Sunday, February 26, 2012

84th Academy Awards Live Blog

In keeping with a tradition that dates back to 2008 (2009, 2010, 2011), I'll be live blogging the 84th Academy Awards tonight here at The Cooler. I'll be leaving some comments on Twitter, too (@CoolerCinema). But as much as Twitter is built for things like Oscar night, I maintain a fondness for the live blog format, if for no other reason than it provides an archive of the experience -- and often going back and reliving the Oscars is far more enjoyable than living through them the first time.

Coverage has begun below the jump ...

(All times Eastern | Remember to refresh often)

11:40: OK, folks. Another year in the books. Let me depart by urging you to watch The Tree of Life, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Warrior, not once but twice. Here's hoping for some great movies in 2012!

11:36: The Artist wins Best Picture. Harvey Weinstein is the Academy.

11:33: Best Picture time. Just to let you know, if a Terrence Malick movie ever wins this category, I will spontaneously combust, so just turn off the light on the way out.

11:31: Well, that was a moment. Almost worth sitting through The Iron Lady for.

11:30: Holy shit. Meryl Streep just won. I really thought it would be Viola Davis. Stunned.

11:24: And it's Best Actress time ...

11:22: In case you'd ever wondered what it would look like if Cuba Gooding Jr's acceptance speech mated with Roberto Benigni's, Jean Dujardin just provided the answer.

11:18: Jean Dujardin wins Best Actor. His character says two words in The Artist. Here are two from me: fuck this.

11:16: Oh, please, oh, please, Gary Oldman.

11:13: Natalie Portman takes the stage to read the nominees for Best Actor. She's literally a person smaller than the last time she was here.

11:03: It's time for the In Memorium section. I'm surprised Oprah didn't volunteer to bring these people back to life using the power of "The Secret."

10:58: Fucking Oprah Winfrey.

10:55: Meryl Streep comes on to talk about a "very special" celebration for the honorary Oscars. So special that we've cut it from the show.

10:53: Michel Hazanavicius wins for The Artist and gives credit where it's due, to Uggie the dog.

10:52: Serious question: Has there ever been a time when two of the five nominees in a given category aren't in the building on Oscar night?

10:50: Best Directing time!

10:45: Best Animated Short Film goes to The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Apparently the movie is nothing more than the unveiling of its ridiculously long title.

10:43: Saving Face takes Best Documentary Short Subject. Did I mention Rose Byrne was on the stage?

10:42: Rose Byrne is on stage.

10:40: Best Live Action Short goes to The Shore, and everyone pretends to (a) have heard of it and (b) care. So, let's get this straight: We don't do lifetime-achievement-award Oscars anymore, but we do shorts?

10:31: A talking-heads montage confirms that Ed Norton still exists.

10:30: Midnight in Paris takes Best Original Screenplay. Woody Allen isn't in the house to accept the award, presumably because he's home rewriting these themes for about five of the next 10 movies he'll make over the next decade.

10:27: The Descendants wins Best Adapted Screenplay, and Alexander Payne says "Suck it, Middle America!" OK, no, he didn't. But that would have been something.

10:25: Angelina Jolie takes to the stage and puts her right leg out. Alas, no one joins her hokey pokey.

10:19: The Muppets wins Best Original Song. That's one more Oscar than Jim Henson's three Muppet movies won. Just saying.

10:18: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis take to the stage with cymbals. Because no one could find a cowbell?

10:14: The Artist takes Best Score. Kim Novak feels like Jodie Foster in The Accused right about now.

10:12: Someone who looks and sounds like Penelope Cruz but lacks distracting cleavage just took the stage with Owen Wilson.

10:09: Billy Crystal's bit about what people in the audience are thinking went from awful to sublime with the bit on Scorsese and Nolte. Betting people will think it's lame, though, because Chris Rock didn't do it.

10:03: Christopher Plummer thanks "the Academy" in his speech, also known as other white guys over 65.

10:01: And it's 82-year-old Christopher Plummer, who skips up the stairs, presumably to bitch about Terrence Malick ...

9:59: Best Supporting Actor time. Was pulling for Nick Nolte in this category, but I'm not sure he knows where he is tonight, so Christopher Plummer is fine by me.

9:56: Hugo wins Best Visual Effects. I think the scene that did it was the one where the rocket lands in the eye of the man on the moon.

9:53: Emma Stone comes out in a dress with a big bow on the shoulder. She looks like a Lexus commercial.

9:47: Rango wins Best Animated Feature. Alas, Gore Verbinski's acceptance speech lacked an allusion to 1970s cinema.

9:45: Chris Rock breathes a little life into the night. Here's an idea, he should host the whole show. Can't miss!

9:43: Undefeated, about a football team, wins Best Documentary Feature ... and about 11 guys take the stage to accept.

9:41: Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow are totally game for a bit leading into the nominations for Best Documentary. Alas, the bit just sucks.

9:39: The Cirque du Soleil performance was pretty amazing. What it had to do with movies I don't know.

9:30: If you're scoring at home, four of the past five years Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing have gone to the same film. (Last year Inception, preceded by The Hurt Locker, and The Bourne Ultimatum two years before that.) The exception: The Dark Knight for Editing and Slumdog Millionaire for Mixing three years ago, because the Academy just hates comic-book-movie fanboys.

9:28: And Hugo also takes Best Sound Mixing because, as I said last year, even the Academy doesn't know the difference between this award and the previous one. Better to play it safe.

9:26: Hugo takes Best Sound Editing over the skull-cracking ambiance of Drive. I had my money on The Artist, damn.

9:24: Best Film Editing goes to The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. That might be the most deserved win of the night thus far...because if David Fincher movies are anything, they are edited!

9:12: The Help's Octavia Spencer wins Best Supporting Actress and proceeds to freak out. Was that charming, touching, awkward, painful or all of the above? Whatever it was, it was a hell of a lot better than watching Melissa Leo freak out.

9:10: As we watch clips of the Best Supporting Actress nominees, let me say that I still can't decide if I find Berenice Bejo's exaggerated whistle move in The Arist to be overwhelmingly charming or totally obnoxious.

9:08: A Separation wins Best Foreign Film. I still haven't seen it, because it's only played in the suburbs of Washington, DC. And, yeah, I'm pretty fucking annoyed about that.

9:06: Sandra Bullock comes out to present the award for Best Foreign Film. The strategy seems to be that if she goes back to the Oscars enough, we'll all forget that she thanked her scumbag husband just a few weeks before finding out he was a cheating asshole.

9:01: The talking-heads montage of Hollywood stars describing their first moviegoing memories might be the most magical moment of the show thus far, even with Adam Sandler.

8:58: The Iron Lady takes home Best Makeup for making Meryl Streep look like Margaret Thatcher. Too bad there wasn't enough makeup to cover up all those screenwriting blemishes.

8:56: The Artist is on the board with a win for Best Costume Design. I don't know fashion, but I thought the outfits coulda used a little color.

8:53: The longest clip in the first montage of the night was from The Hangover. My movie loving soul just got kicked in the crotch.

8:47: The commercial break gives me time to react to the sight of Angelina Jolie wearing Madame Tussauds. Yikes!

8:45: It's Hugo again, this time for Art Direction. Would've preferred Midnight in Paris, I think, but another fair win. And I'm grateful it's held off The Artist tsunami a little while longer.

8:43: In the first award of the night, Hugo takes Best Cinematography. Was pulling for The Tree of Life, but it's the best looking 3D I've ever seen. That's fair.

8:41: Billy Crystal's musical medley: That is what showbiz looks like, folks. Highlights: "I heard it even freaked out God ..." in reference to The Tree of Life, and the sight of Jessica Chastain giggling during the bit about The Help.

8:30: And it begins ...

8:29: With nine best picture nominees, this could be one long musical medley coming up...

8:25: Tonya Harding reference! Billy Crystal hosting! Wait, what year is this?

8:24: Brian Grazer's hair is by 120-volt outlet.

8:20: We're now 10 minutes away from the start of the show, and thus about 14 minutes away from Billy Crystal's first circumcision joke. Very excited!

8:11: George Clooney always finds the perfect balance: not taking this shit too seriously while still playing the game.

8:05: So it was 20 years ago that Billy Crystal was memorably wheeled out on a hand truck to host the Silence of the Lambs-dominating 64th Academy Awards. Wouldn't be entirely surprised if he alludes to that by entering the stage via wheelchair tonight.

7:53: Nick Nolte's interview included talk of crows, a 1997 Oliver Stone movie and a pinball machine. If you had that in your Oscar pool, you are now part of the 1 percent.

7:51: Personal aside: Maintaining an Oscar night tradition, I just had double-chocolate milanos for the first time since fall. Crack can't be better than that. Can't be!

7:43: Colin Firth's wife is wearing a dress that appears to have a gutter above her boobs. Perhaps she's preparing for one of those Skittles storms.

7:34: I already wanted Gary Oldman to win an Oscar for Best Actor tonight. Now that I've seen his mother in this ABC montage, I really, really want him to win. (Won't happen, alas.)

7:29: Viola Davis says she "really loves" all the people on The Help and that "it usually doesn't happen that way." Translation: My costar in Doubt is a total bitch!

7:19: Saw the aftermath of Sacha Baron Cohen as "The Dictator" spilling "the ashes of Kim Jong-il" on Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest seems offended that anyone would dare to taint the sanctity of the red carpet with a moment of self-promotion.

7:17: Here's how bored I am by ABC's red carpet coverage so far: I am considering switching back to E!

7:12: Rooney Mara is apparently a "designer's dream." She's also an interviewer's nightmare.

7:08: If any of you missed the prior coverage on E!, here's the gist: Ryan Seacrest still thinks he's the biggest celebrity of any interview he's in and Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Rancic reenacted The Hurt Locker as they tried to gush about how great Melissa McCarthy looks without exploding.

7:00: OK, I've tuned into ABC, glad to be rid of the E! crew. Let's get it on ...


Sarah Q said...

Anxiously waiting!!

Adam Zanzie said...

I'll be live-tweeting tonight, too. My first time doing it, it seems.

Craig said...

I'll be retro-tweeting the 1972 Oscars tonight. Sure, "The Godfather"'s the odds-on fave, but I gotta feeling about "Cabaret."

Jason Bellamy said...

You know, Craig ... THAT is a good idea!

Ed Howard said...

Who knew our Bamboozled discussion would be THIS relevant this weekend? Blackface at the Oscars, huh?

Jason Bellamy said...

No kidding!

Ed Howard said...

Really wishing Chris Rock had hosted right about now.

Ed Howard said...

Haha great minds, apparently.

Kevin J. Olson said...

Finally, a Pixar-free Oscars. Praise Jeebus!

Oh and thanks for doing this, Jason. For the past three years, it's the only way I've followed the Oscar broadcast since I don't have cable.

Jason Bellamy said...

Ed: Great minds!

Kevin: My pleasure! Makes me feel not so guilty about watching this thing if I can be kinda-sorta productive.

Kevin J. Olson said...

Oh, it's productive. I'm almost certain that your funnier than Billy Crystal. I was really hoping Tree of Life would get at least ONE award tonight...but oh well. Just makes it more difficult for me to acquiesce to the fact that The Help is going to win Best Picture and someone not even in Malick's league will win for Best Director.

I mean, c'mon! They could have thrown be a bone with the cinematography category. But nope. And this is coming form a guy that LOVED Hugo.

Oh well.

Which Crystal movie is his emceeing making you want to see? Forget Paris? Father's Day? My Giant?

Jason Bellamy said...

My Giant, definitely!

Richard Bellamy said...

Best moment so far - in the talking heads montage - Sacha Baron Cohen saying that he happens to like watching some pretty sick stuff! Best laugh of the night.

Craig said...

Director of MY DOG TULIP said last year at Ebertfest that Christopher Plummer isn't the most pleasant person to work with. Of course this is the same individual who admitted to once eating a dog.

Jason Bellamy said...

Hokahey: You know, at least he's honest!

Craig: Doesn't surprise me. Of course, if everyone wanted to talk to me about The Sound of Music I'd get a little testy, too.

Anonymous said...

The Artist Sucked. What a scam.

Thomas G said...

Thanks so much for the post. Great read!! Really looking forward to read more. Want more.