8:38 pm: Three hours and 38 minutes, and the presenting of the Best Picture Oscar is the last item on the list. Warren and Faye take the stage. The clips are running, and the suspense is killing me. Please please please. The Shape of Water wins? Okay…if you say so. At least my nightmare didn’t happen, and thank God for that. Guillermo del Toro to future filmmakers: “You can do it. Kick in the door and come in.” The show is over, and it’s 8:49 pm.
8:21 pm: Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren announcing the winner of the Best Actor Oscar, which of course will go to Darkest Hour‘s Gary Oldman. And of course it is. We all love it when the Academy does exactly what everyone has predicted. Oldman goes on for too long. Best Actress Oscar presented by a towering Amazonian Jennifer lawrence or a shrimp-sized Jodie Foster…you choose. I would be happy if Sally Hawkins were to win. McDormand, of course, who, hyper and trembling, requests that someone pick her up if she falls over, etc. Everyone stands up with her. We all shine on. “Inclusion rider”?
8:13 pm: Three hours and 13 minutes, and four Oscars to go. Emma Stone announcing the best Director Oscar winner. Guillermo del Toro is the expected winner, of course, and he is, of course. “Erase the lines in the sand…we should continue doing that.” I loved his emotional last words (borrowed from James Cagney in Yankee Doddle Dandy): “My father thanks you, my mother thanks you, my brother and sister thank you, and I thank you.”
8:05 pm: Jill Messick makes the Death Reel…good. Sam Shepard, Martin Landau, Jeanne Moreau, Roger Moore, George Romero, Rance Howard, Don Rickles, Bernie Casey, Brad Grey, Jerry Lewis…still here, never leaving.
7:52 pm: “This Is Me” performance was a knockout — my favorite of all the songs. The Shape of Water‘s Alexandre Desplat wins for Best Musical Score. I wasn’t knocked out by it…sorry. And the Best Original Song goes to “Remember Me,” from Coco. Totally predicted.
7:46 pm: Sandra Bullock presenting the Best Cinematography, which will go to Roger Deakins, I presume. HE votes for Dunkirk‘s Hoyte von Hoytema. Deakins’ work on Blade Runner 2049 was fine, but he’s won tonight because of “give the poor guy an Oscar already!” sentiment. Because he’s been nominated so often. No worries.
7:44 pm: What’s with the tribute to military movies? A sop to the red states? Nothing against the military, mind — I’m just wondering why.
7:32 pm: Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar win by James Ivory…expected. Dignified acceptance speech. Best Original Screenplay pending…Get Out, right? And the Oscar goes to Jordan Peele. “I stopped writing this movie about 20 times…I didn’t think it was gonna work. To the cast and crew, I love you. And to everyone who went and saw the movie…who told friends to buy a ticket. I love you all, thanks so much, good night.” Please let this be it for Get Out…seriously. Give the Best Picture Oscar to Dunkirk. Yeah, I know.
7:22 pm: I wasn’t paying attention to the latest song, the one rapped by Common and sung by Andra Day.
7:17 pm: So Dunkirk is going to win the Best Picture Oscar because it’s won three Oscars already and winning for Best Editing is a strong indicator? Not buying it. If it happens, great, but I doubt it.
7:05 pm: That visit to the crowd watching a film at the next-door Chinese was fun but noisy. I felt lost. Chaos overcame the feeling. The bearded fat guy stumbled on the copy he was asked to read. Tiffany Haddish announces that Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405, a portrait of Mindy Alpert‘s battle with mental illness, has won the Best Documentary Short Oscar. The Best Live-Action Short Oscar goes to The Silent Child.
6:55 pm: HE to Matthew McConaughey — movies are not “an illusion” — they’re more real than life, because it’s a constantly moving and transitional train and movies are forever. And Dunkirk wins the Best Editing Oscar. Three for that film so far.
6:52 pm: And Best Visual Effects Oscar goes to Blade Runner 2049.
6:43 pm: Daniela Vega introducing Call Me By Your Name song composter Sufjan Stevens, singing “Mystery of Love.” And his accompanists St. Vincent (totally in the background), Chris Thile, Casey Foubert, James McAllister.
6:35 pm: Nominees for Best Short Film, which Kobe Bryant‘s Dear Basketball won’t win because of the thing, right? No…it wins anyway! And there’s Bryant right on the stage. I thought #MeToo would take this one down. Second surprise of the night after the Icarus win. Best Animated Feature Oscar goes to Coco, of course.
6:27 pm: And here comes Allison Janney‘s Best Supporting Actress Oscar! HE would prefer a win by Lady Bird‘s Laurie Metcalf…nope! Janney takes it. “I did it all by myself.” Funny! Heartfelt and eloquent thanks to a long list of people, but delivered with speed and style. Three from the cast of The Last Jedi (Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, BB8, whatsername) awaiting their turn.
6:22 pm: Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Rita Moreno…what an entrance! Announcing the nominees for Best Foreign Language Feature, and the Oscar goes to A Fantastic Woman. Expected, no? Congrats to the Sony Classics guys, Daniela Vega…everyone.
6:14 pm: I loved this Rolex ad. Jack Morrissey called it “tacky”. I loved the paycheck appearances by Scorsese, Bigelow, Inarritu, Cameron + the cinematography, production values.
6:07 pm: The Shape of Water wins for Best Production Design. I respectfully disagree — Dennis Gassmer‘s production design for Blade Runner 2049 ruled a bit more. Who’s the guy with (a) the velvet tuxedo sleeves that don’t cover his arms and (b) who’s wearing those stunning white sneakers?? Imagine someone actually choosing to look like this on the Oscar stage.
6:07 pm: Kimmel to Steven Spielberg: “Do you have any pot?” Huh? “Do you have any pot?”
5:58 pm: Two Dunkirk guys win for Best Sound Editing. Deserved! Now the Best Sound Mixing Oscar — Dunkirk again! Deserved! This doesn’t portend anything. Okay, it portends that voters respect Chris Nolan’s film, and they want to give it what they can, knowing it won’t win for Best Picture. One of the winners waves to his family way, way up there. (Sitting next to Sasha Stone? Actually, she’s in the second mezzanine this year.)
5:53 pm: That montage-y dreamscapey essay about Hollywood emotionality and high conveyance…excellent. I’d like to see it again, post it on Hollywood Elsewhere, whatever. Who was the editor?
5:44 pm: Taraji P. Henson‘s dress is…uhm, nightgowny. Mary J. Blige, Best Supporting Actress nominee for Mudbound, singing “Mighty River”…nice delivery! Hats off to the choreograher, lighting designer…everyone. The chorus behind her really killed it.
5:39 pm: Greta Gerwig and Laura Dern announcing winners of Best Documentary Feature. Hollywood Elsewhere is rooting for either Icarus or Faces Places. And Icarus wins! A surprise! Hooray for director Bryan Fogel and Oscar strategist Lisa Taback! Most people were predicting Faces Places, no? Kimmel: “At least we know Putin didn’t rig this competition, right?”
5:37 pm: “You know what else Superman has always been besides white? Not real.”
5:17 pm: What is that burgundy blood tux Armie Hammer is wearing…red velvet? What is that sparkly chiselled stalagnite design above the stage? The Darkest Hour makeup guys have won, fine, but they’re going on for too long. Play ’em off! Eva Marie Saint, who looks great at age 93, talking about losing her husband, Jeffrey Hayden…sad. Announcing the Best Costume Design Oscar, which will presumably be won by Phantom Thread‘s Mark Bridges. Correct!
5:17 pm: A lot of classy build-up (excellent clips from the past and present) for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, which of course will go to Sam Rockwell. And it has! Rockwell’s “it’s grandma” story…excellent. “Everyone who’s ever looked at a billboard”…Rockwell went on just a wee bit too long, but he didn’t get played off because the show just started.
5:05 pm: Who advised Timothee Chalamet to wear that Good Humor man tuxedo? I love that Jimmy Kimmel raised the Mark Wahlberg vs. Michelle Williams payment-disparity episode…”if we can’t trust agents.” Black Panther‘s success was great for African Americans and Bob Iger.Kimmel: The world is watching us, and we need to set an example…and if we can stop sexual harassment, women will only have to deal with harassment in every other realm.” Or something like that. Guillermo del Toro and Nightmare Alley collaborator Kim Morgan sitting together. Helen Mirren caressing a brand-new lime-green Jetski.