8:30 p.m. The telecast now begins, live from the Kodac Theatre - the 79th Annual Academy Awards.
Oh what a cool beginning. Peter O'Toole, Stephen Spielberg, Penelope Cruz, Clint Eastwood, things like that. Peter O'Toole. Zilch. PIxels. Alfonso - Martin Scorsese, here for the Queen, restrained, polite, off with your head, leap of faith, rhyme inconvinient truth, and Eddie Murhpy staring at the camera. It's been fabulous, ups and downs, I'm going to think, thanks, mom. Wow.
Spread hope, joy, and humor around - not so bad.
All the nominees stand for the opening. Very dramatic. Very classy. It's the Oscars. That's a well-done opening. Not over the top, very good.
8:36 p.m. Ellen's opening monolgue: A dream come true. The most international Oscars ever, Ellen says. Mexico has a record nominations (there's Alfonso again!). British have a pretty good shot, she says. Not too funny yet. I miss Billy Crystal. He was funny. A Billion People Watching. Little Miss Sunshine. Peter O'Toole. Nominated eight times, including tonight. Jennifer Hudson (lots of name checking, Ellen). Al Gore - "America did vote for him," Ellen says and yes, there he is and lots and lots of cheering. Ooookay ...
This is really boring. Let's get to the good part. Why spend all this time doing nothing? I don't get it. It started off really well and now we have to listen to all this stuff - hmmm ... not everyone clapped that time. Maybe there is a little hope out there, but it's not on the stage yet. This is not really working - where's Billy Crystal. Come back, Billy, come back.
The first Oscar is going to Art Direction.
The Oscar goes to: Pan's Labrinth (never heard of it, but oh well). What's interesting here is that Dreamgirls didn't get the Oscar for this.
Now the review of all the scientific Academy Awards that were presented earlier.
Twenty Minutes and One Award.
8:53 p.m. Will Farrell singing. The Comedian at the Oscars is The Saddest Man of All. Jack Black - he's funny. Maybe he should host next year's Oscars. Now that would be a scream. Maybe both of these guys should host next year. Or - maybe not. Who writes this? Well, at least Helen Mirren is still classy. Oh ait, this is rather humorous. It's been said that drama always wins over comedy at the Oscars and they are satirizing that maxium. I still like the idea of Jack Black, though, hosting the Oscars. Just the thought of it is funny.
Achievement in Makeup: The Oscar goes to Pan's Labyrinth - again.
The next award is presented by the kids. One is Will Smith's son - he's adorable.
Best Animated Short Film: The Oscar goes to The Danish Poet.
Best Live Action Short Film: The Oscar goes to The West Bank Story - Excellent acceptance speech.
Now we are hearing Clint Eastwood talking about this Best Picture-nominated film, "Letters From Iwo Jima." "It's not about winning or losing but about the great sacrifices they made," Eastwood says.
Apple Pie is in the oven. Time Out to check the Pie.
A hand to the orchestra. Ellen is still not very funny. Alas.
Oh this is wild! A Sound Effects Choir - this really cool!!!!
Best Sound Editing: And the Oscar goes to Letters From Iwo Jima The winner's father was a survivor of Iwo Jima, the announcer just said. Another excellent acceptance speech.
Best Sound Mixing: And the Oscar goes to Dreamgirls. The first Oscar of the night to Dreamgirls, which was nominated for the most awards tonight. Oddly, the film was not nominated for Best Picture.
Here we go - Oscar for the Best Supporting Actor.
And the Oscar goes to: ALAN ARKIN A surprise. I really like him - I'll never forget him in "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming." Well this is a surprise. This is a good win, though - he's been working a long time. This is also a win for Little Miss Sunshine (which is my choice for Best Picture, even though I haven't seen it!). Another very good acceptance speech. Elegant.
Not sure what that penguin-dance thingy was - was trying to find a photo of Alan Arkin.
9:30 p.m. I don't know - I'm just not a fan of Schorse, except when he does a documentary of Bob Dylan. It's just not my cup of tea. Yeah, I'm going with Little Miss Sunshine.
Oh cool - James Taylor. Now how cool is that. Wow, there he is. He looks partner in a Wall Street firm. "It's our town."
Melissa Etheridge singing now. An Inconvenient Truth. Not sure I get all the slogans up on the screen behind her. Sort of 1984ish for me. Spooky.
Oh here we go. Al Gore everyone. Anything you might want to announce, said Leonardo. He's thanking all the little people, I mean all the talented people. Great look from Jerry Sienfeld. That was funny. Oh that was funny. People seem rather lukewarm as they clap, polite but well, whatever. Here's Al the funny guy - and he can be funny sometimes. He's getting out a piece of paper from his pocket and oh well, the music starts and off he goes. No, he's not running for anything. He's Leo's pal now.
9:42 p.m. What about that Giligan's Island?
Best Animated Feature: And the Oscar goes to Happy Feet! Yeah for the Penguins!
Now they are celebrating the writers. Hooray! It's very well done - these clips are the best thing of this Oscar telecast. "It must be wonderful to be a writer." "Thrilling," says Humphrey Bogart. This is quite good. Done!
There's Jack Nicholson - and he's bald!
Now here's Helen Miren and Tom Hanks. This is done very well - the read right from the screenplays and then break for a clip from the film. Very well done.
Best Adapted Screenplay: And the Oscar goes to The Departed. That's a first indication toward Best Picture. If Little Miss Sunshine does not win Best Original Screenplay than it's a good chance that The Departed will win Best Picture - stay tuned.
I love Tom Hanks. Just do.
Meryl Streep - too much. Always in character. Get that woman a cappuccino. Another innovative way of announcing the nominations with people wearing the costumes in character on stage. That was great.
Best Costume Design: And the Oscar goes to Marie Antoinette. A delightful acceptance speech.
Tom Cruise - is this why Nicole is dressed like a Red Flag?
Tribute to Sherry Lansing. An extraordinary pioneer for women in business. Great dress too. And perfect hair. And she knows that when you wear earings, you don't wear a necklace.
Oh here's Ellen again. Interviewing Clint Eastwood. Clint is funny. Stephen Spielberg is being handed a camera to take a picture of Ellen and Clint Eastwood. Now that was funny. Now she's giving Stephen photo direction. Okay, this part was funny.
Now we have Gwyneth Paltrow - haven't seen her around in a while. She's married to the lead singer of Coldplay and lives in London, at least I think she does. But she's sounding American now.
Best Cinematography: And the Oscar goes to Pan's Labyrinth. Wow, that's another win for this film I've never heard of, not even in passing. Wonder what that film is about. It will have to win best Foreign Film - how could it not? It says here it's a box office hit. Oh, that's not good. I don't even know what is a box office hit this year. That should tell us all something.
Oh here are those dancers in silouette again - I think that was supposed to be for Little Miss Sunshine, but not sure. So, what is this Pan's Labyrinth - I'm intrigued. Will have to learn more about it. But it sure looks fixed to win the Best Foreign Film.
Fashion Alert: The dresses seem to harken to the 1930s tonight. The hair and the dresses - there is a common theme between the dresses I've seen so far.
Best Visual Effects: And the Oscar goes to Pirates of the Caribeean: Dead Men's Chest The film has received a lot of nominations, but this is the first win here tonight.
The first film to win Best Foreign Film was La Strada, a truly great film. I have it on DVD. I even wrote a poem about it - really quite extraordinary. Here's another one of those montages they've done tonight and those are really really good. This is what makes you love the movies! And there are some extraordinary movies in this montage of foreign film winners. Fine!
Oh here's Clive Owen with Cate Blanchet. Clive Owen should have been the new James Bond, that's all we'll say here.
Best Foreign Film: And the Oscar goes to The Lives of Others Another surprise! Now in something I just read here it said that it was really between Pan's Labyrinth and The Lives of Others. It's a film from Germany. He is sincerely surprised - and even thanks the governor of California.
Here comes George Clooney to give out Best Supporting Actress.
Best Supporting Actress: And the Oscar goes to Jennifer Hudson. Hooray! "Look at what God can do," she says. "I didn't think I was going to win. If my grandmother was here to see me now, she was my biggest inspiration." This is really a Cinderella moment. "Thank you for helping me to keep the faith when I didn't believe. God bless you," she says.
Best Documentary Short Subject: And the Oscar goes to The Blood of Yingzhou District
Here's Jerry Sienfield - who is funny. "You might be the best, we won't know definately until you are all dressed up and if you are not the best we all want to see your face when you get the news." His routine is so far funnier then Ellen. Has he hosted the Oscars before? I can't remember - but he's funny.
Oh, there's George Lucas - wonder why he's here. And Stephen Spielberg - they just showed him.
Best Documentary Feature (or as Jerry said, the Five Most Depressing Movies): And the Oscar goes to An Inconvinient Truth Ooookay - here's Al Gore again. So, what would you rather have, the Presidentcy or an Oscar? Why can't I be more reverent right now. "My fellow Americans," says Al Gore. Okay. This was really the most political moment so far and frankly, it was pretty tame. It's been surprising tonight how little politics is showing - no ribbons, no buttons, no funny little speeches.
Here's Clint Eastwood - with a red hankie in his pocket. And a bowtie. Said he sure have worn his glasses.
What's left to handout in the next few minutes?
Eight more Oscars - and the ones that make the headlines. Every year they do this - spend two and half hours doing this and that and then, kaboom. Zoom. Let's see if we'll be able to keep up.
There's Quincy Jones. He's up in the balcony.
Bob Dylan got an Oscar for Best Original Song (Things Have Changed) and he taped it to his amp. So when you see him live on stage, check the amp right behind him and you'll see his Oscar still taped there.
Now here's a first, Clint Eastwood translating Italian. Only at the Oscars.
Best Original Score: The Oscar goes to: Babel
There's Jack Nicholson again - wow, what's the bald thing about I wonder.
Here's the moment when the President of the Academy. And he's talking very very fast. He's telling us everything about the Academy in one minute. It's about restoring old films. This is funny. Sixteen seconds left. Again, these film clip bits are really well done.
Ah, the Spiderman duo. That's coming out this year. Is it the third one? Think so.
Best Original Screenplay (this is an indication of what might win - or not win - Best Picture. Since The Departed won for best Adapted Screenplay, this will indicate what may be also be a frontrunner for Best Picture. I've been betting on Little Miss Sunshine (though the only film I've seen this year is The Queen which I thought was terrific, and they are showing the best scene in the film - the scene with the stag). And the Oscar goes to Little Miss Sunshine!
So, it appears that the Best Picture will either be "The Departed" or "Little Miss Sunshine." If it's not one of them then it will be a shocker.
Fashion Update: We've seen several empire-waisted (almost typed wasted, getting a bit punchy) dresses - the sort of Romanesque/Jane Austinesque hint in the dresses. Fashion designers use the Oscars to push certain styles and it's almost like a Paris fashion show. In fact, as I recall, that was all that the London chat shows talked about the day after the Oscar telecast when I was there one year. It was a while before I found out who had actually won.
11:26 p.m. Six more Oscars to go. In 30 Minutes. As always!
Okay, here we go:
Best Original Song: And the Oscar goes to An Inconvenient Truth: "I Need To Wake Up," by Melissa Ethridge. "We're all green," she says. But made it a point not to say it is a Republican or Democrat issue - but a green thing. Thanked her wife (not her partner). Not sure I've seen that before on the Oscars.
I think Little Miss Sunshine has a shot. Guess we'll see soon.
11:35 p.m. Will Smith comes on stage. Another montage of looking at America through its movies. Not sure what I think about this one. It seems to be somewhat a slam on America - lots of violence and fundies shouting. What's that all about? This seems to show that Americans are racist and show no respect to others. I don't know, maybe I'm feeling more like Oscar The Grouch at this hour, but it just comes across as crass. Nope, didn't like that one.
Here comes Kate Winslet. "Cut to the chase," she says. It was said to the film editor.
Best Film Editing: And the Oscar goes to The Departed One more for The Departed.
Martin Scorsese is now crying. Tears are streaming down his face.
Here comes Jody Foster. Wonder where she's been.
She's wearing Blue Drapes. She's honoring Randy Stone and others who passed away this year. This always gets me every year. Be back in a moment.
Glenn Ford, Bruno Kirby, Jane Wyatt, Don Knotts, Red Buttons, Darren McGavin, Joe Barbara, June Allyson, Maureen Stapleton, Jack Wild, James Doohan, Carol Ponti, Peter Boyle, Sidney Sheldon, Jack Palance, Mako, Jack Warden, Robert Altman, and others.
It wasn't quite as moving as it has been in the past. I think the music wasn't quite right. Always the critic!
Best Actress And the Oscar goes to Helen Miren. Yipeeee! A brilliant gold star! And she pays tribute to "Elizabeth Windsor." "Ladies and Gentlemen," she says, "The Queen!" And she holds up her newly presented Oscar.
Commericals: There've been some rather good ones, but that was probably my favorite - the iPhone commercial, "Hello," using clips from films.
So waht do we have left?
Why is Ellen vacuuming at this hour?
Best Actor: And the Oscar goes to Forest Whitaker - he plays Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland." He says he's overwhelmed. Thanks the people of Uganda. And God too.
Oh cool, Copolla, Spielberg, Lucas - these three great friends (and only two have won Oscars).
Best Director: And the Oscar goes to Martin Scorsese. Finally! "Someone check the envelope," Scorsese says as he faces a standing roar of an ovation. "So many people over the years have been wishing this for me," he says, "thank you, this one is for you." Four great directors of all time walk off the stage together and are met by Jack Nicolson.
Best Picture - presented by Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson
And the Oscar goes to:
The Departed - what Scorsese says is "the first film he's ever done with a plot."
So there we are - another year at the Oscars. This was "Marty's Year' and what also stood out was the lack of political posturing or speeches and not a ribbon in sight. The glamour was up and the tears were flowing. Another year and so concludes the first annual Oscarfest Blogorama! See you at the movies - I really hope so this year!
bb 12:17 a.m.