8:07 pm: And Green Book wins the Best Picture Oscar. Producer Jim Burke: “We made this film with love, and with tenderness, and with respect.” I realize that Green Book isn’t quite made of the right cinematic stuff in some people’s eyes, and that it was/is, in some ways, a 1987 film. But words can’t describe how happy I feel that the p.c. haters were shut down but good by this. The rancid snobs and virtue-signalling reptiles were told to collect their overcoats and leave the room. The ugly crowd lost and a harmless, feel–good film won. Fuck you, assholes! Congrats to the whole team — Peter Farrelly, Viggo Mortensen, John Sloss…the whole gang. Hollywood Elsewhere was a Green Book pom-pom girl from the get-go, all the way back to Toronto.
8:07 pm: Guillermo del Toro hands the great Alfonso Cuaron (Roma) the Oscar for Best Director. Expected and predicted by everyone, bar none. “Gracias, gracias, gracias.” HE approves — who doesn’t?
7:56 pm: The Glenn Close moment is finally at hand. NO! Olivia Colman takes it! Total surprise. And on top of that, her Queen Anne character isn’t a lead role! The first LEFT-FIELD SHOCKER of the night. HE has admired Colman for years — congrats, hugs, cheers. One question: what happened to the Close inevitability? Nobody was predicting a Colman victory, certainly not since the Close blitzkrieg began at the Golden Globes a few weeks ago.
7:46 pm: And the Best Actor Oscar goes, as widely expected, to Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek. His thank-you remarks are plain and simple. Thanks to everyone who helped make this moment happen, Malek says. Everyone, that is, except for a certain persona non grata who directed roughly 90% (more?) of the film, except for a week or two of shooting last January by Dexter Fletcher.
7:37 pm: They couldn’t slip Stanley Donen into the death reel? Announcement of the legendary director’s death was reported yesterday morning.
7:23 pm: Black Panther‘s Ludwig Goransson wins Best Musical Score Oscar. His acceptance remarks are brief and elegant. And, of course, A Star Is Born‘s “Shallow” wins the Best Song Oscar. Cue Lady Gaga’s tearful acceptance speech…voice cracking, hyperventilating, stunned, etc. It’s been her standard response to winning anything over the last couple of months.
7:12 pm: Green Book team wins the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. A friend (and fellow Oscar prognosticator) told me to change my prediction in this regard earlier today, and he was right. And the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar goes, as expected, to BlacKkKlansman. Spike Lee finally lands on an Oscar telecast as a winner…finally takes the stage. And he reads from a hand-written speech on yellow note paper. This is our history, our heritage…remove Trump from the White House next year. Quote: “Let’s be on the right side of history. Let’s do the right thing. You know I had to get that in there.”
7:08 pm: The Skin guys take Oscar for Best Live Acton short. Nobody does reserved and dignified these days. They all do “whoa…ohmyGod..whoo-whoo-whoo!” And then they whoop it up again.
7:01 pm: Lady Gaga, wearing a $30 million diamond necklace, and Bradley Cooper sing “Shallow” on a mostly-bare stage. Excellent close-uo shot as the song concludes. Nice visual choreography.
6:57 pm: The Oscar for Best Visual Effects goes to First Man, which HE predicted on Gold Derby. Hats off to Damien Chazelle and the whole team.
6:45 pm: Bao wins Best Animated Short Oscar, and Period — End of Sentence (the sanitary napkins being manufactured in India that was partly produced by HE’s own Lisa Taback and her daughter) has won also. Here’s my HE review.
6:37 pm: A teaser for Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman! A bullet casing, a little cigarette smoke, black backdrop…”I hear you paint houses.” I wanted a little taste of the digital youth-ing of Robert De Niro…just a two-second taste. But no.
6:31 pm: The Best Animated Feature is won by Spider Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Totally predicted by everyone but fine…back pats all around.
6:21 pm: And it’s time for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, which has been Mahershala Ali‘s to lose all season long. A little voice has been telling me recently it might be Richard E. Grant…nope. Mahershala wins it. As predicted by absolutely everyone. HE is happy for Mahershala and the whole Green Book team, etc.
6:18 pm: Bohemian Rhapsody wins again, this time for film editing. Is there a whisper of a chance that it wins the Best Picture Oscar? Naah.
6:07 pm: HE respectfully disagrees with the Academy having given the Best Foreign Language Oscar to Roma. No one admires Alfonso Cuaron’s memory film >more than I, but Cold War takes your breath away — it’s a piercing, mesmerizing, hard-cut diamond. Sorry but I’m disappointed.
5:55 pm: The Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixong Oscars go to Bohemian Rhapsody. A strong current of rank-and-file love for this harmless, likable, critically disdained musical biopic. Those Alejandro G. Innaritu and Kathy Bigelow Rolex commercials are real stand-outs. The film snobs who hated Bohemian Rhapsody (due to being saddled with elite taste buds, have been reading how out of touch they are with Joe and Jane Popcorn for months.
5:45 pm: Alfonso Cuaron wins Best Cinematography Oscar for Roma. Obviously an exquisitely shot film, but HE respectfully disagrees. Cold War‘s Lukasz Zal should have won. Respectful salute to Alfonso for saying “thanks” without blathering — concise, classy, eloquent. The telecast is almost an hour old — two more to go.
5:38 pm: Black Panther wins Best Production Design Oscar. Hannah Beachler justifiably pround, moved, unsteady. etc. So of course she goes on a bit, chokes up, gets played off.
5:29 pm: Melissa McCarthy‘s Elizabethan get-up-with-puppet (and a 15-foot train) is the second big hit of the night, following Queen. Black Panther wins for Best Costume desing? Weren’t most people predicting The Favourite in this category? Ruth Carter, winner of the Best Costume Design Oscar, is unable to say thanks in 90=seconds-or-less, and she too is played off.
5:24 pm: Makeup and hair-styling Oscar goes to Vice…obviously, no other choice. And the winners are so slow they’re getting played off.
5:16 pm: No surprise that Free Solo, which I couldn’t stay with in Tellurde, has won the Best Feature Doc Oscar. I consider Free Solo to be a kind of exploitation film, if you wanna know. The acceptance remarks were clumsy, awkwardly handled, not all that articulate. They finally got it together when the orchestra tried to play them off.
5:09 pm: And here comes the Regina King moment as the Beale Street costar wins for Best Supporting Actress. No surprise. HE has no issues or regrets, but I was an Amy Adams-in-Vice supporter from way back. Right away King is not holding back. Everyone knws it was hers to lose, and she’s…oh, my God, shocked, stunned, overwhelmed. Congrats to King — a solemn, heartfelt performance for what it was worth.
5:03 pm: “We Will Rock you / We Are The Champions’ slam-chorded by Queen is arguably the most rousing Oscar-show opening this century. Everyone loved it. Great best-of-2019 montage also — nice choices, great dialogue, etc. And the show begins with Fey, Poehler and Rudolph! “No host, and Mexico is not paying for the wall.” Material is okay, they’re holding their own, etc.