That’s right kids, it’s Oscar night, when America’s most self-celebratory town gets together and just cold pats itself on the back for three or four or eight hours, and we all watch and make fun of the dresses. We’ll be liveblogging the whole damn thing tonight, right here (well, the whole ceremony, at least—not that endless red carpet crap, because really, what do you want from us?).
We’ll start the big liveblog around 8pm EST, when the ceremony kicks off, maybe a little earlier, if our party guests decide not to take forever straggling in like a bunch of hoboes. In the meantime, line up your bottles and shotglasses and check out Flavorpill’s Official 2011 Oscars Drinking Game ™, and come up with your own predictions for the night’s biggest surprises.
While you’re at it, how’s about brushing up on some of the Oscar stuff we worked so very hard to bring you over the last month or so? I mean, seriously, would that kill you? We had a spirited discussion about the nominees, lamented the worst nominees of all time, named the best directors who never won “best director,” remembered some of the most game-changing documentaries, questioned the Academy’s worst “best picture” snubs of the lasts decade, recalled the biggest Oscar upsets of the last twenty years, and selected our ten favorite “best picture” winners.
Oh, and since we never did a “picks and predictions” post (really, did the world need one more?), here are my predictions—not, I must stress, necessarily my personal picks—for the biggest awards. As the night goes, I’ll bold the ones I got right, and shamefully correct the ones I got wrong.
Best Picture: The King’s Speech Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit Melissa Leo, The Fighter Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler, The King’s Speech Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
7:22- Highlights of the pre-show so far: Heartwarming school kids; a numb-skulled fashionista remarking that Hailee Steinfeld “speaks so well” (as if she’s had a head injury); and my wife asking “Who’s the transvestite interviewing Amy Adams?” (It was Robin Roberts.) Now’s the time to make your vodka-heavy party punch, as I just have.
7:43- Why is John Boehner with Anne Hathaway?
7:52- So this is a nice quiet one-on-one in the “Oscar lounge” with Reese Witherspoon, who is inexplicably dressed as Sharon Stone in Casino.
7:53- Correction– she has come as Fonda in Barbarella.
8:00- OMG IT DOESN’T START UNTIL 8:30?!?! Must drink much more.
8:04- Gigantic argument at our Oscar party over Franco’s level of attractiveness. Is he beady-eyed and hideous or dreamy and adorable? Discuss.
8:05- The leader of the anti-Franco faction believes he’s the love child of James Dean and John Leguizamo.
8:07- Here’s how committed I am: Live-blogging in a tux.
8:12- Nicole Kidman! Making facial expressions! Finish your drink.
8:25- Some people are so beautiful they render it difficult to formulate pithy commentary. Example: HALLE BERRY PRETTY.
8:26- So Tom Hanks is definitely wearing self-tanner, right?
8:31- Pretty nicely edited little opening there. YAY MOVIES!!!
8:32- Sure hope Franco and Hathaway’s opening is as hiiiiiilarious as those commercials.
8:37- Hathaway totally won the opening, for the Boston accent and the wink at Colin Firth.
8:40- Put charitably, the banter is A TOUCH STRAINED, no?
8:41- Franco: “How’m I doin’ grandma? I’m so baked!”
8:42- Hey everybody, remember Gone with the Wind? Don’t you wish you were watching that now instead of this?
8:43- Do you think Tom Hanks was like, “Really, I gotta do THIS part?”
8:44- Yep, ladies and gentlemen, Alice in Wonderland is now an Academy Award winner. THE NIGHT IS OFF TO AN ILLUSTRIOUS START.
8:47- Okay, bully for Wally Pfister and all, but there’s no excuse for Roger Deakins to have lost this many times. This is like his ninth loss. It’s semi-ridiculous.
8:49- While we’re at commercials, let’s check in with funnier people than me on Twitter: @toddbarry: Not good when the funniest joke so far is from an art director. @pattonoswalt: Are the presenters going to read from the imdb trivia section all night? @MeredithBlake: I don’t like it when oscars get lecture-y.
8:53- Um. Well, there’s nothing that’s tasteful to say here.
8:53- Okay. Best Supporting Actress. Go Hailee.
8:54- Holy shit, I nearly forgot how great Jackie Weaver was in that movie.
8:57- And Melissa Leo wins, so we’re 0-1 so far. It was a MILDLY overcooked performance, but Oscar loves that, so apparently even those ridiculous Glamour Shots ads couldn’t sink her.
9:00- This speech is almost as melodramatic as her performance.
9:02- JT and Mila have totally done it. Probably right before they came out onstage.
9:03- Hey, Timberlake with the ad-lib! And, shockingly, the award doesn’t go to the Pixar short that ran ahead of Toy Story 3.
9:05- So the Mutt and Jeff team that won were just charming, eh?
9:06- And there’s one of the evening’s least surprising wins, Toy Story 3 takes Best Animated Feature. He who didn’t cry their eyes out, cast the first stone.
9:12- This whole “hey, movies have a history!” thing that’s being shoehorned in on occasion is just plain awkward.
9:13- The women at this party have gone INSANE over Brolin and Bardem in their white tuxes.
9:14- Sorkin wins Screenplay. An easy guess, and well deserved.
9:16- DON’T PLAY SORKIN OFF YOU SONS OF BITCHES.
9:17- Y’know what, I liked The Fighter, but it ain’t the most ORIGINAL screenplay, knowwhatI’msayin?
9:18- And we’re 2-1 with a King’s Speech win for Original Screenplay. In spite of how wonderful a win for Inception would have been, good Lord this David Seidler is a charmer.
9:21- Commercial time! Let’s go to the Twitter. @david_cornelius: (re: Sorkin) He should give his speech while walking down a hallway. @normmacdonald: bring back kirk douglas. this is getting dull. @BorowitzReport: #OscarsScorecard: Oscars 23, Audience 0
9:24- The consensus in the room is that Hathaway’s shoes are impressive.
9:25- Okay, who had 55 minutes in the “first Charlie Sheen joke” pool? Seriously though, well done Franco.
9:27- A surprise win for Foreign Language Film– In A Better World, from Denmark. The Best Actor nom for Biutiful kinda made that look like a shoo-in. Office pools are crumbing across the country.
9:30- Bale really should have thought twice about rocking the ginger beard.
9:32- And Bale wins Best Supporting Actor. There’s some booing in the room, since he’s, by most accounts, such a total douche. But y’know what, it’s a Supporting Actor award, not a humanitarian award. (Plus, nice self-deprecating joke in there.) Fine speech, good performance, the end.
9:34- Christian Bale didn’t really just forget his wife’s name, did he? IT REALLY SOUNDED LIKE HE DID.
9:36- The room is anticipating two weeks of sleeping on the couch for Mr. Bale.
9:39- Okay, what the hell’s happening now? Shouldn’t this be in someone’s office somewhere?
9:40- See, they put Jackman and Kidman together because they’re both from Australia. And they were both in Australia! Hopefully they’ll put lots of people who co-starred in bad movies together to present. Hoffman and Beatty? Jennifer Lopez and Jon Voigt? Sandler and anyone?
9:43- Hey dudes, Trent Reznor won an Oscar!
9:44- Trent gets bonus points for remembering his wife’s name.
9:46- Me to the room: “So seriously, is there anyone who actually thinks Matthew McConaughey can act?” My friend Marni: “I don’t think Matthew McConaughey thinks Matthew McConaughey can act.”
9:47- Hey, Matt and Scarlett, how’s about you work out who’s reading what before you go on stage, eh?
9:48- Inception wins– what, Sound Design? I was too busy Googling the correct spelling of McConaughey’s name.
9:49- Inception wins again, for another Sound thingy. Hell, I can’t keep ’em straight.
9:54- Ah, the Scientific and Technical Awards– where all the dorks get to hang out with a hot actress for the night. The shot of them with Tomei looked like an episode of The Bachelorette.
9:55- “Congratulations, nerds.” Touche, Franco.
9:56- Wow. The way the room turned towards love for Cate Blanchett to “WTF?” for her Little House-style outfit was stunning. On the other hand, “That’s gross” is the best ad-lib of the night thus far.
9:57- There are few hard, fast rules for Oscar betting, but if Rick Baker is nominated, always bet on Baker.
9:58- And now everyone for the rest of the night has to prove that they, in fact, know their wives’ names.
9:58- TWO-TIME ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Alice in Wonderland.
9:59- So shouldn’t the costume design winner have a better dress?
10:00- “That is why I selected Alice in Wonderland for my book report…”
10:01- And when they played the Titanic song, the room’s groan was deafening.
10:04- Oh boy, a Randy Newman song. Fine time to go pee/get food/drink/change the cat box.
10:06- So apparently Chuck spent some time in the tanning booth to get ready for tonight. (Not a memorable song, BTW.)
10:08- Commercial time! What’s the haps on Twitter? @ebertchicago: Didn’t Randy Newman sing that song on two or three earlier Oscarcasts? @JennyJohnsonHi5: Randy Newman sounds like if biscuits could sing. @pattonoswalt: Had to go upstairs, put daughter to bed. Can’t believe I missed the double shock of Rick Baker and Colleen Atwood winning. @david_cornelius: Alice in Wonderland, The Fighter, and The Wolfman each have more Oscars than True Grit. This is why we can’t have nice things.
10:12- Anybody else up for the Jake Gyllenhaal/Amy Adams romantic comedy?
10:13- Strangers No More wins Documentary Short, so congratulations to all of you who randomly picked that one on your Oscar ballot.
10:15- God of Love wins Live Action Short Film, and a guy with Malcolm Gladwell hair says, “Should’ve got a haircut!”
10:16- Nothing makes ’em cheer like mentioning that your mom did craft services on your short film. (This guy remembered the first and last name, thus winning the “Name Test” for the night.)
10:17- Okay, so the “Auto-Tuning the Movies” thing is pretty awesome.
10:19- No one on earth is higher than James Franco looks right now.
10:20- So do you think Oprah will announce the nominees by doing that “name singing” thing she always does?
10:21- Oh hell yes. Inside Job wins Best Documentary. All good nominees.
10:22- Ferguson, not surprisingly, brings a lil’ politics to the mic. Went better for him than it did for Michael Moore!
10:24- Commercial time! @Curt_Holman: The ‘Inside Job’ guy should totally have accepted the award in a gorilla mask. @pattonoswalt: Kodak Theatre’s gettin’ tagged tonight. @capricecrane: And you get an Oscar! And you get an Oscar! And YOU get an Oscar!
10:27- Seriously? A standing ovation for Billy freaking Crystal? This is an easy room.
10:28- And much like Bob Hope, Billy Crystal is only getting funnier with age.
10:29- Oh, how refreshing, some old clips!
10:30- Is this Bob Hope hologram creepy?
10:32- Nice little bit of comedy-teamery between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Our friend Amy would like them to kiss.
10:33- Inception‘s tech sweep continues with a big (and deserved) win for Visual Effects.
10:35- The Social Network wins the Film Editing award– and the biggest “awwww” moment of the night when the editors begin by giving each other a big ol’ hug.
10:36- Alas, the Social Network editors do not pass the “wives’ names” test.
10:40- Commercial time! @anamariecox: Btw, for the younger and hipper viewers out there: Reference to Downey drug arrest with woman in Wonder Woman costume: not a joke! @hodgman: Fake casting news: Bob Hope hologram ACCEPTS offer to host Golden Globes. Billy Crystal hologram still busy at LA Clipper games. @JamesUrbaniak: If anyone makes a joke about Jude Law, Sean Penn will be ON IT.
10:42- Oh good, more songs. The James Franco face flashing in the background is slightly off-putting.
10:43- Who knew Enya was a redhead?
10:44- Really, Jennifer Hudson? We’re really celebrating Gwynie as “country music’s newest star”?
10:45- The room is abuzz with Paltrow hate.
10:45- Good God, what a truly terrible bunch of songs. I have no joke to add to these. These songs are all terrible.
10:46- Randy Newman wins Best Song. OH, GOOD.
10:48- “I’ve been on this show any number of times, and I’ve slowed it down every time.” Randy Newman wins the Welcome Candor Award of the night.
10:50- GOOD GOD ISN’T THIS THING OVER YET? @marcmaron: What happened to the rest of Jennifer Hudson? @briandom: See COUNTRY STRONG involved with the Oscars makes me about as uncomfortable as James Franco at the Oscars. @NonAnamorphic: Randy Newman more or less saying what we all think: this is all meaningless and who cares.
10:52- My friend Jillian stands alone in her opinion that this “millionaires give away their money” show “could be really good.”
10:52- CELINE DION SINGING ABORT ABORT ABORT
10:53- Good actors and filmmakers died this year, which is indeed sad.
10:55- It is admirable that they’ve turned down the house mics for this thing, so it’s no longer the horrible, awkward post-mortem popularity contest it so often became.
10:59- Twitter is apparently going insane because whichever Corey died this year was not included. #meh
11:01- The room has decided that the last dress makes Anne Hathaway looks like she was in Avatar.
11:02- Oh goody, Best Director. Bigelow represent.
11:03- The King’s Speech‘s Hooper wins for Best Director. Any doubts that it will beat Social Network for Best Picture are over. “The triangle of man-love” is the evening’s takeaway catchphrase, however.
11:05- For what it’s worth, not crazy about him winning that– especially if he’s cool with Weinstein just chopping up his movie to squeeze more cash out of it. BUT I DIGRESS.
11:07- Wow. They gave all these important awards to really legendary people off-site and put them into a two minute montage. Glad Hathaway got to sing, though?
11:11- Why does James Franco hate the Graumann’s Chinese Theater so much?
11:12- So Jeff Bridges praises each of the Best Actress nominees, awkwardly? Ah well, at least it’s better than when five different people would come out and jerk off the nominees.
11:14- Jennifer Lawrence’s reaction to her clip was one of the most wonderfully honest moments of the night.
11:16- Portman wins Best Actress. Gets some help up to the stage, since she’s all preggers. Nice job, Natalie; this is a strong piece of work.
11:18- Nat, we love you. WRAP IT UP. That’s what credits are for.
11:20- Here’s Sandy Bullock to present Best Actor. For the record, still pissed that she won for that terrible Blind Side dreck.
11:21- That said, her thing with Jeff Bridges was pretty wonderful.
11:23- Some of the clip selection has been pretty terrible. But that is SO the clip you show for Jesse Eisenberg.
11:25- Colin Firth wins for The King’s Speech. Good performance in a decidedly overrated movie. And let’s be honest: he’s kinda winning this for A Single Man too.
11:28- Lovely, classy speech by Firth, who passes the “wife test.”
11:31- And we enter HOUR FOUR. It’s Spielberg, which probs means Best Pic.
11:32- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Spielberg’s shout-out to movies that didn’t win Best Picture.
11:33- So The King’s Speech is going to play over the clips of all the clips from all the other movies. WAY TO NOT GIVE IT AWAY, OSCAR.
11:34- Yeah, this montage is almost as bad as the opening one was good.
11:36- SHOCKING. The King’s Speech wins. And it’s FINE, it’s just FINE. But it was far from the best of the year, or that bunch, and this whole thing where they’re going to do a PG-13 version is shameful, and blah blah blah. Happy Oscar night!
11:37- He just thanked his boyfriend! The gay guy passes the wife test!
11:39- Staten Island, New York, REPRESENT!
11:41- And with that, an overlong Oscar ceremony full of awkward banter and dull moments gives Best Picture to what was not the Best Picture of the year. Well, c’mon, what did you expect? G’night all, drink ’em if you got ’em.