Your one-stop shop for Oscar miscellany

Jaybird and I had a simultaneous forehead smack.

CRAP!!! *WE* SHOULD HAVE HAD AN OSCAR POOL!!!!

Damn.  We should have.

So let’s make this an Oscar grab-bag.  I’ve already posted my final Oscar predictions for the major awards over at Blinded Trials.  Between now and the start of the actual awards ceremony (8 PM Eastern), consider this your chance to post predictions.  The person who gets the most correct can… I dunno.  Claim bragging rights?  Write a Stupid Tuesday Question?  Name a blog-related reward, and I’ll see what I can do.  As a tiebreaker, list your guesses for Best Original and Adapted Screenplay Awards.  (In the event of more than one winner, I’ll pick one at random.)

Also, consider this an Oscar open thread.  And if I can somehow manage to live-blog the event, what the hell… I’ll put it here, too.

And the liveblog commences below:

7:46 Eastern So the kiddos are off to bed, and I’m trying to catch up with the red carpet arrivals on the DVR.  And as much as I love me some Kristen Chenoweth, I’m already kind of annoyed with the banter.

Wow.  Catherine Zeta-Jones is shiny.

7:54 Amanda Seyfriend was just kind of hilariously frank about how uncomfortable her dress is.  And that girl from “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is adorrrrrrrrrrable.

8:03 It appears Naomi Watts has been dressed by Reynolds Wrap.

8:15 Daniel Radcliffe has kind of that deer-in-the-headlights look about attending the Oscars for the first time.

8:22 Oh, dear.  Anne, Anne, Anne.  That dress is a problem.

8:39  Shatner.  Boob songs.  Hmmmm.  The dancing with Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron was lovely, lovely, lovely, though.

8:50  Christoph Waltz??!!??!  DAMN!  Already wrong on a major Oscar, and we’ve only done one!

9:00 A kilt!  My father must be thrilled.  (And the Critter would doubtless endorse “Brave”‘s win.)

9:12  OK, the “Jaws” theme drowning out the guy who was too long with his speech?  Tacky, offensive and mean.

9:25  Yay!  James Bond tribute.  But, um… is Shirley Bassey maybe not entirely on key?

9:43  Am I crazy?  Is Seth MacFarlane kind of nailing this?  Do I need more beer?

9:58 As much as I’m enjoying the songs from “Chicago” and “Dreamgirls” and their Oscar-winning performers singing, um… weren’t those songs originally written for Broadway?  Would only a gay man care about that detail?

10:02 Kinda tipping your hand on the Best Supporting Actress winner with this “Les Miz” bit, aren’t you Oscar producers?  What with Zeta-Jones and Hudson singing just beforehand?  No?

10:24  Oh, thank GOD!  If Hathaway had lost, I’d have had to hang up my Oscar prognostication hat forever.

10:27 That said, kind of a snoozer of a speech maybe, Anne?

10:30  Oh, look!  It’s the Academy president kahfli jlkajcbyo8q4v 84pq98 p98byzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

10:35 Kinda sucking the mystery out of the Best Original Song category with the Adele performance, maybe, Academy?  #noteventryinganymore

10:44 I’m happy to celebrate that Nicole Kidman’s face appears to be moving again.

10:51 Congratulations to Salma Hayek for wearing world’s fanciest neck brace.  (Credit to the Better Half for that joke.)

10:57 Aaaaaand cue to Dead Celebrity Popularity Applause-o-meter.  Unless… could Hollywood finally have gotten some class, and people are actually holding their applause?  *swoons from shock*

11:09  Oh, do let’s have more Richard Gere.  That’ll bring in the kids.

11:16  Huh.  Scarlett Johansson seems to have a lovely voice.  That said, everyone knew Adele was going to win.  #theywerenteventrying

11:35  Ang Lee??!??!  DOUBLE DAMN!  If I weren’t on record for being wrong in two major categories, I’d be thrilled for the interesting surprises.  Though… “I can’t waste this time talking [about the cast]” is maybe not the best thing to include in one’s acceptance speech?

11:40 Damn.  Kristen Stewart looks awful.

11:44 Yaaaaaaaaaay!  Jennifer Lawrence!!!!!

11:48  Boom.  Daniel Day-Lewis.  And dude is funny!

11:55 Michelle Obama?  Didn’t see that coming.

“Argo”!  Yes!  OK, so now I’m going to bed.

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53 thoughts on “Your one-stop shop for Oscar miscellany

  1. Lincoln, DDL, Jennifer Lawrence (really? yes), Tommy Lee Jones, Amy Master (in part because JP and PSH are shut out!), Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi.
    • No, that’s just the Academy being idiots. I’ve seen more movies in the theatre this year than I think I ever have before, and I haven’t seen most of the nominees.
      • What movies do you think they should nominate? I think all of them are decent to good for the most part.

        I’ve heard it argued that box-office success should be one of the factors considered or the strongest factor considered but I am not swayed by the argument. The Academy Awards are meant to reward artistic merit and excellent, not popularity. This is not to say that popular films cannot be artistically excellent but the awards go for different things.

      • Looper should have some nominations – at the least, it had a more original plot than a lot of the nominees. Chronicle – a low-budget movie about teens who get superpowers – was also very well-done and had a lot of emotional power. Safety Not Guaranteed was a cross between a drama and a science fiction story, about a few reporters for a small magazine who go to interview a guy who claims he’s hiring people to go back in time with him – it’s got a surprising number of commonalities with Silver Lining Playbook, and is just as good while being more original. The Hobbit should have been nominated in more categories (especially costume design and cinematography and score). Fassbender should have gotten a Supporting Actor nomination for Prometheus, where even people who hated the film agreed that he did a great job. If it wasn’t for his only being in one scene, I’d say Andy Serkis should have had a nomination for his work as Gollum, too – he did a splendid job there.

        It’s not that the nominated films are bad, it’s just that anything good that falls outside the Academy’s oeuvre of “drama (preferably history, biography, or about a current social issue)” generally gets ignored, and that was particularly glaring this year.

      • Yay, someone else who saw it!

        Oddly, in a year of some pretty good big-budget superhero flicks (I really liked both Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man), Chronicle was by a good margin the one with the strongest emotional impact and best depth of characterization. There’s a lot of films in that genre where the hero and villain used to be friends, but few of them manage to make things so painful.

  2. Predictions (plus the movies/actors I want to win – regardless of whether they were even nominated – in square brackets).

    Best Picture: Argo [[can't decide, but not Argo]]

    Best Director: Spielberg, for Lincoln [[Tom Hooper, for Les Mis]]

    Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo [[Beasts of the Southern Wild, or Les Mis]]

    Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained [[Looper]]

    Best Leading Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, for Lincoln [[Hugh Jackman for Les Mis]]

    Best Leading Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, for Silver Linings Playlist

    Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, for Lincoln [[Michael Fassbender, for Prometheus]]

    Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathawy, for Les Mis

    Best Animated Film: Brave

    Cinematography: Life of Pi [[The Hobbit]]

    Costume Design: Anna Karenina [[The Hobbit]]

    Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man [[5 Broken Cameras]]

    Film Editing: Argo

    Foreign Language Film: Amour

    Makeup and Hairstyling: The Hobbit (seriously, if it doesn’t get this then it’s the lass fragment of proof needed that the Academy’s all gone senile)

    Best Original Score: Life of Pi [[The Hobbit - seriously, how is it not nominated?]]

    Best Original Song: Skyfall

    Production Design: The Hobbit

    Sound Editing: Skyfall (wild guess)

    Sound Mixing: Les Mis (wild guess)

    Visual Effects: The Hobbit

    • The Hobbit wasn’t nominated for best original score because it is pompous sixth-rate pseudo-Wagner.

      All of the soundtracks for epic fantasy movies are way too melodramatic and on the nose. They are telling you how to feel at very moment.

      Blergh…no me gusta.

      A soundtrack/score should complement a film, not dictate emotional reaction to the audience.

      • I absolutely love all the Lord of the Rings soundtracks, and The Hobbit is no different. And leitmotifs in general. I’ve seen films where I felt the score overwhelmed the movie in some place (the latest Chronicles of Narnia movies do that), but never in Lord of the Rings – the score feels like part of the setting. It’s epic because it’s part of epic films.
      • And I would point out that all the scores that are remembered and loved are the powerful ones that stick in your head – Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, James Bond.
  3. I’m fine if members honestly thought Argo was the best picture, but if a critical mass was just swung by this Director-nod-snub backlash propaganda campaign on behalf of Affleck I’ve heard about, (and I liked Argo – it’s one of maybe two or three of the BP nominees I’ve seen – but I think it’s rather clearly not the best picture, if reactions to Django were at all reasonable, and with Lincoln in the field, which, despite the historiographical issues, was just a more fully realized film than Argo), well then, man, that just makes me want to finally be done with this sham once and for all (since I’m annoyed and embarrassed with myself for not having gotten that done five or ten years ago now as it is…).
  4. MacFarlane missed more than he hit, but when he hit, it was for extra bases. I am pleased at the fact that he was willing to take risks.

    The technical aspects of the show were some of the worse I’ve ever seen. Especially considering the theme of ‘music at the Oscars’ ,the sound mixing was god-awful and the wisdom of keeping the orchestra in a remote location was extremely questionable.

    Also, I am far from an expert, but it seemed to me that Tatum made quite a few misteps in the dance number, and Theron just didn’t have the skill level to make up for them.

    • I definitely agree with your first two paragraphs. I think MacFarlane made it, at least, more interesting and a bit edgier. That said, I think the Shatner bit stunk up the joint (and you could tell that the audience members in the background agreed).

      I couldn’t tell if, for example, Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy were dying on stage, or if you just couldn’t hear the audience’s laughter. (Their delivery was actually pretty good.) I don’t think they’ve gotten the sound right since they moved to their current venue.

      I’m no judge of dancing, but I’m on record as having loved the Theron/Tatum duo. It may have been my single favorite part of the show.

      • I think the Shatner bit was mostly a way to insert the potentially-offensive stuff while lampshading that it could be offensive.
      • I think you’re spot on. But it was tooooooo long, in any case. They could have broken it up and interspersed the bits throughout the show, and maybe it might have worked better. By the time they got to the Sally Field segment (which I actually found amusing) I was well into “enough already!” territory.
    • I tuned in here and there, but found the whole spectacle to be offensive when it wasn’t merely boring. The boob song pissed me off (is this kind of low grade, juvenile stuff really necessary?) I switched off after Best Supporting Actor, and when I returned it was to a bear and some actor whose name I can’t remember doing a shtick about how you have to at least pretend to be Jewish to get anywhere in Hollywood.

      Maybe I’m getting old and curmudgeonly, but what I saw struck me as pretty damned tasteless.

      • Oh, you certainly caught the lowlights. I had kinda blocked the Jew humor from my memory. MacFarlane has a thing with Jew humor (at least if “Family Guy” is any indication), so maybe I’ve grown somewhat inured to it. Which is hardly the same as being willing to defend it.

        What mmmmmmmmaybe salvaged the boob song was that so many of the actresses he referenced were willing to play along a bit. (The ones they cut to were obviously giving their appalled reactions in prerecorded snippets.) Or am I being too forgiving?

      • I saw how the whole thing fit into the Shatner bit, and I did think the actresses were playing along, but I still thought it was tacky. Then again, the last few Academy Awards shows have seemed really forced, as if they were trying too hard to amuse. I’d rather they cut down on the hoopla and focus more on the awards, the acceptance speeches, and what everyone is wearing.
      • I am totally with you there.

        Frankly, the Oscars have gotten less fun to watch than the Golden Globes (boozy fun! great hosts this year!) and the SAG Awards (glamorous self-congratulation without the filler!).

      • Out of curiosity, who have been your favourite Oscar hosts? I loved the two times Jon Stewart did it – it felt like he was playing to the viewers, not to the celebs, and was willing to poke some fun at the whole process. But the celebs seemed less happy with it, maybe for the same reason. I’d love to see him do the Oscars again.
      • The trouble is that nobody has been consistently great. The best in that regard was Billy Crystal, who was reliably funny and hit the right tone. But he got musty and too reliant on shtick, and he was just plain past his prime when they dragged him back last year.

        The one who did it absolutely perfectly was Steve Martin in his first go-round. Just absolutely perfect. Funny and sharply witty, with just the right amount of insidery pique. His second time was much more ho-hum, but his first was marvelous.

  5. Not an Oscar thingie, since I didn’t watch, but I have been wondering…

    Since Quentin Tarantino writes great dialogue, and George Lucas can’t actually write anything resembling dialogue, how awesome would Star Wars have been if Tarantino had written the dialogue?

      • Years ago I wrote a long essay on Star Wars that inserted Pulp Fiction dialog into the scene where Mace Windu confronted Anakin and Emperor Palpatine.

        The path of the righteous Jedi is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of the Sith. Blessed is he who, in the name of the Force, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost younglings. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am a Jedi when I lay my vengeance upon you.

        I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you shoved a light saber up his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. Now I’m thinkin’: it could mean you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. Light Saber here, he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could be you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the Chancellor that’s evil and selfish. I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the chosen one, and I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Anakin. I’m tryin’ real hard to be a shepherd.

        Instead we got, well, I don’t really remember what we got. Some babbling, then “Help me Anakin” and then Mace got zapped by Force lightning and fell out of a window. But compared to his love scenes, at least the Windu/Palpatine rose to the level of Beavis and Butthead.

  6. My local movie theatre (an very neat-looking old heritage one) was doing a big Oscars party, so I went to that. Great fun – way more than watching it at home!

    I really didn’t expect Life of Pi to get Best Director, but Ang Lee’s very talented, so congrats to him. I think I’ll go see it, so that I’ll at least be able to have an informed opinion on whether it lives up to the hype. I read the book and liked it, although I don’t remember much except the tiger, and the ending asking about how much of the story was true.

    • I remember all the hoo-hah about that back when the book came out. It struck me then (and now) as weak tea. While I’ve not read the Brazilian book, by all accounts the two are very different beyond the basic premise. If we accept the heavy borrowing that happens in, say, music, I’m not sure why there was such a hubbub over this instance (readily admitted by Martel) in literature.

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