8:30 PM Welcome to the 12th anniversary of the release of Chicago! (That joke will never get old. You probably disagree.)
8:33 PM I can take or leave the Crystal-y musical opening. Even from the likes of NPH.
8:37 PM That Oprah joke was briefly very, very awkward.
8:38 PM Lupita had far too quiet a 2014 after she won her Oscar.
8:41 PM J.K. Simmons is Best Supporting Actor. It just goes to show that being a Nazi prison rapist doesn’t foreclose all your dreams.
8:48 PM Every clip I’ve seen of American Sniper makes Sienna Miller’s role look awfully … um, thin?
8:49 PM Hi Dakota! It wasn’t personal.
8:50 PM Jesus, I turn on the TV specifically so I can avoid Maroon Five.
8:56 PM Shouldn’t that teacher-sex-stalker movie have disqualified J. Lo from appearing within 500 miles of this show?
8;57 PM Costume Design to The Grand Budapest Hotel, to the surprise of no one.
9:01 PM Budapest also walks off with Makeup/Hairstyling. In related news, Wes Anderson’s hair is damn weird, like everything else about the man.
9:06 PM Not sure about Neil Patrick Harris so far. It’s all been pretty cornball. Maybe we can get Jack Black and Anna Kendrick to co-host in 2016? I miss them.
9:10 PM Ida (Poland) wins Best Foreign Language Film. But how cool is it that a film from Mauritania was nominated? I can’t imagine a place on earth more far removed from Hollywood.
9:13 PM Shirley MacLaine, close personal friend of Richard Linklater. (Rent Bernie!)
9:16 PM So no mass selfie tonight? They need a do-over for poor Liza.
9:19 PM So the Lego thing was different! I swear I’m not even halfway through my beer.
9:25 PM Best Live Action Short: The Phone Call. These guys better not get any thoughts of pulling a Polish director with this speech. Folks be crackin’ down.
9:28 PM Best Documentary Short to Crisis Hotline. So basically, if your short film didn’t involve a telephone, you were SOL this year.
9:32 PM OMG LIAM NEESON HAS COME TO KILL MAUREEN O’HARA
9:34 PM NPH is officially flailing now. Oh great, and now Gwyneth Paltrow is here because things aren’t self-important enough.
9:37 PM Tim McGraw ought to dedicate “Live Like You Were Dying” to Harris, who really is.
9:43 PM I would have preferred Margot Robbie in her undies, but that was still a decent bit.
9:47 PM The Sound Mixing Oscar to Whiplash. Pretty sure it means nothing in the long run, but that’s now 2 wins for Whiplash head-to-head with Birdman.
9:49 PM Sound Editing to American Sniper; this is the one I figured the movie was most likely to win.
9:51 PM We have now reached the Patricia Arquette portion of our evening. BTW, did we really give Jared Leto a dang Academy Award?
9:54 PM Patricia Arquette, coming to CSI: Cyber this week! Nothing could possibly say more about the lack of good film roles for 40ish women.
10:03 PM “Ansel Elgort” was the name of the Chess Club president at my high school. I assume.
10:04 PM Best Visual Effects goes to Interstellar. Funny, after McConaughey lost all the awards he was supposed to get for True Detective, his popcorn movie wins an Oscar.
10:06 PM Best Animated Short to Feast, which I assume had someone phoning someone in there somewhere.
10:10 PM Best Animated Feature: Big Hero 6, avenging the sad fate of the first five Big Heros.
10:18 PM Feel free to play off the Academy president.
10:21 PM Felicity Jones sure is cute. Who wins an Oscar first, her or Emma Stone?
10:22 PM The Grand Budapest Hotel wins for Production Design, where it didn’t have any serious competition.
10:25 PM Whew, they got through “Dick Pope” with no problem.
10:26 PM Emmanuel Lubezki is Best in Cinematography again this year, assuring Birdman won’t win just the one award.
10:33 PM People died this past year, not just on this stage.
10:37 PM So is Jennifer Hudson now our national griever-on-call? And did Garcia Marquez have something to do with movies other than watching them?
10:43 PM Pretty broad support for Whiplash, which wins for Editing (Tom Cross). By the time this night is over, it could be that every Best Picture nominee except The Imitation Game will have won something. Not bad.
10:45 PM BTW, Twitter: I could absolutely not care less that Joan Rivers was left out of the roll call of the dead. She wasn’t primarily a film star. Drop it.
10:46 PM Um, does Terence Howard know he’s only pretending to have ALS? What the hell is this?
10:50 PM Best Documentary goes, not surprisingly, to Citizen Four. Those who thought the ceremony was already too political are gonna love the hell out of this! Laura Poitras made her reputation directing Flag Wars, about Columbus.
10:57 PM Octavia Spencer finally gets to do something non-humiliating tonight, introducing the John Legend-Common song that’s going to win an Oscar in about five minutes.
11:04 PM Travolta and Dazeem, together again!
11:05 PM “Glory” wins Original Song, as if the staging for that performance wasn’t enough of a giveaway. And John
Legend Stephens becomes the second massive Buckeye fan to win tonight. It’s our damn year!
11:14 PM A salute to The Sound of Music? Jesus, Zadan and Meron keep pulling this crap in the middle (or past middle) of an already bloated show.
11:15 PM Oh, and now Lady Gaga is on to impersonate Julie Andrews. Just a wild guess, but I imagine Twitter is voting thumbs down to this bright idea?
11:19 PM So that was a long setup to introduce Julie? Almost worth it.
11:22 PM Best Score to Alexander Desplat, for Budapest. Wes Anderson’s impish little heart must be gratified.
11:30 PM Best Original Screenplay: Birdman beats Boyhood, Budapest. I just wanted to write it like that … and damn, Keaton is working that gum.
11:35 PM Wow, The Imitation Game wins for Adapted Screenplay. So if Redmayne wins Best Actor as expected, none of the Best Picture nominees will go home empty handed.
11:36 PM Graham Moore with a brief but highly impactful acceptance speech.
11:39 PM Is this the longest we’ve gone overtime on the Oscarcast in recent years, or is this just the part of the night where I start thinking that every year?
11:42 PM And if there was still any suspense about Best Picture, that probably ends it: Alejandro G. Iñárritu wins for Achievement in Directing … I suppose what puzzles me about the kudos for Birdman is the number of people I know who really didn’t like it much, which isn’t common in a Best Picture winner.
11:50 PM Redmayne wins Best Actor Who Played Someone With A Disease. Not that he wasn’t real good, but it’s the easiest way to win one of these, isn’t it?
11:56 PM In a similar vein, once I heard that the oft-nominated Julianne Moore was playing someone with Alzheimer’s, I basically stopped giving any thought to this year’s Best Actress race. But hey, she’s been awesome for years.
It’s damn midnight and NPH is determined to run this envelope bit clear to the core of the earth.
12:04 AM And Sean Penn plays us off with Best Picture, which goes to … Birdman. I’m not the first to point this out, but this makes three Best Pictures in the last four years to be won by movies about people who make movies, which merits of the films aside, strikes me as maybe a sign that Hollywood is a little insular? Shocking, I know!
12:08 AM Good night, if you’re still reading, and even if you’re not. Join me next year when something other than Star Wars VII wins Best Picture, and another previously respected host torpedoes his career!