9:00 pm: Spotlight wins the Best Picture Oscar! OMG! OMG! OMG! Amazing. The preferential ballot thing kicked in! Buy some Girl Scout cookies! Black lives matter!
8:53 pm: Julianne Moore presenting the long-assured Best Actor Oscar to Leonardo DiCaprio. Who gets a standing ovation. Leo thanks Hardy, Alejandro, Chivo, Arnon, Scorsese, Rick Yorn, my friends. And this: “Climate change is real, it’s happening right now, and we need to work together right now and stop procrastinating and support leaders who don’t [kowtow] to the big polluters and for our children’s children…let us not take this planet for granted…I do not take tonight for granted.”
8:51 pm: Chris Rock has done a really great job — he hit the right notes, said some wise things, handled it well and smoothly. A real pro.
8:44 pm: Eddie Redmayne presenting the Best Actress reel, and then the Oscar to Room‘s Brie Larson. “Oh, wow.” She thanks Telluride, Toronto, Lenny Abrahamson, her family, friends and the audience for seeing Room. Simple, elegant. And she looks terrific.
8:36 pm: J.J. Abrams announces winner of the Best Directing Oscar, which will presumably be The Revenant‘s Alejandro G. Inarritu. Yes, Mr. Revenant has won twice in a row, historically measuring up to Joseph L. Mankiewicz and John Ford. Heartfelt thanks to Leo, Chivo, Tom Hardy, Arnon Milchan. Inarritu stands up to the orchestra, refuses to be played off, and says something fine and true about the symbolism of the moment, future opportunity and past discrimination.
8:29 pm: Sascha Baron Cohen amusingly satirizes the whole “what about fairness for us?” diversity thing. Got me.
8:25 pm: Common and John Legend presenting the Best Song Oscar. I feel as if it should go to “Until It Happens To you.” But Sam Smith‘s Spectre song wins.
8:20 pm: Quincy Jones and blonde Pharrell presenting Best Original Score Oscar. It should be going to Ryuichi Sakamoto for his Revenant score. The Oscar goes to Ennio Morricone for his Revenant score, which was okay but honestly wasn’t my idea of great. This is basically another gold-watch Oscar for a legendary composer, and that’s fine. Morricone conveys thanks in his native tongue…cool.
8:09 pm: Standing ovation for Joe Biden! Biden (in response to applause): “I’m the least qualified man here tonight…thank you!” More: “We must and we can change the culture, so that no women or man will ever have to ask themselves ‘what did I do?’ They did nothing wrong.” Lady Gaga singing “‘Til It Happens To you.” A couple of dozen victims standing in formation, all wearing temporary tattoos that say “I’m a survivor: and “It happened to me.” Moving. Best moment of the show so far. Second best: Rock interviews Compton moviegoers. Third best: Rylance beats Stallone.
8:07 pm: Sofia Vergara and some guy presenting Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar. Vergara: “And the Oscar goes to Son of Saawuhhl…Hungary.” Hooray for the Saul guys!
8:05 pm: Jacob Tremblay and Abraham Attah presenting action for Best Live Action Short Film. What just won? Attah said “Stuttaahh!” Oh, right: Stutterer.
8:03 pm: The Oscar telecast has been rockin’ and rollin’ for two and a half hours now.
7:56 pm: Death Reel — who will be snubbed? Former Time critic Richard Corliss makes the cut! Holly Woodlawn! Frank Gilroy, David Bowie, Leonard Nimoy…blackbirds, fly. Tweet by Forrest Wickman: “Paul McCartney wrote “Blackbird” about the Civil Rights struggle. Now the Oscars use it to memorialize (mostly) white people.” With an oblique nod to the evening’s diversity theme.
7:55 pm: Cheryl Boone Isaacs quoting Martin Luther King: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stand in moments of challenge and controversy.
7:52 pm: Whoopi Goldberg could spend a little more time on the treadmill. Sorry but she could.
7:50 pm: $65K for Girl Scout cookies?
7:38 pm: Louis C.K. handing out Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar. They’ll never get rich, they’ll be going home in a Honda Civic, they’ll keep the Oscar in their crappy apartment. Winner is getting played off. Dev Patel and Daisy “who’s Cary Grant?” Ridley handing out Best Documentary Feature Oscar, which is supposed to go to Asif Kapadia‘s Amy. Yes! Amy! Congrats to Asif! We made this film to show who Amy really was, etc. A magnificent singer who killed herself, you mean?
7:32 pm: Bridge of Spies costar Mark Rylance wins Best Supporting Oscar. More to the point, Sly Stallone loses! The first shocker of the evening! The blogaroonies (myself included) were wrong. Imagine all those people down in Compton going, “Who the fuck is Mark Rylance? Who the fuck saw Bridge of Lies?” This is what’s called an upset. HE advice to Stallone: Don’t pull an Eddie Murphy and leave the Kodak. Stay to the end, be gracious, give Rylance a hug, go to all the parties.
7:27 pm: Chris Rock interviewing several low-information Compton residents about which “white person” Best Picture nominees they’ve seen. None, zip, doughnut. But they saw Straight Outta Compton. Why would they ever want to see Spotlight? Just some white-ass movie about white people up to some white-people shit…right? The same mentality, I’d guess, that led South Carolinians of color to not vote for Bernie Sanders…right, Chris? Talk to Spike Lee and Cornell West about that.
7:22 pm: Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon announcing Best Picture clips…zzzzz.
7:14 pm: Kevin Hart shares his diversity thoughts. A musical number. That I already hate. Nice haircut, Weekend! Return of the mullet in 2016.
7:10 pm: Woody and Buzz Lightyear’s patter is slightly better. The winner of the Best Animated Feature oscar will be, of course, Inside Out — fucking Pixar guys own this category. Good words: “Make stuff..make films, draw, write…it’ll make a world of difference.”
7:08 pm: The Repulsive Minions are boring my ass off. Who wrote their material? Just being on stage isn’t enough, guys. You’ve gotta open your heart, pour out your soul. Oh, right…above your pay grade.
7:05 pm: Steven Spielberg and a whole lot of others have their cash out, ready to buy those Girl Scout cookies.
7:00 pm: BB8, R2D2 and C3P) are boring my ass off. Who wrote their material? Just being on stage isn’t enough, guys. You gotta open your heart, pour out your soul. Oh, right…above your pay grade.
6:54 pm: Andy Serkis presenting Best Visual Effects Oscars. An anti-Donald Trump joke. One, two, three….give it to Ex Machina or The Revenant>/em>! They wouldn’t dare give it to Max again, would they? No — Ex Machina! Congrats!
6:48 pm: Chadwwick Boseman, Chris Evans handing out Oscar for Best Achievement in Sound Editing. Give it to Max! Yes…again. Five compensatory Tech Max Oscars. Australian accents, Australian Oscars…lotta drinking later tonight. Now the Oscar for sound mixing. One, two, three…give it to Max! Six Tech Max Oscars so far.
6:40 pm: Film Editing Oscar goes to Mad Max: Fury Road. Go Tech Max! Four Oscars so far. Some guy on Twitter just said, “Hey, maybe Max will win Best Picture!”
6:37 pm: The Revenant‘s Emmanuel Lubezki does it — three Oscars in a row! As if it wasn’t also pre-ordained. Quite the stellar achievement. No one will ever do this again.
6:24 pm: Margot Robbie and Jared Leto announcing Best Makeup and Hairstyling oscar. Max again, right? As if any of us needed further proof that Max hasn’t a prayer at winning Best Picture…
6:23 pm: Best Production Design — who really cares, right? Okay, some do. Mad Max, right? Yes…Max. Which is going to win a few tech awards. Also heavily predicted.
6:18 pm: Cate Blanchett is a really good sport for her willingness to announced the Best Costume Design Oscar. The winner is Mad Max: Fury Road , and more precisely Jenny Beavan. And Beaven is played off — third time this has happened.
6:10 pm: J.K. Simmons reading off the nominees for Best Supporting Actress, which of course Alicia Vikander will win for her fine Danish Girl performance. Vikander! All programmed, all predicted, all spitballed…no surprises tonight!
6:06 pm: Henry Cavill should perform a role some day in which he gets to use his natural British accent.
6:02 pm: Sarah Silverman bulls-eye: “James Bond…not a grower or a shower.” (Not an allusion to long showers.) Sam Smith‘s narrow shoulders…close-cropped beard…falsetto or otherwise high-pitched voice…yeesh. Remind myself in the morning to avoid this guy like a plague for the rest of my life.
5:58 pm: Yeah, they should’ve cast Chris Rock instead of Matt Damon in The Martian. Seriously — I would’ve loved that.
5:50 pm: Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe‘s agree-to-disagree banter (i.e., a promotion for the forthcoming Nice Guys) is fairly funny. And the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay goes to The Big Short — Charles Randolph and Adam McKay. Will this be The Big Short‘s only moment on the stage? It wouldn’t be if Sasha Stone had anything to say about it…but she doesn’t!
McKay: “If you don’t want big money to control things? Don’t vote for candidates who take money from corporations and big banks.” In other words, vote the Bern! Oh, you have too much of a low-information mentality to heed my words? You feel tethered to Hillary because she married Bill and blah-dee-blah? Okay, fine…vote for Hillary then!
5:45 pm: Presentation of Best Original Screenplay award to Spotlight guys, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy. But of course, we need to pay tribute to the other nominees first. McCarthy and Singer take it! Will this be Spotlight‘s only moment on the stage? McCarthy gets played off.
5:34 pm: Chris Rock in a show-white tuxedo. “You want diversity? We got diversity! Welcome to the White People’s Choice Awards. If they nominated the host, I wouldn’t even get this job. The last thing I need is to lose a job to Kevin Hart. Why this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards….which means the whole no-black nominees hting has happened 77 other times. I’m sure there were no black nominees back in the arly ’60s…and we didn’t protest that. Why? Because we had more important things to protest. When your grandmother is swinging by a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary Short. Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s pants…I wasn’t invited.
“It’s not fair, I get it. It’s also not fair that Will [Smith] was paid $20 million for Wild, Wild West. Black people shot by the cops on their way to the movies. if you want black nominees every year, you need to have black categories. Robert De Niro has never said, ‘I have to slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up.’ Is Hollywood racist? You gotta go at that the right way. Is it burning-cross racist? No. They don’t hire black people, and they’re the nicest white people on earth. We want the same opportunities. Leo gets the greatest part every year. Everything’s not sexism, everything’s not racism.”