The 88th Annual Academy Awards


Well, here it is again, It’s a weird year for me. My intake of the Oscar-nominated films is low, I’ll do something to address that soon; however, bottom-line is that many of the nominated films I will be catching up with in the longer-than-usual Gray Area.

So without further ado the more specific commentary…

Red Carpet

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Still awaiting the first absolutely ridiculous commentary.

Film #1 that needs seeing soon: Room.

Eddie Redmayne on the carpet. He’s a BAM Award nominee for Les Mis. Please ask him about Fantastic Beasts too. Nope. They didn’t I enjoy looking forward a bit too guys.

If you need some viewing pleasure between now and the ceremony here is a hilarious Consequences of Sound video that came out over the weekend:

In a surprising twist, many of the worst dresses are on the fashion analyst panel.

“Did his wife dress him?” epitomize moments when I regret them deigning to discuss men’s looks.

Switched to ABC because enough is enough.

I’m frequently late to switching to ABC, they line up most of the bigger, exclusive interviews right before the show.


“…The end of it all…”??? – Leo




Starting about a half hour behind because life.

New opening animation is a bit odd, always like these montages though.

Is there a prop bet on Trump/political statements?

Leave it to Chris Rock. Holy cow! Amazing. Still ongoing by the way.

Jamie Foxx love, is always welcome as is a random Paul Giamatti shoutout in a bit. Good stuff.

Like the filmmaking process approach to the nominees.

Spotlight on screenplay. This is one of the few I couldn’t get the gumption up to see. It could be very well executed indeed, but it’s a been-there-done-that ripped from the headlines story.

Gosling (Canadian) and Crow (Australian). Diversity.

I kid because I love.

The Big Short wins adapted so does that bode well for the end of the night? Still holding out hope for The Revenant.

Political message one: Pro-Sanders without saying his name explicitly.

OMG, Tracey Morgan at it again! LOL!

Stacy Dash bombed hard. So much so that his hilarious throw to Sarah Silverman didn’t land either.

Holy crap, as hilariously embarrassingly candid as that was, is anyone directing this show?

Two Best Picture nominees mean four of these awkward stand-ups. Is it time to shake this formula again?

Alicia Vikander!! YES!

Loved her since A Royal Affair.

We agree, Oscars! Mad Max Best Costumes indeed!


“The thing where a bear lives” for quote of the night.


Mad Max again – agrees with me on Production Design! I’m happy now but not holding out any hope for Best Picture.

And again! The Mad Max portion of this show is awesome!


Yes, the Bear! and the Mad Max Best Picture montage.

Shoulda-been nominee is the best #OscarsSoWhite comment of the night.


Lubezki’s work on The Revenant is not a choice I can knock, it’ll contend for my awards this year for sure.

They’ll keep making a point of calling editors artists until everyone gets it.

Again, Mad Max was impeccably cut. Check out my props to its cut, I gushed when awarding it.

If they felt the need to have to go public domain play off music, why always the same song? “Ride of the Valkyries” is good and all but…

OMG, Jack Black as the featured actor in the Black History Month segment, LOL.

Editing and Mixing up…

The first one to Max! I picked it for both in my joint category.

Two-for-two! Gotta love it!

Wow, awesome that Andy Serkis got that intro. Knew he’d announce special effect but glad they did it that way.

Not that surprised Ex Machina took it. That was the best part of it in my opinion.

Haha, robots take over on my birthday!

ParaNorman (2012, Focus Features)

Yes, Laika won an award!

Yes, Sci-Tech awards do count.

50 Oscar nominations for John Williams. Holy crap! Enjoy some now.

Obligatory animated presenters: The Minions!

Political reference #2 was Serkis mentioning Trump.

Did a minion just say Obama (#3)?

This is the first year in a while I come in to the Oscars having seen next to none of the shorts.

Political statement #4: The animated short that won is an allegory for those exiled from Chile during Pinochet’s regime. Awesome and powerful stuff, especially since it’s Chile’s first Oscar.



Kind of a foregone conclusion but glad Inside Out wins. There’s a lot of importance in that film beneath its cutesy façade.

“Make stuff” acceptance speech the most inspirational so far.

Kevin Hart on stage, not making a movie at this time. Guffaw.

Didn’t listen to the nominated songs on hearing about them like I said I would. Oops!

Quite nearly live, maybe, maybe, maybe in the next commercial break I’ll catch up. had to check the latest promo for The Family though.

Supporting Actor, y’all!

Mark Rylance wins Best Supporting Actor, I’ve not seen Bridge of Spies yet to my shame, but it’s just another accolade one of his actors has gotten that he’ll not get due credit for molding because people perceive him being about story and the technical end and not performance like Bergman.

Yes, to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly theme!

Leave it to Louis C.K. to make Documentary Short Subject matter in a hilarious way.

OK, “The Oscar goes to Mad Max” is the new best line.

Political statement #4: The biggest one the short documentary caused the Pakistani Prime Minister to change the law on honor killings. Another huge win for a country.


Kapadia gets an Oscar, Senna should have gotten him one.

This Girl Scout Cookie bit was tired the second it started.

Whoopi introduced with “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” She’s not in that, but whatever it’s a good song, said the producers to themselves.

Cherly Boone Isaacs comes up for one of the most listened to and difficult addresses in the history of these awards I’d wager.

Was kinda dreading Grohl but it’s a cover song, so it’s cool.

Loved Robert Loggia in many things but always appreciated that he leant his voice to this bit.

RIP Alan Rickman now and always.

Finally live!

“For Best Foreign Language Film, foreign people…” Diversity.

To clarify I like Byung-Hung Lee and still think Sofía Vergara is still the funniest woman on TV. I just think it humorous that in a year when diversity is the biggest talking point at this year’s Oscars the presenters are all rather predictable. Kids for short film and so on. I’d like it mixed up some.

And now I get the Biden involvement. Political message #5:

If it’s possible to have Lady Gaga bring the house down every Oscars, it should be arranged.

This is the part in the Oscars where I forget what categories are left.



Always glad to see Hungarian cinema recognized. Have to see The Son Saul.

This is the first Oscar for Ennio Morricone in competition? Really? Well, at leas that gets him off the Lifetime Achievement only list.


Tear-jerking speech of the night so far: This guy!

Best Original Song: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, says I in response to that decision.

Ali G in da house!

“Now check out this movie about a room full of white people” gets into Gold Medal position.

My reaction to the Best Director presenter…


I thought the smile meant Miller but, more importantly…


Brie’s win seals it, Room has to be first up.

Thank you, Academy for picking that clip instead of a wracked in agony one!

Third or fourth standing O?

If you follow Leo on social media that speech was no surprise, yet still amazing. Political moment #6.

Not gonna be that guy who comments on a movie he didn’t see, but I was surprised it was Spotlight.

The end.



84th Annual Academy Awards

Before We Even begin

Here are the pertinent links you’ll need as a frame of reference for my thought-process as the evening progresses.

In a vacuum my thoughts on what the nominees should’ve been based on what I saw can be found in the BAM Award Nominees. The pertinent winners can be found in these three posts (Acting, Crew and Film).

For a slightly less competitive slant on the year in film you can check out my Top 25 of 2011 (#25-21, #20-16, #15-11 and #10-1).

For what I want to happen and what I think will happen in most categories tonight go here.

You’ll note I didn’t comment on the short films as I was ill-informed at the time. I have since seen them my thoughts on the live action shorts and animated shorts are now available.

I’ll likely only know at the end of the night how well or how poorly I did in regards to prognosticating but you can follow the post here or tweet me during the show and I’ll likely respond.

The Red Carpet

I always complain about E!’s coverage yet what am I watching before I leave for the party. Yeah…

What’s written under that piece of paper with the Canadian flag on it? Press ID or what?

These Oscars will at least be more engaging because of the sizable screen I am seeing them on.

If not for the little skirt thing Michelle Williams’s dress would be perfect.

George Clooney is the only current star who looks like he fell out of the Golden Age. Everyone else is slightly awkward in a tux.

Milla Jovovich is now in the pole position for best dressed.

Maybe Penelopé Cruz now. Pretty amazing look.

The Ceremony

Billy Crystal still has it. Amazing opening. Wow.

They have to get Tom Hanks.

Robert Richardson wins for Hugo! Amazing! My favorites are 1-1.

Switching up the announcements this year.

Hugo again yes! Called set design on both counts I think.

Where’s this band coming from?

The Artist takes costume design. Is the start of the dominance?

Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas sighting. Good to see them. For all my E! complaining they do seem to be less myopic.

It’ll be hard to top the speech by A Separation.

Octavia Spencer wins for The Help. Well done. Great work. First standing ovation of the show.

This band in the boxes is the consistent bad idea in this show.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wins editing. Funniest awkward acceptance.

Hugo gets sound editing. That’s three.

Another editing/mixing sweep. Hugo is up to four wins.

Not a surprise considering the attendance numbers that the Oscars are focusing on celebrating moviegoing this year.

Undefeated I’ve heard about and want to see. Memorable speech for an audio dump and the first playoff of the next.

Rango best animated feature.

Hugo in somewhat of an upset, which pleases me. Five now.

Christopher Plummer with a much deserved win and standing ovation. Great moment.

Thankfully the president’s speech was short and followed by one of the best jokes of the night.

In all seriousness what is the rule about using non-original music in scores. Loved The Artist and its original music but it did use a lot of Vertigo.

Well, my gamble in a competition fell through. Not surprised Muppets won. There were better songs in Rio than the nominee.

The first wow of the night. Woody Allen won it. I was taken aback. Amazing and awesome.

Surprising but pleasant live action winners. Political speeches abound. Great speech from animation winners.

Should’ve charged my phone the whole way. Blogging by phone is draining may power down before the end of the show.

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards

I decided that I would not write during what portion of the red carpet I did watch as attention must be paid. Overall, while in the end there was nothing that will likely go down as a historic Oscar look. It was one of the better looking overall displays I can remember.

I don’t know when this half-hour pre-show started (it wasn’t that long ago). I never really cared for it and it’s a little superfluous and just makes the show end later. Why does it still happen?

Begnini’s celebration is my least favorite acceptance moment. For the record.

You gotta love Steven Spielberg. Wiping the producer’s forehead and giving him water is classic.

Like the opening montage of best picture nominees. Why not the end shot from Inception?

Great opening with Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Great joke in the opening about James ‘appealing to a younger demographic.’ Glad to see the families get introduced.

Tom Hanks presents as Gone with the Windand Titanic get mentioned. Art Direction and Cinematography mentioned early in the show is a nice change. This was not a category I was looking for an upset in Alice in Wonderland takes Art Direction. Shocked.

First, applause of the night upon hearing Wally Pfister’s name called for Cinematography. Very well deserved award. Loved his speech in regards to Nolan.

Another pleasant surprise and the first standing ovation of the night as Kirk Douglas is introduced.

Douglas’s shtick may go down as one of the moments of this year. Also, I have to see Animal Kingdom. It has been decided.

I stand corrected Leo’s speech.

“I’m Banksy”
-Justin Timberlake

Awesomely amazing line.

I said it previously I would be rather happy if The Lost Thing got animated short. Congratulations.

Toy Story 3 wins Best Animated Feature. I knew that already.

Didn’t really like that Screenplay got the short shrift in terms of presentation. No excerpts or anything. Surprised but gladdened by the win for The King’s Speech. I also think that winners should realize there are 23 other winners who all deserve their time to do their thanks and shouldn’t risk taking some time from others.

I want to see In a Better World but am a little surprised it won. It’s the 3rd Danish winner and surprisingly the first since 1959.

Am I the only conspiracy theorist who thinks clips are based on one’s chances of winning? That was not the best scene for Mark Ruffalo at all.

Best part of Bale’s speech was his saying he’d dropped the F-bomb enough already. Oscar-winner or not he’s had plenty of other wonderful and worthy performances not the least of which is the one that launched his career many years ago, Empire of the Sun. All roads lad to Spielberg.

I’ll bet the theme from E.T. has been played at the Oscars every year since 1982. It always makes the closing medley.

OK, so does Trent Reznor and Atticus Finch winning mean that the trend away from composers towards current/former recording artists is going to stick?

First, winner I was extremely geeked about in a while. Sound mixing goes to Inception. And there goes another sweep in the sound categories. I wish I had stats for it but I bet it happens a lot. I have also enjoyed how everyone is thanking Chris Nolan first, almost as if they are trying to subtly point out his being snubbed for Best Director.

I really wish that more time would be spent on the technical awards maybe a special after the earlier presentation. Some really awesome technology gets kind of glossed over.

I need to look into the other Make-Up nominee that I hadn’t heard of, The Way Back. Looks sweet.

Leave it to President Obama to have the best choice as best Oscar-winning song. I’m a little tired of these categories that flex their nominations between three and five. Pick a size. Really, only four songs were nominated? Why? The process is intricate but music is where you can add to your appeal if you’re looking to boost ratings. I was floored when “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” won that scored high enough to be nominated and win but yet this year songs by Eddie Vedder, Alanis Morissette and Justin Bieber didn’t?

Kudos to Luke Matheny not only on the win but on plugging all the nominees who are iTunes. They were great.

The best, most entertaining part of the night was the musical montage.

Inside Job wins and now I never want to talk about Banksy again.

Billy Crystal comes on for a bit. Always glad to see him back.

Inception wins visual effects and stops Alice’s unthinkable streak.

Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr. should do something together that’s not as “Holmesy” that was pretty funny stuff.

Listening to the other nominees actually got me rooting for Randy Newman for the first time in years. Some sleepy stuff in there.

Complete and utter failure this year in the “In Memoriam” montage. Firstly, with the lives singing people who were shown didn’t get their due applause like they did in previous years and first the SAG Award show excluded Corey Haim and now the Oscars did too. I assure you he is missed by many film fans and is exclusion is a joke.

Tom Hooper wins for The King’s Speech. Dare they split it?

Best story told by a winner tonight has to be Hooper’s tale about how his mom found out about the play and said “Tom, I just found your next film.”

They were at it again. Kevin Brownlow is a man who has more than earned his Life Achievement award. For all intents and purposes he pioneered preservation and restoration of films and brought many silent films back from the dead. Here is a link to Kevin Spacey’s speech about him at the Governor’s Ball.

I also found it a little humorous that they said Jean-Luc Godard was sorry he couldn’t be there.

This congratulatory intro to lead acting categories is also making it take a lot longer than it has to.

It looks like there’ll be no surprises in the acting categories.

Congratulations to Colin Firth for his win. It’s his first but it shouldn’t be. If you haven’t seen A Single Man you most definitely should. It’s good to know that some people do get their due.

Listing the previous winners and nominees in the Best Picture category is a great way to lead off the Best Picture montage.

The King’s Speech wins Best Picture and now I can rest comfortably.

The finale was a fanastic and needed addition to the show. It was either ending on a jubilant note or a down one based on where my rooting interest were. if they keep this up it’ll be a fantastic close every year. Great job, P.S. 22.