8:00 -- I feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude at this moment to whoever invented the blog. I can't believe I get to annoy all of you as if you were sitting in my living room with me. (OK, I live in New York, so that's a bit flowery: as if you were sitting in my room other than my bedroom with me.)
Not sure quite how this will work, but it should be fun. My opening thought is that, if there's any moral justice in the universe, when we collectively turn in for the night across the planet, no one stares at their ceiling with a hotter-burning sense of self-hatred than Billy Bush
Let's do this.
8:10 -- Is Keira Knightley there with Jack Nicholson? If so, I'm going to spend the rest of the night trying to determine if that's disgusting or impressive. Or both.
8:14 -- Stewart's scoring, in my book, at least. His joke about L.A. being an "atheistic pleasuredome" was great, and this gay cowboy montage is killing.
8:18 -- As I suspected, Bad Movie Club
is going to be way more productive than me tonight, and Jason is doing what he said he would -- listing movies in which you can see presenters and nominees naked. He's a national treasure, he is.
8:19 -- Best Supporting Actor. Jake Gyllenhaal has to win this award. Anything else would be absurd. Drumroll... Clooney. Good lord. This could be a long night. Although, it sounds like they've started the music to boot him off the stage before he's even started his acceptance speech. So that's pretty good.
8:22 -- Clooney's been gracious and funny. Now he's turning political. Pass the Maalox.
8:26 -- Personally, I like when hosts beat a dead horse all night (I even liked Letterman's Oprah-Uma deal), and if Stewart's is going to be how Clooney gets laid more than he does, I'm all for that.
8:29 -- Hey, didn't they used to start the show with Supporting Actress rather than Actor? What's going on? And is this a gain or a setback for feminism? Discuss.
8:31 -- Ben Stiller's shtick as a presenter is almost a perfect microcosm of his last 20 movies: Funny for 30 seconds, then incredibly painful. (Oh, the award he presented is some technical thing that King Kong
wins. A few stone-faced middle-aged nerds take the stage to accept.)
8:34 -- In accepting the award for Wallace & Grommit
for Best Animated Feature, Nick Park gives a shout-out to Helena Bonham Carter, who was a voice in the movie. He just defeated her husband, Tim Burton, in the category. (Burton was up for Corpse Bride
.) I think this might set up the first brawl at the Governors' Ball later tonight, if either of them seemed capable of throwing a punch.
8:37 -- Does it strike anyone else as odd that Dolly Parton is singing the song nominated from a movie about a woman who becomes a man, accompanied on stage only by her national-monument breasts? Also, the song seems to be composed of pleas to God and Jesus, punctuated by several series of "ooo wee ooo"s.
8:46 -- Celebrated playwright Martin McDonagh wins for a short-form film. There's an article about him in this week's New Yorker
, but it's not available online. So I can't be as usefully interactive as I'd like.
8:50 -- Really, they're starting the background music as soon as winners get on stage. Ignoring the Tom Hanks joke about it earlier, I'm curious to see how they'll mark the moment when people should wrap it up. I'm hoping the quiet orchestration gives way to an auditorium-rattling "Back in Black."
8:51 -- Jennifer Aniston comes out to present for Best Costumes. That's the kind of demotion you get when you make lame movies based on something sacred like The Graduate
. I used to love her so.
OK, fine. I still do.
8:52 -- Oy, this costumes woman can't speak. Where's the AC/DC, people?!
8:56 -- They're showing a montage of famous people, and actors who have played them on screen. It's not fair to just spring Lou Gehrig's "luckiest man" moment on me like that. A guy's got to be prepared.
9:00 -- The latest Star Wars
movie (The Revenge of Indifference
, or something) is up for a make-up award. This movie can't be honored in any way, can it? Drumroll... no, thank God. Chronicles of Narnia
9:03 -- Stewart makes fun of Russell Crowe. Then he acknowledges it will get him "pummeled later tonight," so I don't have to.
9:04 -- Wow. In introducing Rachel McAdams, Stewart makes a subtle joke about her recent refusal to appear on Vanity Fair's
cover in the nude. Media nerds (aka, Gawker fans
) must be excited. McAdams is beautiful, but boy, off screen she seems to have the charisma of bowling shoes.
9:06 -- Ah, Best Supporting Actress, my first strong opinion. Oh, wait, my second. Amy Adams, please. Though Michelle Williams was really great in Brokeback
. Drumroll... (Wait, Frances McDormand looks nervous, as if she has a chance to win for North Country
. That's cute. Oh, and Rachel Weisz is obsession-worthy.) Ok, drumroll... Rachel wins. She was good, she was. But still. See Junebug
, if you haven't. Adams is great in it.
9:09 -- I'm not retracting my "obsession-worthy" comment about Weisz even though she just described someone as "brimming over with humanity." That's saying something.
9:14 -- I was about to make a crude joke about Lauren Bacall, but now she's having trouble (a lot of it, it seems) reading her lines, so I'll abstain. I've also hit the mute button, because it's too painful to hear. I'm listening to "Homeward" by The Sundays instead.
9:19 -- This series of fake attack ads by Best Actress campaigns is awesome. A touch of the Daily Show during the Oscars -- thank you, Mr. Stewart.
9:21 -- I'm with Jason at the Bad Movie Club, who earlier tonight suggested that theaters show these decorated short films (documentary and fiction) before features, in place of mind-numbing commercials. But it's WAY too good an idea to take hold in that industry.
9:23 -- Charlize Theron just asked, "What is truth? What is fiction? What is memoir?" and pronounced memoir, "mem-wah." She sounded like the priest from The Princess Bride
. She's introducing Best Documentary. Grizzly Man
was robbed out of a nomination. Penguins
has to win, right? It does. The crew takes the stage holding stuffed penguins, and then tries to make a serious statement about preserving Antarctica. Choose one, guys.
9:26 -- J. Lo's description of Crash
before its nominated song is performed perfectly capsulizes what was facile and annoying about the movie. Good job, J. Lo.
And this song. Eek. Between this and Parton's number, the category isn't wowing me. It's being sung by a woman who looks familiar. I need to do some quick research...
Ah, it's actress Kathleen York, but she sings under the name Bird York. I'm not kidding. Here's an excerpt from an online interview with her:
Music can be a less linear expression than film, though, depending on the part. The stranger the character or role, the better, and the more I find that I can get very creative expressing what I see as the "human condition." I have found that a lot of directors, and especially TV producers, want non-threatening versions of people, especially the female characters. I personally think that everyone is crazy, in one way or another (I actually have a new song called "Everybody's Crazy")...Anyway, I love any form of communication. I could be making a mosaic out of salt and pepper and paper napkin pieces on a restaurant table, and it could compete with the feeling of expressing a character or writing a piece of music. I don't see any separation in the forms of communication. It's all my heart hurling itself through the third dimension.
Kathleen "Bird" York, ladies and gentlemen.
9:35 -- I think Keanu Reeves is going to look really creepy as an old man. Just a passing thought.
9:40 -- We're in full self-congratulation mode now, with a weepy montage of scenes from "message movies" -- To Kill a Mockingbird
, The Pianist
, Born on the Fourth of July
, and numerous others. It builds to a liberal-orgiastic crescendo!! And it also includes, much to my delight, a clip from The Day After Tomorrow
, a popcorn-fueled cheesefest that involved the glacier ice caps melting and flooding New York City in the span of about 20 minutes. I wish they would include -- and Jason knows what I'm about to say -- a clip from Volcano
, a movie in which Tommy Lee Jones and others stop the flow of volcanic lava through downtown L.A. by knocking down skyscrapers and leaving their wreckage in its path. By far the best asinine plot twist I've ever seen from Hollywood.
Awesome. Stewart caps the montage with: "And none of those issues was ever a problem again." I'm giving him an A so far, especially given the nature of the task.
9:48 -- Salma Hayek just seems to get hotter and hotter, and less and less proficient in English. It's a remarkable trajectory to witness.
9:51 -- Best Score, and John Williams is up for two of them. I'm just saying. But really, I think Brokeback
deserves this. And it gets it.
10:03 -- It's past 10 o'clock, and we're only up to "Sound Mixing"? I need to work in the morning, people.
10:04 -- Jessica Alba just pronounced "memoir" the same way Theron did. What the hell is going on? Can someone please make an announcement to the crowd that the R at the end is not silent?
10:08 -- Quick note to my mother, if she's reading this: Mom, don't visit Jason's site. Please.
10:08 -- It's almost impossible to tell if Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin are: a) performing a complicated written comedy bit, or b) coked up to their eyeballs.
10:10 -- They're honoring Robert Altman. I haven't seen it in years, but I remember thinking The Player
was one of the most over-rated movies I've ever seen. I've liked some of the rest of his stuff, though I Netflix-ed McCabe and Mrs. Miller
recently, and thought it was a snoozefest. I write these criticisms as everyone at the Oscars gives him a standing O. The power of the blog!
10:22 -- Thousands of bloggers worldwide just simultaneously discovered that there's nothing to add about the performance of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" on the Oscars.
10:30 -- Jennifer Garner nearly trips on her way to the mic. Does it make her less adorable? No. No, it does not.
10:31 -- King Kong
wins for Sound Editing, and I think we're almost done with all but the major awards. One hopes. One desperately, desperately hopes.
10:32 -- Clooney's introducing the "In Memoriam" montage. This is always good. Mr. Miyagi...I'm welling up already. They end with Richard Pryor. Nice.
10:42 -- Jon Stewart is awesome.
10:43 -- I take it back about getting to serious awards. We're on Film Editing. Crash
seems like a lock here, to me. (Weak) drumroll... Yep. Crash
. Hmm, might this thing actually win Best Picture? So far, no real Brokeback
momentum. More on my feelings about this movie (Crash
10:46 -- Wow. Best Actor. Snuck up on me, as much as something can sneak up on me over the course of three hours. Hoffman was so, so good in Capote
, but I've talked myself into rooting for Ledger. I'm sure in vain. Drumroll... Hoffman. Predictable, and he was great. I can't complain. Too bad for Ledger, though, who would have won in another year, I think. (No one really talked about Joaquin Phoenix in this category, but he was phenomenal.)
10:52 -- Going to commercial, they just announced that John Travolta and Jamie Foxx are "standing by" to appear. That would normally be my cue to "run for the hills," but I can't miss the big awards. How many entertainers have outworn their welcome faster than Foxx? Have you seen his music video? Egad. I knew I was conflicted about getting cable for a reason.
10:57 -- Cinematography absolutely has to go to Brokeback
. Nope. Memoirs of a Geisha
. I have a bad feeling about Brokeback's
chances for the big prize. Maybe a big surprise win by Capote
The cinematographer winner just thanked his son, Axl. Must be a big G n' R fan.
10:59 -- Best Actress, presented by Mr. Foxx. It's easy to make fun of Keira Knightley, but I've heard she's actually really good in P&P
. (Don't get mad, LFW.) Plus, she's flat-out gorgeous. I don't like Felicity Huffman, even though she was on the great, short-lived TV show, Sports Night
. I think Reese wins this one, deservingly. Drumroll... She does.
She's very pretty, but that is the weirdest dent in the middle of her forehead. OK, that's an unfair thing to focus on at this moment. I'll focus instead on her bizarre insistence in her speech that June Carter was "a real woman" -- is this a dig at Felicity Huffman's character?
She profusely thanks Joaquin, which is nice. Then she thanks her husband, the B-team player in the marriage, Ryan Phillippe.
Oh, God. Now she's really prattling on about "trying to matter." Reese, you were great in the movie, now get off the stage.
11:08 -- While we're at commercial, just a thought about Crash
. I'm not too worried that it will win Best Picture, because Matt Dillon didn't win (and if it wasn't going to be Gyllenhaal, it might as well have been Dillon). I'm actually starting to think it might be Capote
. Anyway, the problem I had with Crash
-- which I've probably written about before on this site --
(Interjection, sorry -- almost no one annoys me more, off screen, than Dustin Hoffman. What an insufferable jackass.)
-- my problem with Crash
is not that it's a self-satisfied, pious piece of racial manipulation (though it is, at times), because I actually enjoyed watching it. But in the end, it's hard to swallow the ridiculously contrived coincidences that the filmmaker, Paul Haggis, relies on to push that piety. The performances were great, and the cinematography was impressive, but the total result was just too silly too often.
11:13 -- Brokeback
wins Best Adapted Screenplay. If it hadn't won that, it would not only have been denied Best Picture, its nomination might have been rescinded.
11:16 -- Crash wins for Best Original Screenplay Full of Contrivances. There's still real drama building here for Best Picture. I suppose Best Director might tip the Academy's hand. That's up next.
11:22 -- Best Director. Drumroll... Ang Lee. Whew. That's a good sign. The guy's a genius, despite how he butchered my favorite comic book with The Hulk
11:24 -- OK, they're bringing out the big guns for Best Picture -- Jack Nicholson. Drumroll... Oh, dear. Crash
. I think that will look quite silly 10 years from now. But that's so often true of the Oscars, which somehow suck me into caring every year, despite their inherent absurdity. Oh, well -- Crash
wasn't a terrible movie, but it was a deeply flawed and overly ambitious one, and I suppose there are worse things. Plus, now Dezmond can smugly crow in the comments section. Congrats, Dezmond -- you've been vindicated by the same group of people who honored Titanic
I think that's a wrap. Stewart -- who, along with his Daily Show colleagues, was great -- will come back and say goodnight. He should do this every year, without doubt. Me, I'm not sure. I hope there were a few enjoyable nuggets for you. See you again tomorrow with regular blogging -- less real-time, but just as inconsequential.
Labels: Movies, Proof of my lameness