Oscars® (Semi) Live Blog: Second Half of the Ceremony (Special Revised Edition)

by | Mar 7th, 2010 | 9:12PM | Filed under: Award Shows, For Your Consideration

11:15 – Tom Hanks dashes out on stage and (no time to list all ten!) blurts out the Best Picture: The Hurt Locker. I'm thrilled to have been so wrong with my non-stop Avatar predictions. Bigelow's acceptance speech may be the first in Oscar history to thank hazmat emergency crews.

Meanwhile, James Cameron puts his all-Na'vi speech back into his pocket and heads out into the night to kick the stuffing out of Ben Stiller.

11:09 – The Academy gets a dig in at Barbra
Streisand–never nominated for her three films–by making her give out Best Director
to Kathryn Bigelow, the first-ever female winner. While it's fantastic that Bigelow broke the glass ceiling, don't let this great achievement overshadow the really amazing thing: this woman is 58 years old?!

11:03 – Sean Penn seems happy and relaxed to be handing out Best Actress. No, I'm kidding, he seems as nervous as a cat in a rocking-chair factory. Gives the award to Bullock. (That squeal you hear is Moviegoer running screaming up and down the hall.) As cool as Bridges' acceptance speech, Bullock takes home the prize for a speech that is perfectly self-deprecating, funny, and touching. "My lover Meryl Streep!"

10:55 – Now the "friends and co-workers" of the Best Actress nominees. Forest Whitaker directed Bullock in Hope Floats and Michael Sheen co-starred with Mirren in The Queen (she played the queen, not him). Bald Sarsgaard gushes over Mulligan, Oprah talks about Sidibe, bald Tucci praises Meryl Streep.

10:51 – Jeff Bridges wins for Crazy Heart and a million Twittering film geeks tweet "The Dude abides." Bridges gets a standing O, drops a "groovy" on us and ends every shout out with "maaan." It's awesome.

10:43 – People who have starred with the Best Actor nominees are out to offer tribute to them. For five minutes Michelle Pfeiffer fondly recalls decades of working with Bridges only to realize she was thinking of Nick Nolte. Farmiga lauds Clooney, Julianne Moore talks up Colin Firth, and Tim Robbins thanks Morgan Freeman for busting him out of prison. Colin Farrell talks about appearing in SWAT with Jeremy Renner. Which means tonight has seen Fisher Stevens win an Oscar and SWAT get mentioned at the Academy Awards ceremony.

10:35 – QT and Pedro Almodóvar present Best Foreign Film in front of a wall of lamps. (In tribute to the important role lamps have always played in foreign films.) The winner is Argentina's El Secreto de sus Ojos ("The Secret of the Oreos").

10:25 – A complete lack of Holocaust documentaries leaves the category wide open this year, so Matt Damon gives it to The Cove. Dolphins and other sea-mammals of the world rejoice, decide to put sea-park revolution on hold for a few weeks. And in a the most amazing Oscar moment ever, Fischer "Short Circuit" Stevens accepts an Academy Award.

10:20 – Gerald Butler and Bradley Cooper are out to present Best Visual Effects. Butler speaks of "movie magic," two words that probably shouldn't come out of the mouth of an actor whose last few films included Law Abiding Citizen, Gamer, The Ugly Truth, and PS I Love You. Avatar wins, naturally.

10:15 – The interpretive dance for Up begs the question, did I miss the robots in the movie? Maybe the '80s pop-locking routine is leftover from when Mannequin's score failed to get nominated in 1988. One of my friends notes, "These dancers are very good at what they do, I just wish they'd stop doing it." Despite the GAP ad vibe, the dancing is impressive, especially the Avatar section, which features lots of CGI-free, hands-free flipping. Michael Giacchino rightfully wins for Up.

10:12 – Um, there is now interpretive dance to Sherlock Holmes music. The score interpretive dancing stuff is always top-notch unintentional comedy fodder. Such as a guy "dancing" as a "bomb" for Hurt Locker, causing the other dancers to be "blown away." (A routine that could also be interpreted as "when a really smelly guy gets on a crowded bus.") Parents, when your children come home from freshman year of college and say they want to be a Modern Dance major, you pull this tape out and show them. Show them before it's too late.

10:12 – Jennifer Lopez and Sam Worthington are out to present the Best Score dance routine. It's like the broadcast is trying to drive me screaming from the room. Trendy nerd glasses don't make Worthington more interesting, but they do make his square Australian noggin look even more blocky than usual.

10:09 – James Taylor accompanies the Death Montage, causing my party's host to remark, "so this is what Hell is." Karl Malden is the final face in the memorial reel, but Farrah Fawcett (Logan's Run, See You in the Morning, The Apostle) is shut out, once again getting pushed aside by MJ (The Wiz).

9:50 – The always adorable Elizabeth Banks had the "honor" of being the starlet sent out to host the Sci-Tech Oscars Awards this year. (Or SyTek as I'm sure they'll soon be rebranded.) 

9:47 – Hurt Locker wins both the Sound Editing and Mixing Oscars. The awards appear to have been accepted by the lost Irish Winters brother. (Okay, that joke was probably a bit obscure. See the Irish are very pale and so are '70s rock siblings Johnny and Edgar Winters.)

9:45 – Martin and Baldwin have a funny Paranormal Activity Meets Three Stooges clip, but the Academy goodwill toward horror films is tainted by having Lautner and Stewart introduce the horror-film montage, which includes clips from New Moon. No, the Twilight films are not horror, unless you are unduly terrified of hair gel and Boflexed pecs.

The montage itself is good fun, though it further confuses the whole "horror vs. thriller" thing. The Twilighters note that "horror" hasn't had a place at the Oscars since The Exorcist, and yet the "horror" montage features clips from such Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning "thrillers" as Jaws, The Sixth Sense, and The Silence of the Lambs. But it more than makes up for it–for starters, it's pretty gruesome for a prime-time, non-horror audience (the Misery hobbling!), but best of all, it uses the violin music from Young Frankenstein and the Creepshow theme!

9:35 – The Young Victoria wins Best Costume. If you want to win Best Costume, just make sure part of your film is set in pre-1900 aristocratic Europe–even if you're making a film about space aliens in the year 3500 AD. In a stunning irony, this is followed by Charlize Theron and her cinnabons dress.

9:33 – Introducing the Best Costume presenters, the Martin-Baldwin joke is that Martin mispronounces "clothes horses" as "clothes whores," but what's even more subversively funny is using "horse" in any way when referring to Sarah Jessica Parker.

9:30 – Sigourney Weaver gives Avatar its first award of the night: Art Direction. Which also means our first gag-inducing "I see you" speech of evening. I hope they thank the little people who painted all those Pandora sets.

9:25 – In addition to mangling teleprompting, tonight's other trend is actress nominees crying in the audience while watching clips of their own performances. They can't help it, they're just so dang good at what they do.

9:22 – Almost hoping Mo'Nique doesn't win, does a Zoolander, and heads up to the stage on autopilot. But of course not, she wins Best Supporting Actress. She gets a standing O and then puts it right out there by addressing the "politics" of awards season. Also thanks her lawyer. Does NOT thank God, so ballot tie-breaker still in play.

9:16 – Clips from the Governors Awards Dinner a few months ago honoring Roger Corman (whooo!), the great cinematographer Gordon Willis, Lauren Bacall (life-time achievement award, aka the "you haven't won an Oscar and you could die soon" award), and producer and Thalberg Award winner John Calley. Can I just say that the addition of five extra Best Picture nominees has meant some–in my opinion–crappy compromises during the live ceremony: no real performances of the Best Songs, and folks like Corman, Bacall, and Calley get somewhat short-shrifted.

9:15 – My pool ballot takes a big hit when Geoffry Fletcher wins for Precious instead of Up In the Air. Fletcher gives a touching acceptance speech but fails to thank a deity, further weakening my ballot tie-breaker.

9:12 – Rachel McAdams looks stunning in a sheer camo dress. Perfect for awards presenting and deer hunting.

21 Responses to “Oscars® (Semi) Live Blog: Second Half of the Ceremony (Special Revised Edition)”

  1. Jim S.
    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Good that Leprechaun and Saw are finally getting some attention at the Oscars.

  2. Jim S.
    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Not sure if you’re up to the Best Score segment, accompanied by an odd modern dance routine. Spoiler alert: it makes use of headspins AND the robot was danced to the score for Up.

  3. millar74
    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    really ?? New Moon in the horror montage??? geez.

  4. Locke Peterseim
    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I didn’t get to see much of the Governor’s Award dinner footage with Corman et al, or really watch the Horror Montage. Will have to catch up later at home on DVR.

  5. Jim S.
    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Yeah, in many ways…I think that dance segment WAS the horror montage.

  6. Locke Peterseim
    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Millar, I had a Twilight horror joke in there, but the browser ate it–will retrieve it later!

  7. Ashley
    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    WHOA. Well. That was unexpected.

  8. millar74
    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Locke, waiting with bated breath for that joke. :)

  9. Locke Peterseim
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Don’t wait up too late — I just got back home and have to either get a second wind with the help of a caffeine IV, or get up early tomorrow and do my ‘special edition’ revisions

  10. Kristin
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 10:17 am

    OH LOCKE!!! You had me howling at the Moviegoer comment!!! Poor thing!

  11. moviegoer123
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    All the Avatar related things on the show were so hilarious but I hope not they weren’t making fun of the movie.
    I was so surprised that Avatar took home Best Visual Effects because I thought at first Star Trek is taking it home, guess not — naturally probably had planned to win that award.
    Kristen, I didn’t come on during the commercials because I was naturally so into the darn show, so here I am making all my comments that I was supposed to do last night and doing them today.

  12. Ashley
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I laughed pretty hard, too! Poor girl had a rough night, though … Hope she’s doing okay!

  13. moviegoer123
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Ashley, I’m doing fine (if you are talking about me). All I am doing is now getting things done and watching all the Oscar-related TV shows on the television.
    Thank godsh I don’t have to worry about the Academy Awards telecast anymore, its finally done for. Now that the Award season is almost done with, I can get back to watching more movies that I haven’t seen!

  14. JGM
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Best line of the night at our house, during the “Up” segment of the dance routine, came from the 14-YO: “Hey, it’s the new guy on 30 Rock!”

  15. JGM
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Random observations:
    I love it when the winners of the technical awards go all diva in their speeches. Ah, the creative class.
    Dude, get off Signourney Weaver’s dress.
    Kristen Stewart needs professional help, or another line of work. Seriously. When we saw the up-do, I remarked “at least she can’t play with her hair”. Then she went and did it anyway, followed by that cough-tic thing.
    Ebert hated Martwin, oddly, as everyone else seemed at least OK with them.
    The visual effects categories are going to need some reworking soon, I think. Avatar is basically one long visual effect, on a continuum between any action movie featuring CGI (ie. Star Trek) and computer-animated features like Up (which do not get nominated here), Avatar is pretty far to the cartoon side.
    The interpretive dance segment actually went over well in our house — how else are you going to handle presenting “best score” examples?
    Every time I think I might want to see The Cove, somebody shows that scene with the red water.
    The “field of 10″ idea for best picture seems like a fizzle; I didn’t count but it seems like several of the films nominated for BP won nothing at all, which kind of makes the nomination into a joke, particularly when they run out of time to even say the names of the nominees.

  16. Fiirvoen
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Question: Could Avatar have been nominated for best animated? Should it have been? Why wasn’t it?

  17. Locke Peterseim
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I’d say the easy measure is intent: Do the filmmakers INTEND for their visuals to be seen AS animated, or do they intend for them to be seen as REAL?
    Obviously all the animated feature nominees intend for their films to be viewed as artificial, stylized, abstracted, or to some degree visually unrealistic representations. Whereas Cameron et al went to great, labor-time-financial-intensive lengths to make their artificially created images appear as realistic as possible, to be taken/mistaken as real.

  18. moviegoer123
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Great question there Fiirvoen. Avatar would’ve still not win Best Animated even it had been nominated for that category. Avatar wasn’t nominated, CGI doesn’t make the movie animated because the actors were doing the same thing that they would do in a not animated movie.
    Yes, it should’ve been nominated in the Best Animated category because most of the movie was CGI.
    Why wasn’t it? Because it wasn’t actually animated.
    I answered the questions Fiirvoen and they were from my point of view. I saw the movie so they were kind of easy to answer.
    Avatar should have won Best Original Score I think because it was beautiful music, Up’s music wasn’t as beautiful as Avatar’s. “I See You” Theme from Avatar is beautiful and it fits in with the movie. To check out the song, the website is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU9sMdAjK08.

  19. millar74
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Locke – first i was bated, then i waited patiently for your second wind, cuppa joe, and time to mentally rehash the oscar events. i think a twilight joke at this juncture will fizzle. i could be wrong. maybe it’s just that good :)

  20. Locke Peterseim
    Posted on March 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    LOL, that’s all there WAS Millar! The dumb little quip about being “unduly terrified of hair gel and Boflexed pecs” that I added back in this morning.
    Sorry for getting you hopes up for something better. It was a long evening…

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