Sunday, February 24, 2013

2012 Oscars Live Blog

Well, it's that time of year again...Oscar night. I've been watching it almost every year since Titanic swept in 1997, missing only in 2004 when I had to work and 2010 when I had to study for a Neuro exam. And since 2007 I've been keeping a live blog on Facebook. Now that I think of it, that was the year I first watched all of the Best Animated Short nominees before the actual ceremony. Anyways, I'm not going to have much of an audience for Facebook after I wiped out my entire friends list in a fit of rage last month, and I also have a blog that's somewhat related the Oscars, so why not do it here? All entries will be after the jump, and all times will be Central.

My review of the 2012 Best Animated Short nominees

Previous entries: 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007

18:07: Once again I have to rely on a livestream. It's a decent livestream but every commercial break it's replaced by an annoying Disney cruise commercial that's very long and very jumpy and it cuts things off. Right now it's still the red carpet show, but if it happens with the actual ceremony I'll have to find something else.

18:28: So far so good, but this is the AP stream. I don't know whether or it it'll carry over to the actual ceremony. Darned Disney. Once again they are screwing with us.

18:31: Welp, the AP stream just ended. I can hear stuff in the background but no luck as to the actual thing. I guess it's back on the trail for me.

18:34: Well, something is happening. I have no idea who's talking or if it's the actual

18:39: Found a site that does a livestream from ABC. It's full of popup ads and freezes frequently, but it's better than nothing.

18:51: I think I found a good stream. I hope it works, but according to this I have 36 minutes to go so hopefully it stays good.

18:54: Daniel Radcliffe without Emma Watson? She was the one that appeared in the critically acclaimed film! BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

19:03: Not much to talk about the red carpet. The fashions are none too exciting and the interviews are generally boring, although the ABC interviews have been much better than the AP ones. There probably won't be another update until Seth MacFarlane's opening monologue.

19:05: You know, I've been so out of it that I don't even know what Adele looks like. Needless to say I was shocked to see she was as stocky as Melissa McCarthy. Oh well. She'll probably be an Oscar winner by the end of the night.

19:07: Gahaha. Technical difficulties make me laugh.

19:14: They have this Oscar mystery box of a famous movie prop, and Kristin Chenoweth had been asking people what they thought it was. I totally didn't care about it but when she asked Anne Hathaway what it was, I thought to myself "oh it's probably the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz." Hathaway said the same thing, and that turned out to be right. Oh the joys of filling space during the red carpet show.

19:26: Oh good. The red carpet show is over. Now it's time for...commercial breaks! Yey, we'll get a lot of these tonight.

19:30: No special opening clip for Seth Macfarlane. That makes me sad. No matter how funny he can be it's still a disappointment. The Tommy Lee Jones thing was kind of funny though.

19:33: These monologues have always been kind of meh. It's the emcees time to shine, and Macfarlane's pretty decent (the crack at Daniel Day-Lewis's method acting was great), but it's still just a stand-up comedy routine where the film industry could make themselves feel good.

19:36: Whoa, it's something unexpected. I'm sure it was all planned because we know Macfarlane is a big Star Trek fan, but it's still funny and different.

19:38: Kirk was right. The song sucks, but Jennifer Lawrence's reaction shot was gold.

19:39: We need more self-deprecating humor like this.

19:40: I didn't like "The Way You Look Tonight," the Best Song winner from 1936 for Swing Time, but it was good to see Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron try to re-capture Astaire and Rogers

19:42: The Flight thing was funny, actually.

19:43: "High Hopes", the 1959 Oscar winner for Shot in the Head, now that's classy. No sarcasm intended.

19:44: Hmm, this thing is starting to get old.

19:46: "Be the Guest" didn't win, and the song kind of sucks, but the entertainment value is decent.

19:47: Right, putting the most undecided category at the very front. Probably because nobody cares since everybody that was nominated for Best Supporting Actor had won at least once.

19:50: Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained! Looks like the fact that he won three years ago, also for a Tarantino movie, in what was really a lead role, doesn't matter. It's not good news for Lincoln though.

19:55: Melissa McCarthy and Paul Rudd. One person presented the short awards last year, and the other one has Kansas City ties. Now they are here to present I have no idea, because whatever schtick they're doing is not very funny.

19:57: Oh shit, Best Animated Short already?

19:58: And the Oscar goes to...Paperman! Yey! Disney's first win since It's Tough to Be a Bird in 1969. Hopefully that's not bad news for Best Animated Feature.

19:59: Well, I guess we'll find out.

19:59: :( :( :( Looks like the Academy are still Pixar's bitch for this category. Probably because they didn't like giving Disney both awards. Oh well. I'll always love Wreck-It Ralph over the overrated, unimaginative Brave.

20:01: Presenting three Best Picture nominees at once? That's a bold move. Les Miserables, Life of Pi, and Beasts of the Southern Wild

20:04: Meh. I'd rather Adam and Dog win Best Animated Short if it meant Wreck-It Ralph would have won Best Animated Feature. Oh well. At least Spirited Away won ten years ago. That's several times better than any of the nominees this year.

20:06: The Avenger men are here to present Best Cinematography. Their schtick was not very funny, but oh well. It's a chance for Roger Deakins to finally end his 10-nominee losing streak.

20:07: Nope. He's halfway to Kevin O'Connell. Claudio Mirando wins for Life of Pi. Hopefully there's several more awards for this film by the end.

20:09: The bickering was funny in The Avengers, but it's not funny here. At least they move on to Best Visual Effects without too much of it.

20:10: It's like the Avengers are here to present awards to Life of Pi. Of course these two are just gimmes. We'll see how well it does in more contentious categories.

20:12: The Jaws theme, a good way to tell people that won technical awards to shut up and get off the stage. It's better than the usual orchestral music.

20:15: Let's face it. Wreck-it Ralph was too progressive for the old fogeys that make up most of the Oscar voting body. Video games? Those people are probably lost at Pong.

20:16: Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup. Their banter is not funny.

20:17: Best Costume Design goes to Anna Karenina. No surprise there. The surprising thing is that she never won for any previous Joe Wright films.

20:18: Best Makeup now has a new name: Best Makeup and Hairstyling. I guess it's good to recognize that hairstyling has much to do with a film's look.

20:20: And it goes to Les Miserables. Not much surprise either. There was some hope that it would go to The Hobbit, but cutting off Anne Hathaway's hair? Hugh Jackman's haggard bearded look? Those were some of the more defining features of the film.

20:21: Halle Berry here for the James Bond tribute. It was highly advertised so we'll see what we're in for.

20:22: Music tribute? Maybe not as good of a sign as it could have been, although the Bond theme is cool, mostly because how extensively it was used in the classic N64 game Goldeneye.

20:24: Some snappy editing. That's about it.

20:25: Oh, I guess they're going to sing some classic Bond themes, which is probably fitting because that's the category where Skyfall is likely to win its first Oscar since 1965, when Thunderball won Best Visual Effects.

20:28: Really? You're just going to sing Goldfinger? Why not one of the Oscar nominated tunes like "Nobody Does It Better" from The Spy Who Loved Me?

20:32: I wouldn't call Kerry Washington one of the stars of Django Unchained, but it's good to have her alongside her film husband Jamie Foxx to present Best Live Action Short.

20:33: And the Oscar goes to Curfew. That's good because I heard a lot of great things about this so I'm interested in watching it. Yes, I don't go all gaga over this category like Best Animated Short.

20:35: Best Documentary Short. It's a category even less people care about. It's too bad people usually put Best Animated Short with these categories where films are obscure and how to watch, because the Animated Short nominees are nothing like that.

20:36: The Oscar goes to Inocente. Yey! Good for the filmmakers! They gave a great speech too!

20:37: The Liam Neeson introduction was kind of funny until the Harvey Weinstein gag. He's here to present Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty.

20:39: Argo. It's still 0 for 1 for now, but it'll walk away with the top award. Its sweep of guild awards was virtually unprecedented.

20:40: Lincoln. I'm rooting for this to win Best Picture, but it's not going to happen.

20:42: My livestream have been jumpy. It's not good, not good at all. I guess I'll wait until the next commercial break before I do anything about it. It's coming up shortly.

20:43: But first Ben Affleck is going to present Best Documentary Feature to Searching for Sugar Man.

20:44: So disappointing that Simon Chinn is not Asian.

20:47: Still sad Wreck-It Ralph lost Best Animated Feature. This is the third year that the winner for Best Animated Production at the PGA awards lost the Oscar. Well, The Adventures of Tintin wasn't even nominated last year so I guess the only other film to lose the Oscar was Cars, which lost to Happy Feet. Pixar gets the last laugh tonight though.

20:50: Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastain here to present Best Foreign Language Film. There shouldn't be much surprise here.

20:51: Yep, Amour wins here. Some people were predicting an upset here like what happened when No Man's Land beat Amelie in 2001 or when The Lives of Others beat Pan's Labyrinth in 2006, but none of the other nominees really stood out as a possible upset like those two incidents. Now, maybe if The Intouchables had been nominated it would be someone else standing up there.

20:53: It's good that Seth Macfarlane has been recognizing the people behind the ceremony.

20:53: Now here comes John Travolta to introduce the tribute to the most celebrated movie musicals of the past 10 years: Chicago (Oscar winner from 10 years ago, the year Spirited Away won Best Animated Feature), Dreamgirls, and Les Miserables

20:56: Heh. Catherine Zeta-Jones is singing "All that Jazz" from Chicago. That reminds me of ten years ago when Chicago won six Oscars, and every time they won they played "All that Jazz," which really annoyed my sister. It's hard to believe it's been ten years already. :(

21:01: I was going to say how they're spending this much time performing songs that were not nominated for the Best Original Song category, but now they have Hugh Jackman singing selections from the Oscar nominated "Suddenly." They'll probably BS the actual Best Original Song category though.

21:03: Oh snap. Russell Crowe. He wasn't a bad Javert, but he can't sing.

21:04: I miss the days when they put this much production value to performing the songs that were actually nominated for Best Original Song.

21:09: Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana for the Scientific and Technical Awards.

21:10: Ted is here to present an Oscar? And it's not Best Animated Short? I guess an animated character from an R-rated comedy is not what the Academy wants to associate with that category anymore.

21:12: They are here to present the sound categories again. Les Miserables wins for Best Sound Mixing. That means now there's a tie betwen Les Miserables and Life of Pi with two. And that means Greg P. Russell is 0 for 16. Kevin O'Connell had better watch his back.

21:14: Jewish jokes, not much of a surprise considering it's from Seth Macfarlane

21:15: And then they go straight to Best Sound Effects Editing. Kind of poor transition.

21:15: OMG! A TIE! I don't know when the last time that happened, but it was before I started watching. One of them was Zero Dark Thirty. I bet the other one is Argo.

21:16: Nope. Argo is still 0-fer. The other goes to Skyfall, the first Oscar win for a Bond movie in 47 years! If it does win Best Original Song like what people have been predicting it'll be Skyfall will be the most awarded Bond film ever!

21:19: Okay, a nod to The Sound of Music, the Best Picture winner of the last time a Bond film won an Oscar. That's bloody awesome!

21:20: Of course they made it because the next presenter is Christopher Plummer, and he's here to present Best Supporting Actress.

21:21: Amy Adams is not going to win, but I certainly hope she'll win one of these years.

21:22: Yep...most predictable award of the night. Anne Hathaway wins for Les Miserables. We have a new leader of the night!

21:23: She didn't have much time for the wardrobe change considering half an hour ago she was up there singing for Les Miserables in the movie musical tribute in a different gown. This one looks better though.

21:24: So the last tie came in 1994 in the Best Live Action Short category, when Trevor and Franz Kefka's It's a Wonderful Life tied. It was only the fifth tie.

21:25: Oh boy, Argo will win its first Oscar of the night after this commercial break.

21:27: Yey a "Nashville" ad where somebody is performing "Fame," the Oscar Best Original Song winner from 1980 for the movie Fame. No idea who it is because I don't watch "Nashville."

21:29: Indiana Jones theme but no Harrison Ford? I is disappointed.

21:29: Academy president Hawk Koch. He's here to introduce the next few presenters that won a contest of sorts for the Academy Museum of Arts and Sciences. That's something new.

21:32: I guess they're not here to present anything? Sandra Bullock is here to present Best Editor instead.

21:33: Oscar goes to Argo. First win of the night. It clearly won't be the last.

21:34: Oh, I guess the students are on stage to direct celebrities off the stage.

21:35: Finally the Best Original Song nominees. I wonder if it'll be all of them or just a few.

21:38: Okay, I keep talking about wanting to hear the Best Original Song nominees, but now they're actually performing them I'm watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animation instead.

21:39: Nope, if they are going to perform the other nominees it'll be after the commercial break.

21:43: Nicole Kidman to present Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, and Amour. A lot of spontaneous applause for Silver Linings Playbook.

21:46: They seem to like showing clips from the end of the movies. They did it for Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained. Not sure if they'll do it for Amour because I haven't seen that one.

21:47: Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart. Stewart has a pretty bad limp, but they played the Harry Potter theme instead.

21:48: Another category with a name change. Best Production Design, which used to be Best Art Direction. The award itself hasn't changed. They are still awarding a production designer and set decorator.

21:49: First win of the night for Lincoln, one that most people hadn't been predicting. At least it won't pull a The Turning Point/The Color Purple.

21:50: Salma Hayek to present the Governor's Awards which goes to D.A. Pennebaker, George Stevens Jr., Hal Needham, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. They used to present this in the middle of the ceremony, but now it's relegated to the just about same space as the Scientific and Technical Awards. And they're still spending time on lengthy tributes.

21:57: George Clooney for the In Memoriam segment. And then another commercial break, but first they will honor Ernest Borgnine, Eiko Ishioka, Ralph McQuarrie, Jack Klugman, Celeste Holm, Adam Yauch, Michael Clarke Duncan, Charles Durning, Carlo Rambaldi, Erland Josephson, Richard Robbins, Stephen Frankfurt, Harris Savides, Tonino Guerra, J. Michael Riva, Ulu Grosbard, Herbert Lom, Bruce Surtees, Anrew Sarris, George A. Bowers, Tony Scott, Theodore Soderberg, Lois W. Smith, Geoffrey G. Ammar, Neil Travis, Mike Hopkins, John D. Lowry, Hal David, Nora Ephron, Charles Rosen, Jake Eberts, Mike Kohut, Frank Pierson, Chris Marker, Charles C. Washburn, Ray Bradbury (though they didn't show a clip from Icarus Montgolfier Wright, sadly), Richard Rodney Bennett, Robert B. Sherman (of A Symposium on Popular Songs fame), Richard D. Zanuck, Michael Yuricich, Marvin Hamlisch

22:01: They put Hamlisch last, and now Barbra Streisand is doing a tribute for him by giving a short speech and singing his Oscar winning "The Way We Were" from 1973. I guess they really are celebrating previous Oscar winners for this category.

22:08: Richard Gere, Queen Latifah Renee Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the cast from the Best Picture winning film from ten years ago, here to present the music categories.

22:09: Best Original Score goes to Life of Pi. It's a tie at the top again. Meanwhile Alexandre Desplat is now 0 for 5 and Thomas Newman is now 0 for 11. They've got a long way to go to match Kevin O'Connell though.

22:12: Best Original Song. They really fucked with this category. They performed the Skyfall song in full, the Les Miserables partially, and now they're doing an "Oh yeah, these were nominated too" thing with the other three. No wonder people are pissed at this category.

22:13: Yey, the song from Chasing Ice. Now "I Need to Wake Up" isn't the only song from a documentary to be nominated in this category.

22:14: Now Norah Jones is doing a live performance of the song from Ted. What a mess the presentation for this category has been.

22:16: And the Oscar goes to Adele for Skyfall. Nobody is surprised. Can we move on now?

22:18: An end is in sight now. The Best Adapted Screenplay one may be the most decisive.

22:21: Now that we're near the end of the ceremony the commercial breaks are twice as long. Hooray!

22:22: Henry Mancini's Pink Panther theme, which played with The Pink Phink!

22:23: Dustin Hoffman and Charlize Theron here to present the Screenplay awards.

22:23: Best Adapted Screenplay comes first! One that could decide how the final awards will go.

22:24: Argo wins. The Best Picture race is over. Everything else is just space filler.

22:25: Gee, it's been 15 years since that first Oscar ceremony I saw, the one where Titanic won despite the lack of a Best Screenplay nomination

22:26: Best Original Screenplay goes to Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained. Surprisingly enough it's his first win since Pulp Fiction, but I wasn't too impressed with the Django screenplay. Good speech, though.

22:32: Best Director time! Here to present are Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas. I think we all know who's going to win, but it's okay to dream, right?


22:36: Yey! Shout-out to 台灣! And 台中! And 謝謝 AND namaste! 

22:38: Boo! Commercial break! 

22:40: Jean Dujardin. Looks like they're doing Best Actress first this year.

22:43: And the Oscar goes to Jennifer Lawrence to Silver Linings Playbook. Guess that's not going to have an Ofer this year. So far the only Best Picture nominee to go 0-fer is Beasts of the Southern Wild. That's not bad for a year with nine nominees. Last year 4/9 went 0-fer

22:45: Meryl Streep needs no introduction. Looks like she had no problem getting over the flu. Of course that was a month and a half ago.

22:48: And the Oscar goes to Daniel Day-Lewis! Meryl Streep didn't even have to open it up, or maybe she did during the presentation

22:49: Daniel Day-Lewis is actually the third actor to win three Oscars, but he's the first to win in the Lead category three times. Walter Brennan won three times in the Supporting category, and Jack Nicholson won Lead twice and Supporting once.

22:49: Great dig at Meryl Streep in his speech. It's kind of an awkward speech, but the jokes were pretty funny.

22:52: Jack Nicholson. They seem to love having him present Best Picture. At least he did it the last time 李安won Best Director, when Crash beat Brokeback Mountain. Despite the fact Life of Pi has four Oscars, it's destined to lose again to a film with two awards.

22:53: Michelle Obama is going to list the nominees? That's a bit of a change.

22:54: Or not. She was just there to give some spiel about the importance of the arts.

22:55: Hmm. Obama is going to announce that Argo is the winner. Big surprise, but the real mystery is what was on the envelope Jack Nicholson was holding.

22:56: The last film with only three wins to win Best Picture was Crash, which might I add was the film that defeated the film that won Best Director for 李安 last time. 李安 is still 0 for 4 for Best Picture nominated films. It's a historic win in some way, since Argo is only the fourth film to win Best Picture without a Best Director nominee, and only the second since the beginning of World War II. It's also the first film to win even though four other films received more nominations. It's actually a pretty good film.

23:00: Good speech by Ben Afflect. George Clooney was just standing there looking good.

Life of Pi - 4
Argo - 3
Les Miserables - 3
Django Unchained - 2
Lincoln - 2
Skyfall - 2
Amour - 1
Anna Karenina - 1
Brave - 1
Curfew - 1
Inocente - 1
Paperman - 1
Searching for Sugar Man - 1
Beasts of Southern Wild - 0
Wreck-It Ralph - 0  (sadness!)

23:01: It's over. Overall a good show. Seth Macfarlane was a funny host. His self-deprecating humor was terrific, and that Sound of Music reference joke was the highlight of the night. But some of the banter between presenters were not funny at all. I miss the days when they just said some serious spiel and went on with the awards. And I'm still crushed at the loss of Wreck-It Ralph. Oh well. At least Spirited Away won ten years ago.

23:03: The final song number by Macfarlane and Kristin Chenoweth. As funny as it might be, the message is pretty important. Even though Argo and Brave took home the top prizes, but that doesn't mean the other films that didn't win shouldn't be remembered. In fact they may hold a spot in film annals that may tower above the films that won. Just look at Citizen Kane and High Noon and Raging Bull. They may have lost to inferior films, but they are recognized as masterpieces today.

23:06: Oh, and the films that lost to Chicago? Gangs of New York, The Hours, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Pianist.

23:17: Oh, and I forgot to add...the hiatus is over! Reviews will go back up every Wednesday starting with the 1964 review this week!

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