Well, here we go again. After doing it last year and pondering whether it was all worth it, I’m back and ready to live blog tonight’s Academy Award ceremony. I’ll start when the show kicks off at 8:30 and keep updating right on through whatever spectacular finale Seth MacFarlane has planned for us. Honestly, I think MacFarlane is going to surprise people. He’s got a sense for old-time Hollywood showmanship while, judging by how he handled the nomination ceremony, not being afraid to throw some jabs. Either his going to be a riot, or crash and burn in memorable fashion. Either way, it won’t be boring.
I’m also looking forward to the James Bond tribute they have planned. Oscar hasn’t been to kind to Bond over the years — it’s been over thirty years since a Bond film last got a nomination — so hopefully they give the series a proper salute this evening.
I’ve got the red carpet on in the background, but I can’t bring myself to comment on it. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, and I’d rather save my ammo for the main event. Which is coming up in about ninety minutes, so come on back at 8:30 as I Argo the Argo Argo.
And we’re off!
8:26: Is it too late to get Anne Hathaway’s nipples nominated for something? That was some old-school Battle of the Network Stars bathing suit action going on there.
8:30: Nice of them to provide the address for anyone who might be running late.
8:31: Seth MacFarlane’s night can’t get any better after getting a laugh out of Tommy Lee Jones.
8:34: I have to say, MacFarlane is killing it so far.
8:36: Wait a minute, does J.J. Abrams know William Shatner is playing Captain Kirk again?
8:38: Oh Jennifer Lawrence, you’re absolutely adorable.
8:40: OH MY GOD, SOMEONE FROM SNOW WHITE IS DANCING AT THE OSCARS AGAIN.
8:42: Oh, missed opportunity for an Airplane! joke there.
8:46: This is miles better than Billy Crystal dragging out his damn Oscar song one more time.
8:47: What, we get awards too?
8:49: Proof that the Academy just loves Christoph Waltz. A lot of people thought this was too soon after — and maybe too similar to — Inglourious Basterds, but there he is. I was pullng for Jones, but I have zero problem with this.
8:51: And an Austrian winning an award for playing a German bounty hunter gets played off with the theme from … E.T.?
8:55: Wow, I thought Adele was taller.
8:57: Shouldn’t the intro for Best Animated Short be, I don’t know, short? Good for Paperman though, wonderful little film.
8:58: Well, the Oscars are officially Pixar’s bitch. As much as I liked it, ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph were far more deserving.
9:00: Am I crazy, or did that instrumental version of “Walk the Line” sound a hell of a lot like the “First Toymaker to the King” song from Santa Claus is Coming to Town?
9:01: And that’s 0-for-2 on predictions so far. Great night!
9:04: Say what you want about the content, but MacFarlane looks like he’s really having a good time up there. Makes all the difference in the world.
9:05: WHERE THE HELL IS SCARLETT???
9:06: And the Bond Oscar drought continues. But Life of Pi is going to nab a lot of these awards tonight.
9:07: Oh cool, Edgar Winter’s accepting.
9:09: Like I said, Pi‘s gonna get a lot of tech love. Although the audience response could indicate something bigger going on…
9:11: The theme from Jaws should play everybody off tonight.
9:17: Never saw Anna Karenina, but the dresses look big and puffy, so good for them, I guess.
9:18: Man, every time they play that theme, I wish Howard Shore had gotten a nomination for The Hobbit.
9:19: And Les Misérables wins Best Makeup and Hairstyling for telling Helena Bonham-Carter, “Just like you always wear it will be fine.”
9:20 Hopefully, this is the last we see of Halle Berry in the Bond tribute. Jinx was … not exactly the series’ finest hour.
9:23 So the Bond tribute is pretty much a glorified DVD menu?
9:24 Shirley Bassey? NOW THAT’S MORE LIKE IT.
9:26 Bassey nailed it, but that montage was totally bereft of any sense of significance or history.
9:32 And now the Oscar pool killers, the shorts.
9:37 Heh, Liam Neeson, who almost played Lincoln, introducing Lincoln.
9:40 Okay, I kind of loved that John Wilkes Booth joke.
9:42 Think they figured out a way to give the documentary awards to Argo too, you know, as a middle finger to the Academy?
9:45 We seem to be flying along here. Of course, I said that last year and they found a way to slow things down after 10…
9:48 And a whole lot of daaaamn just walked on stage.
9:50 Chances are if you get nominated for Best Picture, you’ve got Best Foreign Language Film in the bag.
9:51 Wait, so the orchestra isn’t even in the same building? That’s a little mind-blowing.
9:52 Have there been enough good musicals in the last ten years for a tribute?
9:53 Oh, but if it gets us Catherine Zeta-Jones singing this song in that outfit, I’m okay with it.
9:56 And now we’re reminded of everyone else who didn’t get nominated for Dreamgirls!
9:58 Jennifer Hudson was Anne Hathaway before Anne Hathaway: nail the big song, win an award.
10:00 Oh yes, please sing that godawful new song to represent Les Mis.
10:01 In case you’d forgotten Hathaway sang that song.
10:02 Well hello there Samantha Barks. Throwing all her angst over not getting nominated into that one.
10:03 Russell Crowe is actually better here than he was in the film.
10:10 You know, Ted was funny. Deal with it.
10:11 The whole live singing thing pretty much made this award Les Mis‘ from the get-go.
10:14 The cinematographer from Life of Pi won Best Sound too??
10:16 The first Oscar for a Bond film in almost fifty years. And by all rights, it should have been the second one of the night. But it’s got another one locked up.
10:18 Well that was the first really overtly Family Guy moment of the night. But I laughed.
10:19 And the Anne Hathaway Memorial Best Supporting Actress Award goes to…
10:20 Hathaway is also up for Best Clavicles.
10:22 SHOCK! UTTER SHOCK!
10:23 Sound wizards? We have sound wizards? When can we see them?
10:24 This has to be the most involved a host has been in the show in a long time. Usually they’ve all but disappeared by this point.
10:28 Bathroom break!
10:29 This guy had better be careful or the Jaws theme is going to start up.
10:33 Hey, that was the first award for Argo so far tonight. Not sure it feels all that inevitable now.
10:35 And now here’s Adele with her acceptance speech.
10:42 Only one prediction right so far. But Hathaway was such a foregone conclusion, I almost don’t want to count it.
10:47 And now, Daniel Radcliffe and an actual black hole.
10:48 About damn time Lincoln won something. And well-deserved, everything about this film was gorgeous.
10:50 Still think it’s kind of dumb that these honorary awards got shunted off into an untelevised ceremony. Between that and the apparent perception that the history of movie musicals reaches back all of ten years, it’s pretty obvious the Oscars have no real sense of history, even though they constantly try to trade on it.
10:52 Following Hal Needham’s speech were five minutes of bloopers from it.
10:55 Huh, just read that Inocente was the first Oscar-winning film funded by Kickstarter. I bet the backers are still bitching about stretch goals.
10:57 Oh hell no, you don’t START the “In Memoriam” with Borgnine!
11:00 Mad props to the Bradbury shout-out.
11:02 Streisand’s performing, which means everyone in the audience just got docked $200.
11:04 Two and a half hours down, and eight awards to go. Yeah, they stretched this out nicely.
11:09 Oh thank God, for a moment I thought we were getting another Chicago tribute.
11:10 There is really the biggest reaction whenever Life of Pi wins anything. Ang Lee could be in play here.
11:15 And now a few minutes of Adele being delightfully flummoxed.
11:21 The Hobbit is the first Peter Jackson Tolkien adaptation not to win any Oscars. But it was never going to be a real contender. Still loved it though.
11:23 Welp, that’s it. Argo‘s getting Best Picture.
11:26 Yes, that’s MR. Tarantino.
11:28 Nailed both the writing categories, but neither one was a real head-scratcher. Hope for Best Picture for Lincoln is fading, but I’m still rooting for Spielberg to get Director. Lincoln only has one award though, while Pi was been raking ’em in.
11:31 And yeah, MacFarlane has been solid all night.
11:32 Oh God, we’re getting a China Syndrome tribute now, aren’t we?
11:33 Okay, maybe Life of Pi is getting Best Picture now.
11:35 But I really wanted to see Spielberg get that third Oscar. He deserves to join Ford, Wyler and Capra in the 3+ win club.
11:40 You know, MacFarlane was right about Jean Dujardin. Who really talks about The Artist nowadays?
11:43 Sorry Jennifer, you still have to make the rest of the Hunger Games movies.
11:44 Now watch Streep somehow win Best Actor too.
11:45 If Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t win this, there is some extreme bullshit going on here.
11:47 And extreme bullshit avoided. Although Streep not even opening the envelope was kind of odd…
11:51 I’ve made a bit of a comeback with my picks, but my Argo pick looks kind of shaky right now.
11:52 Michelle Obama is about to help introduce Django Unchained. How awesome is that?
11:55 Okay everybody, Ben Affleck feels better now, you can stop.
11:56 But it’s not over until the incredibly diminutive lady sings…
11:57 Although we’re pushing midnight, they may just scrap the musical number.
11:58 Remember kids, Best Picture is all about who didn’t get nominated for Best Director, not what the actual best picture is.
12:01 Considering the Oscars consciously moved away from saying, “And the winner is…,” it’s kind of surprising they allowed a song about “losers.”
12:02 Well, went 6-3 with my predictions, and it wasn’t like I was out on a limb with the ones I got wrong. Overall, this year will forever be clouded by the Ben Affleck snub. Does Argo gain the overwhelming tide of support it did without it? Does Lincoln remain the front-runner without the Argo crusade? Does the obvious strength of Life of Pi tonight mean it may have been the big winner? It’s pretty clear that as soon as Affleck’s name wasn’t called back in January, it changed the entire tenor of the awards season. And I’m not sure that’s good thing. There are better ways to express support for a snubbed director than to hand his film every award out there. Of course, there’s the whole “Hollywood as hero” thing I’ve gone on about at length, which undoubtedly played a part too.
But for better or worse, Argo is your Best Picture. It’s not an awful choice, but I have to admit my opinion of it has been clouded a bit by the whole “For Ben!” feel of the last month or so. Maybe another viewing, divorced from the awards hype, will see me be a little kinder to it.
And hey, the good news is, we’ve got at least ten months ahead of us where we can just talk about movies rather than the awards they might win! Thanks to everyone who checked in tonight, and with any luck, I’ll see you all this time next year.