It's easy for the Americans to blog the Oscars, they just get some drinks in, invite some friends round and make a night of it. And even the Guardian doesn't have it so bad - ok so they have to stay up until the early hours but at least they get paid for it! Not so here at the Londonist. Here we make our staff go without sleep and watch the entire Oscars ceremony just to see what happens. Below, Euan grabs his laptop, crisps, dips and possibly some alcohol and blogs the Oscars live just for you!
So it's Oscar night/morning again and Londonist is as prepared as it can be. The snacks have been purchased: pistachios, some processed cheese snacks and for later, bacon. The bets are in, with most of our hopes (and rent money) riding on Sideways, and we'll even forgive Don Cheadle for his Ocean's Eleven cockney accent if he walks away with best actor.
The big questions hanging over this awards ceremony are probably:
Will Scorsese finally get an Oscar?
Will Chris Rock say anything genuinely controversial or just industry sanctioned controversial?
If Clive Owen wins which one of his three facial expressions will he use?
To which We think the answers will be:
No. Aviator is no Raging Bull, it's not even a Bull Durham.
No, mildly controversial maybe, but worth it only for fake uncomfortable laughing closeups of the audience.
Anyway down to the actual business:
The E! Channel is on, normally something Londonist tries to avoid but when you get to find out that Leonardo Di Caprio has some product in his hair and he's wearing Prada, it makes the whole experience worthwhile.
E! is being anchored by Kathy Griffin, not someone with a huge profile over in the UK, appearing in the odd failed sitcom but that's about it. She's kind of doing stand-up with mixed results.
Asking the "and who you are wearing?" questions is someone called Star Jones, who we've never seen in action but believe was on somekind of women's hour show. She has what is probably described in the TV presenting industy as an "In your face" attitude, giving out lots of love, and referring to people in a proprietary style.
It's early but we already miss the BBC.
Spike Lee in a fez.
Star Jones makes some kind of innuendo to a nonchalant Clive Owen, he looks bemused but she clears it up with a well timed "you know what I'm saying".
Lou Gosset Junior gets some camera time, he ruled in Enemy Mine and did some voice work in Half-Life 2 so a big hit in the Londonist house. Griffin is dying, Zelleweger is one more missed meal shy of the morgue and the first Depp sighting of the evening.
Morgan Freemans daughter is called Morganna.
Awwww, Cate Blachett seems nice, for an Australian. Johnny Depp has gone for the Colonel Sanders in formal wear look with Pirate Teeth, but makes it work. Star Jones embarasses herself, E!, and anybody within 50ft. Jake and Maggie Gylennhaal put in an appearance, we suspect that Jake burned one in the limo on the way over.
Oprah Winfrey looks hot. Is that wrong? It certainly doesn't feel right. We swap to Sky Movies for their coverage. They've chosen their presenters on what we can only assume was some kind of drunken dare, how else can you explain the presence of Jamie Theakston and Sharon Osbourne.
How? Anyone? Please?
We inadvertently ruin Million Dollar Baby by giving away the twist to someone in the room. Oops. Osbourne is poor man, really really poor, "I didn't think Sideways was any good, it wasn't funny". Theakston is doing okay but lacking the gravitas to do a real anchor job, and the general consensus is that Ray was more of a TV movie.
US coverage starts, Billy Bush leaps straight to the front of the line of people needing to be stabbed in the throat, something about the way he walks. Take your hand out of your pocket for God's sake man.
Hilary Swank looks nice but the room is divided as to her teeth. Londonist stands by it's theory that she's on the cusp of the equine threshold.
Orlando Bloom is inspired by Paul Newman's early acting, and Johnny Depp for never selling out. Good to know, piss-poor acting sell-out.
Don Cheadle breaks out the first "It's always great to be recognised by your peers" of the evening, and Scarlett Johansson's 40 a day smokers voice is really bedding in well.
When the hell do the actual awards start? We're going to get another a drink.
Peneople Cruz was just on, with the sub-title, "Born in Madrid, Spain", which hopefully clears up why she doesn't sound like everyone else, she's foreign. The awards most be starting soon, all the pundits started speaking in that speeded up voice used when they know credits are rolling and desperately need to let everyone know that there will be "women in gowns" coming up next. Thank God.
Theakston reassures us that they will be back throughout the evening. Apparently they're based at the Elton John party??
Film montage with Hoffman voice-over. We think they just implied that Woody and Buzz from Toy Story were gay lovers.
Chris Rock gets a kind of hesitant standing ovation when he walks out, does some good material, none of that too clever Billy Crystal stuff, just jokes, little bit of politics, all bodes well.
Rock finishes with a shout out to the troops, following the now standad Hollywood liberal stance, anti-war but pro our brave boys.
Art Direction goes to Aviator. This is the first time we've seen the rumoured new format where all the nominees are on the stage before they get the award. Meh. We reserve judegment untill there's some tripping.
Who the hell is Deacon Jones?
Supporting Actor presented by Holocaust survivor Zelleweger goes to poor child namer Morgan Freeman. We figured, but the odds were poor, so this probably means Foxx will get best actor. Best bit of this award was catching a glimpse of Salma Hayek sitting behind Clive Owen. Also, it looks like they're not doing the nominees on stage for the actorly awards, just the mild mannered geek ones we guess.
Apparently he's a large ex-NFL player, so it was some kind of fat joke.
Robin Williams shuts up long enough to give the Best Animated Feature Award to The Incredibles. Our first win of the evening but also the worst odds, still a wins a win. Brad Bird makes a nice speech, and we loved the Iron Giant so a good result all round.
Cate Blanchett is giving out the award for Make-up standing right next to the nominees on the stairs. What the hell? The Lemony Snickett folks win it. They're really giving the "lesser" awards the bums rush tonight.
First song nomination gets sung in French by Beyonce and some kids choir, it's from The Chorus, and we don't think she can pull it off. Vanessa Paradis is in the audience, she sings (kind of), she's French, she'd already come all that way. Oh well.
Scarlett Johannson is giving a wrap up for the techncial awards from a Muppet Show style balcony. Theres a lot of mention of cranes and cameras on sticks. Bronsnan is giving the Costume design award alongside a Computer generated Edna Modes from The Incredibles. She looks great, Clive Owen would kill for that range of expression, but it's no Roger Rabbit. The Aviator wins it.
Tim Robbins puts up with a dig about boring people with his politics by Rock, to give Best Supporting Actress to Cate Blachett. Go! Aussie Go!, as they say. She thanks Hepburn, and Scorsese. All pretty dull so far and a meagre 1/9 return so far.
Rock is keeping it simple with a nice bit in a multi-plex where it turns out people dont really see Oscar nominated films, they go to things like White Chicks. Not quite sure what the point was though. Oscars aren't a reflection of real people tastes, or real people like shit films?
Tribute to Johnny Carson, a former presenter of the oscars. He was class. Di Caprio gives out the Best Doc award to Born into Brothels. the Weeping Camel was robbed. If you want a film of desolate tundra and a disgusting closeup of a camel being born then that's your movie.
Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst give the Best Editor Award to The Avaitor. Bloom almost manages to screw it up, bless him. Another appearance for the Amazonian in a ball gown that stands by the presenters. Holy crap is she tall. Counting Crows do their oscar nominated song from Shrek 2.
This category blows, and should be axed.
SNL Alumni Adam Sandler and Chris Rock do a bit where Rock pretends to be Catherine Zeta-Jones. Sideways gets Best Adapated Screenplay. Please let it be the first of many.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Ziyi Zhang give the Visual Effects award to Spidey 2.
Another shout out to "The Troops", and Sydney Lumet is going to be given the Lifetime Achievement Oscar from Al Pacino. During a crowd shot Morgan Freeman gives a wink to camera holding his Oscar, the sly dog. Pacino still going. He's going to refer to acting as a craft any minute now. Still going. Now a clip reel. Now a standing ovation. Looking at Lumet's body of work he could have knocked out another one during this build-up.
Quick cut back to Theakston and Osbourne, Jamie makes a quick crack about Lumet's daughter motivated we assume by her fairly obvious cleavage. You can take the man out of the cheap brothel but not the cheap brothel out of the man.
Song from Phantom of the Opera is performed by Beyonce. Budget constraints? First the awards being given on the steps now this. Have to admit the whole thing has been pretty underwhelming so far, although Rock did just introduce "Comedy Superstar Jeremy Irons".
Wasp wins best short film, once again given on the steps. Hopefully on the inscription it says "Was not allowed on the Stage". Thinking mans totty Laura Linney gives Best Animated Short Film to Ryan which apparently was done by a Dave Grohl lookalike older brother.
Aviator gets Best Cinematography. Apparently pointing a camera gets you on the stage. The winner looks like Bob from Twin Peaks but he tells us his Mums in the hospital so we don't get too creeped out.
Sharon Osbourne is this country's Star Jones.
This is not a good thing.
For either of them.
Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek are giving an award to some guys for something or other. We don't really care for what, it's just great to see the Latin community so well represented. Mmmmmmmmmm...representation.
Sound Mixing for Ray apparently.
They're giving another award. Best decision so far. General consensus in the room is Hayek shades it, just.
Incredibles gets the Sound Editing award.
One of the sound geeks makes a little point about how it's not a technical award, its about making "Artistic" decisions. Get him.
The Amazonian is back in another dress, either that or they have a whole tribe of them backstage.
Hayek is still on stage introducing Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana performing the song from The Motorcycle Diaries.
Don't go Salma, there'll be other awards you could give.
Short Documentary Award goes to Mighty Times: The Childrens March.
Best Original Score is prestented by John Travolta to Finding Neverland.
Frankly, we lost interest when Salma left.
Scorsese gives an honorary award to a guy for work in preserving film and things like that. We were out of the room.
This could be the dullest Oscars to date. The salvation of our evening lies in some financial return but everything seems to be going pretty much to the script.
Time for the death roll with accompaniment by Yo-Yo Ma.
Another song nomination, another Beyonce performance, this time for Polar Express, introduced in an intense monotone by Sean Combs. Beyonce is doing a lot of hand-emoting, reaching, clasping, the whole deal.
Prince gives the Best Song award to the one from The Motorcycle Diaries. The winner sings a little song in Spanish and leaves.
Sean Penn comes out to give the Best Actress award and takes a moment to cement his reputation as the most humourless man in film by defending Jude Law about a joke made by Rock in the opening monologue. The favourite, Hilary Swank, wins it, Clint looks proud. Verge of tears but no Halle Berry, she thanks Morgan Freeman who does a little kiss of the fingers and a point, damn that man is suave.
Film referred to as a journey.
Best Foreign Film is given by Gwenyth Paltrow to The Sea Inside. We really thought Hitler biog Downfall was going to get it but it looks like it's true, the Academy loves a disability. We just need one to break even.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind gets Best Original Screenplay. Charlie Kaufman is really short, or it's those damn Amazonians ruining the whole sense of perspective.
It's Don Cheadles big moment, but watching the other perfomances it's not looking good.
Charlize Theron gives the award to Jamie Foxx.
He indulges in some musical banter with the audience.
Does a good Sydney Poitier impression.
Pretty emotional stuff, cute things about his daughter, some dead grandmother stuff, overall heartfelt and succinct.
Not that Cheadle's speech wouldn't have been good.
Time for Sideways to pull it out of the bag.
Onto the biggies.
Best Director is given by Julia Roberts to Clint Eastwood.
It's hard not to feel for Scorsese but then we did pay to see Age of Innocence so we're not that cut up about it.
Clints 96 year oldmother is in the crowd.
Best Film goes to Million Dollar Baby.
Aviator cleans up on the technical stuff (Artistic decisions not withstanding) but doesn't get much in the way of big stuff.
We know how he feels.
One win for the Incredibles but thats it.
Overall the awards were polished but dull. Rock started out strong but was hardly in the last 2/3rds, no major upsets, and not that much in the way of incident.
Sky coverage sucked, Sideways was robbed, and it turns out that in Million Dollar Baby the twist is that Morgan Freeman gets the girl.