If anything can draw me out of my writing funk — and it’s been prodigious — it’s the annual distribution of little golden men to the movies you’re certain don’t deserve them. This intro is going to be a little rushed, because, well, I didn’t realize the show started at 7:00. So we’re jumping in with both feet here without much thought or preparation. Kinda like an Oscar speech. And likely to run as long…
7:00 PM — Okay, I’m an idiot, we’re still in the pre-show. Or “opening ceremony,” I should say. Because I guess enough questions about wardrobe and feelings haven’t been asked yet…
7:05 PM — Looking forward to noted film critic Michael Strahan’s opinions on running the 3-4 defense against the Best Animated Short nominees.
7:07 PM — Our first Hidden Fences of the evening.
7:08 PM — Having to make a movie from a Walmart receipts seems like a step down from having to make a movie about Sprite.
7:21 PM — Sorry, had to go throw some laundry in the dryer; anybody talk about what they’re wearing?
7:31 PM — Justin Timberlake and the reason we all hate Justin Timberlake…
7:32 PM — And now we’re delving into the deeper meaning of “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” “Well, it’s about this feeling that you can’t stop.”
7:33 PM — Halle Berry has arrived wearing Helena Bonham-Carter’s hair.
7:35 PM — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s appearance on the red carpet is sold out until September.
7:58 PM — If Walmart handed me a receipt, my first instinct would be to see if I could somehow get a refund.
8:00 PM — Meryl Streep was just nominated for Best Actress for that walk down the carpet.
8:13 PM — Some of these actresses seem so uncomfortable just standing there being photographed. It’s like they know they’re minutes away from having their fashion choices dissected worldwide.
8:27 PM — And now it’s time for one of the great all-time Oscar battles. No, not the one between La La Land and Moonlight. The one between Hollywood’s guilt and Hollywood’s narcissism.
8:30 PM — “And now, Oscar presents a tribute to awkward seated dancing.”
8:32 PM — This number would be improved 1000% if it was all the acting nominees dancing backup.
8:33 PM — John Cho wondering if he got invited because they thought Dev Patel was Kal Penn.
8:38 PM — Dammit, I LIKED The Great Wall!
8:40 PM — Mmmmmaybe don’t cut to the star of Moonlight after Kimmel makes a handjob joke…
8:43 PM — I’m not making a lot of jokes here because Kimmel doesn’t need the help. He’s knocking this out of the park.
8:45 PM — Sure, let’s play on Alicia Vikander presenting Best Supporting Actor to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.
8:48 PM — I wonder if Jeff Bridges and Michael Shannon split the Texas drawl vote.
8:51 PM — Hard to read anything into Ali’s win there. It was fairly expected and La La Land wasn’t in the running.
8:56 PM — Okay, we’re apparently not shooting for any kind of musical appropriateness at all this year.
8:57 PM — Kate McKinnon looks FANTASTIC.
8:58 PM — This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with an Oscar win for Suicide Squad.
8:59 PM — And I believe DC now leads Marvel in the Oscar race… CORRECTION: They are apparently tied. FURTHER CORRECTION: No they are not. This is the kind of exacting detail you can expect tonight.
9:03 PM — Hard to argue with Fantastic Beasts‘ win there. All the Potter films have looked amazing.
9:07 PM — Finally a musical choice that at least makes some kind of sense.
9:09 PM — And George Bush Sr. now has the second-best entrance in a wheelchair of 2017.
9:11 PM — O.J. winning here is a little surprising; there was reportedly some pushback because it debuted on TV first.
9:15 PM — You know, if you’d nominated “We Know the Way” too, you could have had Lin-Manuel Miranda actually singing. Just saying.
9:20 PM — And then all the mom and pop stores on the alien homeworld closed due to competition from Walmart.
9:24 PM — Now we have the obligatory “We’re not a bunch of self-congratulatory egotists, we’re really not!” speech.
9:27 PM — When did they finally just give up on trying to explain the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing?
9:28 PM — Appropriate that a film about language wins an award for its sound.
9:30 PM — Hey, the guy with 20 nominations they talked to on the red carpet won! CONVENIENT.
9:36 PM — Because Sal Mineo jokes are timeless.
9:37 PM — JACKIE CHAN SHOULD BE ON THE MAIN SHOW.
9:39 PM — I am seriously unreasonably happy for Jackie.
9:41 PM — “Viola Davis in the category we actually think she can win even though it’s a lead role…”
9:44 PM — Like I said…
9:45 PM — Every clip I see of Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea, he looks like he wandered onto the set and doesn’t have the heart to tell anyone he’s not actually in the movie.
9:48 PM — And after that moving speech — “The Heat Is On” from Beverly Hill Cop!
9:49 PM — The second Walmart receipt movie seems to be set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. So it’s got veracity going for it.
9:54 PM — Ninety minutes into the show seems a little late to be introducing the theme, don’t you think?
9:57 PM — And the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar goes to someone our government assumes is a terrorist.
10:01 PM — I used to love Sting until he started almost exclusively performing lullabies.
10:08 PM — Piper is stinkin’ adorable.
10:11 PM — Okay, look, I liked Zootopia just fine, and I think it’s a smart script. But Kubo and the Two Strings is goddamn ART.
10:13 PM — And that was pretty much my only strong rooting interest this year. Part of it is that I didn’t see a lot of the Best Picture nominees, but even the ones I have seen I don’t feel any life-or-death connection where if they lose it’s a crime.
10:15 PM — Dude, you just won an Oscar. Try to at least seem somewhat excited.
10:17 PM — Okay, this bit with the tour bus is surprisingly charming.
10:30 PM — Please not The Jungle Book…
10:31 PM — Apparently you weren’t listening.
10:35 PM — No real sense of a sweep forming so far. Things are getting pretty well spread around.
10:40 PM — Okay Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, you win your Walmart.
10:48 PM — So who’s Oscar pools just got destroyed by the shorts categories?
10:51 PM — Yes, because science and technology in film is so completely incomprehensible and nobody wants to go to their awards show!
10:53 PM — So I guess they’ve dispensed with presentations of the Best Picture nominees?
11:00 PM — Could be seeing La La Land getting a little momentum here.
11:05 PM — The show is clearly running long, but it doesn’t feel long. At least the fluff has been entertaining fluff, as opposed to something like “A Salute to Wipe Cuts.”
11:15 PM — I’m shocked, shocked to find that La La Land won an award for music!
11:17 PM — Maybe everybody wrote in “Drive It Like You Stole It?”
11:19 PM — I hesitate to say it, but this is probably the most anticipated In Memoriam segment in Oscar history.
11:24 PM — Okay, lost it a little bit at “May the Force be with you.”
11:31 PM — Manchester‘s win for Screenplay could be a bump in the road for La La Land. Or it could be the one award they decide to throw it.
11:32 PM — That’s the kind of biting analysis I know you all are tuning in for.
11:35 PM — Yeah, still feels like a horse race between Moonlight and La La Land. That audience was really into that Adapted Screenplay win.
11:37 PM — The problem isn’t that the Oscars are a long show. The problem is that they don’t start until 8:30 Eastern time. You’re still missing prime time on the West Coast, so why not start them an hour earlier?
11:42 PM — Okay, that could be the sign La La Land needed.
11:47 PM — Damien Chazelle is 32 years old. I remember when the consensus was Spielberg was too young to win Best Director, and that was when he was 36. Took him twelve more years to finally win.
11:51 PM — Affleck’s name’s been carved on that statue for months now. No surprise there.
11:52 PM — I’m kind of wishing cookies and donuts would drop from my ceiling, but I keep looking up and nothing.
11:57 PM — Stone’s not really a surprise either. And I still feel like Moonlight could win.
12:00 AM — The show really got on the rails in the last forty-five minutes or so, but we’re still going to wrap at a little over three and a half hours. That’s just what the Oscars are going to be.
12:01 AM — Unless we want to go back to the days when they read off the winners in about fifteen minutes. But really, if the length of the show bothers you, go to bed and read the winners in the morning. The spectacle is part of why people watch. They’re not going to ditch that any time soon.
12:03 AM — Aww, Shirley MacLaine with the cute little wave at her kid brother.
12:08 AM — And once again the Academy wants to remind us how gosh darn wonderful Hollywood is. I should have never doubted it.
12:11 AM — WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED.
12:12 AM — There have been rumors over the years that Marissa Tomei and Mira Sorvino won their Oscars due to a misread of the envelopes, but never in a million years did I think I would see it happen live. Moonlight is your real Best Picture winner.
12:15 AM — And I had just written a whole post about how you can always count on Hollywood to vote for the film that makes them look good. Unreal.
I’m sure there’ll be all kinds of crazy conspiracies tomorrow morning about how Hollywood hijacked the awards to make some kind of point. And I imagine this’ll be the last time in a long time we see anybody over the age of 60 read from an envelope. That said, that was a very spread the wealth set of awards. Like I said, having only seen Arrival and Hell or High Water, my base of comparison was pretty weak, something I’ll have to address in the next few months. And not let happen again next year. These awards are really much more enjoyable when you know what the fuss is about.
So a pleasantly long show suddenly veers into Oscar and television history. Boy am I glad I stayed up for that.