3:39 pm. I like award shows. I don’t care about the fashions (beyond “dear god, Jennifer Love Hewitt looks hot”). I flip the channel when people I don’t recognize show up. And of course, I find the ceremonies utterly self-indulgent. But they’re fun. The banter, the song-and-dance, the montages. And following the disaster that was the Emmys (“Hey, let’s have the reality show hosts do this unscripted; what could go wrong?”), I’m itching for something more traditional. Unfortunately for me, the Oscars are jazzing it up. Will Wolverine bring the goods? Or will we refer to this day henceforth as “The Jackman Catastrophe”? Either way, it’s worth a liveblog.
5:01 pm. We’re still a half hour away. I prepped today by catching The Pink Panther 2 (silly, but funny enough) and then re-watching Deja Vu on cable (a thrilling and innovative take on the time-travel genre). That Tony Scott – between Deja Vu and Enemy of the State, he’s got two of my under-the-radar favorites.
5:12 pm. I’m glad they have a countdown clock, because I’ve got the preshow muted. Seriously, who cares what Mickey Rourke is wearing? And Vanessa Hudgens, didn’t she have those naked pictures leaked onto the internet last year? Red carpet specials are brutal.
5:19 pm. The two accountants who count up the results make an appearance. They walk uncomfortably close to one another down the carpet, and are about an inch or two from brushing the back of their hands. Yikes.
5:24 pm. I feel like you’ve been getting your money’s worth the past two months. Movie reviews, photoblogs, even cartoons. It’s really the entire spectrum of my limited capabilities. And now you’re going to get a 17 page Oscar liveblog. Anyway, it’s gametime. Will we long for the days of Billy Crystal? Only one way to find out.
5:32 pm. No hoopla, no fanfare, no videos. Two minutes in, and we jump straight to a song about the best picture nominees. With home-built sets and all. It’s cute… but this might turn out to be a really long night.
5:43 pm. Fifteen minutes in, and I predict this show will last seven hours. Seriously, they’re having separate introductions from five past winners for each nomi- STOP THE PRESSES. Amy Adams makes an appearance. Nothing else matters. Highlight of the evening.
5:49 pm. Okay, I’m back. Jackman, Steve Martin, and Tina Fey begin with this year’s new gimmick. The process of moviemaking, starting with the screenplay awards. Why is Tina Fey here? When did Baby Mama come out? I have to admit, though, this is pretty well done so far.
6:03 pm. Obligatory shot of Brad and Angelina with Aniston up on stage. “Hey, these two ruined her life! You remember that, right?”
6:17 pm. There’s a one-point Laker game going on in the fourth. The award for Art Direction is being given out right now. Guess what I’m doing. To her credit, though, Sarah Jessica Parker is almost falling out of her dress. Who knew she had it in her?
6:19 pm. Quick glance back. Apparently, to signify ‘costume design,’ they’ve made the stage look like a garage. Random boxes and containers and all. I guess they had to cut a few corners.
6:24 pm. The guy from Twilight and the lead from Mamma Mia. They’ve brought out the big guns!
6:36 pm. Did they just abandon the whole theme about the process of moviemaking? The last few awards look like they’ve been presented in an abandoned warehouse with a couple of big screens and a few props set up. Art direction, cinematography, costume design, whatever. They couldn’t get a little creative about that stuff?
6:44 pm. And now we’ve apparently hit the ‘throw shit at the walls’ part of the evening. Featuring a montage about comedies that’s two minutes too long and isn’t really about comedies! A cinematographer paired up with James Franco and Seth Rogen! Wacky!
6:50 pm. I didn’t want to watch ABC’s Castle the first time around when it was called Bones and aired on FOX.
6:56 pm. “The musical is back!” You know, because we weren’t sure after Moulin Rouge. Its status was still up in the air after Chicago won Best Picture six years ago. And Dreamgirls last year; that was a fluke.
7:20 pm. The theme of the show is unraveling as the ceremony continues. The segue from action films to the Best Visual Effects Oscar might have worked if one of the nominees wasn’t The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Back to the drawing board, Academy…
7:33 pm. A seemingly touched Jennifer Aniston claps on as the Slumdog Millionaire sound mixers take home the Oscar. She always appears so earnest and caring. Meanwhile, John Mayer looks over to the right, hoping to flag down a hot dog vendor.
7:42 pm. I’m going to need two upsets to salvage my Oscar pool at this point. Meryl Streep (over Kate Winslet) and The Class (over Waltz with Bashir). At least it’s keeping me in front of the tube. Two hours in, one more to go. Ugh. And Desperate Housewives isn’t going to be on tonight. Bastards. Why does ABC get the telecast every year, anyway?
7:53 pm. Alicia Keys is breathtaking.
8:04 pm. Wait, a two-hour Brothers and Sisters movie event next Sunday? Dammit, that means they’re preempting DH next week too! …I’m not really kidding, I actually do watch the show religiously.
8:11 pm. The telecast has been terrible after the opening 30 minutes, but I really like this touch. They’ve got Queen Latifah singing “I’ll be seeing you” through the In Memoriams. It’s nice.
8:31 pm. And we’re officially over time, with three major awards still to come. It’s the time-honored Oscar tradition!
8:39 pm. Kingsley. Hopkins. Deniro. Douglas. And a homeless-looking Adrien Brody. Come on! Richard Jenkins is the poor sap who has to hear Brody give a testimonial that he apparently wrote about two minutes before he came on stage. “If you google Richard Jenkins…” Yikes. Doesn’t Tom Hanks come to all of these things? Where’s Pacino when you need him?
8:53 pm. To no one’s surprise, Slumdog takes home the big prize. By the way, that girl in the movie? Wow. Impressions of the revamped show? Decidedly mixed. Hugh Jackman was good, but essentially disappeared for the last two hours – as did the ‘theme’ of the moviemaking process. The non-traditional montages were awful, while poor Will Smith had to stay on stage for 15 minutes and present four awards in a row. Then again, I had to sit here for four hours and type this drivel. Hey, they’re showing The Rock on TNT – good night, everybody!