Mar 7, 2010

Oscars 2010: Liveblog

EDIT: Okay, so I'm back. I've cleaned up the formatting and spellings. Pictures, video and a few general comments will apear soon, in a new post

11:41pm - Well, here we are then. I'm looking at the red carpet coverage. The stars of the silver screen are all glammed up to the nines, and here I am, sitting at a laptop in my kitchen, disheveled and wearing a slightly ratty dressing gown, and contemplating the slightly hideous fact that I'm going to be up until five or six tomorrow morning, reporting - hopefully in a sardonic and entertaining fashion - on the culmination of Hollywood's annual orgy of self-regarding celebration of cinematic mediocrity. I mean, lets face it, if the ten films nominated for Best Picture actually represented the best films of 2009 it would have been a really hideous year. Anyway, back to the red carpet, where some British non-entity is chatting to Ryan Reynolds who, shockingly, is rooting for Sandra Bullock.

11:42 - James Cameron, and the first question is where's Suzi Amis' dress from.
11:44 - Where does Cameron keep his Oscars? Apparently they move around, because they're usualy in the way. Well, he does have a few.
11:46 - Tom Ford, looking sharp as one would expect, and claiming not to be nervous. Favourites this year; Precious, Hurt Locker and Avatar... hedging his bets there.
11:48 - Dear GOD, she's not even up there yet and Mo'Nique is already giving her tearful speech about how life changing and wonderful Precious was. This is going to HURT.
11:51 - Sigorney Weaver hopes Avatar will win some awards. In other news, the sky is often blue.

11:52 - Time for a break. Is it just me, or is anyone else wondering why so much TV time is given over to 'people walking down a red rug'? They're pretty people, sure, and I'm sure it's a nice rug, but even so.

11:58 - Nick Park, up for his latest Wallace and Gromit short. He's got yet another really awful bow tie (which it turns out he made, out of wrapping paper).
00:00 am - Carey Mulligan, looking all cute and gamine, she's brought her family as guests.
00:02 - Tarantino, says he's feeling lucky. I get the feeling he'll be disappointed, at least on the big awards for himself.
00:03 - Christoph Waltz, ever modest, still rocking that excellent beard. Amazingly he still seems surprised to be nominated.
00:05 - Jeremy Renner, with his Mum, who says it's the proudest day of her life. Renner jokingly miffed that it wasn't the day he was born.
00:07 - Sandra Bullock, will they bring up her (gracious) Razzie victory last night? [Futuresam: No]

00:11 - Breaktime. Kettle on then.

00:17 - Is Quinton Aaron (of The Blind Side) just really quiet, or is Sky's mic crap?
00:19 - It's the mic. And Melanie Griffith looks like a candle that's been melted and remoulded over and over.
00:20 - SJP being asked what we can expect from Sex and the City 2. My bet? no Oscars.
00:21 - Lee Daniels may have made a tremendously overrated flick, but he looks very cool, and has a hot daughter.
00:23 - Stanley Tucci, being patronised on the occasion of his first nomination, which is hugely overdue (the nominato=ion that is).
00:25 - Colin Firth, 'fired out of a cannon sometime in September, now rounding Pluto'. Oh I hope he wins, it'll be a great speech.
00:29 - Meryl Streep and Demi Moore both looking very good.

00:30 - Back to the ads.

00:36 - Highlights package from last year, makes me REALLY hope that they go back to the usual way of presenting the acting Oscars, because those testimonials from previous winners were just mortifying.
00:38 - Clooney "aware that Jeff Bridges is going to win". Good for him.
00:39 - Bridges, less convinced of his victory than Clooney is. Just a quick note; Jeff Bridges is made of awesome, he should get an Oscar for being Jeff Bridges.
00:41 - Sam Worthington, much more entertaining than his movie, joking about worrying his girlfriend will run off with Zac Efron.
00:44 - Best Pic clips package. Bored now.
00:51 - Kate Winslet. WOW.

00:53 - Red carpet coverage is wrapping up, just crossing my fingers that my stream will now switch to the ceremony itself (which, of course, is on a different channel).

01:00 - Nearly time for the main event. I've got my scorecard here, and my predictions (which I wrote earlier), so, I'm pretty much set. Hope you enjoy the liveblog as we carry on through the night (assuming I don't nod off at my keyboard resulting in the last hour being reported as "feghuwguirwhrg jlgeroip").
01:03 - and here we go.
01:04 - Oh, joy, Claudia Winkleman (pretty, but, as far as I can tell, has the film knowledge of a fish supper) and a panel of lightweight 'experts'.
01:07 - Still NO mention of films in this coverage of the world's biggest film awards. Thanks Sky.
01:08 - A BTS package with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, bodes well actually, light, funny and some good chemistry there.
01:10 - Ah, a mention of films, and just ten minutes in. Thery're about to discuss the 10 Best Pic nominees, with two comics and a 'film guru' I've never heard of. Where are Mark Kermode and Kim Newman when you need them?
01:13 - "Is Avatar the first blue movie nominated for best pic?" These are the jokes that we Brits are getting on this coverage? KILL ME NOW.
01:15 - Is Best Actor locked up?

01:27 - My stream went down just after that last post, but it looks like I've found an alternate one JUST in time for the awards to start. I'm now looking at the American, rather than the British, feed.

01:30 - and here we go. They're introducing the actor/actress nominees to begin with. Slightly odd choice.
01:32 - Neil Patrick Harris. Ace.
01:33 - Well, in concept anyway. I'm guessing Joss Whedon didn't write this song. It might have been funny if he had.
01:34 - Oh please let the host segment be funny.
01:35 - That first joke was spoiled in the BTS package, but it's funny still.
01:36 - Meryl Streep liked the gag about her having 'most losses'.
01:37 - Vera Farmiga looks gorgeous, but these jokes about pronunciation aren't really working for me.
01:38 - They're really hitting Meryl Streep, but she's loving it, and the jokes about Precious are pretty solid, especially the reference to CAA.
01:41 - Um. What WAS the punchline on the Avatar joke?
01:42 _ "Christoph Waltz played a nazi obsessed with finding jews, well Christoph... the motherload". That's the line of the night so far for me.
01:43 - Taylor Lautner, just as plastic in real life then.

01:44 - Best Supporting Actor
Prediction: Christoph Waltz – Waltz has won every award in sight since Inglourious Basterds premiered at Cannes, and there’s almost no way that he can lose here, unless the academy is completely overcome by the fact that Christopher Plummer is really quite old and has never been nominated before, despite a distinguished career.
Preference: None really, I’ve only seen two of the films here.

01:45 - Thank GOD, one presenter and a clip for each performance. So much better than the recent format experiments.
01:48 - WINNER: Waltz [1/1]
01:49 - "Oscar and Penelope; That's an uber bingo". A graceful and humble speech, as expected, and a deserving winner.

01:50 - Best Pic presentation: The Blind Side, by star Sandra Bullock's Proposal co-star Ryan Reynolds. The only BP nominee I haven't seen. Looks cheesier than a warehouse full of gorgonzola.

01:52 - Breaktime. I need a cuppa.

01:55 - Back, with Diaz and Carrell. Cameron Diaz can't read an autocue.
01:58 - Best Animated Film
Prediction / Preference: Up – Pixar’s best film since Toy Story 2, a gorgeously realised, incredibly moving film. The only way it won’t win here is if its Best Picture nomination splinters its vote.
01:59 - WINNER: Up [2/2]

02:02 - Original Song
Prediction / Preference: The Weary Kind – Crazy Heart has a lot of great music in it, this might not be the best song in the film, but it is the only one of the four I’ve heard from this list that I’d listen to outside of the film.
I'm having REAL trouble with this stream, hoping it'll correct itself yet.
02:04 - WINNER: The Weary Kind [3/3]
02:05 - "I love you more than rainbows baby". Nurse, nurse, the sickbag.

02:06 - Best Pic package for District 9. Stream seems okay now, phew.

02:07 - Break, and oh I fucking had to say it, didn't I?
02:10 - Three awards in, three good picks. This can't last.

02:11 - Robert Downey Jr and Tina Fey presenting Original screenplay with gags about the difference between what actors look for in scripts and what writers look for in actors "phone scenes so I don't have be in the same room as that insane actress I hate"
02: 14 - Original Screenplay
Prediction: Inglourious Basterds – Tarantino’s latest has been widely regarded as one of his best, and its hard to imagine that the film won’t win anything besides Christoph Waltz’ supporting actor trophy, and this seems to be the easiest for Tarantino to win, perhaps as an apology for not yet getting around to giving QT Best Director.
Preference: Up – Hilarious, and easily the most emotional film of the year.
02:15 - WINNER: The Hurt Locker. [3/4]. Sweep time, methinks.
02:16 - Dedicated to the troops, and to his Father, in a nice speech that never got political in an overt way.

02:17 - Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick with a tribute to John Hughes. Well deserved. Seems like a truly affectionate pair of speeches, again without being too sentimental.
02:19 - Wonderful to see a filmmaker who was so much part of my childhood not just thrown into the In Memoriam montage.
02:22 - Ally Sheedy is on the verge of tears there, but amazingly this is staying dignified.

02:23 - Samuel L Jackson presents Up for Best Picture. Odd pairing, even though he's worked for Pixar.

02:25 - another break already? It's gonna be a long night isn't it?

02:28 - Carey Mulligan and Zoe Saldana presenting short films awards. I haven't seen any of the nominees at all, hence no predictions.
02:30 - Nice package, with previous winners who have gone on to make features. I'm liking the format tonight.
02:32 - Animated Short WINNER: Logorama. The clip looked very cool, but I'm shocked that Nick Park's latest Wallace and Gromit lost. "No logos were harmed during the making of the project".
02:35 - Documentary Short WINNER: Music by Prudence.
02:37 - Live Action short WINNER: The New Tennants.

02:38 - Ben Stiller as a Na'vi. "It was between this and the nazi uniform, but the show seemed a little Hitler heavy"
02:39 - Make up
Prediction: Star Trek – This one tends to go to the flashiest nominee.
Preference: God, I don’t care. There’s really no work that sticks out here.
02:40 - "after I announce the winner I will stand as far away from them as possible, so as not to demean their moment of triumph". WINNER: Star Trek [4/5]

02:43 - Jeff Bridges presents A Serious Man for Best Pic.
02:45 - Break time.

02:48 - Rachel McAdams and Jake Gyllenhaal presenting.
02:49 - Adapted Screenplay
Prediction: Up in the Air – The precursors seem to have this down as the year’s outstanding adaptation.
Preference: An Education, despite its awful final scene, it’s full of wit and solid drama.
02:50 - WINNER: Precious [4/6]. Ugh.
02:51 - First tears of the night "This is for everybody who works on a dream every day, precious boys and girls everywhere" and, apparently everyone else in the world. Well, that was genuine, and yet just a bit sickly.

02:52 - Martin: "I wrote that speech for him". Steve Martin rules, by the way.
02:53 - Highlights of the Governors awards (essentially so that we don't have to sit through the 'boring' lifetime achievement awards).
02:54 - Nice to see Roger Corman honoured, that man's done more to break new talent than almost anyone, we owe him weeks, perhaps even months, worth of great movies.

02:56 - Shit. Now this stream's gone.

03:00 - Best Supporting Actress
Prediction: Mo’Nique – Precious is being spectacularly overrated by award bodies, but Mo’Nique is the best thing about the film by a country mile, and it’s hard to deny that she’s worthy of her frontrunner status here.
Preference: Anna Kendrick – A performance that is in equal parts hilarious and moving, given by one of the most consistently interesting young talents around right now.
WINNER: Mo'Nique [5/7]. Missed the speech searching for a stream.

03:05 - Sigourney Weaver presenting Art Direction
Prediction: Avatar – I have a feeling that Avatar will take home a clutch of technical awards, and you can’t deny that its design is pretty stunning.
Preference: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus – Gilliam’s latest is a mess, but it is an intricate, gorgeous, mess.
03:06 - WINNER: Avatar [6/8]. "Jim Cameron, this Oscar sees you". GROAN. PUKE.

03:08 - Costume Design, presented by Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker. Well, who else?
Prediction: The Young Victoria – This tends to be a period movie award, The Young Victoria is the kind of thing that the Academy likes here; pretty frocks in a period flick.
Preference: I know nothing about clothes, and care less, but Audrey Tautou looked sensational in Coco Before Chanel, so that’ll do.
03:11 - WINNER: The Young Victoria [7/9]. Yep, just make some old fashioned frocks and you're something of a shoo in here. She dedicates it to costume designers who work on contemporary films, and don't get as recognised. Good for Sandy Powell.

03:12 - Charlize Theron presenting the package for Precious.
03:13 - time for another break. I'm surprisingly awake, if now a little cold.

03:18 - Paranormal Activity sketch. Scarier than Paranormal Activity.
03:19 - Taylor Lautner and and Kristen Stewart introduce a tribute to horror movies.
03:20 - Wow. Leprechaun at the Oscars.
03:22 - Apparently only America makes horror films.

03:22 - Anna Kendrick and Zac Efron (and a Morgan Freeman voiceover) present the sound awards. In the most populist nod I've seen they're demonstrating sound work using The Dark Knight.
03:24 - Sound Editing / Sound Mixing
Prediction: Avatar – The sound categories tend to go to the technically favoured film each year, that’s Avatar this time. Transformers 2 might sneak in for sound mixing, if only because it’s REALLY FUCKING LOUD.
03:25 - Sound Editing WINNER: The Hurt Locker [7/10]. Yep, sweep time.
03:27 - Sound Mixing WINNER: The Hurt Locker [7/11]. See above.

03:28 - Elizabeth Banks presents a [miniscule] package from the sci-tech awards.

03:29 - Travolta presents Inglourious Basterds for Picture.

03:34 - Sandra Bullock presenting
Prediction: The White Ribbon – Michael Haneke’s latest is a stunning visual achievement; every frame a gorgeous piece of art in itself, if enough people see it then it ought to win.
Preference: Antichrist – How the best looking film of last year, if not the last five, didn’t get nominated is utterly beyond me. Among the nominees The White Ribbon is the correct choice.
03:35 - WINNER: Avatar [7/12]. F u c k.

03:37 - Demi Moore, and the Ghost music. Here comes the In Memoriam montage. Get your tissues.
03:38 - Oh, balls. James Taylor is mullering In My Life.
03:41 - Well, that ruined what's usualy a moving moment.

03:45 - JLo and Sam Worthington. Of course, it's such an obvious pairing. Hmmm, Worthington DOES always sound wooden and bored, it's not just his acting.
03:47 - Original Score
Prediction: Up – Michael Giacchino has had much acclaim and several awards for this score, and I imagine that this will be one more.
Preference: None really, for me a good score is one I don’t really notice, as long as Avatar[ded] doesn’t win I'll be fine.
03:49 - Honestly, do we really need the fucking interpretive dance? Give us Roger Corman's speech instead, Academy.
03:50 - All the coreography to Up's moving score just feels... wrong.
03:52: WINNER - Up [8/13]. Lovely. Giacchino is writing a lot of effective, but not hectoring, music. A nice speech paying tribute to being told that being creative is 'not a waste of time'.

03:54 - Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper
Visual Effects
Prediction: Avatar – even if it’s locked out in every other category, Avatar will win here.
Preference: District 9 – Effects very nearly as good as Avatar’s, on a tenth of its budget, surely the bigger achievement.
03:55 - WINNER: Avatar [9/14]. Well, obviously.

03:56 - Jason Bateman for Up in the Air. Really, could they not find anyone who isn't IN the thing to pimp it here?

03:58 - I'm whipped, and I'm beginning to flag here, especially since a lot of the next hour is likely to be very predictable.

04:01 - MATT DAMON
Best Documentary Feature
Prediction: This is an incredibly difficult call and, to my shame, I haven’t seen any of the films so I’m just going with the most critically acclaimed – The Cove.
04:05 - WINNER: The Cove [10/15]. The comedy indian guy from Short Circuit has an Oscar.

04:05 - Tyler Perry "they just said my name at the Oscars, I better enjoy it because it'll never happen again". Damn straight Tyler.
Prediction / Preference: The Hurt Locker – This seems to be regarded as one of the great dramatic achievements of the year, and editing feels more like an artistic category than a technical one. Avatar will probably take the more technical categories, but this just feels like The Hurt Locker’s award. It’s also the best of a very mixed bag (Precious’ editing is appalling, and its nomination is a joke).
04:08 - WINNER: The Hurt Locker [11/16]. Oh thank GOD it wasn't Precious.

04:08 - Keanu Reeves for The Hurt Locker.

04:10 - My back's starting to hurt now, it's sitting still for so long that's doing it.

04:14 - Almodovar and Tarantino. Now THAT'S a directorial pairing I'd be intrigued by
Best Foreign Language Film
Prediction / Preference: The White Ribbon – Of those I’ve seen this is one of just two truly outstanding films in the three Best Picture categories. I imagine that it is razor thin between The White Ribbon and A Prophet, and will largely come down to which is more widely seen, but I think Haneke will sneak this one from Audiard.

04:17 - WINNER: The Secret in Their Eyes [11/17]. Well, there's the night's surprise winner.
Thanks the academy "for not considering Na'vi a foreign language". Nicely done.

04:19 - Kathy Bates for Avatar.

04:20 - Another break? Are they running short this year?
04:23 - Well, just the four biggies left. Prepare for a dull, predictability packed, half hour.

04:25 - Oh, cock. Back to this shitty testimonial thing for Best Actor.
Prediction: Jeff Bridges – He’s clearly the favourite, and a sentimental choice, a great actor whom the Academy has passed over for too long. This isn’t his best work, but it’s hardly Scent of a Woman either.
Preference: Colin Firth – An actor who has really broadened his horizons in the last few years, and done a lot of good work. This is a tour de force, and a beautifully underplayed piece of work, which is why he won’t win.
04:27 - I wonder if the actors delivering these speeches wrote them themselves. I hope so.
04:29 - "It is Ted, isn't it?" That's line of the night sewn up.
04:30 - You know something, they nailed that format there, much more sincere than it felt last year.
04:32 - WINNER: Bridges [12/18]
04:33 - He's having fun. 'Mom and Dad, look'.
04:35 - Jeff Bridges is exceptionally cool. That is all.

04:40 - Best Actress
Prediction: Sandra Bullock – Every now and then the Best Actress Oscar has to go to a big star, Julia Roberts had her turn for Erin Brockovich and this is Bullock’s. I haven’t seen the film yet, but Bullock has never, that I’ve seen, been anyone other than Sandra Bullock on screen.
Preference: Carey Mulligan – Of the four I’ve seen here this easily the best performance, and it announces Mulligan as an interesting new talent to watch, cast from the Audrey Hepburn mould.
04:43 - This is feeling more scripted than the Best Actor line up, stiffer, and it's not working so well.
04:48 - WINNER: Bullock [13/18]. Sandra Bullock has an Oscar. Jennifer Jason Leigh has never been nominated, just saying.
04:50 - A genuine speech; warm and funny. I like Sandra Bullock, from what I know of her, as a person but I wish she was a better actress.

04:54 - Best Director
Prediction / Preference: Kathryn Bigelow – It’s well past due for a female director to win, and Bigelow, what with her guild win, seems to have it sewn up. It also helps that her is the best directorial job in this category.
04:55 - WINNER: Bigelow [14/19]. The first Female Best Director, after just 82 years.

04:58 - Tom Hanks presenting Best Picture
Prediction: A tough call, but I think the momentum is running The Hurt Locker’s way. Unfortunately the producer sending anti-Avatar emails to academy members may have annoyed them into voting for the big, blue piece of shit.
Preference: Up – The only nominee that deserves to be regarded as among the best films of 2009.
WINNER: The Hurt Locker [15/20].
I'm just so pleased that the Academy didn't down the blue kool aid.

05:00 - Well. I'm done for now. I'll have final thoughts and I'll tidy this post up in the morning, well perhaps the afternoon. That's it. Hope you enjoyed it. I did, more than I thought I would. Now, I need my bed.


  1. Paul Bettany and Adam Sandler should have been nominated? Hmm...

    I hate watching/reading people who know less about film than I do and knowing that they get paid :(

  2. Dang, I was really rooting for Basterds, but would have been happy with Up or A Serious Man.
    Ah well...

  3. I liked Mo'Nique's speech simply because she acknowleged Hattie McDaniel. Unlike "I've opened the doors" Halle Berry...silly bitch.

  4. Bloody hell. They better give The White Ribbon Best Foreign Film now, they better.

  5. Shut up Ronnie! I hate when comedians talk about how comedy performances are just as great as dramatic ones.

  6. Shut up Ronnie! I hate when comedians talk about how comedy performances are just as great as dramatic ones.

    To be fair she's not wrong on the general point.

  7. It's true that comedy performances deserve more credit than they get when it comes to awards, but not as much as some funny people like to think.
    I remember when Jack Black implied that School of Rock should have been up for awards and whilst I understand his point, dramatic actors just make a bigger leap from their own personas that comic actors tend my opinion.

    Damn you Sandra!