23.00 – 01.00:
Red Carpet Coverage live on E! Channel, following the A-Listers as they saunter gracefully into the Kodak Theatre. Highlights: James Cameron and Suzy Amis’s colour coordinating outfits; panic on the red carpet when a freak rain shower hits in LA where it NEVER rains; Charlize Theron’s hideous “Crinkly Breasts” dress; Sigourney Weaver admitting she’s learning to pole dance for her latest role; Kathryn Bigalow rockin’ the house for the ladies looking tall and fabulous in a sleeveless, mauve gown; George Clooney nervously sporting an eighties mullet; Penelope Cruz in a striking, deep scarlet dress; Jane Seymour getting snubbed by Ryan Seacrest; Sandra Bullock, aged 45, not looking a day over 25; Keanu Reeves looking incredibly handsome, bantering with Gabourey Sidibe, touching fists as he excuses himself like glamorous gang members parting company, whilst Woody Harrelson leans in and kisses her cheek, and she dances for the camera saying, “If fashion was porn then this (her dress) is the money shot…”; Taylor Lautner’s bowtie; Meryl Streep’s draping neckline; Gerard Butler promising to “pull a moony” (i.e. show his bare backside) on the stage – promises, promises, Gerard; Sarah-Jessica Parker’s lemon-coloured, stone-studded gown, and My Girl ™ Kate Winslet looking the most stunning she has ever looked in gunmetal-grey silk.
Sky Movies Premiere begins its live coverage of the 82nd Academy Awards. Highlights of last year’s show reminds me what a great time I’m in for; the Baz Luhrmann-directed stage number performed by Beyoncé Knowles and Hugh Jackman was easily my favourite moment from 2009’s ceremony, and my favourite win was of course My Girl™ Kate Winslet collecting her long-deserved statuette.
Let’s see what 2010 has in store once the world’s most irritating woman, Claudia Winkleman, stops gabbing to celebrity-guest-afterthought, David Baddiel… We learn that this is Matt Damon’s first nomination in 12 years, since he and Ben Affleck won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 1998 for Good Will Hunting – which, incidentally, was my first Oscar Night. I’ve been here the whole time, Matt! Last-minute prediction: Jack Nicholson will wear sunglasses inside the auditorium.
Showtime! We are introduced to the evening’s big nominees who stand nervously on stage as the band plays and the crowd applauds. How I Met Your Mother’s Neil Patrick-Harris opens with a musical number! Random!! He announces himself saying, “I know! What am I doing here?” Dancers! Feathers! Hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin are lowered from the gods. And so the inevitable banter ensues. Steve Martin quips, “Meryl Streep holds the record for the most Oscar nominations or as I like to think of it, most losses…” Alec Baldwin announces, “And welcome to that Damn Judy Dench…” Steve Martin interjects saying, “No, Alec, that’s Dame Judy Dench…” I’m liking George Clooney’s grumpy face…
Penelope Cruz presents the first award of the night: Best Supporting Actor. Glad of the return of the “Oscar Clip” over last year’s “Peer’s Gush-Fest”.
Prediction: Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
Winner: Christoph Waltz for Inglorious Basterds
Ryan Reynolds talks about Best Picture nominee, The Blind Side, starring his The Proposal co-star Sandra Bullock. The introduction is followed by a trailer-style montage. This marks a return to an older Oscar Ceremony format that hasn’t been seen since my first Oscar night back in 1998, and is most welcome, not to mention spooky. The night will be peppered with these heartfelt reminders of the Best Picture Nominees.
Cameron Diaz and Steve Carrel take to the stage to introduce the nominees for Best Animated Film. Preceded by a specially-made clip an animated junket-style interview scenario with several characters such as Coraline, Prince Naveed, and the cast of Fantastic Mr. Fox – brilliant!
Amanda Seyfried and Miley Cyrus present the nominees for Best original Song.
Prediction: “I’m Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog.
Winner: “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart
Star Trek star Chris Pine takes to the stage in a smart bowtie to talk about Best Picture nominee, District 9…
Robert Downey Jr and Tina Fey introduce the nominees for Best Original Screenplay with comedy. Downey Jr: “Actors look for scripts with specificity and a warm filming location…”
Winner: The Hurt Locker
Matthew Broderick and Molly Ringwald take to the stage to pay moving tribute to the late director, John Hughes. A montage of clips reminds us what a genius the world of film has lost. And then we are given some of the stars of those eighties teen classics on stage, all grown-up, including Ally Sheedy (who has not aged well, sadly) and Macaulay Culkin.
Samuel L. Jackson talks about Best Picture nominee, Up…
The pace of this year’s show is moving along quite well – it is not meandering as it often does. The winners are keeping their speeches short and concise. Carrie Mulligan and Zoe Saldana introduce the nominees for Best Animated Short.
Also, the nominees for Best Documentary Short.
Prediction: Rabbit a la Berlin
Winner: Music by Prudence
Also, the nominees for Best Live-Action Short.
Prediction: Miracle Fish.
Winner: The New Tenants
Ben Stiller takes to the stage made up as a Na’vi! “This seemed like a better idea in rehearsal…” he says. One of the best comedy moments of the night, as Stiller talks to James Cameron in Na’vi language whilst his tail dances of its own accord! He is here, ironically, to present the award for Best Make-Up.
Prediction: The Young Victoria
Winner: Star Trek
Jeff Bridges talks about Best Picture nominee, A Serious Man…
Jake Gyllenhall and Rachel McAdams introduce the nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Prediction: Up in the Air.
Most moving speech of the night from writer Geoffrey Fletcher, followed by Steve Martin saying, “I wrote that speech for him…”
Queen Latifa introduces the highlights of the Academy’s Governors Awards.
Robin Williams takes to the stage to tell us that the governors Ball will be held later that night, adding, “Just one of many balls being held all over Hollywood tonight…” He is also here to present the award for Best Supporting Actress.
Prediction: Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air
Winner: Moniqué for Precious
Best line from her speech: “Sometimes you have to forego doing what is popular to do what is right.”
Colin Firth talks about Best Picture nominee, An Education…
Sigourney Weaver takes to the stage to introduce the award for Best Art Direction.
Finally! Avatar has won a well-deserved Oscar!! Let the white-wash begin…please…
Tom Ford and Sarah-Jessica Parker arrive to present the award for Best Costume Design.
Prediction: The Young Victoria
Winner: The Young Victoria
British Costume Designer and two-time Oscar-winner Sandy Powell accepts her award saying, “I already have two of these – I’m beginning to feel greedy…”
Charlize Theron talks about Best Picture nominee, Precious…
Hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin send up Paranormal Activity in a special film. Hilarious!
Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner take to the stage and introduce a tribute to Horror Movies. The band plays through their dialogue, drowning them out. A bit cringe-worthy…
Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick introduce the award for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Morgan Freeman narrates a film about how Sound Editing is achieved, using The Dark Knight as an example.
Editing – Prediction: Avatar; Winner: The Hurt Locker
Mixing – Prediction: Avatar; Winner: The Hurt Locker
The “woman-scorned” Bigalow beats ex-husband Cameron to the punch – twice!! Girl Power!
Elizabeth Banks introduces the highlights of the Academy’s Sci-Tech ceremony.
Tarrantino Veteran, John Travolta, talks about Best Picture nominee, Inglorious Basterds…
Steve Martin introduces Sandra Bullock by saying “Please welcome my very dear friend, and by that I mean I’ve never met her…” She presents the award for Best Cinematography.
Demi Moore introduces the “In Memoriam” section, presumably because she was Patrick Swayze’s co-star in Ghost – a movie legend we sadly lost this year. Others include Jean Simmons, David Carradine, Natasha Richardson, Brittany Murphy, and Disney Executive (and Walt’s nephew), Roy Disney.
Sam Worthington and Jennifer Lopez present the award for Best Original Score. God, I love his Aussie accent. I have a “thing” for men with accents I think…It’s the obligatory “Dance Act” section – another retro, Oscar tradition which has been reintroduced. They perform to a medley of music by the nominees in the category.
Prediction: James Horner for Avatar
Winner: Michael Giacchino for Up
Gerard Butler (yummy) and Bradley Cooper introduce the nominees for Best Visual Effects.
Jason Reitman talks about Best Picture Nominee, Up in the Air…
Matt Damon presents the award for Best Documentary Feature. Alec Baldwin introduces Damon by saying, “Our next presenter won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay at age 27, and then went on to become an action star, making him the only screen writer in history to get any action…”
Prediction: Food, Inc
Winner: The Cove – made by Short Circuit star Fisher Stevens!
And now for Best Film Editing.
Winner: The Hurt Locker
Keanu Reeves talks about Best Picture nominee The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigalow, who directed Reeves in Point Break back in 1991, which was also executive produced by James Cameron…
Pedro Almodòvar and Quentin Tarantino present the award for Best Foreign Film.
Prediction: A Prophet
Winner: The Secret in their Eyes
Titanic star Kathy Bates talks about Best Picture Nominee, Avatar…
Now for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Michelle Pfieffer, Tim Robbins, Colin Farrell, Vera Farminga and Julianne Moore take to the stage for the Gush-Fest I hoped had been eradicated after last year. They wax lyrical and share anecdotes, the best of which was Tim Robbins story about being with Morgan Freeman on the set of The Shawshank Redemption. “On the first day of shooting I asked Morgan what it means to be someone’s friend. Morgan said to me, “Being a friend is getting someone a cup of coffee – can you do that for me, Ted?” Finally, My Girl™ Kate Winslet presents the award.
Prediction: Colin Firth
Winner: Jeff Bridges
Now for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Forest Whittaker, Michael Sheen, Peter Sarsgaard, Oprah Winfrey, and Stanley Tucci take to the stage for Gush-Fest number two. Sean Penn finally presents the award.
Prediction: Sandra Bullock
Winner: Sandra Bullock
Best speech of the night, hands down.
Now for Best Director. Barbara Streisand presents the award.
Prediction: James Cameron for Avatar
Winner: Kathryn Bigalow for The Hurt Locker.
What does a man have to do to get an Oscar for Best Director? Invent an entirely new way of making films? Nope – that’s not enough for the Academy…
1943 was the last time 10 films were nominated for Best Picture, Tom Hanks tells us. This is the announcement of the winner of Best Picture.
Winner: The Hurt Locker
And so concludes another Oscar Night. Steve Martin finishes by saying, “The show has been so long that Avatar now takes place in the past…” Some shocks and surprises; but, if you read my predictions from earlier, strangely predictable outcomes in the face of all the perplexity. I feel James Cameron has been robbed, and deserved more acknowledgement for ushering a new cinematic era. But never mind – it was still a great night. I’m off to bed finally! See you all next year for Oscar 83, and my Lucky 13.
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