9:03 pm: Lean, gray and grizzled Sean Penn presenting the Best Picture Oscar. “And the Oscar goes to…who gave this sonuvabitch his green card?…Birdman.” Inarritu: “Two Mexicans in a row? That’s suspicious, I guess.” That’s diversity, I think. “Michael was the guy who really…Michael was the guy.” Keaton: “Look, it’s great to be here…who am I kidding?” Inarritu gives a shout-out to fellow Mexicans and offers a plea for a fairer, more decent government in Mexico, and praises “this wonderful immigrant nation.”
8:55 pm: Matthew McConaughey handing out Best Actress Oscar to locked-in-stone Julianne Moore.
8:49 pm: Big Moment for Best Actor Oscar. Maybe Redmayne? Yup…he takes it! He was favored/predicted by the Gold Derby-ites so not a total surprise. “This belongs to all those people battling ALS…my staggering partner-in-crime Felicity Jones…director James Marsh.” Classy guy, top-rank performance…congrats.
8:40 pm: Ben Affleck about to hand out the Best Director Oscar, and the Oscar goes to Alejandro G. Inarritu. Big hug from Richard Linklater. Tonight I am wearing the real Michael Keaton tighty whities….for someone to win, some one has to lose…but for the real filmmakers, there can’t be defeat. This is a slow-motion kidn of moment.
8:35 pm: The Imitation Game‘s Graham Moore has won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. A very moving speech given by Moore on behalf of Alan Turing and to all the weird and different and alone-feeling kids out there. You’re good. Your time will come.
8:30 pm: Best Original Screenplay Oscar being announced by Eddie Murphy, and the Oscar goes to the four Birdman guys. That’s it, Boyhood gang. I love you but you’re done. The Grand Budapest Hotel was forecast by Gold Derby gang…thud.
8:22 pm: Best Original Score Oscar is being announced by Julie Andrews. The Theory of Everything is expected to win, of course, but it doesn’t! Alexandre Desplat‘s Grand Budapest Hotel score takes it! Four Budapest Oscars. For the fourth time this evening, Wes Anderson is thanked by a winner. Four wins for Budapest, three for Whiplash so far….right?
8:11 pm: This Oscar telecast has no bite, no snap, no real pizazz or feeling. Neal Patrick Harris has been agreeable but bland. The whole show has been kind of bland. Only the acceptance speeches — Common, John Legend, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons — have delivered the deep-well memories. Lady Gaga is doing a fine job with her Sound of Music tribute and the great Julie Andrews coming on stage…but why do it in the first okace? I say give the hook to Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as Oscar-show producers. Time to move on, give someone else a chance.
8:06 pm: Did NPH just make a joke work? He’s been whiffing all night. The Best Song Oscar, I expect, will go to “Glory”….right? Yes. Well earned. “Right now, the struggle for freedom and justice is real. Selma is now…march on.” — Common and John Legend.
8:01 pm: The performance of “Glory,” the song from Selma, was easily the best of the evening. Emotional song, very emotional reaction.
7:49 pm: Here comes the Best Documentary Feature Oscar moment. The winner, as everyone knows, will be Citizenfour. And it is, of course. I’m a huge fan of Rory Kennedy‘s Last Days in Vietnam, but I worship Citizenfour. Well deserved.
7:47 pm: Too many emotional exhale blown-away pauses from Terrence Howard as he introduces The Imitation Game, Whiplash and Selma. Calm down.
7:43 pm: The Best Editing Oscar being presented by Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomi Watts, and the Oscar goes to Tom Cross for Whiplash. Boyhood was the predicted Gold Derby winner. This may be an indicator of something. Yo, Whiplash!