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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar Live Blog 2010

Live Blogging the Big Night

So readers, I'll be writing some periodic thoughts on the Oscar ceremony. I'm second-guessing a lot of my predictions, but what can you do?

First a few thoughts on the Oscar year.

-I think I really like the 10 nominees for Best Picture. It's given us a lot to talk about this year. Sure, it means The Blind Side got in for Best Pic. But it also means District 9, A Serious Man, Up, and An Education got in. Looking at the top 10, I've got to say that the Academy did a pretty good job representing the year in film and the things that excited various groups of people.

-I'm assuming Avatar or The Hurt Locker will win tonight. Either way, it's going to be read as a major statement. Either they go with the biggest hit ever, or with the lowest-grossing Best Picture winner ever.

-Here's a theory. If "Julie & Julia" had been a better movie, Meryl Streep would be a slam dunk for the win tonight. Imagine if she was in the whole thing, and the movie didn't have the frankly inferior "Julie" scenes with Amy Adams.

-I can't remember the last time that I agreed with 3 of the top 4 likely winners (Jeff Bridges, Christoph Waltz, and Mo'Nique). It's nice to see quality in acting justly recognized this season.

Red Carpet

-Consensus in my apartment (me, wife Emily, sister Sarah, and mother-in-law Barb)
Looking good so far: Vera Farmiga, Penelope Cruz, Sandra Bullock, J. Lo
Not so good: Helen Mirren (lose the sleeves)

-Love them, but their dresses not so much: Tina Fey, Meryl Streep

-Don't like them, or their look: Miley Cyrus

-Love Kate Winslet. My favorite actress.

The Show

-The opening actors and actresses. Odd. Why??

-Neil Patrick Harris. Why?

-I'm pretty happy with the Baldwin/Martin repartee so far.

-Best Supporting Actor. Christoph as expected and he totally deserves it. I'm 1/1 so far. I also like how lengthy the clips are this year. It's fun to really get a feel for the performances.

-Ryan Reynolds..... introducing The Blind Side, "as American as football." I know it takes time, but I do enjoy seeing the clips of the films.

-Animated Film. Up! 2/2. Exciting fact. Director Pete Docter's wife (Amanda) is my wife Emily's former babysitter!

-Best song. Justly awarded to The Weary Kind. 3/3 on my predix. Is T-Bone Burnett involved in every great soundtrack?

-Original Screenplay. The Hurt Locker! Yes. I'm feeling more confident in The Hurt Locker winning Best Picture. I'm also glad this won over the more showy Inglorious Basterds, although my real pick would have been A Serious Man. 4/4

-I like the John Hughes tribute. So many people have such fond memories of his movies, so it's a big hit for the Oscar telecast.

-Animated Short: Logorama. Ahhh! I saw these, and this was my least favorite. WTF? 1 loss, so now 4/5.

-Documentary Short: Music by Prudence. I didn't see anyone picking this one! Now I'm 4/6.

-Live Action Short: The New Tenants. I saw these as well and this was also my least favorite! Now both animated/live action went to my least favorites! I'm not 4/7.

-Adapted Screenplay. Precious! Whoa. Almost everyone had called this for Up in the Air. If Precious is on a roll, could Gabby take Best Actress? A very heartfelt speech. I'm now 4/8, not doing so hot in my predix.

-Supporting Actress. Mo'Nique. To tell you the truth, I was expecting a little more emotional speech from her. 5/9 now. So glad for her triumph this year though.

-Colin Firth. Barb says Colin is her pick for Best Actor.

-Art Direction. Avatar. A no brainer. 6/10.

-Costume Design. The Young Victoria. 7/11. Classy speech recognizing the ones who don't get the kudos. She does look great and she seems to be nominated just about every year.

-The horror montage. So the producers cut other stuff (honorary Oscar, song performances) to shorten the show, and then add total filler like this....

-Sound Editing and Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker! I'm now 7/13. Poor performance, but I'm really glad The Hurt Locker is doing so well. Is there any way it can lose Best Picture now?

-Cinematography: Avatar. I'm now 7/14. 50%! Terrible!

-Hmmm.... this choreography to The Hurt Locker score just seems kind of weird. Especially when a man in a cardigan is doing it. And doing the robot dance to the lovely Up score??

-Score: Up. 8/15. I really love this score.

-Visual Effects. Avatar. 9/16.

-Documentary. The Cove. Did these documentaries look grim or what? I picked this, so 10/17. Moving up from 50%!

-Film Editing. The Hurt Locker! 11/18. This award usually goes with Best Picture, so another good sign for THL.

-Foreign Film. El Secreto de Sus Ojos. 12/19. Ugh. It was good, but The White Ribbon was truly great. Once again the foreign branch shows how conventional they are.

-Best Actor. Jeff Bridges of course. 13/20. I loved the presentations for this award. One of the highlights of the show so far.

-Forest Whitaker directed Hope Floats??? That is so weird!!! Barb says- worst movie ever!

-OK. Sandra Bullock is now an Oscar winner. I was really hoping for an upset, but Sandra gave a really heartfelt speech. 14/21.

-Yes, Kathryn Bigelow is 60. Yes, I have a huge crush on her. And so incredibly deserving. 15/22.

-THE HURT LOCKER!!!! I am so excited and glad that this won!!!! Way to go Academy (good to say that once in a while). Overall, great choices this year aside from Sandra. I ended up 16/23. Not great, not bad.


  1. Ben: I don't get the Merryl Streep--Hitler connection...

  2. I think the comment is just a joke since Meryl is so well-respected and seen as nice.

  3. Hi, it's Mae! What just happened during the Prudence acceptance?!

  4. Hey Mae! Thanks for following. I think that woman kind of pulled a Kanye.

  5. Hi! I think she did too. Also- What was Monique talking about re: "politics"? I love Colin Firth, btw. And Crazyheart was crazygood.

  6. Mo'nique was criticized because she didn't do a lot of press for Precious and said she didn't think she should have to campaign. Looks like she was right.

  7. Ahh, I didn't know that. Good for her.

  8. just wanted to comment to say that you're making the oscars even more entertaining, ben! erik, katie, and i were following along - computer on-hand! :) we disagreed with you re: the alec/steve intro jokes. though, maybe we just don't get the jokes since we aren't as hip to the actors and films as a movie blogging critic like yourself!

  9. I'm glad! It's fun to have followers!

    Baldwin/Martin actually haven't had much to do since the opening stuff.