Sunday, March 4, 2018



Welcome, one and all (probably closer to one… hi, Mom!), to my 13th annual LIVE, moment-by-moment, stream-of-consciousness Oscar commentary! Yup, I’ve decided at the eleventh hour to do this again… maybe for the last time, or maybe not. Who can say! All I know is, we should be in for quite a show tonight. Not only are most of the nominees actually good and worthy contenders, but there should be no shortage of sociopolitical overtones and controversy and maybe even some surprises throughout the night! Let’s just hope that everybody plays nice and opens the correct envelopes.

As for the awards, it should be interesting to see how the whole thing plays out. I will be rooting for THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI for Best Picture, personally, but it would not surprise me to see GET OUT or THE SHAPE OF WATER take home the big prize. Not sure I’d bet on any one movie sweeping the show, though -- maybe THREE BILLBOARDS for Best Picture, THE SHAPE OF WATER for Director, and GET OUT for Screenplay? Or some combination of those? Who can say? I fully expect Gary Oldman to take home his first Oscar for his stirring performance as Winston Churchill, but don’t count out the legendary Daniel Day-Lewis or awards circuit darling Timothee Chalamet. Best Actress also seems like a foregone conclusion, and rightly so -- if Frances McDormand doesn’t win, it would be a major shock. Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney seem like locks in the supporting categories, too. Sadly, I do not foresee any gold for LADY BIRD, which is a shame -- but if Greta Gerwig swooped in and snagged Screenplay or Director gold, it would make me very happy.

Meanwhile, Pixar’s COCO looks like arguably the only 100% guaranteed winner of the night for Best Animated Feature. Literally nothing would make me happier than for STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI to win Best Score and honor the great John Williams one more time. Best Foreign Film could be a battle between THE SQUARE and A FANTASTIC WOMAN, both of which are excellent. Best Documentary is a strong category but the charming FACES/PLACES seems like the frontrunner. I fear DUNKIRK will be overlooked in the major categories (even though it is far and away the best-directed film) but should clean up with editing and sound. And if anyone needs some short film advice, I’ve got HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405 (Documentary), NEGATIVE SPACE (Animated), and DEKALB ELEMENTARY (Live Action) marked on my ballot!

I’ve managed to watch every nominee in every category except for two Best Animated Feature contenders (THE BREADWINNER and FERDINAND, neither of which have a chance to win, anyway), so I can only hope that my musings will be as enjoyable as they are informed. My LIVE running commentary will begin with a peek at Red Carpet Madness at 6:30 p.m. EST sharp, followed by the 90th Academy Awards at 8:00. As always, I’ll be updating this page every few minutes with my with my play-by-play, observations, predictions, reactions, rants, and more -- feel free to bookmark and visit to your heart’s content! I’ll also be tweeting @BenLikesMovies, so by all means follow me there, too. Let’s do this!!!


6:30 – We’re live and I’m watching E! They’ve got some kind of 360-degree fashion camera which is somewhat creepy. Zoey Deutch (no relation) is moving in sparkly slow motion now. And now here’s Ryan Seacrest with the cast of GET OUT, which is a strong contender in most categories. I’ve also heard that the E! pre-show is on a 30-second delay due to new sexual misconduct allegations against Seacrest. Fasten your seatbelts – it’s gonna be a bumpy night!

6:34 – Eiza Gonalzez is now on my TV screen and yellow is suddenly my new favorite color. BABY DRIVER was a good movie, too, and could be a sleeper in the Editing category, though my money is on DUNKIRK. And now here’s Salma Hayek looking lovely in lavender – she was great in a little movie called BEATRIZ AT DINNER, which could have been an Oscar contender in an alternate universe.

6:37 – Rita Moreno is apparently wearing a dress that dates back 1962 when she won the Oscar for WEST SIDE STORY. She then accused Seacrest of reading this fact off the teleprompter, to which he replies, “I can’t read!” Hahaha. Meanwhile, the Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, has arrived, and now the E! talking heads are talking about the new Academy shakeup that has helped the Oscars become slightly less white. Yay progress!

6:42 – I’m going to need a lot less talking and a lot more rapid-fire celebrity acton. Ah, there’s Laura Dern, who had one hell of a year and looks great in white. And Kumail and Emily, yay! I’m rooting for them to win Best Original Screenplay for THE BIG SICK, which was my #2 movie of the year (after THE LAST JEDI), but it may be the longest-shot of the bunch. (The good money is probably on GET OUT.)

6:45 – Oh hey, Eiza Gonzalez and her yellow dress are back. They should just keep an Eiza-cam in the corner of the screen at all times. And now here’s Mary J. Blige, who was great in MUDBOUND, which I don’t think will win anything tonight but is absolutely worth watching on the Netflix. Tiffany Haddish maybe got shafted out of an Oscar nod but she looks regal as hell tonight. And now the ladies are lamenting the fact that Armie Hammer might be too sick to show up tonight… if so, let us all eat a peach in his honor.

6:51 – Incidentally, that was my first CALL ME BY YOUR NAME / peach joke of the night, and probably not the last.

6:59 – Not gonna lie, this red carpet show is pretty boring so far. Too much talking and not enough celeb action. Maybe they’re playing it safe because of the Seacrest allegations? Oh well. I’m switching over to ABC right… now! Haha, and there’s a commercial. D’oh!

7:00 – Daniel Kaluuya kicks off the ABC show. Pretty sure Gary Oldman will win his first-ever Oscar for DARKEST HOUR, and Daniel Day-Lewis is my sentimental favorite, but Kaluuya is a definite contender, especially if GET OUT dominates the night. Tiffany Haddish arrives and she and Daniel do the Wakanda Forever gesture! Good stuff.

7:05 – Tiffany Haddish is looking for Meryl Streep and they are gonna have a conversation. Funny interview! Argh, another commercial! These red carpet telecasts are not cooperating with my blogging mojo.

7:09 – Whoa, I didn’t even recognize Viola Davis for a minute but that pink dress is vibrant as hell. And now here’s Taraji P. Henson, who recently liked one of my Instagram posts which means that we’re basically best friends. (She may have also commented on the post with kisses… read into that however you like!)

7:12 – Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd came to the Oscars today in #MeToo solidarity. They’re giving an excellent speech about the movement and their roles at the forefront. I expect more impassioned speeches and powerful moments throughout the night!

7:16 – Whoopi Goldberg’s dress looks like something she picked up during Mardi Gras, but like, in a good way. And now, um, here’s an Academy intern?! How can I get that job?!

7:20 – As we go to a commercial, in case anyone wants to know who I am wearing… um, a TITANIC t-shirt, STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE PJ pants, and a Rebel Alliance winter hat. Super glamorous, I know. I’d post pics but I don’t want to break the internet.

7:22 – RED ALERT, Margot Robbie is here! She is a perfect specimen and was incredible in I, TONYA. Best Actress is Frances McDormand’s award to lose but I would not argue with a Margot Robbie upset. My girlfriend, Kristin, just pointed out that Margot’s dress looks like it has Christmas tree garland on it. “Pretty garland,” she added. By the way, everybody congratulate Kristin for completing her own quest to see al of the Best Picture nominees! She’s a keeper. :)

7:25 – Jennifer Garner’s dress just blue itself. It is so very, very blue! I like it. And now here’s Guillermo del Toro, who is undeniably awesome. PAN’S LABYRINTH remains a masterpiece, but I have to admit that I didn’t love THE SHAPE OF WATER. It is a sumptuous movie but just didn’t do it for me on an emotional level. That said, I do like the IDEA of a Guillermo del Toro monster movie-slash-romance winning Oscars.

7:30 – That Natalie Portman Dior commercial was super intense. And on that note, I am going to sign off for a half-hour to make cocktails and stuff. I’ll be back at 8 p.m. sharp for the big show!


8:00 – And heeeeeere we go! Some faux-old-time footage kicks off the show. Hey, Armie Hammer showed up, stomach flu and all! He was born when a witch put a curse on a Ken doll! If you loved Gary Oldman in FORREST GUMP… you’re thinking of Gary Sinise! Salma Hayek and the creature from THE SHAPE OF WATER – “looks like Fishy Shades of Grey to me!” Funny start.

8:02 – Greets from Hollywood and Jimmy Kimmel! “This year when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away.” Hahaha he went there quick. Yeah, let’s hope the Price Waterhouse Coopers people aren’t tweeting or taking selfies or whatever this year. Oscar is the most-respected man in Hollywood – keeps his hands where you can see them and no penis at all! Kimmel is killing it out of the gate. And now he’s going after Harvey Weinstein, who was kicked out of the Academy, just like the guy who was caught giving away screeners in 2004! Seems fair!

8:06 – This is a night for positivity, Jimmy says. Giving props to the box office success of BLACK PANTHER and WONDER WOMAN. First-ever female cinematography nominee this year! “If you are a nominee tonight who ISN’T making history – shame on you!”

8:08 – President Trump called GET OUT the best first three-quarters of a movie this year, hahaha. Whose kneecaps did Tonya Harding have to break tom get this dream casting? Everybody loves Timothee Chalamet, who is missing Paw Patrol to be here tonight! Christopher Plummer is 80 years old and still going strong! “How does Lin-Manuel Miranda compare to the real Alexander Hamilton?”

8:11 – Guillermo del Toro shoutout – 2017 is the year that men screwed up so badly that women started dating fish! And now Kimmel is giving out a prize – a brand new jet ski! – for the winner that gives the shortest speech tonight. “Helen Mirren not included!”

8:13 – And here we go with the first award of the evening and it’s Best Supporting Actor. We’ve got a montage of past winners… Jack Palance! Cuba Gooding, Jr. Tommy Lee Jones in THE FUGITIVE – “I don’t care!” The Joker. De Niro. Robin Williams. And the luminous Viola Davis, who is having some mobility issues in that pink dress, is here to present the award. Pretty sure this is Sam Rockwell’s to lose, and rightly so – his performance was complex and outstanding. Willem Dafoe is possibly the biggest upset possibility, which would actually be kinda cool. Woody Harrelson and Richard Jenkins and Christopher Plummer, always good. And the Oscar goes to… SAM ROCKWELL!! The first Oscar for a truly great actor. And hopefully the first of many wins for THREE BILLBOARDS tonight!

8:24 – If your speech runs too long tonight, the guy from GET OUT will run out and yell “get out!” So keep it short, people. And here come two very impossibly beautiful people, Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer, to present Best Makeup and Hairstyling. What the heck is Armie wearing, a velvet suit? Cool. I picked DARKEST HOUR for this one, since Gary Oldman was damn near unrecognizable. But WONDER would be a lovely win. And the Oscar goes to DARKEST HOUR! Hey, I’m two for two!

8:28 – Eva Marie Saint from ON THE WATERFRONT is here to present the award for Best Costume Design and dedicates her applause to her husband who just died. Well now I’m sad. “I just realized something, I’m older than the Academy!” And now I’m laughing again! Eva waxes nostalgic about old Hollywood and now here are the nominees. Gotta go with PHANTOM THREAD for this one – the whole movie is Costume Design! I guess VICTORIA & ABDUL could be an upset contender but the Oscar goes to PHANTOM THREAD! Such a great movie on every level.

8:37 – We’re back and Kristin and I are digging into an epic Italian feast! Meanwhile, BLACK PANTHER just made another $48 million and it is the frontrunner for not getting any Oscar nods next year, heh.  And now here are Greta Gerwig and Laura Dern to present the next award! They both look amazing and are amazing in every way. I’ve been a Greta fan since the mumblecore days so her newfound success and accolades makes me feel very proud and happy. Anyway, they are presenting Best Documentary Feature, which is a strong category. ICARUS is a stunning expose and STRONG ISLAND is very powerful but I gotta go with the charming FACES/PLACES. And the Oscar goes to… ICARUS?!! That’s kind of a surprise but a welcome one! Great film and a big notch in Netflix’s belt!

8:42 – My BFF Taraji P. Henson is here showing off a great deal of leg and introducing Mary J. Blige, who is performing her Best Song contender from MUDBOUND. Good song but I gotta go with the COCO song, or barring that, the GREATEST SHOWMAN song.

8:49 – Update: This is the longest commercial break in Oscar history.

8:51 – Oh, hey, we’re back. And here’s a montage that includes such films as BOYHOOD and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and THE GREEN MILE and METROPOLIS and WILLY WONKA. Not really sure what they’re honoring here… maybe the glory of movies in general? Major LOL at the Robert Downey Jr. from TROPIC THUNDER clip. “I am your father!” Roger Ebert, RIP. Amelie!! Harry Potter! Frodo! THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! GONE WITH THE WIND! THELMA & LOUISE! Wow, this is a long montage. SHAWSHANK! Robin Williams again. STAR TREK. MEN IN BLACK. Whoa, BLACK PANTHER got in there already. 2001. DO THE RIGHT THING. HUNGER GAMES segue into ROBIN HOOD. And by the way, the LOVE ACTUALLY theme is playing in the background. BIG, SOUND OF MUSIC, some Disney in there, WONDER WOMAN, THE MATRIX, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth! PLATOON, AMADEUS, CASABLANCA, and it’s a thank you to 90 years of movies! Yay movies!

8:57 – Eiza Gonalzez and Ansel Elgort from BABY DRIVER are here to presrnt the award for Best Sound Editing, for which BABY DRIVER is a nominee. However I think DUNKIRK has to win this one, and the Oscar goes to DUNKIRK!! Such a technical marvel of a film. (Though I would not have been disappointed if STAR WARS had stolen that one.) And now it’s time for Sound Mixing, which I believe will also go to DUNKIRK. Though they showed a Porg in the Star Wars clip, which is a pretty good argument in its favor. But no, the Oscar goes to DUNKIRK again and my ballot is looking good so far! Five out of six! (And Kristin is six for six!)

9:07 – Jimmy Kimmel asks some guy named Steven (actually Kate Capshaw’s husband) if he has any pot and hey, he might! And here are Lupita looking luminous and statuesque in black & gold, and Kumail Nanjiani, whose real name is Chris Pine! (But not the white Chris Pine.) Someone should make a rom-com starring Lupita and Kumail! In the meantime, Best Production Design.. I’m going with BLADE RUNNER 2049 because there’s so much going on there. But the Oscar goes to THE SHAPE OF WATER! Could this be the first of many awards for del Toro’s monster romance? We shall see!

9:12 – Ooh I think we’re about to get a performance of “Remember Me” from COCO. That movie is wonderful and the song is lovely. Okay, well, Gael Garcia Bernal did not do a great job of singing live, but this guy Miguel is picking up the slack. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN song is gonna be tough to beat but I hope COCO wins!

9:20 – Hehe they’re sweetening the pot for the shortest-speech with a trip to glamorous Lave Havasu, or some such place! And now, following a WEST SIDE STORY clip, here’s the great Rita Moreno presenting the nominees for Best Foreign Film! A FANTASTIC WOMAN is a definite possibility thanks to its outstanding lead performance. I loved LOVELESS, a brutal and cold entry from Russia. ON BODY AND SOUL is weird and great. I’ve got THE SQUARE on my ballot which I think is the best and most thought-provoking overall but the Oscar goes to A FANTASTIC WOMAN! Damn, I should’ve gone with my gut on that one. My ballot is staring to take a hit but Kristin is still a perfect eight for eight! Go Kristin!

9:25 – Looks like we’ve got a women in film montage now and I am here for it! Oh wait, no, it’s a Best Supporting Actress montage, which I realized after they showed Marisa Tomei in MY COUSIN VINNY – still one of the all-time great Oscar shockers. This year’s nominees are very solid. Mary J. Blige was great in MUDBOUND. Allison Janney was memorably despicable in I, TONYA. Lesley Manville could do more with a glance and pursed lips in PHANTOM THREAD than most actors can do in their entire careers. Laurie Metcalf was amazing in LADY BIRD. Octavia Spencer, always solid, but probably overshadowed here. And the Oscar goes to ALLISON JANNEY! Her first Oscar nod and win! “I did it all by myself,” she says! A much-deserved win for a long-underrated actress.

9:35 – Our next presenters come to us from a galaxy far, far away!!! It’s STAR WARS time!!! And here’s Jimmy Kimmel’s nine-year-old self, who is not a very good actor. And here come Poe, Rose, BB-8, and of course, BEARDED JEDI LUKE!!! They tell some bad jokes that are probably funnier in hyperspace and I think they’re presenting the award for Best Animated Short – for a change I’m not going with Pixar (though LOU was great) – I’ve got the funny, dark, and poignant NEGATIVE SPACE on my ballot, but the Oscar goes to DEAR BASKETBALL?!? Ah, that sucks – the first truly disappointing winner of the night. Kobe Bryant now has as many Oscars as Sam Rockwell. Booooo!

9:39 – The Star Wars folks are still up there to present Best Animated Feature, the only category in which I did NOT see every nominee! But that’s okay, because COCO is the only 100% guaranteed winner in any category tonight. And the Oscar goes to COCO!! HAIL PIXAR FOREVER!!

9:43 – Daniela Vega was outstanding in A FANTASTIC WOMAN and she is here to introduce the performance of the Oscar-nominated song from CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. What song is this again? Oh, yeah, this is a good song, and that end scene by the fireplace is one for the ages. It’s not gonna win but I like it!

9:47 – Commercial break but I just want to point out that I’ve just dipped into my Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon and it is goooooood. Will probably drink that for the rest of the night, so be forewarned!

9:52 – Oh, we’re back from commercial but I was too busy looking at a GIF of Oscar Isaac rubbing BB-8’s belly. Is it too late to scrap the Han Solo film and give us the Poe Dameron / BB-8 buddy film we deserve?? Anyway, the award for Best Visual Effects is up next. This has to go to WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, which has taken motion-capture technology to crazy new levels of realism – plus it would be a way to honor Andy Serkis’s performance. But the Oscar goes to BLADE RUNNER 2049!? Wow!! That’s kind of shocker!? I mean, that movies definitely looked great but I felt it was more a testament to its cinematography. Craziness!

9:55 – Alright, alright, alright, it’s McConaughey time. (Pronounced McConaug-HEEEEEE according to the voiceover lady.) He’s presenting Best Editing and I am all-in for DUNKIRK for this one. BABY DRIVER is fast-paced and fun and I, TONYA is a definite possibility but the Oscar goes to DUNKIRK!! A technical marvel of a film so this is much deserved. Hehe, this guy is an editor so he thinks he can wrap up his speech quickly. I believe DUNKIRK is currently leading the pack with three wins so far – not sure if this means anything for Best Director later, but here’s hoping!

10:00 – Okay, Jimmy Kimmel is doing a bit where a bunch of stars are going across the street to a movie theatre where an unsuspecting audience is watching a sneak preview of A WRINKLE IN TIME. They’re going to surprise the moviegoing public! Mark Hamill, Guillermo del Toro, Emily Blunt, and others are on the way across the street. This could be funny or terrible! Stay tuned!

10:05 – We’re back from commercial and across the street. Holy shit, Gal Gadot and Margot Robbie and Lupita are there, too. Wonder Woman and Luke Skywalker are shooting the shit while we wait. And the movie stars are in the theatre and the audience is going crazy! Though, not gonna lie, if I was sitting there enjoying A WRINKLE IN TIME, I would be pissed at first if a bunch of people walked in making noise. Though I’d probably get over it pretty quick when I realized that Mark Hamill was there. They’ve got a hot dog cannon, by the way. “WHO WANTS A HOT DOG?!” Do not aim the hot dog cannon at the vegetarians! Wait a minute… another serious question… why are these people not home watching the Oscars??

10:10 – Back to the show! Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph are here to present the next award, and they’re wondering whether the Oscars are too black now?! Hahahaha! No, wait, don’t worry – there’s plenty more white people to come! Good stuff. Best Doc Short is the next award. Oh my God, EDITH+EDDIE is devastating. I love love love HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405. My friend Emily was the music supervisor for KNIFE SKILLS so that’s my sentimental fav! “Hi Meryl,” Tiffany says, “I want you be my mama one day.” And the Oscar goes to HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405!!! YAYAYAYA!!! Such a wonderful film. Seek it out immediately. The first win to make me super happy tonight!

10:14 – Tiffany and Maya congratulate each other on their respective body fluid scenes in GIRLS TRIP and BRIDESMAIDS. Hehe, their legends are cemented. Best Live Action Short is up next. I’m rooting for THE SILENT CHILD, which is a devastating and lovely, and HOLY SHIT, THE SILENT CHILD wins!!! I can’t believe it!!! Seriously thought DEKALB ELEMENTARY would win this one out of sheer timeliness, but wow!! I am very happy right now!!

10:18 – Dave Chappelle comes out to “a smattering of applause,” heh, to introduce the nominated song from MARSHALL, which is the only nominated song that rings absolutely no bells in my head. Gonna take this opportunity to fix myself another bourbon.

10:25 – Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd, and Salma Hayek are here to promote empowerment and change and remind everyone that TIME’S UP! They’re introducing a montage of this year’s cinematic trailblazers – GET OUT, MUDBOUND, Greta Gerwig and LADY BIRD, Kumail Nanjiani, A FANTASTIC WOMAN, oh there’s BEATRIZ AT DINNER, which maybe should have gotten some Oscar love. Hey, it’s Geena Davis! Now I want to watch A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. STRONG ISLAND was a great documentary. Haha, Emily Gordon wants to make a website called “Muslims Having Fun.” WONDER WOMAN! BLACK PANTHER! So badass. I hope Ava DuVernay gets to make a Star Wars film someday…

10:30 – Black Panther and Tonya Harding are here tossing out movie quotes because they are presenting Best Adapted Screenplay! CALL MY BY YOUR NAME seems like a veritable lock here. THE DISASTER ARTIST is great, but I think it lost some steam thanks to James Franco’s actions. So awesome that LOGAN got a nomination! It is tremendous. MOLLY’S GAME is good but probably a requisite nod for Aaron Sorkin. MUDBOUND, so good, but the Oscar goes to James Ivory for CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. Can’t argue with that. Haha, he’s wearing a Timothee Chalamet shirt with his tux. That’s brilliant cross-category promotion!

10:35 – Nicole Kidman looks like a glorious statue at the entrance to a museum dedicated to Nicole Kidman. She’s presenting Best Original Screenplay, which is a big one that could set the tone for the rest of the night! I’m rooting for THE BIG SICK, which was my #2 movie of the year, though it stands no chance. Would looooove to see LADY BIRD or THREE BILLBOARDS win, but nope, the Oscar goes to Jordan Peele for GET OUT!! Huge ovation which is gonna mess up Jordan’s jet ski! GET OUT is a great and brilliantly written film, so I cannot argue with this win. I just wonder what it means for the rest of the night. My thought is that the wealth will be spread around, meaning that del Toro wins Director and THREE BILLBOARDS wins Picture… but we shall see!

10:43 – I believe we are now getting a montage of military-themed movies, which is interesting. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. ZERO DARK THIRTY. THE HURT LOCKER. THE DEER HUNTER. Lots more. Haha, Jimmy Kimmel apologizes to the military for including Matt Damon in the montage. That’s the joke that just keeps on giving.

10:46 – Yay, Sandra Bullock! “It’s really bright,” she says about the set, and asks them to lower the light to bring her down to age 35. Hehe. Eat your heart out, Gal Gadot. And now it’s time for Best Cinematography, which, for fuck’s sake, HAS to go to the great Roger Deakins for BLADE RUNNER 2049. The man has been nominated like a thousand times for some of the most iconic movies of all time and has never won!! And the Oscar goes to… ROGERS DEAKINS!! FINALLY!! Fourteen nominations and his first win!! He easily could have won any number of times but BLADE RUNNER sure did look good. Yay Deakins!

10:50 – Zendaya is now here to introduce that song from THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, which is quite ubiquitous at this point. They played it during the Olympics closing ceremony for Christ’s sake! Good song, though. This performance is rousing and all but where the hell is the bearded lady’s beard?!

10:57 – Christopher. Walken. Is here. To present the. Next award. Wowie wow! He’s presenting Best Original Score. Ughhhh nothing on this night would make me happier than if John Williams won. COME ON. HE HASN’T WON SINCE 1994 AND HE’S NOT GOING TO BE HERE FOREVER. GIVE THE MAN ANOTHER MOMENT OF GLORY. That being said, PHANTOM THREAD has a great score, too. And the Oscar goes to the most boring of all the nominees, THE SHAPE OF WATER. Fart noise.

11:01 – Kristin just pointed out that the category is written in HUGE FONT on the envelopes this year, presumably to prevent any snafus. Hehe. Oh, here’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt to present Best Original Song (which unfortunately is the category in which Lin got robbed out of an EGOT last year). Guessing the GREATEST SHOWMAN will win this once but I’m rooting for “Remember Me,” and holy shit, the OScar goes to “Remember Me!” That’s awesome! Such a lovely song that forms the basis of the entire story of COCO. So happy it won!

11:04 – Jennifer Garner’s dress is so blue! Ah, crap, she’s here to introduce the In Memoriam segment. Somehow I completely forgot that this would be happening. Eddie Vedder is going to perform a song by the late TOm Petty and here we go. Harry Dean Stanton. Johann Johannson, so tragic. Jonathan Demme. John Heard. Martin Landau. Roger Moore is Bond, James Bond. George freakin’ Romero! Don Rickles. Jerry Lewis, oh yeah… when can we see THE DAY THE CLOWN DIED??

11:09 – Update: THEY LEFT OUT TOBE HOOPER. Terrible.

11:12 – Here comes Emma Stone, who won Best Actress last year, so I naturally assumed she was presenting Best Actor, but nope, she’s presenting Best Director. “These four men and Greta Gerwig…” ooh she said that! I’m rooting for Christopher Nolan, whose mastery of his craft is unmatched. But I have a feeling that Guillermo del Toro is going to take this one, and indeed, the Oscar goes to Guillermo del Toro for THE SHAPE OF WATER. I didn’t love the movie but there’s no denying that it is lovely and well-crafted, and besides, del Toro is awesome. Very nice and emotional speech. So now GET OUT has won a big one, THE SHAPE OF WATER has won a big one, and THREE BILLBOARDS already won one acting award and will likely win an even bigger one shortly. What does this mean for Best Picture? NO ONE KNOWS.

11:19 – Best Actor montage is happening now and it is pretty cool! Just hearing Don Corleone’s voice makes me want to watch THE GODFATHER 1 & 2 back to back immediately. Oh man, Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren are here to raise some hell. And here are the nominees. Timothee Chalamet is fantastic in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME and likely has a long and rich career ahead of him. If PHANTOM THREAD is Daniel Day-Lewis’s final film, he has gone out with quite a bang – it would be so awesome if he won his third Oscar. Daniel Kaluuya may be a sentimental favorite based on the reaction he just got from the Oscar audience but I’d be shocked if he won. Gary Oldman has amazingly never won an Oscar before! His transformation into Winston Churchill was astonishing and blistering. Denzel… well, he was very good, but I’;m convinced that he only got nominated because people didn’t want to vote for James Franco. And the winner is GARY OLDMAN! Yay, Sirius Black!

11:28 – Best Actress montage! I’m too tipsy to rattle off everything I’m seeing, but I will say that Kathy Bates in MISERY is one of my fav Oscar wins of all time. Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster are here to present the award in a major break from tradition. Holy shit, J-Law is super tall and Jodie Foster is on crutches. WHAT DID TONYA HARDING DO TO JODIE FOSTER?! Oh, nevermind, it was all Streep’s doing. And here are the Best Actress nominees. Sally Hawkins, always good. Frances McDormand is a force of nature and absolutely must win. Margot Robbie, remarkable. Saoirse Ronan is a three-time Oscar nominee already and will likely be back again soon. And o course, the great Streep, who is in the unusual position of having absolutely no shot this year! And the Oscar goes to FRANCES McDORMAND!! YES!! She is going to bring the house down and it is going to be cool.

11:34 – Frances McDormand is hyperventilating a little bit but she HAS SOME THINGS TO SAY. Oh shit son! She’s asking every female nominee in every category to stand up and take a bow! “Meryl, if you do it, everyone will!” Hugely powerful moment! Yay Frances! Yay women!

11:39 – Jimmy Kimmel wishes he was a woman. We all do! And with that, we’re at the end of the line, and here come our old friends Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to hopefully redeem themselves after last year’s Best Picture debacle. “Presenting is lovelier the second time around,” Faye says. And here come the Best Pic nominees. It could go in any number of directions! PHANTOM THREAD is yet another masterwork to add to Paul Thomas Anderson’s collection. DARKEST HOUR, very good and rousing. THREE BILLBOARDS, absolutely brilliantly written and acted and loaded with complexities that the other nominees cannot match. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, so good and emotional. GET OUT, powerful and timely and terrifying. DUNKIRK, intense and impeccably crafted. THE POST, entertaining and well acted and a worthy combination of Spielberg, Streep, and Hanks. LADY BIRD, a wonderful coming-of-age tale driven by Greta Gerwig’s singular cinematic voice. THE SHAPE OF WATER, a freakin’ Guillermo del Toro monster movie love story. You really can’t go wrong with any of these but some would make me happier than others. And the Oscar goes to… THE SHAPE OF WATER. Well, okay.

11:48 – Haha, the Costume Designer won the jet ski and that’s the end of the show! Goodnight everybody! Fart noise!

Well, that was a fun show, all in all! Mostly happy with the winners, and indeed, I went 15-for-24, which is way better than usual! (Kristin also went 15-for-24, so we are well met!) THE SHAPE OF WATER is probably my least favorite of the nine Best Picture nominees, but it is still a very good movie, and you gotta love Guillermo del Toro, so I’ll allow it even though I was underwhelmed in the moment. The acting awards fell exactly as expected (and rightly so) and pretty much all of the awards were spread pretty evenly among all the top contenders. THREE BILLBOARDS got a couple, DUNKIRK got a bunch of technicals, I, TONYA got one, GET OUT got one, PHANTOM THREAD got one. Not many major surprises, but BLADE RUNNER 2049 winning for Visual FX over APES was an eye opener. I guess my most pleasant surprise wins were HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405 for Doc Short and THE SILENT CHILD for Live Action Short, because I didn’t think either one stood a chance against their more politically-conscious competitors. Speaking of which, there were lots of great and empowering moments throughout the telecast, too (hashtag Inclusion Rider). And everything went off without a hitch! How about that! Cheers to anyone and everyone who swung by and sifted through these nearly 6,000 words – I love movies and I love you all! Until next year…!?