A running diary of last night’s Oscar festivities. But first, our respective favorite Oscar Night memories:
My (Erin) best Oscar memory by far was 2003. It was my birthday. I was working at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville. Every year the Belcourt hosted a fancy gala to benefit charity. I got to bartend the evening. We poured many a drink, bid on a silent auction or two, watched the awards on the big screen, and when all was said and done karaoked to Dynamite Hack on stage. Highlight of the evening: I was sitting on a bench and a photographer asked to photograph my “exquisite” ankle. It’s as close to famous as I’ll ever come.
My (Ben) favorite Oscar memory is when I won Best Supporting Actor for my role as Otto West in A Fish Called Wanda.
7:37 p.m. While Barbara Walters asks Mickey Rourke why he destroyed his own career, it occurs to us that we still haven’t seen The Wrestler. Or Revolutionary Road. Or The Visitor. Or several other movies we intended to watch before the Oscars, not simply because we’d be better-informed viewers and would-be diarists but also because we still had every intention of finishing our long-promised “Best of Movies: 2008” post. (This was as close as we got.) As has been widely commented already, 2008 was not a great year for movies. It may not have even been a good year for movies. We don’t feel especially qualified to make a judgment on that because we watched fewer movies this past year than any year since we’ve been married. We saw very good movies (Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, The Dark Knight, and — depending on which member of Voreblog you ask — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), we saw less good movies (Quantum of Solace, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and — we’re being vulnerable here — Yes Man), and we saw two movies we’d classify as terrible: Vantage Point and The Happening. But, again, we left no movie this year thinking, “We just saw a great movie.”*
We will, however, use this space to make one controversial statement: We think Wall-E was overrated. Saying this out loud has gotten us cursed at by, among others, Matthew Leathers. The first half hour of the movie was close to perfect. But once Wall-E lifts off into space in his quixotic quest to win over EVE, things got pretty conventional and a little boring. We’d definitely recommend seeing it once, but it’s not on par with, say, The Incredibles or Ratatouille.
Phew. Glad we got that off our chest.
7:51 p.m. Matthew Leathers calls us and unleashes such a blue streak of profanity that we have to remind ourselves we’re not in a “Deadwood” episode.
7:57 p.m. Hugh Jackman just gave Barbara Walters a lap dance. We’re not joking.
8:04 p.m. Sarah Jessica Parker appears to be wearing a tent to support what Erin calls her “50 gallon boobs.” A few other fashion snap judgments: Ben on Kate Winslet: “Classy but she’s got Hillary Clinton hair.” Erin on Miley Cyrus: “I secretly love her dress, but since I hate her, I hate the dress.” Erin on Anne Hathaway: “Love her dress. Love her Chiclet-sized teeth. Jealous of her giant boobs.”
8:17 p.m. A preview for Nic Cage’s movie The Knowing! Which Nic Cage will show up?
8:27 p.m. We get uncomfortable whenever a Red Carpet host fails to acknowledge a movie star’s significant other. Three examples so far, all women: Richard Jenkins’s wife gets the snub, as does Jack Black’s wife and Leslie Mann, who was sandwiched between husband Judd Apatow and Seth Rogan. It’s just rude.
8:36 p.m. Snap judgments on Hugh Jackman’s opening number: Anne Hathaway is a great Nixon; we’re glad someone said out loud that no one has seen The Reader; and nice work plugging Wolverine too. Good start.
8:39 p.m. Erin immediately spots Daniel Craig sitting behind Frank Langella. One row over, Philip Seymour Hoffman appears to have a black spore eating him from the head down.
8:40 p.m. Our apologies. It’s a beret.
8:41 p.m. Hugh Jackman acknowledges Meryl Streep and her daughter. “Her daughter’s pretty,” Erin says. “She’s thin and pretty. I hate her.” Then, five seconds later, “She’s a tramp.” “What?” Ben asks. “You just said she was pretty.” “Well, pretty in a trampy kind of way.”
8:43 p.m. Bevin Beers thinks Hugh Jackman is doing a great job so far. The phone conversation ends abruptly with Erin saying, “Oooh! Emile Hirsch! Gotta go.”
8:44 p.m. Erin on Tilda Swinton: “She always looks like a crazy space god.” On Anjelica Huston: “You could land a plane on her cheekbones.” On Penelope Cruz: “You could also land a plane on her cleavage.” On Goldie Hawn: “Is she drunk? Are her boobs wearing their own dress?” And we both have a crush on Taraji P. Henson.
8:46 p.m. We like having past winners present the nominees. Even though some have not aged well.
8:53 p.m. We both agree Tina Fey has learned much since her Golden Globe fashion debacle, when Erin said she “looked like a busty hobo.”
8:56 p.m. We’re glad Dustin Lance Black wins Original Screenplay for Milk. He’s one of the writers for “Big Love.” Two of our favorites from the past year.
9:01 p.m. Simon Beaufoy wins Best Adapted Screenplay. Now boarding the Slumdog Millionaire Oscar train.
9:03 p.m. Someone just egged our house and smashed our mailbox with a baseball bat. We call Matthew Leathers’s home phone. No one picks up.
9:08 p.m. We skip out on the Year in Animation tribute to move a load of laundry into the dryer. Ben offers to do this alone so Erin can watch but Erin doesn’t trust him to identify which of her garments cannot be dried. This goes back to an unfortunate episode during our first year of marriage when Ben dried a Banana Republic sweater he had purchased for Erin the week before. (This was not, repeat not, a ploy for Ben to get out of laundry duty.) (Honestly.)
9:09 p.m. Oktapodi totally gets snubbed for Best Animated Short Film. We’re just about ready to boycott these shenanigans.
9:20 p.m. A heated argument erupts as to which one of us has worse gas. The vote is a tie. Scooter Thomas is asked to be the tiebreaker but he is off his rocker on the new catnip we sprinkled on his Trader Joe’s Double Wide Cat Scratcher.
9:31 p.m. Erin on Natalie Portman: “She looks like a sexy bottle of Pepto Bismol.” And we are very amused by Ben Stiller’s Joaquin Phoenix impersonation.
9:39 p.m. From the dining room, Erin mistakes Jessica Biel for Catherine Zeta-Jones. We both hate Catherine Zeta-Jones.
9:44 p.m. The best moment in Judd Apatow’s short is Seth Rogen and James Franco laughing hysterically during The Reader and Doubt. Sort of like in Naked Gun when Leslie Nielsen and Priscilla Presley couldn’t stop laughing after Platoon. If you’re gonna rip off someone else’s gag, rip off the best.
9:53 p.m. Three minutes into an interminable Mamma Mia!-inspired musical number. Ben has never been able to stomach musicals. This should be listed as a job requirement on all youth ministry applications. If you’re going to spend time getting to know teenagers, chances are good you’ll end up at more than a few musicals. Oklahoma. Guys and Dolls. Into the Woods. Once Upon A Mattress. The Wiz. Oklahoma. Oklahoma. Oklahoma. If you can’t at least fake like you’re having a good time watching a musical without wanting to rip your eardrums out, take it from me: You should rethink youth ministry.
9:59 p.m. Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock need to stop making movies. Other stars we would put on this list:
- Adam Sandler
- Kevin James
- Cuba Gooding Jr.
- Richard Gere
- Gretchen Mol
- Eddie Murphy
- Renee Zellweger
- James Van Der Beek
- Jason Biggs
- Jennifer Aniston
- Dakota Fanning
- Vin Diesel
- Queen Latifah
- Robin Williams
- Mira Sorvino
- Owen Wilson (temporarily, until he regains his sanity)
- Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino (anyone who disagrees with this will be strapped to a chair and made to watch Righteous Kill)
- anyone slated to appear in a future Pirates of the Caribbean
10:03 p.m. Ben is going to run a quick errand to Kroger until he discovers his tires have been slashed. And someone has toilet-papered our lawn.
10:04 p.m. Still no answer at Matthew’s home phone.
10:08 p.m. Heath Ledger wins Best Supporting Actor. Voreblog readers are geniuses.
10:11 p.m. Erin: “Honey, seriously. I’m going to make you watch upstairs if the stench gets any worse.”
10:15 p.m. We haven’t seen Best Documentary winner Man on Wire, but Dan Vore loved it. Philippe Petit delivers what will surely be the best acceptance speech of the night. Let’s see Penelope Cruz balance an Oscar on her chin!
10:25 p.m. Erin: “Who do you think is nicer: Brad or Angelina?” Ben: “I bet neither of them are very nice.” Erin: [gives Ben a disappointed look] “Why don’t you play my games? The correct answer is Brad.”
10:32 p.m. Erin spots a woman in a fur coat who doesn’t clap when Slumdog Millionaire wins for Best Sound Editing. “What’s her problem? She didn’t start clapping for at least ten whole seconds!” Really, if you get invited to the Academy Awards, you should at least put in the effort and applaud the winners.
10:43 p.m. Remind us again what Heidi Klum sees in Seal?
10:49 p.m. Ben cracks a window to air things out a bit.
10:53 p.m. Danny Elfman does not win Best Original Score for Milk. We’re pissed. This whole thing is turning into a sham.
10:55 p.m. We wonder if Slumdog haters will soften up given the fact that the most endearing acceptance speeches have been from that movie’s winners. Then two songs from Slumdog get nominated in that category. Seriously? One step forward, three steps back. (And what’s with this anti-High School Musical bias?)
11:00 p.m. Erin: “Alicia Keys sounds like Maya Rudolph doing Oprah.”
11:04 p.m. Ben compliments Erin on her exquisite ankles.
11:11 p.m. Erin: “Wait, Michael Crichton died?”
11:12 p.m. Ben: “Wait, Roy Scheider died?”
11:20 p.m. Danny Boyle locks up Best Director. Goes to show what filming great toilet scenes for a career will get you.
11:28 p.m. Speaking of people who should not be making movies anymore, whatever happened to Halle Berry? Monster’s Ball was, um, awkward. And Swordfish? Gothika? Catwoman? Shouldn’t Academy Awards count for something?
11:30 p.m. Sophia Lauren scares us out of our pants. Erin: “She’s wearing a red fox on her head.”
11:31 p.m. Erin: “Kate Winslet is going to win, and she is going to be a crazy, hysterical mess.”
11:33 p.m. Kate Winslet is a crazy, hysterical mess. But it’s a vast improvement over the Golden Globes. (Why does she always sound like she just ran a marathon?)
11:34 p.m. What would “Extras” Kate Winslet say about The Reader Kate Winslet?
11:42 p.m. While Ben Kingsley salutes Mickey Rourke, Erin cannot help but notice Robert Pattison sitting behind Rourke in the crowd. She apparently knows him well enough to address him as “R-Patts” “R-Patz.” (Ben apologies profusely for not knowing it was Patz with a ‘z’.)
11:45 p.m. Sean Penn’s hands are visibly shaking as he reads from his thank you list. It’s reassuring to see movie stars and celebrities get nervous. We felt this way when we held up Ted Danson the other week.
11:47 p.m. Nice touch for Penn to acknowledge Rourke. Still, we suggest he have a bodyguard escort him to his limo tonight.
11:53 p.m. Slumdog! Never have so many cute Indian kids accepted a Best Picture award.
11:57 p.m. We both agree that Sarah Jessica Parker and Sophia Lauren tied for Worst Dressed. Matthew Broderick is runner-up. Erin gives Best Dressed to Tina Fey. Adrien Brody locks down the “Is He High?” Award.
11:59 p.m. Fearless predictions for 2009 Oscars: Anne Hathaway wins Best Actor for Frost/Nixon. A movie about the Holocaust will be nominated for Best Picture. And Christian Bale wins Best On-Set Meltdown. (Imagine the acceptance speech!)
12:03 a.m. Matthew Leathers is in our front lawn torching squirrels with a flame-thrower. We call the police.
Wednesday, February 25, 12:54 p.m. Hendrik Hertzberg wanders afield and comments on this year’s Oscars. We concur.
* = Erin: “You didn’t think Milk was great?” Ben: “I thought Milk was very good.” Erin: “Well what’s a great movie then?” Ben: “There Will Be Blood.” Erin: “Milk was at least as good as There Will Be Blood.” Ben: [shrugs]. Erin: “You’re a snob.”