' ' Cinema Romantico: Logging The Oscars

Monday, March 08, 2010

Logging The Oscars

Since I have no vested interest in the Academy Awards this year I have decided to do something I have long wanted to and log my way through them. Hopefully this will allow me to maintain my interest. I mean, there are important questions to be answered this evening. Like, will Kathryn Bigelow become the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Direction? (Even though, as I've stated numerous times, Sofia Coppola already should have earned that distinction.) Will "That girl from the bus" (as Frank Costanza once called Sandra Bullock) win an Oscar? Will this be the most anti-climactic awards show in history? And will Ryan Bingham win for Best Original Song meaning I can say I've seen an Oscar winner from 10 feet away taking repeated shots of whiskey sent to the stage by potential groupies? The fun is just beginning! Maybe....

7:10 PM - The part of the traditional Oscar Night Entire Bottle Of Wine will be played this year by a Chilean Carmenere called Casillero del Diablo (given to me by my father at Christmas), which translates to "Cellar of the Devil". Do you think this has any deeper meaning? Chilean wine? Cellar of the Devil? Perhaps not, except to say, "Hey, God, it's enough with the effin' earthquakes, don't you think?" It contains hints of "chocolate, coffee, raspberries, and blackberries." I don't if it is supposed to be paired with a medium rare burger smothered in blue cheese and a side of fries but I don't care. This is the meal of champions! And to get into the spirit of the coming ceremony - 20 minutes away - I'm watching "The Source Awards" episode of "30 Rock". Listening to Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy recite a litany of fake rapper names might be funnier than anything we see the rest of the night.

7:30 PM - Show under way! The Best Actor and Actress nominees take the stage. And then leave. Not sure what that was all about.

7:32 PM - No Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin. Instead we get Neil Patrick Harris doing a song & dance and only two minutes into the telecast we get our first botox joke. Oh, God. This is going to be a long night.

7:34 PM - Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin descend to the stage from the ceiling which means that, yes, the Oscars have already ripped off Lady Gaga! Ah, friends, you haven't lived until you've seen Lady Gaga descend to the stage aboard a metal cage while playing her keytar.

7:39 PM - I'm digging these guys as hosts. All their jokes seem to have a certain "We Know We Can't Win" whimsy about them. Steve: "Look, there's that damn Helen Mirren." Alec: "Uh, Steve, that's dame Helen Mirren." Anything Alec Baldwin says is funny. He just knows how to inflect.

7:41 PM - George Clooney does not look happy to be there. (My sister would also note this later in a text message.) Has he tired of Hollywood's bourgeoisie ways? Or is he too upset that Kelly Macdonald wasn't nominated for Best Actress?

7:45 PM - First award of the night. Best Supporting Actor. In the clip for Christopher Plummer in "The Last Station" we see co-star James McEvoy who has apparently become the Work With Me And You Will Get Nominated But I Won't guy.

7:48 PM - Christoph Waltz wins, of course, for "Inglorious Basterds". Very eloquent speech. He cited Quentin Tarantino's "unorthodox methods of navigation."

8:01 PM - The big one...at least for me. Best Original Song. And, yes, Ryan Bingham, along with T Bone Burnett, win for "The Weary Kind" from "Crazy Heart". I'm happy. I noticed he thanked his wife. I didn't know he was married. I wonder if she knows about the potential groupies sending him repeated shots of whiskey? Hmmmmmm.

8:08 PM - Commercial. "Wedding Crashers" is showing on Comedy Central. What do you think about Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as future Oscar hosts?

8:12 PM - Wait, I take that back. Tina Fey & Robert Downey Jr. are presenting Best Original Screenplay. These two should be the hosts. Funny stuff. Fey, speaking for writers to actors: "You should just say whatever we tell you."

8:15 PM - Mark Boal wins for "The Hurt Locker". Another eloquent speech. All right, maybe this 45 second idea wasn't so bad.

8:18 PM - Nice tribute to deceased writer/director John Hughes with many of his former actors turning up to say nice things. Really liked the Hughes quote in the midst of the montage relating to high school: "That pressure to belong is so enormous." Few filmmakers captured that better than Hughes.

8:30 PM - Best Documentary Short. The director starts his speech and then some woman with what appear to be "crazy eyes" dives in from stage left and starts yammering into the mic. The director doesn't look pleased. Restraining himself from possibly strangling her. The orchestra plays them off. Not sure what just happened but that did not look right. (Next Day Follow Up: This is what apparently happened.)

8:43 PM - First Kate Winlset sighting!

8:48 PM - Best Adapted Screenplay. I'm betting $5 Jason Reitman gets played off when he wins (along with Sheldon Turner for "Up in the Air"). Oh, and I hope when I win my Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay that Rachel McAdams is presenting like she is tonight. I'll take the opportunity to pitch her a script.

8:49 PM - Wait! Reitman doesn't win! He goes down to Geoffrey Fletcher for "Precious"! Is this our first upset? Not sure, but Fletcher certainly didn't look like he expected to win. Congrats to him.

8:53 PM - Oh my god! Here it is! They're actually showing footage of the Governor's Dinner where the Honorary Oscars were handed out, including the one given to....Lauren Bacall! And Lauren Bacall is there! She's at the Oscars! Yay! She doesn't get to stand on the stage and she gets as much face time as Miley Cyrus and way less than Ben Stiller dressed up in the "Avatar" costume telling really, really, really, really, really stupid jokes but, hey, it's something.

8:55 PM - Best Supporting Actress. The clip for Vera Farmiga in "Up in the Air" includes her saying "banged." Can you say "banged" on network TV? Monique wins. Of course. Also, I was officially, 100% wrong about the 45 second speech thing. I admit it. It's strengthening the speeches. One note: Monique said something about the Academy recognizing the performance rather than the politics (since she refused to campaign for the award) but I kinda think Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner might not have won the Best Adapted Screenplay because of politics.

9:03 PM - Half the bottle of wine is gone. What does this mean? The chances of me watching "Paparazzi" on DVR just increased by 50%.

9:10 PM - Sandy Powell wins Best Costume Design for "Young Victoria". I think she has the best dress of the night though I'm sure Joan Rivers will disagree with me.

9:22 PM - George Clooney just smiled! First time all night!

9:27 PM - Paul Ottosson just won two Oscars for sound awards for "The Hurt Locker" back to back. He got them both, like, 14 seconds apart. That's gotta be a record. I hope "The Hurt Locker" isn't getting all the technical awards only to have "Avatar" get the biggies at the end. Although "Avatar" has won some too this evening. I don't know how many they've both won. I'm a little drunk here.

9:33 PM - Commercial. "Wedding Crashers" is at commercial too so I flip down one channel and find myself watching (gulp) "Keeping Up With The Kardashians". It seems Kim's brother is ruining her birthday party because he's drunk but Kim doesn't really care because she's more worried about the fact there isn't a private plane available, or something, because she has to shoot a commercial for Carl's Jr. tomorrow. I deserve to have 2 years taken off my life for having watched that.

9:46 PM - Uh oh! It's hip hop dance time! To the sounds of the Original Score nominees! You know what this means?! "Paparazzi" on DVR!

9:53 PM - I return just in time to see Micahael Giacchino win for "Up". I wrote: "That was a great speech" but didn't record any quotes from it. Sorry.

9:55 PM - "Avatar" wins for Best Visual Effects. Duh. Everyone who wins for "Avatar" thanks James Cameron but he doesn't even look grateful or humbled when they do it. He looks like he expected it. Dude's probably got more skill than anyone in that room but seriously....

9:58 PM - Commercial. Channel 4 is showing Springsteen "Live In Barcelona"! I swear! Which is absolutely perfect because it allows me to link to this!

10:04 PM - "The Cove" wins Best Documentary. Pretty foregone. The Producer talks but they play off the Director. Nice. How many really, really, really, really, really stupid jokes did Ben Stiller tell again?

10:06 PM - Tyler Perry is presenting at the Oscars. Did the seventh seal just get opened?

10:07 PM - Best Editing goes to Bob Murawski and Chris Innis for "The Hurt Locker". Love what Murawski says: "A film made without compromise. We didn't have any focus groups or studio notes. We made the movie we wanted to make." Amen.

10:15 PM - Best Foreign Language Film. A good time to mention I saw the nominated "A Prophet" this afternoon. Review to come later this week. "The Secret In Their Eyes" from Argentina wins.

10:25 PM - Now the big stuff begins. Best Actor. I like the intros to all the nominees. I'd like to think the little monologues given were written by the actors giving them. Maybe they were. Who knows? On Jeremy Renner in "The Hurt Locker" Colin Farrell says: "It wasn't right or left. It was just one man." Amen again.

10:31 PM - Kate "The Coolest" Winslet presenting to....Jeff Bridges. Of course. So little suspense it was kinda boring. They also let him talk much longer than 45 seconds. Good.

10:39 PM - Best Actress. Wouldn't it be cool if Carey Mulligan went all Marisa Tomei? (By the way, I think I just saw Kelly Macdonald outside walking her dog.) Stanley Tucci's intro to Meryl Streep's nom might be the best work of any presenter all night. Funny and touching.

10:48 PM - "That girl from the bus" is now a Best Actress winner. So be it. Kate "The Coolest" already has hers so I'm content. Sandra Bullock really does know how to give a good speech, though.

10:52 PM - Really? Barbara Streisand is presenting Best Director? If Kathryn Bigelow doesn't win how embarrassing would this be? Would she curse out James Cameron if he wins? (As my friend Rory pointed out this morning, they made a big deal out of the fact no woman director has ever won but not as big of a deal that no black director has ever won. Like, say, Spike Lee not winning for "Do the Right Thing" in 1989. Whoops! I forgot! He wasn't even nominated! But Peter Weir was for "Dead (Excuse Me While I Puke) Poets Society".)

10:55 PM - Streisand opens the envelope and says: "The time has come." Barbara....doing her best to make it just a little bit more about her. But in any event, Bigelow wins. Good for her. She deserves it. Suck it, Nochimson! Also, the first name Bigelow checks in her speech is the screenwriter's. I'm just sayin'.

10:59 PM - "The Hurt Locker" wins Best Picture. Lowest grossing winner ever in the same year as the highest grossing movie ever. Let's return to the line of "The Hurt Locker's" editor: "A film made without compromise. We didn't have any focus groups or studio notes. We made the movie we wanted to make."

And it won Best Picture. Hmmmmmmm......


Castor said...

As always, kind of boring. The whole "Clooney is pouting" was a joke :) Did you see that purple woman enforcing the 45-sec speech rule, that was funny! Was Rachel McAdams the most stunning gal of the night or what?

Wretched Genius said...

They didn't make a big deal about the fact that no black director has ever won an Oscar because there was no way in Hell that the guy who made Precious was ever really in competition for the award (and really shouldn't even have been nominated, since the power of the movie comes from the writing and acting and not at all from the clunky, heavy-handed direction). That category was always going to be a contest between Bigelow and Cameron. All other nominees were filler. Thus, they made a big deal about the female director statistic because it might actually apply to the winner.

Nick Prigge said...

I must have missed the lady in purple. Did she have a sniper rifle? And I personally found Carey Mulligan to be the most fetching lady last night. Maybe I just have a thing for English women....

Very true, Brad. Lee Daniels was never in competition. And CERTAINLY, as you indicated, did not do a better job of directing than Kathryn Bigelow. But I must say that I honestly did not know until this morning that Daniels was only the second black director ever nominated (John Singleton for "Boyz 'n the Hood" was the other in 1991). That just seemed shocking.