The Oscars are tonight, which means that tomorrow morning everyone will be complaining about the winners and snubs, the bad hosting, the flat musical numbers, and the fact that it went about an hour over time.
But for now, everyone will watch dreams come true as people achieve what is undoubtedly their life’s work. There will be tears and wonder as people clutch their prizes, thanking everyone in their lives who helped them get to this moment.
And I just made myself sick typing the preceding sentence. Please forgive me.
The truth is, I am not sure why people, including me, obsess about this evening. It is rare for the awards to go to the right people, and even rarer for those films decorated with a statue to be remembered as fondly the next year. And it’s not as though such decorations will change anyone’s opinion about what the best film of the year is for them (although apparently the nominees got huge box office boosts after they were bestowed with a nomination). But ultimately, they will dominate tomorrow’s headlines and the trending topics of Twitter all night.
I guess this is all just about living in the moment, something Hollywood has become quite adept at doing. And, if nothing else, the show does tend to produce a lot of great moments. We shall see how this year’s show holds up – and see whether or not AMPAS decided to honor its tradition of making a few bone-headed decisions.
Anyway, here are my official picks and predictions.
Best Picture – Argo
Best Actor – Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress – Jennifer Lawrence
Supporting Actor – Tommy Lee Jones
Supporting Actress – Anne Hathaway
Best Director – Steven Spielberg
Adapted Screenplay – Lincoln
Original Screenplay – Django Unchained
Best Animated Film – Wreck It Ralph
Best Cinematography – Skyfall
Best Costume Design – Les Miserables
Best Documentary – Searching for Sugar Man
Short Documentary – Open Heart
Best Film Editing – Argo
Best Foreign Language Film – Amour
Best Makeup – The Hobbit
Best Original Score – Skyfall
Best Original Song – Skyfall
Production Design – Les Miserables
Best Short Film, Animated – Paperman
Short Film, Live Action – Death of a Shadow
Sound Editing – Argo
Sound Mixing – Argo
Best Visual Effects – The Hobbit
Oh, and I will be skipping the red carpet ceremony. That’s become my tradition. Frankly, I do not care about the clothes these people are wearing that more than ten year’s salary for me. If you want to see everything that’s wrong with Hollywood, than by all means, listen to those talking heads talk about expensive fabric. I want to get to what’s right with Hollywood.
See you at 8:30.
A few housekeeping items – I will be constantly updating the site area tonight. Just hit “refresh” on your browser every few minutes and you should see the new content. I will also be adding videos and pictures during the proceedings. Also, just as a warning – because this is a live blog, it may not be unusual for me to make typos in an effort to stay up to date about what’s happening on screen. I’ll try to fix these after the show, or even before the show ends.
OK, there we go. Seth MacFarlane is on stage, waving to the crowd and I’m only hoping it goes well. He says something about making Tommy Lee Jones laugh. Then he says Ron Jeremy hosted. I would pay to see that. Seth then introduces the films, starting with Argo being so top secret “that the director of the film is unknown to the Academy.” OK, that was good for a laugh.
Seth also points out one of the traps about winning Oscars – it does not mean that future success is guaranteed. But anyway, he’s just going down the nominees – some gags about growing up in the Coppola household. No jokes about Sofia whining. Then jokes about method acting at the expense of Daniel Day Lewis – such as the suggestion that he tried to “free” Don Cheadle. Then a reference to Django Unchained, which caused some boos after he refers to it as a date movie “for Chris Brown and Rhianna.” Hey, he calls it like it is. Then gags about how Quentin Tarantino thinks he’s black. That joke was worn out in 1997, when Spike Lee made it. Then….
Then William Shatner shows up on a giant screen, dressed as Captain Kirk. What is going on?! Kirk proclaims the show to be a disaster, and wants to stop Seth MacFarlane from ruining the Oscars. And why CAN’T Tina and Amy host everything? And then a promise of a song – which is apparently pre-recorded.
Why can’t this be Matt Smith talking about the future? Why Shatner? Come on. Then Seth MacFarlane singing a song in which he takes over the role of Mr. Skin – and pisses Naomi Watts. What, was it not fun working for David Lynch?
OK, this is an amusing idea, but it goes on too long and at the end it feels tired. Especially when he brings out the gay men’s chorus of Los Angeles. It’s…well, it’s a Seth MacFarlane joke.
Seth MacFarlane asks how he can save the show. Then William Shatner calls out Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron to sing. Or awkwardly dance.
Actually, I take it back – those two can dance quite well. The new Fred and Ginger? OK, no, but it’s quite good. But that’s because the focus isn’t on Seth. Anyway, we cut back and Seth is still being declared a bad Oscar host – for re-enacting Flight with sock puppets. OK, again, funny idea. And unlike “We saw your boobs” it remains very funny throughout. Sock puppets doing coke = the new Moliere.
Then Seth is back to confusing Denzel Washington with Eddie Murphy. And finally he introduces Joseph Gordon Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe. They actually sing – with Seth MacFarlane. The song in question is “High Hopes -” does this mean another Kennedy is running for political office somewhere?
OK, Seth is already better than James Franco. But he has not done anything yet to convince me he will be among the best Oscar hosts.
OK, Flying Nun jokes. Now we’re onto obscure references. Thanks, Seth MacFarlane, for reminding Sally Field that show existed. And for that matter, the rest of us. Again, THE JOKE IS GOING ON FAR TOO LONG. KNOW WHEN TO END! By the time you end up kissing Sally Field, I’ve lost interest.
Finally, William promises a big showstopper. And he – sings a tribute to the tune of “Be Our Guest.” It feels like he’s aping Billy Crystal – so it’s a step in the right direction. And Octavia Spencer comes out to give the first award.
It’s Best Supporting Actor. I predicted Tommy Lee Jones. Let’s see what happens.
And the winner is Cristoph Waltz.
Huh – well, first off, I love the fact the original Django theme has been arranged for orchestra. But, no, I’m sorry, he was not even the best actor in that film – Samuel L Jackson was. And he of course was not nominated because he was too evil, I’m sure. Waltz is great, I loved him in Inglourious Basterds, but I have to say – this was the wrong choice.
Seth introduces Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy to the stage. They talk about voice over acting – and they are utterly bombing. I guess this is making fun of using celebrity voices in animated films (which I don’t like) but it’s not fun. They are introducing the Best Animated Film, I guess. Rudd bumped into the microphone – which could have been a goof.
It’s actually Best Animated SHORT film. My mistake. And the winner is Paperman. So I’m one for two right now. Great little film. I wanted to find the YouTube video, but it’s been removed. Try to find it if you can.
And now Best Animated Feature film. The winner is Brave.
I’m tired of Pixar winning, and Brave was apparently a weaker entry in their cannon (I have not seen it). But seriously, why not grant stop motion an award? Or something like Wreck it Ralph, which pays tribute to the newest art form that is still evolving?
Now Reese Witherspoon is on stage. She introduces Les Miserables, Life of Pi, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Great clips – I didn’t see the latter two though. I’ll be sure to check them out on Blu Ray.
No, I don’t care about the “youngest actress ever” being nominated, Seth. She should not have been nominated. She is not skilled enough and still has far too much room to grow. And besides, we all know what happened after Linda Blair got nominated.
Now the Avengers are on stage! No Joss Whedon though – that would have capped off the evening. I want Samuel L Jackson’s jacket. They are giving the award for cinematography. They make fun of each others’ height and the fact Samuel L Jackson is old. Heh.
And the winner for best cinematography is Life of Pi. Again, never saw it. Congratulations to the winner. Him and his Tommy Wisseau style hairdo.
Now the cast is back for Best Visual Effects. The winner is Life of Pi. It was because it was in 3D, wasn’t it? And the winners get played off the stage (to the Jaws theme!), despite a stubbornness to remain where they are. Hey, I don’t blame them. Seth promises a tribute to James Bond when we come back. That’s going to be worth seeing.
Right now, I’ve only guessed one winner correctly. I think I owe some people a drink by this point.
We are back, with a bunch of wigs on stage. And Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston. I walked past Mr. Tatum at the Peabody Awards ceremony. That was fun. Not as fun as meeting Ron Swanson, but still fun.
They are hear to introduce the winner for Costume Design. Channing makes a joke about waxing. Aniston “welcomes him to the club.” Oh boy. And the winner is Anna Karenina.
Was that movie actually any good? I like Tom Stoppard and wanted to check it out, but the reviews scared me off. It sucks having to pay for your own tickets. One day, one day…
Now onto Makeup. And the winner is Les Miserables.
You know – the makeup didn’t grab me as much as other elements in that film. Oh well. Give Anne Hathaway her Oscar already!
Seth MacFarlane compliments the women in the audience and introduces “one of his favorite Bond girls of all time -” Halle Berry?!!! Is he suffering an aneurysm proclaiming that? Anyway, it’s the Bond tribute. Specifically, the themes. I guess Shirley Bassey is going to show up now.
Hey, she still sounds like she did in 1964. This demonstrates why I was so excited that Adele was singing the theme to Skyfall. It was such a natural pick from someone like Bassey. I hope to get a video of this performance up soon. She’s doing a fantastic job. It’s moments like this that make the Oscars what they are.
We are back. Seth MacFarlane honors the producers of the show, and the director. That was a nice touch. Kerry Washington and Jamie Fox are called to present the next award: Live Action short film. I honestly predicted the one with the name I liked the most. I’m sorry, that was amateurish, but I hate the fact these films are not made widely available. Screw showing advertisements in multiplexes – show these films.
And the winner is Curfew.
Next up is Short Documentary. The winner is Inocente.
Seth MacFarlane introduces Liam Neeson (although he pretends he’s making a joke about Harvey Weinstein picking up under-aged girls). Liam is here to introduce Argo, my favorite film of 2012. I got the Blu Ray and watched it immediately. And it just cemented that reputation further. Neeson also introduces Lincoln and the overrated Zero Dark Thirty.
Seriously, Argo needs to win tonight if AMPAS still wants to prove it loves film.
Also, again, before anyone says otherwise – it’s not that Zero Dark Thirty was BAD. It just had nothing to say about some very important topics in our modern world. From a technical standpoint though, it was amazing and did effectively capture Chastain’s singular obsession with the search for bin Laden. I will check it out again once it’s on Blu Ray.
Seth MacFarlane makes a John Wilkes Booth joke (he was the only actor to get into Lincoln’s head, apparently) to boos. And he finally mentions that Affleck DID star in Gigli. We still haven’t forgotten, Ben.
Affleck comes on to present the next award for Best Documentary. He seems embarrassed at the mention of Gigli. And the winner is Searching for Sugar Man. Alright that’s…two for ten for my predictions.
Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastain are up. Seth makes quip about how Oscars are like church “except more people are praying.” They two ladies are here to announce Best Foreign film. It’s Amour. Let’s just get to it.
And the winner is Amour. To that one person who is surprised by this, we also have phones in our pockets and a black guy is president. You’ve missed a lot, under that rock of yours.
Seth comes back to thank the orchestra. He’s actually growing on my as a host. Not the best, but not that bad, all told. Well done, Seth.
John Travolta comes out to the Hairspray soundtrack. He is here to introduce the finest movie musicals of the last decade. I remember watching a lot of these films in theaters…I feel old. And Catherine Zeta Jones is on stage singing All That Jazz, having not aged a day in ten years. And she’s nailing the performance. These are some of the best musical moments at the Oscars…ever. I’m dead serious. Now Jennifer Hudson. I never saw Dreamgirls (she’s on stage to sing a number from that film) but her performance certainly inspires me to seek it out. Why can’t they do stuff like this every year?
And finally, the entire Les Miserables movie cast. Guess what they sing? Actually, Hugh Jackman opens with the nominated “Suddenly.” This part actually feels wrong – it feels like a plug for Les Mis rather than a tribute to movie musicals as a whole. Then they move on to “One Day More” and everything feels right again. I also want Hugh Jackman’s jacket.
Somewhere, Gerard Butler is weeping he wasn’t asked to sing something from Phantom of the Opera. Joel Schumacher didn’t even notice the tribute, having been unable to break away from his leather slave for the night.
We are back. Chris Pine and whoever plays Uhura in the new Star Trek films are onstage. They are discussing a tribute to the scientific advancements in computer generated effects and digital cameras. A nice little tribute.
Seth MacFarlane is back. And mocks himself for making Ted. Good for him for finally taking the piss out of himself – before introducing Mark Wahlberg and Ted. Yes, the bear. A little animatronic puppet. Ted (the puppet) is asking where the post Oscar orgy will be. He offers to bring snacks. At Jack Nicholson’s house, obviously.
The also announce the winner of Best Sound Mixing. The winner is Les Miserables. I picked Argo, but Les Miserables is a pretty obvious choice. Genuine oversight on my part there.
Now back to Mark Wahlberg and his thunder buddy. Ted tries to convince everyone he is Jewish. And now Sound Editing. And the winner is…a tie? What? Is that normal protocol? Wow. The first goes to Zero Dark Thirty….a tie? I’m still in shock.
The second goes to Skyfall. Did anyone else hear the gasps in the theater when they announced a tie? That’s…ok, I need to look into this later about whether this has happened.
Anyway, Christopher Plummer is up to present the next award. Seth tries to introduce the von Trapp singers (oh please God no). Ok, a Nazi shows up and I’m actually relieved to see him. Anything to avoid being reminded further of the Sound of Music.
So we’re going to get the Best Supporting Actress now. And the winner is Anne Hathaway, in another move that surprises no one. Time to just sit back and watch her speech.
Anyone else feel like giving her a hug? Just me? OK then. Congratulations on your well deserved Oscar.
The AMPAS president is welcomed to the stage. He discusses the Academy Museum of motion pictures – which will be incredible to see. He introduces winners of a video essay contest. Then the next presenter comes out – Sandra Bullock. Well, she comes out after a few quips about alcoholism. She’s here to present the Best Editing Oscar. And the winner is Argo.
Jennifer Lawrence is the next presenter (well, Jennifer and her gigantic dress). She introduces Adele, who is here to sing Skyfall (and then later win an Oscar for Skyfall).
Again, this has been a great year for musical performances. Absolutely great. All of the performers are energetic and the pageantry could not be better. You laugh, but some of us still remember the infamous “Snow White” debacle. OK, I don’t remember it first hand, but I’ve seen the YouTube clips. Frightening stuff.
But here’s Skyfall.
Nicole Kidman comes out to introduce the last of the Best Picture nominees: Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, and Amour. Silver Linings Playbook won the Spirit Award yesterday, which has caused some speculation about whether or not it will win Best Picture. Hey, I liked it. Although thanks Academy for spoiling the ending of the film with your clips. Nice move.
Daniel Radcliffe and She of the One Facial Expression come out to present. Is anyone else kind of wishing that Daniel Radcliffe would just shove Kristen Stewart off the stage? Preferably while shouting a Harry Potter spell? Anyway, Production Design is next. And the winner is Lincoln.
Salma Hayek comes on stage to talk about the Governor’s Awards. Please, oh please oh please let the Honorary Award winners make a speech. Those are some of my favorite moments of all time.
Of course not. It shows clips of their earlier speeches, but no live speeches. This needs to be fixed. Immediately. The clip below is how you handle Honorary Oscar winners – you take the right amount of time to honor their work. Don’t just let them stand up at the ceremony.
The In Memoriam Tribute is up next. We have eight awards left to go. The show’s actually moving along pretty nicely.
I can never remember who has left this mortal plane when the In Memoriam comes up. Always a very sad time. Like Adam Yauch. And Andrew Sarris. And Tony Scott. Nora Ephron. Richard Zanuck. We lost some wonderful people last year. And we close the segment with Barbara Streisand, just as I was starting to enjoy the tribute. And then she sings. OK, I get the sentiment, but seriously? Streisand? Please. I honestly have never understood why she was popular.
Hey, quick, while she’s there, go take pictures of her house! Now’s your chance!
Still, I’m glad Adam Yauch was a part of the tribute.
Seth MacFarlane is back, making a joke about Rex Reed reviewing Adele. Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, and Catherine Zeta Jones are brought out to present Best Original Score. And the winner is Life of Pi.
OK, the Chicago cast stays on stage for Best Original Song. And the winner is Skyfall.
Alright, we are back. Seth MacFarlane calls out Dustin Hoffman and Charlize Theron (the two most physically different Oscar winners he can think of) to present the next award for Adapted screenplay. I really do want this to go to Tony Kushner – the script was the second strongest element of Lincoln. You can guess the first. Anyway, the winner is Argo. That actually surprises me, but it’s good news for Argo winning Best Picture in about half an hour or so.
Best Original Screenplay is next, being presented by Theron and Hoffman. I genuinely think, of the nominees, Tarantino’s script for Django Unchained is the best. And the winner is Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained. He gives a geeky acceptance speech. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The next presenters are Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas to present Best Director. No matter who wins, everyone will be angry that Ben Affleck did not get a nomination. I say Spielberg because that’s the safest pick. AMPAS can justify a legend like Spielberg winning over Affleck. And the winner is Ang Lee. I guess this is some sort of “We’re sorry” for Brokeback Mountain, or something (even though the un-nominated David Cronenberg deserved the award that year). No acknowledgement in his speech over the fact Ben Affleck was not nominated. I guess that was Seth MacFarlane’s job. He does thank his lawyer, so I guess that’s something.
Actor and actress are next, which means that the presenters will be Meryl Streep and Jean Dujardin, respectively. First is Actress. And the winner is Jennifer Lawrence. Close one there, but I am so happy she won. And we don’t care if you fall getting to the stage.
Now onto Actor. Meryl Streep is called out, and somehow will not win an Oscar herself. Seth MacFarlane doesn’t even bother to introduce her – it’s a sign of respect. And the winner is Daniel Day Lewis. He gets a prolonged standing ovation for being the first man to ever win the Best Actor trophy three times. He even makes a joke about playing Margaret Thatcher. He’s a funny guy – I don’t know why he secludes himself the way he does.
So, that just leaves Best Picture. Seth introduces Jack Nicholson to announce the winner. I was wondering where he was. And…ok, no. No No No No No. What does Michelle Obama have to do with the Oscars? What does she have to do with film making? This is completely inappropriate and adds an element that does not belong on this night.
Anyway, the winner is Argo. The right choice. The completely wrong presenter, but the right choice.
So that’s it everyone. I will do a more in depth analysis of the winners tomorrow. In the meantime, good night and congratulations to the winners.