Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar LiveBlog!

This is Captain Critic's Oscar LiveBlog! I'll be posting all night until the last award is given out, so keep your browser pointed here and keep hitting refresh for the latest updates.

11:59 p.m. -- Well, it's been a great but exhausting night live-blogging this event. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

11:54 p.m. -- "Slumdog" wins Best Picture in the least surprising event of the evening. It's a wonderful film, and I'm happy to see it honored.

I still don't know if people will realize until tomorrow or the days after what a huge event this film's win is. A film with an Irish director, English screenwriter, Indian cast, Muslim characters and Bollywood roots is now King of the World. It's astonishing to think about it. Will this mean more international stories and filmmakers will have a chance at mainstream success? Let's hope so.

11:47p.m. -- Sean's speech goes to all the expected places. Those who disagree with me are destined for the ash heap for history. Shout-out to Obama. Now we know why the crack about "You Commie, homo-loving sons of guns" works.

11:44p.m. -- Sean wins, and unlike Kate Winslet he makes a beeline straight for the podium. His wife even has to grab him to get a kiss in.
Great line where he says I know how I hard I make it for you to appreciate me.

11:43 p.m. -- Mickey or Sean? Mickey or Sean? Who will it be?

11:38 p.m. -- They did not make the 11:30 deadline. It was probably unrealistic to begin with. Looks like my 11:50 estimate is going to be pretty spot-on.

11:34 p.m. -- It's Kate Winslet!
Very classy move, giving hugs to all the other nominees and presenters.
"Well it's not a shampoo bottle now!" Some people may be put off by her forthrightness about having wanted to win an Oscar since she was eight years old, but I treasure her honestly. They ALL feel this way; she just has the guts to admit it.
Loved the shout-out to her Dad and the whistle!

11:31 p.m. -- Am I nuts or does Sophia Loren seem a little drunk?

11:28 p.m. -- OK, the people in the audience are going NUTS for the five past Best Actress winners giving tribute to this year's nominees. But I officially hate it. It's all the sappiness and schmaltz of the Oscar rolled into a single cringe-worthy moment. Blech.

11:22 p.m. -- Danny Boyle jumps up and down on stage after winning Best Director. It's a tribute to Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. They showed his face right before they announced the winner, and you could just see that he KNEW he was going to win. That must be a wonderful feeling. You deserve it, Danny.

11:17 p.m. -- Paul Newman, of course, got the most applause during the montage of those who have passed on. What a guy, what a career.
Btw, they didn't show Heath Ledger because he was shown in last year's Oscars. It goes by those who died in between the Academy Award ceremonies, not calendar years. So Ledger was included in the 2008 bunch.
The unfortunate contest for who can get the least applause was some publicist guy. A publicist? Sorry, they shouldn't be included in the roll call. Neither should the film critic they showed. They're involved in the hype surrounding movies, not the making of them.

11:11 p.m. -- As they get ready to do the "everyone who died" montage, here's my shout out to Austin, who correctly answered my trivia question of which two movies besides "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" swept the "Big Five" Oscar awards -- best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay. The other two were "Silence of the Lambs" in 1991 and "It Happened One Night" in 1934. Good work, Austin!

11:09 p.m. -- Have you noticed that there hasn't been a single occasion this evening of the orchestra cutting off somebody during their acceptance speech? Either they've decided to be looser with the time restrictions, or they seriously cautioned everyone beforehand to keep it short. I have to say, it makes for a much classier show without some dolt standing there trying to thank his mother over the swelling music.

11:08 p.m. -- "Departures" upsets "Waltz with Bashir" for Best Foreign Language Film. I haven't seen the Japanese film that won, so I can't exactly critique the choice. But "Waltz" was wonderful.

11:03 p.m. -- Six wins for "Slumdog" now with "Jai Ho" taking Best Song. If it wins everything else it's up for, "Slumdog" should garner eight total wins -- quite an impressive sum.

10:58 p.m. -- By the way, Peter Gabriel refused to perform his Best Song nominee "Down to Earth" because he felt the 60-second clip they had allotted was insulting. He's probably right -- they usually do the full-length version of all the nominees. The live performance from "Once" was pure magic last year. This is what we had to cut down to make room for "Romance 2008?"
Btw, that was John Legend ably filling in for Gabriel.

10:55 p.m. -- A.R. Rahman wins for Best Musical Score. Don't go anywhere, A.R., since you're about to win in the Best Song category, too. That's five wins for "Slumdog" now.

10:46 p.m. -- Eddie Murphy kisses Jerry Lewis. Now I've seen it all.
Is Jerry OK? He seems to be having trouble walking and speaking.

10:43 p.m. -- They've given out seven awards in the last 45 minutes, with 45 to go and seven awards left. Could they actually make the 11:30 mark?

10:40 p.m. -- In response to a comment in the Comments section, Jean has Googled the green ribbons some people in the Oscar audience wearing. Apparently it has to do with Global Green, a pre-Oscar benefit party given by Leo DiCaprio and Sheryl Crowe to raise money for eco-friendly schools.

10:37 p.m. -- And just like that, "Slumdog" is up 4-3 over "Benjamin Button" after winning Best Editing and Sound Mixing. I don't foresee any more wins for Brad Pitt & Co.

10:31 p.m. -- Richard King, the Oscar winner for Sound Editing for "Dark Knight," says he grew up in the Florida suburbs. Where, I wonder? A fellow Sunshine Stater?

10:28 p.m. -- "Benjamin Button" wins Visual Effects. It is now up in the Oscar tally over "Slumdog" by 3-2, but don't expect that to hold.

10:24 p.m. -- HILARIOUS commercial with Tom Cruise and Jimmy Kimmel. Seriously funny stuff where they come busting out of a burning house.

10:17 p.m. -- "Man on Wire" wins Best Documentary, and tightrope artist Philippe Petit bounds to the stage and balances the Oscar on his chin! We've never seen THAT before at the Academy Awards! Amazing movie, btw ... rent it if you haven't seen it.

10:15 p.m. -- Interesting choice to show interviews with the directors and producers of the documentary feature nominees. And now they have Bill Maher as the presenter?

10:09 p.m. -- Look at the faces they're showing as Heath's father accepts the award. People are truly moved. I don't think anybody's this good of an actor. These are real tears. This man was loved. He was respected. His passing is a terrible loss to his loved ones, but also to his craft. What a triumph and a pity.

10:08 p.m. -- So who's accepting the Oscar for Heath Ledger? Oh... it's his entire family.

9:59 p.m. -- In the last 30 minutes, they've given out exactly one award. They still have 14 categories left to go with 90 minutes left to reach their goal. Don't think it's going to happen.

9:54 p.m. -- Surprise appearance by Beyonce in the big musical number with Jackman. Electric!!

9:49 p.m. -- Weird. They said they were going to do a "Comedy 2008" montage, but was Seth Rogen and James Franco riffing on their "Pineapple Express" characters. And they were watching "The Reader" and thought it was a comedy. It was OK, I guess, but again... this is what you needed to spend precious minutes on?

9:39 p.m. -- Seriously, the thing everybody's going to be talking about tomorrow is Ben Stiller in that fright wig. If you think he's over the top, then check out the YouTube video of Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman. Letterman put it best at the end of his appearance: "Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight!"

9:38 p.m.
-- I think the cinematographer for "Slumdog" stole his haircut from Heath Ledger's Joker in "Dark Knight." It has like ... wings, or something. I think he could get airborne.


9:30 p.m. -- What the hell is "Romance 2008?" Other than an excuse to show clips of Meet Cutes and kissing from last year's movies? I can't believe they waste 5 good minutes with useless montages like this, then complain when the show runs long.

9:24 p.m. -- "Benjamin Button" wins Best Makeup, and it deserves to. Aging makeup is a tough thing; it almost always looks terrible. People forget that not only did they age Brad Pitt (backwards) believably, but that Cate Blanchett also spent about half her screen time as an 80-something woman. Splendid work.

9:22 p.m. -- "Duchess" wins Best Costumes, as I predicted. It's strange to think now how this movie was forgotten by the Academy. People were expecting "The Duchess" to be a major contender in the Best Picture and other top award categories, but it failed to make an impact. I don't know why; I thought it a very good film. Great-looking, of course, but splendidly acted. Ralph Fiennes was great in it in a role that could have been a one-note bastard, but had depth and layers. Pity.

9:17 p.m. -- "Benjamin Button" wins its first of the night, for art direction. It will probably do well in the "technical" categories, but I still doubt it'll score any major wins. Nor does it deserve to.

9:06 p.m. -- I can't believe Jack Black did the line about doing voice work for DreamWorks animated flicks and then using the money to bet on the Pixar movie to win the Oscar. But it's true! "Wall-E" wins of course, and shoulda been nominated for Best Pic.

9:04 p.m. -- Simon Beaufoy wins for Adapted Screenplay for "Slumdog" -- not much of a shocker there.

8:59 p.m. -- Great throwaway joke line from Steve Martin to Tina Fey: "DON'T fall in love with me."

8:57 p.m. -- Original screenplay winner is... Dustin Lance Black for "Milk," no surprise there. Black had endeavored for years to get this movie made. Black is really young! What, did he start working on this screenplay when he was 15?
And yes, he totally milks the Proposition 8 thing. Cheap, Black, cheap.

8:50 p.m. -- It's Cruz. I'm not so sure how I feel about the five previous winners presenting the award. I liked the tradition of last year's Best Supporting Actor giving away the prize to supporting actress, and the same gender reversal in the leading categories. Just a nice gesture.
I really wish Marisa Tomei won. But I think it was between Cruz and Viola Davis. I just wasn't that wild about "Vicky Christina Barcelona," so it's hard for me to pick an MVP from what I consider a mediocre Woody Allen flick.

8:44 p.m. -- Best Supporting Actress up first. I think this is one category I could have gotten wrong in my predictions. Word is Penelope Cruz made a late push. Let's see...


8:40 p.m. -- Jackman's opening musical bit was pretty cool. I loved where he brought Anne Hathaway up onstage in a "surprise" appearance. She can sing pretty good! And of course I loved "I am Wolverine!"

8:35 p.m. -- What are "The Craig's List Dancers?"

8:25 p.m. -- Jack Black just cracked me up. He busted on the guy interviewing him for doing a double-take at somebody else walking by. Black claimed the interviewer was looking to ditch him to go interview somebody more famous.
Jean just commented that Seth Rogen looks much thinner. Do we want him as a non-schlub? I kinda liked him chubby.

8:15 p.m. -- 15 minutes to curtain. The Oscar honchos are swearing they're going to bring the show in under three hours. I'll believe it when I see it. That would be 11:30 p.m., which I seriously doubt. I'm betting on about 11:50 at best. What's your over/under on the runtime?

8:03p.m. -- I did not know that Josh Brolin and Diane Lane were married to each other. For my money, Diane Lane is one of the most beautiful women in the world. She looks great in her dark slim-fitting dress.
Now they have Sarah Jessica Parker on in some white silver poof thingee. People really think she's a beauty icon?

7:56 p.m. -- We're getting ready for 30 minutes of the red carpet stuff, usually the most boring part for me. I know a lot of people go ga-ga over the fashions, but unless someone's wearing a giant goose dress a la Bjork, I really don't care.

7:50 p.m.
-- Hugh Jackman's on now, and he's doing a very slick interview. The guy is very "on" in his interview -- I'm not so sure how much of the real guy we're seeing. I think he's playing the well-adjusted superstar without a care in the world.
I absolutely cannot wait for "Wolverine" this May.

7:42 p.m. -- Mickey reveals that he stopped boxing because he failed a neurological test -- closely paralleling his character in "The Wrestler." The guy looks like hell in his interview ... I don't know what's up with the stringy hair and old lady glasses. And when did he get that silver capped tooth?
He also admits that he desperately wants to win the Oscar.

7:32 p.m. -- Mickey Rourke's up now. They showed clips of some of the stuff he's done since "Wild Orchid." A lot of crap I've never heard of. He was in an action flick with Jean Claude Van Damme? They also showed "Sin City." I thought that movie wildly uneven, but Rourke was great in it. His mini-story was probably the best of the bunch.
His signature line: "I didn't want to be here, but I was too afraid to kill myself."

7:25 p.m. -- Another great Hathaway line, about her being a rare sight in the tabloids: "I do terrible things all the time. I just have very discreet friends."

7:21 p.m. -- Magic are pwning the Heat. Good.
Anne Hathaway is on Barbara now. She said something I never heard a thespian say before: "I'm not going to lie. I was really hoping to be nominated." That's a pretty ballsy thing to say.
I was not a big fan of "Rachel Getting Married." Hathaway was a revelation in it, but parts of the movie just dragged in the dirt. She's such a lovely and talented girl; I hope to see great things in her career.

7:05 p.m. -- Ugh, the Jonas Brothers are up first. I think I'll swing over the Magic-Heat game until Mickey Rourke, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are up.

7:03 p.m.
-- I don't usually watch the Barbara Walters special before the Oscars where she tries to make big stars cry. But I figure since I'm working, I'll tune in.


  1. Since our critic isn't really into the fashion of the Oscars, I thought I might share what we'd hear if he were suddenly transported from his current blogging state to the red carpet. Any guesses on his attire?

  2. I don't trust them to hold to under three hours. I'm guessing at least 11:45pm.

  3. Hellboy was robbed!

  4. This is great -- I'm watching, but at work, so can't really hear what's happening. Thanks for the play by play.

  5. Having to work on Oscar night? Criminal!

  6. I agree w/ the Sarah Jessica Parker comment. The fact that people love her clothes alway astounds me.

  7. Yeah, the Romance 2008 montage was lame, but the Comedy 2008 bit with Seth and James and pretty dang funny!

  8. Is it me or are the commercials just as entertaining this year? no, seriously, I was fine with the whole "tribute to musicals" number until Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens (spelled right) appeared...

  9. OK, so what's the significance of the green ribbons that some in the audience are wearing?

  10. I don't know, Kato. There seems to be a special cause every year where you're on the outs if you don't wear the ribbon. Something to do with gay marriage, if I were to hazard a guess.

  11. Or with putting on an eco-friendly Oscar ceremony?

  12. I'm surprised Eddie didn't run off with that Oscar. He was quite ticked when he didn't win for Dreamgirls. Word was that he left the ceremony in a huff after his category.

  13. I have a 46-inch screen, yet I have trouble reading the titles and text for graphics because they're so tiny or being twisted beyond recognition. Anyone else having problens? I missed the name of the first person featured in the annual death list.