Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscars Liveblog

6:57AM – Istanbul/8:57PM – L.A.

That was terrible. Off to work.

6:55AM – Istanbul/8:55PM – L.A.

Even the poop kid is there. And the Slumdog people don't want to leave the stage.

6:52AM – Istanbul/8:52PM – L.A.

A montage of best film nominees, interspersed with moments from best film winners of yesteryear.

Steven Spielberg presents the best film Oscar to Slumdog Millionaire. Again, I am not going to wait for him to actually say it before posting.

6:47AM – Istanbul/8:47PM – L.A.

Vito Corleone, Gandhi, Gordon Gecko, Hannibal Lecter and Jack Driscoll mirror the ladies from earlier, each saluting one of the nominees. How did they agree to this drivel?

"I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me," says Sean Penn, who wins best actor for Milk. Mickey Rourke sends him a kiss from his pudgy lips. That's a big kiss.

6:35AM – Istanbul/8:35PM – L.A.

Kate Winslet is still talking.

6:32AM – Istanbul/8:32PM – L.A.

Springtime for Winslet and Germany.

A montage of best actress acceptance speeches of yesteryear, which I am sure was the same as the one from the top of the show. Shirley Maclaine, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and Sophia Loren come on stage, and do the absolutely dreadful "singling out each nominee and singing their praises" bit. It was just the worst, worst idea, and I can't believe they thought it would work.

6:21AM – Istanbul/8:21PM – L.A.

Nope, there was a problem with the broadcast apparently.

Anyway, Reese Witherspoon gets on the stage, does her schtick (incredibly unfunny), and starts reading the best director pablum from the autocue. Danny Boyle wins best director, and there's really no point of watching this any longer. I will, though. I wear the chain I forged in life.

6:14AM – Istanbul/8:14PM – L.A.

Queen Latifah is miming during the death montage, or there’s no sound on the feed from L.A.

I think this one might be a local problem as it's gone to commercial now. I have to go to work in just over an hour. Pity me.

6:08AM – Istanbul/8:08PM – L.A.

Best Foreign Language Film is being presented by Liam “Yeah, I can’t believe how much Taken’s taken, either” Neeson and Freida “Homina, Homina” Pinto. The first genuine surprise of the night as Departures takes home the Oscar.

6:02AM – Istanbul/8:02PM – L.A.

Jai Ho wins. Call me Nostradamus.

Jai ho, Jai ho, it’s off to work we go. I’m terribly sorry.

5:59AM – Istanbul/7:59PM – L.A.

A movie without music is like an airplane without fuel, says Hugh Jackman, before a short medley of the Oscar nominated scores. The earlier glitches have given way to sheer dullness. Slumdog is about to win this. Yup.

Jack Nicholson, by the way?

Zac Efron, once again (for fuck’s sake), and Alicia Keys give A.R. Rahman his award, rolling their r’s ever so condescendingly.

And the best song medley, which was the cause of the only controversy in this year’s ceremony. Can’t say I disagree with the producers’ decision to keep this short.

Jai Ho wins this one. I am just going to go ahead and post before they even announce it.

5:46AM – Istanbul/7:46PM – L.A.

Eddie Murphy presents the Jean Hersholt Award to Jerry Lewis. I’ve got that one right. The great nation of France is thankful to the Academy.

A montage of Jerry Lewis films, and moments from his telethons, follow, initially set to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, one of the truly hideous songs of last year.

Jerry Lewis’s speech is short and classy.

5:40AM – Istanbul/7:40PM – L.A.

Sitemeter Update: Enquiring minds want to know the name of the piece of music that played during the special effects montage. It was Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes. You’re welcome.

5:35AM – Istanbul/7:35PM – L.A.

A montage of money shots (not that kind, alas) from various summer blockbusters, and Rambo, as it finishes with the single worst shot in Iron Man.

Will Smith emerges from the floor to the Dark Knight theme (seriously, what world are these guys living in) to present the visual effects Oscar, which, understandably, goes to Benjamin Button. This was the one part of the film that kind of worked.

Smith stays on the stage, unable to pronounce the word astounding, and gives the sound editing award to The Dark Knight. A quick shot of Christopher Nolan smiling. Hell has indeed frozen over.

Fresh Prince just does not want to leave. Slumdog Millionaire wins the sound mixing Oscar.

"Yes, they still have me here," quips Hancock just before Slumdog wins best editing. Sweepety sweep.

5:19AM – Istanbul/7:19PM – L.A.

Smile Pinki wins best documentary short. Start getting ready for tomorrow's headlines with lots and lots of Indian puns.

5:15AM – Istanbul/7:15PM – L.A.

Heath Ledger does indeed win, and his mum, dad, and sister get on the stage to accept the award. Various shots of people looking solemn, with Adrian Brody especially teary-eyed. Sad moment.

A documentary montage follows, which reminds me how much I love Werner Herzog. And speaking of documentaries, I saw Man on Wire yesterday - pants.

Bill Maher is presenting best documentary - I think. There was a problem with the feed, but this was, for once, an issue at our end, I think. Anyway, Man on Wire is winning this, and look, it does.

5:06AM – Istanbul/7:06PM – L.A.

Christopher Walken, Kevin Kline, Cuba Gooding Jr, Alan Arkin, and Joel Grey are presenting the best supporting actor award, which is going to Heath Ledger. This bizarre way of saying how great each actor was is embarrassing. For all of us.

5:00AM – Istanbul/7:00PM – L.A.

It's snowing in Istanbul. Thought you might want to know.

4:58AM – Istanbul/6:58PM – L.A.

Hugh Jackman and Beyonce, both in top hats, are doing a musical medley. If you ever needed another reason to dislike Grease, then you should see this. Actually, better not.

Hah – they sing a few bars from One Night Only, too. Let’s not pretend to care, indeed.

Oh, god – Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Amanda Seyfried, and, you know, that guy, are also on the stage.

This terrible bit was called “The Musical Is Back.” And it was choreographed by Baz Luhrman. Both Luhrman and the musical have seen better days.

4:40AM – Istanbul/6:40PM – L.A.

The only seriously funny bit so far. Seth Rogen, James Franco and, this is just brilliant, Janusz Fricking Kaminski in a skit about all the comedies of the last year.

The three also present best live action short, and it goes to Spielzeugland, which Franco can’t pronounce, much to Rogen’s giggling delight. The film’s director says he is going to have fun with a boldhead. Grossartig, mann.

4:31AM – Istanbul/6:31PM – L.A.

Ben Stiller is ripping on Joaquin Phoenix, and his recent breakdown on Letterman. Stiller is out of shot for most of the bit, so we the reactions, but never actually see the bit. A lot of glitches this year.

It is going to be a Slumdog sweep, as it wins cintog (Anthony Dod Mantle does, but you know what I mean). I thought Benjamin Button might win this one, because everyone seems to have loved its look. Whatever. You can’t polish a turd.

4:24AM – Istanbul/6:24PM – L.A.

Amanda Seyfried and the Twilight guy have just presented a montage of the Oscars’ salute to the most emasculating moments of 2008.

It’s not a good show. Not quite a train wreck, but there’s still tim. And time.

4:24AM – Istanbul/6:24PM – L.A.

For fuck’s sake, they’re not done yet. Carrie Bradshaw and Sarah Jessica Parker are still on the stage, this time presenting best makeup. It goes to Greg Cannom for Benjamin Button.

4:20AM – Istanbul/6:20PM – L.A.

Oh, I get it – the theme for the night is the filmmaking process itself. Nothing gets past me.

Sarah Jessica Parker and one of the aforementioned Space Chimps (who messed up reading the autocue) present the art direction award – it goes to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

They're also presenting best costume design. Just before the camera cuts to them, there is, once again, a technical glitch and you can hear Craig checking with Parker if everything isn't alright, and her, rather abruptly, saying yes.

The Duchess wins, by the way. Michael O'Connor's acceptance speech is very good.

4:14AM – Istanbul/6:14PM – L.A.

I've just checked Sitemeter, and a lot of people, and I mean A LOT of people, are googling "Open it, Steve."

4:10AM – Istanbul/6:10PM – L.A.

They’ll be doing a 2008 movie yearbook thingy this year apparently. A montage of a whole bunch of animated films including, inexplicably, Space Chimps.

Jennifer Aniston (ooh, she is the same room as Brangelina, the controversy) and Jack Black present the best animated film award, and it goes to Space Chimps.

And they're not done yet apparently - they still have to give out best animated short. Fuck - it doesn't go to Presto! La maison en petits cubes wins.


4:03AM – Istanbul/6:03PM – L.A.

Simon Beaufoy wins the best adapted screenplay Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire. It’s going to be a Slumdog sweep tonight.

3:58AM – Istanbul/5:58PM – L.A.

Tina Fey and Steve Martin are about to present the writing awards. And then they make a Scientology joke!

Dustin Lance Black wins for Milk.

3:50AM – Istanbul/5:50PM – L.A.

Penelope Cruz wins for Vicky Cristina Barthelona. It's not a good film, and Viola Davis should have won here, but I am happy for Cruz. She mirrors Javier Bardem from last year, and says something in Spanish. I think she just swore at Portugal.

Just before, Eva Marie Saint, Whoopi Goldberg, Angelica Huston, Goldie Hawn, and Tilda Swinton each did a bit on the five actresses nominated for their supporting work. And I threw up a little bit inside my mouth.

By the way, Philip Seymour Hoffman is looking like Norma Desmond tonight.

3:42AM – Istanbul/5:42PM – L.A.

This is glorious – they’re messing up left, right and centre.

Just before the supporting actress montage, there was a feed from the control room: “Steve, open it.” Referring to the stage curtains. Or Steve’s legs.

3:39AM – Istanbul/5:39PM – L.A.

Standing ovation for the opening number. Seriously, you're all on crack.

Funny joke about how nobody’s seen The Reader. Me included. I was supposed to see it today, but I went to bed at seven instead.

3:36AM – Istanbul/5:36PM – L.A.

Cringe-worthy opening number.

This is on a level with the infamous Rob Lowe/Follow The Hollywood Starts bit.

There is something heart warming about Hugh Jackman’s singing it’s alright to be gay. If you believe the rumours, that is.

3:32AM – Istanbul/5:32PM – L.A.

G’day mate.

I’ll give them this – the stage looks great.

3:27AM – Istanbul/5:27PM – L.A.

Go Richard Jenkins!

I hate to be noticing these things but Marisa Tomei and Anne Hathaway are both wearing white.

By the way, the trailer for Funny People is out, and it looks great. I especially love the jokes at the doctor’s office.

Anyway, get ready to hit snooze, cause it’s all about to kick off.

3:15AM – Istanbul/5:15PM – L.A.
There seems to be a problem with the stream from the red carpet. The sound is acting up (fitting, if you think about it).

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are doing their best to remind me why I dislike them so. The Achy Breaky Heart guy's daughter is here, too, so tonight is probably going to be a lot tweenier than usual. Spare me.

Robert Downey Jr and Mickey Rourke always look very, very uncomfortable doing these interviews. Today is no different.

3:10AM – Istanbul/5:10PM – L.A.

Oh, goody. Here we are again. Three o’clock my time. Every year I get excited for the Oscars, and every year I say to myself (I talk to myself fairly frequently) I should reconsider the wisdom of getting up at three in the morning on a Monday. Thing is, I am usually quite stoked, but this year the allure of my warm bed is particularly strong. It’s safe to say that bitching this year’s pack of movies is going to be a running theme tonight.


Kevin J. Olson said...

That Rogen/Franco bit was great.

Dear God this musical number thing is awful.

Carl Joseph Papa said...

I hated rahman's live performance. It was ultra shaky

Kevin J. Olson said...

Great Job, Ali. You're a better man than I'll ever be for having to not only wake up early to watch, but document each award.

Bollocks, the whole lot of 'em.

You're right-on about the awful circle jerk for every acting category. And did Anthony Hopkins have to pee or something?

Oh well...

And seriously, no Jack? I think there must have been a Laker game tonight. And well, who could blame him, that would be a lot more interesting.

Good stuff and thanks for live blogging and doing what nobody else in their right-mind would do.

Karen said...

The best comedy of tonight: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Tina Fey and Steve Martin. They have to invite them again! I hope Tina Fey gets asked to host the Oscars, how cool would that be?!?!

Ali Arikan said...

Kevin, apparently there was a Laker game last night. And all this pre-show posturing about surprise guests was much ado about nothing, no?

SolShine7 - If they ever go back to doing multiple hosts like they used to, then I want Tina Fey, Steve Martin and Ricky Gervais.

Interesting that no one threw a "you are in my eyeline" faux-temper tantrum.