It’s the big night at last! And as you can see, I’m starting this year’s live blog nearly an hour before the ceremony actually starts. That’s because of the utterly nonsensical, totally bullshit, funny third thing that elucidates the idea of a terrible fucking idea, of the Academy kowtowing to Disney’s corporate demands and relegating eight categories to a “pre-show” that’s going on right now. The results of those categories will be edited into the main broadcast, which begins in about 45 minutes, but they will also be tweeted out as they happen, so it makes complete sense to get started in advance and bring you live results basically in real time, because, and I’m repeating this for the umpteenth time, THAT’S THE FUCKING POINT!
So strap in and enjoy the Oscars – as far as they can be given Disney’s interference – and keep it locked here as I continually update the proceedings as they go. It’s all been leading up to this, folks. It’s finally Oscar Night!
4:18pm – First things first, as you can tell by the time signature, I’m on west coast time, so all updates will conform to that. Second, to be absolutely clear, I will be revealing winners before the broadcast as I learn them, because this is some serious bullshit, and we need to do everything we can to subvert Disney’s avarice.
4:22pm – All three Short Film categories have been awarded. Animated Short goes to The Windshield Wiper, Documentary Short to The Queen of Basketball (I’m guessing because of the residual sadness from Lusia Harris’ passing in January; the same thing happened when The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life won in 2014 because the film’s subject died the day before the voting deadline), and Live Action Short goes to The Long Goodbye, which I figured was a possibility due to Riz Ahmed’s star power. Given that he’s also one of the EPs on Flee, I’m guessing that this is also a pseudo consolation prize for him, as Flee will lose all three of its nominations. I’m 0-3 so far on my ballot.
4:25pm – I’m now up to 2-for-5 after Dune picks up predicted wins for Original Score and Sound. This is surreal, having to see results update on Twitter and Wikipedia. This is so wrong on every level.
4:30pm – Film Editing goes to Dune, furthering their likely dominance of the tech categories. This is kind of disgusting that the film that wins the most awards will almost certainly only win one during the actual ceremony because Disney wants to throw a middle finger to Warner Bros. 3-for-6 so far.
4:36pm – The last of the relegated categories have been awarded. To the surprise of none, The Eyes of Tammy Faye takes Makeup and Hairstyling, while Dune continues its tech run with Production Design. I’m 5-for-8, with a perfect run outside of the Shorts.
4:50pm – Twiddling my thumbs for a half-hour between eight awards and the start of the actual broadcast is jarring as all fuck. Seriously, figurative death to all involved in this!
4:58pm – Okay folks, here we go. After one more idiotic commercial break, this exercise in futility can officially begin!
5:00pm – Hey, it’s time to celebrate movies, so let’s open things with two people who aren’t actors or filmmakers reading a teleprompter to introduce Beyonce ON VIDEO! Wasn’t the whole point of relegating the categories to make room for LIVE performances of the nominated songs?! What the fuck? This is just another “Formation” video!
5:05pm – How many green screen memes are we going to get out of this horrid motif of tennis ball green outfits on tennis ball green sets? Clearly this will not get a nomination for Production Design anytime soon.
5:07pm – No! Fucking no! DJ Khaled doesn’t get to be on stage with three women until he starts eating pussy! Fuck you!
5:09pm – Relegation glossed over with a cheap light shortout joke before another cheap joke about the Golden Globes.
5:11pm – Ooh, a Mitch McConnell joke. Take THAT, society!
5:13pm – THE OSCARS, starring a whole bunch of people, some of them in still shots, some of them in video clips for no reason! And also NOT starring, EIGHT FUCKING CATEGORIES!
5:15pm – Amy Schumer makes joke about not seeing the movies, representing the #1 problem with audience engagement.
5:17pm – “Don’t Look Up is nominated, proving that Academy voters don’t… look… up… reviews!” First good joke of the night!
5:18pm – Are you literally playing Toto’s “Africa” when the first two black presenters show up? Are you fucking serious?
5:21pm – Ariana DeBose wins Supporting Actress, as we all knew she would. It has nothing to do with her performance, or lack thereof, but because they wanted the headline of having the first queer winner, and to a lesser extent, having two women win for the same role for the first time.
5:25pm – 6-for-9 so far.
5:31pm – Oh boy, lame pandemic joke to call out hot actors. Also, what’s the point of having her pretend to read off a list when you show the text on the teleprompter after the shot change? Production fail.
5:34pm – Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin to present the edited-in Sound win for Dune. And look at how awkwardly it was cut. Brolin and Momoa introduce it live, then after the delayed video montage, they give a half-assed wipe to a differently-lit stage for the acceptance speech. Such bullshit.
5:37pm – A tribute to White Men Can’t Jump that lasts longer than actual awards. By the way, White Men Can’t Jump, while an excellent, fun movie, got a whopping two nominations from the Chicago Film Critics’ Association and MTV Movie Awards, but ZERO recognition from the Academy.
5:40pm – They’re hear to present Cinematography, with Woody Harrelson noting that he’s been nominated three times, and this bit is the most he’s ever gotten to say on the Oscar stage, illustrating the #1 problem with this entire arrangement.
5:42pm – Dune wins for Cinematography in a bit of an upset. I was thinking the chance to give it to a woman for the first time would be the difference-maker. 6-for-10.
5:43pm – By the way, in our “absolutely has to finish in three hours” ceremony, we’re only three categories through in 45 minutes, and one of them was pre-recorded.
5:45pm – Documentary Short gets shoehorned in straight out of the commercial break in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment.
5:46pm – Rachel Zegler’s fake outrage at not being invited (even though her schedule didn’t initially allow for her to show up anyway) gets turned into her co-presenting Visual Effects, even though she represents a movie with no believable visual effects. Dune wins, surprising no one, and I’m up to 7-for-11.
5:49pm – And in one of the few “Below the Line” fields to get on the actual live stage, the winner gets his speech cut off. DO SOMETHING NOT ASSHOLIC, YOU DICKS!
5:50pm – Because when I think of James Bond, I think of Tony Hawk and Shaun White. What the fuck?
5:51pm – Hey, remember when we did this 10 years ago, capped off with Shirley Bassey singing the theme from Goldfinger and blowing everyone away? Well, here’s three EXTREME sports guys introducing a montage of Bond clips set to “Live and Let Die,” and somehow didn’t end it with Billie Eilish’s performance, in what would have been the most appropriate spot if you were gonna do this nonsense at all. We’re honestly going to devote two segments to Bond just to pretend Billie Eilish matters. Fuck me!
5:55pm – Lost in all this fast-paced fuckery, I actually have to wonder about The Power of the Dog‘s chances at Best Picture now that it’s lost Cinematography. I’m pretty sure CODA is going to win Adapted Screenplay, so that means that only Jane Campion winning Best Director will give the film a case to win the big one. It’s taken this long for me to catch my mind up.
5:58pm – Stephanie Beatriz, looking as gorgeous as ever, introduces “Dos Oruguitas,” which should win, but won’t, because pandering to the youth. It’s the one Original Song nominee that actually takes place within the film. Sebastian Yatra’s performance is lyrical and beautiful, and the dancing and set is lovely. Too bad it’ll be completely forgotten.
6:01pm – Lily James continues to live in my dreams.
6:02pm – So we did “Dos Oruguitas” now so we can transition to Encanto winning. 8-for-12.
6:04pm – And now to devote more time to the “Cheer” Final Five than to the actual winners of the last category.
6:07pm – And of course, the top 3 are comic book movies, and #1 is the Synder Cut, because this was a poll for Twitter voters, and there is basically no more active bloc on Twitter than Zack Snyder fanboys. Maybe MAGA idiots, but I’m guessing there’s a lot of cross-pollination there. This was deemed more worthy than Live Action Short.
6:11pm – Animated Short also gets edited in straight out of the ad break, and it was a double-length ad break, so if you went to the bathroom, you missed it, which I’m sure was Disney’s intent. At least the Academy kept their word to actually name the nominated people.
6:13pm – To introduce the band, they decided to drown out Wanda Sykes’ microphone. Sure. Not like we want to hear the performers’ names or anything.
6:14pm – And now we have an uninspired bit where Wanda Sykes goes to the Academy Museum, because instead of honoring their members and films, they have to suck their own dicks.
6:17pm – Okay, seeing a Gelfling puppet and thinking it’s an artifact from White Chicks, and an Orc from Lord of the Rings being Harvey Weinstein are actually fucking hilarious.
6:18pm – In hysterical fashion, the Academy set up an American Sign Language feed for the ceremony, and of course it shorted out. Sorry CODA fans, you’ll have to settle for people looking at you and applauding to give you a hint when you’ve won.
6:21pm – Okay, it was super cute for Youn Yuh-jung signing Troy Kotsur’s win to him. The anecdote about trying to teach Joe Biden “dirty” sign language is priceless! 9-for-13.
6:25pm – The asshole part of me wants to see the Academy try to play Kotsur off, knowing it won’t do shit.
6:26pm – GOD DAMMIT! Once again Disney gets to exclusively advertise INSIDE THE BROADCAST! They pre-recorded Chris Evans congratulating whoever won Supporting Actor just to toss to the same trailer for Lightyear that we’ve all been seeing in theatres for the past four months. Once again they’re trying to bias the jury well in advance, this time for Animated Feature next year. FUCK YOU, DISNEY!
6:30pm – Simu Liu comes out for International Feature, and they have him make a joke about being a foreigner. Even if it’s a subverted punchline, what the fuck?
6:32pm – Drive My Car gets its obvious and token win for International Feature, even though it should also get Adapted Screenplay and arguably Best Picture. 10-for-14.
6:34pm – Unintentional comedy for the poor usher trying to force Ryusuke Hamaguchi offstage.
6:35pm – Mila Kunis introduces Reba McEntire for “Somehow You Do.” She looks gorgeous, and she missed an opportunity as a native Ukrainian to turn this into a much more poignant moment. In other news, the song still sucks.
6:39pm – Seriously, a black screen with text for Ukraine? When Mila Kunis was right there? How many ways can the Academy fuck this up?
6:43pm – Live Action Short comes out of the break, with Riz Ahmed’s speech cut woefully short, and his co-winner given no time on the mic to thank people.
6:44pm – Here’s Ruth E. Carter, the only black winner of Costume Design, to give it to a bunch of white women and a couple white men. PROGRESSIVE!
6:46pm – Of course it’s Cruella, because why punish Disney for its avarice? 11-for-15.
6:47pm – Way to adjust the microphone height for Jenny Beavan, dicks!
6:50pm – That was a dick joke, folks! They brought on John Leguizamo to the tune of Carlos Santana to make a dick joke and introduce the most insulting part of the evening, the performance of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” a song not even submitted for the Oscars, but that Disney insisted on putting in because it hit #1 on the charts. This is purely for the youth audience that ISN’T WATCHING! And just for the fuck of it, let’s throw in a rap verse that wasn’t there originally.
6:56pm – A segment for BTS? Are you fucking kidding me? It got more air time than the actual Best Picture montage for King Richard, for fucks sake! I’ve got nothing against BTS or K-Pop in general, but they have nothing to do with the Oscars and have no place being here! Kids aren’t watching. How does the Academy not realize this?
6:58pm – So, playing Mott the Hoople for a cringeworthy bit with our hosts (who’ve barely been seen so far) that has nothing to do with the song? What the frick?
6:59pm – Oh, it was for an awkwardly cut transition to Juno‘s 15th anniversary, which makes sense because “All the Young Dudes” is the theme of the film. Horrible staging, but at least it makes thematic sense.
7:01pm – All of this is to present Original Screenplay, which goes to Kenneth Branagh for Belfast. I preferred Licorice Pizza, but I can’t hate on this, and it would have been a crime to let him walk away with seven winless categories for his record. 12-for-16.
7:02pm – And then we bring on Tracee Ellis Ross for Adapted Screenplay, which goes to CODA, as expected. Best Picture is officially down to CODA and The Power of the Dog. Dune will end up with the most wins, but the top prize is a two-horse race now. 13-for-17.
7:07pm – Of course the “Fan Favorite” is Army of the Dead, a mediocre bit of Zack Snyder nonsense that didn’t remotely live up to its hype. But it confirms my theory. Neither of these Twitter polls had anything to do with comedy, or really fans. It was just Zack Snyder incels trolling us.
7:12pm – Back from break with a speed run through Original Score, with Jason Momoa accepting on behalf of Hans Zimmer, who got woken up in the UK three hours ago with his award.
7:13pm – And now here’s Rami Malek, the latest Bond villain, to introduce Billie Eilish, now in black hair (her Marilyn Monroe phase apparently already over after Disney made her a cartoon). Close your ears now, folks. It’s a load of bullshit, but she’s still going to win.
7:19pm – Seriously, play that song alongside Sam Smith’s terrible Oscar-winning Bond theme. The chorus is the exact same melody, just in a different key.
7:23pm – Hey, it’s two of our three ostensible hosts! We haven’t seen them for more than 30 seconds for over an hour! And it’s for a lame Texas voting law joke.
7:25pm – “Breathing raw dog!” God dammit, I love you, Chris Rock. Why aren’t you hosting?
7:26pm – Jada’s face after the G.I. Jane 2 joke is priceless!
7:27pm – Oh wow, a 30-second mute for some serious cursing between Will Smith and Chris Rock. THIS is the moment of the evening, and it will make Smith’s eventual win for Best Actor SUPER AWKWARD!
7:30pm – Oh, and by the way, Summer of Soul won Documentary Feature, as we all knew it would. 14-for-18.
7:31pm – Update from a friend of a friend who’s working the ceremony, Will Smith actually hit Chris Rock, said, “Take my wife’s name out your fucking mouth” on live TV. Even though Will himself laughed at the joke until Jada gave him a resting bitch face. “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me,” says Rock. “It was a G.I. Jane joke!”
7:36pm – Again, Will Smith is about to win an Oscar. Have fun with that.
7:37pm – Oh, and for what it’s worth, they brought out Sean Combs to introduce a montage of The Godfather, because when I think of one of the greatest movies of all time, I think of fucking DIDDY! Who makes these decisions?
7:39pm – Will Smith just committed felony assault and battery on national television. His acceptance speech should be really interesting in an hour or so.
7:43pm – We’re having a shouting match in my house about this, and in the meantime, it’s time for In Memoriam, led by a tribute to Sydney Poitier.
7:44pm – We made jokes about Sarah McLachlan earlier in the house, and now they’re singing her most cliché songs.
7:45pm – Oh come on, you couldn’t even show a clip from the original West Side Story for Sondheim? Jesus.
7:46pm – Bill Murray gives a special shout-out to Ivan Reitman before moving on to the greatest Christian song written and performed by a Jewish guy, “Spirit in the Sky.”
7:47pm – Betty White gets included despite having a very limited film career, with a shout-out from Jamie Lee Curtis and an adorable puppy.
7:50pm – Huh, a link to a full rundown of the dead Academy members who didn’t make the final reel? It’s at least an attempt at a solution.
7:51pm – Production Design out of the ad break. Only Makeup & Hairstyling remains of the relegated to get slotted in. It’s still exhausting and insulting as all fuck.
7:54pm – So, just to recap, in the last 48 hours, Taylor Hawkins has died, and Billie Eilish has an Oscar. Just in case you were curious as to whether or not I believe in a just and loving God. Whatever, 15-for-19.
7:57pm – What the hell is this Kevin Costner speech? This is a two-minute introduction to Best Director.
7:59pm – Jane Campion wins as expected. 16-for-20.
8:00pm – When David Rubin announced that the Academy was cutting eight categories, he promised that doing so would shorten the ceremony and ensure it finished in three hours. They have once again been proven liars, as we’re at the three-hour mark, and we still have four categories to hand out, including one more from the pre-show. So, to be absolutely clear, we insulted hundreds and thousands of talented artists for nothing. It was completely pointless. Who could have seen this coming? Oh yeah…
8:06pm – I love Pulp Fiction! It’s one of the greatest movies ever made. But there is no reason to have a 28th anniversary montage celebrating its screenplay just to bring on Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Travolta.
8:07pm – Whoa, move your hand away from your microphone, Travolta!
8:08pm – Typically the previous year’s Best Actress winner awards Best Actor, but I guess Frances McDormand wasn’t available, so we get the Pulp Fiction bit. Totally not a last-minute decision.
8:09pm – Buckle up, bitches!
8:10pm – Will Smith wins. Here we go.
8:11pm – God is calling on him to play a guy who abandoned his family, “protect” Aunjanue Ellis (from himself?), and slap a comedian for making a joke. “In this business you have to be okay with having people disrespect you,” he says, while crying. “At your highest moment, that’s when the devil comes for you.” Since when is Chris Rock the devil? “I want to be a vessel for love!” Are you fucking kidding me?
8:14pm – The picture cut away to a slate. Was it in preparation for another slap.
8:15pm – “I’m crying for being a light for other people.” Are we in the Upside Down?
8:16pm – Venus and Serena are crying for him? Are you shitting me?
8:17pm – I’d make a joke that Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, followed by THAT acceptance speech, that he was preparing for Ali 2: The Path to Parkinson’s, but as we’ve learned, joking about sequels is not allowed and incites violence.
8:20pm – Makeup & Hairstyling rounds out the pre-show montages. And of course, the winners get less screen time than Jessica Chastain, who just made a point to be there. Fuckers.
8:21pm – “I’ve been busy getting out of my Spider-Man costume. Did I miss anything? There’s like, a different vibe in here.” Amy Schumer, you are a treasure! Oh, and NOW Will can laugh without hitting someone.
8:23pm – Jesse Plemons’ face is priceless in this retread joke about seat-fillers.
8:24pm – Ladies and gentlemen, the guy who’s win last year was the cherry on the shit cake that was the show last time.
8:26pm – Jessica Chastain takes Best Actress. 18-for-22.
8:30pm – Breaking News: Will Smith is being sent to live with his auntie and uncle in Bel Air.
8:31pm – Jessica Chastain says that people should be able to live without fear of violence and terrorism. I wholeheartedly agree. Chris Rock should be able to live without fear of violence and terrorism.
8:32pm – So this is what Liza looks like sober.
8:33pm – So Lady Gaga’s here to present Best Picture, but first, a pointless reference to Cabaret.
8:34pm – And Best Picture goes to… CODA! I’ll admit that I thought there was a chance, but it was such a small film that I thought The Power of the Dog was a shoo-in. More importantly, this movie was released with almost no fanfare back in August, and it won over all the movies released in the glut in November and December with advance For Your Consideration campaigns. I finish 18-for-23. Not my best, but I’m beyond happy for this last result.
8:38pm – And there you have it, folks. Thanks for coming along on this bafflingly frustrating ride with me. I’ll be back with a Postmortem video in a couple of days. The Academy fucked up royal and this ceremony was bastardized beyond belief in a way that is unforgivable. Still, a good ending, including the hosts in silk pajamas. Until next time, let’s all wave our hands in silent cheers for CODA!
Join the conversation in the comments below! Who’s your pick to win Best Picture? Which relegated category deserves to be in the main show the most? What will be the most idiotic response to “Who are you wearing?” Let me know!