22 February 2009

Oscars 2008 Live-Blog

11:56pm: My clothes are dry, beating out the Oscars by just a few minutes. I went 17-4, or 81%, which isn't bad. I had a lot of fun live-blogging this, and barring any problems, will absolutely do this again next year. Thanks to all those who tuned in for the live-blog or are reading this after the fact. My thanks to my wife, who stayed up late and cracked wise with me and made sure my highball glass stayed full of Jack-and-Coke. Now, let's get back to this criticism business.

11:53pm: It goes to Slumdog Millionaire.

11:52pm: This should go to Milk.

11:50pm: It's tough to watch footage of Schindler's List played alongside The Reader.

11:49pm: They play excerpts from the best part of Frost/Nixon and splice in footage of better films. Wise choice. It's late, don't want people falling asleep.

11:47pm: Penn shouts out equal rights, calls Barack Obama an "elegant man," gives due respect to courageous artists, mentions pinko commies twice. Good for him, but really, too predictable?

11:44pm: "I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me." - Sean Penn

11:43pm: It's Sean Penn. Would have loved to have seen Rourke win, but Penn would have gotten my vote and totally deserves it. I'm now 16-4, losing the category I predicted would have gone the other way but would have preferred to go this way. It's a cruel world.

11:38pm: Best Actor presenters are DeNiro, Kingsley, Hopkins, Douglas, and ... Brody. One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong...

11:36pm: Best Actor. Now we're ready for a contest.

11:34pm: Kate says she would have been lying if she "hadn't prepared a version of this speech before." She says she had one when she was 8-years-old and she was using a shampoo bottle as a stand-in. I'm thinking she had one a few weeks ago and was using one of her Golden Globe awards.

11:32pm: Kate Winslet wins for ... Revolutionary Road! What? It's for The Reader? Well, I'm just going to pray they engraved her Oscar for Revolutionary Road instead. Tally is 16-3.

11:31pm: Yikes. I love me some classic Sophia Loren, but today she's looking like an extra in an Ed Wood movie. I'm sorry, it's true. Sophia in Two Women = GORGEOUS. Sophia at 2008 Oscars = YIKES.

11:28pm: Is it too much to ask for a Leo/Hathaway upset? Shirley MacLaine says Hathaway has a great voice and should sing more. Um, yeah.

11:26pm: Five best actresses are here. The best part of the show is now trying to guess which previous winners they'll be bringing out for the award.

11:25pm: Mrs. Screen Savour really starting to resent Slumdog Millionaire.

11:21pm: —anny Boyle. There you go, America. 15-3.

11:20pm: Here's Best Director. I wonder who it'll be. D—

11:17pm: Just saw a commercial for the new MacBook. WANT.

11:15pm: Queen Latifah sings "I'll Be Seeing You" atop the remembrance montage. I wish they'd mute the applause from the audience. It's depressing when you can hear them clap louder at certain artists than others. Glad to see Manny Farber wasn't missed, though. Paul Newman gets the only clips with sound. Fitting, somehow.

11:08pm: Here comes Foreign Language Film, my worst-seen category of the whole show. Yikes. I'll be catching up with these films later. But the Oscar goes to ... Departures from Japan. Kris Tapley, you were right. I'm 14-3. Waltz with Bashir and The Class must have split their votes? I don't know. Acceptance speech is great, though. I love to see happy people. "I will be back ... I hope."

11:05pm: Five categories left — might this show end on time?

11:01pm: "Jai Ho" wins for Original Song. No comment except ... I'm 14-2. (Mrs. Screen Savour: "Wall•E was robbed AGAIN." Agreed.)

10:58pm: They got John Legend to stand-in for Peter Gabriel? He looks like he's reading cue cards and he's flubbing the pacing.

10:56pm: I'm going to have Mrs. Screen Savour mute the television when they announce Best Song and have her say "Bruce Springsteen, The Wrestler" instead.

10:54pm: Score goes to A.R. Rahman for Slumdog. He's thrilled. I'm 13-2.

10:53pm: I'm going to go out on a limb and say Best Score is probably the strongest category next to Original Screenplay. Wall•E or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button should win; the score for Milk was quite good; and I really enjoyed the score for Slumdog Millionaire (or rather, it was one of the few things I vividly remember).

10:51pm: I have yet to mention the orchestra on the stage. I like it, and playing selections of the score alongside footage is way, way, wa-a-a-a-ay better than interpretive dance.

10:47pm: Mrs. Screen Savour: "Eddie Murphy apparently still wears a single male earring?"

10:46pm: Nice speech from Jerry. Concise, humble, classy. You could learn a thing or two, Hollywood.

10:43pm: Jerry Lewis apparently once said he "gets paid for what children get punished for." Not bad. I don't have much to say here, so I'll link instead to Manohla Dargis's appreciation from today's Times.

10:39pm: Clothes now only slightly damp. I've restarted the dryer. This race is tighter than Penn-Rourke. Stay tuned.

10:36pm: Slumdog Millionaire wins Best Editing. Should've gone to Milk. (Just practicing for later in the show.) Editor says he didn't want his time on the film to end, which is exactly the opposite reaction I had while watching it. Ha ha, I kid, I kid. It was okay. Tally is 12-2.

10:34pm: Hi-ho, I just mistook Will Smith as the host.

10:32pm: Sound Mixing goes to Slumdog Millionaire. I'm 11-2, and sad that Wall•E wasn't honored for its miraculous, heartstring-pulling, smile-inducing sound.

10:30pm: Well, crap. The Dark Knight instead of Wall•E for Sound Editing? Shame on you. (10-2.)

10:28pm: Wall•E better f-ing win Sound Editing. No joke.

10:28pm: The Academy Award for Visual Effects goes to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Naturally and deservedly. Tally is 10-1. Damn you, The Duchess.

10:25pm: Action film montage includes copious amounts of the first 8 minutes of Quantum of Solace, i.e. the only good minutes. Reminds me again that The Dark Knight was robbed and Robert Downey Jr. was nominated for the wrong film.

10:20pm: Mrs. Screen Savour: "Kevin Kline, it's not 1987 anymore. Ditch the awful 'stache. I feel like there's an abnormal number of 'staches tonight. Is it just me?"

10:18pm: Smile Pinki wins best short documentary. David Carr must be thrilled. (No guess by yours. Tally still 9-1.)

10:17pm: Philippe Petit thanks the Academy for believing in magic, then does a magic trick. Philippe Petit for Oscar host!

10:15pm: The Best Documentary Oscar is awarded to Man on Wire. Solid film. Tally now 9-1. I wish I had seen Trouble the Water before tonight, though.

10:09pm: The winner is ... Heath Ledger. Phew. Happy to have that slight bit of anxiety over. I thought the audience might bum-rush the stage if he lost. Anyway, he totally deserves it. R.I.P. (Tally now 8-1.)

10:07pm: Here are five past supporting actors for this year's supporting actor. Again, good idea. Christopher Walken praises Michael Shannon for playing a character that has "no filter between what he thinks and what he says." You would know.

10:02pm: Oscar montage reminds us people have won Oscars in the past.

9:58pm: Baz Luhrmann produced that? And I thought Australia was a year-low.

9:57pm: I got more done during that song-and-dance number than I did during the last commercial break. Thanks, Academy.

9:54pm: Jackman/Beyonce sing-and-dance number only reminds me Chicago won Best Picture. Sigh.

9:52pm: Booooooo. Tina and Steve wouldn't be singing and dancing right now.

9:50pm: Mrs. Screen Savour: "Live-blogging makes me miss DVR."

9:48pm: Toyland wins short film. Even the short film category was predictable this year? (No official guess by yours. Still 7-1.) Nice speech from the director.

9:46pm: Kaminski tells Dod Mantle to "suck on that." Well, Kaminski is a better cinematographer...

9:45pm: Judd Apatow's short film stars Seth Rogen and James Franco in Pineapple Express mode (and Janusz Kaminski?!) and tries to MST3K the Oscar-nominated films. Turning an Oscar into a pipe is a reasonably noble pursuit though, no?

9:35pm: Anthony Dod Mantle wins cinematography for Slumdog. Distilled reaction: Ehhh... whither Wally Pfister? On the plus side, Mantle's hair has wings! Official prediction tally: 7-1.

9:34pm: Way to ruin the moment of honoring all the cinematography nominees.

9:32pm: Ben Stiller mocks Joaquin Phoenix. I still think my dog does a better impression. (Only Mrs. Screen Savour will get that.)

9:30pm: Laundry = still not dry. Will it beat the Oscars? Only two hours left...

9:28pm: Romance montage properly includes Wall•E but for some reason has Revolutionary Road.

9:24pm: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button takes make-up. Yes, I know the best effects were digital and had nothing to do with make-up, but the film did have good make-up, too. Tally: 6-1.

9:23pm: Man, Daniel Craig and Sarah Jessica Parker STILL on stage?

9:21pm: Costume design goes to ... The Duchess. Tally is now 5-1. Should have gone with the predictable nominee. That's what I get for trying to think outside the box on the Oscars. (Didn't Kate Winslet look great in Revolutionary Road, though?)

9:18pm: Art direction goes to ... The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I mean, hell, they deserved it. Official prediction tally: 5-0. Who said this year was going to be predictable?

9:16pm: Sarah Jessica Parker has breasts? Who knew?

Mrs. Screen Savour: "I wish Tina and Steve were hosting."

Le Maison wins short animated film. Not too surprising, although I was pulling for Presto. (Didn't make a prediction.) I think the non-celebrity acceptance speeches are always so sincere. And a Styx reference never hurts.

9:08pm: Wall•E wins animated film. Hooray! And Stanton was in a production of Hello, Dolly! as a young chap. Prediction tally: 4-0.

9:06pm: Wall•E looks impressed by Space Chimps. Too bad he's the only one.

9:04pm: Jack Black, on animation jobs: "Each year I do one DreamWorks project, take all the money, and bet it on Pixar." Practical.

9:02pm: Surprise! Simon Beaufoy wins adapted screenplay for Slumdog. Rehearsed speech, not bad. Too bad he had to follow Black's rather impassioned speech. Official prediction tally: 3-0.

8:58pm: Dustin Lance Black wins original screenplay for Milk. Official prediction tally: 2-0. He wasn't my first choice (boo for dissing Wall•E), but I loved the film. Touching acceptance speech, too. Good for him.

8:53pm: Tina Fey! Steve Martin! And they're very, very, very funny. And they're praising writers and mocking Scientology. I'm melting.

8:52pm: Mrs. Screen Savour: "It's not that I don't think Penélope is a great actress. I just hated that movie and her performance in it."

8:48pm: And Cruz it is. Official prediction tally: 1-0.

8:47pm: Okay, it's been four minutes. Everyone's a winner?

8:43pm: Five supporting actress winners to introduce five nominees. I like.

8:42pm: New rule: no more montages until Eisenstein comes back as a zombie and starts putting them together.

8:38pm: It's not that recession humor can't be funny. It's that Hugh Jackman's tuxedo probably costs more than I make in a year as a teacher.

8:37pm: Further proof that Anne Hathaway could star in anything she wants.

8:34pm: Oh. A musical number. With dancing. Maybe... not.

8:32pm: Hugh Jackman joke about being an Australian, playing an Australian, in a movie called Australia ... makes me think he might be a decent host.

8:31pm: Oscar set still not as gaudy as whatever it is that Amy Adams is wearing around her neck.

8:30pm: Here we go.

8:25pm: The dryer has been occasionally on the fritz here, so it's a new race for me. Which will finish first: my polo shirts drying or the Oscars?

8:16pm: I hate the trend in telling young, contemporary pop stars that "we'll be seeing you a lot on the red carpet in the future."

8:10pm: Until I was told it was Valentino, I thought it was Kirk Douglas with a dye job.

8:04pm: Nothing makes you feel older than seeing Ferris Bueller with graying hair.

8:03pm: Greatest use for the red carpet intro: remembering which celebrities are married to other celebrities. Completely forgot Josh Brolin and Diane Lane were married.

I've complained about the nature of awards shows for the last few months, so why am I here? Good question. I suppose the answer is I've never live-blogged before and I thought I should try. Plus, I was always going to watch the Oscars. I love movies — what can I say? I love them enough to rant and rave that the Oscars should be done better, to better serve the individual (and worthy) films and not the pomp and self-esteem of ... well, this is dangerous territory, so I'll stop here and embrace the immortal words of David Carr, a.k.a. The Carpetbagger: Oh, just lighten up and enjoy the show.


Mikey Filmmaker 22 February, 2009  

Good luck with the live blog.

DarkCity 22 February, 2009  

Hi! T.S.,and Mrs.S...
I'am keeping up with you, because I don't watch television.I totally agree, with you about Paul Newman.

dcd ;-D

DarkCity 22 February, 2009  

Wow! Sean Pean, beat Mickey Rourke!...I would have preferred to see Mickey Rourke win. Oh well!

Dcd ;-D

T.S. 23 February, 2009  

Mikey and Dcd - Thanks so much for stopping by. I had a great time, hope you enjoy.

Tony Dayoub 23 February, 2009  

I kept up with your live blog on my cell phone while watching the show. Sorry I didn't post any comments earlier, though.

"Best Actor presenters are DeNiro, Kingsley, Hopkins, Douglas, and ... Brody. One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong..."

Great minds think alike II: I swear to you, before I ever saw this posting I sang the same song to my wife while watching this part.

T.S. 23 February, 2009  

Tony, thanks for tuning in as much as you did. I appreciate it.

And I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one singing that tune. It was just so unfair to Brody, ha ha. Too bad Daniel Day-Lewis didn't show.

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