Sunday, February 27, 2011
83rd Academy Awards Live Blog
A full transcript of a very forgettable night is below. Read bottom to top.
(All times Eastern | Remember to refresh often)
11:43: So a bunch of kids sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," giving me hope that the coming year in film will be better than this one, and that this time next year I'm celebrating a deserved (fingers-crossed) Best Director win for Terrence Malick. A guy can dream, right? Goodnight, all.
11:37: The King's Speech takes Best Picture. Like all Best Pictures not directed by Martin Scorsese, it now gets to spend the next 15-20 years as the target of hate as everyone but its most ardent fans ignore its strengths and treat it with the kind of disdain that should be reserved for Dick Chaney. Congratulations!
11:33: Best Picture time. This show will end before midnight. But it's felt unusually long.
11:29: Colin Firth's acceptance speech had the same labored cadence as the climactic speech that earned him an Oscar. But he seemed genuinely touched, and you've got to like that. Portman and Firth almost made me forget about Leo.
11:26: Best Actor goes to Colin Firth for The King's Speech. And if you didn't get that one in the Oscar pool, I'm not sure why you bothered filling out an entry form.
11:24: Best Actor time allows Sandra Bullock to give one of her most charming performances -- as an Oscar presenter. Maybe she should host next year, and write the show.
11:13: And my favorite film of the year wins one award as Natalie Portman takes Best Actress for Black Swan. Some people aren't fans, but I thought she nailed it. A limited actress? Sure, like 98 percent of them. But she's as good as her material. She earns her tears.
11:07: Let's see, I could have heard from Eli Wallach or Francis Ford Coppola if they televised the lifetime achievement awards? Yeah, that would have just sucked. Thank the lord they saved me from that and replaced it with auto-tune, an ode to Hugh Jackman, and abridged performances of all five original songs. This Oscars telecast is getting more annoying all the time.
11:04: A younger, beardless James Cameron wins Best Director. Wait, check that. It's Tom Hooper for The King's Speech. It's a solid film. But this guy shouldn't have more Oscars than ... [fill in the blank]
11:02: If Anne Hathaway is getting paid by the "Wooo!" she's raking in cash.
10:57: The "In Memoriam" section is the best produced portion of the night. Somehow they convinced everyone not to clap during the tribute, or they managed to silence it. It was always awkward listening to the applause rise and fall throughout while trying not to completely, you know, die.
10:47: Randy Newman wins Best Original Song for Toy Story 3. Love his acceptance speeches. It's just those darn songs I can't stand.
10:43: Florence Welch steps in for Dido to sing "If I Rise," from 127 Hours, my least favorite song in that movie. ("Festival" is the best use of a song from that film and the entire year.) No commentary except to say that I'm wearing out "Cosmic Love" by Florence and the Machine recently.
10:36: Best Film Editing goes to The Social Network. I'm a little confused by the pairing of Best Visual Effects and Best Editing in that segment, but this one feels right, too. The Social Network's much celebrated opening scene owes as much to the editing as to Sorkin's writing. And that's boring old dialogue!
10:34: Best Visual Effects goes to Inception. Even its detractors think that one is about right.
10:27: Billy Crystal gets a standing ovation that says, "Please, please, please don't let Franco and Hathaway come back!"
10:23: Inside Job wins for Best Documentary. Great film that did something that the traditional media somehow couldn't: get to the essence of the financial crisis. As an added benefit we get to avoid all the "What Will Banksy Do?" bullshit.
10:21: Highlight of the night so far: Joel Coen looking utterly bored in the presence of Oprah Winfrey.
10:19: In an effort to stay hip, the Oscars goes auto-tune. It's Kesha's favorite part of the show.
10:15: It's Best Documentary Short and Best Live Action Short time. If you're a movie buff and you haven't seen any of these, now you know why the AMPAS is afraid to nominate "art films" that the three-times-a-year moviegoer haven't seen. I might as well be watching the Polka Awards right now. Out of touch.
10:12: "...and he madeout with my cohost ... in a movie." Did Michael Scott write this?
10:03: "Please let this be the last time I hear a Randy Newman song." Words I've been saying for 15 years.
10:00: And it's Alice in Wonderland, following up The Wolfman winning for Best Makeup. Who says movies that premiere in the barren wasteland that is February and March can't win Oscars.
9:59: Best Costume Design: Would love to see this go to I Am Love. But I fear Alice in Wonderland.
9:55: It appears James Franco's instructions for hosting the Oscars were "smile and look pretty."
9:50: Best Sound Editing goes to (BWWWARRRM!) Inception, because even the AMPAS isn't sure what the difference is between sound editing and mixing.
9:48: Best Sound Mixing goes to (BWWWARRRRM!) Inception. Second win for the film, and this time around Christopher Nolan is called "mighty." If you're keeping score, Nolan is a mighty master.
9:44: Best Original Score goes to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network. Well deserved. A huge part of that film's mood. Tonight Reznor will fuck his wife like an animal.
9:36: Christian Bale wins Best Supporting Actor and delivers an acceptance speech that was a lot like his performance: a bit messy, a bit much, but with a few special moments.
9:30: Best Supporting Actor ... Nothing would make me happier than to see John Hawkes win this.
9:27: Russell Brand translating for Helen Mirren. Genius. I wish they'd been granted Kirk Douglas' stage time. That had potential.
9:25: Anne Hathaway finally brings talent to the hosting gig with a powerful, impressive ode to ... Hugh Jackman? Who wrote this ceremony?
9:19: David Seidler wins Best Original Screenplay for The King's Speech. Reaching the stage he struggles to find the microphone. Irony noted.
9:15: Aaron Sorkin wins Best Adapted Screenplay. Poised acceptance speech. Heartfelt. Crisp. Packed with words. It's like it was written by Aar--. Never mind.
9:13: Honestly, if this is all it takes to be an Oscar host, the AMPAS can start recruiting from QVC.
9:07: Surprising no one, Toy Story 3 wins Best Animated Feature. I haven't seen it, but it's hard for me to imagine I'll enjoy it more than How To Train Your Dragon. I'll watch the Academy's favorite animated film if you watch mine.
9:01: "It's about selling motion pictures." Melissa Leo finishes her acceptance speech with the most honest line of the night.
8:59: Melissa Leo drops and f-bomb and thanks the AMPAS board of directors. Two things you don't normally see in an acceptance speech.
8:58: Melissa Leo wins Best Supporting Actress. She'd feel a lot more confident right now if her name hadn't been read by a guy more than a decade older than the Academy Awards.
8:56: Kirk Douglas pulls an Oscar filibuster. Announce the winner already.
8:55: Kirk Douglas looks great for a guy my mom thought died 20 years ago.
8:49: The winner for Best Cinematography, Wally Pfister, thanks his "master" Christopher Nolan. The image of him in leather with a ball gag in his mouth is almost as frightening as the reality that Roger Deakins has never won this award.
8:47: And Alice in Wonderland takes Best Art Direction. That's exactly one more Oscar than that picture deserves.
8:45: Before Tom Hanks can present the award for Art Direction, we take two flashbacks to Gone With the Wind and Titanic. Pay no attention to the previous year in movies, kids.
8:42: I haven't seen an opening that limp since Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Not a promising start.
8:41: So far the Oscars have given us too much Ben Mankiewicz and too much of the hosts' families.
8:38: The ending was flat, but the opening montage with James Franco and Anne Hathaway was worth it for the the "junk bag" bit in The Fighter segment.
8:32: I'm not crazy about the past year in movies, but I dug the opening montage anyway. I love movies.
8:29: Bring on the real show. Truly, I'm just looking at the list of nominees for the first time.
8:23: Halle Berry must be a terminator sent from the future to destroy us. Flawless.
8:18: Melissa Leo's dress reminds me of the Flying Elvises in Honeymoon in Vegas.
8:13: Nicole Kidman says she's "been in this career for a while now." Her forehead, not so much.
8:09: Ben Mankiewicz returns. Millions of Americans rush to the bathroom.
8:07: Goodness. How Sandra Bullock's life has changed since last year's Oscars.
8:02: Natalie Portman looks worn out by the whole awards season bullshit.
7:58: Just made the mistake of flipping back to E! for a moment. It's so fitting that Ryan Seacrest might replace Larry King: How can two people who make money as interviewers be so fucking terrible at it?
7:52: Geoffery Rush is looking like Mr. Garrison on South Park, mmmkay.
7:41: "It's the first time I've been back in the courtroom since A Time to Kill." Matthew McConaughey just said that like he was Raymond Burr. Can't wait, Matt.
7:38: Scarlett Johansson's hair says, "I had sex in the limo on the way here."
7:34: The moment everyone has been waiting for: Ben Mankiewicz!
7:28: The question for Cate Blanchett shouldn't be "who are you wearing?" but "what are you wearing?" She looks like she raided the wardrobe closet from the original Star Trek TV series, and then mixed it with the magic mirror from Snow White. It's odd.
7:15: I love Russell Brand. Love him. If given the opportunity to sleep with a member of the Perry-Brands, I'd have to form a pros and cons list to decide.
7:06: Jesse Eisenberg on the Oscars: "It's like the Super Bowl, but I've never played football so this is as close as I'll get." Quote of the young night so far.
7:05: Hailee Steinfeld is terrific. Poised. Cute. Thoughtful. And willing to be herself. She's everything Miley Cyrus has always pretended to be.
7:03: OK, ABC is on. Let's get this thing started ...
7:00ish: Coverage will begin sometime around the beginning of ABC's red carpet nonsense.
I considered live-tweeting the Oscars. I considered just watching the darn thing without commentary. I considered not watching the Oscars at all (but only briefly). But you know what, I like watching the Academy Awards and I enjoy the live-blogging format, which thanks to Twitter and Facebook is now old school. So, what the heck, it's tradition. Let's do this thing!