That’s a Wrap!
11:54 p.m. – “Slumdog” takes the cake, and I will take a nap. That’s a wrap for my inaugural live Oscar blogging. Check back tomorrow for the start of my daily posts about everything from Hollywood to Broadway. Cheers!
11:45 p.m. – Oh those silly commie homo loving sons of guns. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how a real winner is chosen. Sean Penn picks up the best actor award for “Milk.” Bill O’Reilly will have a hell of a lot to bloviate about Monday night.
11:38 p.m. – Kate Winslet’s dad rocked a hat indoors at the Kodak and whistled like a pig farmer on demand. How British hillbilly of the Winslet clan. Kudos to Kate for being the youngest actor to get six nominations. Meryl Streep still holds the record for most nominations, with 15. She’s certain to continue racking those up. And maybe even be tossed a win now and then.
11:25 p.m. – And with Danny Boyle picking up the award for best direction, it looks almost cetain that “Slumdog Millionaire” will take the top honor. Although, in 2002 “The Pianist” lost best picture even though it won for best direction, writing and acting. Nonetheless, this is India’s night. Welcome to America.
11:18 p.m. – Sydney Pollack and Paul Newman. Two of Hollywood’s finest men and greatest talents. They were honored with perhaps the most eloquent “in memoriam” segment in the Academy Award’s televised history. I can’t recall any other time that someone sang live as the video reel ran in the background. Queen Latifah was simply touching. We’ll all be missing you.
10:48 p.m. – I couldn’t have been the only one waiting for Jerry Lewis to drop a homophobic slur tonight. He let me down on that front, but he was looking quite good compared to previous years. I’ll be on the edge of my seat until the next telethon.
10:35 p.m. – I feel quite well versed in film and the inner workings of show business. It’s my career field. And it’s how my family has made its living. Yet, after all of this time, I still remain ignorant of the major differences between sound editing and sound mixing. Go figure.
10:18 p.m. – No snark necessary… Heath Ledger rightfully nabs the Oscar for best supporting actor. Just when I felt tears coming on, the show throws up a snippet of “The Betrayal’s” co-director. Don’t know who I’m talking about? The guy that had teeth giving Mr. Ed a run for his money. I’m sure he could have balanced the statuette on those things.
10:00 p.m. – A well intentioned wink and nod to the Hollywood musical came to a screeching halt when (A) Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens appeared (B) A marching band started drumming (C) None of the above… it was a rousing success. I’m leaning towards the latter.
9:34 p.m. – Ben Stiller pulls a Joaquin Phoenix. LOVE IT! Even more surprising, however, is that Ben is no taller than Natalie Portman. Hasidic meth lab workers unite.
9:20 p.m. – Condon ups the ante with a bare sound stage as the backdrop with filmmaking lessons on production design by Hugh, SJP and Daniel Craig. Coupled with a clever script reading style for the screenplay segments, and this kudocast is shaping up quite nicely. Then “Benjamin Button” has to come and mess things up by winning the production design award. Can’t win them all.
9:10 p.m. – Mr. Roboto gets a shout out from the Japanese guy that won for a French titled animated short film. I would complain about outsourcing animation duties to Asia, but a Styx reference trumps all.
8:55 p.m. – The comic pairing of Tina Fey and Steve Martin. Now that’s a show. My suggestion for next year, should Hugh not be available… get these two to tag team as hosts. They could spend the entire opening number ridiculing the Hollywood cult… err Scientology.
8:50 p.m. – Penelope Cruz tells Bill Condon to f*&k off. Forty-five seconds couldn’t hold this Spanish diva down. And look, she even got Kate Winslet crying.
8:40 p.m. – The Australian playing an Australian defies the recession and sings it up in a lawn chair surrounded by tin foil. Kudos to the off-off-Broadway stage craft. Anne Hathaway chews it up, and despite a wobbly voice, the cute factor won out. Was anyone counting how many gay references Hugh Jackman dropped? Maybe he’s finally ready to reveal something. Action hero or musical theatre queen… we love you just as you are Hugh.
8:00 p.m. – Now Tim Gunn and Robin Roberts on ABC’s official red carpet special bring a touch of class to the evening. I am obsessed with E!’s endless coverage, at every single awards show throughout the year, but switching to the Alphabet Network feels more like the Tiffany. A quick 30-minute program and then on with the show. Where’s my scotch?
7:55 p.m. – What credentials does E!’s Giuliana DePandi actually have? I understand that it barely takes a trained monkey to ask celebrities questions on the red carpet. Case in point, Seacrest. But Giuliana is coming off like an obsessed stalker each time Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt pop up on the “Star Tracker.”
7:39 p.m. – Evan Rachel Wood confirms to Seacrest that she will star in the upcoming Broadway musical based on “Spider Man.” Directed by Julie Taymor, who directed Wood in “Across the Universe” and took New York by storm with “The Lion King,” the new tuner will have original music by U2’s Bono and the Edge. Shame it has been delayed until sometime next year.
7:20 p.m. – Amanda Seyfried and Robert Pattinson. The two latest shining examples of why teen stars might be pleasant to look at, but ask them to speak and you’re in for a wild ride. All of those that complain about the dumbing down of the world’s youth, mostly America’s, can rest assured. The argument still has merit. These kids couldn’t speak intelligently no matter how much Seacrest probed with vanilla questions. Perhaps Barbara Walter’s special will be slightly more insightful tonight.
7:00 p.m. – Note to E! producers… don’t be so blatant in your discrimination of third tier actors. As Seacrest interviewed Melissa Leo, nominated for best actress in a leading role (“Frozen River”), the screen was shrunk to the bottom corner of the screen. At first I assumed they were just spotlighting some arrivals, and would bring the interview back to full screen. Nope. They kept baby in the corner the entire time. Not until a more recognizable name, Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”), came into the picture did they enlarge things. Tisk tisk.
6:20 p.m. – Invasion of the teenie boppers… first E!’s red carpet coverage kicks off with Ryan Seacrest interviewing Miley Cyrus. Next, a backstage feature with Hugh Jackman talks up his singing with Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens at some point tonight. Are the producers hoping to spike ratings amongst the adolescent demographic? Miley’s whiny voice was grating on my ears before she even opened her mouth. Okay, fine, she’s there because… wait a minute. She’s not even nominated tonight? Oh, that’s right. She got a nod at the Golden Globes but was snubbed by the Academy. I didn’t see “Bolt”, so I won’t comment on her efforts, but get her off the red carpet. Save the Efron’s and Cyrus’ for a trite MTV ceremony.