Please welcome! Alec Baldwin, doing a little hand-dance at the mic. He is here to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to last year's Lifetime Achievement Award Presenter, Dick Van Dyke. On the clip package, Baldwin's presumably pre-recorded narration is extremely soothing, by the way. There is a lot of tripping and falling over things, as well as diagnosing murder, as one might expect. Also, it is really sweet that Van Dyke spends Thanksgiving and Christmas at soup kitchens in LA. Standing ovation! Daniel Day Lewis applauds beneficently, while Jennifer Lawrence looks breathless in awe, which made me laugh (De Niro looks mildly critical). "That does an old man a lot of good," says Van Dyke, although, "my lord and savior, Carl Reiner, couldn't be here tonight..." Reiner apparently "waited five years" to correct Van Dyke's pronunciation of his own character's last name, which is way funnier to me than it ought to be. Why are we given a long reaction shot of Nicole Kidman slowly realizing she's on camera and giving us a seductive smile? I mean, I'm not taking it back to the gift returns department, but I'm starting to kind of feel like I'm on drugs. "You're in Darfur, you're in Somalia, you're in New Orleans..." Where are we? "You're doing what you think is right..." Oh, okay, people doing nice things for people. Did Van Dyke just call Alec Baldwin "Tony Bennett"? It's a very sweet speech, but you know how you say, "I want the drugs he's on"? I think I'm on them.
AND NOW, A FIRST LOOK at a new hospital drama where someone gets nicknamed "007" because apparently he kills a lot of patients? This seems to make him emo. Definitely do not send this guy to check on Kevin Costner.
Ladies and gentlemen! Amy Poehler and Neil Patrick Harris! "FAMILY... HONOR... SACRIFICE..." "DECEPTION... SACRIFICE..." "INTRIGUE." "BETRAYAL." "SECRETS." "SWORDPLAY." "MONSTERS." "SANDWICH." THESE ARE WORDS THAT SOUND DRAMATIC WHEN SAID VERY LOUDLY, we are told.
@fuggirls: I want Amy Poehler saying "SANDWICH" to be the sound my phone makes whenever Heather sends me a text. - J
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire as Nucky Thompson
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad as Walter White
Jeff Daniels - The Newsroom as Will McAvoy
Jon Hamm - Mad Men as Don Draper
Damian Lewis - Homeland as Nicholas Brody
I just now heard a distant cheer for Jon Hamm--has the show been dampening the background sound this year or something? Gone stingy on the booze? Is T-Bone Streep even HERE? Big scream for first-time WINNER: Bryan Cranston; maybe they'll get warmed up now. "Oooooh. It is so good to be bad." ("WOO!!" There we go.) Also, as an X-Files fan, it warms my heart that he thanks writer Vince Gilligan at such length. Also-also, thank you to the guilds and/or unions for endowing him with this award tonight, "so that at least, tonight, I am well-endowed."
Please welcome! Dev Patel! Who has to explain The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel all by himself, because none of the Renowned British Actors of Stage and Screen wanted to get on a plane.
Please also welcome! Taye Diggs and a very tall, very pregnant Busy Phillips (in dark blue)! Seriously, I feel uncomfortable for her in spirit. I hope she gets to sit out the Battle of the Blues we've got shaping up.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Claire Danes - Homeland as Carrie Mathison
Michelle Dockery - Downton Abbey as Lady Mary Crawley
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story: Asylum as Sister Jude
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife as Alicia Florrick
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
WINNER: Claire Danes in one-shouldered black for OUTSTANDING YELLING IN SOME DUDE'S FACE (even Danes looked taken a little aback by their choice of clip) and I'm not sure about this dark lipstick? "As a brand-spanking--or Spanxin'--new mom..." Heh. As many awards as Claire Danes wins these days, she seems to think of even more people to thank each time. "Morena runs my lines with me every night while making dinner for me!" What actorland utopia is this? "OH AND MY HUSBAND AND MY BABY!" KTHNX GOODBYE.
"Please welcome Jessica Chas..." (...?) "...tain." I don't know either, you guys. Big WOO!! for Chas...tain, in a strapless red dress, to introduce... the Death March of Deathly Death. Oh. Well, this is just awkward all around. Usually I transcribe the list, but the phone SANDWICHed at me and I just hopelessly lost my place, so. Maybe I should just permanently skip that tradition because, so help me, I think the audience actually held their applause until the end this time.
Ladies and gentlemen! Alfred Molina and Sigourney Weaver! In anything she wants because she's Sigourney Weaver (it happens to be black)!
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire - Steve Buscemi, Chris Caldovino, Bobby Cannavale, Meg Chambers Steedle, Charlie Cox, Jack Huston, Patrick Kennedy, Anthony Laciura, Kelly Macdonald, Gretchen Mol, Vincent Piazza, Paul Sparks, Michael Stuhlbarg, Shea Whigham, and Anatol Yusef
Breaking Bad - Jonathan Banks, Betsy Brandt, Bryan Cranston, Laura Fraser, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, and Steven Michael Quezada
Downton Abbey - Hugh Bonneville, Zoe Boyle, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Jessica Brown Findlay, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Iain Glen, Thomas Howes, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Amy Nuttall, David Robb, Maggie Smith, Dan Stevens, and Penelope Wilton
Homeland - Morena Baccarin, Thimothée Chalamet, Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, David Harewood, Diego Klattenhoff, Damian Lewis, David Marciano, Navid Negahban, Jackson Pace, Mandy Patinkin, Zuleikha Robinson, Morgan Saylor, and Jamey Sheridan
Mad Men - Ben Feldman, Jay R. Ferguson, Jon Hamm, Jared Harris, Christina Hendricks, Vincent Kartheiser, Robert Morse, Elisabeth Moss, Jessica Paré, Teyonah Parris, Kiernan Shipka, John Slattery, Rich Sommer, and Aaron Staton
"Hell yeah, you nuke that lasagna, but then the cheese gets all scabby, and it's like you're eating a scab..." Guys, someone actually picked that as Breaking Bad's Best Ensemble clip. Scabby lasagna clips do not just choose themselves. WINNER: Downton Abbey, because "nuking" your lasagna is just so terribly bourgeois. "We are so not expecting this! Shut the French windows!" gasps the Lady Chosen to Speak for the Group. Madam, you are adorable. Phyllis Logan? You are delightful.
Please welcome! Sally Field and Daniel Day Lewis, who is almost literally twice her height! Do not even argue the semantic use of "literally" here, I mean it. They trade reading glasses and read their Lincoln explications off a folded piece of paper while I try to get Twitter to tell me Phyllis Logan's name. Please also welcome! Robert De Niro, who seems kind of unimpressed with the proceedings as a whole this year?
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty as Maya
Marion Cotillard - Rust and Bone as Stéphanie
Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook as Tiffany Maxwell
Helen Mirren - Hitchcock as Alma Reville
Naomi Watts - The Impossible as Maria Bennett
WINNER: JENNIFER LAWRENCE, TO THE DELIGHT OF ALL! Seriously, we get multiple reaction shots of both Jessica Chastain and Marion Cotillard looking giddy at the mere thought of all the post-show interview gifs that will spring up in Lawrence's wake. WELL THAT WAS AN UPSET. Maybe you can cheer up NOW, De Niro? "I'd like to thank MTV--I'll explain that." Yeah, you might want to. Ah, it's how she got her SAG card. "And now I have... this naked statue... which means some of you voted for me..." BREATHE. AIR. TAKE IT IN. She thanks David O. Russell for helping so many sons and daughters and husbands and wives, and Bradley Cooper, and just sort of waves her hands re: Harvey Weinstein and calls him a "rascal." I... guess that's the word for it?
Come on, people. We've got nine minutes! Hurry up so you can replay the show immediately, TNT!
Wow. Viola Davis in one-shouldered bright jade green might be my favorite dress so far. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome her.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook as Pat Solitano
Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln as Abraham Lincoln
John Hawkes - The Sessions as Mark O'Brien
Hugh Jackman - Les Misérables as Jean Valjean
Denzel Washington - Flight as Whip Whitaker
WINNER: Daniel Day Lewis. I suspect this is why Hugh Jackman mouthed hello to someone as the camera lingered on him, because he knew there was no way he was getting up on that stage. Wow, even Bradley Cooper looks pleased. "He's probably not looking in tonight, but Joaquin, you are a wonderful actor..." I'm guessing this is about Joaquin Phoenix winning an award overseas (BAFTA?) and being like (fairly close paraphrase), "I guess you didn't see Lincoln? There's this young up-and-comer named Daniel you might want to look at..." "And then it occurred to me that it was an actor who murdered Abraham Lincoln..." That maybe got a bigger laugh than he expected. Yes, I guess it is fitting that an actor try to "bring Lincoln back to life" every now and then, given the unnerving sorcery involved in this performance.
Please welcome! Jude Law! You have three minutes, GET ON IT.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Argo - Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, John Goodman, Scoot McNairy, and Chris Messina
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Penelope Wilton
Les Misérables - Isabelle Allen, Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Huttlestone, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Tveit, Colm Wilkinson
Lincoln - Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, David Strathairn
Silver Linings Playbook - Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Anupam Kher, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Jacki Weaver
WINNER: Argo. Aw, shit, y'all, there's your Best Picture. They couldn't even throw Most Acting to Les Mis. Heh, Ben Affleck speculates that he might become a better actor for standing now in the "radiation" where Daniel Day Lewis just stood. Something something "wait FIRST I WANT TO THANK MY WIFE and my kids, who I love, and Warner Bros. (who I love)..." Ben Affleck is HIGH on LIFE and on NOT WINNING BEST DIRECTOR UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU GUYS. It is 8:59:45 pm and he has got OTHER THINGS TO WIN. PEACE.