Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Oscar Night Diary

It’s Oscar night! The ultimate night for the film industry and, to be perfectly honest, it is hands down my favorite awards show award.

8:37 – The show starts with the nominees standing and a thunderous applause. Somehow, seeing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air standing among his fellow nominees makes it all worth while.

8:38 – Ellen enters. People are actually excited to see here.

8:43 – Jack Nicholson sighting and he has a bald head…crazy. He looks like he could kill someone.

8:47 – Ellen’s opening monologue comes to an end. Not too bad. It wasn’t as good as a Billy Crystal-opener but it was better than John Stewart.

8:48 – First category of the night…Art Direction. Good call. Let’s get all the garbage out of the way early (Note: Jennifer loves everything there is about Nicole Kidman, including her crazy red dress.)

8:57 – Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly do a killer musical number and then present Pan’s Labyrinth with Achievement in Make-up. Reilly could end up becoming one of my favorite comedic actors in the next couple years.

9:04 – Abigail Breslin and Will Smith’s kid present Animated Short. “Kid” blows his lines but covers brilliantly. The Danish Poet wins for Animated Short. Even I feel robbed on this one. West Bank Story wins for Live-Action Short.

9:12 – Jennifer is going for the pajamas. The over/under on amount of time that she will still be awake is set at 32.5 minutes.

9:24 – Finally a real category – Best Supporting Actor…I think that Eddie Murphy will take this one but would love to see Alan Arkin…Arkin squeaks in there! Just for the record, I thought that Little Miss Sunshine was fantastic. Great acting and great characters. I suggest you see it.

9:38 – Melissa Etheridge just sang her Oscar-nominated tune. Jennifer feels it’s important that I comment on this. She feels that my priorities are out of order for not recognizing this powerful song’s message and mentioning Will Smith in some way every ten minutes. Frankly, I think she’s nuts.

9:47 – They always do this weird thing when presenting the Best Animated Features. They put the animated characters in the audience in a way that makes it look like they are part of the audience…it freaks me out and I don’t like it. I find it terribly distracting. However, if those some animators could add a little life to Peter O’Toole’s face, that would be something.

10:07 – And here it is…Tom Cruise. The audience doesn’t know what to do and neither do I.

10:12 – Good moment between Ellen, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. She asks Spielberg to take a picture of her and Clint…pretty great exchange.

10:16 – It looks like everyone involved in Pan’s Labyrinth is named “Guillermo.” Third golden doll of the night for P.L. as it picks up Achievement in Cinematography.

10:22 – Apparently they let Robert Downey Jr. out of the clinic to present for Visual Effects. Of course, he takes the obvious shot at himself and the crowd laughs uncomfortably. I just can’t take this guy seriously.

10:39 – Jennifer Hudson take the Best Supporting Actress. She “didn’t think she’d win”…That makes two of us, Jennifer.

10:51 – Al Gore gets to take home a statue. Global Warming – it’s a real issue, people. That’s all for my political speech this evening…man, how long have we gone without seeing the Fresh Prince?

11:02 – And ladies and gentlemen, Jennifer is out like a light. If you took the over, then you’re a winner. Quite frankly, I can’t believe that she made it this far.

11:09 – Hugh Jackman comes out to present with Penelope Cruz. Are you kidding me?! Hugh Jackman?! I’m honestly upset that he doesn’t wear his hair like Wolverine all the time.

11:11 – Ellen makes her first appearance on the screen in about a half hour…

11:14 – Kirsten and Tobey make a cameo…Spiderman III must be on its way.

This is going to send me off onto a bit of a rant – I hate how the “Great Ones of the Academy” pepper the performances and cameos in the show with popular actors, who will probably never win anything from them, simply because they are popular with today’s youth. Ferrell and Jack Black performed earlier, the Wilson Brothers (Owen and Luke) presented last year. Isn’t their something that can be said for just being entertaining. My friends and I quote Ferrell, Vaughn and the Wilson’s about every ten seconds. I’m not sure that this rant means anything but I felt it needed to be said.

11:17 – Little Miss Sunshine takes Best Original Screenplay…and with that, the cast of L.M.S. can take the rest of the night off. It’s time for Abigail Breslin to go start her drinking habits.

11:19 – Why does Chris Connelly keep reminding us that there have been so many “surprises” tonight? Do none of the winners deserve to be taking home their Oscars?

11:25 – Powerful performance by Beyonce…she’s just a great performer. Plus, I have to mention that Jennifer Hudson almost fell out of her dress four times.

11:31 – Speaking of Jennifer Hudson…here’s Queen Latifah and John Travolta presenting Best Song. Oscar goes to…Melissa Ethridge? Ghaa…buzz kill.

And some more praise for Al Gore. And Etheridge’s hair has never been so short.

11:38 – Will Smith!!! Finally!

11:46 – A teary-eyed Scorsese watches The Departed win for Film Editing. Scorsese is probably the only guy in the audience who is truly happy to see his friends win over him.

11:53 – Wow. We’re closing in on midnight. I’m starting to fade.

11:54 – Here comes our Best Actress. Penelope is definitely the hottest of the bunch...but she IS up against a bunch of senior citizens and Kate Winslet. That’s like saying that I am the best athlete among a group of four year olds.

Helen Mirren wins the gold. I have to be honest, I’m going to to find out if there is anything that I know her from.

Check that…nope. She did a little Shakespeare early in her career and seems to find herself in the role of “the Queen” in almost every movie she plays in. Maybe that’s why she won…she’s played this part about 40 times prior to this one.

12:00 – Let’s celebrate by letting Chris Connelly speak. I swear, Connelly has fallen a LONG way since his days with ESPN. Every time he starts to talk I want to rip my own arm off just so I have something to throw at him.

12:03 – Reese Witherspoon. She’s not looking good. She’s handing out for Best Actor in a Leading Role. This has to be Forest Whitaker…and it is. Whitaker was on Saturday Night Live the other night. He’s an entertaining cat. The fact that he did SNL peaks volumes about him. He knows he’s not bigger than the game.

12:09 – Coppola-Lucas-Spielberg to present for Best Director…here it comes…wait for it…wait for it…and…Scorsese! The place erupts. It’s like they hand-picked these presenters so that they could have four of the best of all-time on stage at the same time.

Quick Note: Lucas will be directing the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones saga – due out in 2008. This will be a day-it-comes-out viewing for me.

12:16 – Jack Nicholson is on stage for his annual duties presenting Best Picture…that means we’re almost done.

The Departed. Mr. Scorsese, it’s your night. Get out there and get yourself a drink in one hand and a 20-year-old wannabe actress in the other.

12:19 – Good night, everybody!!!

Just for record keeping purposes: I went 5-for-15 in my personal Oscar pick ‘em game. If I’m playing baseball then I hit for a .333 average – not bad. If I was betting, then I just lost a bunch of money.

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