8:17: We're watching the pre-show, in which interviewers ask probing questions like "how does winning an Oscar change your life?" and "What's your favorite Eddie Murphy movie?" Here's what they're not asking:
- To Nicole Kidman: "What about that red bow said good idea?"
- Followup to Nicole Kidman: "Are you drunk?"
- To Cameron Diaz: "Why do you never look attractive at awards shows?"
- To Cate Blanchett: "Can you please be a fashion advisor for other super divas?"
8:30: We're underway! I'm quite touched by all the nominees hugging and kissing--everyone loves a little Kate Winslet/Will Smith affection. I'm also excited about Ellen's velvet suit, though the white shoes are a little weird... one of those "only Ellen could pull it off" items.
8:42: Delighted to see that Jennifer Hudson lost the little cape going with her dress.
8:44: Have so far nailed two squares on my Oscar Bingo card. "Someone's wearing sunglasses," for Jack Nicholson, and "Anti-Bush comment" -- I think Ellen's comment about how America did vote for Al Gore counts for that....
8:45: Daniel Craig is HOT.
8:49: I must say, as exciting as it is that I correctly predicted the first category, and as fascinating as Maggie Gyllenhaal is, what's up with a commercial BEFORE a major award? I always thought they started with Best Supporting Actress--apparently I have time for some more perusal of my Bingo card.
9:00: Sweet, kid presenters! Abigail is really quite an adorable little pumpkin. I just want to hug her. Jaden appears completely uncomfortable and appears to not know how to read an envelope (or a telepromter).
9:02: I have no idea what "The Danish Poet" is, but its win means that I'm now 2-1 on award predictions tonight.
9:03: The kids are still here. They are cracking short jokes. Evan is screaming in support of "Binta," the short film he picked in the pool. Literally screaming. However, he LOST, and MY pick, "West Bank Story" won, despite butchering of the pronunciation from young Jaden. We also both nearly got to check "Male winner cries," off our bingo cards, but he scampered off stage just in time.
9:14: The sound engineering choir is the coolest thing ever, and the Sunshine guys have definitely been the best presenters so far. Evan also trumped me for the Sound Editing Award, and is now convinced he's going to win the whole she-bang. He's obviously on crack. However, I am delighted that Iwo Jima got an award.
9:17: Jessica Biel simply cannot look unattractive, but I'm not sure the pink belted number is the right pick. It doesn't look fancy enough for Oscar night, though her hair/makeup is quite lovely. Oh. I see her nipples. Great. Evan has just called into question the fact that NONE of the Sound Mixing guys took the opportunity to kiss Jessica Biel. These are, however, the same guys who set their Oscars on the floor while giving their acceptance speech.
9:21: Rachel Weisz: also very hard to look unattractive. However, it's hard for me to comment on her neckwear and dress, because I'm very nervous about the Best Supporting Actor pick, as it was my most "controversial" selection--I opted for Alan Arkin over Eddie Murphy. And... OHHH!!! I CALLED IT!!!
9:25: Martin Scorsese's eyebrows are as legendary as his directorial skills.
9:27: I'm blown away by this shadow puppet dance troupe. I clearly missed my calling.
9:32: I love James Taylor, but this song from Cars is doing nothing for me.
9:33: I also love Melissa Etheridge, and am a little surprised to see that she is definitely aging, albeit quite gracefully. While she looks a bit like she's gunning for a Hillary Clinton look-alike contest as well as an Oscar, I can't be too critical of this performance, which is earnest, soulful, and features scrolling environmental facts.
9:36: Gore/DiCaprio in '08? Could Jerry Seinfeld have looked any more disgruntled/bored during that camera shot?
9:43: Ryan Gosling's bemused expression at Cameron Diaz is quite priceless. I'm also a little bummed that I didn't go with Happy Feet, because seriously, how could any movie featuring that JT song be anywhere in the area code of quality? This guy accepting the award is probably the most adorable person of the night.
9:45: Yay, a Ben Affleck-led tribute to writers! And hey, now it's the stunning Helen Mirren and the affable Tom Hanks. I'm not sure I'm a fan of this tactic of reading the screenplay details. I am however, a fan of The Departed snagging the award and getting me some points.
9:53: I cannot BELIEVE Monahan just said "Valium does work," and then burbled through the rest of his speech. He does seem sweet, but come on.
9:59: The Devil Wears Prada girls are completely delightful, though I think Anne Hathaway's dress would work better without the tuxedo overlay thing. Emily Blunt's blue strapless number is very cool.
10:05: Tom Cruise! Looking remarkably normal, and gives a nice narrative for the Jeann Hersholt Humanitarian Award for Sherry Lansing, who has one of the more amazing dresses of the night. What could he be extensively whispering in her ear? Evan's guess is "next week, I'll tell you how to get to the seventh level."
10:11: Ellen gets Stephen Speilberg to take a picture of her with Clint Eastwood "for my Myspace page."
10:12: I'm not sure how Gwyneth Paltrow makes that dress work, but she looks quite beautiful.
10:23: I'm currently 7-5 in my picks. Not that fabulous, but not horrible either.
10:31: How did Pan's Labyrinth not win best Foreign Film? Cate Blanchett apparently wonders the same thing, as she appears visually shocked and somewhat bewildered when she declares "Um... Germany!"
10:36: Despite being the surest lock this side of Helen Mirren, Jennifer Hudson looks honestly, genuinely, thoroughly thrilled and touched. And who doesn't love these extra Beyonce shots? (Side note: is Jay-Z not in the house tonight?)
10:37: How excited am I that someone's reading the live blog!! For Heather, here's a bingo update! Evan would be winning if someone had kissed their fucking Oscar statue, and if someone had mentioned another nominee in their category by name. I would be winning if my space "short person adjusts microphone" hadn't been rendered impossible by the Academy, OR if I get a combo nominee claps for self/ audience boos. You could cut the tension in here with a knife.
10:42: I've come to the conclusion that I have whatsoever no interest in ANYTHING Jerry Seinfeld says anymore. Dude, shut up and present the award, none of the bop-de-bop-bop music is in the background and Kramer has left the building. Give the award!
10:48: An Inconvenient Truth wins, which means more Al Gore, yay! Guggenheim is gripping/touching Al pretty aggressively. Hello Larry David, look alive!
10:50: Oh, Clint. Please pull it together. Read the teleprompter. You're far too suave to appear incoherent and sort of drugged out because you can't get the phrasing of "movies and music" down right.
10:57: I didn't think anything could make the James Taylor performance look inspired and lovely, but this Celine Dion thing is doing just that. She is not out of practice at the dramatic arm gestures, but is not rocking the high notes like the Celine of old.
11:02: Since when does Clint speak Italian? This is quite possibly the most awkward Oscar moment ever, especially since the recipient seems not to get the whole "exit the stage when the orchestral music plays."
11:16: The shadow dancers continue to delight me!
11:21: I'm a fan of the "an excellent reason for Hi-Definition TV" joke about Jennifer Lopez. Less of a fan of her hairstyle.
11:22: At long last, the Dreamgirls musical numbers! The key element seems to be "boobs." Not that there's anything wrong with that. And Beyonce, somehow, looks even sexier now than she did in her other dress! Her performance is also blowing JT, Celine Dion, and even Melissa Etheridge out of the water.
11:28: Who remembers Queen Latifah busting out with "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp," last year? Will she do a similar thing this year? WHOA - apparently not. Talk about a significant upset... will we be hearing about liberal bias at the Academy?? And sorry, I'm all about the environment, and "Come to My Window" is still on my running mix, but those Dreamgirls were simply denied. Hardcore.
(Side bingo note: the cryptic John Travolta comment about their "upcoming film that we can't talk about" would have earned me a bingo square, I'm now blogging from bed, and my bingo card was left downstairs. Sigh.)
11:35: All I can focus on are Will Smith's ears.
11:40: The montage on America was pretty exciting. Even more exciting is Kate Winslet, who is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, save perhaps Beyonce. In my Oscar research, I read that "editing" is often a very good barometer for what will win Best Picture, and perhaps this is further evidence that it's Scorsese's night?
11:49: So I feel like somewhat of an asshole saying this after the "In Memorian" montage, but can we move this along? The show was supposed to end at 11:30, and I know going over is part of the charm, but seriously. We've got ALL the big four awards to go. And hello, it's a school night, people!
11:52: I'm always surprised at how normal Philip Seymour Hoffman seems. And... let's give out the most obvious award of the night... at least some things are reliable tonight!
11:57: I've decided Chris Connelly is supremely annoying. He's all like "ohh, big awards still to come! The presenters are ready, the stars are ready, the Oscars are ready..." no shit, Sherlock, we're ALL ready, it's almost midnight. How's about we see less of a random hand brushing the statue, and more of actual award distribution?
12:02: Reese--poised, sweet, refined. I love her. Ryan Gosling just clapped for himself--why, oh why, did I leave my bingo card downstairs? Forest takes the award, and Peter O'Toole didn't look very grumpy at all.
12:09: MARRRTYYY!!!! Quite the standing ovation (damn, another bingo square!) He's so exuberant that you can't help but want to hug him as much as you wanted to hug Abigail Breslin. I'm curious to see if the Academy will have the cojones to try and music-exit him offstage - apparently not! I must say, this was worth staying up for!
12:14: Best Picture presenters--Jack appears to be little more than eye candy in this operation, and the lovely Diane Keaton is carrying the show. But no matter. The envelope? And the Oscar goes to... The Departed. Evan picked right. I did not. I suck.
I read earlier on my pal Ian's blog that he predicted a 12:15 AM finish. It is now 12:14. I will allow you to process the speech on your own. I will check in with reactions tomorrow. Until then, friends, good night and may dreams of Oscars dance in your heads.