Only about 3,000 lucky spectators get to experience the majesty of Oscar night from inside the Kodak Theater, while the rest of us follow the action from our couch.
The following is minute-by-minute account from my couch. The snack of choice - frozen TGI Friday's Potato Skins. The drink of choice - selection of Henry Weinhardt's finest soft drinks.
For photos from the red carpet and show go here.
Now let's go to the play-by-play:
5:30 - So it appears the Oscars are delivered to the Kodak Theater by UPS through a digital dream world inhabited by all movie chase scenes. Interesting.
5:32 - After they named about the 15th sponsor before the show could even commence, I got to wondering - how long until the winners look down at a gold bottle they just received and say, "I'd like to thank the Coca-Cola Corporation."
5:34 - Jon Stewart
, to the surprise of nobody, begins his monologue with four straight writer's strike jokes.
5:35 - Is Tommy Lee Jones
incapable of laughing at jokes about Javier Bardem
or does he just have no idea what is going on?
5:37 - "Norbit
" was nominated for an Oscar? Everybody rushes to their computers to discover it was thankfully only nominated for Best Makeup.
5:38 - That Olympia Dukakis
joke might have been funnier if she were actually in attendance.
5:40 - The joke about their being only being a black or female President when a meteor is about to hit - Funny.
5:41 - The monologue is only 8 minutes long. I guess this is what happens when they only have 10 days to write the show.
5:42 - Those costumes for "Across The Universe
" - Frightening.
5:43 - "Elizabeth: The Golden Age
" wins for Best Costume Design - my predictions, 0-1 (I predicted
5:47 - The stage looks like the interior of a spaceship from Buck Rogers.
5:48 - Montage #1: 80 Years of Oscar
5:51 - Charlie Chaplin
looked like that!?
5:53 - If Anne Hathaway
and Steve Carell
are that good together in "Get Smart
" we're in for a real treat.
5:54 - "Ratatouille
" wins Best Animated Feature - my predictions, 1-2.
5:56 - Guidance Counselor humor in an Oscar acceptance speech? Really?
5:57 - "La Vie En Rose
" wins Best Makeup - my predictions, 1-3 ( I predicted "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End).
5:58 - That is one gloriously gray mullet on Didier Lavergne.
6:00 - Why again did Amy Adams
not get nominated for an Oscar? And why did this terrible song get one?
6:01 - That was a terrible toupee Alan Menken was sporting.
6:01 - I miss Sean Connery
, I sure hope "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
" isn't his last movie.
6:03 - Not this stupid kid dipping his McDonald's apple slices again.
6:04 - This Mastercard commercial with the active right eye is incredibly creepy.
6:07 - So "The Rock" is officially just Dwayne Johnson
6:07 - And very funny apparently.
6:08 - "The Golden Compass
" wins Best Visual Effects, I said it should have but predicted a win for "Transformers
". My predictions
thus far, 1-4.
6:09 - Four people giving an acceptance speech manage to get in before the music.
6:11 - Why do they show so many Special Effects scenes for Best Art Direction?
6:11 - "Sweeney Todd
" wins for Best Art Directions - my predictions, 1-5 (I predicted "Atonement").
6:13 - Montage #2: Best Supporting Actor
6:13 - Wow, the patter for presenters was much better in 1958.
6:15 - 45 minutes in, first major award announced.
6:15 - How did Jennifer Hudson
win an Oscar when she can barely read the TelePrompTer?
6:16 - Casey Affleck
seems confused by his own clip.
6:18 - Javier Bardem
wins Best Supporting Actor - my predictions, 2-6.
6:19 - Does Javier Bardem's mother own a silver mine or something? I've seen Zales with less jewelry.
6:21 - Flipped it to "Four Brothers
" on TNT during the commercial. That movie has a ludicrous amount of shooting with machine guns going on in a residential area.
6:22 - Those were the best two choice for the Dove Commercial?
6:23 - "Montage" #3: Binoculars, Periscopes and Bad Dreams. Funny Stuff.
6:24 - Keri Russell
is the star of "August Rush" not "Waitress"?
6:24 - Oh, she's introducing a Best Song performance.
6:27 - This August Rush
character sure sounds like he had a rough go of it according to this song.
6:28 - Hal Holbrook
has no clue what "You Got Served" means.
6:29 - That short film "The Substitute" looks frightening!
6:30 - Oh, Le Mozart des Pickpockets means The Mozart of Pickpockets - thanks for the translation, really needed it.
6:30 - "The Mozart of Pickpockets" wins for Best Short Film - my predictions, 3-7.
6:31 - No "Blue Velvet" in the bee montage?
6:32 - "Peter and the Wolf" wins Best Animated Short - my predictions, 3-8 (I predicted "I Met the Walrus").
6:34 - Montage #4: Best Supporting Actress
6:35 - "This is the Golden Age of Cinema" before presenting Best Supporting Actress. Is this show really better with writers?
6:36 - There's one of Ruby Dee's
6:38 - Tilda Swinton
wins the horse race for Best Supporting Actress - my predictions 3-9 (I predicted Amy Ryan).
6:40 - Wow Tilda just totally eviscerated George Clooney
for "Batman & Robin
." I guess it makes sense: She does look just like Poison Ivy.
6:47 - Are we to believe the writers actually filmed themselves writing their scripts?
6:48 - The Coen Brothers
win for Best Adapted Screenplay for "No Country For Old Men
" - my predictions, 4-10. (Correction to my Oscar preview, I had this as their first Oscar win: I thought Joel Coen wrote "Fargo
" by himself and Ethan
only produced. Forgive me.)
6:49 - Ethan Coen has very large teeth.
6:50 - Montage #5: How the Oscars are Awarded.
6:51 - Michael Bay
looks a lot like Peter Horton
6:53 - Did Amy Adams forget the words or something? Why do they have the girl from "Pushing Daisies
" singing this song?
7:00 - So this new Oprah show is just a rip-off of "Brewster's Millions
7:03 - "The Bourne Ultimatum
" wins for Best Sound Editing - my predictions, 4-11 (I predicted "There Will Be Blood
7:05 - Seth Rogen
and Jonah Hill
manage to carry a joke through two categories and keep it funny. Impressive stuff, but no Adrien Brody
7:06 - "The Bourne Ultimatum" wins for Best Sound Mixing - my predictions, 4-12 (I predicted "Transformers").
7:07 - Montage #6: Best Actress
7:10 - I have seen this same clip of Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" dozens of times, and I still have no idea what she's saying.
7:13 - Marion Cotillard
wins Best Actress - my predictions, 4-12 (I predicted Ellen Page
). Cotillard better brush up on her English quickly because the roles are about to come pouring in. They announced the Best Actress categories very early - there's still eleven categories left!
7:18 - Nintendo Wii with the girl singing the "August Rush" song? Hilarious.
7:20 - The evening hits its high point with a fine performance of "Falling Slowly" from "Once
," though it would have been better without the orchestral accompaniment.
7:22 - Jack doesn't sound too good. Let's hope it's just a cold.
7:23 - Montage #7: A rundown of 79 Best Picture winners.
7:25 - Some really terrible movies have won Best Picture - "The Greatest Show on Earth
"? "Around the World in 80 Days
"? "Oliver"? Gimme a break.
7:29 - "The Bourne Identity" wins Best Film Editing as I said it should have. I predicted, however, that Roderick Jaynes would win for "No Country For Old Men". I wish he would have, that guy looked funny. My predictions, 4-13.
7:31 - Did a chandelier fall on Nicole Kidman
7:32 - It's nice to see them give an Honorary Oscar to somebody who toiled behind the scenes.
7:35 - Unfortunately, his speech results in the largest non-commercial break bathroom trip in Oscar history for home viewers.
7:40 - Flipped to "The Departed
" on Cinemax during the commercial. Mark Wahlberg
really should have won Best Supporting Actor.
7:43 - "The Counterfeiters" wins for Best Foreign Language Film, my predictions - 5-14.
7:44 - Turns out Patrick Dempsey
is Versatile AND Handsome. Thanks Oscar announcer!
7:46 - Who is this Amy Adams look-a-like and does anybody have her phone number?
7:50 - In the one category I was really rooting for all night, "Falling Slowly" wins for Best Song. The acceptance speech kind of reminds me of when the U.K. version "The Office" won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series. My predictions, 6-15.
7:54 - Evil Uncle Jessie in "A Raisin in the Sun". Bringing Marketa Irglova back out to finish her speech is a classy moment as I can remember at the Oscars, and her speech equaled that class.
8:00 - "There Will Be Blood" wins for Best Cinematography - my predictions, 6-16.
8:01 - Montage #8: In Memoriam
8:04 - In a stunning upset, Ingmar Bergman
beats Heath Ledger
for most applause during the "In Memoriam" montage.
8:08 - "Jaws
" and "Close Encounters
" wouldn't have been as good without the score. Is this category introduction and backhanded shot at Steven Spielberg
8:10 - "Atonement" wins for Best Score - my predictions, 7-17.
8:12 - Another very classy Oscar moment from Baghdad.
8:13 - "Freeheld" wins Best Documentary Short Subject - my predictions, 8-18.
8:17 - "Taxi to the Dark Side" wins for Best Documentary Feature - my predictions, 8-19 (I predicted "No End in Sight").
8:25 - Diablo Cody
wins Best Original Screenplay becoming only the second stripper to win the award (the first being Halle Berry for her clothes-shedding performance in "Monster's Ball). My predictions, 9-20.
8:28 - Montage #9: Best Actor
8:31 - All those adjectives from Helen Mirren
. Thank God for performances.
8:34 - Daniel Day-Lewis
wins for Best Actor. Did Helen Mirren even open the envelope because I didn't see it (Did she even need to?). My predictions, 10-21.
8:37 - My digital cable says the Barbara Walters
Special was supposed to start seven minutes ago. Too bad for anyone using Tivo.
8:40 - Montage #10: Best Director
8:42 - Is Martin Scorsese
wearing the same thing he did last year? I mean the EXACT SAME THING!
8:43 - Joel and Ethan Coen win for Best Director - my predictions, 11-22.
8:46 - "No Country For Old Men" wins Best Picture completing a pretty anti-climactic finish to the evening. My Final Predictions Tally: 12-23.
That's the evening as I saw it. A very very good Oscar Ceremony overall. Jon Stewart was tremendously funny although I could have done without his reminding us how special every moment was so often. The show finished in a relatively brisk 3 hours and 18 minutes.
The best thing about living on the West Coast? Now I get to watch "The Wire" after the ceremony. All praise to Pacific Time!
- Lots more pictures from the Oscars here!
Story by Andrew Payne
Starpulse contributing writer