Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the 2nd annual “I Actually Paid to See This” Oscar live blog! Over the course of the night, I’ll be updating this post in real time (or as close as I can approximate) as awards are handed out, features are aired, and whatever other filler the Academy decided – at least temporarily – was more important to cram into three hours than the actual awards.
As I’m in Los Angeles, I’ll time stamp all my updates in Pacific Standard Time. The ceremony begins in just over half an hour, so keep it locked here and play along at home! And for the record, I’m not doing any commentary on celebrity wardrobes unless something hilarious or grotesque happens. I’d have to go to the bathroom at least twice to give two shits about “who” somebody is wearing. No matter how much the red carpet bullshit ramps itself up, the fact of the matter is no one really cares about what dress someone wears. It’s clothing, simple as that. By next year, no one will remember what anyone wore unless a) it’s scandalous and/or makes you look like a hooker like something Jennifer Lopez once wore to the Grammys, or b) it causes mobility issues that lead to bloopers, like Jennifer Lawrence suffered a few years ago.
Apart from that type of stuff, what was the most memorable outfit worn at the Oscars? Trick question, it was the guy who streaked. So suck on that, Gucci.
5:00p – And we are underway with QUEEN! Adam Lambert has found a perfect niche as the new frontman, but more importantly, the number started with Brian May coming out on stage first. Also, the camera cut to Christian Bale, who looks utterly bored already!
5:02p – Is it just me, or does the stage look a lot smaller than last year?
5:03p – Everybody sat down mid-performance as one, like they were ordered to or something. Bradley Cooper looks on with a look on his face that says, “Real musicians piss themselves on stage.” Rami Malek looks on like he’s still got the prosthetic teeth in his mouth.
5:05p – Introductory montage already fails because it opens with terribly cheesy Oprah line from the awful A Wrinkle in Time. At least A Simple Favor and Blindspotting get included.
5:06 – Introducing the three funniest women in Saturday Night Live history NOT named Gilda. Lighthearted mocking of the Academy fuck-ups played as awkward cringe comedy. The bit gets old REAL fast.
5:08 – Fyre Festival joke a little too on point.
5:09 – The SNL crew is here to award Best Supporting Actress, ending the usual tradition of the previous year’s opposite sex winner handing it out. Poor Sam Rockwell.
5:09 – Another tradition bucked: The last several years it’s been Supporting ACTOR that’s lead the ceremony.
5:10 – The amount of applause for the unknown lady from Roma is a tone-setter for the evening, and one I am NOT enthusiastic about.
5:11p – Regina King earns the first win of the night in the only acting category with any real drama! I’m 1-for-1 so far!
5:12p – Regina first thanks James Baldwin before Barry Jenkins. Odd, but appropriate. Then we get the tearful nod to mom, which is sweet before she invokes God being in her favor. So the voters had nothing to do with it? Just God, eh?
5:14p – Yes, Regina, God is good all the time. Except, you know, when he’s guiding airplanes into buildings and such…
5:15p – Helen Mirren and Jason Mamoa present Documentary Feature, because when I think documentaries, I think Aquaman and Queen Elizabeth II.
5:16p – Not much applause for any nominee (I wonder why, couldn’t possibly have anything to do with that line from Mr. Rogers during the opening montage reminding the entire audience of the film that should have won), but Free Solo gets the win! I wasn’t confident in this pick, but a point’s a point! 2-for-2!
5:24p – First commercial break lasts for 4:00 and consists of ads for Cadillac, Verizon, Rolex (using previous Best Director winners), Google (blasphemously retconning great movies), some jeweler, and a promo for a new ABC show. And as we all know, these things are way more important than the Oscar for Cinematography.
5:24p – Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine intros a montage for Vice, because why not?
5:25p – Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade) hand out Makeup & Hairstyling, which goes to Vice (what timing!). I’m 3-for-3, and it’s obvious how unprepared the production was for the uncanceling of those four categories, because the best “fun fact” the announcer can come up with is that the category has existed in this form since 1981.
5:28p – Wow! Not only did the Makeup winners get played off stage, their mics were cut off to get rid of them. You fucks!
5:29p – While the outfits for Brian Tyree Henry and Melissa McCarthy are funny, if you’re going to lampoon The Favourite, you need a third. The rabbit puppet is great, though.
5:30p – Huge applause for Black Panther in the Costume Design montage. Could we have an upset?
5:30p – Yes we do! First upset of the night! Ruth Carter gets her first win, and for once Costume Design does NOT go to a period piece! Also, the suspense of Melissa McCarthy trying to open the envelope with the puppet rabbit was an unintentional bit of drama. 4-for-4!
5:38p – Second commercial break lasts 4:30 and features ads from Walmart, Samsung (both were also promoted on the outbump), TurboTax, McDonald’s, Rolex again (similar to the Director ad from the last break, just with a focus on Scorsese), fucking American Idol, five seconds back to the broadcast which legally counts as content to allow an entirely separate ad break, local ads for lottery, Skechers, a really cheesy looking trailer for Cliffs of Freedom, Postmates, and a local news promo. All of this is more important than Makeup & Hairstyling.
5:38p – Jennifer Lopez, who has no business being anywhere near the Oscars, and Chris Evans present Production Design.
5:39p – Another upset for Black Panther, winning out over The Favourite. 5-for-5!
5:40p – Production designer, dressed to the nines, has to put on glasses to obscure her facial jewelry, and is reading her speech off her iPhone. If that’s not the millennial generation in a nutshell…
5:41p – Cutaway to Black Panther crewman reveals Trevor Noah in the crowd!
5:42p – I would pay so much money for her phone battery to die or for her to get a pop-up ad for “Candy Crush” in the middle of her speech.
5:43p – Tyler Perry, who has no business being anywhere near the Oscars, is here to present Cinematography, with Perry noting the uncancelation.
5:44p – The nomination montage is much shorter than other categories (likely because it was rushed), and the award goes to Alfonso Cuarón as we all knew it would. 6-for-6!
5:45p – Cuarón starts out by thanking his actresses, then the production companies, and then the source of his story, followed by his normal cinematographer, who sat this one out. Will there be anyone left to thank when he inevitably wins Best Director later one?
5:46p – Emilia Clarke – who has no business being anywhere near the Oscars (I love her on Game of Thrones, but she’s done nothing of note on film), presents “I’ll Fight” after some lame GOT jokes about lending her dragons to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
5:47p – Jennifer Hudson sings “I’ll Fight,” which was originally not going to be in the show, and even now is reduced to 90 seconds. Remember, the two commercial breaks so far have added up to 8 minutes, in case you ever find yourself questioning the Academy’s true priorities.
5:53p – Third commercial break lasts for 3:00 and features ads for Verizon (again, also in the outbump), Cadillac (again), Walmart (again), Google (again), Rolex (again again, this one focusing on Alejandro G. Iñárritu), another promo for the new ABC spy show airing after the Oscars. Remember, this is more important than Live Action Short.
5:53p – Serena Williams, who has no business being anywhere near the Oscars because she has nothing to do with film whatsoever, introduces a sizzle real for A Star is Born. Yawn.
5:54p – James McAvoy and Danai Gurira present Sound Editing (and presumably Sound Mixing as well).
5:55p – Sound Editing goes to Bohemian Rhapsody. This is my first miss, but one I sort of anticipated. Oh well, 6-for-7. This all but guarantees it’ll take Sound Mixing as well.
5:58p – Sound Mixing next, should be a repeat for Bohemian Rhapsody.
5:58p – Can I just pause for a second and say how nice it is to hear James McAvoy’s real voice? Oh yeah, Bohemian Rhapsody does in fact sweep the Sound categories. 7-for-8.
6:03p – Yet another ad break, a mere 6 minutes from the last one. This one lasts 2:15 and features Rolex again again again (Katheryn Bigelow this time), Walmart again again, iPhone, and a promo for a different new ABC show. Still more important than Film Editing.
6:04p – Queen Latifah introduces The Favourite. Cause her name is Queen, you see?
6:05p – Angela Bassett and Javier Bardem are presenting something, I’m guessing Foreign Language, because Bardem is speaking in Spanish about the need for diversity. In other words, fuck the wall!
6:06p – Win #2 for Cuarón, as expected. 8-for-9. I am surprised that this is Mexico’s first win in the category. He once again thanks the actresses, then the whole cast, and then talks about his favorite movies, like Citizen Kane and Jaws. He’s already run out of people to thank, and he’s getting at least one more award tonight. Dude should know how to pace himself. Will he use up all of his English by the end?
6:08p – Keegan Michael Key floats down on wires with an umbrella that he can’t get out of his own way, only to introduce “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” performed by surprise singer “The Divine Miss M,” otherwise known as Bette Midler. A nice twist, but why not just have Emily Blunt sing it? She did a fine enough job. Also, it seems more thought was put into the set design for the performance than the actual song. Anyway, back to commercials! By the way, I’m done mocking the ads, because they’re a mockery in and of themselves, and the fact that four ad breaks so far have taken more time than has been spent presenting nine awards so far should tell you all you need to know. One more gripe, though. Apart from the Walmart ads, all of these commercials are for shit you’d have to be an Oscar-winner to afford, so what the hell?
6:16p – Okay, so Trevor Noah wasn’t just in the audience, he’s presenting the sizzle reel for Black Panther, because he’s African, you see? He gets away with a Mel Gibson racism joke, which means he’ll be banned for life after the ceremony’s done. Not because the Academy’s completely forgiven Gibson, but because Noah dared court controversy and say something not politically correct.
6:18p – Michael Keaton inexplicably lost the Oscar to Eddie Redmayne, so his consolation prize is to present Film Editing, which was previously cut from the show.
6:19p – John Ottman wins Film Editing for Bohemian Rhapsody, which makes sense, because the ACE gave him their award, but a lot of people hated the editing on this film. I didn’t, but many did. 9-for-10!
6:20p – Daniel Craig and not-his-wife Charlize Theron (Rachel Weisz is right there, people!) are here to present Best Supporting Mahershala.
6:23p – Overwhelming applause for Richard E. Grant during the montage, but no upset here. Mahershala Ali gets his second Oscar in three years! 10-for-11. For the record, Sam Rockwell looks emaciated in the audience, bald with a goatee. I guess it’s for whatever he’s working on now, and I’m curious to see what it is.
6:24p – Ali first thanks Don Shirley, which is a good way to stave off the criticism from his family that have needled the prestige for Green Book over the last few weeks.
6:26p – Ceremony goes to break with an ad-disguised-as-a-short-film for Marriott, under the false pretense of celebrating the exotic locations of film. These people are beyond redemption.
6:28p – Laura Dern is brought out to introduce the new Academy building. She is introduced as an Oscar nominee, but is played on by the Jurassic Park theme, for which she was NOT nominated. Way to waste a minute.
6:29p – Michelle Yeoh and Pharrell Williams present Animated Short with a bible quote about “putting away childish things,” which is beyond offensive and counterintuitive to anyone who loves animation.
6:31p – Spider-Verse wins Animated Feature, to the surprise of none. 11-for-12! Great speech about inclusion and diversity from white guys!
6:32p – And they cut the mics again! There were five producers for this film, and only three got to talk! What the hell, people!
6:33p – Kasey Musgraves, who I guess is a famous country singer, introduces “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings.” I have no idea who she is, nor do I care.
6:42p – Nine-minute power outage and reboot at my house as soon as the performance began. So I missed that and Wayne and Garth introducing Bohemian Rhapsody.
6:43p – Comedian John Mulaney and shitty YouTube rapper Misspelled Bottled Water are here for Animated Short, curiously with the longest introduction all night.
6:44p – No surprise that Bao wins. You really can’t shut Pixar out of an entire ceremony. 12-for-13, and I’ve already topped my performance last year by getting at least one Short category right!
6:46p – Oh God they’re still there to do the Doc Shorts.
6:47p – Two Shorts correctly called! Period. End of Sentence. gets a well-earned win, and Melissa Berton makes us all laugh by gushing about being on her period and having a film about menstruation winning an Oscar! 13-for-14!
6:49p – Okay, I call bullshit. The outbump just advertised “Disney’s new movie, The Lion King.” Um, no. The Lion King is 25 years old. It is not a new movie. Even if you release a different version with a lie about “Live Action,” it’s still not NEW! LEARN HOW WORDS WORK, ASSHOLES!
6:51p – We’re just over halfway through, and it should be noted that The Favourite is decidedly NOT living up to its title tonight. I was afraid of this, because while it would have gotten my vote for Best Picture, it’s getting shut out, probably because of voters wanting to avoid #OscarsSoWhite. It tied Roma with the most nominations – a whopping 10 – and it’s blanking so far. Could it go down in history as the most nominated film with no wins, breaking the record currently held by The Color Purple?
6:55p – Diego Luna (discount Han Solo from Rogue One) and chef José Andrés, who has no business being anywhere near the Oscars because he has nothing to do with film, introduce Roma with a pro-immigrant speech. Positive, but preaching to the choir.
6:56p – Sarah Paulson and Paul Rudd present Visual Effects. This should be in the bag for First Man… and it is! 14-for-15!
6:59p – “Shallow” gets no intro, and Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga walk up from their seats to the stage. Nice touch.
7:02p – I know it’s going to win, but “Shallow” has gone way over its 90-second limit. Why aren’t they cutting Gaga’s mic, huh?
7:08p – In case you didn’t believe me, I went back and clocked it. The performance lasted for 3:47.
7:08p – Skin wins Live Action Short! I go perfect on the Shorts after missing all three last year! WOOOOOO! 15-for-16! For the record, Jessica Jones and Kiki Layne of If Beale Street Could Talk were the presenters.
7:10p – Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson (in case you want to see Captain Marvel next month), and Jackson informs Spike Lee that the Knicks won tonight. HAHA! But really, they’re here for Original Screenplay. This is probably the last best chance for The Favourite to score a victory.
7:11p – Wow, another upset. Green Book wins Original Screenplay! This will certainly bolster its chances to win Best Picture, and it’s also the death knell for The Favourite. Unless Olivia Colman can pull an upset for Best Actress, it’ll be a complete shutout, because it definitely has no chance at Best Picture now.
7:14p – Apparently Peter Farrelly did something funny on the way out, but the camera cut away. On to Adapted Screenplay. Come on, Spike!
7:15p – Ladies and gentlemen, Spike Lee has finally won an Oscar!
7:15p – Spike’s hug of Samuel Jackson makes the whole night worthwhile, as does the muting for cursing on tape delay. As he’s been doing all month, Spike appropriately notes the 400th anniversary of slaves being brought to America. Also, Spikey-poo is priceless. Finally, while I’m usually blah about politics in speeches, if anyone gets to use the platform to go political, it’s Spike fucking Lee! DO THE RIGHT THING, PEOPLE!
7:21p – Oh, after the Screenplay awards, I’m 16-for-18.
7:22p – Tessa Thompson and Michael B. Jordan make a great joke about black folk swimming! Time for Original Score.
7:23p – Black Panther takes Original Score. 17-for-19! Also, while I’m a bit sad Beale Street didn’t win, this represents a changing of the guard. Black Panther, a superhero film with a predominantly black audience, has three wins to none so far for The Favourite.
7:25p – Chadwick Boseman and Constance Wu present Original Song. For whatever reason, “All the Stars” didn’t get performed. If it wins, it’ll be like “Lose Yourself,” when Eminem was the only nominee who didn’t perform, or even show up. Also, it’d be cool for Black Panther himself to give Black Panther its fourth win, though we know it won’t happen.
7:27p – As expected, Lady Gaga gets her Oscar. This will likely be the only award A Star is Born gets, and for good reason. I’m still ticked that they got more time to perform their song than the other three combined, and longer than the average ad break, and longer than most category presentations. It was the best choice, but the special treatment is some bullshit. 18-for-20!
7:29p – By the way, we only have four awards left and we’ve only gone two and a half hours. So why can’t we get this done under three hours? John Bailey’s speaking now, introducing the In Memoriam reel. All we need left is the requisite montage of the Sci-Tech Awards, Best Actor and Actress, Best Director, and Best Picture. Keep it tight (while not cutting the mic on the winners of course).
7:34p – The In Memoriam reel was respectful as always, and it’s a nice change to just have an orchestral piece rather than a lyrical performance to distract from the dearly departed. Obviously Stanley Donen couldn’t be included because he just died yesterday, but were there any glaring omissions you noticed?
7:39p – Governors Awards and Sci-Tech montaged at the end of an ad break, which is appropriate. Also, I must correct myself. The Favourite has 10 nominations, but the record for most nominations without a win is 11, shared by The Color Purple and The Turning Point.
7:40p – BAHBOORAH! BAHBOORAH! Seriously, who better to introduce BlacKkKlansman than the whitest person in Academy history? And she’s talking about tweeting. Good God, it just hurts my soul.
7:42p – Gary Oldman and Allison Janney combine to hand out Best Actor. Beats my fanfiction.
7:45p – It’s either Rami Malek or Christian Bale. Who you got? Also, why is Rami’s scene one where he doesn’t speak or sing, but rather lip sync over Freddie’s singing?
7:45p – Rami Malek wins! It’s all downhill from here, buddy! 19-for-21! My score last year was 17 by the way!
7:49p – Malek’s speech was very nice and heartfelt. Anyone who denigrates it can kiss my fat ass.
7:51p – Well, we could have finished on time, but in the last 20 minutes we’ve only handed out one award, and now we’re in another double-length ad break.
7:53p – Amandla Stenberg (Rue from The Hunger Games) and Congressman John Lewis, who has no business being anywhere near the Oscars (even though he’s my hero), introduce Green Book, the last sizzle reel of the Best Picture nominees. Also, Rue got hot.
7:56p – Sam Rockwell and Frances McDormand get to the bloody point and simply go into Best Actress. Interesting that they condensed the Supporting and Lead Acting winners from last year into just presenting the Lead awards. Now let’s just hand Glenn Close her Oscar already.
8:00p – OH MY GOD OLIVIA COLMAN PULLS THE UPSET! The Favourite gets off the schnide! This is the surprise of the evening, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I’ve wanted her to win from the very beginning, and I was certain we were going to get the “Lifetime Achievement” Oscar for Glenn Close, especially since she was so confident that she brought her dog to the Spirit Awards last night!
8:01p – This is one of the most genuine speeches I’ve ever seen. “This’ll never happen again.” “If you’re a little girl practicing your speech in front of the tele, you never know.” “Okay, wrap it up? *raspberry*” “If I forget any names, just know I’ll find you later and give you the biggest snog!” “If my kids are watching, er, maybe not, but well done.” So many good lines! I’m 19-for-22 and I’m absolutely thrilled. Now let’s not fuck up Best Picture!
8:04p – This Charlize Theron Budweiser ad is just insulting to our intelligence. You don’t get to play superwoman when it’s abundantly clear you’re using cross-cut editing and body doubles to do the actual tricks.
8:06p – The previously unannounced Guillermo del Toro is presenting Best Director. It was planned for Whoopi Goldberg to hand out the last two awards. They must know that Cuarón is winning, because they audibled another Mexican director to hand it out.
8:08p – Yup, to the surprise of no one, Cuarón gets his third award of the night (second official, as Foreign Language technically goes to Mexico as a nation). 20-for-23. And for the third time, he leads off by thanking the actresses, as if they don’t know anything other than their own names. Please don’t let him get Best Picture on top of this.
8:10p – It took until win #3 for Cuarón to recognize indigenous people and to advocate for workers’ rights.
8:11p – For some ungodly reason, one more ad break before Best Picture, and for some ungodly reason, Julia Roberts is presenting it.
8:13p – It’s between Green Book and Roma for Best Picture. So far, Green Book has avoided any setbacks, so I’m still going for it, because again, I can’t vote for The Alfonso Cuarón Show, or for things that haven’t happened before. Fingers crossed.
8:14p – And the Best Picture of 2018 is… Green Book! Hell yeah! 21-for-24, a new personal best! Again, I wouldn’t have voted for either of these films to win, but Green Book was objectively better than Roma, and it would have completely screwed the pooch in their effort to engage more with and a younger crowd to give four Oscars to one man for a streaming, foreign language movie, and it would have been insane for me to pick it, as neither situation has ever happened. I’m sure the Shirley family is pissed that the “symphony of lies” won, and I’m sure that Spike Lee is shaking his head at the fact that reverse Driving Miss Daisy beats him out again. Finally, with the mics not cut, we get a loving dedication to Carrie Fisher.
8:21p – That’s all I’ve got for tonight. I officially went 21-for-24, only missing Sound Editing, Best Actress, and Original Screenplay. In my Oscar pool I called 195 minutes for the total broadcast as a tie-breaker, and I’m off by six minutes. Hopefully that won’t have to come in handy and I’ve won outright. I’ll let you know. For now, though, I’m signing off. I’ll do a postmortem on the ceremony either tomorrow or Tuesday, but right now, I’m getting something to eat, as I haven’t had any food since lunch, when I watched How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World earlier this afternoon.