Posted Feb 10 2020

Last Word Live Blogs The Oscars

So, with no host once again this year, how will the Oscars kick off tonight?

Following Queen last year, could it be the already scheduled Elton? Although he will more than likely want to play the difficult-but-nominated “new” song. But could probably be persuaded to chuck in a medley of a couple of classics.

We, however, are hoping the Oscars go ballsy – as do EON – and open the whole thing with the world premiere of Billie Eilish’s new Bond theme for No Time To Die. Now that would be a coup. Let us see, how it all plays out…turns out it’s the great Janelle Monae, who turns into Mister Rogers (puts a hat on Tom), and then she’s into a bad song that drops the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag into its lyrics. She’s strong and runs the room (despite a Midsommer outfit choice) – shame about the material. Hardly an auspicious opening. Standing O, though.

Former hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock then show up to not-host, but kinda fill that particular gap anyway. Martin calls it “an incredible demotion”; when asked why no one hosts the Oscars anymore, Rock replies “Twitter.” (Now they would’ve worked as a hosting gig.)  Great Jeff Bezos gags from Rock – “He saw marriage Story and thought it was a comedy.”

Followed by a word to Marty – “I loved the first season of The Irishman.”

And then they usher on Regina King to hand over the first award of the night – Best Supporting Actor – which deservedly (and expectedly) goes to Brad Pitt. Hugs Leo, makes a good speech – gets political with John Bolton. Big love to QT, to stunt crews. “Once upon a time in Hollywood – ain’t that a truth!”

Beanie Feldstein introduces Mindy Kalling to introduce Best Animated – (so no host,  but people introducing people who introduce people who win? Oh well, sort of a plan) and she gives the gong to Toy Story. So we guess an Oscar can go to a “4” after all.

She hangs around for best Animated Short – and gives it to Hair Love.

Which bleeds into Josh Gadd, making a gag about Frozen II – the only one it had, but does a much better job introducing Idina Menzel (one for Travolta fans) for Into The Unknown from same. She is joined by many “dubbing Elsas” as we believe they’re known, from around the world.

Which brings us to Kelly Marie Tran (life after Star Wars, if only just)  and Questlove who introduces Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves – oh goody, a Something’s Gotta Give reunion – at last! Genuine chemistry, at least.

Here for the Screenplay Award – which involves Keanu reading out load - and Original goes to Parasite – a sign of things to come?

Natalie Portman and Timothee Chalamet take on Adapted – notably less chemistry! – and Taika takes it for JoJo Rabbit – a popular win amongst many (though not QT.) Says his Oscar is light, but thanks his mum. Which is nice. The man is uncharacteristically short for words.

Shia LeBeouf shows up to deliver Best Live Action Short – a win for The Neighbour’s Widow.

Now a reunion worth talking about – Kirsten Wiig & Maya Rudolph (are they ever really apart) - and they’re upset, “p o’ed, tee’d off” and it’s all about…they were acting. (Harvey Keitel looks confused.) They were just showing range. Funniest thing so far. They’re here for Production Design – taken away by – they do crying too – for Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood. Quentin even smiled – his Screenplay even got called “an epic masterpiece” after losing to Parasite – no wonder he’s smiling!

Maya (who has a pending doctor’s appointment) and Kirsten stay on for Costume Design. And decide to show more range by singing – if they go back to hosts next year, look no further. The Award itself is a win for Little Women and Jaqueline Durran – thanks Greta as well she should.

Pause for a song – Diane Warren (oft nominated and just about always deserved) – and Chrissy Metz singing Breakthrough’s I’m Standing With You.

Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough – and a gun-toting Charlton Heston – are “montaged” for Best Documentary Feature, with Mark Ruffalo (you know, the serious one – four of the five are directed by women – so what. Great? Stop moaning??) to read the noms and give the gong to American Factory, as expected.

Ruffalo hangs around for Best Doc Short which goes to Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone If You’re A Girl – they mention Frank Capra, a good story about the last four decades of trying to get movies made – “This movie is my love letter to the girls” of Afghanistan.” Great speech – on many levels.

And we’re back to the big guns – Mahershala Ali is here to hand out the Laura Dern award…sorry, Best Supporting Actress…which goes to Laura Dern. Well deserved, if obvious. Hope she makes a good speech – it’s been a while in the coming…thanks Netflix and Ted Sarandos (good on her) as well as Noah and Greta. Thanks her parents and “acting legends” Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern – nice move, Happy Birthday.

Anthony Ramos emerges from the crowd to display a bad outfit and introduce Lin-Manuel Miranda – obviously here to introduce someone else – as the night appears to be going. Mentions John Hughes and Don’t You Forget About Me, before intro’ing a medley of classic movie songs – Simple Minds included. Say Anything, Purple Rain, The Graduate and the Tiny Dancer moment from Almost Famous make it all worthwhile. Great compilation…all of which brings us to Eminem and 2003 winner Lose Yourself. Not quite sure why.

But it does, in some almost abstract way, set up the Sound awards, which have gone some kind of Latin by having Oscar Isaac and Selma Hayek stump for Sound Editing, which is all for Ford V Ferrari (or Le Mans 66 depending on where you live.)

They stick around for Sound Mixing – which goes home with the 1917 guys. Again, another indication of the 1917 V Parasite smackdown ahead??

Without any intro or fanfare, the great Randy Newman shows up to perform Toy Story 4’s I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away. Now there’s a man – probably won’t win (Elton’s in the room, you star-fuckers!)

Will Ferrell and Julia Louis Dreyfuss are next on hand, in part to promote their odd-choice remake of Force Majeure, but mainly to hand out Best Cinematographer. She’s funny, he (as often) isn’t. Either way this is going to Roger Deakins isn’t it? It is. And rightly so – two wins out of 15 noms seems a bit criminal though. Lovely humble speech, mentions wife James. Oh – and Sam somebody. (We’ll see later.)

Will and Julia stick around to be ignorant about Film Editing. Once again, she’s funny, him…less so. If this goes to Parasite – there could be an upset…but it doesn’t Ford V Ferrari drives it home. Definitely not walking away with Best Pic, though – despite historical precedent.

Academy Pres David Rubin is now here to make some noise and plug their new museum – Tom Hanks livens up the dullness of “Mr Exciting” – and boy can that man sell! Does a lovely “I am Spartacus” to boot.

Which brings us neatly to Cynthia Erevo singing Stand Up from the so-not-winning-anything-tonight Harriet. Decent performance – terrible song.

Visual Effects shows up with the Cats reunion we were all waiting for – James Corden and Rebel Wilson – at least they’re owning up to their own mistakes.  Even Pacino laughs. And handing out the Oscar to the team behind 1917 – shall we all go home now?

Ray Romano and Sandra Oh come on for Make Up and Hair – she’s 87 and he’s Charlize Theron. And Ray drops the “F bomb” but gets to blame Pesci. And the Oscar goes to – Bombshell. It’s all about the ‘do, ‘bout the ‘do, ‘bout the ‘do…Rick Baker and Dick Smith get a shout out though.

Best International goes to Parasite. SHOCKER!!! Penelope Cruz kicks it off with a Almodovar-led compilation and then shows up in non-voice over form. Bong Joon-Ho seems happy – likes the change to Best International Film rather than Foreign Language. Now “ready to drink.”

And then we have Elton – not one of his best (though will provide a useful toilet break on his ongoing farewell.) But he’ll probably beat other piano man Randy. Oh well, no one said this whole thing was in anyway reasonable.

Taika is back – now with added words – to mention the Governor’s Awards, before bringing out Sigourney Weaver, Gal Gadot and Brie Larson, three women in search of a fight club. Men are invited – no shirts aloud. Some bollocks about female conductors and then we’re away with Best Score – which goes to Joker. (Sorry, Randy.) We knew it, it deserved it – let’s see what Joaquin has to say.

The three superhero ladies stay around for Best Song – come on, Elton, you want another one. And you got it – as did Bernie Taupin – bit of a legacy fuck in terms of the latter (after all, Elton’s last one was with Tim Rice in Bernie’s place.) Nice speeches though.

Spike Lee shows up for Best Director – and gives it to Bong Joon Ho. Is this the upset apple cart? Or will they still go best Pic with 1917? Minutes will reveal all. Bong meanwhile becomes more animated with every win – “Thought he was done for the day and ready to relax.” Quotes Scorsese, who gets the standing O. Bit weird.

Steven Spielberg is on hand to do the In Memorium bit – Terry Jones and Kirk Douglas – together at last, and many more. Billy Eilish absolutely nails Yesterday – bring on the Bond!

George MacKay shows up to introduce Olivia Colman to introduce Best Actor (at least he jokes about it) as Olivia points out “Last year was the best night of my husband’s life.” And it goes to – obviously – Joaquin Phoenix. So, what is he going to say this weekend? Self-deprecating if a tad too vegan. But wins it with a final tribute reference to River.

Rami Malek walks out to give the Renee Zellweger award of the night – sorry, we mean Best Actress…which goes (obvs) to the blessed Renee. Took a while but then she thanked Bob Dylan, Martin Scorsese and Fred Rogers – well done missus!

Which leaves us with the final number – 1917 or Parasite?

 And here to put us out of our misery is Jane Fonda – not getting arrested tonight Jane? – to hand over the night’s biggest gong to… Parasite. They actually did it! First film not in the English language to win! Finally, some bollocks on the animal!

“A very opportune moment in history is happening now…”

And the world just quietly changed.



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