Oscar Blitz 2023 – Live Diary

We finally made it, everyone! After weeks of speculation, analysis, viewings, and general complaining, it’s finally time for the 95th Academy Awards. The celebrities are out in force, idiots are asking about “who” a person is wearing when they really mean “what,” and the good people at PricewaterhouseCoopers have been duly instructed to actually pay attention rather than trying to take selfies backstage.

This live blog will update in real time with every award and reaction I can come up with over the course of the next four hours. Fingers crossed for a fun, exciting ceremony where the right nominees win, no one gets smacked for a joke, and Disney keeps their corporate bullshit to a minimum (not holding my breath on that last bit). Be sure to keep refreshing the page as we go to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the commentary.

3:00pm PDT – We’re about two hours from showtime, and I’m getting everything set up for maximum accessibility. Looking forward to enjoying this with you all!

4:57pm – Here we go!

4:58pm – This is the first live television I’ve watched since the referees decided to end the Super Bowl with a ticky-tack penalty call that should have never happened. It’s not that I’m cord-cutting, or bitter about the Eagles losing in the most bullshit fashion possible. It’s just that I’ve been insanely busy lately, and I really haven’t watched live TV other than sports since the DVR became mainstream. Basically what I’m saying is, fuck commercials, including the ones playing on ABC right this moment while we wait for the show to start. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT WENDY’S BREAKFAST!

5:00om – Starting your opening montage with Babylon is a choice. It is not a good choice, but it is a choice.

5:01pm – Including Tom Hanks in Elvis, a clip of Jurassic World Dominion and token acknowledgement of Nope, The Menu, and the brilliant films the Academy intentionally ignored are also choices.

5:03pm – Jimmy Kimmel’s “parachute” onto the stage was more convincing than Lady Gaga “jumping” into her Super Bowl performance.

5:04pm – Jimmy Kimmel making puns about his balls is offensive to Jada Pinkett Smith because she doesn’t have them. Time to go slap!

5:05pm – Thank you, Jimmy, for rightfully mocking the Nicole Kidman ad.

5:06pm – “Steven Spielberg and Seth Rogen: The Joe and Hunter Biden of Hollywood.” LOVE IT!

5:08pm – Taking shots at Babylon flopping almost makes up for its inclusion in the opening and the rest of the ceremony. Almost.

5:10pm – First joke to fall flat, Jimmy making fun of James Cameron and acting like Best Director is sexist this year. WOMEN WON THE LAST TWO YEARS!

5:13pm – Kimmel gets his shot in on Will Smith AND the audience who sat idly by last time. Well played.


5:16pm – I know it’s a bit, but I would absolutely LOVE a dance mob to usher people off stage!

5:17pm – There is no worse bit at the Oscars than the “Presenters acknowledging how much we’re over the awkward intro speeches” awkward intro speech.

5:18pm – Animated Feature kicks us off because there’s no drama here. Guillermo del Toro wins, and we’re 1-for-1.

5:19pm – It’ll be an underrated aspect of the presentation, but I really like the faux marquees along the balconies to show information like categories and winners. Nice touch.

5:20pm – “Animation is cinema. Animation is not a genre.” Thank you, Guillermo!

5:26pm – Odd choice on the Best Picture presentations. “With four nominations, this is Avatar: The Way of Water” sounds nice until you get to, “With two nominations, this is Women Talking,” and “With five nominations, this somehow isn’t Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!”

5:27pm – Doing both Supporting categories at once? Odd. Normally they do one early and save one for the midway point. Does this mean that both are foregone conclusions?

5:29pm – Supporting Actor goes to Ke Huy Quan as we all knew it would, and I’m overjoyed! 2-for-2!


5:32pm – The ovation for Ke Huy Quan is amazing! “Mom, I just won an Oscar!” I’m crying. A lot has been made about how inclusive the Oscars have become over the years, but one part of it that never gets mentioned is that it’s become okay for the men to get just as emotional with a win as women stereotypically do. Seeing the tears of joy streaming down his face is inspiring and wonderful. And he’s absolutely right, keep your dreams alive.

5:35pm – Jamie Lee Curtis just won an Oscar! Ho-ly FUCK! I’m 2-for-3 and I don’t even care about being wrong! More importantly, two wins for Everything Everywhere All at Once in three categories!

5:38pm – “WE just won an Oscar!” We’re batting 1.000 on great acceptance speech lines.

5:39pm – And now to bring us all down from that joy, here’s Cara “MY NAME IS VALIDATION!” Delevingne to introduce Diane Warren’s fraudulently-nominated bullshit from a movie that isn’t actually a movie.

5:40pm – Just in case the subtext of the lyrics wasn’t 100% clear, Sofia Carson pauses to gesture to “14-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren” before singing “Give yourself some applause.”

5:42pm – This overly drawn-out, breathy performance is even worse than the actual song.

5:46pm – If you ever wonder why the ceremony always goes over, it’s because of bullshit like this, where after four minutes of commercials, the program cuts back in for a five-second shot of ?uestlove and Riz Ahmed while a voiceover says, “The Oscars will continue,” and then goes BACK to commercial because those five seconds counted as a block of the actual broadcast by FCC standards.

5:48pm – “Hopefully it goes off without a hitch, or without ‘Hitch.'” Kimmel’s nailing the jokes for the most part so far.

5:50pm – The first truly difficult to predict category of the night, Documentary Feature goes to Navalny! Hopefully Alexei Navalny gets to breathe free again to enjoy this victory one day. Fuck Putin! 3-for-4!

5:53pm – Yielding the floor to Navalny’s wife Yulia is a wonderful moment. And thank God the band didn’t try to play her off.

5:55pm – On to another wild card, Live Action Short, which goes to An Irish Goodbye! YES! YES! YES! I thought Disney’s iron grip would force Le Pupille into the winner’s circle despite it being the worst one, but for once, a lovingly dark comedy gets the win. 3-for-5, but I’m oh so happy! This by far deserved to win! And happy birthday, James Martin!

5:57pm – And now to bring us all down from THAT joy, here’s Melissa McCarthy and Halle Bailey to deliver a built-in commercial for Disney’s Little Mermaid remake. BOO!

5:58pm – Wow, from this trailer, you can really tell that Disney put a lot of time, money, and effort… into the marketing for another shitty remake that no one asked for.

6:02pm – Inexplicably nominated for nine Oscars, this is All Quiet on the Western Front!

6:04pm – This demonstration of cinematography innovation is intriguing, and I wish the Oscars would highlight this kind of stuff more often.

6:05pm – Speaking of All Quiet, it wins Cinematography, the one technical achievement it deserves. There was a push for Elvis (based on the cheers), because it would have been the first win for a woman, but alas, it was not to be. 4-for-6.

6:08pm – Stephanie Hsu helps perform “This is a Life” in lieu of Mitski. I love her outfit, and I love that she gets the spotlight for just a moment. And oh my God, David Byrne has hot dog fingers! This is better than Stop Making Sense!

6:10pm – By the way, I am not scanning any QR codes on my screen. If you physically get up off your chair to go scan a corner of your TV with your phone, there might be something seriously wrong with you, and I would suggest you seek professional help. The Academy hasn’t done much in the way of pandering to what it thinks are youth trends so far, but that stands out as particularly lame.

6:15pm – As much as I make fun of Women Talking being up for Best Picture with only two total nods, I really think it should have gotten more recognition. If nothing else, a Supporting Actress nomination for Jessie Buckley or one for Production Design or Makeup.

6:18pm – Makeup & Hairstyling goes to The Whale for the transformative work on Brendan Fraser that took four hours a day. Thankfully it didn’t go to Elvis, because again there was a late push, because I didn’t want to call bullshit on a Suicide Squad level. The movie basically got a Razzie for what they did to Tom Hanks (Worst Screen Combo went to Hanks, the prosthetics, and his accent), so it would have been some extreme horseshit if it somehow also won the Oscar. Also, 5-for-7.

6:20pm – Bald Morgan Freeman is just wrong!

6:21pm – How many people had to be bribed to let the Academy do a tribute to Warner Bros. on a Disney-owned network?

6:22pm – Just a friendly reminder that we are 90 minutes into the show – halfway through the allotted time – and we’ve only gone through seven categories, which is basically a third of the program. Maybe, just maybe, we don’t need loving montages of everything that has ever had to do with film, to the point that we only give away one award in a block of programming.

6:25pm – Hey look, it’s a jackass! And he has a donkey with him! Lame joke aside, Jenny is adorable, and Colin Farrell’s face at seeing her was priceless.

6:27pm – Costume Design goes to Ruth Carter again! Suck it, Elvis! I had a feeling that there were enough people pissed off at Black Panther‘s Best Picture snub to get either this category or Supporting Actress over the line. 6-for-8!

6:29pm – “Chadwick, please take care of mom.” I’m going to get dehydrated from all the crying I’m doing!

6:30pm – It’s “Naatu Naatu” time! Please let this be as exciting a number as Robin Williams leading “Blame Canada!”

6:32pm – The dancing is even more impressive live, with no production elements or editing attached! God I love this!

6:34pm – Seriously, India, I love you, but tell me how Last Film Show was better than that!

6:38pm – No one put Janet Yang in the microwave!

6:39pm – Look, I’m glad the Academy Museum is open, but we already did a lengthy commercial for this last year with Wanda Sykes. We don’t need to delay things any further.

6:41pm – And now for the biggest gimme of the night, International Feature, which goes to All Quiet on the Western Front, a result determined well in advance by the sheer number of nominations for Germany’s remake. Literally every nominee (and all but two of the shortlisted films) is better, but some things you just can’t avoid. 7-for-9.

6:47pm – I’m not going to comment much on the commercials, because they’re not paying me to pay attention to them or give a crap, but it is very odd to me that half the ads have been from Hulu and/or Verizon promoting their access to streaming services in a broadcast where the presenters are emphasizing the importance of seeing movies in theatres. Academy, ABC, somebody ought to have screened these in advance before approving them.

6:51pm – Documentary Short goes to The Elephant Whisperers! It’s a simple story, but it’s very pleasant and heartwarming, and the cinematography is just stupendous. 8-for-10!

6:52pm – First blunder of the night. You can clearly see the producer working her way to the microphone to say a few words, and instead they cut the mic and play them off, meaning her entire speech went unheard. Boo!

6:54pm – Animated Short goes to The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and the Horse. This is the first true disappointment of the night so far, as it was fairly weak compared to the rest of the field. But I’m guessing because it was for children and on a streamer like Apple (meaning voters didn’t have to make it to a screening), that was enough. No disrespect to the filmmakers, who did a fine job, but the voters got this one wrong. 8-for-11.

6:57pm – No, camera, get even closer to Gaga’s face. There’s still a pore I can’t see inside!

7:05pm – So at this point, it should be fairly clear that several Best Picture nominees will go home empty-handed. Unless Spielberg regains his lost momentum, The Fabelmans will goose-egg, as will Triangle of Sadness, and right now Cate Blanchett and Austin Butler are the only hopes for Tár and Elvis.

7:06pm – Hugh Grant just said “scrotum.” It’s pandemonium people!

7:07pm – Production Design goes to All Quiet on the Western Front, making it so Original Score is the last opportunity for this year’s worst nominated film, Babylon. 8-for-12.

7:11pm – Speaking of that last gasp, Original Score goes to All Quiet as well. I was hoping it would win, as that oppressive low-register sting set the mood for the film by itself. More importantly, the Academy decides not to reward entry-level jazz and one of the worst movies of the year! I’m 8-for-13 at this point, but I’m okay with that. More importantly, this is basically a two-horse race for Best Picture. All Quiet now has four wins, and Everything Everywhere has two, with at least one of the majors all but sure to come. If All Quiet wins Adapted Screenplay, I’m going to get worried.

7:18pm – Screw it, I’m already worried. It’s basically down to two films for Best Picture, and depending on who wins, it could either be a banner day for the Academy and cinema as a whole, or the last nail in the coffin. It’s between a groundbreaking movie that wowed audiences the world over with original ideas and execution, or a remake of a previous Best Picture winner that misses the entire point of its source material. I’m not saying All Quiet is a bad movie, far from it. But if it wins Best Picture, we’ll be regretting it for DECADES to come.

7:21pm – Not to be too bitchy on the dresses, but Elizabeth Banks looks like’s literally wearing a cocaine-addled bear on her back.

7:23pm – Visual Effects goes to Avatar as expected. Back on track. 9-for-14.

7:25pm – That’s twice that multiple winners have been cut off and muted. You know there are several people who have something to say. Let them have their moment, assholes!

7:26pm – Great misdirection joke with Malala, and an even better response from her. Biggest laugh of the night so far.

7:28pm – If the Cocaine Bear isn’t Matt Damon, I’m going to be very upset.

7:30pm – Wait, Rihanna’s pregnant?!?!?! I would have never known. Where are the legions of paparazzi who think anyone gives a crap who are supposed to keep me constantly aware of this?

7:40pm – Watershed moment, Original Screenplay goes to the Daniels! Oh boy! This could be huge. Either it’s a harbinger of their Best Picture win, or it’s a consolation prize as All Quiet takes the top spot. Either way, Banshees is now out of contention entirely. And yes, Daniel Scheinert thanking his teachers by name! Ever since I was 14, I promised my high school faculty that I’d shout them out if I ever won, so this just melts my heart. 9-for-15.

7:42pm – Adapted Screenplay goes to Women Talking. Phew! If All Quiet had won, it would have been a) a tragic miscarriage, and b) an all but guarantee of it winning Best Picture. 10-for-16, and hopefully order has been restored! Also, not for nothing, but Sarah Polley’s script was phenomenal. This is a well-deserved win!

7:45pm – By the way, we’re 15 minutes from the scheduled end of the broadcast, and we still have seven awards to go (Best Actor, Best Actress, Film Editing, Original Song, Sound, Best Director, and Best Picture), plus the In Memoriam reel. Yeah, we’re not finishing anywhere near on time.

7:50pm – Robert Blake slam!

7:51pm – Again with the painfully awkward intro. Anyway, Sound goes to Top Gun: Maverick! That would have been even more awkward to introduce the film as the final Best Picture nominee before having it then lose to All Quiet, thereby shutting it out. We’re getting a little too close for comfort here. 11-for-17.

7:54pm – Original Song goes, as we all knew it would, to “Naatu Naatu,” and I imagine it wasn’t even close! It was such a foregone conclusion that Janelle Monáe didn’t even bother saying, “And the Oscar goes to…” 12-for-18!

7:57pm – Singing a parody of The Carpenters as your acceptance speech! Best one so far!

7:58pm – Time for the In Memoriam reel. If you notice someone glaring that’s left out, let me know. I’ll be busy saluting the screen.

7:59pm – John Travolta breaking down as he references Olivia Newton-John and “Hopelessly Devoted to You” just broke me.

8:03pm – Okay, two major omissions from where I sit. One is Mike Schank, one of the lovable subjects of American Movie. I know he wasn’t an Academy member, but on a night where you celebrate the magic of movies, you have to acknowledge one of the most endearing but hopeless dreamers, not to mention a loyal friend. The second is Charlbi Dean, who was one of the stars of Triangle of Sadness. It’s up for Best Picture and she’s the female lead, one who died so tragically young, I’m amazed the producers of the film didn’t insist on her inclusion.

8:07pm – Time for the final technical award of the evening, and Film Editing goes, as well it should, to Paul Rogers and Everything Everywhere All at Once! That’s four wins for EEAAO, tying it with All Quiet as we go into the final four categories. 13-for-19!

8:12pm – Best Director goes to THE DANIELS! That should just about do it, folks! Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert have now won Original Screenplay and Best Director. It would be a glitch of epic proportions if they didn’t win Best Picture. Now we just have to bring it home, as well as getting Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh! 14-for-20!

8:14pm – “Everyone has greatness and genius in them. You just have to find the people to help you unlock it.” God I am dying of verklempt over here!

8:20pm – Best Actor was a surprising three-horse race, and the photo finish victory goes to Brendan Fraser! Wow! I didn’t care for The Whale as much as some others did, but Fraser’s performance was undeniably great, even through all the makeup. I’m 14-for-21, but I don’t mind. I’m overjoyed watching Fraser’s speech. He can barely breathe he’s so overcome with emotion! By the way, that makes two wins for The Whale, making it the third film tonight with multiple wins. The other two are All Quiet and Everything Everywhere.

8:25pm – And now for Best Actress, which rightfully goes to Michelle Yeoh! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YEEEEEEEESSSSSS! The coronation is nearly complete, and one of the greatest performances in modern film history has gotten the recognition it so richly deserves! 15-for-22!

8:29pm – “Ladies, never let anyone tell you that you’re past your prime!” FUCK YES!

8:31pm – Harrison Ford, bring us home!

8:32pm – EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE WINS BEST PICTURE! The only major award it didn’t win was the one it wasn’t nominated for, Best Actor. Seeing Ke Huy Quan excitedly jump into Harrison Ford’s arms just brought back my entire childhood!

8:34pm – “If this all goes away, I would love to do laundry and taxes with you for the rest of my life.”

8:36pm – One last great gag as Jimmy Kimmel approaches a work safety sign that reads, “Number of Oscars Telecasts Without Incident” and happily turns the “0” into a “1.” A perfect capper!

8:41pm – Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for taking this trip with me. Tonight was the culmination of over a month of work, and I do it happily because of moments like this. After so many years where there have been disappointments, controversies, and incidents that were cringeworthy in the extreme, tonight’s ceremony went about as perfectly and properly as could be imagined. The chicanery was kept to a minimum. The jokes were funny. Jimmy Kimmel was a terrific host, keeping things light and hilarious in equal measure. Only one category I feel was wrongly decided, but even then, it’s understandable and impossible to predict. Speaking of, my final tally is 16-for-23. I’ll take it. All of the surprises were pleasant ones, every speech would be a worthy tear-jerker movie in its own right, and when it was all said and done, the Academy chose to take a major step forward by making tonight’s festivities into a true celebration of a singular achievement in film, one that sets a new bar and challenges all cinematic artists to push the limits of the form. I laughed, I cried, and not once did I feel the need to pontificate or complain outside of a one-liner.

Even in years where the films I’m rooting for win, there’s usually something for me to point to as a shortfall for the evening. Not so this time. It wasn’t flawless. There were a few hiccups here and there. But on the whole, it was done right, and that’s what really matters, and why it feels like the time I spend on this every year is worth it.

Goodnight, everybody!

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