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Mystery Oscar Theater 2008!

The Beachwood live-blogs the Oscars. Sort of.


TIM: I won't be tuning in, but I am interested in the results - reportedly every Oscar winner this year also earns a superdelegate spot at the Democrats' convention. There will be blood.

JULIA: Did anyone just see Gary Busey grope Jennifer Garner and Laura Linney on the red carpet on E!? Talk about Darwin's waiting room . . .

TIM: Not yet - which award is it up for? (I believe the actual title is The Groping of Jennifer Garner and Laura Linney on the Red Carpet on E! by the Graying Lothario Gary Busey, or: Dr. Strangelove.)

STEVE: It's about the movies, but it's on TV!


JULIA: What are Kimora Lee Simmons and Miley Cyrus doing on the red carpet? Kimora looks like Imelda Marcos and Guiliana DePandi Rancic has a large noggin. Note to Kimora: No one cares that you have two kids and can't wear a size 0. It ain't about you, honey.

- Patrick Dempsey, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Javier Bardem - yum.

- Jennifer Hudson looks like she's wearing a shower curtain.

- Tilda Swinton looks like a pre-pubescent boy who carries water for the high school football team.

- Colin Farrell could use a shower and perhaps an STD test.

- Heidi Klum was wearing a large decorative wicker ball on the top of her head that would have looked more at home in a ceramic bowl in a Pottery Barn catalog shoot.

- John Travolta, GI Joe, Curious George, and the Seinfeld Bee all have the same barber.

- Anne Hathaway looked like she just won the Kentucky Derby.

- Teenager Ellen Page - wearing a terrible 1970's Mother-of-the-Bride sundress - was the only person who looked more matronly than Daniel Day Lewis, who was wearing his Mother-of-the-Bride earrings.

- Rebecca Miller was wearing the biggest brooch Claire's Accessories sells.

- Kristen Chenoweth started out on the red carpet wearing some curtains from a funeral home and for her performance changed into a dress that looks like my bedroom floor two days into one of my yearly sinus infections.

- And Marion Cotillard looked like a poached salmon in aspic.


7:00 - Regis Philbin is hosting ABC's Red Carpet and of course he can't be on the air without mentioning Notre Dame no matter what the subject is he's covering. Give it rest, Reg no one cares.

7:17 - What the hell did Cameron Diaz just say?

7:18 - Regis interviewing Oscar's oldest bleacher bum, Sarah Golden and I wonder how many days in advance she stakes her claim. Golden hails from Canoga Park, so knowing from first-hand experience what that little hamlet is like, I'm sure she'll start saving her seat for the 2009 Oscars next week.

7:22 - Spike Lee looks like a used-car salesman from Tarzana.

7:24 - These interviews are duller than John Travolta's performance in Hairspray. What, did Diane Sawyer write the questions?

7:28 - Thank God for Jack Nicholson. Front and center.

Editor's Note: After making the requisite Jack Nicholson sex joke, host Jon Stewart tells the audience, "Okay, now that we're done with the preliminaries . . . "

7:29 - I really miss Kathy Griffin.


7:33 - Stewart: Where's the make-up sex after settling the contentious writer's strike? Does this town need a hug? Glad that Bruce Vilanch is back in business. Anyone who still references Dorothy Hamill's wedge deserves an Oscar.

7:36 - Ding! Ding! Ding! We have our first political joke! Bill Clinton's favorite film is Away From Her. Oh, ha ha ha, I'm dying . . .

7:39 - Political joke #3: Oscar is 80 this year, which makes him the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

7:40 - Gaydolph Titler? Holy crap that's funny.

7:41 - First presenter: Jennifer Garner announcing Best Achievement in Costume Design. Elizabeth the Golden Age wins. What is it with costume designers who can't design decent costumes for themselves to wear on perhaps the biggest night of their lives? The winner looked like she just came from a quilting bee where crystal meth was served along with iced tea and finger sandwiches.

7:47 - George Clooney presenting . . . who cares. Hot damn, he looks good. Wow. I wonder if he's thinking about me right now.

7:52 - Uh oh! The first mix-up of the night. Or, the first instance of writer's block. Anne Hathaway and Steve Carrell presenting Best Animated Feature Film, not documentary like Carrell thought. Do they draw straws for this stuff or something?

7:56 - Katherine Heigl presenting Best Achievement in Make Up. Editor's Note: no political joke here?

7:59 - First performance of a Best Song nominee. Amy Adams sings "Happy Working Song" from Enchanted in which she stars. Editor's Note: No writers' strike joke here?

8:03 - Showing the past Oscar wins of Michael Douglas and his child bride, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

8:07 - The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) presenting Best Achievement in Visual Effects.Editor's Note: Will he present the award to his own body?

8:10 - Cate Blanchett presenting for Best Achievement in Art Direction. She's the coolest actress around. I'll never understand why she didn't win for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth the First (or Bob Dylan the Fifth, or whichever one she was). She lost to Gwyneth Paltrow. What has Ms. Paltrow achieved since then? She named her child after fruit, practices yoga and maintains a gut-wrenching macrobiotic diet. That's it. Sure, Shakespeare in Love was great, but Elizabeth was a much better film. Oh, and I don't know who won this category. Look it up if you're interested.

8:16 - Jennifer Hudson presenting Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role. I'm surprised that Mark Twain didn't win for his part in Into the Wild.

8:23 - "What a Four Hour Writerless Oscar Would've Looked Like" montage. Ouch.

8:24 - Felicity is introducing the second nominated song from the film August Rush. This is the sorority film, right?

8:29 - Fresh from his stint at Trembling Acres, Owen Wilson, presenting Best Live Action Short Film. Another Frenchman wins. Take that Dick Cheney!

8:31 - Oh jeez . . . the obligatory animated character on the Oscar stage pandering to the audience. Some folks are stupid enough to believe you're actually on stage! Yawn.

This time it's Jerry Seinfeld as his character from the forgettable Bee Movie. Editor's Note: It would've been funnier with Michael Richards.

8:35 - Alan Arkin presenting for Best Performance By an Actress in a Supportive Role. I hope the winner does a serpentine as she's heading up to the podium to accept her award. Wow! The red-headed boy won!

8:44 - Jessica Alba rehashing the awards that are so boring a separate ceremony was held for them earlier in the month.

8:46 - Josh Brolin and James McAvoy presenting Best Adapted Screenplay. The Coen Brothers win again! They won their first Oscar for Fargo and during their acceptance speech we learn they've only adapted Homer and Cormac McCarthy.

8:53 - Miley Cyrus introducing the third nominated song "That's How You Know" from Enchanted performed by a rare entity in Hollywood, a petite blonde woman.

9:01 - Dame Judi Dench and Halle Berry presenting . . . oops! Wacky! The writers are showing that they've still got it! That Bruce Vilanch sure is clever. It's actually the separated-at-birth twins Seth Rogan and that zaftig dude from Knocked Up and The 40-Year Old Virgin, presenting for Best Sound Editing and Mixing.

9:08 - Forest Whitaker presenting the Oscar for an Actress in a Leading Role. Marion Cotillard wins for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose. Wow, the Academy is saying a big "Fuck You" to the Bush Administratio . . . I wonder how many Academy members will be audited this year.

9:19 - Colin Farrell is introducing a nominated song from some Irish film that no one saw.

9:23 - Jack Nicholson and his shit-eating grin give a re-cap of the 79 Best Picture winners. Time to check my e-mail and stretch my legs.

9:28 - Renee Zellweger presenting Best Achievement in Film Editing. Funny bit of trivia: Roderick Jaynes doesn't exist; the Coen Brothers edit their own films.

9:31 - Nicole Kidman is pregnant? You can't tell and I'd be willing to bet she's due tomorrow. Anyway, she's talking about something but I can't concentrate on because all of my attention is focused on that heinous necklace (okay, we'll call it that for now) that's draped around her neck. Also, why is her hair so blonde? It makes her look washed out. Or, maybe that pale visage is Scientology residue.

9:43 - Penelope Cruz presenting Foreign Language film. Some European film won. I don't know anything about it since I just took a brief nap.

9:45 - Patrick Dempsey is introducing yet another song from Enchanted. I didn't quite catch the title but I think it has Disney-esque words like "love," "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride," and "cast member" in it.

9:49 - John Travolta and his receding hairline are presenting Best Original Song. Call me crazy but I think a song from Enchanted will win. Well, I was way off. That song from that Irish film no one saw won. I'll bet Walt Disney is rolling over in his cryogenic chamber.

9:57 - Cameron Diaz is stumbling through her speech about cinematography. It's not a hard word to say. C-I-N-E-M-A-T-O-G-R-A-P-H-Y. Robert Elswit wins for There Will Be Blood. I'm glad Mr. Elswit thanked editor, Dylan Tichenor since Tichenor made it look so great. There's a reason why "We'll fix it in post" is more than just a saying.

10:01 - Hillary Swank doing the dead appreciation thing.

10:08 - Amy Adams presenting the Oscar for Best Original Score. Atonement wins. I hope the music is better than the book.

10:12 - Tom Hanks and some soldiers in Iraq presenting Best Documentary Short Film. My question is, how did PriceWaterhouseCoopers get the envelope over to Iraq? The winners aren't known until a few days before the ceremony, right? Is there a ballot issue we should be concerned about?

10:13 - Best Documentary Feature: a film about a taxi ride. I'm surprised Sicko didn't get the nod.

10:20 - I would give anything for an "Uma, Oprah, Oprah, Uma" moment right now.

10:24 - Harrison Ford is looking a little long in the tooth and quite sleepy. Hurry up now and announce the best Original Screenplay before you fall asleep onstage and hit your noggin on the microphone. I can't believe Diablo Cody won for a script where the dialogue was so unbelievable. "Honest to blog?" Puh-leeze.

10:29 - The Queen is presenting the Best Actor Oscar. Bill the Butcher wins again.

10:40 - Martin Scorsese presenting the Oscar for Best Director or in this case, Best Coens.

10:45 - Denzel and the Best Motion Picture. The Coen Brothers do it again.


Minnesota Mavens
Being the chamber of commerce-like local booster that I am, I'd also just like to point out the heavy Minnesota flavor to this year's elite films. - Don Jacobson

1. The Coen Brothers. From St. Louis Park, Minn., where once the snows melt this spring they will return to shoot their next film, a comedy about a suburban Minneapolis schlub in the '60s. All indications is it sounds a lot like their father, a University of Minnesota economics professor. Ethan Coen, scouting locations, has already expressed regret that his childhood Red Owl grocery store has been torn down. Red Owl meant a lot to all of us.

2. Diablo Cody. An honorary Minnesotan (and native Chicagoan) who got her start at the local alterna-rag City Pages. Minneapolis is also where she did her infamous stripping. We embrace her nakedness.

3. David Carr, a Minnesotan if ever there ever a Minnesotan there was, is now the official Academy Awards reporter & video blogger for the New York Times. He was on the Coen 'n' Cody tips from the get-go.


Message From Marfa
Tom Michael writes: Minnesota? What about Marfa? A big Oscar winner this year. Our little town of 2,000, the site of No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood.


Behind the Oscars
"It may surprise some people to learn that the pinnacle award of the Oscar evening, Best Picture, wasn't given out amongst the first Oscars. In 1927, two awards were given, one for Best Production to William Wellman's Wings, and Most Artistic Production to F. W. Murnau's Sunrise," Rod Heath writes at Ferdy On Films. "The Oscars were established basically as an exercise in personal aggrandizement by Louis B. Mayer and his fellow studio cronies."

Heath's take on what's happened since is a must-read.

"If the Oscars were honest about the audience it services, they would more resemble the MTV Film Awards and give out Oscars for Best Explosion," he writes. "Only the French give prizes to four-hour-long movies shot with handheld cameras about crack addicts with epileptic children and magic-realist fables about flying goats who represent the history of Uzbekistan."


"If ever there was a category that seems almost entirely irrelevant to the Oscars, it is Live Action Short Film," Marilyn Ferdinand writes. "These nominees have been the province primarily of first-time directors, perhaps even projects for graduation from film school. They don't get general releases in theaters, at least, not here in the States. In fact, the only short I can remember seeing in conjunction with regular theatrical runs was The Heart of the World (2000) by Canadian director and cult favorite Guy Maddin. In fact, it got played over and over with various films until I was pretty damn sick of it.

"However, the very first films ever made were live action shorts. An entire industry was built on these short stories of the screen, which may be one reason the Academy has been reluctant to eliminate this category from its Oscar ballot."


Oscar Snark
St. Fugmo's Fire.


"What can you say about an Academy Award show so hopelessly lame and lifeless that even the normally-interesting Who Died Last Year? segment is populated mostly by agents?" writes our very own Scott Buckner in What I Watched Last Night.


- Tim Willette, Bethany Lankin and Steve Rhodes contributing


Posted on February 25, 2008

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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