6:29 The show is about to begin. I fell down the stairs yesterday and my tailbone is in bad shape, so I’ve spent most of the day off of my feet, which means I caught most of the red carpet rigamarole. I can’t say I missed it. Ooh, ooh! Here comes Hugh!
6:38 Okay, so far Hugh rules. “Robert Downey Jr. is an American playing an Australian playing an African American. Nominated. I’m an Australian who played on Australian in a movie called Australia. Hosting.” This is the best introduction of all time. Standing O? Damn straight.
6:42 and so endeth the first montage. At least it’s relevant, but still too long. Do we really need five past winners? And I’m sorry, the speeches are too long. On one hand, I like that they’re recognizing the nominees, but this is too much.
6:47 And the winner is… Penelope Cruz. Yeah, I’m on record saying I thought Marisa Tomei should win, but I can’t begrudge Penelope this win, she was a good part in a good movie. But I really don’t like the twenty year introductions. Nathan goes 1 for 1.
6:57 I like they way they did the introduction of the Best Original Screenplay , if that is indicative of the new “style” this could work out really well. And the winner is..Milk. I probably should have guessed that, but I really think In Bruges was the better script. 1 for 2.
As for adapted screenplay, the winner is Slumdog Millionaire. This was a pretty easy pick and I’m sitting at 2 for 3.
7:07 Is there anybody anywhere surprised that Wall-E is the best animated feature? In a rare move, all three nominees were excellent, but the Pixar film was heads and tails above the rest. I easily go to 3 for 4.
7:17 The Art Direction oscar is presented to the folks behind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Silly me for thinking that it would be the latest costume drama featuring a certain Keira Knightly and I drop to to 60 percent and 3 for 5. Will Ben Button sweep the design awards or will the costume drama win? And the oscar goes to The Duchess. Ah, there’s the Knightly movie award. I feel vindicated for no reason whatsoever, but take my place at 4 for 6. Another easy call as the Makeup Oscar goes to “the movie where Brad Pitt looks all old”. Smith is looking good at 5 for 7.
7:35 Damn, Ben Stiller is hilarious, and Natalie Portman looks better than she can act. My theory that just picking Slumdog Millionaire for every category in which it was nominated will probably bear a lot of fruit as the night goes on. 6 for 8 as I say hello to 75 percent, the best I’ve been since 100% after one award.
8:12 Heath Ledger wins best supporting actor. Once again I want to stress that he was the best actor in that group, and this is not a sympathy win by any means. Very emotional, but well done. 7 for 9.
8:15 I was starting to second guess myself and thinking that Trouble the Water would win the best documentary, but I am pleased to see Man on Wire win. Such acrobatics. And you gotta love Bill Maher. 8 for 10 – what’s up?
8:27 “The movie where Brad Pitt looks old” wins another Oscar, this time for the heavyweight category Visual Effects. Make a good looking dude look old and you too can win Oscars. 9 for 11. But I think I’m going to go downhill quickly with Sound Editing and Mixing. I went with Wall-E, which should win, but won’t.
Nope. Sound editing goes to Dark Knight. I guess they had to award it something. Bah, I fall to 9 for 12. As for sound mixing, Will Smith gives the award to…Slumdog Millionaire, of course, Whatever, no-one really cares about sound…9 for 13.
After my craziness for Wall-E subsided I went back to the “if it’s Slumdog pick it, and here they win for Editing. Not much of a surprise, 10 for 14.
8:54 Slumdog wins again, this time for score. I don’t think it was the best, but it’s a Slumdog night and it continues. I go 11 for 15 and I’ve already hit my total from last year. That’s just crazy talk.
9:00 Okay, while this medley of the nominated songs is pretty annoying, it’s far better than having separate performances throughout the night as we’ve seen in the past. Slumdog has two songs nominated so the trick is to pick which one. And the winner….Jai Ho. It was a bit of a slam dunk — when in doubt, go for the dance number. Hello 12 for 16. I don’t know how I can possibly beat such a performance.
9:20 Danny Boyle wins an unsurprising Best Directing statue for Slumdog Millionaire, and received it “in the manner of Tigger”, which certainly entertained my wife. 13 for 17.
9:32 Oooh, I’m on fire. Kate Winslet wins for The Reader – watching Marion Cotillard do her little speech was almost better than Kate’s. This is really good to see her win after six nominations. 14 for 18.
9:43 “You commie, homo loving sons of guns”. Sean Penn wins another Oscar for his brilliant performance as Harvey Milk. I’m disappointed for Mickey Rourke who likely won’t be here ever again, but the bottom line is Nat X goes 15 for 19.
9:52 And after three and a half (not as torturous as other years) long, long hours, Stephen Spielberg awards the best picture to Slumdog Millionaire. Is anyone surprised by this? If you are, you’re a fool. It’s hard to believe that this movie was almost a straight to DVD release, but thanks to the magic of Toronto and its film festival, it found a distributor and found love. Even if you don’t like the movie (and if you don’t, you’re a fool) you have to like the story. Nice to see so many people from the cast make it to Hollywood for the show.
I absolutely destroy last year’s result of 11/19 by going 16/20. I’m not making any kind of prediction for next year.
And there it is, another year, another Oscar telecast. I think Hugh Jackman should be given a lifetime contract to host the Oscars – he was truly excellent.