It’s Oscar time. Hollywood’s biggest night has arrived.
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards will determine who reigns supreme in this year’s Oscar race that pits 10 best picture nominees against each other, including the James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” and the critics’ darling “The Hurt Locker.”
In addition, comedian Steve Martin and “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin will co-host the ceremonies, which should at least make for an interesting opening. Don’t worry if you have to refresh your drink or pop more popcorn and miss a moment of the live telecast Sunday (March 7). Zap2it is here to recap the show’s highlights.
Let the show begin! (All times are Eastern)
8:00 – 8:30 p.m. – The red carpet is covered by a tent this year because it’s rainy (and yet, still sunny) outside the Kodak Theater. This is apparently the filler portion until the telecast proper begins. Not really feeling the red carpet interviewers, but it was cool that they gave a shout out to the last time there were 10 best picture nominees. And who’s that? Oh hey, it’s the Price Waterhouse Coopers accountants! Squee!
8:30 p.m. – It has begun!
8:31 p.m. – Jeff Bridge, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Helen Mirren and the rest of the best actress/actors are on stage. Gabourey Sidibe is cracking us up, as usual. Fun, but what was the point of having them there?
8:31 p.m. – Neil Patrick Harris is in the house! What’s he doing here? Is it the Emmys again? We are truly thrilled with this surprise. Good on you, ABC. OMG, he’s doing a song and dance number in the shiniest tux ever. “No One Wants to Do It Alone” absolutely kills. Big, old Hollywood-esque extravaganza with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin lowered on stage in grand style. This evening is off to an amazing start.
8:35 p.m. – Steve and Alec have us giggling for their monologue. It’s a little odd, like a tag-team stand-up. They’re discussing the various nominees, like Meryl Streep with the most nominations or “the most losses” and of course, that Damn Dame Helen Mirren. Steve Martin especially identifies with Gabourey Sidibe from “Precious” because as he says, in a film he was also “born a poor black child” (a la “The Jerk”). We’re kind of digging this buddy camaraderie. Steve brings the one-liners, and Alec sells the wacky. The staredown with George Clooney is the best.
8:45 p.m. – As we wipe the tears of joy from our eyes, it’s time for the first award. Whoa, what a brisk pace! The best supporting actor award goes to Christoph Waltz, naturally. He made “Inglourious Basterds” and we’ll never look at milk the same way again. He’s so brash in the film, but he’s just a sweetheart in real life. He gives big ups to Quentin Tarantino who deserve all recognition. Too bad this year it’s so competitive.
8:56 p.m. – Funny bit about the pretty people like Cameron Diaz and Jude Law doing voiceover work, except “The Office” star Steve Carell had to fill in for Jude supposedly for the program. Oh man, we’re film geeks for sure and love having the characters from the animated movie nominees sitting in the director’s chair, talking about their chances of winning. Old guy from “Up,” you have our vote. Ed Asner rocks!
8:58 p.m. – “Up” wins! That movie was amazing. It made us cry without dialogue. Pete Docter gives a brief and heartfelt speech.
9:00 p.m. – Miley Cyrus is taller than Amanda Seyfried? Hmm. Miley also looks older. You’re 17! Take the makeup down a notch.
9:04 p.m. – The best original song Oscar is awarded to T-Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham for “The Weary Kind,” the wistful theme song from “Crazy Heart.” Bingham makes us go “aww” for telling his wife he loves her “more than rainbows, baby.”
9:12 p.m. – Tina Fey and Robert Downey, Jr. are up. Probably the funniest people on right now. Well, that big blue bow tie RDJ is rocking certainly has our attention. They present the best screenplay award. The screenplay text on the screen as the scenes play from the nominated movies is a good way to present how essential the writer’s vision is.
9:15 p.m. – Mark Boal wins for “The Hurt Locker.” Take that, “Avatar. ” Okay, they weren’t nominated for this category, but those are the big rivals tonight, right? “Hurt Locker” was incredibly intense, so this is well deserved.
9:16 p.m . – Molly Ringwald with a killer bob and Matthew Broderick are on stage to honor the late director John Hughes. It’s bittersweet and funny all at once, kind of like Hughes’ movies. We’re treated to a montage of his films, including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Home Alone,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “The Breakfast Club” and … need we go on?
9:22 p.m. – After the montage, we get Judd Nelson, Jon Cryer, Macaulay Culkin, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy came on stage. Oh man, Mac is making us tear up. They acknowledge the members of John Hughes’ family in the audience. “John, danke schon,” says Broderick. Indeed.
9:24 p.m. – They’ve been playing clips of each of the best picture nominees. “Up” is up. And darn, if those few tinkling notes aren’t making us cry. Did we mention that amazing, dialogue-less montage? Thankfully, we’re going to commercial now to gather ourselves.
9:27 p.m. – Oh, it’s Carey Mulligan and Zoe Saldana on stage. We’d like to honor all the Muppets who gave their lives to Zoe’s dress. There must be a bit of Grover in there. A moment of silence.
9:31 p.m. – We love any Wallace and Gromit short, but it’s okay that “Logorama” wins for best animated short film. We support short films in general. Such a challenging medium! And holy guacamole, it took six years to make 16 minutes? Wow, that’s dedication to your craft. It’s good you won that Oscar.
9:24 p.m. – “Music by Prudence” wins for the best documentary short subject set in Zimbabwe. Uh, what just happened there with the speech? Did Elinor Burkett just interrupt the other dude?
9:36 p.m. – Break out the Nair because we’re going shorts crazy! “The New Tenants” wins for best short live action film.
9:38 p.m. – Ben Stiller, in full Na’vi blueness, is presenting for best makeup. Uh, well, “Avatar” was CG, so no makeup used, but we appreciate the effort, Ben. The braid and tail though make us a tad uncomfortable.
9:41 p.m. – “Star Trek” wins for best makeup. It’s not just Spock ears, people. An entire universe of aliens is challenging.
9:50 p.m. – Okay, best adapted screenplay time. “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” was a lock, wasn’t it? I mean, it’s there in the title “Based on the Novel.” There’s no getting around that. Heh, no really. It was a powerful film. Geoffrey Fletcher is rather verklempt receiving the award. It’s rather touching. Cut away to Gabourey who’s applauding and cheering. She always makes us smile.
9:54 p.m. – That was mighty odd. The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award was given to producer-exec John Calley and honoree cinematographer Gordon Willis, in addition to Lauren Bacall and Roger
Corman in the audience. Except they weren’t actually presented with them. They just stayed in the audience. Way to go, you guys! No stage for you!
9:56 p.m. – Finally, the next big award. Best supporting actress has to go to Mo’Nique for “Precious” right? The Twihards would love it if Anna Kendrick got it, but angst wins at the Oscars. And yes, Mo’Nique scores. She was so incredibly raw in that film. Her acceptance speech is short, but powerful, thanking Oprah, Tyler Perry, her husband and “Gone With the Wind’s” Hattie McDaniel “for enduring all she had to so I would not have to.”
10:04 p.m. – The perky announcer lady informs us we still have a tribute to horror films coming up. Oh joy! Just what we needed.
10:06 p.m. – “Avatar” wins for art direction, and one of the guys — either Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg or Kim Sinclair? — says “Jim Cameron, this Oscar sees you.” Okay, another reference to the film. We’re a bit bummed when one talks about almost dying. We feel you, but … yeah.
10:08 p.m. – Whoa. We totally saw Keanu Reeves in the audience.
10:10 p.m. – Sandy Powell is kind of quirky, cute and stylish, just what we want from the winner for best costuming of “The Young Victoria.” That’s a lot of bangles there, lady. You already have the sparkly beret, drop earring and print dress going on. Too much!
10:12 p.m. – Charlize Theron is ethereal and beautiful in her sheath dress, but the rosette bosom is a slight miscalculation, no?
10:14 p.m. – Okay, this is Hanh Nguyen signing off recapping duty, leaving you with Jethro.
10:15 p.m. – Thanks, Hanh! Hello everyone, it’s me Jethro Nededog and you have the misfortune of spending the rest of the night with me!
10:17 p.m. – Twilight in the house! Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart intro a montage on horror films. The last one to win an Oscar was 37 years ago when “Exorcist” won two awards.
10:22 p.m. – The expected blood and guts ranging from “Carrie” to “Sixth Sense.”
10:23 p.m. – Anna Kendrick and Zac Efron introduce Morgan Freeman (via V.O.) on a sound editing package. A little yawn escapes me.
10:24 p.m. – Sound editing award goes to “The Hurt Locker,” which seems very much deserved, though I was hoping for “Up”!
10:26 p.m. – Sound design award goes to “Hurt Locker,” as well.
10:29 p.m. – John Travolta introduces “Inglourious Basterds,” an amazing visual film from Quentin Tarantino. It really had me riveted and I’m hoping for an upset for best film. We’ll see.
10:34 p.m. – “The Blind Side’s” Sandra Bullock looking stunning, presents the cinematography award. The winner goes to “Avatar’s” Mauro Fiore, which is probably well-deserved when much of the time you’re working with green screen.
10:37 p.m. – Demi Moore, also quite stunning tonight, presents James Taylor playing LIVE during the traditional goodbye to those we’ve lost this year. David Carradine, Patrick Swayze, Dom DeLuise, Ron Silver, Brittany Murphy, Natasha Richardson, among others. This was a tough year.
10:43 p.m. – Commercial break thought: This year was meant to be more fresh and youth-oriented. How do you feel the Academy is doing so far?
10:45 p.m. – Jennifer Lopez and “Avatar’s” Sam Worthington present the nominees for best score with The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers illustrating each. It’s kind of “Westside Story,” huh? By the way, Sam said he was nervous earlier to present. Sam, you’re doing a good job!
JLo, another example of gorgeous above the waist, a mess below on the dress.
10:51 p.m. – I’m loving the “Avatar” part of the dance emulating the tribe’s ritual dance. That was visually striking in the film as well, wasn’t it? OH, and it’s Michael Giacchino for “Up” for the win! I love that, because “Up” was a gorgeously scored film. His speech is great: “If you want to be creative, get up and do it.”
10:54 p.m. – Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper present the award for visual effects. “Avatar” vs. “Star Trek” vs. “District 9.” The winner goes to “Avatar”! That’s not a surprise, though I was hoping for some love for “Star Trek.”
10:56 p.m. – Jason Bateman presents best film nominee “Up in the Air.”
11:00 p.m. – Oscar winner for screenplay at 27, actor Matt Damon, presents best Documentary feature. This win can be huge for its producers, who many times have no or very little financial gain from creating them. The award goes to “The Cove,” a doc about the dolphin trade in a small Japanese town.
11:05 p.m. – Tyler Perry jokes about having his name said at the Oscars and probably never again. Hah! He’s presenting the award for film editing. He throws the camera to backstage and we see Alec and Steve sharing a Snuggy! The win goes to “Hurt Locker.” Wow, the win over “Avatar” and they seemed to be giving a little nod to the fact that they did the film with very little marketing. Hmmmm.
11:09 p.m. – Keanu Reeves presents “The Hurt Locker” best film nominee clip. He hasn’t quite broken out of the monotone thing, but it works here.
11:14 p.m. – Wow, directors Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino are introducing best foreign language film! I’d love to be at the after-party with those two! The winner is from Argentina, “The Secret in their Eyes” (“El Secreto de sus Ojos”). Hah! The recipient yelled “Vamos Argentina” as the music played him off.
11:19 p.m. – Oscar winner Kathy Bates presents “Avatar,” the favorite for best film this year, though “The Hurt Locker” is literally giving it a good run for its money!
11:23 p.m. – What do we have here? Tim Robbins, Colin Farrell, Vera Formiga, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Julianne Moore! Could this mean we’re nearing the end? It’s best leading actor in a film time!
Michelle presents a very funny story of how she and Jeff Bridges worked on “Baker Boys” together and taught her that one can balance family and career. Vera gushes over George Clooney, Julianne talks about Colin Firth. Tim introduces Morgan Freeman and tells a wonderful story of friendship – which ends up hilarious, because in the story, Morgan calls him Ted. Hah. He kids. Colin speaks of working with former costar on “Swat,” Jeremy Renner, and tells him how fascinated he was with him in “The Hurt Locker.”
Kate Winslet comes out to present the actual award and it goes to… Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart”! Wow and he is pleased! Holding his award above his head! Good for him. He attributes his parents to giving him the love of acting and dedicates the award to them.
By the way, forgive me for spelling any names wrong! Typing this quickly.
11:40 p.m. – And we’re back from commercial and now a tribute to this year’s women in film to intro the best actress nominees.
Michael Sheen, Forrest Whittaker, Stanley Tucci, Oprah Winfrey, and Peter Sarsgaard will present the nominees.
Forrest intros Sandra Bullock and tells of directing her in “Hope Floats,” Michael speaks of working with Helen Mirren and talks of how he was hot for her during “The Queen.” She has a butterfly tatoo on her hand, by the way! Peter presents Carey Mulligan for “An Education” and says she’s so young that we have years to enjoy more of her acting. Oprah, of course, presents to “Precious” Gabourey Sidibe (who O calls Gabby, ‘cuz she can) and she wonders out loud how she could have pulled off the role for such a young girl. Stanley then presents Meryl Streep and basically has the place going nuts when he jokes about her numerous wins and her selfishness. Hah!
Sean Penn th
en comes out to present the actual award. This is going to be a tough one. OH MY GOSH! Sandra Bullock, who accepted a Razzie last night for worst acting in “All About Steve” is now accepting her first Academy Award!!!! I’m so excited for her. Her first line? “Did I really win this or did I just wear you all down?” She dedicates the movie to those people who took in children who weren’t their own. She then gets teary as she thanks someone like that in her life, not quite sure if she was thanking her mother or someone else, but it was touching and funny. I wouldn’t expect any less from her.
11:52 p.m. – It’s Barbara Streisand! She says for the first time that a winner in the directing category could be a woman or an African-American. She’s talking of Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” and Lee Daniels for “Precious.” And the Oscar goes to…. KATHRYN BIGELOW!!!! This is a historic moment that’s happening way past its time. Also, what does this say for the best film category?
She dedicates the film to the men and women of the military who risk their lives for our freedom.
11:58 p.m. – Tom Hanks presents the winner for best film and he wastes no time in announcing “The Hurt Locker”!!!! Wow. David and Goliath ends with David as the victor!
On behalf of Zap2it, Hanh and I want to thank you for spending your Oscar night with us. Now, go watch TV, check out our stories from the night, enjoy the warmth of your own very warm Snuggy! Good night.
Oh, and please continue to let us know how you feel about tonight’s Oscar show!
Photo credit: ABC