Live-Blogging the Oscars
3:50 PM: It won't start for more than an hour but thought I'd try a test run. I also want people to know that I'm not doing the traditional liveblog format with the newest entry highest up — meaning you have to read bottom to top. Here it's top to bottom. Like normal. Apologies if this require frequent scrolling.
Patricia's in the kitchen getting stuff ready, Jellybean's sniffing around, wondering why the furniture's changed. She suspects somethng's up. She's right.
Oscar picks are done. P and I disagree on seven of the 21 categories: Supporting Actress (she: Tomei, me: Cruz), Foreign (she: Bashir, me: Class), Editing (she: Button, Me: Slumdog), Cinematography (she: Dark Knight, me: Slumdog), Art Direction (she: Dark Knight, me: Button) and the Sound categories (she went WALL-E, I went Dark Knight). For what it's worth. Not much.
Watching the red carpet shows. Ryan Seacrest to Danny Boyle: "And you brought people from the slums, did you not?" Yuck. I'm forced to mute it every other second out of embarrassment.
4:35: First guests arrived, Jayne and Alex. Laura, our neighbor down the hall, can't make it because she's feeling under the weather. The men at the party will be bummed even if they don't know it yet.
Ryan Seacrest to Josh Brolin: "Why was it important to tell the story of Harvey Milk?" Sheeeesh. Is it me or does Ryan S. make it seem like he's going out of his way to talk to these, you know, "actors" and "directors"?
Holy smack, Penelope Cruz looks beautiful! And Marion Coutillard. And Javier Bardem. OK, I'll stop or this will be pretty boring. Please forgive. I haven't liveblogged before.
5:00: It begins: Hope Putnam, last year's winner, all of five years old, arrives in her PJs. She's ready for a long show.
On the tube, I like the pans down the dresses of the women. It's something that appeals to both men and women: women like the dresses, men like the pan. On the other hand, how sexist is this? If the camera were my eyes, wouldn't I get slapped?
Hey! They're not starting at 5, after all. It's all red carpet. Was I the only one who didn't know this?
Patricia on Miley Cyrus: "That is SUCH an ugly dress."
I have Mike Smith on my left arguing for "Iron Man" as best picture because there's a purity and snappiness to it. It's not a bad argument. Not a great one, but not a bad one.
Hugh Jackman arrives: Now it begins. I like the open, the song and dance. "How come comic book movies are never nominated/How can a billion dollars be unsophisticated?" And the bit with Anne Hathaway was wonderful. "Oh, Nixon." Seriously, they should do a musical together. Plus the close where he declares himself WOLVERINE. That's a guy who knows how to have a good time.
Supporting Actress: The party reaction to the five former winners talking up the category: "Oh, is this going to be a long night?" "Are they going to do this with sound editor, too?" Etc. But I liked the close-up of Viola Davis tearing up. Very sweet. And now I'm one for one. Penelope! I could listen to her accent all night.
The screenplay awards: Great, great speech by Dustin Lance Black. And love the back-and-forth between Steve Martin and Tina Fey. Please more comedians. Please.
When Slumdog wins for adaptated, my friend Jim, across the room, thrusts a fist into the air and announces "I'm taking no prisoners!"
I have to slow down a bit, join the party, this liveblogging/hosting thing is difficult. Plus I need a beer.
6:22: Beer got. So far no surprises with the awards. We're up to costume design. Nobody in the room (my room) has apparently seen "Australia." No one in the room (my room) has seen and really likes "Benjamin Button." We have about 25 people here. And, yes, now costume design to "The Dutchess." No surprises.
So far we've got a five-way tie for first. Five-way.
6:40: A cinematography win for "Slumdog." And still a five-way tie. Too many of us are apparently reading Entertainment Weekly. Was the Joaquin Phoenix thing necessary? I haven't been paying attention to that news but it seems... not very classy.
I find it interesting, too, that Jessica Biel, in her speech, brought up Thomas Edison, since the reason Hollywood exists is because early filmmakers fled the east coast for the west coast to avoid Edison's litigation.
BTW: Where's Hugh Jackman? He did the opening number and then...disappeared.
6:50: How about Seth Rogan laughing at James Franco's tortured German pronunciation? "It's funny cuz it's German."
Ah, Hugh is back! And he's gonna sing again! Yay!
Wait, is this too Broadway? Well, now Beyonce's there, so... LOVE the way she sings "Dustin' off my tails..." Yes, dust. Please, dust.
7:06: Supporting actor, with five previous winners introducing the five nominees. So apparently it's just for the acting categories. I'll refrain from talking about Philip Seyour's skicap. Other blogs I'm sure are all over it.
OK, I LOVE that they have Christopher Walken introducing Michael Shannon. Shannon could play Walken's son. He should play Walken's son. In some movie somewhere.
But I assume this is Heather Ledger's award. I assume there'll be a standing ovation.
And it is. And there it is. Even so, I'm glad. And unsurprised.
Best documentary: The room (my room) just applauded Philippe Petit's antics and coin tricks onstage. Fun stuff. Everyone, see "Man on Wire." Of course I'd love to see ALL of the docs, as Bill Maher suggested, but most don't play in Seattle, even though it's a pretty good movie town.
The sound awards: How often does the sound mixing and sound editing differ? And do we still call that a Nehru jacket?
I'm on my third beer. I'm still tied for first. It's still a five-way tie.
Actually, after the editing award for "Slumdog," Hope, last year's winner, drops, leaving a four-way tie: me, Jim (who's taking no prisoners) Mike (Hope's dad) and Brenda.
8:09: Sorry for being away so long. I had to take a souvenir bat away from a little girl. Then I tried to take another souvenir bat from a little boy. I suppose I should put the souvenir bats away before the kids arrive.
Hey, one of the first big surprises of the evening! "Departures," from Japan. Everyone should still see "The Class" and "Waltz with Bashir." And it would be nice to see "Depatures," too. But...same problem as before. It's not playing here. I wonder if it'll ever play here.
Memorium time: This is always so sad. Cyd Charisse. Bernice Mac, so young. Nina Foch.... Roy Scheider... I didn't know Manny Farmer died!... James Whitmore and that great scene from "Shawshank"... Charlton Heston... Sydney Pollack... Paul Newman...
I wonder over the lack of Heath Ledger, but Mr. B reminds me that Heath died last January, in time for last year's Oscars, which is when he was remembered. It's so odd. He's been in our consciousness so much this year as the Joker, it's hard to remember he's been dead for over a year already.
We're at best director now, and still in a four-way tie for first. Three of those people, including me, have Mickey Rourke for best actor. And that's the only difference. If Sean Penn wins, Brenda wins. If Mickey Rourke wins, it's a three-way tie for first. That's assuming no big surprises and a come-from-behind win by someone else.
Nope. Danny Boyle.
Oo, good Tigger reference. This is a great speech. Well, until the last line. "Mumbai, you dwarf even this tiny statuette..." Yeah, thanks, dude.
Best actress. Standing o for the women. Very classy. Shirley Maclaine talking up Anne Hathaway is a very, very sweet moment.
Yep, another non-surprise, but, what the hell, I love Kate Winslet, and I love her shampoo bottle reference. And the whistle from her dad! Very cute. Some had disparaged her performance but... let me put it this way. The movie was less imperfect than the book because the movie had Kate Winslet.
Best actor. Wow, that's a helluva roster for the best actor nominees. But why isn't Daniel Day Lewis among them? Last year's winner. And doesn't it take away a bit of a charge, a bit of energy, to have this kind of same-sex intro? Who's Adrienne Brody going to be kissing — Ben Kingsley?
Nice Robert De Niro intro for Sean Penn. And Ben Kinglsey asks the right question with Randy the Ram: Why do we care? It is because of Mickey Rourke. Indeed. Maybe that's why he should win...
And he doesn't! Sean Penn! Standing o. "You commie, homo-lovin' sons of guns." Great line. And then he gets serious. As he should. We live in serious times. He's a double winner now. Joining Spencer Tracy, Frederich March, Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks. Others? I used to know this stuff.
Best picture: How interesting that the accompanying pics with each nominee are full of NON-best picture winners: "Citizen Kane," "Saving Private Ryan," etc. The Academy saying, "Whoops, whoops, whoops..."
And the Oscar goes to...
Yep, "Slumdog Milionaire." As someone here dryly says: "Shocking."
So Brenda wins our pool, with 19 out of 21 correct. I tied for second with 18 out of 21. Which means it wasn't exactly a surprising year...
Enough of this. Clean-up duty. It'll be interesting to read what other people thought. Me, I don't even know what I thought. I was too busy doing this.