I’m excited for this, the 82nd edition of the Academy Awards. I nearly reached triple digits in the number of theater visits during the last calendar year: 98, unofficially a personal best… and had I been aware, I probably would seen two more to bump it up. And I even got around to all of the Best Picture nominees, which actually occurs less often than you’d think. This is mostly because there’s always some British movie I end up missing over the course of the year: The Reader, The Queen, The Hours, Elizabeth… I just couldn’t care less.* But this time around, during a slow week in January, I went ahead and saw An Education (it was okay, but Carey Mulligan is a cutie, so it worked out). And of course, I had long ago seen all the rest. So ten nominees I’ve watched, two hosts who aren’t Hugh Jackman**, and the very (sur)real possibility that Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique both take home Oscars the same night. Let’s get it on.
*I don’t know if The Hours is actually a British movie, but it’s got that same brutal, snoozy vibe.
**Not that he was terrible; it’s just that I adhere by the ‘comedians as award show hosts’ rule of thumb, and at least Steve Martin semi-qualifies.
5:03 pm. It took some tinkering with my antenna, but I’m all set up and ready to go, HD and everything. Let’s hope the reception gods take pity on me tonight (thanks, Irvine). We’ve still got half an hour before the actual show starts; in the meantime, a lot of awkward and uncomfortable interviews. Your hosts? Sherri Shepherd! Some random douchebag! And my god, it’s Kathy Ireland! …man, I had the biggest crush on her when I was a kid, thanks to the 1994 SI Swimsuit Issue, as well as the ‘making of’ video they sent out to subscribers. That’s probably TMI.
5:14 pm. Kathy’s in full ‘showbiz robo-interviewer’ mode tonight. She’s robotically swaying her hips and torso to emphasize her points. Vanna White + Price is Right Models + Stepford Wives, the whole bit. 16 minutes and counting. Pre-show is essentially unwatchable, except for the attractive women. Unfortunately, Sarah Jessica Parker is on right now. So it’s unwatchable.
5:19 pm. I think Miley Cyrus is one of the first stars I’ve ever felt was completely imposed upon us as a public. Her and Robert Pattinson, most definitely, and I kind of resent it. Weirdly enough, I never felt this way about Hilary Duff, or like… Daniel Radcliffe. I think it’s because they stayed in their respective franchises for years before branching out, whereas with Cyrus and the Twilight bunch, they’re invading other genres, and making other shitty movies already. The Last Song, Remember Me – when did we decide these people were stars? Then again, as he appears onscreen, where the fuck did Sam Worthington come from? James Cameron made him!
5:30 pm. Here we go. We begin with the actor and actress nominees on stage, as if on display. They announce their names, and escort them to their seats. Um. Okay. That was stupid. And here’s Neil Patrick Harris with a musical number! Enjoyable so far. Although, three minutes into the 2010 Oscars, and we have a reference to prison rape. Well played, Doogie.
5:39 pm. I could do without the constant applauding after the mention of every celebrity, but Baldwin and Martin are doing a pretty great job right now. Solid banter and give-and-take.
5:44 pm. Christoph Waltz obviously deserves it, but it must suck for all the other nominees who have been following him to every awards show over the last two months only to hear his name instead of theirs. Same with Mo’Nique’s competitors. Also, why is Ryan Reynolds introducing The Blind Side? I mean, I know why – it’s because of The Proposal – but that’s an utterly retarded pairing. Will Nicole Kidman come out to introduce Up in the Air? (That’s right, I just made a Peacemaker reference). Reynolds brought his serious tux with him though.
6:01 pm. Why are they not singing the nominated songs? I’m all for a shorter ceremony, but that seems like one of the worst cuts to make. “Hey, let’s make the Oscars less entertaining!” Anyway, The Weary Kind (from Crazy Heart) wins, pitting me into a five-way tie atop my six-man Oscar pool. Yeah! Also, apparently Wilmer Valderrama wrote that song. That was a visual joke, in case you’re watching the show.
6:17 pm. I was about to make a snarky comment about Molly Ringwald being onstage (accompanied by Matt Broderick), but it’s the John Hughes tribute. Whoops. Good thing I didn’t go there. On a completely unrelated note, who’s the least deserving celebrity in attendance at the ceremony so far? Zac Efron? Maybe. Taylor Lautner would give him a run for his money though. …And holy shit, they brought out a ton of people from Hughes’ movies. Macaulay Culkin makes an appearance! Jon Cryer! Judd Nelson! I have to admit, that was pretty well-done.
6:32 pm. I’m probably jinxing it, but this show is rolling. The speeches are short, the banter is entertaining, and Carey Mulligan and Zoe Saldana are presenting. By the way, I’m starving… I should really make my meals in advance when I decide to do these four hour liveblogs. Also, some short redhead woman just hijacked a speech from the short subject documentary director. Hey lady, they gave you guys one statuette. And probably for a reason. (Sadly, the next set of dual winners – who actually got two awards – get cut off. Oscar tradition!)
6:40 pm. Kate Winslet, looking good.
6:51 pm. Ditto, Rachel McAdams and Paula Patton. First real heartfelt speech of the night, from Geoffrey Fletcher (who wrote the screenplay that was, wait for it, “based on the book Push by Sapphire”). No one expected him to win, apparently. I say this because no one had him in our Oscar pool. Also, my chances of winning the thing are looking pretty dead.
6:59 pm. It’s official! Coming up next on UPN, it’s The Parkers, starring Academy Award winner Mo’Nique! Tonight on Comedy Central, it’s Phat Girlz, starring Academy Award winner Mo’Nique! …and so forth, and so on. And now, here’s Colin Firth to introduce An Education. Because he’s British? I don’t even know anymore. Speaking of that movie, though, I spent the entire time thinking about how that blonde (Bond girl Rosamund Pike) looked like a dead ringer for a young Faith Hill. So much so that I was incredibly confused.
7:05 pm. If Doctor Parnassus doesn’t win Art Direction in the next minute, I’m basically out ten bucks. Fucking Oscar pool.
7:07 pm. Shit.
7:11 pm. Is it ironic that the woman who wins for Costume Design is wearing a hideous dress? Also, why do the British films always win these things – is it really that hard to ‘design’ dresses that actually existed a couple centuries ago? I’ll leave you with that, as Charlize Theron introduces Precious. What kind of terrible irony is this? Did they choose this link because Theron is (South) African-American? Because she played a beast in Monster? (…uh, no offense, Gabourey Sidibe). Anyway. Commercial break. Approaching two hours.
7:18 pm. In reading from the teleprompter, Lautner and Kristen Stewart display the impressive acting chops that have made them and the Twilight saga so famous. Did I say impressive acting chops? I’m sorry, I meant obnoxious and stunted monotone. Moody my ass.
7:23 pm. Okay, this is really cool. Morgan Freeman is walking us through the process of sound editing and mixing, by actually showing a before / after from The Dark Knight. I’m pretty sure this is what they were going for last year with the theme on the process of filmmaking, except for the fact that they never followed through. I have to say though, I can’t look at (or listen to) Morgan Freeman the same way ever since that crap came out about how he was involved with his step-granddaughter. Creepy. Anyway, back to the show.
7:28 pm. Elizabeth Banks, looking good tonight. The Oscars are the best. It’s like prom, only with famous hot people!
7:40 pm. The grandest Oscar tradition of them all: yes, the applauding of dead people. I’ve never understood why they don’t just have a long moment of silence as these images flash by (and announce it as a moment of silence beforehand). I mean, that’s what they do at every other public venue. Imagine if they announce a death in front of a sporting event, and then people started applauding. It’s so damn awkward.
7:45 pm. I think Sam Worthington wears the same glasses I do. They also might be the ones that Bart wore in the Simpsons episode where he gets prescription shoes, hair salve, and turns into a complete nerd. Either or. Also, I’m really glad they decided to do this dance troupe bullshit for original score in lieu of performing the original songs. Because watching random people breakdance is fantastic and makes complete sense at the Oscars.
7:58 pm. The announcer who’s doing the tease at commercial breaks just basically said something like, “Who will take home Best Director? Will it be the first female? The first African-American? Or James Cameron, Jason Reitman, or Quentin Tarantino?” Pure class. This is like the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries all over again!
8:04 pm. My word count is at 1539. This application for a dissertation fellowship I’ve been working on for a week – and will work on for the next two weeks – has a limit of 1500. Just saying.
8:07 pm. It took home Best Film Editing, and it seems like we’re heading towards a Hurt Locker night. Since I don’t think I’ve discussed the movie on this blog yet, I’m going to take the time out right now. It’s okay. As an experience, it’s pretty awesome. Completely tense, visceral, and just thrilling – and you’re on the edge of your seat the entire time. As a movie, it’s pretty lacking. No real plot (other than a bunch of missions strung together) – okay, I’m going to interrupt myself because fucking Keanu Reeves is introducing the movie as the Best Picture nominee. Are you kidding me? Just because he was in Point Break? …um, anyway, where was I? No real plot, the characters were ridiculous caricatures (especially Jeremy Renner) – and relatedly, a ton of stupid actions taken. It didn’t feel like a very realistic war movie. So it didn’t make the cut for me last year. But again, incredible experience.
8:14 pm. I am so, so hungry. The four big awards left and counting.
8:24 pm. Hey, they’re recycling the whole “drag five celebrities out there and have them tell personal stories about the nominee” for the major acting awards. Remember when Adrien Brody came out last year and started his with “If you google Richard Jenkins”? Oh man. Way to go, Adrien Brody. You’re like the kid who starts an essay with “The dictionary defines *essay topic* as-” I actually did enjoy this, depending on the substance, of course. Yet, it also means we’re going beyond three hours. …So, so hungry.
8:40 pm. Oprah at the Oscars! Worlds collide! Also, the net worth of this room just went up by a couple billion dollars. Also, I can appreciate Forrest Whitaker waxing poetic about Sandra Bullock, but does he really have to do it in the context of (his directed) Hope Floats? What a piece of garbage that was. Might as well have Jason Patric come out and talk about how great Sandy was on the set of Speed 2: Cruise Control. Yeah, I went there.
8:48 pm. Sandra Bullock, Oscar winner. I love her, and I’ve seen (and enjoyed) more of her romantic comedies than I would care to admit. But seriously, The Blind Side?
8:52 pm. By the way, this was 15 minutes ago, but Oprah is a pretty good looking woman, right? I mean, what’s the consensus on this? Do men find Oprah attractive? Are we even allowed to? Anyway. I’m going to use the hunger as an excuse for this post. Kathryn Bigelow, Male Gigolo, is Best Director, by the way. Eat that, James Cameron! One more prize until I hit the kitchen.
8:58 pm. Man, Tom Hanks does not waste any time. He just came out and basically said, “And the winner is The Hurt Locker.” No announcements of the nominees, no witty banter, nothing except a brief mention of the last time the Academy had 10 Best Picture nominees. My stomach thanks you. Anyway, you already know what I think of The Hurt Locker. Overall, it was a great Oscar show – my favorite in at least five or six years, and probably since Billy Crystal hosted. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were hilarious. There were very few hiccups, the film footage was well put-together, and the speeches were short. I have no idea how they still went over by half an hour. The worst part? The absence of one Amy Adams (what, you didn’t think I’d notice?). See you next year!