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February 27, 2005
Live Blog: The Academy Awards

I will be live-blogging the Academy Awards tonight on this post, so if you're looking for running commentary to spice up the broadcast, look no farther. I also intend to do a little bit of regular blogging during the broadcast.

Be back at 7:30 PM CT! ...

7:20 - Why live-blog the Oscars? I'm looking more towards political idiocy rather than the choices made for the awards. I'm banking on Chris Rock to say something stupid -- probably several things -- and on at least a few winners to go after the Bush administration. I just want to capture it for posterity when it happens. I don't have any favorites among the films this year, unlike last year, when I wanted nothing less than a sweep for Lord of the Rings -- and got it!

7:30 - They start on time with an intro from Dustin Hoffman. They're not going to end on time, though ...

7:34 - "Sit your asses down!" Yeah, that's a classy way to start.

7:39 - Bush bashing at nine minutes, and now it's going on two minutes. "Just imagine you work at the Gap." For Chris Rock, that's not too much of a stretch.

7:43 - "Send our love out to our troops fighting for freedom right now" -- which he just spent two minutes claiming that they weren't doing! Oh, give me a complete break, Chris, you're not fooling anyone. This has been the worst opening for an Academy Awards show since David Letterman. The only moment that even had a glimmer of humor was "They made six Police Academy movies, but no one wanted to make one Passion of the Christ!"

7:55 - Outing cartoon characters. Even Robin Williams can't make that one work. He's reaching back 30 years for his material ... I mean, Elmer Fudd jokes come right off his first album. Yawn.

7:58 - What, no ribbons this year? Did we run out of causes to promote?

8:12 - The inclusion of Albert Brooks in Chris Rock's short film about what films actually get seen was pretty funny, as was Martin Lawrence at the end. But do we need to hear even more acceptance (not "acception", Chris!) speeches, especially from people who clearly have no reason to be in front of the camera?

8:15 - You know, I've always wanted to be in films. I always thought of myself as the strong, silent type -- but never on the scale imagined by Riehl World View, which cast me in High Loon:

SeaQue City was a little blogging town on the right fork of the Red State River that got its name from a famous Kiowa Indian chief. Translated, SeaQue meant "He who slaps at the moonbats" and that's how the chief was called by the soldiers and scouts that had known the Indian for whom the sleepy old town was named. But SeaQue City was more restless than sleepy today. Their almost ex-Sheriff was getting married and heading out of town and taking their school marm, his soon to be bride, Betsy, with him.

Betsy and Ed had been going steady since he wrote her that first love note in a late night instant message right after election day; things were quiet then in the little blogging town. She had printed it out and still carried the scrap of paper around in a small locket just above her heart. ...

"Sheriff! Sheriff!" Curly was running near as fast as he ever had by the time he made the court house - bending over to catch his breath. "Well, what's all the excitement about, Curly?" asked sheriff Ed. The telegraph operator stood up and put his hand on his chest, struggling for air as he began to talk.

"It's, ... it's Rall. He done got himself paroled outta that place he was in up north. I just got a message from up the line that he's comin' in on the Noon train, ... and, Sheriff, ... he's a comin' after you."

Read the whole thang, pard. Dan even provides pictures from the motion picture, including one of the terrifying villain. Do not forsake me, oh my darlin' ...

8:19 - Tim Robbins kept it classy.

8:36 - This has to be one of the most boring Oscars in recent memory. The only entertaining portion so far has been the Johnny Carson retrospective, which only highlights the class of years gone by and its complete absence today. Billy Crystal at least entertains, even if he can't quite match Carson's definitive mastery. Chris Rock tries hard but has no class and no sense of personality. He has been, thus far, a braying ass.

8:43 - It just got worse, with (no surprise here) Adam Sandler. He had Chris Rock pretend to be Catherine Zeta Jones, and not only were the jokes telegraphed, the timing between these two supposed comedy pros made them both look like amateurs at Open Mike Night. This is the best entertainment that Hollywood can provide? No wonder their movies stink.

9:04 - Isn't this the second break where the crew gets spotted scurrying off the stage as the cameras come back live?

9:05 - Too bad Rocket Man decided to read instead of watch, after Rock's opening monologue. Beyonc Knowles is doing a wonderful job on Learn To Be Lonely and looks lovely, even if she's wearing so much eye makeup, it looks like she bankrupted L'Oreal.

9:07 - Another technical flub, during Jeremy Irons' presentation. I don't know what they're doing backstage, but it increasingly looks like they don't either.

9:26 - Sorry, but Salma isn't doing anything for me, either. To describe Che Guevara in such glowing terms in an era where we should have learned to see terrorists for who they are, regardless of their political affiliations, takes the bloom right off the ol' rose.

9:39 - What is it about lousy Oscar hosts and Oprah Winfrey? First it was Letterman, now Rock. "Oprah is so rich, I saw John Kerry proposing to her an hour ago." Oprah looked back disapprovingly at Rock, who must not have noticed, as he introduced John Travolta as Oprah's "favorite white man". Hell, I think Kerry would have a better shot at that title than the center-right Travolta.

9:51 - So far, the only really classy moments in this broadcast have been the tributes to the dead. Apparently, they left us with lots of wonderful memories but took all the class with them.

9:55 - I missed this, but two CQ commenters noticed that Chris Rock introduced Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek as "our next four presenters". Tacky, tasteless, and perfectly emblematic of this year's Oscars.

9:56 - Why is P. Diddy introducing anything at the Oscars? Does he appear in films? Or did Rock owe him a favor?

10:03 - Okay, I'm no fan of Sean Penn -- is anyone? -- but he gave Rock a well-deserved scolding for using Jude Law, of all people, as the butt of his joke in his monologue.

10:12 - "The only woman to breast-feed an Apple." Nice way to introduce Gwyneth Paltrow, a woman with more talent in her hair than Rock has in his entire body.

10:25 - Does Jamie get the Oscar? Of course; this was probably the only sure thing tonight.

10:32 - Wow -- Clint Eastwood won for Million Dollar Baby, over Martin Scorcese, who I thought was a shoo-in on sentiment alone. Martin's going to have to wait for a lifetime achievement award, I guess. I haven't seen Million Dollar Baby, but I did see The Aviator, and I don't think it was worth a nomination.

10:38 - MDB won for Best Picture. I think Clint can credit Michael Medved for an assist here; after Michael Medved inadvertently stirred up a controversy by correctly arguing that the movie was being marketed dishonestly, Hollywood circled the wagons around MDB. I'd still like to see the movie, but until then, let me say: Comhairghdeas, a Chlint, agus go mbeanna Dia dhuit!

Final thoughts: I think this Oscar presentation was nothing short of a disaster. The awards themselves were fine, no real controversies, but the presentation had to be the most inept and classless we've seen in many years. ABC should hire Chris Rock again just for the sheer pleasure of firing him later.

Thanks for everyone who stuck around all night long -- if you haven't seen my other posts tonight, take a look at them before you hit the sack. Oche mhaith, mo chairde, agus go mbeanna Dia dhaoibh!

UPDATE: The last means, "Good night, my friends, and may God's blessings be with you" in Irish. Since the Irish language apparently plays some role in the Best Picture, I thought it only appropriate ... but I forgot to provide the translation. Sorry!

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 27, 2005 6:57 PM

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