Here’s “People’s Sexiest Man to Portray Truman Capote,” Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Well, it’s true.) Best Actress, oh God. Oh thank God, Helen Mirren has won. I’m not sure what would have happened if she hadn’t. Riots, maybe. Trufax: “An Indian hand reader once told her that her success would not peak until her late forties.” Awww, she’s happy and wants to share her “gold star” with all the other actresses. What really struck me was how Barbara Walters asked her if “the best is yet to come,” and Mirren replied, “No, I don’t think so. I think this is the best part right now.” It was both honest and awesome and a little bittersweet. I missed the rest of her speech, sadly, because Sister Girl (who had in theory gone to bed) wanted to know if the universe had imploded or not.
Interpretive dance for The Departed: A firing gun. Firing what, I don’t want to know.
We come back, and Ellen’s vacuuming in the front aisle: “Helen Mirren’s asking for a rum and coke... Penelope, that’s a very large dress... here’s someone’s rolling papers. Oh, the band's...”
Wow, we’re really moving at a clip now. Here’s Reese Witherspoon with Best Actor. There’s at least a chance that Peter O’Toole might win this one, although, quite honestly, I’m kind of expecting anything at this moment. Oh, thank God, Forest Whitaker wins. Again, no riots. Whitaker is breathless and mumbling. Aww, cut to James McAvoy, touched and smiling in the audience. He’s given really twitchy, disconnected speeches all season, but Whitaker actually pulls it together for the Oscars and gives a really beautiful speech about being a kid from Texas raised in South Central who got to touch his dreams. Seriously, we’ll find a transcript or a clip tomorrow, it’s lovely.
Oh God, it’s Best Director. You know how I know? Spielberg, Coppola and Lucas stride out. They’re here to give it to Scorsese. Don’t tell me they’re not. (Heeeee. “Hey guys,” says Lucas, “I never won an Academy Award...” “Then why are you here?”) Scorsese gets a big cheer, but I swear to God he is crying. He has the most awful look on his face, like he just knows he’s about to lose. Oh, thank God, Scorsese wins. De Niro can put down his phone and call off the hit squad. “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!” barks Scorsese, perhaps so the standing ovation will shut up and let him talk before the orchestra plays him offstage. “Please! Please! Could you double-check the envelope?” Awwwwwwwwww. And he even acknowledges that this was presented by his “old, old friends.” Everyone knew the score. I’m happy for him, I wanted him to win (except for the time I wanted him to lose so the Academy could live forever with its shame), but these last three awards have been more about preventing civil unrest than anything.
(Peter O’Toole is out there in the audience, I can see him, and he looks a little waxy. He should have won so many years ago, y’all.)
Backstage, Jack Nicholson bear-hugs Scorsese.
Helen Mirren explains a clip of The Queen. And there she is in the audience, sitting there with her Oscar. Awww.
Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson--what, not even a gratuitous commercial break? They must really be trying to put a quickness on it. Best Picture! I have no idea! I predicted The Departed! I don’t know! Diane Keaton may be on drugs! (Maybe that was her rolling paper...) Oh sweet Jesus thank you God: The Departed wins. I honestly did not care who was going to win, if you can believe that. I just didn’t think The Queen would, and I didn’t want Little Miss Sunshine to win because I didn’t want people to hate a wonderful little indie movie. I honestly thought the movies were pretty evenly matched this year--there wasn’t a giant blockbuster like Titanic or a moral imperative like Schindler’s List that was just an obvious no-brainer. And with The Departed, I think people can say a fairly strong movie won. It's not the strongest Scorsese ever, but it is a good Scorsese, and it's not an embarrassment, and there's no bad blood over the losing and the winning. So now I can go to bed, and uncrick my neck and rest my fingers, and rest secure in the knowledge that all the haters can shut it, because we ended up in a fairly decent timestream.