Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Academy Awards Live Blog

1:55am - It's pretty late for me in Spain. Luckily tomorrow is a holiday in Andalucia and I don't have to work. On the other hand, I have got a 4 month old baby. My wife will be taking care of him in the morning which means if he wakes up hungry during the show, I'll have to tend to him first. Last night he slept through the whole night without eating for the first time, so here's hoping.

1:57am - I think every year I get it wrong and think the ceremony will actually start, but then there's some kind of half hour pre-show. I'll find out in about 2 minutes what's going to happen. If the show actually starts in a half hour I'm going to go back to watching Another Year, nominated for Mike Leigh's original screenplay.

2:01am - Yeah, still a half hour to go. Every year I get this wrong!

2:19am - Noah wakes up for a bottle. Perfect timing.

2:21am - For a recap of my predictions, click here.

2:34am - Franco in the bear suit from True Grit - priceless.

2:35am - Franco in a ballet costume showing his bulge - more priceless!

2:37am - Back to the Future - fucking classic!

2:39am - Franco should have been nominated for Pineapple Express.

2:41am - He may be Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg will always be Marky Mark. Yeah! Uh-huh!

2:42am - Live stream just went out. Have another one, but it's a few minutes behind.

2:43am - Okay, it's back.

2:44am - Art Direction up first. My prediction was The King's Speech.

2:45am - Boooooo! Alice in Wonderland wins. I'm 0/1 and I just lost $100,000. No Tim Burton film that's been nominated in this category has ever lost. I should have known.

2:46am - Cinematography. Will Roger Deakins finally win as I predicted?

2:47am - 0/2 This is not my year as Wally Pfister just won for Inception.

2:48am - At this commercial break I'm going to wash some baby bottles.

2:51am - Kirk Douglas is still walking at 94 and after suffering a debilitating stroke many years ago.

2:53am - Best Supporting Actress is up. Can I go 0/3 if Hailee Steinfeld loses?

2:56am - 0/3 as Melissa Leo wins. She was great honestly.

2:58am - I've never had such a bad start as long as I've been predicting the Oscars (15 years).

2:59am - ABC might get fined for that one.

3:00am - This is so 3 minutes ago, but watching Kirk Douglas try doing comedy schtick on the Academy stage felt uncomfortable and a little embarrassing, but his timing in opening the envelope and announcing the winner was pretty good.

3:01am - Pretty good ad libs by Franco and Hathaway after Melissa Leo's f-bomb.

3:01am - Bullshit Timberlake! If anyone's Banksy, it's Franco.

3:03am - Animated Short - a category that could easily make me 0/4. I said The Gruffalo.

3:04am - Yes! 0/4. Sorry, but The Lost Thing was dull, dull, dull.

3:05am - Is it really fair that two winners get 45 seconds between them?

3:05am - I went with Toy Story 3 for Animated Feature. I should get my first correct prediction here.

3:06am - 1/5 The Academy is not yet tired of Pixar as Toy Story 3 wins.

3:08am - Lost the live stream again. Please come back.

3:09am - And my backup stream went out. They're shutting them down.

3:13am - Not sure I missed anything, but I've got it back.

3:13am - Adapted Screenplay. I predicted The Social Network.

3:14am - 2/6 as The Social Network wins.

3:16am - Original Screenplay. I have The King's Speech.

3:17am - 3/7 and I'm a winner again. Maybe I'll have a strong finish.

3:19am - Unfortunately Seidler's screenplay is grossly historically inaccurate. Tough to paint George VI as a Nazi appeaser while his daughter is the Queen.

3:23am - My stream is about 30 seconds behind, I think.

3:24am - It was fairly predictable that Hathaway would be doing some singing after the excellent "impromptu" performance she gave when Hugh Jackman hosted 2 years ago.

3:25am - Franco in a gown. Priceless!

3:26am - Russell Brand and Helen Mirren presenting together. How do they make these pairings?

3:27am - I made a last minute change in this category to In a Better World.

3:28am - 4/8 What prescience! I got it right.

3:29am - Okay, Best Supporting Actor where I have Christian Bale, but Geoffrey Rush could steal it.

3:31am - 5/9 Christian Bale was just wonderful in The Fighter.

3:32am - A wonderfully sly reference to his Terminator on-set tirade. Very good.

3:34am - Also, Bale is an actor who should have been on this list. I was considering him for an upcoming second part. Now I don't have to.

3:39am - Now is the moment in the show when the Academy president and an ABC exec come out for some time-wasting bullshit PR for the network.

3:40am - Ah! Two Aussies - Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. This pairing makes perfect sense. And they're former co-stars.

3:41am - A medley of movie musical scores. Two of the four featured were by John Williams.

3:42am - Why did the presenters' intro deal with sound in motion pictures if the award being presented is Original Score? Why not use that intro for the, hmmm, I don't know, the sound awards? Anyway, my prediction is for The King's Speech.

3:43am - Wow! Wow!

3:44am - I'm 5/10 now, but the Academy demonstrated that they sometimes know what they're doing by awarding this to The Social Network. Oscar winner Trent Reznor joins Oscar winner Eminem on the list of most unlikely Oscar recipients.

3:45am - Best Sound Mixing. I've got Inception on this.

3:47am - 6/11 now.

3:48am - for Sound Editing I've also got Inception.

3:49am - 7/12. That's half the awards given out in 80 minutes. They still haven't done any presentations of the Best Picture nominees, though.

3:52am - I've got the Sky Movies broadcast from the UK where they've just discussed something very important and true about The Social Network's winning for score in that it's wonderful the Academy recognized it because it's an experimental electronic score. Normally the Academy goes with big robust scores and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's work illustrates the importance of music in telling a dramatic visual story.

3:54am - The Sci-Tech Awards are a vitally important aspect of awarding creativity in making motion pictures and they deserve their due on the show, but I understand people who hate it.

3:56am - I love Cate Blanchett. And it's true - she's been Oscar nominated for playing Queen Elizabeth, Katharine Hepburn and Bob Dylan. Hilarious.

3:56am - Makeup goes to The Wolfman and I'm at 8/13 and Rick Baker has got 7 Oscars now, pretty much all of them for monkeys and wolves.

3:58am - If they could just keep Cate Blanchett out there for the rest of the show...

3:58am - I've got Alice in Wonderland for Costume Design. And WTF is up with the underlying music.

3:59am - I've got 9/14 and Colleen Atwood has 3 costume Oscars now. That's not the same as having 3 costumed Oscars.

4:03am - The performances of the nominated songs. Ugh, this means I have to endure Mandy Moore. I suppose this is made up for by the fact that Gwyneth will be singing too.

4:07am - I thought they would perform all 4 songs back-to-back. Now I have to wait to see Gwyneth.

4:09am - The critics on Sky Movies are astutely pointing out that it's hard in The Wolfman to see where the CGI ends and the makeup begins and the clips they used in presenting the award were CGI! Also, quite rightly they point out that Baker's work on An American Werewolf in London was so much better and the wolves in The Wolfman simply don't look scary.

4:13am - Jake, I would love to see the short films. Mind telling me where?

4:14am - Okay, so I've got...I don't remember for this.

4:15am - Excellent! I got this one right! 10/15

4:16am - Live Action short I picked Na Wewe. And I got it wrong. Dammit! 10/16.

4:16am - Oh, you can get the short film on iTunes. Has a bigger 'fro ever won an Oscar?

4:17am - This is the most dynamic, energetic and interesting acceptance for Live Action Short I've ever seen.

4:18am - This mashup is fucking great!

4:20am - Documentary Feature. I've got Inside Job. That was a good shot of Joel and Ethan Coen looking bored.

4:21am - And I'm now 11/17. And the best I can do is 1 better than last year.

4:27am - Billy Crystal, when will you host again? Not that Hathaway and Franco aren't filling the shoes well.

4:31am - Visual Effects where I have Inception.

4:33am - I've got 12/18 and I love how Robert Downey Jr. had to feign happiness on stage as presenter while his film didn't win this award.

4:35am - Film Editing. I've predicted The Social Network.

4:36am - And I've got 13/19.

4:44am - I'm getting the sense there won't be tributes to the ten Best Picture nominees. Nor will there be any mention of the 3 Honorary Oscar winners (Kevin Brownlow, Eli Wallach and Jean-Luc Godard) and the Thalberg Award recipient (Francis Ford Coppola) which were given a few months ago. On last year's show those winners were brought out in a small tribute.

4:46am - For Best Song I had Country Strong.

4:47am - Now I can only do as well as last year. I've got 13/20.

4:50am - Last year it was 5:17 when they gave out the 20th award of the night.

4:52am - In Memoriam time. No time at this moment to compare with my predictions.

4:56am - They did the In Memoriam differently to save time, but I like seeing titles the people are actually known for. Did they feature Lena Horne at the end and trot out Halle Berry because there were no black people nominated in the acting categories this year?

4:58am - No Corey Haim! For shame!

5:00am - It looks like The Social Network has some good momentum. I still think The King's Speech is taking the top prize, but I feel more confident in my Fincher prediction for Best Director, which is being presented now.

5:02am - Here is your host to welcome this actress to present this director to present an award.

5:03am - Oh my God! Tom Hooper? Really? Come on! What suckers the Academy members are. 13/21.

5:06am - I'm beyond tired now. I seriously don't even want to go to bed.

5:06am - Ah, here's the tribute to the Honorary Oscar winners I was talking about earlier.

5:07am - What a time to lose the live stream. Noooooo!!!!!

5:10am - All I've got is some British kid on his webcam with the broadcast in the corner of his screen while he provides idiotic commentary over the top.

5:12am - I've got a much better one now, but it's about a full minute or more behind.

5:13am - Glad they've maintained an element of singing the praises of the nominated actors, even if it takes up time. Best Actress I've predicted Natalie Portman.

5:17am - 14/22 thanks to Portman's win. Still, Annette Bening was better and deserved to win this.

5:18am - I've never been a Natalie Portman fan. I think she was very good in Black Swan, but I have trouble with her being an Oscar winner, but not nearly as much as I have trouble with the phrase "Oscar winner Sandra Bullock."

5:20am - Jesus! Blah, blah, blah. Shut up already, Natalie.

5:21am - Do we seriously have to endure Sandra Bullock giving praise to 5 actors who can act circles around her?

5:23am - I think Jeff Bridges should adopt that manner of speaking in his everyday life.

5:24am - By the applause in the room for Eisenberg, could that mean he's going to win?

5:25am - They've chosen Firth's worst seen in the film to feature. Seriously, he can't cry. That was bad like Edward Norton's bad crying in American History X.

5:26am - Why do they choose the big emotive seen from 127 Hours when the best scene is when he does the mock talk show?

5:26am - Well, that was predictable and I predicted it. 15/23.

5:27am - It might be nice if Firth actually treated us to some of the dancing he's merely talking about doing. How about you demonstrate your elation rather than talk about it? Stop being so damn British for a moment!

5:29am - What do you figure, about 8 minutes left in the show including the commercial break? That would make it a few minutes over the 3 hour mark. Remarkably short.

5:36am - Here we go...

5:37am - So I finish with 16/24. Not a very good result. I'm terribly displeased. So Inception is the big winner on the night with 4 awards, followed by The King's Speech and The Social Network with 3 each.

CORRECTION: At 5:30 in the morning I can't count. The King's Speech also had 4 awards.

5:38am - How the hell is this not an obvious film to back? It's exactly the kind of film that Hollywood studios eat right up.

5:39am - So what about those public school kids from New York?

5:40am - Why the hell are all these kids moving like Stevie Wonder? Do you suppose it was their choral director or some idiot producer on the show who thought it would look better for TV if the chorus members swayed around?

5:42am - The show finishes at the 3 hour and 11 minute mark. That's around 21 or 22 minutes shorter than last year I think. Pretty good. Bed time.

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