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Oscar 2011 Running Diary

February 28, 2011
Guess who's on the left

Image by moris0528 via Flickr

So what’s the best part of watching the Academy Awards? Trashing/gushing about the dresses, the acceptance speeches, the hosts, the presenters, the winners & losers, etc. I’ve loved this show since I was a little kid. It has always been must see TV in the Walsh household. The toughest four years of my life was when I helped host a black-tie Oscar Night fundraiser for a non-profit. I much prefer to be at home, vegging on the couch and taking in the view from Hollywood.

It’s pure, mindless television, which is always the best kind. Like Jersey Shore – with fewer grenades.

I thought about flooding the Twitterverse with my snarky commentary, however I didn’t think that would do the event justice. Instead, I thought I’d give you an Oscar Night running diary (my homage to the running diaries of Bill Simmons). So let’s relive Hollywood’s center stage night.

Pre-show 6:30-8:30 pm

The best pre-show is still E!’s live from the Red Carpet. The stars just seem to love the Ryan Seacrest. They all look weirdly comfortable around him. I suspect this is because he’s made of the same silicone found in the derriere of more than a few of the nearby trophy wives.

For years, the weakest Oscar pre-show has always belonged to ABC – terrible interviewers, bad location, stilted conversations. However, this year was probably their best effort.

Robin Roberts looks like she belongs there (and seeing her tower over Mark Wahlberg is awesome).

Tim Gunn is great on the ABC broadcast, cool, suave, good back and forth with each celebrity about their attire.

Maria Menounos is really the only one who looks our of place. She consistently appears like she’s on over her head.

7:43 – Hey, who brought along Warren Beatty‘s corpse as an accessory? That’s just wrong.

8:07 – Um, I don’t know who gets hurt worse by HD, the aging actresses or my fantasies about aging actresses?

8:35 – Morgan Freeman makes everything better

8:36 – The dance of the brown duck is going to be hard to get out of my mind.

8:38 – Glad to see the first joke of the night went to pandering to a younger audience by having two you, hot stars as the hosts of the Oscar’s.

8:42 – Really? We’re leading off with the Art Direction? Glad they gave it to Tom Hanks to add some star power, at least we’ll be forced to actually pay attention. And now hello to our first behind-the-scenes winners of the night, which gives me a little time to write why they blather.

8:45 – Just checked my Twitter feed, apparently there seems to be some thought that James Franco may be hosting high. I can’t see that being the worst thing. There also seems to be some desire to reanimate the body of Johnny Carson or pull Billy Crystal back from the mid-1990’s. Relax people. The Franco/Hathaway thing won’t be that bad. Unless of course they channel Dave Letterman.

8:51  – No. NOOOOOOOOOOO. Kirk Douglas! Why? Why? Why? Producers this really isn’t necessary. We all know Kirk is a living legend. You don’t need to remind us he’s still living – and 95 and a stroke victim and no longer a working actor. Of course, to prove me wrong, my wife has now laughed at all of his jokes and just dropped a “God bless him.” So obviously I’m a cold hearted idiot.

8:58 – Nice catch Melissa Leo. You win an Oscar and you’re forced to match wits with Kirk Douglas. Best acting job you’ve done all year. By the way, it shouldn’t take 7 minutes to do get through one award, BEFORE THE WINING SPEECH!

9:01 – I can’t decide if Mila Kunis is hot or not. I do think she’s funny though.

9:09 – Wife has gone to bed for the remainder of the awards. Now I won’t know if my commentary is mean or not.

9:13 – There’s no reason two men should be appearing in white tux jackets – even if those two men are Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem.

9:14 – I like Aaron Sorkin as a writer. I wish he’d never speak so he’d stop coming off as a pompous ass. Orchestra please feel free to play louder and faster.

9:19 – Hey Aaron, that’s how you accept an award with grace and humility. Take some lessons from David Seidler and his winning speech for Original Screenplay.

9:23 – Anne Hathaway is the Justin Timberlake of SNL hosts and Oscar presenters – a triple threat – singing, acting and she’s got great comic timing.

9:26 – My brain can’t handle Russel Brand and Hellen Mirren standing that close to each other. If he ruins her like he’s ruined Katy Perry someone is going to have to order a hit out on him.

9:29 – Resse Witherspoon. Classic beauty – assuming that super pony tail isn’t full of extensions.

9:35 – Making my predication now, Dennis Hopper will be “the hammer,” the final dead actor, of the In Memorium tribute.

9:40 – Hugh Jackman seems like the quintessential Australian. Nicole Kidman seems like the quintessential android.

9:43 – Academy Award winner Trent Reznor does not have a ring to it. I think this has to preclude Nine Inch Nails from ever performing together again.

9:47 – The twitterverse keeps wondering when Anne Hathaway is going to appear nude on the Oscar’s in the hope of saving it. It would appear Google was solely designed to find nude movie clips of her.

10:02 – Hey look, it’s Kevin Spacey. Why isn’t he hosting the Oscar’s? Class, comic timing, smooth, comfortable – you know, the opposite of James Franco. He even does a spot on Johnny Carson impression.

10:04 – I always like the Best Original Music performances. It’s good to be reminded that a lot can be accomplished when you sell your soul to the devil. I’m talking to you Randy Newman.

10:06 – Damn, Zachary Levi can sing. And Mandy Moore is dangerously close to Nicole Kidman territory.

10:13 – You know, Jake Gyllenhaal, I’d watch short films, if I had any idea where I could see them. Other than as a yearly Oscar clip.

10:16 – Luke Matheny’s jew-fro is the best do of the night.

10:22 – While I’m sad there’s no Banksy drama, I did like the Best Documentary winner’s very brief preach. It is odd there’s not a single bank executive jailed for the 2008 world financial collapse. More importantly, one of the producers of “Inside Job” is Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie. Perhaps now that he’s produced an Oscar winner he’ll be inspired to produce a Super Bowl winner.

10:27 – Is Billy Crystal getting a standing ovation because this Oscar telecast has been so stilted?

10:30 – I love Bob Hope. I grew up loving him. But I really don’t think we needed a fairly pointless Oscar retrospective featuring him.

10:32 – Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr., both charming and funny. Now I understand why women keep offering to sleep with them. Why do I learn this now?

10:45 – Only two wins Randy? But 20 nominations! That’s amazing. Is there no one else in Hollywood who can write an original song?

10:52 – Ladies and gentlemen, Death has arrived in the form of Celine Dion! Didn’t expect the John Barry leadoff of In Memorium.

10:55 – Damnit, I was off by five spots with my Dennis Hopper prediction. Forgot the Lena Horne factor. Dennis got robbed. He was a relevant actor and icon almost until his death.

11:05 – Poor Eli Wallach, that’s the worst version of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly I’ve ever seen.

11:11 – OMG! Anne Hathaway wore the same dress for consecutive segments! The horror! What would Bob Hope say?

11:17 – Natalie Portman looks fantastic. Great dress. Seems kind of unfair though, I think she’s just channeling the pregnancy glow into her already stellar good looks. Honest speech. From the sounds of it I think she actually “earned” this Oscar. A lot of work went into that performance.

11:20 – I kind of like these little personal intros before the Best Actor and Best Actress awards. Though I think it helps that both Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock are naturally funny.

11:26 – I’d like to speak as well as Colin Firth just once in my life. For all I know he may be a pikey, but he sounds articulate and humble, even when he stammers. However, the wife was not happy about his hair. C’mon man, it’s the Oscar’s, get a trim.

11:32 – I’d just like to take a moment to thank Anne Hathaway’s genes and stylist. She is crazy beautiful.

11:36 – Is it just me or does it seem like the Best Picture awards always go to the favorite?

11:40 – Aww… kids from PS22 in New York City… click.

11:42 – Damn you Melissa Leo, you gave me goose bumps. I should have really shut off the TV.

In the end, the show itself was a tad lacking, which the Twitterverse had absolutely no problem shouting about during and after the show. However, in truth, it was exactly what you’d expect to see. A bunch of nervous stars, high production values, and poorly written award show banter. And I’ll be tuning in again next year, hoping for all the same stuff.

That is unless I’m actually at the Academy Awards, though I think my IMDB page may need a few more credits.

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