So here we are again, folks. This is Hollywood’s big night, and there are two schools of thought for how to approach it. There’s the congratulatory side where we get swept up in the pageantry of the big night, and then there’s the more cynical side where we see a bunch of millionaires and billionaires celebrate each other.
I’ve been watching the Oscars for as long as I can remember, and it really comes down to the production quality of the show in terms of which side I take as a viewer. Occasionally, you’ll get a good year like when Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin co-hosted or when Hugh Jackman was the MC, but more often than not, the show is caught in a difficult position of appeasing the people in the room (who want to be congratulated for all their hard work) and the people at home (who just want to be entertained). Caught between two masters, the show falls on its face, feels long, and the jokes fall flat.
That being said, hope always springs eternal with the Oscars. This is the first year since 2013 where Neil Meron and Craig Zadan haven’t produced the show, so hopefully this means we’ll be getting a better broadcast. At the very least, in this racially-charged year, they couldn’t have a better, more insightful host than Chris Rock. He may not make everyone in the room happy, but he’ll probably have us laughing at home.
I’ll be following along all night, making various quips here and on Twitter, so please follow along and have fun in the comments section. Let’s make it a good night.
The live blog will begin at 8pm EST, a half-hour before the ceremony begins (I can’t do 90 minutes of red carpet. I’m only human).
8:00pm — Let the live blog begin! Now I, a man whose wardrobe consists largely of t-shirts and jeans, will comment on haute couture.
8:04pm — “This is the end of it all.” Dude, at least act like you’re not a shoo-in to win.
8:12pm — There are people who watch red carpet all day on E! I want to say they’re the real heroes, but no one who watch E! is a hero unless it’s The Soup.
8:19pm – No joke: Theron’s dress is stunning. Best I’ve seen of the night so far.
8:21pm – Phrase that doesn’t get you far these days: “I’m with gladiator.”
8:23pm – There was a meeting and someone said, “Make sure you ask people if they have advice for the people who couldn’t possibly be watching this.”
8:26pm — And now for four minutes of ads before the ceremony begins!
8:30pm — THEY’VE ACTIVATED THE REACTOR. CORE IMPLOSION IMMINENT.
8:32pm — I wonder if that half-second clip from ‘Amy’ is the only look at a documentary in this montage.
8:34pm — “If they nominated host, I wouldn’t even get this job!” – Chris Rock.
8:36pm — Oh, this is going to start a conversation about what qualifies as “real things.” Fire up the thinkpiece-o-tron!
8:37pm — It took 20 years for that Wild Wild West joke to arrive, but it got here right on time.
8:39pm — “It’s not track and field!” – Favorite joke so far.
8:40pm — “You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist.” That’s tomorrow’s headline.
8:42pm — Chris Rock makes a damn fine case for Paul Giamatti getting an Oscar.
8:44pm — He also makes a good case for what Clooney should wear next year.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Spotlight
8:47pm — Expected it to win in this category, but still glad the night begins with a Spotlight win and that the film won’t go home empty-handed.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – The Big Short
8:52pm — Oscar-winner Adam McKay has a nice ring to it. In a related story, I’M IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION.
8:55pm — McKay’s speech was good, but I wish he had thanked Prestige Worldwide.
8:59pm — We just found the way to make The Revenant watchable.
9:02pm — Yeah, we all thought the Stacey Dash moment was awkward. It’s not just you.
9:05pm — If they want to be faithful to the Spectre opening credits, Sam Smith will get attacked by a swarm of octopi.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
9:13pm — Good for Vikander. 2015 was her year. Wish she won this for Ex Machina instead, but so it goes.
9:14pm – When they were pitching the crawl, did someone say something like, “No, it’s okay. The winner will just say ‘If you mean something to me, check this crawl at the bottom of your screen.'”
BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Mad Max: Fury Road
9:20pm – You can now say “Oscar winner Mad Max: Fury Road.” Feels good. Feels right.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Mad Max: Fury Road
9:23pm – Damn straight.
9:26pm – Did Jared Leto develop a Scandinavian accent?
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING – Mad Max: Fury Road
9:27pm — You can’t stop this war rig, baby.
9:30pm – HOW IS THIS ONLY THE FIRST TIME WE’VE CUT TO CLAPPING BEAR?!?
9:36pm — I wish they told us what lenses they used on all of the nominees, just as a prelude.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – The Revenant
9:37pm — Three-peat for Chivo. It’s a shame his beautiful visuals are in service of a vapid story.
BEST EDITING – Mad Max: Fury Road
9:40pm – I was slightly more impressed with Big Short‘s editing, but I’m not going to complain about Mad Max being a beast in the technical categories.
9:43pm — But let’s get real people: Jack Black was robbed for Bernie.
9:48pm — Nice little sound montage.
BEST SOUND EDITING – Mad Max: Fury Road
9:49pm — If you packed your ballot with Mad Max, you’re riding eternal, shiny and chrome.
BEST SOUND MIXING – Mad Max: Fury Road
9:52pm — I’m not going to lie: I like see Mad Max win all of these head-to-head competitions with The Revenant. And in the back of my mind, I’m thinking “Maybe…” for Miller winning Best Director now.
9:54pm — Congratulations, Oscars. You just made a case for why Andy Serkis is overdue for an award.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – Ex Machina
9:56pm — Almost made it to 10pm with a perfect ballot. Oh well. Nice to see Ex Machina pick up an Oscar even though I think Mad Max was more impressive.
10:00pm – One of the biggest cheers come for the droids.
10:05pm – Chris Rock is gaming the Girl Scout cookie system!
10:07pm – Like anyone in that room eats carbs.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM – Bear Story
10:08pm – I would have given it to World of Tomorrow, but all 5 nominees were great.
10:10pm – And now to celebrate 20 years of Toy Story thanks to our Disney overlords.
BEST ANIMATED FILM – Inside Out
10:13pm — Did the Oscar music just try to pitch a Beverly Hills Cop reboot starring Kevin Hart?
10:24pm — Rock did this bit last time he hosted. I liked it!
10:25pm — No one feels like Trumbo should have been a bigger hit except the people who made Trumbo.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies
10:31pm — I really would have liked to see Stallone go the distance and pick up that acting Oscar, but Rylance was good too. No complaint here.
10:38pm — “You’re coming here winners and you’re going home millionaires.” Can we get Louis CK to host next year?
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT – A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – Amy
10:43pm — Amy is fine. The Look of Silence is a billion times better.
10:45pm — “If anyone’s upset by that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids.” Nice.
10:49pm — You know, if my dad were Chris Rock, I’d sell a lot of girl scout cookies too. Also, my life would be different in other ways.
10:55pm — Fun fact: It’s difficult to keep up the live-blog as the show goes on because this program IS EXHAUSTING.
10:56pm — Is everyone prepared to be outraged when ____ isn’t included in the In Memoriam?
11:03pm — Abraham Attah could fit Tremblay in his pocket.
BEST SHORT FILM – Stutterer
11:05pm — Glad I didn’t get shut out in the shorts category. Also glad Ave Maria lose because that short is garbage.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – Son of Saul
11:08pm — I wonder if you’re allowed to put your feet on the railing if you’re seated in a balcony section. Probably not.
11:10pm — Playing Joe Biden on stage to the Indiana Jones theme is one of the highlights of the night.
11:13pm — “It’s a song about sexual abuse, and we want to shoot energetically, but also really classy.” “Um…”
11:15pm — That’s a very powerful message for a not very good song.
Best Original Score – The Hateful Eight
11:22pm – Long overdue, but glad he finally got it.
Best Original Song – Spectre
11:27pm – We really should just end the Best Original Song category.
11:35pm — Just four categories left people. We can do this!
Best Director – Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant
11:38pm – I must have misheard all those people in the technical categories. I could have sworn they were thanking George Miller.
Best Actress – Brie Larson for Room
11:48pm – This is why we told you to watch Short Term 12. She’s the real deal, and I don’t think this will be the only Oscar she gets in her career.
11:51pm — Thank fuck I can see the finish line.
Best Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
11:55pm – Let’s give that successful, rich guy a standing ovation! He waited his turn!
11:58pm – Okay, let’s finish this sumbitch.
Best Picture – Spotlight
12:00pm – I got it right! I trusted my instincts and got my Best Picture prediction right! Good night!