The drama isn’t how many awards La La Land wins — it’s how long I can stay awake. I got coffee and a decent Australian shiraz — let’s do this.
11:35. Barry Jenkins, winner of Best Adapted Screenplay, gives a shout out to Miami.
11:29. Man, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have grey hair. Here’s a welcome surprise: Manchester by the Sea wins Best Original Screenplay.
11:15. La La Land‘s “City of Stars” wins Best Song. Where’s Dean Pitchford when we needed him?
11:14. There’s an arrogance to thinking this show should extend past 11 p.m. and people’s bed times. Even the Grammys are prepping Album of the Year by 11:05. But going to bed now gives me Election Night flashbacks. Anyway, Best Cinematography goes to La La Land.
11:06. What this performance of “City of Stars” by John Legend reminds me of.
11:04. Ryan Gosling looks like he wears a soft, delicate cologne.
10:56. I don’t believe Javier Bardem was moved to silence by The Bridges of Madison County. Not for a second. He and Meryl Streep, who does not deliver another speech, present Best Cinematography. La Land Wins.
10:53. These skits are like watching a Sean Spicer presser.
10:41. According to Mel Gibson’s expression, he just met the Oscar-winning editor of his film Hacksaw Ridge.
10:40. Sunny Pawar was the strongest thing in Lion.
10:33. I’ve learned that Seth Rogen loves Back to the Future , a “baseline of classic cinema,” thanks to which he learned to love skateboarding.
10:17. Okay enough with this fucking tour bus joke. Picking on the rubes won’t help you after November 2016. This Kimmel skit was a bad pastiche of a Letterman skit. I’m not sure if Denzel’s obvious disgust at being asked to say “I pronounce man and wife” to a couple of jus’ folks made me like or hate him.
10:15. why wasn’t Channing Tatum’s bit in Hail Caesar nominated? Anyway, La La Land wins for Production Design.
10:07. GAEL GARCIA BERNAL. I can’t handle this. He co-presents Best Animated Short Film. The winners for Piper are seated somewhere in northeastern Oregon. I want him to sit on my red leather couch saying My Life as a Zucchini again to the melody of Sting’s madrigal.
10:04. Trailer for TV show: “What would you do if you learned your best friend was Jack the Ripper”?
10:01. oh for fuck’s sake STING? No lutes or mandolins, just El Stingo on a stool with frustrating, perfect posture plucking a guitar singing a tune about trees and forgiveness.
9:48. Why is Charlize Theron discussing what Shirley MacLaine meant to her in The Apartment?. Oh — they’re onstage together. She looks terrific and for once the patter sounds written for an actor’s voice — in MacLaine’s case that dry-as-Aperol, cut-this-shit tone. She and Theron present Best Foreign Language Film. The Salesman wins. Writer-director Asghar Farhadi, as expected, is a no show.
9:48. The world will little note, nor long remember that after Viola Davis’ speech an orchestra version of “The Heat is On” bopped without fuss.
9:40. Why is Mark Rylance wearing a hat? He’s on stage to present Best Supporting Actress. “So big…he filled it up” could refer to Viola Davis. She wins. “Exhume those bodies,” Davis says in response to those who wonder what kind of stories she should tell.
9:36. Vince Vaughn comes onstage to the peals of “Staying Alive.” He makes an inexplicable joke about Sal Mineo and Kimmel, I suppose, to — what, adduce his knowledge of Wikipedia? I know he’s supposed to play a libertarian in normal life. He has mean eyes; he did in 1996. That’s what made him briefly hot. Also, not looking as if he swallowed six copies of Atlas Shrugged.
9:31. Hacksaw Ridge wins for Best Sound Editing, an acknowledgment that Mel Gibson has an expert ear for the sound of the wounded, maimed, and dying.
9:29. Chris Evans, my flame is ON.
9:26. Chris Evans, co-presenting Best Sound and Sound Editing, extols the, uh, hidden figures that get nominated in this category and who have made him sound like the hero of the Avengers and a pinup I want delivering pizza to my door on Sunday afternoons. Also, he sounds like the emcee in the David Bowie video for “Never Let Me Down.” Arrival wins.
9:25. Kimmel asks audience to close its eyes while mints descend on the audience but no cocaine and uppers.
9:23. The president of the Academy says she’s “proud” to be president during so much evolution. Meanwhile it’s been twenty-one minutes since last Isabelle Huppert closeup.
9:19: “Performance by Sting” = “guest appearance by Vice President Pence”
9:18. This performance of the Moana theme is a spirited return to the early ’90s era of ‘Oscar performances with waving bathroom curtains.’
9:15. Why do I suspect this Moana song is gonna turn into a sung version of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”?
9:08. The excellent Hidden Figures trio present Best Documentary Feature, projecting more fake sincerity than they did in that hit. Janelle Monae, so fresh as an actress, returns to the falsity of her music career. However, Katherine Johnson is wheeled onstage and is magnificent. The winner: O.J. in America. I’ll admit to the strangeness of listening to a tepid response — how many people in the crowd partied with O.J.?
9:06. Mahershala Ali was in House of Cards! I forgot. I am the greatest fool.
9:03. A commercial consisting of Oscar clips shows Faye Dunaway’s quasi-orgasm in Network discussing ratings, a reminder of what won’t happen at midnight.
9:01. Handling the makeup awards, Jason Bateman looks like his face had a girdle inserted.
8:50. I can’t deny that Ali gave my least favorite performance in Moonlight, but he has undeniable charisma. He’s got a perfect feel for audience expectations too — when he says his wife gave birth four days ago the room goes crazy, including the losers.
8:48. The Oscar goes to Mahershala Ali in Moonlight. He stops on his way to the stage to exchange what looks like a genuine handshake with Jeff Bridges.
8:47. JEFF BRIDGES AND ISABELLE HUPPERT ARE SITTING TOGETHER
8:46. Thank you, Academy, for reminding me that Cristoph Waltz has two Supporting Actor Oscars.
8:43. Let it be said that those Meryl Streep jokes about no one watching her movies IS TRUE.
8:41. ISABELLE HUPPERT! May she keep her cocked-eyebrow-reaction-face ready.
8:36. I’ve never seen this guy Jimmy Kimmel. I suspect he likes Mel Gibson. However, I don’t think Mel Gibson likes him, based on the classic try-to-smile-goddammit performance that Mel gives from the seats.
8:33. Fuck him for co-opting “Lovely Day” as a recruitment anthem. Nevertheless, the crowd sure loves an insider; they’re dying to nominate him for a more substantial award.
8:31. It’s showtime! Justin Timberlake leads the crowd through a live performance of “Can’t Stop the Feeling [exclamation point part of the title]! I want to hate him, but he looks better as a callow thirtysomething than as a callow twentysomething. The song’s phony uplift works better on the radio than onstage though.
8:14. Naomie Harris of Moonlight gave the first of what I assume will be innumerable references to her film as a “universal” story.