Talkin’ Oscar: Live Blogging Extravaganza

9:00pm – We open on the pre-show with the lovable penguins from Happy Feet, including a President Bush penguin. The answer to all of their problems? Apparently dancing. And now it’s people wearing Borat bathing suits. And then Lightning McQueen. And then Abigail Breslin and the little yellow VW that could. It’s all kind of cute. Just kind of.

9:02pm – And now’s it’s Chris, our host…ABC’s red carpet people are really quite boring, let’s face it. We open with Leo! Chris looks fat.

9:03pm – It’s Lisa Ling! And Hybrid cars, of course. And Spike Lee! Naomi Watts and…oh my god Nicole Kidman has a giant bow on her shoulder. And Naomi Watts looks less than fetching in a strange belted yellow number. What a fashion beginning. That being said, Kidman looks stunning from the neck down.

9:04pm – Also, Lisa Ling’s dress is terrible. And some guy Andre from Vogue is dressing up Jennifer Hudson while wearing a terrifying cape indoors. She ended up wearing some form of sequences gold and ugly thing on her shoulders, even though the dress itself is quite fantastic. It’s like reptile skin, almost. Jeweled Minolos, or so I hear.

9:06pm – Steve Carell! Some nice Greg Kinnear body odour jokes, some Alan Arkin pimpage, which I figure might bode well for his chances later this evening (Which would mean the Elder was correct).

9:07pm – The Nominations Wall appears to be some giant yellow thing, it’s rather difficult to tell. Speaking of giant things, the costume designer for Devil Wears Prada has giant red hair and a gaudy red dress. She’s really quite unattractive, but I can see her enjoying the film she was part of.

9:09pm – To commercial we go! Thus far, the fashions have been quite atrocious, nothing really standing out as elegant (Although from the brief clips, Cameron Diaz looked pretty good. Not that I’m a proper judge of these things).

9:11pm – Abigail Breslin is looking adorable as usual, while the PriceWaterhouseCooper people steal some attention…and now Penelope Cruz is wearing a Versace that is elegant on the top and Big Bird on the bottom. “Penelope is interested in being a photographer.” Wow, thanks ABC ticker!

9:13pm – Will Smith, Jaden Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith are being interviewed by this Vogue guy, who is honestly the most annoying man alive. “Jaden would like to next work in Comedy.” Wait, Jada auditioned to play Thandie Newton’s role and didn’t get it? OUCH.

9:15pm: Cameron Diaz is out, and Kelly notes how she was totally ungracious in the…okay, I had a story, but ABC’s ticker just let me know that her childhood nickname was SKELETOR. That is the greatest thing ever. Now we have Eddie Murphy with one of his many girlfriends…I don’t think this one is carrying his child, but she’s well spoken and pretty.

9:16pm: And now a preview of Best Picture, which is pretty well wide open. There’s this crazy box theme going on, it’s quite terrifying.

9:17pm: Andre is back, and more annoying than ever. Cate Blanchett, honestly, looks stunning. And she’s dealing with Andre quite well…and she’s going to be portraying Bob Dylan in an upcoming movie? This is amazing, I must see this movie.

9:18pm: Ryan Gosling along with his mother and his sister; how delightful, he says he’s done it like Snoop. Nice to see he’s not taking things too seriously. He says he’d be a truck driver if he wasn’t an actor; love it!

9:22pm: Marky Mark! Wahlberg IS the exec producer of Entourage, which I’m a big fan of by the way. Wow, they have a LOT of facts on Wahlberg compared to the others.

9:23pm: The Three Amigos! Woo! 16 nominations between them, and here they are! For the record, they are Guillermo Del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron (Who made a nice little reference to the exchange rate: 6 of them to one Scorcese) and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu. There’s some great sexual attraction banter between them.

9:25pm: Kate Winslet is looking elegant, and is the youngest actress to ever receive 5 Academy Award nominations. There’s some talk about sex scenes, which makes Little Children a bit of a must watch.

9:26pm: I’m almost suprised that Helen Mirren doesn’t receive her Oscar right now on the Red Carpet, just get it over with. She continues to be an absolutely delightful personality who, honestly, I think should win just about everything.

9:27pm: And now it’s that bloody Andre talking about all sorts of things with no change in facial expression or voice. It was terrifying. And now it’s time to head into the awards, that went nice and fast! Phew, quite the trip that was.

9:29pm: There’s some sort of Oscar interviews being done at this point. Steven Spielberg receives a phone call, some sound people, some sync jokes, people jumping around, etc. “Every time you go to amovie it’s a blind date.” Eastwood has a senior’s moment, Innaritu not so much. Someone has failed 19 times, and honestly: Peter O’Toole is quite the character, isn’t he? Sexual thoughts about the Queen are bad. They even had art direction people, like Jennifer Hudson…wait, not her. Etheridge, Newman for Song. Eddie Murphy staring uncomfortably at the camera. Canadian nominee Deppa Mehta! People are thanking people now. It’s all so very nice.

9:35pm: It was really a touching little piece of work, that video. Which now allows us to open on a panning shot on all of the nominees standing uncomfortably amongst everyone else. Mary and Helen Mirren share a nice little moment, it’s quite nice. So weird to see an opening all about the nominees.

9:36pm: Ellen time! She’s wearing this reddish-purple velvet suit that is really quite an interesting choice…and there’s Portia and Mother! We’re celebrating nominees this year, it seems

Ellen’s dream is coming true tonight, it seems. She’s her usual manic self, and of course relates back to her childhood. It is apparently the most internationally flavoured Oscars ever. *Cut to Chinese People* Mexicans! *Cut to Mexicans!* Japanese! *Ken Watanabe! Find Ken Watanabe!* A lot of British nominees, apparently…but not too many, unless she’s drunk.

9:39pm: She’s there to relax the nominees from the fact that this could make or break their careers. She makes a distinction between long and boring speeches (The latter being the bigger problem). She suggest creating a sob story of sorts, including living in your car and being from the Bronx. And…Jack Nicholson is BALD?! And Abigail Breslin looks as cute as ever.

9:41pm: Peter O’Toole with his 8th nomination, without a win: I think it will be his night, some disagree. “Third time’s a charm!” Jennifer Hudson has luckilly gotten rid of the cape thing, and now looks much better for when she takes to the stage. Al Gore! WOO! Another mention of people voting for him, and riotous applause. He HAS to run in ’08.

9:43pm: Ellen isn’t really stringing much together, as the Elder points out, but that isn’t really her thing: she’s doing a stand-up routine, really, but it works for her and her style (if not providing the coherence the Elder is looking for). And now Ellen is in the crowd with a tambourine and a choir of singers, which really isn’t having any effect in the least on the audience since she isn’t the one doing the singing. It’s a bit of a mess, he’s right, but the crowd oddly loves her for it. She’ll be doing well with one-off lines, though.

9:45pm: Art Direction from two stars of The Golden Compass, coming this December, which is honestly making me entirely happy. Go His Dark Materials! Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig present the award to…Pans Labyrinth! Woo! Let the train begin for Gulliermo Del Toro’s blend of fantasy and civil war drama.

9:48pm: Mexico wins its first, as Maggie Gyllenhall takes the stage sans baby weight. Right, she hosted the Science and Technology Awards. They made Scarlett do that from the balcony last year, this is an improvement.

9:49pm: Now there’s shadows on a white screen…who formed an oscar…and then we break to commercial? Uhhh…WTF?

9:50pm: I’ll make this distinction now: I think that Ellen is a better host than she is a performer. Her Talk Show monologues are always the show’s weakest point, she’s best when she’s working on the fly with one-liners. I think it’ll be smooth sailing from this point onward.

9:52pm: The biggest mystery is Jack shaving his head. Is it a protest for not being nominated? Did he find it itchy? I must know.

9:53pm: Will Ferrell musical performance…and his Fro. Apparently he stole Jack’s hair. “Comedians at the Oscars” is indeed a bit of a misnomer. And then something about an alcoholic clown. Jack Black has now joined to add some energy, and some shortness. Comedy Sensation Jeremy Irons gets a mention? I love it. Jack Black is planning to fight the nominees. Mark Wahlberg IS kind of badass. Helen Mirren? She’s just hot. John C. Reilly! YES! His career IS the craziest thing that’s ever happened! This is genius.

9:55pm: “Helen Mirren and an Oscar will be coming home with ME!!!!!!!” Bravo, Oscars. Bravo.

9:57pm: We seque into nominations for Makeup, which could well make it Mexico 2, World 0. And, indeed, it is. ANOTHER win for Pan’s? This is a great start for the Three Amigos.

9:58pm: As the Elder points out, that was wonderfully biting satire, where ARE the comedy nominees exactly?

9:59pm: Abigail Breslin and Jaden Smith? I knew this pairing was coming. They’re going to be all OVER the tabloids. Abigail Breslin has comic timing, Jaden…has none.

10:00pm: Ummm…where’s my neat video for animated short? Either way, this is a tough category to call, so it could really go in any direction (Check out my predictions for some clips from each one to see if they get it right). And the winner is…The Danish Poet! Oh noes, my predictions es wrongo! That being said, a win for Ccanada and the National Film Board (And Norway, but meh).

10:03pm: Jaden had a nice couple of lines, these two are working well together. In Live Action short, I swear, how could West Bank Story LOSE? It’s too genius a concept. And, so genius in fact, that it wins itself an Oscar! Huzzah, 3 for 4!

10:04pm: This is a nice little speech about hope, and then about short films, about the little guys. Very well spoken, very natural…fantastic segueways into personal mentions. THAT is a fantastic example of an Oscar speech, well played.

10:06pm: Now we see a little Letters from Iwo Jima piece, and let’s face it: Eastwood needs to be commended for this piece of work, and it’s almost a pity that it likely won’t happen. The fact that he took on both films is a true achievement.

10:11pm: Ellen is back on stage for the first time, and makes mention of the orchestra. She also wants to make two corrections: Penelope Cruz is NOT from Mexico, and Judi Dench is getting her boobs done, not her eyes. And now there’s a sound effects choir? This sounds good. “Elements and Motion” is the theme, and it’s people making strange noises to Jaws and Psycho and the like. It’s all very uncanny, I don’t know how to react.

10:13pm: It’s still going, and I still have no idea what’s going on. And now it’s over…so they’re not going to do this year’s films themselves? Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell are here to present the awards, I’m assuming. Sound Editing is like sex: alone, late at night, with electronic gadgets. And, if you want to do it right, pay top dollar for a true professional…sound editing. Some nice little sound editing jokes, what a shocker.

10:14pm: This category is tough to call, as they usually are (It’s not like last year where there was nothing on the same scale as King Kong). The winner, however is: Letters from Iwo Jima. His father was a survivor? That’s touching. No, no lists! Bad Letters from Iwo Jima guy! Bad!

10:17pm: Honestly, who had to read a heartfelt message to their father’s memory of fighting in the Battle of Iwo Jima?! James McAvoy and Jessica Biel now come out and reference the Jazz Singer…oy vey. McAvoy is DELIGHTFULLY Scottish, I love it. Sound Mixing it is: War epics vs. Movie Musicals, who wins the day? The answer: Movie musicals! This is an established group, like 24 nominations between them. And another list! Sound people are the WORST.

10:20pm: Now a little later than usual, a not quite as pregnant Rachel Weisz prepares to present the award for Best Supporting Actor, which will give us our first indication for the big races later this evening. I’ve got Eddie Murphy picked, but I really think Arkin has a chance here. As the Elder says, a shock would be most entertaining as well. The clips were terrible, but the winner is: Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine. Ouch, that’s a major hit to my predictions, especially if it leads to a LMS win at Best Picture. This is not good.

10:23pm: Arkin sadly has a prepared speech, and has put his Oscar on the ground. Which was just zoomed in on, for some reason. If Arkin was the old guy choice, this also doesn’t bode well for O’Toole. I see my Oscar prediction dreams are slipping away from under my feet as I type.

10:25pm: Ellen is now a roving reporter, which is usually annoying…but Marty makes it better. Ellen presents him with a screenplay she wrote: GoodMamma’s, it appears to be. Marty makes everything entertaining.

10:26pm: Interpretive Dance versions of nominated films? First we get Happy Feet. Which is actually kind of amazing looking, and still delightfully short! Yay!

10:27pm: As the Elder points out: “so the big question – was this a sign of a LMS train rolling into the station, or a sign that the old people are going to be doing some serious winning tonight?” It would help me if it was the latter, but it could really go either way.

10:29pm: Does anyone want to, you know bring me food? I’m hungry but these commercial breaks aren’t overly long. And I have dishes sitting in the sink. My life is falling apart at the seams. Also, a curling quarter? Oh wow.

10:30pm: We return to a little video package for The Departed, which is my prediction for Best Picture. Let’s hope the people lovve them some Marty/Leo/Matt Damon madness. That and Jack.

10:31pm: Our Town from Cars…in front of a giant freakin’ Cars logo. Oy vey, poor James Taylor and Randy Newman. This is one of those songs that doesn’t do much for me as a song, although its context in the movie makes it work. It’s nothing compared to “When She Loved Me” From Toy Story 2, which is just an amazing piece of work. Also of note: James Taylor is mumbling half of it or something, it’s really not a vocal master class in the least.

10:32pm: James Taylor: Performer, astronaut pest eradicator. And there’s Lightning McQueen and Mater in the audience…and now there’s some Melissa Etheridge. And there’s some Climate Change info on the screen behind her with such inspirational “Use light rail + mass transit.” This song is nothing special; I don’t think it has the emotional resonance of “Our Town”, or the power of “Listen.” While political leanings can carry the Documentary category, and I think it will, I don’t think it has the same effect with songs.

10:35pm: The drummer is REALLY into it. It’s a good vocal performance, though, she deserves credit for that. Also, who the hell let Michael Buble in the door?! Come ON!

10:36pm: Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio? No, Gore is not going to announce running in 2008 tonight, we knew this. He’s all about the environment and the bow ties, and the movies. For the first time in the history of the Oscars, it’s gone Green. There’s environmentally productive aspects in the entirety of the Academy Awards. Head to http://www.oscar.com for such suggestions. Leo is pimping out the Gore, this is less than shocking. They’re pals.

10:37pm: From The Elder: “so it’s EASY being green? Who to trust – Kermit or Al?”

10:38pm: Al Gore is announcing, in front of a billion people, is taking this opportunity to formally announce his intention to…*Cue Music*. Gore loves it, that rascal!

10:42pm: And we’re back with Ellen, who wants to recycle some jokes from earlier in her career to keep the show Green. It’s just some terrible Gilligan’s Island jokes. Jack laughs: of COURSE he laughs.

10:43pm: And here comes Cameron Diaz to answer that question on all of our minds: Happy Feet vs. Cars. It’s a tough race, with multiple precursors sent in each of their directions. I felt they’d go to Happy Feet, but I can’t help but feel I was misguided.

10:44pm: And the winner is…Happy Feet! Huzzah, Myles takes another one from the Elder. Poor Lightning and Mater, that’s just plain ol’ tragic for them. George Miller is wearing something absolutely ridiculous, which makes me happy. The environmental purpose of the film mightmake it tough for kids, but the Academy loves it.

10:46pm: Ben “Afflack” (Did you hear that Aflac is dumping the duck? It’s sacrilidge) introduces a piece on the portrayal of writers in film, which is an interesting idea for a video segment. I always did like Geoffrey Rush’s role in Shakespeare in Love. Some Hours, some Adaptation, Ed Wood, The Shining, and some typewriter throwing. And then there’s much drinking, some murder, some chainsmoking, some writer’s block…and some Mission Impossible music. And then Jack mugging for the camera: surprise!

10:49pm: Helen Mirren AND Tom Hanks? This is pure royalty, at this point: Screenwriting is clearly the same as alcoholism. Best Adapted Screenplay is a pretty straight race at this point…and Helen Mirren reading the the title of Borat and its script makes me ridiculously giddy.

10:50pm: Alfonso Cuaron’s script reads like I imagine him talking in real life, I love it. This script reading part is always a favourite, I enjoy when they take the time to do it.

10:53pm: However, it’s all perfunctory: the award belongs to William Monahan The Departed, adapting the Hong Kong classic “Infernal Affairs” with great effect. He notes that “Valium does work” which makes up for his little sense of speech. There’s more Peter O’Toole pimpage, I think he actually has a chance of winning at this rate.

10:54pm: That was some “wicked quiet” musical interruption…oh jeez, now there’s a ridiculous and stupid horse race mention, and some stupid Chris banter, but some nice Tom Hanks interjection. I think I’ve only gotten two wrong at this point, which is pretty good I’d say.

10:59pm: And we return with Ellen now wearing a white pantsuit and carrying an Oscar in a “Bjorn” for those who have trouble holding their Oscar and reading their speeches. Now, onto Costume Design: Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt to present, let’s see if they get to present it to their own designer on The Devil Wears Prada.

11:00pm: And now there’s some Meryl Streep pimpage, and Mark Anthony? How odd. There’s actually examples of the costume on stage, which is really quite interesting. I forget who I picked here, but the Curse of the Golden Flower stuff looks incredibly stunning. But The Queen has a dog, it gets props for that. The Devil Wears Prada is just a little bit too contemporary for the Academy, while Dreamgirls is just ridiculous enough to perhaps swing things in its favour. Marie Antoionette, on the other hand, couldn’t BE more riled in splendour. The winner is: Marie Antoniette? Curses, that would have been a better choice for me…it’s her 3rd win? Damn, should have gone with her.

11:03pm: She’s delightfully frightened to be on stage, and delightfully thanks Francis Ford Coppola for introducing her to Sofia, and then mentions that her husband rushed her before she even got on stage. She then dedicates it to her mother and Stanley Kubrick. It was nice.

11:05pm: Tom Cruise! He’s looking quite innocent and is now introducing a humanitarian award to someone who I don’t know: she began as a script reader, but became a production executive. First female President of a major studio. She was the woman who was at Paramount during Titanic, and during the Tom Cruise reign. Her departure, of course, would lead to his exit from the studio two years later. She also created an organization called “Stop Cancer” which I appreciate for its blunt approach. She leaves behind classic films, but truly seems to have made a true impact. It’s all very brief, but fitting, and classy.

11:08pm: She seems to be reading her speech from a teleprompter, which is a little bit unfortunate but considering the nature of the award I guess she wants to make sure her message comes through as clearly as possible. I’ll respect that, for now.

11:10pm: Ellen is in the audience again, this is rather frustrating. Now she’s taking a picture for MySpace…Steven Spielberg taking a photo of Ellen and Clint is funny, especially for the audience, but it’s not quite the same on TV…okay, the framing tips put it over the top, I love it.

11:11pm: For some reason, Gwenyth gets a huge walk up with photographers and everything, which means we must be getting…yep, Cinematography. Let’s face it, this belonged to Children of Men the second the blood was on the screen. Emmanuel Lubezki’s job was just too powerful. HOLY SHIT. You’ve got to be kidding me, seriously? That was pure robbery, Children of Men deserved that award more than Pan’s did. This is absolutely terrible…but great for Guillermo’s film, I guess, and nice to see it kept in the Three Amigos family…nah, still robbery.

11:15pm: So, it looks like Pan’s might well be walking away with the most Oscars this evening. This would make a loss in Best Foreign Film that much more surprising, at this point.

11:16pm: Little Miss Sunshing in interpretive pose form. And they just turned into a VW bus. And it was short, and cute, and harmless. Yay.

11:17pm: Okay, I need a second to think about this. While Pan’s is an achievement, Children of Men is as well, and its cinematography needed to be recognized. People NEED to see this film, and an Oscar could have helped that. People, please, go see this movie. There are scenes that while not “pretty” or lit with splendour are epic, ambitious, and show a sense of daring filmmaking that the Academy might be willing to ignore, but no one else should be. See this movie.

11:20pm: We’re back with Naomi Watts and Robert Downey Jy. Naomi’s dress looks better in the indoor lighting, I won’t lie. Perhaps it’s a…Visual Effect? Oooh, that was bad, but Downey makes a nice little drug-addiction joke to wash the taste of my bad joke out of my own mouth. This award has some good nominees, but the work to create Davy Jones cannot go unnoticed here. And, luckily, he is not ignored, as the Pirates team takes home its award. And, I am reminded of how amazing Hans Zimmer’s Jack Sparrow theme is. They are the first to play back on Ellen’s monologue; that’s a monologual failure, I’d say! And, then we cut to Beyonce? Okay.

11:23pm: Catherine Deneuve and Ken Watanabe are out now to present…something about Oscar night 50 years ago, the first time all films were in Colour. We delightfully cut to Sacha Baron Cohen making a funny face and mocking the presenter with his girlfriend, which I kind of love. This is very bland, and there is an impressionistic look at foreign films…oh, okay. I guess. It is, at the very least, kind of nearly constructed. This moment, however, is one where I wish that the HD cut wasn’t being cropped in and cutting off the text. Lame, CTV. Lame.

11:27pm: The elder and I distract ourselves from the foreign film montage by discussion how ridiculous it is that Narnia was nominated for the Visual Effects Oscar over Revenge of the Sith, which was done by ILM who just picked up the award for Pirates. For the record, the titles of these films alone is kind of entertaining, but then there was that creepy clay-like Jesus that made it all weird again.

11:28pm: I don’t know why, but something about me simply greatly dislikes Roberto Benigni. We end the whole sequence with a shot of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban…good thing this isn’t the Globes!

11:29pm: Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen, perhaps, continue the Pan’s Labyrinth steamroller right to an Oscar for Guillermo Del Toro. It is apparently The Lives of Others with a chance to screw it all up, and nice to see Water in there to represent Canada. OH SNAP! It IS The Lives of Others! This is absolutely stunning, to be honest with you. How can they like the film so much and consider it not worthy of the foreign film award. From what I hear, it is an issue of people having to watch all films to vote, and perhaps it’s the better film? Who knows. Either way, poor Guillermo will go home Oscarless.

11:32pm: And now Ellen is making lame puppet people…and it’s actually Snakes on a Plane in interpretive form which was AMAZING. Oh wow. That was fantastic. “They’re naked” was also quite cute. Genius.

11:33pm: George Clooney is out which means…wow, we haven’t had Supporting Actress yet? Wow. We’ve been without a major speech for so very long, it’s really quite difficult to remain emotionally connected. This one, however, should provide that, whether it’s Hudson or…oh, who am I kidding. As expected: Jennifer Hudson gets her Oscar moment. She’s crying, taking the moment in, “look what God can do” (Which is a nice little way to mention the big guy without seeming so blunt about it). Good, a nice little story about her Grandmother, mentions her family members, good, keep it going…there’s Bill Condon, good, now go with the cast. There we go, don’t mention Beyonce by name, she’ll be pissed, it will be funny. Jennifer Holliday gets a last minute mention, that’s a good move. Well done, good job, here’s some Gatorade.

11:37pm: World premiere performance by Celine Dion? Uhhh…yay? Seriously, what the hell happened there?!

11:38pm: I blogged about it on Friday, but the edited GM Robot commercial just doesn’t work. At least the other one was resonant, this one is just boring and depressing as opposed to being depressing and evocative. Plus, as the Elder points out, it’s still about a fired, depressed employee. It’s still uncool in that sense, if not the suicide one.

11:40pm: And we’re back with a piece on Babel, our third Best Picture candidate of the evening. It’s such a touch film to qualify considering its broad scope and lack of a “star” performance.

11:41pm: Eva Green and Gael Garcia Bernal arrive now to present the award for Short Form Documentaries, which is such a touch category to call. Honestly, we’ve seen absolutely none of them, and they’re ALL about depressing subjects of equal or similar importance in today’s society. The winner is: The Blood of Yongzhou District. You heard it here first: Aids trumps all.

11:44pm: I’m currently angry because I forgot to alter my predictions in a GAF pool to reflect my new ones posted last night…so I’m technically doing better than the poll indicates. Curses! Comedian is an amazing film, based purely on its trailer which you must all search for on Google. Or YouTube. Please. You should. Speaking of this, Jerry Seinfeld is now on stage, sadly not mentioning the trailer specifically, but he is doing his usual standup routine. He apparently doesn’t want to pick up garbage.

11:46pm: Best Documentary Feature. After the Foreign Film surprise, who even knows at this point? I think our political rock star has this one, but Deliver Us From Evil has a lot of positive buzz as well. Blasphemy never wins the day, Iraq is so yesterday’s news…I think Climate Change should get its turn. GORE! An Inconvenient Truth takes the win, and Gore is on the stage with his director and producer friends. Davis Guggenheim is the actual winner of the award, and says he was moved to act by Al Gore. All of them owe it all to Al Gore’s 30-year fight to tell the truth. Larry David is impressed. Al Gore thanks Tipper, and implores everyone to fix the climate change problem. Let’s face it, we should really listen at some point.

11:49pm: Now it’s time for our pal Clint Eastwood to present…no award, this isn’t good. Ah yes, it’s the Score award for the Western composer. Marconi, I think his name is. He is in a balcony, and has someone translating Clint’s words for him. He has scored 400 films, which is insanity. 5 Oscar nominations, but never won. I like this story.

11:51pm: Clint flubs the words, says he should have worn his glasses, but I kind of like this idea of really looking at a composer’s work. It’s such an underappreciated artform that often gets unnoticed, especially for composers not named Williams, Zimmer, Shore, etc.

11:53pm: This is also a spot where the stupid zoomed in screen on CTV is REALLY annoying. Also, another spotting of Comedy Sensation Jeremy Irons. And I’m still angry about not changing the sound awards on my pool, I’d be tied for first right now. Between this and Children of Men losing cinematography, I’ve lost my wits.

11:55pm: Celine Dion performing “I Knew I Loved You” from Once Upon a Time in America? Okay, I guess. She’s a bit of a hack job, but let’s face it: her voice is still one of the most recognizably powerful for these types of sappy love ballads. I would have rather seen a tour de force performance of the music from the Untouchables, but I guess they’re looking to grab…okay, was “incondescent glow” just in a song? Whoever wrote the lyrics to this thing needs to stop thinking about light bulbs. Please.

11:58pm: And here he is…and Rashida Jones is at the Oscars?! Go Team Karen, Oscar recognition. I don’t know why Quincy Jones is in the balcony, but good on ‘er. Oh right, Marconi is getting an Oscar, I should be distracted by The Office right now. He’s going to not speak in English, so I’ll imagine he’s thanking everyone who made his career so successful, and…Ken Watanabe looks REALLY confused. Clint Eastwood is going to translate…he can do that? That’s kind of amazing. And his summary was ridiculously short for all of that talking. Deep gratitude to the directors, and the like. Is Clint actually translating, or did they prepare cliff notes ahead of time? Or is he reading a teleprompter? Either way, Clint is getting too much fact time.

12:02pm: After thanking his wife, Marconi is played off. Also, we’re hitting the three-hour mark, and still feeling fine. Although I might run for a cupcake.

12:04pm: Good news! My legs still work…sort of. I also really want to know EXACTLY what he said. It’s like, as the Elder points out, the photographer in Lost in Translation. Oh, List in Translation.

12:06pm: Oh my god they just called Hugh Jackman the Volverine. I hate you, announcer/Bruce Vilanche. We now get the Original Score award, which is once again tough to call without many of the big names in play. And, it’s a Babel win, so another within the Amigos. This is tragic for my predictions, where I went with Pan’s, but I can’t be too upset about it exactly. It was a tough call to make.

12:09pm: Ellen is back on stage, and mentions how Jack is always smiling and laughing. Even when he’s in a corner by himself. Thank you, Ellen, for making this observation. Hee! Fast motion President’s speech is the greatest idea ever! It’s a toughpart of the show to work in, but there is some sort of motion picture museum as well. Done all in video form, it’s much better overall, a very positive change.

12:11pm: Original Screenplay here, and this will give us a sense of whether or not Little Miss Sunshine can take the big one. Without it, I don’t think it can: more importantly, could this be the opportunity for them to recognize Guillermo Del Toro where they could not in the Foreign Film category?

12:13pm: Four best picture candidates and Pan’s? What a category, and the winner is: Little Miss Sunshine! This works well with my predictions, means that an Academy Award winner is writing Toy Story 3, and in general this bodes well for Little Miss Sunshine at this point in the Best Picture race, which does not bode as well for my predictions. That’s unfortunate.

12:15pm: Wait, that was actually based on true stories? That’s kind of awesome that his family was actually in such a VW Bus. And now for a little bit of interpretive Devil Wears Prada. It’s basically just a devil shoe. And Chris is back, and I wish to shoot him. Just a little. Oh, okay, a lot, so shoot me. Or him. Definitely him.

12:18pm: I don’t see many movies, but I’m tempted by David Fincher’s Zodiac. There’s something about it that I, honestly, find somewhat fascinating, whether it’s Fincher’s methods or the general concept.

12:20pm: Jennifer Lopez as excellent reason for HDTV? Not in that dress. However, now we’ve got ourselves a little Dreamgirls medley. We start with Jennifer Hudson, who must be able to perform without any sort of worry considering she already won.

12:21pm: A note to Spencer: similarly annoyed at the scheduling of Battlestar against the Oscars. It’s a tough decision, but the blog wins out; plus, it’s been tough for me to watch it on TV after watching the rest on…er, “DVD”. Yeah. It’ll do me good. really.

12:23pm: During that interlude, Beyonce came on stage and has now broken into Listen, which we’ve surely heard enough of lately for it to get the win. It’s interesting that they’re splitting the singing on each song despite the songs being very much their own within the film. It’s actually kind of surprising, Beyonce is usually more territorial.

12:25pm: Beyonce is absolutely power-ballading the shit out of this power ballad. Seriously, she just blew the roof off the house, almost to the point of being unnecessary. And now that neither of the main stars are off the stage, things slow down dramatially.

12:26pm: You know, as they come back on stage, this is really the Bodyguard factor. Both films’ main songs were unoriginal (I will always love you, “And I’m telling you…”) and as a result the original songs kind of get dragged into these categories purely out of necessity. The performance is picking up now, with a choir and everything, but it’s still very much dominated by Beyonce and Hudson even when Anita belts it out. And then we get the Dreamgirls pose, how cute. Aww. Cute little Dreamgirls, can’t even get nominated for Best Picture.

12:28pm: Ellen almost sounded like she couldn’t believe her own words when she had to call Queen Latifah an oscar-nominated Actor. Queen and her Hairspray co-star John Travolta introduce the Best Original Song nominees for a second time. And the winner is…”Melissa Etheridge”? That’s kind of shocking, looks like Dreamgirls split and people just don’t like Randy Newman, because I felt that Wake Up was rather lame. Ah well, it’s the Gore factor. Are we seriously sure he’s not running? If he can help win TWO oscars, pretty much on his own ability to just exist, he can win an election.

12:30pm: The Elder notes it was a boring category, and he’s right in pointing out its problem: No Prince. Seriously, the guy’s been everywhere, the Oscars must be worried about bandwagon jumping. Personally, I think Prince spices up any party, especially one that thus far has been lacking in spontaneous surprises. I hope they’ve got Prince on speed dial.

12:34pm: This is Little Miss Sunshine’s time for video, and if I’m not mistaken we’re still missing our video for The Queen which means we’ve still got a whole lot of time left. And there’s Carol from The Office…oh wait, she’s actually Carell’s wife. Not a character on the Office. My bad.

12:35pm: Will Smith…with a video package? Smith is here for a different kind of Affirmative Action, this time with an American film package to provide equal time to foreign and domestic filmmaking. Michael Mann put it together, however, so this could be good.

12:37pm: Oooh, starting with some Ali, Malcolm X, Klan…that’s plenty epic. And yet, we’re too tired at this point to really be brought into it. Michael Mann deserved an earlier time slot. Funny how he used 2006 films (Talladega Nights, Superman Returns) over older ones at one point…so very strange. Made more strange by this stupid picture crop. Stupid CTV.

12:39am: Just realized that after midnight AM starts. I’m not editing it, sorry. Also: The Foo Fighters got on the Super Bowl AND the Oscars? That’s amazing. And now…that crappy American Idol president movie? Leslie Nielsen? Michael Mann has a sense of humour, one that I quite enjoy.

12:40pm: Kate Winslet to perhaps present Editing? Yep, “Cut to the chase,” which means that we’re to another best picture predictor. Could it be another mention for Babel, having to balance three separate stories? Could it be, finally, a mention of Childrne of Men’s awesomeness? Or another mention for Thelma, or the fantastic job done balancing the drama in United 93. It’s…Thelma! Yes, this is going my way with the Best Picture prediction. Huzzah!

12:43pm: She’s very well spoken, and let’s face it: she kind of did have this one handed to her. Working with Marty IS quite something, and this is one of those films that allows for her to walk her way to an Oscar. Marty is a filmmaker’s director, and thus his films carry weight in these categories in a way most do not. (Jack backstage looking on? Smiling. Shock and awe).

12:44am: I’m way too used to writing pm, no? Perhaps it’s because I’ve been contemplating those who dies, silently, before the actual Memorial segment begins as introduced by Jodie Foster. I, as well as the Elder, had forgotten about the segment entirely. We always forget about the dead people, don’t we?

12:47am: In pretty good shape for the pool right now, hovering around the top. I’ll be made or broken on Peter O’Toole, methinks. If it goes my way, I have a chance for 2nd or 3rd. If not, down lower I’ll be as everyone makes a jump with the predictable Forest Whitaker pick. I just feel that we’ve heard nothing of him, seen him maybe once or twice, while O’Toole has been everywhere tonight. the memorial ends on Altman, a fitting tribute as we fade off into the lights.

12:49am: So we’ve got Best Director (Marty), Best Actress (Helen) and then actual battles for Actor (O’Toole or Whitaker?) and Picture (Little Miss Sunshine or The Departed?). You know, if Best Picture had been predictable, this extra-long telecast would be even more boring. Suspense does make things somewhat bearable, no?

12:51am: Ellen is realizing that there’s four more awards, much as we are. It’s all rather unfunny, but the audience appears to enjoy it.

12:52am: Ouch to that guy who played Capote in Infamous, as Seymour Hoffman is deemed sexier even with his crazy hair. And now, for the coronation of Queen Mirren. We start with the predictable one, it seems; what do we go with next? I almost feel that Whitaker must be winning, because Marty and O’Toole can’t go back to back, it will seem so wrong.

12:54am: Oh my god, it’s…I won’t even joke about it, Helen Mirren is the picture of brilliance and poise in this role, and this will forever be her awards season. And now we get our little history lesson, which she’s so very good at giving. She’s right, her Oscar does belong to Queen Elizabeth II, because without her the role wouldn’t have been deemed so difficult.

12:56am: It’s running how late and we get a Departed silhouette thing? Was that necessary? Did we really need this stupid Chris idiot for a minute? Couldn’t we have a break to commercial? Honestly, why hasn’t he been fired yet? I could do that job better than he could. Honestly. Ugh.

1:00am: It’s been FOUR HOURS, ABC. Please, I love this and all, but can we have less commercials. Unless they bought airtime into the four hour range, which lame.

1:01am: Okay, now Ellen is vacuuming, which at the least makes me somewhat pleased. We segue into Reese Witherspoon, newly single and here to present Best Actor. This is so tough to call between the main two that one can’t help but feel it could go just about anywhere purely to shock us all. Why does Gosling get such a huge clip, exactly? Peter O’Toole looks almost dead at this point, which is really kind of terrifying in case he wins. Forest Whitaker on the other hand looks quite alive, that bodes well for him.

1:03am: And the winner is…Forest Whitaker! Damnit, this screws with my predictions terribly! Ah well, I must admit i quite like that it signifies less old people winning awards, something I’ve always been strongly against.

1:04am: Forest, you’re reading. You’re better than that, and as The Elder notes you’ve won enough of these things lately to have been able to pick these out. Ah well, as he reads his overlong and boring speech, let’s talk about Best Picture. Little Miss Sunshine has writing and Alan Arkin, while The Departed will likely bring in writing, editing and Director.

1:06am: Whitaker finished strong, really strong actually…I was impressed. And now we get the original Three Amigos: Ford Coppola, Lucas and Spielberg. Oh man, they’re totally leaving Lucas out here, which is definitely the right role. There’s a sense of comic timing for the other two that doesn’t exist in poor George.

1:07am: This has to be Marty’s night, it has to be. “And the Oscar goes to Martin Scorcese.” Well FINALLY.

1:08am: Everyone loves them some Marty, a full on standing ovation. “Could you double check the envelope?” Oh Marty, you’re so delightful. I honestly love this little man to death, he’s so talented and so strange. And, much like Whitaker (As the Elder corrected me) he isn’t reading, but using notes in order to structure this speech. He might only get to do this once, he gets a pass!

1:10am: Marty is classy ’til the end, and now we’ll be seguing into Jack (Woo, Bald Jack) presenting Best Picture for the 2nd straight year, just after we get our final video package for The Queen.

1:12am: Diane Keaton AND Jack Nicholson? Man, ths would be a mess at the Globes, but soberness should bring fairly solem…no, Jack’s still drunk somehow. He was backstage for a long time. “Steve Golen!” Oh Diane Keaton, you so crazy.

1:13am: Is it the Little Best Piciture that could? Is it the continuation of the Marty parade? I’ve got goosebumps:

1:14am: The Departed! Yay! Woo! I called it! Spielberg PWNED, Marty wins the day! It’s really quite hard to argue against this victory for a film that had all of the decks stacked in its favour. It was an Oscar season of safe choices, and one where…okay, Graham King loves Leonardo DiCaprio, he’s started to sound like a fan here, I guess that’s how studio execs are really.

1:16am: And here’s Ellen to send us off…with confetti? Okay, that’s an interesting choice, but I’ll accept it. And, after over 4 hours of fevered typing, I shall bid adieu and sum up some of my thoughts and predictions for the oscar post to come. Thanks to everyone who refreshed this page often, because that’s honestly quite cool of you. And, to those just stopping by, thanks for doing so. G’night!

8 Comments

Filed under Academy Awards, Award Shows, Cinema, Oscars

8 responses to “Talkin’ Oscar: Live Blogging Extravaganza

  1. amandine

    Myles, you’re intense! I’m bopping between you, GFY’s blog (http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2007/02/fugging_the_oscars_1.html) and CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/arts/blog/oscarblog/)

    ..and you know, kinda watching the actual show too.

  2. Spencer

    I met Rashida Jones in the security line at YVR. She laughed at my tomfoolery.

  3. Spencer

    Also, I don’t know why I keep refreshing your liveblog even though I’m watching the damn show (though still truly pissed that my roommate’s control of the TV stopped me from watching BSG).

  4. Spencer

    I’m in the next room half-watching, so it was with some surprise that the roommate decided to turn off the TV, turn out all the lights and leave just after Mirren was announced.

    So weird.

  5. Pingback: …in which McNutt shares the highlights and lowlights of last night’s Academy Awards « McNutt Against the Music

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