes to.. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Oh boy, here we go! I actually got this one right, too!
9:25 – Margot Robbie and Jared Leto are just walking around somewhere and making dirty jokes. Makeup and Hairstyling… well, I think it’s pretty clear that Mad Max is sweeping these technicals. THE 100-YEAR-OLD MAN is a fun movie but the old man makeup in BAD GRANDPA was actually better. THE REVENANT, meh, and the Oscar goes to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD once again! Yup, it’s just going to clean up in this categories. I do like that score, though, so this is not so bad.
9:29 – Benicio del Toro and Jennifer Garner are here to introduce more Best Picture nominees. THE REVENANT is a good movie, albeit a bit of slog. But as mentioned earlier, it is, in itself, kind of a metaphor for Leo’s long, painful quest to win an Oscar. And now MAD MAX... can’t really see it winning anything outside of the tech awards, but then again, you never know!
9:35 – After introducing the real Suge Knight, Chris Rock introduces Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams, and shoulda-been nominee Michael B. Jordan (that is true!). They’re presenting Cinematography. THE HATEFUL EIGHT did look good in glorious 70mm. CAROL looked like a dream. SICARIO was shot by the great Roger Deakins, who has never won. MAD MAX is crazy, and THE REVENANT is sweepingly beautiful. And the Oscar goes to EMMANUEL LUBEZKI for THE REVENANT! It’s his third win in a row, so it almost seems unfair. No denying that he’s one of the best, though I wonder what it will take for Deakins to win, dammit!
9:39 – Liev Schreiber is here with a Bollywood star whose name I do not know (but man she’s pretty). They’re presenting Film Editing. THE BIG SHORT, nah. SPOTLIGHT, yes -- this movie is taut as hell and contains zero percent body fat. THE REVENANT could’ve been edited by a further 20 minutes or so. STAR WARS, yes! MAD MAX, okay. And the Oscar goes to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Holy shit! This movie is going to sweep this thing RETURN OF THE KING-style, isn’t it? Color me surprised!
9:42 – Angela Bassett introduces a Black History Month Minute dedicated to JACK BLACK! Heh. That’s funny but I’m still reeling from what is looking like a likely MAD MAX sweep tonight.
9:47 – Sound Editing is next. Heh, the clips are using isolated sound effects and it’s weird. Of course, I’m rooting for THE FORCE AWAKENS here, if for no other reason than that BB-8’s warbles are already iconic And the Oscar goes to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, which is to be expected at this point. I think these Australian sound guys just got bleeped, which is a first for tonight’s show. Sound Mixing next, which of course SHOULD go to STAR WARS but will probably go to you-know-who. And the Oscar goes to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. This is getting crazy! Now the question is whether it can keep the momentum going as we move into the big awards.
9:54 – Nice montage of Andy Serkis’ motion capture performances, and now here’s Serkis himself to present the award for Visual Effects! For fuck’s sake, throw STAR WARS a bone, people! EX MACHINA is great. THE REVENANT is the most “meh” of these nominees. THE MARTIAN is great, but now I guess MAD MAX has to be the favorite here? And the Oscar goes to... EX MACHINA!!! How about that!!! I had STAR WARS on my ballot but I cannot argue with this -- first really big surprise of the night! Plus I believe it’s the lowest-budget film of all the nominees in this category, which makes it even sweeter.
9:58 – Jason Segel and Olivia Munn present the geeky technical awards, and I’m pretty sure Olivia just made a TERMINATOR joke. Some cool technology on display here. Go geeks!
9:59 – Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh, Artoo, Threepio and BB-8 are on stage and Jacob Tremblay is loving it!! They talk about John Williams and it’s all hilarious. Also, I should point out that these droids are practical visual effects that were so good, they were able to come to the Oscars, dammit (I’m not bitter though). They keep plugging Minions, by the way, and I’m not sure why -- isn’t ABC owned by Disney? I’m more excited for the Woody & Buzz 20th anniversary tribute that they just mentioned.
10:05 – Uh-oh, Chris Rock is in the audience… no good can come from this. Hehe, his daughters are selling Girl Scout cookies and this is pretty funny. “Leo, you made $30 million, come on!” White people are holding up cash all over the auditorium! Hilarious. Oh, and here are the Minions to present Best Animated Short! The Minions shit is tiresome, but you know this is a tough category when the Pixar entry is the least of the bunch. BEAR STORY has everything going for it. PROLOGUE is very good. Pixar’s SANJAY SUPER TEAM is cute. WE CAN’T LOVE WITHOUT COSMOS is good but man, WORLD OF TOMORROW is a work of mad genius. And the Oscar goes to BEAR STORY. Dammit! WORLD OF TOMORROW was seriously robbed here. But really, it was probably too brilliant for the Academy to wrap its head around. Oh well. At least BEAR STORY is Chile’s first Oscar, so we can be happy about that (and it IS a good little thing).
10:10 – Woody and Buzz are here and I’m instantly verklempt. Can’t believe TOY STORY is now over 20 years old. Oh shit, they’re presenting Best Animated Feature. Lots of good stuff here. ANOMALISA, BOY AND THE WORLD, WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE, SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE and of course, INSIDE OUT… and the Oscar goes to INSIDE OUT!!! not only is it the best animated movie of the year, but it’s one of the top five best Pixar movies of all time, which means it’s one of the best movies of all time, period. Awesome.
10:14 – Kevin Hart is talking really fast and I can’t keep up. He thought he was gonna get a seat in the front row because of all the black stuff going on but he still didn’t! Ha. He’s introducing The Weeknd, who is performing the song from FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Yes. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is an Oscar-nominated film. This song isn’t terrible but it won’t win.
10:22 – KATE WINSLET WEARING GLASSES and Reese Witherspoon are here to present more Best Picture noms. Something something BRIDGE OF SPIES and something something SPOTLIGHT and did I mention that Kate Winslet is wearing glasses??! I surrender!!
10:24 – Chris Rock went to his favorite movie theatre in Compton to discuss the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. “Did you think about rioting and looting?” “Nah, we did that already and I didn’t get anything the first time.” Chris is trying to convince black people that these white movies are, in fact, real movies and no one believes him! Heh. This sketch is funny because it’s true.
10:28 – Patricia Arquette comes out to the tune of “The Way We Were” and I think she’s going to present Best Supporting Actor. It’s Sly’s time! Gonna fly now! Eye of the tiger! GO ROCKY! Christian Bale is good, too, but I still do not care for THE BIG SHORT. Tom Hardy is the man and steals scenes in most movies he is in, THE REVENANT included. Mark Ruffalo always kicks ass and it would not be a bad thing to see him win. Mark Rylance was great in BRIDGE OF SPIES, too. But no… STALLONE has to win. So good. And the Oscar goes to… MARK RYLANCE for BRIDGE OF SPIES?! Holy shit!! Massive upset. I don’t know what to think about anything anymore!
10:37 – Still stunned about Sly’s loss but now here’s Louis CK to present Documentary Short Subject, the only Oscar that actually means something! Hahaha! “This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic!” “This Oscar is going to be the nicest thing they’ve ever owned in their life! It’s going to give them anxiety to keep it in their crappy apartment!” Hahahahahahahah he should host next year. Oh wait, stop laughing, all of these films are bleak as hell. I’m rooting for CHAU, BEYOND THE LINES, about a kid who was disfigured by Agent Orange. And the Oscar goes to MAD MAX, haha, no… it’s THE GIRL IN THE RIVER, which is actually what I expected to win. Should’ve gone with my gut, which is actually smarter than both my heart and my brains. Oh well. These Doc Shorts are all worth watching, by the way.
10:41 – Daisy Ridley!!!! and the Slumdog Millionaire dude are here to present Best Documentary Feature. AMY is good and has a good chance to win. But man, THE LOOK OF SILENCE is freaking incredible (as was THE ACT OF KILLING before it). Don’t count out WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE, though. And the Oscar goes to AMY! Okay! Here’s a fun fact: I saw that movie the day after I got hammered off seven vodka shots at my birthday party. Awkward.
10:49 – Wow, Chris Rock’s daughters sold $65,243 worth of Girl Scout cookies! Mostly Samoas, I’ll bet. And now here’s Whoopi Goldberg to talk about governor’s awards. Gena Rowlands won an Honorary Award, and Debbie Reynolds won the Humanitarian Award, and Spike Lee won another Honorary Award. Well, all right!
10:52 – The President of the Academy comes out to “I Will Always Love You” and I bet she’s going to talk about the Academy’s new diversity initiatives. Yup, she is. I can’t follow all of this because of the gin I’ve been drinking, but go Academy!
10:55 – Oh shit, Louis Gossett Jr. is introducing the In Memoriam segment, and like three assholes in the crowd applaud. Dave Grohl is playing “Blackbird” (why couldn’t they have gotten Paul?) and Wes Craven kicks it off. Ugh. Christopher Lee… fucking hell. This is really going to rough, isn’t it? Maureen O’Hara. Omar Sharif. ALAN RICKMAN and I’m crying. “I’M MOE GREEN. I MADE MY BONES WHILE YOU WERE GOING OUT WITH CHEERLEADERS.” Aw, James Horner. David Bowie. The writer of MONSTERS INC. died?! Fuck. Leonard Nimoy, live long and prosper, and we’re done. Sadness. Okay, who was left out??
11:02 – Update: THEY LEFT OUT ABE VIGODA. FUCKING HELL.
11:03 – Jacob Tremblay and the kid from BEASTS OF NO NATION are here to present Best Live Action Short film and it’s funny. I really like STUTTERER in this category because it is brilliant on several levels, but they’re all pretty good. EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY gave me legit anxiety, it is so intense. And the Oscar goes to STUTTERER! Huzzah! It’s so good. Interestingly, Kristin and I both interpreted it in two very different ways, both of which make complete sense -- that’s a sign of its brilliance.
11:06 – Sofia Vergara and Byung-hun Lee are now presenting Best Foreign Language Film. EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT is a wild fever dream. MUSTANG is a wonderful coming of age tale. SON OF SAUL is a brutal Holocaust drama and will surely win. THEEB and A WAR are also great in their own rights, but the Oscar goes to SON OF SAUL and rightly so. Hey, I’ve gotten two in a row right!
11:10 – VP Joe Biden is here to speak up against sexual assault and present Lady Gaga’s performance of “’Til It Happens to You” from THE HUNTING GROUND. Great song and a powerful film. There’s no way that this song won’t win and this performance is tremendous and now a legion of rape survivors are taking the stage. Potent stuff.
11:20 – Best Original Score is next! BRIDGE OF SPIES, okay. Carter Burwell’s CAROL score makes me swooooooooon. Johan Johansson has being doing lots of great work recently and SICARIO is no exception. The legendary Morricone may be the favorite here and his HATEFUL EIGHT score is ominous as hell. But come the fuck on!!! JOHN WILLIAMS DAMMIT!!! STAR WARS!! REY’S THEME!! And the Oscar goes to ENNIO MORRICONE, who gets a hug from John Williams. Okay, okay… this is Morricone’s first-ever Oscar (aside from his honorary award a few years ago) so I can’t be TOO mad. But fucking hell, John Williams has written the soundtrack for all of our lives and someday he’s not going to be around anymore and we’re going to regret not giving him one more moment of glory!!! I guess we’ll see what happens with Episode VIII.
11:25 – Best Original Song next. Kinda f’d up that “Manta Ray” and “Simple Song #3” didn’t get a chance to show their stuff live at the big show, no? I guess because they aren’t performed by famous people. This has to be Gaga, especially after that live performance… and the Oscar goes to… SAM SMITH FOR THE BULLSHIT SONG FROM SPECTRE?!? Holy shit, what an awful, awful joke. Really disappointing.
11:29 – Olivia Wilde’s boobs and Ali G are in da house, and I don’t even care anymore after watching Gaga get so badly robbed. Oh, they’re introducing Best Picture nominees ROOM and BROOKLYN, which are my two favs of the bunch. BROOKLYN has never even been part of the conversation, which is a shame, but there’s still a chance for ROOM. GO ROOM!
11:35 – Hey, it’s J.J. Abrams to present Best Director! This could be where we see what direction the rest of the night will be headed. I’d love to see Tom McCarthy win for SPOTLIGHT, which was just an expertly crafted film, but Lenny Abrahamson for ROOM would be sweet, too. Iñarritu may need to win here in order for the THE REVENANT to gain back some momentum, but how about George Miller? And the Oscar goes to IÑARRITU for the second year in a row! Uh-oh! Looks like Mad Max’s run may be over. Heh, and Iñarritu is the first to really pay no attention to the play-off music. GET OFF THE STAGE.
11:44 – Best Actress next, presented ever so charmingly by Eddie Redmayne. Very, very strong group of contenders here. Cate Blanchett is the greatest of all time and you can’t count her out. This is probably Brie Larson’s award to lose -- holy shit, she was good. Jennifer Lawrence is probably going to get nominated every year just because, though it’s weird that I haven’t seen her once yet tonight? Whoa, there she is -- I didn’t even recognize her! Gotta give due respect to Charlotte Rampling, who is great in everything she does -- I believe this is her first Oscar nod. And Saoirse… God, so good and perfect. And the Oscar goes to BRIE LARSON!! Brie is the best cheese and now she’s the Best Actress! She is the realest and so good. She also could’ve easily been nominated for a movie called SHORT TERM 12 a few years ago. And she shouts out to Jacob Tremblay and yay! This is a legit happy moment in a show that has mostly been meh.
11:52 – One of our greatest national treasures, Julianne Moore, is here to present Best Actor! Oh shit! Our national nightmare could finally be over if Leo can pull this off! Bryan Cranston was very good in TRUMBO. (Wait, you can’t say “goddamn” at 11:53 p.m. at the Oscars?) Matt Damon was perfectly cast in THE MARTIAN -- if you read the book, I’m sure you’ll agree. LEO! Enough said -- best part (and indeed the only truly award-worthy part) of THE REVENANT. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about Fassbender and STEVE JOBS. Very good but forgettable. Eddie Redmayne, always good, but no way he’s winning two years in a row. And the Oscar goes to LEONARDO DiCAPRIO!!! FINALLY! HE’S THE KING OF THE WORLD, WOOOOOOO! Oh shit, Leo’s going off about climate change and Kate is crying in the crowd and they wouldn’t dare cut him off! “Let’s not take this planet for granted -- I do not take this night for granted!” Great speech. Go Leo!!!
11:58 – It is super late and Morgan Freeman is here to quickly name the Best Picture nominees! GO ROOM! GO BROOKLYN! Nooooo to THE BIG SHORT, but I think it’s gonna come down to REVENANT vs. MAD MAX… and the Oscar goes to SPOTLIGHT!!! YES!!! I was rooting for ROOM but I really wanted SPOTLIGHT to beat THE REVENANT! Huzzah! Such a great, taut, brilliant and important movie. This is a well-deserved win that almost makes me wish I hadn’t squandered my NYU Journalism degree (almost). And now Michael Keaton is chowing down on Girl Scout cookies and that’s a wrap! FIGHT THE POWER!
Well, that was a weird show. There were some awesome moments (Leo! Brie! INSIDE OUT!) and at least one truly shocking moment (Sam Smith?!) and then a bunch of “meh” moments, ranging from FURY ROAD cleaning up the tech awards (I mean, I like the movie a lot, but nothing for STAR WARS, booo!) to Iñarritu boringly taking home a second straight directing award. I’m happy that SPOTLIGHT won Best Picture because it is a great film -- but I think I’m even happier that THE REVENANT or THE BIG SHORT didn’t win. Really wish John Williams would’ve won because I’m afraid that was his best chance to ever win again. Chris Rock was funny and did not shy away from the controversy. Kinda disappointed by the lack of cheesy montages! Also, what the fuck was with leaving Abe Vigoda out of the In Memoriam segment?! (Maybe the Academy thought his death was a hoax after all.) All in all, a good-but-not-great Oscar show. And even though it may no longer be PC, my loveliest ladies of the night were probably Saoirse Ronan, Olivia Wilde, Cate Blanchett, Alicia Vikander, KATE WINSLET WEARING GLASSES, and ummm I forget who else. I only got 7 categories right on my ballot, which is pretty bad -- as always, I vote with my heart and my heart has shit for brains! (Meanwhile, Kristin got 13 right. Go Kristin!) If you made it through this nearly 6,000 word commentary (or indeed, any of my epic commentaries over the past 11 years), I salute you and love you dearly. Next year, I’ll be kicking back and relaxing and watching the show like the rest of you… unless of course I decide to pull a Brett Favre and unretire at the last minute!! (Nah… but I WILL surely continue live-tweeting, so don’t worry, my musings will still be out there in the world.) And now, we can put the cinematic year of 2015 in the books for good. Goodnight everybody! Go Leo!