Academy Awards 2010

Breaking down Oscars' best and worst moments in real time

Breaking down Oscars' best and worst moments in real time

News_Oscars poster_2010_March 10

11:12 -- One more thing: Be prepared to hear, tomorrow morning, a lot of pissy talk from drive-time radio DJs about how some "artsy-fartsy movie" beat the crowd-pleasing Avatar, and that's why fewer people are watching the Oscarcast. Yeah, right.

11:10 -- And so, we end on a note of irony: The list of Best Picture nominees was expanded to ten this year to ensure that audience-friendly "populist" flicks would be included among the finalists. Well, the top-grossing movie of all time was a nominee. And it lost the award to... to... a freakin' Iraq War movie! Go figure. 

11:00 -- Amazing. Just amazing. The lowest-grossing Best Picture winner since The Last Emperor. It really isn't just about the business in show business -- sometimes. Is it at all possible that, even though it's already available on home video, they'll give The Hurt Locker a theatrical re-release? And if so, will people actually go see it this time?

10:57 -- On the other hand, I'm pretty goddamn happy they did make history tonight. But keep in mind: Kathryn Bigelow earned her Best Director award the old-fashioned way. She earned it.  

10:55 -- Sorry, but Barbra Streisand really should not have brought up the race or gender of any of the Best Director nominees in her intro. She might as well as have said: "Well, we can make history tonight, or just give the award to another white guy..."

10:50 -- First nomination, first Oscar: Sandra Bullock. Great choice. And best line from an Oscar acceptance speech: "Did I really earn this, or did i just wear you all down?"

10:48 -- What's the matter, Sean Penn? You couldn't spring for a tux? At least you shaved...

10:45 -- Again, good to see actors introducing actors. (And, hey, Forest Whitaker! Can you please give me the name of your dietitian?) 

10:36 -- Hey, is this a good place to get in a quick plug for the Jeff Bridges mini-retrospective set for this spring at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston?

10:34 -- Jeff Bridges as Best Actor. About. Freaking. Time.

10:30 -- I'm actually glad they held over from last year the format of having each actor introduced by another actor while running down the list of Best Actor nominees. But I'm even gladder they've punched it up with a few jokes this year. 

10:28 -- Uh, did I miss something, or did they start with the Best Actor segment before actually announcing they were starting the Best Actor segment?

10:26 -- Best Oscar-Themed Ad: The V promo with the evil alien who smiles wickedly and notes: "The struggle for superiority is always of interest to us." 

10:17 -- Before you ask: No, I haven't seen El Secreto de Sus Ojos, either. But Sony Pictures Classics has picked it up for release, so I'm sure we'll have an opportunity to see the Foreign Language Film winner soon enough. Maybe not a lengthy opportunity, but still...

10:09 -- Hurt Locker beats Avatar again, this time for Best Editing. If I were James Cameron, I would start sweating right now. 

10:05 -- I can't remember the last time -- if ever -- they showed clips this long from the Best Documentary nominees. I am impressed. No joke. And congrats to The Cove -- even though, after seeing the clip from Which Way Home, it's hard to shake the feeling that voters in this category care more about dead dolphins than mistreated children. 

9:58 -- A Visual Effects award for Avatar. Boy, didn't see that one coming, either.

9:54 -- Didn't Michael Giacchino looks like he got lost for a few seconds while on his way to the stage to pick up his Original Score award for Up?

9:50 -- When they talk about it in years to come -- and they will -- they won't be kind when they describe how the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers "interpreted" the score of The Hurt Locker.  Wasn't this the sort of folly the new Oscarcast producers were hired to avoid?

9:43 -- Classy: The memorial to those gone but not forgotten, underscored by James Taylor's gently melancholy rendition of The Beatles' "In My Life." 

9:40 -- OK, Mauro Fiore gets the Best Cinematography prize for Avatar. But did he really film all those blue dudes?

9:38 -- Sandra Bullock can make even semi-lame award intro patter sound hilarious. Seriously.

9:28 -- Hurt Locker beats Avatar in two more categories -- Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Are we seeing a trend developing?

9:22 -- Sorry, Kristen Stewart, but you're wrong: The Exorcist was not the last horror film to be a Best Picture nominee. Not if you consider -- as did the people who put together the horror film tribute montage -- Silence of the Lambs a horror flick. 

9:17 -- I realize that describing something as a "spoiler" to viewers who might not realize they've just seen a "spoiler" may itself be a "spoiler" but -- well, they're not being too careful about keeping all of the film clips spoiler-free tonight.  

9:12 -- For the benefit of the many, many of you who didn't see The Young Victoria: Yes, Sandy Powell did deserve the Oscar (her third) for Best Costume Design. (And, hey, she's pretty easy on the eyes.)

9:09 -- More than 90 minutes into this shindig, and Avatar is just now picking up its first award? Who'd a-thunk it?

9:08: When they introduced "Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver," I almost gasped. You mean she's never actually won an Oscar? Ever?

9:03 -- And, not incidentally, was that the shortest acceptance speech Mo'Nique has given all awards season? Not that I'm complaining, you understand, but... Did she run out of things to say? 

9:02 -- Am I the only one who thinks that, in the extremely unlikely event Mo'Nique had not gotten the Best Supporting Actress award, she would have just strutted up there and grabbed the damn thing anyway?

8:57 -- First thought about the Governor's Awards: Did you ever think you'd hear the names Roger Corman and Lauren Bacall mentioned in the same sentence? For winning the same award? Cowabunga.

8:53 -- I think it's safe to say this qualifies as an upset: Precious was not considered a favorite in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Yikes. Will Up in the Air win anything?

8:48 -- Sorry, but Ben Stiller was right -- the Na'vi bit probably did seem like a better idea during rehearsal. C

8:23 -- Hate to sound like a wet blanket, but: Of all the people involved in movies who died during the past year, did John Hughes -- and only John Hughes -- deserve his very own memorial tribute? Really? (On the other hand: It was pretty damn funny to see how young Alec Baldwin looked way back in Hughes' She's Having a Baby.) 

8:17 -- Has Molly Ringwald been watching too many movies about Cleopatra?

8:15 -- An early win for The Hurt Locker -- Best Original Screenplay. A consolation prize, or a harbinger of things to come?

8:10 -- Opening number, awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Song, two Best Picture clips -- in the first 40 minutes. Moving right along. A good sign.

8:06 -- What a concept! Showing how Best Original Song nominees actually were used in their respective movies! Better still: Saving time by not having individual live performances of those songs! But, again, a very predictable, albeit deserving, winner -- "The Weary Kind," ironically one of the few songs in Crazy Heart that Jeff Bridges doesn't sing.

7:58 -- Interviews with "stars" of animated features? Clever idea, inspired execution. But, really, you weren't expecting any winner other than Up, right? 

7:54 -- I may regret writing this, but: So far, not bad.

7:51 -- What was that? An acceptance speech or a geography lesson. Nah, just kidding. Very gracious -- and, better still, short.

7:48  -- Wow! Christoph Waltz wins Best Supporting Actor! Geez, who saw that coming?

7:46 -- Very funny opening monologue. Or opening dialog. Or whatever. Who says Alec Baldwin can't do stand-up?

7:39 -- "There's that damn Helen Mirren!" "That's Dame Helen Mirren!" Yes, I admit: I laughed.

7:35 -- OK, you knew they'd figure out a way to get Neil Patrick Harris involved in this, right?

7:33 -- Oh-oh! Did they lose the ballots? Will the Best Actor and Best Actress prizes really go to the nominees who got the most applause during that opening bit? 

7:26 -- Oscarcast co-producer Bill Mechanic told Sharon Waxman of The Wrap that this year's really big show "has a chance of being something exceptional, as opposed to just good. This is gorgeous, but in a really fun, funny, emotional way. I think it will be very emotional." Well, we'll soon be the judges of that, won't we? 

7:00 -- Instant nostalgia: An introductory montage from Oscarcasts past with a clip dating back to when Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins still were a fun couple. Sigh.

6:40 -- As the minutes dwindle down to the start of Oscarcast 2010, the burning question is: Will Sandra Bullock become the first person in showbiz history to win, during the same weekend, an Academy Award (for The Blind Side) -- and a Golden Raspberry Award, a.k.a., a Razzie? Bullock came across as a great sport Saturday night when she appeared in person to accept the latter for her performance in the near-universally reviled All About Steve. But, then again, maybe she was savoring the last laugh, because, despite all the critical brickbats that pelted it, All About Steve grossed -- are you ready for this? are you sitting down? -- more than twice as much as The Hurt Locker. Oh, my.