(refresh frequently for updates)
11:30 So that marathon is over. Possibly the best way to describe how the show went was, apart from a mildly shocking upset in ”Parasite”, the biggest takeaway from the night was the performance of Eminem, doing a song from a movie that is 18 years old.
In a tough field my picks were 11-8, so I feel no shame…at least over that. Now on to polishing off this bottle to numb the pain…
11:20 Time for the ultimate prize — and the Best Picture of 2019, according to people who have changed their mind numerous times the past 6 weeks, is — PARASITE. Man, this is certainly a case of late momentum taking over the Academy. The groundswell for this South Korean entry has been a mushroom cloud in recent weeks. This is a complete upset in terms of how the Oscars normally go.
11:13 Rene Zellwegger wins Best Actress for ”Judy”. This was a tough category to handicap, and it was a matter of reading the Academy as opposed to measuring performances.
11:07 Oh boy, Joaquin Phoenix wins Best Actor — here comes the speechifying… Oh brother, an actor is preaching against the thought of being the center of the universe. An actor, is saying this.
10:41 Wow, major upset for Best Director. Bong Joon Ho of ”Parasite” steals this away from Sam Mendes, and now Best Picture is actually in question. Mendes won the Golden Globe and the Director’s Guild awards, but the Academy general body votes for the final prize and these people have gone gaga for this film.
10:41 Brie Larson is on stage waxing loudly about female empowerment. I am of course tuning her out completely, while gazing approvingly at Gal Gadot standing nearby.
10:29 Elton John comes on to perform a song from his biopic ”Rocketman”. Rousing number and all, but his set looks like something from a Sid and Marty Krofft Saturday morning kids show.
10:25 As expected, ”Parasite” wins Best International Film. The category has recently been renamed from ”Best Foreign Language Film”. The director notes his pride as the first under this new designation, as this is a very significant alteration. I’m at a loss as to this significance, but progress has been made…we suppose…
10:19 Having a respectable night with my predictions. I’ll take pride in picking ”Bombshell” winning for best makeup, in an upset over ”Maleficent”, and ”Judy”.
9:52 Well now…this is some refreshing embracing of their failures. Rebel Wilson and James Cordon come on to present for Best Visual effects. They are dressed in their costumes from the risible, laughable, embarrassingly bad film ”Cats”. To give you a sense of just how horrific the film was, here was my plea to go see it.
9:52 It is great to see Roger Deakins finally being awarded. After 16 nominations for cinematography, he wins just his second award.
9:48 As the show limps along just look at how great it would be with Ricky at the helm.
“I can’t wait to hear all your inspirational speeches about equality, and it’s great that the 3 hours you’re here tonight is the only time your badly paid migrant house staff will get some time off to sleep this week” https://t.co/fsFbdDkv6u
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) February 9, 2020
9:41 I split on the sound categories, figuring the war film would sweep them, but ”Ford vs. Ferrari” is a valid pick. Car racing scenes are difficult to get right — I’ve lost count on how many times in movies I have heard tires squealing when a car is driving over sand or gravel.
9:32 No better way to show how Slim Shady is bringing down the house than a flash-cut to Marty Scorsese looking scared and catatonic in reaction.
9:30 This lengthy tribute to the songs that formed movies gives way to a performance by Eminem, for some reason. Just recall this filler interlude when it is late in the show and they are scrambling to come in under time.
9:24 I suppose arguably it is ”harder” to actually have a job these days, instead of waking up late in the day to cash govt. assistance checks.
"Working people have it harder and harder these days." #AmericanFactory director Julia Reichert accepts the award for best documentary at the #Oscars https://t.co/BRyZZBTxrs pic.twitter.com/IB44nR1mnN
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 10, 2020
9:19 Laura Dern takes Best Supporting Actress. It is an actually heartfelt family-centered acceptance speech. I…I am not sure how to react…
9:10 Will the documentary produced by Barack Obama for Netflix win for Best Doc…(holding)…well OF COURSE it won. Shocking, this is not.
9:07 To introduce the Best Documentaries they played a clip of Greta Thunberg, and then the Charlton Heston clip from ”Bowling From Columbine”. That segment of Michael Moore’s film was a complete fabrication, as he edited in clips from a different speech he gave to make him appear as a frothing madman.
8:57 I nailed it for Best Production Design, for ”Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”. I am also good at darts in poorly lit bars.
8:50 Kristin Wiig is in the early running for Best side-boob.
8:50 There has been a limited amount of political prolix, but we are mostly carving through the shallow end of the pool to this point. As the trophy stakes ramp up expect some more lecturing ”gratitude” to be delivered.
8:45 Okay I split on the two screenplay categories. I was unsure the voters would opt for a foreign language script for ”Parasite”, but my noting the love behind the film has been noted in other categories.
8:38 Diane Keaton is playing the role of the excitable cougar, opposite Keanu Reeves…except they are presenting, not acting, so this is uncomfortable.
8:23 Best Animated feature has some surprising entries from Netflix, but ”Toy Story 4” takes it. Again, as I predicted. I will henceforth be like the inveterate gamblers, and only tell you about my wins and say nothing of my losses. Special shout out to Keanu Reeves in the role of Duke Kaboom.
8:17 Google analytics shows a spike in ”John Bolton” searches from the Los Angeles area.
8:15 The first trophy is for Supporting Actor. Brad Pitt takes it, as I predicted. (No need to look at any of my other selections) I should have invested in Champion Spark Plugs T-shirts! And we get our first jab at D.C., with his comment that John Bolton got no time to give his speech.
8: 07 Steve Martin delivers an Iowa Caucus joke! That is how bad that fiasco got, even the Oscars could not lay off saying something.
8: 03 Instead of an opening monologue they are basically putting on a Tony Awards musical production. I can hear the remotes across the country clicking off the show from my desk.
7 : 30 He was in the classicly horrendous ”Cats” and is nominated for a Razzie Award this year — so OF COURSE James Cordon is at the Oscars…
7 : 30 For those with Oscar prop bets going, the winner of the celebrity who woke up the latest for the ceremony goes to Al Pacino.
7 : 30 Michael Loftus gave a valid aperitif for tonight’s show by granting a number of political Oscars tied in with the impeachment. A pretty satisfying presentation, though no one was in attendance to accept their well-earned trophy.
Tonight Hollywood manages to wrap up its annual slate of self-congratulatory celebrations earlier than usual. The schedule has been pushed up and, in an effort to skirt anything approaching controversy — by their own woke standards — there is no official host but a rotating cast of presenters. We will have no entertaining catharsis as delivered by Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes.
To get a feel of what is in store, as well as my bold and brazen predictions for the major categories you can check in here for the latest. It is a tougher assessment in many categories than in most years, but keep one thing in mind — these no-it-alls have lapsed into their usual racist/sexist ways in choosing their nominations.
One thing we can expect, with the neutered presentation format, is that stars will be emboldened to lecture us as a society with elan. Celebrities granted a global audience cannot resist the chance to properly signal to the world. Expect Joaquin Phoenix to have the mic and give more hypocritical hectoring.