2014 Academy Awards Live Blog


And here we go again.  For the third year in a row and at the request of absolutely no one, I’ll be live blogging not only the award ceremony but, for the first time, the red carpet as well.  The things I do to for you people.  I’m really hoping I get something to sink my teeth into this time around, because I’ve only got so much beer in the fridge otherwise.

So sit back, refresh often, and accept my apologies in advance.

6:52:  “With me right now is Bruce Dern, who is very very very very very old.  Bruce, what is it like to be very very very very old?”

6:56:  I get that there’s a large segment of the audience for whom this is just as enthralling as the awards, but there’s still something a little creepy about this much obsession over clothing.  And saying, “She’s not hiding from her face”?  What the hell does that mean, other than running out of things to talk about?

7:01:  Entertainment Weekly AND People?  Should one man wield that much power???

7:02:  What is this, Embarrass the Old People Night at the Oscars?

7:09:  I really hope ABC is using the break to remind its hosts that the microphone is only for the benefit of those of us at home and not for the octogenarians strolling by.

7:10:  Anna Kendrick.  One girl, many cups.

7:13:  Kevin Spacey murdered a reporter and had sex with an usher before appearing in that shot.

7:15:  Would not mind it in the least if Sally Hawkins wins for Supporting Actress.  Blue Jasmine is really more about her in the end than Cate Blanchett’s character.

7:16:  And now Jason Sudeikis is here to talk to us about his deal with Satan.

7:17:  I love how they have the nominees scrolling above the carpet.  It’s like they’re desperately trying to remind us what all this walking and posing is in service of.

7:22:  The bag from Blue Jasmine was totally robbed.

7:23:  Ooh, missed opportunity there not to interview the bag immediately after that piece.

7:24:  Matthew McConnaughey is coming across as so down-to-earth and genuine.  You can’t help but root for the guy.

7:30:  EVERYONE BE QUIET, JENNIFER LAWRENCE IS SPEAKING.

7:33:  EVERYONE BE QUIET, CATE BLANCHETT IS SPEAKING.

7:42:  A short break because, well, I’m doing laundry.  HOLLYWOOD’S MOST GLAMOROUS EVENING.

7:51:  Wow, that’s a lot of posts.  I’d better pace myself or I’ll be making fart jokes by 9:00.

7:53:  Apparently, everything about this year in cinema was the greatest in history.  Guys, it’s the Oscars.  You don’t have to sell it.

8:00:  Can we have Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill host this next year?

8:03:  Barkhad Abdi, you are such an inspira — oh we have Julia Roberts, sorry, gotta go.

8:06:  Bill Murray is just too cool for all of this.

8:07:  Yes, yes, Jimmy Kimmel is on after the Oscars, we get it.

8:17:  All the prestige and glamour associated with the Oscars, and they share the name of one of The Odd Couple.

8:20:  No, Dove Bar.  You don’t get to use Audrey Hepburn.  No.

8:21:  And somewhere, there’s an alternate universe where we’re all sitting down to watch the Felixes.

8:24:  I’d die happy if Spacey just turned and started monologuing to the camera right now.

8:26:  “Now comes the part where I make pithy conversation. No one cares what’s being said, but who’s saying it.  It’s artifice, but then again, isn’t that what we do?”

8:27:  (Brought to you by House of Cards, only on Netflix)

8:29:  Mmmmm, gummi Oscars….

8:32:  Well great, now I want to see Captain Philomena.

8:33:  By the way, Ellen looks great in Peter Capaldi’s new Doctor Who costume.

8:38:  The roll call of nominees that seems to start every Oscar monologue just strikes me as what they call in wrestling “cheap heat.”  It’s like the host of SNL mentioning whatever movie or TV show they’re in.

8:40:  And here’s our first reminder that Tom Hanks got robbed this year.  That film rises and falls on him.

8:41:  The most foregone of foregone conclusions coming up here.

8:46:  They sure were generous with the clock on Leto’s speech.  Someone’s getting cut short after, “Thank you” later tonight.

8:48:  Well, it seems a tad early for a montage.  And they sure don’t seem to think too highly of anything animated before Roger Rabbit.

8:50:  Wait, where’s Daft Punk?

8:51:  And wait, you wasted Jim Carrey on introducing a montage?  He’s got to come back and give out the Animated Feature Oscar, right?

8:57:  What’s Biollante doing at the back of the stage?

8:59:  The Lone Ranger and Bad Grandpa.  It’s the Anyone Can Get Nominated category!

9:00:  And the film with the $200 make-up budget wins it!  Take that!

9:01:  You call him Doctor Ford, doll!

9:05:  Really looking forward to seeing these filmmakers’ Sprite ads playing before movies in the coming years.

9:07:  That may have been unnecessarily mean. I’m sure they’ll rate Coke ads at the very least.

9:09:  IMPORTANT UPDATE:  The laundry is done.

9:10:  Ladies and gentlemen, Kim Novak and Robert Z’Dar’s chin!

9:11:  Hmm, maybe Kim is out past her bedtime.

9:13:  Oh Other Guy, you look so hopeful that you’ll get to speak…

9:14:  I still really like The Croods.  Totally deserved its nomination.

9:15:  You don’t earn over a billion dollars by not doing something right.  Well-deserved win for Frozen.

9:16:  Sure, it was a joke, but I think Ellen wasn’t sure if Kim Novak’s chin had finished leaving the stage.

9:17:  Are they having teleprompter problems or was there a really good open bar before the ceremony started?

9:21:  Gravity is going to clean up the tech categories.  They should just seat the entire crew in the front row to cut down on the walk time.

9:24:  And now the haunting love theme from Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The Movie.

9:35:  Okay, sorry, I admit it:  I heard “Short” and went to the bathroom.

9:36:  There’s no Holocaust film.  How did they know what to vote for?

9:38:  Yeah, play that off.

9:39:  And Spacey wins the night.

9:40:  So who thought it was better to show us two random montages rather than showing us Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury and Steve Martin get their honorary awards?

9:49:  I love how they track Foreign Language Film awards by country like they’re Olympic medals.

9:54:  The biggest threat to “Let It Go” right here, because it’s a way to vote for Nelson Mandela.

9:57:  That … that deserved a standing ovation?

10:00:  We really have to do something about America’s poor showing in the Foreign Language Film category.

10:02:  Okay, the group selfie is awesome.

10:04:  And Twitter just went down.  Way to go, Ellen.

10:05:  Boy is there a whole lot of pretty up there on that stage right now.

10:10:  Most fun, spontaneous moment of the evening:

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10:11:  May have been premature in calling this for Jennifer Lawrence yesterday.

10:16:  Speech of the night right there.

10:18:  We’ve still got eleven awards to go.  Get comfortable, everybody.

10:20:  If there was ever a time he was going to do it, Andy Kaufman should show up and take them all out for milk and cookies.

10:23:  Now they seem to have lined the stage with all of Nemo’s dead brothers and sisters.

10:26:  YOU GO BILL MURRAY.

10:27:  I guess that answers the question as to whether they patched things up before Harold Ramis died.

10:30:  Cuarón should let Sanger take this one, because I think he’ll be up there again.

10:32:  Just in case anyone has forgotten The Wizard of Oz.

10:35:  I mean, nothing against Pink, but don’t you think Lansbury or Martin could have used this time?

10:43:  This might be the one tech award Gravity doesn’t win.

10:44:  And called it.

10:46:  They couldn’t have used one of the good Spider-Man movies?

10:57:  Oh, you had such a classy In Memoriam going, and then you had to Midler it.

10:59:  This just makes no sense from a time perspective.  Why not have her sing over the montage?  And it makes it seem like she’s singing this to Hoffman.

11:01:  Christoph Waltz with the appropriate reaction.

11:04:  Every time someone walks out without an envelope, I cringe a little.

11:08:  Wow did Travolta just maul Idina Menzel’s name.

11:11:  Okay, shut the bar down.

11:12:  This is on the verge of turning into a Golden Globes ceremony.

11:13:  LOVED the Gravity score.  Just epic and stirring.

11:16:  We have an EGOT!

11:17:  And that’s gonna be good for a few million more views of “Let It Go” on YouTube.

11:20:  So far, there have been zero surprises as far as the awards go.  Fortunately, there’s been enough weirdness and head-scratching decisions to keep things interesting.

11:22:  Harvey Weinstein dropping two c-notes like it’s nothing.

11:24:  Penelope Cruz pronouncing “Screenplay” as “Scrimpley” made me laugh way more than it should have.

11:26:  This Spike Jonze win is going to make a lot of people very happy.  I really need to see Her now.

11:28:  And this year’s The Color Purple is shaping up to be American Hustle.

11:31:  I wonder how Sidney Poitier feels that this barrier he supposedly shattered has only been broken three more times in the fifty years since he did (and maybe four tonight).

11:34:  Gravity is definitely a director’s film.  Totally deserving win.

11:38:  I have been sitting in front of this computer for four hours and I may scream.  So I think I’ve pretty much captured the experience of being in the Oscar audience.

11:41:  I think we have another foregone conclusion here.

11:43:  I’ve always wondered how these awards would play out if the voters only had the clips they use during the ceremony to go by.

11:50:  McConnaughey isn’t much of a surprise either.  I’m really not sure what the awards so far indicate for Best Picture.  Gravity‘s multiple wins indicate widespread support.  But like Ellen said in her monologue, “Option 2 is you’re all racists.”  Despite only one other win tonight, it feels like 12 Years a Slave will take it because of its subject matter and for being the more serious film.

11:54:  I do look forward to the middling performance that finally wins Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar.

11:55:  Coincidence they have Will Smith giving this one out?

11:57:  Well that was an evening of inevitability that probably could have ended thirty or forty minutes ago if Ellen had stayed on the stage and if Bette Midler had been busy.  But it feels like a satisfying show overall, at least from an awards standpoint.  No glaring missteps, no embarrassing moments, and everything that deserved to win did.  I’m still a little miffed that they had time for random montages and Midler but shunted big names like Martin and Jolie to a separate ceremony, but what are you gonna do?  The Wizard of Oz brings the warm fuzzies.  And Ellen’s goofy geniality got to be a little much at times.  A host should nudge the show along, not grind it to a halt, even if those halts are as good-natured as what she did.  Still, she didn’t wreck the thing, and it’s hard to complain too much about a three and a half hour show.  Now I’ve got to catch up on the Best Picture nominees I didn’t see.

I’ll admit I had more fun with it this year than the last two, so maybe I’ll come back for a fourth go-round.  But the priority now is to step away from this damn keyboard and do something — anything — else.  Thanks for following along.  Now go to sleep!

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