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Noah Forrest

By Noah Forrest

Live-Blogging the Oscars

Hello and welcome to my first ever live-blog of the Oscars.  Some people don’t like the idea of a live-blog, but I always found it to be an interesting way to engage readers who would like to hear an expert’s opinion on the Oscar results as they are happening (note: I am not an expert).  Also I just want to have, for posterity’s sake, an account of my emotional turmoil as I watch the Academy – in its short-sighted wisdom – hand the award for Best Picture to the worst of the ten nominees (that would be The King’s Speech) over the one true masterpiece (that would be The Social Network).  Luckily, for me, I don’t really put much weight in the Academy’s decisions anymore.

I’ve watched the Oscars every year since before I had memories and almost always with my mom.  Besides a couple of years here and there, we always watch the show together – including the inane E! channel red-carpet coverage (some guy actually just said, “She looks like a statuesque!”).  Tonight, I’ll be watching the pre-show and the actual show with her, my dad and my brother while flipping back and forth to the Knicks-Heat game and eating fish tacos.  It’ll be hilarious to hear my family’s reaction to these awards since I don’t think they’ve seen a single one of the nominees.  I’ll be sure to share.

6PM – Ryan Seacrest is almost as tan as George Hamilton.  And we’re getting a montage of all the wild red carpet moments from this year.  Except, all of these moments are exactly the same and all of the interviews are the equivalent of what an athlete says as soon as they get off the court/field.  “I’m just so excited to be here!”

6:02PM – Jennifer Lawrence got there pretty early, huh?  “Tell us about your red dress!”  Really?  Isn’t Seacrest a radio host?  Can’t he come up with a more interesting question than that?

6:04PM – “The fact that she’s not wearing jewelery to the Oscars and still looks great says so much about her.” – Kelly Osbourne.  Really glad she’s here.

6:06PM – A two minute discussion about Natalie Portman’s baby bump and various possible baby names.  Your 2011 Oscars, ladies and gentlemen!

6:07PM – Kelly Osbourne: “It’s amazing how she’s getting bigger every show.”  My mom: “Yeah, that’s what happens when you’re pregnant, you keep getting bigger!”

6:09PM – Josh Hutcherson was pretty charming in his interview.  I like that kid.  Bridge to Terabithia is one of the great under-rated movies of the last few years.

6:13PM – Ryan Seacrest is asking about Melissa Leo’s dress before getting to the “more serious stuff.”  What is the more serious stuff?  I guarantee you that there is nothing important that he can ask her.

6:21PM – I’ve decided to slow down a bit.  If I tried to keep up with all of the dumb things everyone says, I’d be burned out by the time the show started.  Plus, it’ll get really boring to hear me say different variations on, “Wow, this is idiotic.”

6:23PM – I have to say, I’m not really excited for the James Franco/Anne Hathaway duo as hosts.  I think they’re okay as actors, but I don’t find anything about them – when they’re not in character – that is particularly entertaining.

6:24PM – Hailee Steinfeld…without a doubt the most mature and articulate person that has been interviewed.  She should be in the Best Actress race.  Seacrest just asked her, “Were you always this grown up?”  Wow.  Just wow.

6:29PM – Love Mila Kunis and think she was robbed of a nomination for Black Swan, but I’ve heard the story of Aronofsky giving her the part on iChat about eight million times.  I’m so happy this award season is coming to an end so that I can not be annoyed by people I like anymore.

6:37PM – Michelle Williams looks great as always.  If someone were going to beat Portman, I wouldn’t mind it being Williams, who was fantastic in Blue Valentine.  Also, is it just me or does Limitless actually look like a fun movie?  I kinda want to see it.

6:54PM – Geoffrey Rush is such a fantastic actor, but he could have played his King’s Speech character in his sleep.  Oh yeah, he’s also got no hair tonight.

7PM – Jeremy Renner just got interviewed and reminded me that he should have won Best Actor for The Hurt Locker.  Man, he was just electric in that movie.

7:09PM – I still think Justin Timberlake should have gotten a nomination for The Social Network.  Seacrest actually asked him a good question about Napster and how he feels about it.  Good job, Seacrest.

7:11PM – “I gotta say, he looks pretty hot.”  This is why Giuliana Rancic gets paid the big bucks.

7:15PM – Jennifer Lawrence got there at 6PM and she’s still on the red carpet.  How long is this carpet?  And what is she doing out there for over an hour?  Is there stuff to do?  Anything to drink?  I’m confused.

7:18PM – Helena Bonham Carter will always be Marla Singer in my eyes.  And I will always love her because of it.

7:23PM – I gotta say, I don’t understand what credentials are required to judge who is well-dressed or not well-dressed.  I mean, I don’t think Kelly Osbourne is a particularly good dresser and she gets to comment on other people’s clothes on national television?  Can’t they get fashion designers or fashion critics or, you know, people that actually have some idea of what modern day fashion is supposed to be?

7:24PM – Kelly Osbourne just said that Helen Mirren’s body is “bangin’.”  Agreed.

7:31PM – “Everything’s stressful.  Everyone is really stressed out.” – Adam Shankman on what’s happening backstage at the Oscars right now.  Good thing we got the inside info.

7:37PM – Seacrest just told Bale that he became “Dicky.”  Hehe.

7:38PM – “I’m just vamping, I’m just filling airtime.”  Hey, Seacrest, it’s not vamping if you tell people you’re vamping.

7:42PM – I don’t know quite how to say this, but…what the fuck is Donald Trump doing at the Oscars?

7:52PM – Kelly Osbourne thinks Javier Bardem is gonna win.  This is why they pay her the big bucks.

7:56PM – Natalie Portman and her baby bump!  OMG, she’s preggers!!!

7:57PM – Yeah, I don’t think I can pull off the gossip angle.\

7:59PM – Thank goodness, the E! show is over, so now we can get to the actual awards…wait, what?  There’s another half hour?  Ugh, time to switch over to the other pre-show.  I’m sure this one will be hard-hitting journalism.

8:01PM – Tim Gunn just said Jennifer Hudson is “superbly svelte.”  And a million girls just vomited up their dinners.

8:04PM – Good thing they’re interviewing James Franco right now.  I don’t think we’re going to see enough of him tonight.

8:05PM – Tim Gunn asked Justin Timberlake “What was the craziest question you were asked?”  I was really hoping he would say, “It was ‘What was the craziest question you were asked?'”

8:14PM – Gwyneth Paltrow wants to sing a duet with Jay-Z.  I might actually want to hear her sing if that happened.

8:37PM – So far this is delightfully unfunny.  Glad to see a Back to the Future reference.  Very timely.  I’ve got a bad feeling about this show.  At least Hathaway seems committed.  Franco is doing his usual bored shtick.

8:40PM – James Franco’s grandma gets a huge ovation.  Your 2011 Oscars, ladies and gentlemen!

8:41PM – Please, lord, let them hire a comedian next year.  This is so uncomfortable.

8:44PM – Tom Hanks presenting the Oscars for cinematography and art direction?  Interesting, thought he would be given more “important” awards.  Why the hell are we talking about Gone with the Wind and Titanic?  Can we please just get to it.  Art direction should go to Inception.  If it goes to The King’s Speech, then prepare for a sweep and prepare for me to start hitting myself in the head…Alice in Wonderland wins it.  Okay, that tells us nothing about the rest of the awards.  To me, Alice in Wonderland looks like every other Tim Burton movie, but whatever.

8:47PM – Cinematography.  Holy shit, this needs to be Libatique for Black Swan or Cronenweth for The Social Network…Wally Pfister for Inception.  Can’t complain too much about that.  These first two awards show us that The King’s Speech might not necessarily have the support that a lot of folks thought.

8:57PM – Great to see Kirk Douglas, but wow, that was uncomfortable.  I’m hoping for Jacki Weaver to win this, but she has less of a shot than anybody else.  Wow, Melissa Leo is so over the top, I can’t believe she’s the front-runner.  Wouldn’t mind seeing Steinfeld win.  Oh man, Kirk, please just give the award.  PLEASE KIRK, GIVE THE AWARD ALREADY!  Please, somebody get him off the stage.  At this point, I’m just happy that SOMEONE is getting the award.  She’s a very talented actress, but she’s winning for the wrong movie.

9:03PM – It should be obvious to everyone that Timberlake and Kunis would have been much better Oscar hosts than Franco and Hathaway.  Franco and Hathaway are like two kids that are playing dress-up in their parents’ closet.

9:06PM – I’d be shocked if Toy Story 3 doesn’t get the animated feature Oscar.  By the way, I totally called The Lost Thing for animated short.  And it’s Toy Story 3.  Good movie.

9:13PM – My mom and brother just spent a few seconds discussing how big Javier Bardem’s head looks.  Adapted screenplay has to go to Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network, unless the backlash is crazy.  Yesssss, The Social Network – 1, The King’s Speech – 0!  Probably won’t be able to say that for long.

9:18PM – Adapted screenplay is probably gonna be The King’s Speech‘s first award.  I’d probably give it to Inception, which is pretty brilliant.  I would say The Kids are All Right, except for the ending which didn’t work for me…and it’s The King’s Speech. Okay, well, there are no indications so far about what the big awards are gonna be.

9:25PM – I guess I shouldn’t get so down on Hathaway and Franco since they’re not generating their only material on this show.  This singing number that Hathaway is doing is just not funny and it’s the fault of the writers and producers for allowing this on the air.  Hathaway and Franco are actors and are only as good as the material given to them.  Oh, look, it’s James Franco in drag, that’s hilarious.  Because, you know, men in women’s clothing is the height of comedy.  Jeez, I just want this to be over.

9:27PM – Brand and Mirren presenting the award for Best Foreign Film…it goes to Susanne Bier’s In a Better World.  I haven’t seen it yet, but Bier is a genius, and I can’t wait to check this one out.

9:30PM – Reese Witherspoon is presenting Best Supporting Actor.  I’m sure this going to Bale, for his scenery chewing work in The Fighter.  But I really wish it would go to John Hawkes, who was so incredible in Winter’s Bone.  That would be the greatest upset ever.  Renner was pretty awesome in The Town too.  Wasn’t that impressed with Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right, though.  If Rush gets it, then it might finally be a sign of this enormous The King’s Speech support we’ve been hearing so much about.  And it goes to…Bale, obviously.  He’s a great actor, but this was not his greatest performance.

9:33PM – Bale’s speech is definitely my favorite so far.  Hilarious, gracious, poignant.  Good stuff.

9:35PM – By the way, Knicks are beating the Heat 52-51 at halftime!

9:39PM – Seems like Hathaway’s been doing a lot of these segments on her own.  Where’s Franco?

9:40PM – Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman presenting the music award.  Why do they always feel the need to do a whole big clip package that helps us understand that music is important in movies?  I think it’s gotta be The Social Network, which had such an amazing score that I think it’s one of the best albums of the year.  And it would give the little goth kid inside of me such a kick to see Trent Reznor accepting an Academy Award.  Hans Zimmer’s score for Inception was pretty indelible too, but please let Reznor get this…YES!  The dude behind Nine Inch Nails just got an Oscar!

9:45PM – In case you were counting, that’s The Social Network – 2, The King’s Speech – 1.  Take that, England!

9:47PM – McConaughey and Johansson presenting the sound awards.  I’m thankful they didn’t do a whole package to explain that sound mixing is about the levels of volume and that sound editing is about sound effects.  Sound mixing award goes to Inception, its second award of the night.  Can’t complain about that.  It’s one of the few movies I saw this year where the sound mixing really impressed me in a noticeable way.

9:49PM – I imagine that Inception will probably get a well-deserved third Oscar for sound editing.  But let’s see, maybe True Grit or Tron will take it.  And it’s Inception.

9:54PM – Marisa Tomei handed out the Science and Technical awards.  I really wish they would just incorporate these into the big show.  Don’t these people deserve to speak just as much as the actors and directors?  And then James Franco makes a “nerd” joke about the winners…hilarious, James Franco.  Glad to see you’re putting those eight PhDs to good use.

9:57PM – Achievement in makeup, given out by Cate Blanchett.  I’m hoping that it’ll be anybody except for The Wolfman.  I’m sick of seeing Rick Baker win awards for wolves…and, so of course, it goes to Rick Baker for The Wolfman.  My brother, upon seeing Rick Baker, says, “And there is the wolfman.”  I feel like he’s won ten awards for doing make-up on werewolf movies.

9:58PM – By the way, Academy Award Winning movie…The Wolfman.

9:59PM – Costume Design.  I like the costumes in I Am Love, but I assume this will go to The King’s Speech since there is so much support for this movie in the Academy.  Oh, hey, what do you know?  It goes to Alice in Wonderland.

10PM – By the way, two-time Academy Award winning film Alice in Wonderland.

10:01PM – Next year’s Oscars, how about we get Kirk Douglas to host?

10:03PM – I guess we’re doing the Best Song Oscar.  Just another excuse to remind me that “My Heart Will Go On” exists.

10:04PM – Oh hey, it’s Randy Newman.  I haven’t seen him on the Oscars in like, a year.  Dude has been on so many Oscar telecasts, it’s insane.

10:05PM – Mandy Moore and the dude from Chuck are singing a song that will never be on my iPod.  Apparently it was in Tangled.

10:07PM – I guess we’re not actually giving the award yet.

10:12PM – James Franco, man, I really am not feeling him as a host.  Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal are out to present the award for short films.  It goes to Strangers No More.  I know nothing about it except that it has kids in it.  My brother predicted this would win because, “It’s got kids.”

10:15PM – Live-action short.  My brother and I predicted Nawewe.  My mom predicts Wish 143 because it’s got cancer.  And it goes to God of Love.  I need to see these movies.  All of us are admiring this guy’s fro.

10:17PM – And we’re auto-tuning some movies now.  Yeah, we needed this.

10:20PM – Oprah Winfrey is out to present the award for Best Documentary.  It’s gotta be Exit Through the Gift Shop.  I gotta see Banksy come up there in his mask.  Is he there?  And the Academy takes a political stance and goes for Inside Job.  Safe choice.  Lame.

10:27PM – Billy Crystal’s here!  Please take over for the rest of the night.  Save us!

10:30PM – Sorry Bob Hope, but the Knicks are up by 1 with a minute left.  Taking a break from the Oscars for a bit, hope nothing good happens (I’m sure it won’t).

10:35PM – Knicks still up one.  Apparently Inception won Best Visual Effects and The Social Network won Best Editing.  Hey, what happened to all that support for The King’s Speech?

10:44PM – The Knicks won!  Hell yeah!  And Gwyneth Paltrow is singing, I love everyone right now!

10:45PM – Best Song goes to Randy Newman for Toy Story 3.  Can’t complain about this.  Not gonna remember this song tomorrow.

10:56PM – Celine Dion is singing and I don’t know why.  Oh, I see, it’s for the dead people.  Tony Curtis, damn he was good.  Sally Menke, oh she was so good.  Leslie Nielsen, surely he can’t be gone!  Claude Chabrol was amazing.  Pete Postlethwaite will be missed.  George Hickenlooper was always very kind to me, he’ll be missed.  Lynn Redgrave, totally forgot she passed…so great in Gods and Monsters.  Dede Allen, I’ve been reading about her lately, she did the editing for Bonnie and Clyde.  The director, Arthur Penn, is also gone.  Must be sad for Warren Beatty to see.  Jill Clayburgh was always so wonderful.  Irvin Kershner, director of Empire Strikes Back.  Dennis Hopper, I was lucky enough to interview him for a SAG screening once and he was the kindest man.  Lena Horne, how beautiful was she?  She gets the last image.  Halle Berry talks a bit about the wonderful Lena Horne.

10:57PM – The Lena Horne quote, “It’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it.”  My whole family was silent for a few seconds before my brother says, “I think it’s about taking a number 2.”  Thanks bro, glad you’re here.

11:01PM – Hilary Swank comes out to present the award for Best Director.  Nevermind, she came out to present the presenter, Kathryn Bigelow.  Thanks, really glad Hilary Swank is here.

11:02PM – Please David Fincher HAS to win this or I will light myself on fire.  Okay, not really, but it would be a travesty if he didn’t….HOLY SHIT, what a bunch of fucking bullshit.  Absolutely disgusting.  Congrats to Tom Hooper and all that, but this is a robbery.  This will be looked at as a joke in years to come and it’s not Tom Hooper’s fault.

11:06PM – Okay, I’ve calmed down some, but it’s ridiculous that David Fincher is still without an Oscar for a film that was clearly more difficult to pull off.

11:07PM – Really, this is the time to talk about the Lifetime Achievement awards?  And seriously, how is this  not a part of the actual awards?  Haven’t they earned that right?

11:10PM – The real shame of the Best Director award going to Tom Hooper is that now this opens the possibility for David Fincher winning a future Best Director award that he doesn’t deserve.  The Academy has a bad history of giving people awards for the wrong movies and years later than they should have.

11:16PM – The Dude is here to present the award for Best Actress.  Please be Natalie Portman because I really can’t take another stupid decision by the Academy.  You gave Best Director to Tom Hooper, please give Best Actress to the most deserving winner and not Annette Bening.  Wow, Nicole Kidman was really good in Rabbit Hole, I was very impressed by that.  Really, anybody except Annette Bening would be an okay choice.  But Portman’s was far and away the most incredible performance I saw this year.  Okay, here we go, and the winner is…Natalie Portman!  Yes!  Good choice!

11:18PM – Wow, I think Portman had the longest acceptance speech of the night.  They weren’t playing her off.

11:24PM – Sandra Bullock is out to present the award for Best Actor.  They’re gonna give it to Firth, obviously and The King’s Speech is clearly gonna win the big prize.  But, as I’ve said many times, this should be going to Jesse Eisenberg, without a doubt.  I like Bullock calling Bridges “Dude.”  Man, I love that speech from the Eisenberg clip, so brilliant in the way it’s written, performed and DIRECTED, but okay I gotta let that one slide.  The Franco clip is probably my favorite part of 127 Hours and I wish more of the movie had that gravity.  Okay, here we go, here comes Colin Firth…yep, yep, YAWN.

11:29PM – Really, Academy?  Tom Hooper over David Fincher?  It’s been less than half an hour and it already feels like a terrible decision.  Man, this is gonna sting for a while.  But hey, Kubrick never won Best Director either, so the Academy is just continuing its grand tradition of not understanding movies.

11:32PM – Did anyone count how many outfits Anne Hathaway has worn tonight?  Must be upwards of 10.

11:33PM – Senor Spielberg is here to say that the losers are better than the winners, like Raging Bull and The Graduate.  Colin Firth has his long speech from The King’s Speech uncut as the rest of the nominees are shown.  “This is not fair, how come he gets to talk this whole time?” – My mom.  I agree, this seems like the Academy is showing its hand a little too much.  How nuts would it be if anything other than The King’s Speech wins?  I guarantee you that nobody had Hooper winning Best Director and something else winning Best Picture.  But we all know that’s not gonna happen.  And the winner is…yeah, you already know the answer.

This was a terrible show in every possible way.  The hosts were bland, the writing was awful, the winners – aside from a few – were safe and short-sighted.  More than anything, I was bored the whole way through.  Next year, let’s get a real comedian to host this thing and give the awards to worthy winners.  Goodnight everyone.


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7 Responses to “Live-Blogging the Oscars”

  1. Jo says:

    Seems like it’s going to be a LONG show, with all those past movie references / clips. Enjoying your live blog (as I sit in Cedar Rapids Iowa instead of my usual NYC Oscar party).

  2. Joe Sav says:

    re: 9:18pm post…The expert in the pre-show they interviewed said that Firth winning for The King’s Speech is already a done deal, but nothing else is definite,

  3. Joe Sav says:

    I agree, cross dressing jokes are kind of played out.

  4. Joanne says:

    Hey Noah. Thanks for providing the commentary (and saving me from watching the typically lame attempts at humour myself in an anti-climactic re-run). Cheers, Joanne. New Zealand.

  5. theschu says:

    I rarely agree with you about anything but I completely agree that fucking Tom Hooper’s win for Best Director is total bullshit. Maybe the academy’s worst choice for anything since giving Best Picture to fucking Crash. The King’s Speech is not really a bad movie but this choice makes me hate it. Fincher’s screwed now.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon