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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

A Night at the Oscars: Play by Play

7:55. TV, check. Papa John's breadsticks, check. Diet Pepsi, check. Oscars ... almost.7:58. Hugh Jackman gives Barbara Walters a lap dance. Interesting lead-in programming.8:01. We're live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California!8:05. "Oscars in 25 minutes" alert pops up. Darn it. Ooh, Brad Pitt. Ugh, Miley Cyrus.8:11. Mikey Rourke mourns the passing of his dog, lamenting the fact that she won't be wearing the tux he had made for her.8:28. Golden statutes so close I can smell 'em. Programming goes live.8:30. Big band music swells, lights come up on a stage framed in Swarovski crystal. Hugh Jackman enters, makes a New Zealand joke.8:34. Major dance sequence in a comedy show tune parodying the best pic nominees. Anne Hathaway is pulled up on stage and sings a duet with Hugh. Another dance sequence with people in full spandex body suits. I am not so subtly reminded of last year's Doctor Faustus here at Notre Dame.8:40. Contractual obligation for Hugh to mention Brangelina. Roommate notes how Jennifer Aniston must be throwing chocolates at her TV.8:41. Hugh is convinced that after 15 nominations, Meryl Streep must be using steroids.8:45. Whoopi Goldberg proclaims, "It's not easy playing a nun," introducing Amy Adams in the Best Supporting Actress category. Each nominee is introduced by a former Best Actress. Penelope Cruz wins.8:53. Tina Fey arrives. It was only a matter of time. She's joined by Steve Martin. Hilarity ensues. They give the award for Best Screenplay to "Milk." Sean Penn has tears in his eyes. Obligatory plug for gay rights. Crowd goes wild.9:01. "Slumdog Millionaire" wins for Best Adapted Screenplay.9:03. Jennifer Aniston presents with Jack Black. ("She's throwing chocolate at him from behind stage!") Jack Black admits he bets everything on Pixar. The crowd shifts uncomfortably after this "everybody's thinking it, I'm just saying it" moment. Pay the man, "WALL-E" wins. Will Andrew Stanton ever get tired of accepting Oscars for his animated movies?9:10. Japanese guy accepting for Best Animated Short for his French film says, "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto." I instantly agree with the Academy's decision.9:16. Daniel Craig and Sarah Jessica Parker walk on to present Art Direction. "Benjamin Button" wins. "The Duchess" wins for Best Costume Design, proving once again that it isn't called costume drama for nothing. Wait, did something just get bleeped out? The costume designer got censored? Really? Just curious ...9:23. "Benjamin Button" wins for makeup. Thus begins the longest line of names ever uttered in one speech. Everyone who ever worked on the film is mentioned.9:26. Robert Pattinson makes a really bad vampire joke. Check. Awesome montage of 2008 movies love scenes set to Coldplay's "Lover's in Japan." HSM 3 had three token clips, which is three clips too many.9:32. Ben Stiller makes a pointed fashion statement consisting of a large beard and Blues Brothers sunglasses reminiscent of Joaquin Phoenix's current state. Natalie Portman looks fantastic in pink. The Phoenix joke is falling flat. As Portman sincerely introduces the Cinematography nominees, Stiller begins aimlessly walking around the set, and the joke gets funnier.9:37. The lost doggy finding his way home MasterCard commercial that made me cry during the Oscars five years ago makes me cry again.9:39. Jessica Biel's hair looks like a certain Scene writer's style from JPW Mass, only the JPW style wasn't so intentional. Is that style points to the JPW fashionista, or does Jessica Biel lose them?9:44. James Franco and Seth Rogan, playing their "Pineapple Express" selves, lead us through the comedies of 2008. Clever. The Cinematographer from "Saving Private Ryan" makes a cameo. Of course.9:52. Hugh announces the return of the musical. Oh, sweet Jesus, please tap dance. Cue the ensemble-top-hat-cabaret-style dance number staring Beyonce. It's the greatest hits of all the musicals your high school ever put on. Relevance? Not much. Beyonce starts singing Moulin Rouge, and is it any secret Baz Luhrmann choreographed? Zac Effron and Vanessa Hudgens have just appeared, along with the Mama Mia chick from Mean Girls. Oh, okay, it's all the couples from musicals this year. Hugh yells, "The musical is back!" And you just jinxed it.10:03. The cast of former Best Supporting Actors arrives. Alert the sob parade, Ledger's coming up. Kevin Kline introduces Heath. Close pan of Ledger's family. He's won it. The crowd rises to an ovation. Mom, dad and sister take the stage. Sean Penn looks like he's going to cry. Again.10:14. Bill Maher introduces Documentary Feature and makes some tasteless jokes about religion, just like we expected. Winner makes a coin disappear in his hand and balances the Oscar upside-down on his chin.10:23. Action movies of 2008 montage. Too much Hulk, not enough Ironman.10:25. Will Smith questions why action movies don't get more respect, seeing as they make all the money. "Benjamin Button" wins for Visual Effects. "Dark Knight" wins for Sound Editing. "Slumdog" wins for Sound Mixing, and the acceptor is speechless.10:33. Will Smith admits, "Yes, I'm still here. Hugh is napping." Film Editing goes to "Slumdog."10:41. Eddie Murphy arrives holding an Oscar to give the Humanitarian Award to Jerry Lewis for his work helping children with multiple sclerosis. Cue another obligatory standing ovation.10:55. "Slumdog" wins for Best Original Score. Winning composer says he hasn't felt this nervous since getting married.10:56. A large Indian dance ensemble appears to present the two songs from Slumdog nominated for Best Song. They are separated by the song from "WALL-E," complete with South African gospel choir. "Jai Ho" from "Slumdog" wins. The same guy from the last award comes out to accept and is just as stumped for what to say as last time.11:10. People In the Movies Who Died This Year montage. Wait, Michael Crichton died?11:18. President of the Academy thankfully opts not to make a speech. Phew!11:18. Reese Witherspoon presents the Oscar for Directing to Danny Boyle for "Slumdog Millionaire." His opening joke gets censored. He thanks the poor chum he forgot to put in the credits.11:27. The Former Best Actress Winners arrive to present the award for Best Actress. The crowd jumps to their feet. Anne Hathaway tears up. Halle Berry's hair is in her face. Older-than-dirt Sophia Loren introduces Meryl Streep. KATE WINS!! Finally, it only took six nominations. "Dad, whistle so then I'll know where you are." He does. 11:37. Round up the Best Actors. SEAN PENN? That's an upset. Poor Mikey. Standing ovation. "You commie homo-loving sons of guns. I did not expect this." Nice shout out to Mikey follows. 11:47. Steven Spielberg up to present Best Picture.11:53. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE! They are dancing in the streets of Mumbai tonight. So this is what you get when you merge awkward looking Englishmen with really cute Indian kids.11:55. "Stay with us and glimpse the movies coming up this year! Goodnight!"