this Daily Beast bitch fest featuring Ramin -Sean Hayes Can't Play Straight- Setoodah and a couple of gal pals competing with each other to trash the show and be the coolest. I don't pretend to be cool, but Billy made me laugh out loud several times. I bet Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy wouldn't have done that. Besides, a cool Oscar show is like a cool Miss America pageant. It's an oxymoron. Just accept it and enjoy the show. Speaking of which, I did just that and jotted down my random thoughts in real time:
The show is on! It's Morgan Freeman on "The Magic of the Movies." I guess that's the theme of tonight's show. Who could have predicted that theme?
Billy Crystal begins with his montage, inserting himself into the nominated films. He's done this a bunch, but I would have been disappointed if he'd left it out. Also, I would have slipped Clooney the tongue.
Also, I wouldn't have done a random Sammy Davis, Jr. in Midnight in Paris.
Next, it's Billy's signature musical tribute to all nine Best Picture nominees. "Hanks is a memory." Best line. Subtle.
Speak of the devil, Mr. Hanks is the first presenter. His new grey goatee kinda makes him look like a Vegas used car salesman. Tom Jones worked the white facial hair much better. Hanks is here to present cinematography! What? The show's not beginning with Best Supporting Something? Way to hook the audience. Nobody's going to flip channels when the cinematography award hangs in the balance. It goes to Hugo. First award and my Oscar poll is already blown. Art Direction also goes to Hugo. Is there going to be a Hugo sweep? The winning Art Director: "Thees ees for Marteen ahnd Etalee."
Random movie clips. Must be a tribute to "The Magic of the Movies."
Various stars are talking about their first movie experiences. Reese Witherspoon's favorite movie is Overboard. This feels like something that will go on all night (editor's note: it did).
Cameron Diaz and JLo. Both are looking good in skin tight dresses. Wait, is that a half-nip JLo is sporting? Cameron: "Edith Head said a dress should be tight enough to show you're a woman...."
Jennifer: "And loose enough to prove you're a lady." JLo said this with visible aureole.
Costume went to The Artist.
For make-up, JLo and Cameron turn their butts to the audience. Nothing but class. Meryl Streep's long-time make-up artist wins for The Iron Lady. Deserved.
It's Christopher Guest's troupe of brilliantly funny actors are doing a Wizard of Oz focus group. I love every one of them. That's who should host the Oscars next year. All of them.
Sandy Bullock looks good. I know a lot of fashionistas put her on worst dressed lists, but I appreciate that her dress is loose enough to prove she's a lady. She awards Foreign Language Film to A Separation from Iran. No surprise. The handsome Iranian director or producer or whatever reads a long speech on peace or something. The camera goes to Spielberg who's all "you gotta be kidding me with this shit." But only with his eyes.
It's Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper. Obviously, peplums are in, and Bradley has the figure for them. They award Film Editing to the guys from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Clearly, this is an upset. I'm sure they were expecting Thelma Schoonmaker to win for Hugo. They have no idea what to say, but one guy saves it by saying "let's get outta here." I wish all acceptance speeches were like that. Tina and Bradley award Sound Mixing to Hugo. Back on track for a Hugo almost-sweep.
It's the flying Cary Grants of Cirque du Soleil. Hey, they had the harnesses already installed in the Kodak Theater, so why not? Why is it that Cirque du Soleil has been flying dancers around theaters for years without dropping them while Spiderman spent a gazillion dollars for the same technology and dropped actors nightly?
Why is it that the Oscars can feature the Flying Cary Grants but they can't find time for the two nominated songs or the honorary Oscar recipients to get a proper tribute?
Gwynneth, looking the best she has in years, comes out with the ever annoying Robert Downey, Jr. They're doing some labored bit about filming a live documentary. It's clearly not working and they keep at it longer than a dying SNL skit. It doesn't work partly because RDJ is a douchebag and partly because Gwynnie has no comic timing. Mainly the latter. Documentary Feature goes to The Undefeated. The director or producer or whatever is bleeped and played off. They even turned off the mikes. I wonder what he said?
Chris Rock livens things up briefly. "Then they pay you a million dollars." Not a bad line. Animated feature goes to Rango.
Funny bit with Melissa McCarthy, Billy Crystal, and Melissa's legs.
Why on Earth is Ben Stiller a star? I've never gotten that. Emma Stone is funny and I really love her dress. Again, many fashionistas panned it, but I loved it. Anyway, Visual Effects goes to Hugo. Damn, is Hugo going to win Best Picture?
Melissa Leo manages to look dowdy in sequins. She announcing Best Supporting Actor. The camera is on Nick Nolte and my friend says "Is that Joe Cocker?" The award goes to Christopher Plummer. No surprise, but certainly deserved. "You're only 2 years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?" Nice. Class.
Penelope Cruz and Dallas' own Owen Wilson are here to present something to The Artist. Seriously, I spaced out for a minute and missed it. Who wants more champagne? Should I open the third bottle?
Does anybody else notice how bad the sound is? We had better sound in my high school play in 1978.
I really don't like Will Farrell but Zach Galifinakis saves the cymbal bit. Best Song goes to the Flight of the Conchords guy for Man or Muppet. I loved that guy on Fresh Air. Jason Segal should have been allowed to sing it. Naked.
Score goes to The Artist. Take that Kim Novak!
Original Screenplay goes to Woody Allen. What do you mean he's not there?
A stunning Mila Jovovich was this year's hot babe giving statuettes to nerds at the technical awards.
The Bridesmaids are doing dick jokes. What the hell, we've already seen JLo's nipple, what's the big deal with some "girth" and "length" bits? Live Action Short goes to The Shore. Animated Short to something about Flying Boots. I must have missed it when it came to the Angelika Dallas.
Michael Douglas looks great. Best Director goes to Michel HazMatBeetlejuice for The Artist. No surprise.
Meryl Streep, a vision in liquid gold, announces the previously-awarded honorary Oscars to James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey, who got the Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and makeup artist Dick Smith. The three honorees are standing in a box while everyone stands and applauds like they're zoo animals in a habitat with good lighting.
It's the death reel. Esparanza Spalding sings What a Wonderful World. She has a lovely voice. I believe the Oscars got it right for the first time in a while. Sigh, Elizabeth Taylor. Our champion.
Natalie Portman in Kinleyesque polka dots presents Best Actor to Demian Bichir in an upset!!! Psyche. It went to Jean Dujardin. I love him. No really, I love him. He ends his speech with a sort of Gallic Cuba Gooding, Jr. bit. Formidable!
Colin Firth presents Best Actress to.........Meryl Streep! It's an upset, that is if you can call Meryl Streep winning an acting award an upset. OK, Rooney Mara would have been an upset, but I thought Viola was going to win as did a lot of folks. Meryl's speech is witty and smart as always. She could teach a master class in acceptance speechifying.
Best Picture is being presented by Miss Tom Cruise who has the face of a 30 year old. Seriously, Suri wants to borrow his face cream. Best Picture is The Artist! It's the only BP nominee filmed entirely in LA! Who knew?
That's it, everybody! Good night from the [your name here] Theater!