Oscars 2012 – As It Happened

For many, sensible people in the UK it’s too much to stay up all Sunday night to watch the Oscars especially as the next few days news and papers will be full of the winners and the fashions.  I’m not one of those sensible people, despite having a late Saturday night and early Sunday morning I was determined to catch all of the show.  I started by watching the Red Carpet arrivals on E! and then switched over to Sky Premiere for the big event.  I managed to live-blog the ceremony from Kelly Osborne, Ryan Seacrest and the frocks right through to the final award.

Here’s how the night unfolded:

23.08  Oh Kelly Osbourne.  The word is PASTEL not pastals.  You’re not American love.

23.15  Already getting annoyed with the number of adverts on E.  Still, it’s only the second string of celebs arriving at the moment.

23.19  Best Actor nominee George Clooney has arrived.  And his girlfriend appears to have come in costume as an Oscar.  Thanks to the power of Twitter I found out that she is a professional wrestler, a WWE Diva no less.

23.21  Best Supporting Actress nominees arriving by the limo load.  Jessica Chastain might look gorgeous or she might look strange.  I’ll need to see the dress again.  On second look at the dress I decided I loved it, and loved Chastain who brought along her granny as her date.

23.32  George Clooney’s girlfriend’s goldy-orangey dress matches her skin colour.  NB all anti Stacey Kiebler comments are driven by pure jealousy.

23.46  P Diddy has arrived and has a flunky to slip him into his jacket and use a lintroll on it.  A bit like the girls who put their mascara on on the Tube, just get ready before you go out.

23.50  Lots of excitement from Kelly and Giuliana about the fact Rooney Mara is wearing white rather than black.  It’s Andre Agassi’s first appearance at Wimbledon all over again.  But less attractive and with less cleavage.

00.00  Starting to get grumpy at the lack of mock-worthy outfits.  Octavia Spencer and Glenn Close both on the red carpet looking gorgeous.  Stick-thin girls take note.

00.09  In yet another dull marketing stunt Sacha Baron-Cohen has arrived dressed as The Dictator.  Which section of the ceremony do you think he’ll try to interrupt?  I’m going In Memoriam.

00.15  The Descendents supporting cast has arrived.  Still find it hard to accept that Matthew Lillard is a proper grown-up and not Shaggy or a psychotic high-schooler any more.

00.27 Sacha Baron-Cohen tips “ashes” all over Ryan Seacrest.  He is not happy and I don’t blame him.  I enjoy Baron-Cohen’s films but he really should get the message that actors come out of costume when they aren’t filming.  Security bundling him away, seems unlikely he’ll see the inside of the theatre.

00.35  Long chat now about fashion.  Think we must be in the time between all the stars arriving and them sitting down.  Though still to see Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep on the red carpet. Turns out E! don’t have the rights to the last half-hour of the Red Carpet so a switch to Sky is in order.

00.46  For a man who hates his most famous role I’m surprised to see Christopher Plummer come dressed as Captain von Trapp in a spiffy velvet tuxedo.  No Edelweiss in sight.

00.58  This is the danger hour.  About half an hour til the ceremony begins and the red carpet interviews are getting soporific.  There’s only so many times you can hear “Who are you wearing” before the red mist descends.

01.16  I’ve just worked out that Sky’s red-carpet coverage is about 3 minutes behind ABC’s.  Twitter is a little spoiler for the interviews.

01.25  Is it safe to un-mute the TV?  Sky’s pre-show coverage has been abysmal,  the “commentary” has been childish and annoying.  Poor Boyd Hilton being stuck on the sofa with wittering Nick Moran and the intensely annoying Natalia Tena who is ruining Nymphadora Tonks for me.

01.32  Here we go and straight into a classic Billy Crystal skit, spoofing the movies of the year.

01.40  Billy Crystal delivers a brilliant, funny sketch and song.  Why hasn’t he being doing this every year for the last decade?  Lots of love in the room for him.

01.45  First award presented by Tom Hanks.  Achievement in Cinematography goes to HUGO, and Gandalf seems to be collecting.  Still miffed Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy wasn’t nominated.

01.47  And HUGO makes it two out of two with Oscar for Art Direction.

01.56  Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez team up to present Best Costume Design – THE ARTIST and now Make-Up – THE IRON LADY.  Heart-felt speeches from the make-up winners Marc Coulier and J. Roy Helland and we even had the chance to say a big hello to Jason Isaacs.

02.06  I love Sandra Bullock.  Presenting Best Foreign Language Film to A SEPARATION from Iran.  The big favourite in this category.

02.13  First acting award – Best Supporting Actress – OCTAVIA SPENCER, THE HELP.  So far, everything seems to be going with the favourites.  Will there be any surprises?  Big standing ovation and an emotional but sweet speech from Spencer.

02.23  Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper present Best Film Editing to Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.  Baxter and Wall clearly surprised to win and can’t string together more than a couple of words. Achievement in Sound Editing to Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty for HUGO, bad speeches and a rubbish “Hugo, no Hugo” joke.

02.28  Well, the Academy are getting their money’s worth out of Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper who are now presenting their third award in five minutes.  Tom Fleischman and John Midgley take sound mixing for HUGO.  Just had a trail for Best Actor… is it coming up soon?

02.38  All of a sudden things get much more fun with the appearance of Kermit and Miss Piggy.  A stunning performance by Cirque du Soleil who have clearly taken their inspiration from CineMagique at Disneyland Paris.  Long enough to show off the team’s skills, short enough to stay compelling.

02.41  Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow doing a little skit.  Mildly amusing but going on a little long.  Best Documentary Feature goes to UNDEFEATED.  The F-Bomb is dropped and the first cut of the microphone of the evening.

02.47  Chris Rock (with big, big hair) presents the award for Best Animated Feature to RANGO.  Surely the only time the words Gore Verbinski and Oscar will be mentioned in the same sentence.  Funniest presenter of the night so far pointing out that acting in animations is both easy and very well-paid.

02.57  Ben Stiller and Emma Stone present Best Visual Effects to HUGO.  A little skit – Emma Stone is adorable and we have another opportunity to say Hello to Jason Isaacs.

03.01  Last year’s Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo presents CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER with the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Beginners.  Oldest actor ever to win an Oscar.  Please don’t do a Jack Palance one-armed push up…

03.03  No push-up but a touching thank you to his wife from Christopher Plummer.

03.15  Best original score goes to Ludovic Bource for THE ARTIST.  He apparently has a lot of love to give.  Which came across as slightly creepy, maybe it’s a language thing….

03.19  Best original song is Bret MacKenzie’s Man or Muppet from THE MUPPETSOf course.  It would have been a travesty had it not been.  I did a little Kermit arm wave and cheer.

03.31  Angelina Jolie smugly flashing her leg and presenting the Award for Adapted Screenplay to Alexander Payne, Nax Faxon and Jim Rash for THE DESCENDANTS.  Doesn’t feel right someone beating Aaron Sorkin to a writing award.  Woody Allen takes Original Screenplay for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.

03.47  Father and daughter duo Terry George and Oorlagh George win Best Live Action Short for THE SHORE.  Best Documentary Short Feature goes to Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy SAVING FACE.  William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg win Best Animated Short for THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR MORRIS LESSMORE.

03.54  THE ARTIST starts to pick up the big awards with MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS winning Best Director.

03.58  Cheering the winners of special Oscars – Rick Smith, James Earl Jones and Oprah Winfrey.  But not letting them on stage to give speeches, they’re just stuck in a box.  Presumably they had to evict Statler and Waldorf to get the seats.

04.03  In Memoriam, beautifully presented by Billy Crystal paying tribute to his friend Gil Cates.  Nicely done and moving.

04.18  Best Actor goes to JEAN DUJARDIN for THE ARTIST.  Surely that means there’s no doubt whatsoever that it will be Best Picture.

04.30  The one really tense moment of the night.  MERYL STREEP wins for Best Actress for her brilliant portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in THE IRON LADYNice speech, emotional but not too gooeyAnd a great “whatever” to those who are fed up with her.

04.36  And in the least tense moment of the night, THE ARTIST wins Best Picture.  The entire cast including a bored looking Uggie gather on stage.

04.45  That’s it folks.  I enjoyed the ceremony.  It was safe, it didn’t push any boundaries but it was amusing and one of the best in the past few years – although there weren’t any massive surprises in there.  Billy Crystal did a great job and he was clearly appreciated by the people in the theatre.  Just one plea for next year – chances are if we’re watching the Oscars then we’re film fans, we don’t need an hour of clips telling us that the movies are good.  We already know that and we’d all get to bed a lot quicker without being reminded.

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