#OscarsSoWhat?

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I usually manage to avoid the Oscars, and feel spuriously virtuous for doing so. This blog is mainly about film, not fashion or liberal politics or clinical psychology, so it essentially has nothing to do with the Oscars. But my friends Donald and Nicola, who have proper jobs and therefore get all the channels, invited us round. Fiona begged off with a mild concussion — debatable whether the Academy Awards might act like the fabled second blow to the head rumoured to cure amnesia — but I have popped around and will thus be live-blogging the event until about 6 am, UK time, if I last that long. Which depends on whether the gin lasts that long, really.

So, tune in as you like and watch this post spread and darken fantastically as the morning wears on.

***

Sky’s red carpet coverage was lacklustre so we’ve switched to E! for the madness. Proper frock analysis from people who don’t know anything about clothes but are willing to try. When you hear actual designers talk they don’t say things like “It’s something you might want to wear in the south of France.

I think I’ll say mean things about their clothes rather than about the clothes of the actors on the red carpet, who are very much in the crosshairs. The plus size model’s dress is described as “pretty.” It’s not pretty, “Startling” might be a fair description. It’s the sort of dress that looks apt to leap at you from a dark alley wielding a blackjack. It’s the sort of dress you might want to wear in the south of Hell.

Ryan Seacrest is wearing Ryan Seacrest. And it doesn’t seem to fit him properly.

***

I don’t think my system can withstand a Kate Winslet acceptance speech. Otherwise I’d be as happy for her to win as anyone.

***

Sky’s title sequence is, almost literally a Technicolor yawn.

***

Opening montage — lots of non-nominated films. They missed a trick — could have intercut Leo catching a snowflake on his tongue (THE REVENANT, featured clip) with Jennifer Jason Leigh doing the same (HATEFUL EIGHT, not featured clip).

***

Every year there’s someone who, when they cut to them in the crowd, causes me to exclaim with terror. Usually it’s Nicole Kidman’s taut, shiny brow. This time I think it’ll be Stallone, cantilevered into his chair like an amber menhir. #OscarsSoOrange

***

Best writing so far: Ryan Gosling & Russell Crowe’s cross-talk routine. Bodes well for THE NICE GUYS.

One of the few lines of text quoted from the Best Original Screenplay winner was “His face changes.” Into what?

Chris Rock’s opening monologue seems to imply that the reason for the diversity controversy this year is that black people no longer have anything serious, like lynching, to protest about. #StopKillingUsChrisRock

***

I think Alicia Vikander has been coached by Kate Winslet. But she got through it FAST, I’ll give her that.

Sky deal with the fact that the American coverage has more commercial breaks, by bringing in a terrible panel.

Seth McFarlane-level lesbian humour from Rock about CAROL.

I experience some actual excitement about Jenny Beavan’s win for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. She went from doing Merchant-Ivory flicks to this. When she starts talking about the real-world menace to the environment, the orchestra starts playing Ride of the Valkyries and then segue into Que Sera Sera.

Tina Fey does Gracie Allen!

***

Sky’s coverage — any show where they read out tweets should be burned.Including the BBC news.

Lubezki winning for THE REVENENANT seems well deserved. They may have to start calling it the Lubezki Award.

Mrs. Miller won Most Editing. Quite happy about that.

Confession: we paused the live coverage so one of our number could have a cigarette break, so we weren’t quite live until now. Then we were able to fast-forward the ads. “Can we fast-forward the panel too?” “Afraid not. Not unless we go into the future.”

THE REVENANT really should win for sound…

MAD MAX is clearly sweeping the tech awards. Which doesn’t actually bode that well for George Miller. The speechifier seems to be George Miller Jnr.

Quite drunk now.

Wait, what, they have a special Andy Serkis category now? And the Award for Andy Serkis goes to Andy Serkis!

EX MACHINA! Maybe the MAD MAX publicity about how it was all done in camera has backfired. I mean, they win all the technical prizes and then they DON’T win for FX?

From Facebook, yesterday: Ennio Morricone certainly deserves a shelf-full of Oscars. But since THE HATEFUL EIGHT’s score recycles cues from EXORCIST II and THE THING, he should presumably be disqualified on the same rules that prevented Nino Rota picking up a little gold man for THE GODFATHER and Michael Nyman getting nominated for THE PIANO. Or is it time to admit that the Best Music Award is a closed shop open to foreigners only on very special occasions?

Shaun Hughes then reminded me that Jonny Greenwood was victim to a similar stitch-up over THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

Richard Williams didn’t win — but, on the plus side, Richard Williams completed a film, which I hadn’t realized. So, good.

They need to stop with the STAR WARS robots and the minions and the TOY STORY toys. I am becoming misanthropic about things that aren’t even people.

Guy from Weeknd wearing a plaster cast yeti footprint on his head and calling it “hair.”

“Where are you getting these movies from?” Best line of the night, from random black woman in Compton. Very funny segment from Rock. Somehow manages to look like he’s been superimposed, though.

Mark Rylance versus Sylvester Stallone — Gigantic Minimalism vs. Gigantic Manimalism. Yay, Rylance! “He’s just come out of nowhere,” says Nicola. “Yeah, one minute you’re directing the Globe Theatre, the next you’re a success,” I say. I get all the best lines.

Louis CK gives his speech presenting Best Documentary the same way he gives his performance in TRUMBO — like these words have just occurred to him as he’s speaking them. Clearly the best actor on stage tonight.

The jury is now in: Chris Rock terrible. Sky panel agree that Louis CK would make a great host. But — DON’T DO IT LOUIS!

Role call of the Dead! Christopher Lee would have pleased at having Saruman and Scaramanga as the images they chose. And no Dracula.

If you’re going to do a gag about the tiny child presenter not being able to reach the microphone, make sure he can reach the microphone at the end of it.

The one guy they couldn’t quite play off with Ride of the Valkyries is the guy with the film about the Holocaust, but they STARTED!

Lady Gaga song begins, with the camera wavering uncertainly at a window. “What the FUCK is going on?” demands Nicola.

“I imagine there’s going to be some blogging on this,” says Nicola, two minutes later.

Lady Gaga was, rightly concerned about being a pop diva weighing in on a serious issue. And everyone thought she carried it off rather well. And so she appeared at the Oscars and rather blew it. I don’t think you should sing about that subject at a giant white piano in a white suit with giant hair. Might as well go the full Elton John and do it dressed as Donald Duck.

***

Yay Ennio. About the only thing I was excited about.

MANY awkward moments tonight. Ali G. high on the list.

All the directors talk about their social relevance and then Inarritu talks about long takes. They set up to look shallow! And then give him the Oscar! Bad luck, George. Still, I think this was good. Cinema.

#OscarsSoOrange&Teal

Have nothing to say about Best Actress as I didn’t say any of the films. CAROL is the one I feel bad about not seeing yet. If I’d known it had guns and stuff I would’ve gone.

I would much rather Leo won for his funny dance in WOLF OF WALL ST. Or its sequel, WORLD OF WARCRAFT. Good, professional speech. I think I would give him extra points for being more emotional, though. Whereas I would give Kate Winslet points for being less emotional.

It’s almost over! Not nearly drunk enough.

SPOTLIGHT! A surprise. Surprises are good. Not many of those.

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12 Responses to “#OscarsSoWhat?”

  1. So boring I went to bed. Just finding out who won right now. Spotlight, which well-deserved “Best Picture” apparently directed itself somehow.

    Certain to be cited as the least-watched Oscars ever, I’m certain.

  2. They included KIRK KERKORIAN in the In Memoriam!!

  3. david wingrove Says:

    Deliberately didn’t watch this year…as I knew I’d get upset!

  4. …although they did stick Kerkorian immediately after Alex Rocco as Vegas gangster Moe Green, so there’s that…

  5. thanks for the recap … like I was there!

  6. You think the Roll Call of the Dead is compiled bu someone with a sense of humour? It would be wonderful to think so.

    It’s kind of comforting that a social issues film, albeit a really good one, still wins out over pieces of flamboyant pure cinema — the Oscars hasn’t changed THAT much. From that point of view, I guess they HAD to give Inarritu Best Director, although it’s always puzzling to me how something can be the Best Film if it didn’t have the best director.

  7. You know, I’m tempted to think it was a total fluke, but… (1) Alex Rocco gets a longer clip than Maureen O’Hara?? Most of the actors didn’t even get clips, just still shots. And (2) it’s the scene where he refuses to let the Corleones buy out his interest in a Vegas hotel.

  8. La Faustin Says:

    The Spirit awards look a lot more fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QljnNIBtaI

  9. HUGE laughs! Beautifully played!

  10. We had to go to Independent Spirit Awards to find acknowledgment of the most entertaining and formally delightful movie of the year, TANGERINE.
    And I am particularly pleased for SPOTLIGHT’s win, since my husband has just won his lawsuit, here in the US, against the Catholic Church. It’s taken many gruelling years but he ultimately was the victor and his bravery and tenacity emboldened over 60 other men and women to come forward and join suit against the same priestly rapists (and one rapist bishop) who had brutalized my husband as a child. My hubby has a credit in the movie.
    Plus it was in the Oscars *In Memoriam* that Holly Woodlawn was remembered, which pleased me no end – I wrote a very modest role for Holly in my short, which turned out to be one of the last parts which she was able to play.
    And btw if Nicola thinks Mark Rylance had simply emerged “from nowhere”, then I’m moved to observe that she hasn’t seen much theatre in the last 35+ years.

  11. Nicola was aware of Rylance in the theatre, she was just struck by how his moving image profile has shot up. I think she’s even aware of Intimacy too.

    Congratulationsto your husband for his courageous victory in the name of justice. May all the abusers be exposed and may the church itself be shamed into changing its policies completely, including being open and honest.

    Good old Ruffalo attended the Oscars fresh from a protest outside a church, undoubtedly the more rewarding part of his day.

  12. Ah, Intimacy. Yes, a favourite. Marianne is particularly endearing in that one.

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