Multiple award winners:
- Slumdog Millionaire: 8
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: 4
- The Dark Knight: 2
- Milk: 2
For those who are unfamiliar with me doing this, you can find previous year’s Oscarblogging at:
Updates will be (mostly) placed at the end, so scroll down.
By request: as with previous years, I’ve got a live chat group going. If you’ve got AIM (or .Mac, or anything similar) join us at: backupbrainchat. Instructions:
For Mac OS X:
- Logon to any iChat account (AIM, Me.com, or .Mac)
- Select File > Go to Chat
- In the Go to Chat dialog, fill in backupbrainchat for the chat name and click Go
- If you don’t already have it, go to AOL.com and download AIM, and do what’s necessary to get a screenname (AIM is free and you don’t need to have an AOL account to use it)
- Launch AIM
- Choose People > Send Chat Invitation…
- Invite doriasmith to join you in the room backupbrainchat—you’ll be transferred into the room instantaneously.
I’ve heard tons about the “changes” that the Oscar would have this year, and all I asked for was one thing: Hugh Jackman would wear an actual tuxedo. No “suit,” no “cravat,” no tie. Okay, I’m happy. He looks great, and I’m glad to hear him sing.
Anne Hathaway as Nixon? There’s casting I wouldn’t have expected. But they both look and sound great. The cheesy props even worked in a cheesy sort of way.
A nice tribute to previous Best Supporting Actress winners. I’m curious as to how they’ll do the multiple presenter format. And… it seems to work. It’s nice to see each of the presenters talk about one of the performances—it seems to be more personal that way. And the winner is: Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Nate Silver picked Taraji P. Henson (for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) as the winner in this category, so he’s already 0 for 1. But at least he was right about the 2008 election.
I wouldn’t have expected to see Tina Fey as a presenter, but she looks great. Nice to see people who can actually write giving the writing awards—it’s a good choice. And the Oscar goes to Dustin Lance Black for Milk. Hey, it’s one I’ve seen! I’m generally not happy about political rants as part of an acceptance speech, but hey, what do you expect when a political movie wins?
And the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay goes to Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire.
Jack Black and Jennifer Aniston are giving the award for Best Animated Film. Is this one really a question? Next year, though, it may be a real fight between Up and Coraline. This year, though, as expected, it goes to WALL-E. The Best Animated Short Film goes to La Maison en Petits Cubes. Okay, props to anyone who says “Domo arigato Mr Roboto” as part of their speech—rotfl!
If you’re just reading the bottom, you may not have noticed that I posted instructions up above on how to join us in the live chat. See you there?
I’m not a SJP fan in general, but she looks lovely. I am a Daniel Craig fan, and he looks, well, like Daniel Craig. Works for me. The Best Art Direction award goes to The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, the Best Costume Design award goes to Michael O’Conner for The Duchess, and Best Makeup award is for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Natalie Portman looks amazing. Ben Stiller looks like Joaquin Phoenix. She gives the Best Cinematography
award to Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire. Stiller just wanders around.
Jessica Biel is wearing satin curtins, so far as I can tell, and she’s recapping the Sci/Tech awards. Ed Catmull, we’re sorry you didn’t get your moment in the spotlight! Trivia bit: Jerry Lewis has a patent for the video assist.
Seth Rogen, James Franco, and a DP whose name I can’t spell give the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film to Spielzeugland (Toyland). I may not be able to spell it, but he’s being a good sport, and it’s good to see someone from behind the camera in front of one. I am surprised that out of the three, Rogen’s the only one wearing a tux.
I’m a huge fan of the old Hollywood movie musicals, and it’s great to see a tribute to them that includes some live singing and dancing by stars. Jackman is as talented as I’d always heard he was, and Beyoncé brings it. Baz Luhrmann choreographed it? Okay, I’ll let him live. Previously, he was on my shit list for Moulin Rouge!, aka “ADD: The Musical.”
Now it’s the mini-montage for best supporting actors, and the group of five previous winners to give the award. That’s some star power there. I was just told that, although the award is still being introduced, Wikipedia already says that Heath Ledger has won it for The Dark Knight. Hey, it turns out that WP was right!
Bill Maher comes out to give the documentary awards, griping about how his documentary, Religulous, wasn’t nominated. Shut up. Finally, the Best Documentary Feature award goes to Man on Wire and the Best Documentary Short Film goes to Smile Pinki.
Will Smith comes out to talk about action movies, following a montage of what Tom referred to as “Shit blowed up real good.” There are only three nominees for best visual effects, and the award goes to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Of course, it’s the one where nothing blew up. The Best Sound Editing award goes to The Dark Knight. Okay, they blew up plenty of stuff there. And finally, the Best Sound Mixing award goes to Slumdog Millionaire. Spoke (wrote?) too soon; the Best Film Editing award goes to Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire.
Eddie Murphy comes out to give the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award to Jerry Lewis. Interesting choice; I suspect they may get some flack for it. Lewis looks like he’s in pain, and he doesn’t talk for long. I suspect that it’s a “hey, you’re about to kick it; here’s one before you go” award.
Okay, here’s the bit of the show that caused some ruckus: the music medley. Instead of having a presentation for each movie or for each piece, they’re all bunched into one. Zac Efron and Alicia Keyes give the Best Original Score award to A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire and the Best Original Song award to Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire. I have to say that, overall, I’m okay with the single performance, as the best song nominees are traditionally the point where everyone takes a bathroom break. Still, I would have liked to have seen Peter Gabriel instead of John Legend, but it was his choice not to participate.
We’re getting towards the end, and now it’s the Best Foreign Language Film award, which goes to Departures from (Japan). Liam, you really should have worn a bowtie.
Queen Latifah comes out, looking stunning as always, to do the “dearly departed” montage. Ending with Paul Newman got to me, as I knew it would. Overall, though, I don’t like the format they used this year: with all the different screens, you can’t get watch all of them. Yes, it lets them get away with showing everything they want to in a much shorter time frame, but it gyps us, the viewers. And for those who were wondering: Heath Ledger died on Jan 22 2008 and was in last year’s montage.
Reese Witherspoon comes out, looking like crap. She looks like sh’s trying to emulate Gwyneth Paltrow’s crappy goth chick look from several years ago, and does and even worse job pulling it off. The Best Director award goes, unsurprisingly, to Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire who comes on doing a wonderful Tigger bit onstage.
Wow—that’s some real star power for the best actress presentation (although Shirley MacLaine should know better than to wear pants). Okay, this is what I meant about how this format is more personal: all of these actresses (both nominees and presenters) look like they’re present in the moment, paying real attention to what’s happening. It must mean the world to Anne Hathaway, for instance, to be introduced by MacLaine. And who could top Meryl Streep in star power? Sophia Loren is one of the very few. I just love this.
As predicted, the Best Actress Oscar goes to Kate Winslet for The Reader. She gave a very gracious speech, and looked just beautiful.
And now the best actor montage and presentation, with another very impressive group of stars. The winner: Sean Penn for Milk in an upset. It’s another loss for Nate Silver’s predictions.
The best picture bit is an interesting idea: showing a montage of each film, mixed in with other award-winning films with a similar theme. I’m not sure it entirely works, and Steven Spielberg ends up giving the award to Slumdog Millionaire as everyone expected.
Quick take: it went 26 minutes over. The new format was good, and occasionally great. There were bits that didn’t work for me (the multiple screens with different scenes being shown, for instance; I wanted to watch all of them). The ending with clips from upcoming movies: an excellent idea.
Thanks to all who read this, and to those in the chat room.