Does everybody have their popcorn handy, their Judgmental Caps on, and their Unrealistic Expectations close by? Good -- then we're ready for the Oscars!
I'm going to be updating this throughout the night, to keep record of the outrageously controversial and/or spirit-crushingly dull events as they happen. But before we get started, I wanted to post this link, which I found yesterday and is quite frankly pretty awesome.
How They Lost
This guy has compiled a massive gif wall showing the reactions of past Oscar losers, as well as the lone winners, in a row. It's really cool to see the flicker of disappointment that goes across their faces (if you're into that kind of thing), but also the amazing support they have for one another as actors (at least when the cameras are rolling). Definitely take a minute to check it before the show starts, it's very interesting.
OK...here we go!
7:30 - Aw, the interviews with the moms of the nominees is really sweet. But is it just me, or does George Clooney's mom kind of look the same age as him?
7:50 - I love Tim Gunn. I think he's the perfect person to do the Red Carpet preshow, because he's so genuinely excited to see people's dresses.
7:53 - Oh Nick Nolte...way to bring the awkwardness factor up by like 50%.
8:30 - Starting right on time, using the time honored Billy Crystal tradition of putting himself in the films. It brings some chuckles...my favorite/most unsettling part is Billy as Tintin.
8:36 - You can see on the audience's faces how relieved they are that Billy's hosting. "Because nothing can take the sting out of the world's economic problems like watching millionaires hand each other golden statues." Took the words right out of my mouth, Billy.
8:43 - (Robert Richardson) Hugo wins for Best Cinematography with a short, classy speech. Starting off at quite a brisk pace! So far, I'm 1/1.
8:46 - (Dante Feretti, Franchesca Lo Schiavo) Hugo wins for Best Art Direction. So cute that they are a husband/wife team! More importantly, I'm 2/2 on my predictions.
8:51 - I am shocked and offended that a stupid scene from Twilight is included in a montage of film classics. Must they do this every year? If the 13 year olds aren't already watching, showing them a four second clip from Twilight isn't going to magically make them watch!
8:55 - (Mark Bridges) The Artist wins for Best Costume Design. A flashy period film wins Best Costume Design? Shocker! Love the shout out to Niagara Falls though (that's near where I'm from)! 3/3
8:58 - (Mark Coulier, J Roy Helland) The Iron Lady wins for Best Makeup. Love that Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz do a model pose before announcing the winner to crickets from the audience...and that Cameron quips, "You take a chance, hello people!" 3/4
9:06 - Love that Sandra Bullock speaks fluent Chinese...in German. A Separation (Iran) wins for Best Foreign Film. Really classy and heartfelt speech from Asghar Farhadi. It's wonderful to recognize the cultural achievements of Iran without having to get caught up in politics. 4/5
9:11 - Octavia Spencer (The Help) wins for Best Supporting Actress. She's overwhelmed, but in a really endearing way. It's all she can do to get all the names out before completely losing it. Good for her! 5/6
9:19 - We are treated to a rare piece of footage showing a focus group after viewing The Wizard of Oz -- starring Christopher Guest and Co. I don't want to speak too soon, but that's the highlight of the show so far.
9:24 - (Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wins for Best Editing. They're adorably flustered and manage to make a few comments before giving up and saying, "Come on, let's get out of here. We're editors, so..." Classic. 5/7
9:26 - (Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty) Hugo wins for Best Sound Editing. Well done for getting a good laugh out of the tough audience by thanking everyone who's ever been born or will be born. 5/8
9:28 - (Tom Flieschman, John Midgley) Hugo wins for Best Sound Mixing. 5/9
9:34 - OMG OMG the Muppets are here the Muppets are here!!
I'm completely serious when I say that if Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the Cirque du Soleil were a permanent fixture at the Oscars, that would be fine with me. Because that was just pitch perfect.
9:41 - Wow...this whole Robert Downey Jr documentary thing. It would be funny, but the audience is just not laughing at anything tonight. It makes it all kinds of awkward. Anyway, Undefeated wins for Best Documentary Feature. And we have these guys to thank for bringing us the first bleeped out expletive of the night as well as the first uncomfortable musical cut-off. 5/10
9:45 - The audience is waking up for Chris Rock's monologue about how easy it is to act in an animated film. Thank God. Rango wins for Best Animated Film. 6/11
So we've given out just about half of the awards, and it's time for a bit of a recap. They seem like they're really speeding through this year...a lot of the winners don't come close to using up all of their time, and it doesn't feel like too much dead air. I feel like the audience is a tough crowd tonight. But I think most of all what we're seeing is the importance of having an experienced host. Not all of his jokes are landing (hell, not half of his jokes are landing) but he knows how to run the show, and the audience feels comfortable with him.
9:53 - Oh my goodness. Did Emma Stone just steal the show? I'm pretty sure she did.
9:55 - (Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman, Alex Henning) Hugo wins for Best Visual Effects. 7/12
10:01 - Christopher Plummer (Beginners) wins for Best Supporting Actor. Love the standing ovation for Christopher Plummer. All the best speeches start with, "From the moment I emerged from my mother's womb." Classy, classy guy. 8/13
10:10 - The President of the Academy comes out. This is traditionally the point in the show when we empty our bladders and get more Cheesy Puffs.
10:12 - (Ludovic Bource) The Artist wins for Best Original Score. 8/14
10:17 - Cymbals are the best prop. I just decided. Also, Bret McKenzie (The Muppets) wins for Best Original Song. Yay for the shoutout to Mr Jim Henson. 9/15
10:24 - What is it about Angelina Jolie that makes her seem so evil? Alexander Payne (The Descendants) wins for Best Adapted Screenplay. 9/16
10:30 - Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) wins for Best Original Screenplay. Of course he's not there. Is he ever there? 10/17
10:37 - Yay, the Technical Awards! My favorite part! Just kidding. Not really.
10:38 - We've gotten to a certain point in the night, and you know what that means: penis jokes extolling the virtues of short "films" over long "films". The Shore wins for Best Live Action Short. Love the daughter just calling out, "Mom! This is for you!" Short, unpretentious, heart-felt, perfect. 10/18
10:42 - Saving Face wins for Best Documentary Feature. One that I did not get a chance to see before, but am now actually really interested in watching. 10/19
10:45 - Yay! The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore wins for Animated Short Film. Granted, this was the only one in its category that I actually saw, but I loved this movie and was so pulling for it. And I love the enthusiasm of the winners! 11/20
10:53 - Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) wins for Best Director. Well done, sir. Props for thanking Uggie the Dog, because I love that little guy. 12/21
10:57 - I would be annoyed at how much footage of the Governor's Ball we have to sit through, but honestly, I just love James Earl Jones too much to care.
11:03 - Oh great, the In Memorium segment. Seriously guys, call me sentimental, but I always get a little choked up here. I'm so glad that this year they didn't bother cutting to the singer at all...I don't care about them, I want to see the people who are being paid tribute to. This year was well done and tasteful...inevitably some people were left out and I'm sure we'll hear about it tomorrow, but I thought it was very touching.
11:18 - Jean Dujardin (The Artist) wins Best Actor. I just want to give him a big hug and I honestly don't even know why. I love how excited he is! 13/22
11:20 - OMG Oscars you have no idea how close you were to doing a ceremony in less than 3 hours! So close. You've got about ten minutes and two awards left. I don't see it happening, but good job, guys.
11:26 - "Meryl. Mamma Mia. We were in Greece. I was gay. We were happy." Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner, and his name is Colin Firth. OMG. Meryl actually won this one (Best Actress). She looked so shocked, I love it. I just love how genuine she is. This obviously isn't her first time around the block, but you can tell how much she cares and means every word she says. 14/23
11:35 - And The Artist wins Best Picture. Let me clarify. A silent, black and white French film just won the Academy Awards. Who ever said the Oscars were predictable? 15/24
So that's the Academy Awards for this year. And honestly? Pretty good. Not totally predictable, a few little surprises thrown in there. We had some good laughs, we had some tears, we had the prerequisite awkward moments, and we had an Oscar ceremony that clocked in at 3 hours and 8 minutes, the shortest telecast in 25 years. Thank you, Billy Crystal! I had a good time, and didn't even feel the urge to switch over to something else and just check the results on IMDB like I usually do. I think this one is going to go down in the books as one of the better Oscar shows in a good long while.
Now let's do some math. I got 15/24 nominations right, which equals about 63%. So I fail. But I did get 100% of the Big Five awards right, if that means anything.
Let's see how the major films did. The Artist and Hugo both won five awards, with The Artist dominating the major prizes and Hugo picking up most of the artistic/technical Oscars (art design, cinematography, visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing).
If you have been following this, thanks for reading. This is Audrey, signing off!