Sunday, February 26, 2012

The 84th Annual Academy Awards: Real-Time Blogging the Oscars

In about 15 minutes, the 84th Annual Academy Awards will broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, hosted once again by Billy Crystal. Right now, the blogger of this blog is watching ABC's live Red Carpet coverage, which is winding down. And like the other times, this blog will be updated during the commercial breaks.

8:16PM- Actors being asked whom they are rooting for...

8:26PM- Well, it's about time, so I'm excited. It's Oscar night, and I've got my water and candy right beside me. Not leaving my seat, except during the commercials.

8:29PM- It's Time!

8:30PM- Morgan Freeman kicks the show off. "This magnificent event enables us to look at the present and acknowledge the past."

8:31PM- And like the eight other times in Oscar history, so it begins, the Billy Crystal Oscar open, first with The Artist, then The Descendants

8:31PM- "Say, I'm Batman. Hit me."

8:32PM- Next up, Moneyball...then, it's Midnight in Paris, where Justin Bieber gives Billy Crystal "the 18-24 demographic". "We're going to hang out with Hemingway and Fitzgerald...", "...and then we're going to kill Hitler."

8:33PM- The Help, followed by Bridesmaids' and their scenes of excrement

8:34PM- "Are you sure this is a Scorsese movie? Nobody's going to watch it." Hugo (taken to Mission: Impossible 3D)

8:35PM- Billy rides the coattails of the film reel through the green screen to the Kodak Theatre.

8:36PM- "That was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close..."- Billy Crystal, about the applause

8:37PM- "This is my 9th time hosting the Oscars, just call me War Horse."; "Welcome to the Chapter 11 Theatre."- Billy Crystal

8:38PM- "It's a Wonderful Night for Oscar"...first "The Artist" (parody of I Won't Dance), then "War Horse" (parody of Mr. Ed), then "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", then "Moneyball"..."They're serving cupcakes after the show", then "Hugo" (parody of That's Amore), then "The Tree of Life"..."I even heard it freaked out God", followed by "The Descendants" (parody of the Hawaiian War Dance), then "Midnight in Paris" (parody of The Last Time I Saw Paris", then "The Help".

8:41PM- Tom Hanks presents the first award of the Oscar night, but not before acknowledging a 59-year Oscar seat holder veteran named Carl.

8:42PM- Hanks presents the First Two Awards of the night, first up Cinematography.

8:43PM- Robert Richardson wins the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for "Hugo", previously winning for "JFK" and "The Aviator".

8:43PM- "I can't believe somebody put Cinematography first. You can only go up."- Robert Richardson, three-time winning Cinematographer

8:44PM- Art Direction is the next category.

8:45PM- Hugo wins the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for Production Designer Dante Ferretti and Set Decorator Francesca Lo Schiovo.

8:46PM- Musicians playing in the balcony area taking us to the first Commercial Break.

8:50PM- "Welcome back to the 'Your Name Here' Theatre."- Billy Crystal

8:51PM- A clip show of past films: Forrest Gump, Titanic, LEgends of the Fall, The Princess Bride, Avatar, Amelie, Ghost, Jaws I, Apollo 13, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Hangover, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Arthur, Shawshank Redemption, Austin Powers, Something About Mary, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, French Connection, A Few Good Men, Star Wars, E.T., Raging Bull, Midnight Cowboy, When Harry Met Sally

8:53PM- "Please welcome a recurring dream of mine, Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz."- Billy Crystal

8:54PM- Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz present the Oscar for Best Costume Design, won a record eight times by Edith Head.

8:55PM- Mark Bridges win the Oscar for Achievement in Costume Design for "The Artist".

8:56PM- Lopez and Diaz are also presenting the Makeup Oscar, where there are three nominees.

8:57PM- The Makeup team from "The Iron Lady", Mark Coulier and Roy Helland wins the Academy Award for Achievement in Makeup.

8:58PM- "Thanks, Meryl for keeping me employed for the last 37 years."- Roy Helland

8:59PM- Interviews of Actors (including 11-time Razzie nominee this year Adam Sandler) about the movies.

9:00PM- "In the end, the good Gargantuan had to sacrifice himself to defeat the bad Gargantuan."- Brad Pitt (in the interview package)

9:01PM- No Baseball film has ever won the Oscar for Best Picture. Moneyball is the first baseball film since "Field of Dreams" to be a Best Picture nominee.

9:02PM- Commercial Break

9:05PM- Sandra Bullock presents the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

9:06PM- Sandra Bullock says something in Mandarin Chinese.

9:07PM- From Iran, "A Separation" wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Iran's first Academy Award in this category.

9:08PM- "You'll get to choose one on Super Tuesday..."- Billy Crystal

9:09PM- Defending Supporting Actor champ (and Batman) Christian Bale presents the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Four of the five nominees are first-times.

9:11PM- Octavia Spencer wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mississippi maid Minnie in "The Help", one of four first-time nominees in this category this year, and the third African-American in the last six years to win in this race.

9:14PM- Balcony musicians...again. "The Artist" is the first silent film to be nominated for Best Picture since 1928, and only the fourth Black & White film to be nominated for Best Picture since 1967.

9:15PM- Commercial Break

9:18PM- "Footage of 'Wizard of Oz' Focus Group" with the Christopher Guest film actors.

9:19PM- "I was somewhat perplexed."

9:20PM- "I loved the Flying Monkeys...if you can teach a monkey to fly, you can teach a monkey to talk."

9:20PM- "I didn't particularly care for the Rainbow song."

9:21PM- Catherine O'Hara sings a lyric of the parody of "Over the Rainbow".

9:21PM- They will be screening "Gone With the Wind" "next week".

9:22PM- "You're a lucky girl. He's a very good kisser."- Billy Crystal (to Stacy Kiebler on George Clooney)

9:22PM- Tina Fey & Bradley Cooper present the Academy Award for Achievement in Film Editing.

9:23PM- Last year's winners Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall return for seconds, winning the Academy Award for Achievement in Film Editing.

9:24PM- Angus: "Let's get out of here." Kirk: "We're editors. Thank you."

9:24PM- Cooper and Fey are also presenting the Oscar for Sound Editing.

9:25PM- Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty win the Oscar for Sound Editing for "Hugo".

9:26PM- "If I forgot anyone, you know who you are..."- Stockton.

9:27PM- Cooper and Fey make it three categories in a row as they are also presenting the Oscar for Sound Mixing.

9:28PM- "Hugo" wins its fourth Oscar of the night, this time for Sound Mixing for Sound Mixers Tom Fleischman and John Midgley.

9:29PM- Commercial Break. Cirque du Soleil is coming up after the Commercial Break.

9:33PM- Kermit T. Frog and his lovely bride Miss Piggy

9:34PM- "It's time Spielberg left some for the rest of us. How many Oscars does he need?"- Miss Piggy

9:35PM- Cirque du Soleil does their interpretation of "What Is It Like To Go To The Movies?"

9:38PM- So that's what it's like to go to the movies?

9:38PM- "Wow. I pulled a hamstring just watching it. We've got puppets, acrobats...we're just a pony away from being a Bar Mitzvah."- Billy Crystal; "He may be walking on the stage, just because he wanders off." (about Christopher Plummer); "When my grandfather was 82, we didn't allow him to go to the movies."

9:40PM- "84 and timeless, but the show isn't, so let's move on."

9:40PM- Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. present the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

9:40PM- Gwyneth: "What are you doing here?"; Robert: "I'm filming a documentary, 'The Presenter'."

9:43PM- "Undefeated" (not the Sarah Palin one, but I thought it was) wins the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay, and Rich Middlemas.

9:44PM- And the trio gets cut off.

9:45PM- Past Oscar host Chris Rock presents the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

9:46PM- "Rango", directed by Gore Verbinski, win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

9:47PM- "It was created by a bunch of grown-ups acting like children."- Gore Verbinski (about Rango) in his acceptance speech

9:48PM- Northern Ireland, France, Canada, Argentina, England, Mexico, and the United States represent the nations of our 20 acting nominees.

9:49PM- Commercial Break

9:52PM- Melissa McCarthy blocks Billy Crystal from the backstage door. Meanwhile, Emma Stone and Ben Stiller present the Academy Award for Visual Effects.

9:52PM- "This is my first time presenting an Academy Award."- Emma Stone (acting airy)

9:53PM- "We should have banter, where you act cocky..."- Stone (and she's taller than Ben)

9:56PM- The team from "Hugo"- Alex Hemmings, Rod Legato, Joss Williams, and Len Grossman, wins the Academy Award for Visual Effects.

9:57PM- "This is the year we said goodbye to Harry Potter. He made $ 7.7 Billion, and he only paid 14 percent income tax."- Billy Crystal

9:58PM- Last year's Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo presents the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

10:00PM- Christopher Plummer becomes the oldest Academy Award winner, winning for Best Supporting Actor for "Beginners". (Plummer receives a standing ovation)

10:01PM- "You're only two years older than me, but where you've been all my life...when I came out of my mother's womb, I've been practicing my acceptance speech."- Christopher Plummer, accepting his Oscar

10:03PM- Commercial Break (and more balcony musicians), then after that are the two Music categories- Score and Song.

10:07PM- "What's on their mind?" (Brad Pitt has six parent-teacher conferences in the meaning, Morgan Freeman narrating, George Clooney: "Billy didn't tell me that this kiss was being filmed", camera on Scorsese, Viola Davis: "I want to thank the writers for creating a strong, powerful black woman not being played by Tyler Perry", Peppy: "If I had him, I'd lick him." (What people are thinking)

10:09PM- A word from the Academy President Tom Sherak.

10:10PM- "Thank you for sharing our love for the movies."- Tom Sherak

10:10PM- "Thank you, Tom, and thank you for whipping the crowd into a frenzy."- Billy Crystal

10:12PM- Penelope Cruz and Owen Wilson present the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

10:13PM- Ludovic Bource wins the Academy Award for Best Original Score for composing the score/dialogue to The Artist.

10:15PM- Will Ferrell and Zach Galiafanakis (with cymbals) proceed up to the stage to present the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Get your coins ready for the coin toss (there are only two nominees, remember?)

10:16PM- "One of our nominees will join the ranks of songs such as..."

10:17PM- **Coin Flip** (and cymbals dropping) Bret McKenzie (of Flight of the Conchords fame) wins the Academy Award for writing "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets.

10:18PM- "If you get to meet (Kermit), he's nice in real life, and like everybody else, he's shorter in real life."- Bret McKenzie

10:19PM- Candy girls pass out popcorns as we head to another break. Nine SNL cast members (Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Robert Downey Jr., Joan Cusack, Michael McKean, Randy Quaid, George Coe, and the first SNL cast member to receive a nod while on the show, Kristen Wiig) past and present have been Oscar nominees. Will Kristen Wiig be the first to win one? Adapted and Original Screenplay up next, after, yup, you guessed it...Another Commercial Break.

10:24PM- "Please welcome the Original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Angelina Jolie."- Billy Crystal

10:24PM- Angelina Jolie presents the Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay.

10:27PM- Alexander Payne, Matt Faxon, and Jim Rash win the Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay for "The Descendants". Payne won seven years ago for writing "Sideways".

10:27PM- "We bow to our fellow nominees."- Alexander Payne

10:28PM- Jolie also is presenting the Original Screenplay category.

10:29PM- Woody Allen (who is not here, obviously) wins the Academy Award for writing "Midnight in Paris".

10:30PM- Another interview Q&A defining "What Makes a Great Film".

10:31PM- "I just really wanna watch some sick stuff."- Sacha Baron Cohen

10:31PM- "I don't know if I'm gonna get there."- Adam Sandler, nominated for as many Golden Raspberry Award nominations as Hugo has Oscar nominations for Best Picture

10:32PM- Commercial Break, then the three shorts categories.

10:36PM- Milla Jovovich recaps the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Technical Awards.

10:37PM- The Bridesmaids (too many to name: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, and Wendi McClendon-Covey) present the three Short categories. First up, Wiig and Rudolph present Live Action.

10:40PM- "The Shore", produced by Terry and Orlagh George, shot and produced in Northern Ireland, wins the Academy Award for Live Action Short.

10:41PM- Byrne and McCarthy present the Documentary Short Subject. (**Someone yells Scorsese**)

10:42PM- "Saving Face" (produced by Daniel Junge and Charmeen Obaid-Chubay) wins the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject.

10:44PM- McClendon-Covey and Kemper present the Animated Short Film.

10:45PM- "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mister Morris Lessmore" wins the Academy Award for Animated Short Film for William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg.

10:46PM- Will Scorsese win his second Oscar for Best Director? Or will the Director's Guild winner take the Directing Oscar for the 58th time in 64 years? Find out...after the Commercial Break.

10:49PM- "Our next presenter was occupying Wall Street before it was cool, please welcome two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas."- Billy Crystal introducing Michael Douglas, who is presenting the Best Director Academy Award.

10:52PM- Michel Hazanavicius wins the Academy Award for Best Director, making it the 58th time in 64 years that the DGA winner has won the covetous Best Director Oscar. Tom Hooper, pass the rubber stamp to Michel Hazanavicius.

10:54PM- "14 times, she's had to sit there, pretending to act thrilled when somebody else wins."- Billy Crystal on Meryl Streep who is presenting the Governor's Award winners, who are Oprah Winfrey (Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award), James Earl Jones (Honorary Oscar), and makeup artist Dick Smith (The Godfather, The Exorcist, Amadeus; Honorary Oscar).

10:57PM- James Earl Jones, Dick Smith, and Oprah Winfrey receive a standing ovation.

10:58PM- Balcony time once more, you know what that means....Memoriam is next, then the final three categories. Will Meryl finally get off the schneid after 29 years, or will the streak continue?

11:02PM- Billy Crystal leads the Memoriam, which includes Gil Cates, whom produced 14 Oscar ceremonies, including six with Billy, and Laura Ziskin, another Oscar producer; Jane Russell, Annie Girardot, John Calley, Polly Platt, Ken Russell, Donald Peterman, Farley Granger, Whitney Houston, Bingham Ray, Tak Migashima, Burt Schneider, Michael Cocoyannis, David Z. Goodman, James Robmunsky, Peter E. Berger, Jack J. Hayes, Peter Falk, Cliff Robertson, Laura Ziskin, Sidney Lumet, Sue Mengers, Steve Jobs, George Kuchar, Hal Kanter, Theodoria Van Runkle, Tim Hetherington, Gene Cantamesse, Gary Vinick, Bill Varney, Jackie Cooper, Gilbert Cates, Richard Leacock, James M. Roberts, Marion Doughtery, Norman Corwin, Paul John Haggar, Joseph Farrell, Ben Gazzara, and Elizabeth Taylor were among the industry professionals in front of and behind the camera that we lost this past year. Esperanza Spalding sings "What a Wonderful World" (with the Southern California children's choir).

11:07PM- Commercial Break

11:12PM- "I never had any of those feelings."- Billy Crystal, about the short films during the Oscars

11:13PM- "Our next presenter is what little girls want to be when they grow up- smart, beautiful, and a murderous ballerina."- Billy Crystal introducing defending Best Actress champ Natalie Portman, presenting the Best Actor Oscar.

11:13PM- Natalie Portman presents the Best Actor Oscar.

11:18PM- Jean Dujardin dances his way to victory. Jean Dujardin wins the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in "The Artist".

11:19PM- "Tickets were five dollars, and the ceremony lasted fifteen minutes..." (the first Oscar ceremony, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks in 1929)- Jean Dujardin (in his acceptance speech)

11:20PM- Balcony time again, up next Colin Firth presents the Best Actress Oscar, and Tom Cruise the Oscar for Best Picture. But, until then, one final commercial break.

11:22PM- Angel hair pasta, green tea, sausage, and Bill Cosby's favorite dessert, Jell-O pudding were this blogger's main dinner fare. At the Oscar after parties, they'll be having more fancier feasts.

11:23PM- "In France, they must be going nuts right now."- Billy Crystal

11:23PM- Last year's Best Actor winner, Colin Firth presents the Best Actress Oscar.

11:24PM- Will Meryl get off the schneid, or will it be Viola's night?

11:26PM- "Meryl, Mamma mia. We danced, it was gay. I may have fathered your daughter."- Colin Firth

11:29PM- "The Streak Is OVER!!!!!!!!" For the first time since 1983, Meryl and Oscar meet. Meryl Streep wins the Academy Award for her role as The Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher).

11:30PM- "Oh, my God!!! When I heard her name, I kinda heard half of America, saying, 'Oh, no, why her, not again.'"

11:31PM- "I really want to thanks, because I'll probably never be up here again..."- Meryl Streep

11:31PM- "For this inexplicably wonderful career, thank you so much."- Meryl Streep

11:32PM- Tom Cruise presents the final award of the night...Best Picture. Nine films nominated. Eight will lose. Which lucky film will join the ranks of Patton, Forrest Gump, The King's Speech, Rocky, and West Side Story? Can The Artist be the first silent film since Wings to win the Best Picture Oscar? Find out after this Best Picture montage. The Artist, The Descendants, Midnight in Paris, Hugo, The Help, War Horse, The Tree of Life, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Moneyball are the nine films up for Best Picture

11:35PM- The Academy Award for Best Picture goes to...The Artist (Thomas Langmann, producer).

11:36PM- The Artist was the Only one of the nine Best Picture nominees filmed entirely in Los Angeles. The Artist is the first black and white film since Schindler's List to win the Best Picture Oscar, and the first film entirely shot in black and white since The Apartment to win the Best Picture Oscar, and most importantly, the first silent film since the very first Best Picture winner, Wings, to win this Oscar.

11:37PM- "I would like to thank three people. I would like to thank Billy Wilder, I would like to thank Billy Wilder, and I would like to thank Billy Wilder. Thank you very much."- Michel Hazanavicius during the Best Picture acceptance speech

11:38PM- "That's our evening, everybody! Good night, everybody!"- Billy Crystal, closing out the Oscars, which are running almost ten minutes over.

The Academy Awards were produced by Don Mischer and Emmy (24, Arrested Development) and Oscar (A Beautiful Mind) winning producer Brian (with an "I") Grazer. Billy Crystal created "The Focus Group" sketch.

The Artist and Hugo are tied with five Oscar wins, the most for any film. Like last year, there was a tie for the most wins. The Iron Lady went 2-for-2.

Tomorrow night (February 27th), a recap of the Oscars on The DJBC Happy Hour...LIVE (yup, LIVE!) at 8PM EST on WCRS, a low-power FM in Columbus, Ohio. If you don't live in the Columbus area, you can listen in live on (or listen to it later in the week, if there are technical glitches that are beyond our control).

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