>> How my predictions stacked up
Awards I called: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume, Makeup, Sound, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Documentary, Documentary short.
Awards I biffed: Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Editing, Score, Song, Animated Feature, Foreign, Live Action Short, Animated Short.
On the whole, I called something like 15 out of 24, which is not as well as I usually do, and I was outright shocked (and not always pleasantly) by at least three of the ones I biffed (I was surprised by Alan Arkin winning, yes, but I’d at least predicted that if anyone upset the Eddie Murphy train, it’d be him).
>> Burning questions!
How did you predict The Departed for Best Picture? Well, not so much a "burning question" as something I wanted to mention. Honestly, the only Best Picture nominees I'd seen were The Queen and Little Miss Sunshine, and I figured it was probably going to come down to LMS, Babel, and The Departed, but word on the street, if you will, was that the Academy voters were deeply unimpressed with the entire year's crop of nominees; Entertainment Weekly mentioned that one voter confided that he almost left the Best Picture slot blank. So since y'all had raved so much about The Departed (and I really need to watch my DVD of it now), I thought, well, let's say they give Best Director to Scorsese. There's usually one Best Picture nominee a year that's a bit weaker than the other four and everyone's shocked that it made it in. The Departed, if nothing else, was not that movie. So it wouldn't be difficult to say, "You know what? Screw this noise, it was a good film, let's give 'em both to Scorsese."
Variety, on the other hand, refuses to believe anyone could predict such a thing. Never mind that you have it in print on this journal some thirty-six hours ago, although I will admit that my choice was larded with a good helping of "What! Help! I don't know!"
So what was up with the nominees montage at the beginning of the show? It was directed by documentarian Errol Morris in his usual self-effacing interviewer style. I think I saw it listed on the Oscar.com video page here.
Were you, Cleolinda, seriously the only viewer who didn’t like the Black/Ferrell/O’Reilly number? Yes.
So, how did people like Ellen? You know what pisses me off? Some TV critics are saying that she was bland and not really all that great (I liked her). Jon Stewart rocked it last year and no one wants to ask him back, either, because he's "too edgy." I also liked Steve Martin, and apparently people didn't think he did a good job either. Y'all, the porridge is never going to be Just Right. Pick Jon Stewart and stay with him.
(Also, I'm apparently the only one who thought Seinfeld's bit was just totally random and, because the Sanctioned Theater Littering thing is so alien to me, kind of offensive. Well, in the sense that anyone who's ever worked in a movie theater wanted to kick his ass, I mean. I liked Seinfeld when it was on, but for God's sake, I don't know that I could take five hours of "[Random thing]? What's the deal with that?")
What the hell was with the Jerry Seinfeld littering thing? I don't know, but suddenly this takes on a new meaning:
Gore thanks Leo for being "such a great ally in this [environmental] effort." Jerry Seinfeld looks bored.Poll time!
Do you leave your trash in the movie theater, or do you pick it up?
Why didn't Jennifer Hudson mention American Idol in her acceptance speech? On the Barbara Walters special beforehand, she was asked if she intended to thank Simon Cowell after the things he’d said to her on the show, and she replied, quite diplomatically, that she wanted to thank American Idol as a whole. Unfortunately, she forgot to do even that, but then, you saw the state she was in when she won; no matter how many awards she’d won before, I’m sure there was a part of her that couldn’t believe they’d give an Oscar to a first-time actress.
Jack Nicholson bald, what? "A publicist confirmed Nicholson shaved it for a role as a terminally ill man who escapes a cancer ward for a final road trip in the Rob Reiner comedy The Bucket List, co-starring Morgan Freeman." Well, that sounds cheerful.
Were those the real Best Costumes onstage? As far as I know, yes. They were on display at FIDM already (see pics from last year’s exhibit), so it wouldn’t be too hard to round up some models and get them on stage. From the ridiculous amount of time I spent scrutinizing the Marie Antoinette costumes, they looked like the real deal to me, although--keep in mind, "the real deal" may be one of a number of copies made for filming. Were the costumes onstage at the Oscars actually used in production, rather than replicated afterwards for the show? At least in that sense, yes, they were most likely the real deal.
I also remember in 1996 that they actually had models wear the nominee costumes down a catwalk--the Sense and Sensibility costumes "walked" great--and then they ended with a giant hazmat/spacesuit from 12 Monkeys, no lie.
Where was Rachel McAdams? She and Ryan Gosling didn't BREAK UP DID THEY OH GOD NO? Apparently Ryan Gosling said on the red carpet that she was off filming elsewhere. That, or she didn't want to attend the Oscars with pink hair.
What did the back of Jessica Biel's dress look like? This.
Weren't there any bad gowns on the red carpet? Oh my God, Faye Dunaway. And, as always, Sally Kirkland. Also, Forest Whitaker's wife was wearing a lovely yellow dress... until she turned around.
Best dressed, as decided by y’all?
“Trufax”? It’s a word I picked up on JournalFen a while ago and have now decided to run into the ground, as I do with all good things. (What? It makes me giggle.)
Best Picture of 2006? Snakes on a Plane.
The biggest thing that I missed, because it’s just not a recap unless I miss something giant: “It's not that we don't have time for long speeches. We don't have time for boring speeches....” Ellen said in her monologue, which I heard but didn’t get to transcribe. “Make something up if you have to. Say you grew up in the Bronx--they love that." If nothing else, “Bronx” should have tipped me off--and maybe I was too happy over the win itself to think straight--but when the POTC2 guys accepted for FX, the line "You know the naysayers said that four blind kids from the Bronx couldn't make it in visual effects, but here we are" went entirely over my head. Which is sad because, in retrospect, it was probably the funniest thing said all night.
Helen Mirren, beacon of awesome: “Helen Mirren met the press carrying a Best Actress Oscar in one hand...and a vodka gimlet in the other.”
The only person more awesome than Helen Mirren: Defamer reports that Alan Arkin’s win comes forty years after his first nomination, and also that he hoped Abigail Breslin would lose: "What, next year she is going to get the Nobel Prize, it's enough. She has had enough attention. I love her and I love her family; and I feel enough is enough. She is a kid; she needs to have a childhood."
The best acceptance speeches:
I just want to say too that so many people over the years have been wishing this for me. Strangers. You know, I went walking in the street, people say something to me. I go in a doctor's office, I go in a whatever. Elevators, people saying, "You should win one, you should win one." I go for an X-Ray, "you should win one." I'm saying, "thank you." Friends of mine over the years and friends who are here tonight are wishing this for me and my family, I thank you. This is for you.
And I also want to thank my daughter Cathy, who is here tonight, who worked on the film. And Domenica, my wife Helen, and our little Francesca, who's seven years old who's watching right now. Francesca, stay up for another 10 minutes but then jump up and down and make a lot of noise at the hotel. Okay. I'll see you in the morning. Thank you.
>> Helen Mirren:
Now you know for 50 years and more, Elizabeth Windsor has maintained her dignity, her sense of duty, and her hairstyle. She's had her feet planted firmly on the ground, her hat on her head, her handbag on her arm and she's weathered many, many storms, and I salute her courage and her consistency. And I thank her because if it wasn't for her, I most, most certainly would not be here. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Queen. Thank you. Thank you very much.
>> Forest Whitaker:
I wrote something down, because I thought if it would happen that I would be a little overwhelmed and I am. So, OK. When I was a kid, the only way that I saw movies was from the backseat of my family's car. At the drive-in. And, it wasn't my reality to think I would be acting in movies, so receiving this honor tonight tells me that it's possible. It is possible for a kid from east Texas, raised in South Central L.A. in Carson, who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them, and to have them happen.
Because when I first started acting, it was because of my desire to connect to everyone. To that thing inside each of us. That light that I believe exists in all of us. Because acting for me is about believing in that connection and it's a connection so strong, it's a connection so deep, that we feel it. And through our combined belief, we can create a new reality. So I want to thank my fellow believers in The Last King of Scotland. I want to thank Peter, Jeremy, Andrea, Lisa, Charles, Kevin, James McAvoy, Kerry, Stephen, Fox, DNA, Channel Four. I want to thank the people of Uganda, who helped this film have a spirit. And finally, I want to thank my mom and my dad. I want to thank my wife Keisha, my children, my ancestors, who continue to guide my steps. And God, God who believes in us all. And who's given me this moment, in this lifetime, that I will hopefully carry to the end of my lifetime into the next lifetime. Thank you.
>> More coverage
People: Red carpet gallery.
USAToday: Backstage with the winners; a rundown of the best speeches.
Cinematical: Oscar Partiers Feed Homeless Leftover Smoked Salmon and Truffles!
The Fug Girls cover the carpet, which is of course the best coverage of all.
Back to your regularly scheduled linkspam:
Roth wins PEN/Faulkner literary award.
Sorority Evictions Raise Issue of Looks and Bias. More from particle_person here:
The 23 members included every woman who was overweight. They also included the only black, Korean and Vietnamese members. The dozen students allowed to stay were slender and popular with fraternity men — conventionally pretty women the sorority hoped could attract new recruits. Six of the 12 were so infuriated they quit....
A few days after the interviews, national representatives took over the house to hold a recruiting event. They asked most members to stay upstairs in their rooms. To welcome freshmen downstairs, they assembled a meet-and-greet team that included several of the women eventually asked to stay in the sorority, along with some slender women invited from the sorority’s chapter at Indiana University, Ms. Holloway said.
“They had these unassuming freshman girls downstairs with these plastic women from Indiana University, and 25 of my sisters hiding upstairs,” she said. “It was so fake, so completely dehumanized. I said, ‘This calls for a little joke...’ ”
Sweeney Todd Starts Principal Photography.
Trailer for Don Cheadle's Talk To Me Is Online: "Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film is the biography of Ralph 'Petey' Greene, an ex-con who became an Emmy winning broadcaster and social activist."
Ward Sucks Up In BloodRayne II: "Zack Ward told SCI FI Wire that he couldn't pass up the opportunity to star in BloodRayne II: Deliverance." No part of this sentence makes any sense to me.
Paquin Bites Into pilot for True Blood, "from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball for HBO."
Neil Gaiman says that the American Gods BPALs did so well that he and Terry Pratchett are letting the Lab do Good Omens scents next. Proceeds are going to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; this first batch raised $6000.
Scrotumgate: This is the brouhaha about the Newbery winner that mentions That Word. What I find most interesting about the whole thing, though, is what lyricalnights mentions: “As a librarian and someone who's been following this story quite closely, I feel compelled to mention that it is not by any means a bunch of librarians or anybody else getting upset over the book, and that particular NYT article is about the most biased piece of junk reporting I've seen in a long time. They took a handful of the most inflamatory statements on an informal listserv and created about a million times more hubbub than originally existed. And at least one of the quoted librarians has come forward to say that her mildly cautious reply to the reporter's questions were completely twisted for publication.”