Oscars live blog - the 2013 award ceremony as it happened
- Hannah McGill
- 25 February 2013
A blow-by-blow account of film, fashion and faux pas highlights from Hannah McGill
No-one famous is on the red carpet yet except, befuddlingly, for Jessica Chastain, who is REALLY famous, and yet has arrived earlier than the rest of her kind, either to prove that she is better than them, or because the clock’s wrong on her phone or something. She is wearing one of those muted pinkish things she wears.
Wait, Amy Adams is here too! She is wearing a swan. Evidently she received secret intelligence that Chastain was showing up early, and hauled ass to get there too, so that they could fire terrible looks at one another, or maybe drink lots of champagne and bitch about the novelty young/old stunt entrants in their category and the fact that Jennifer Lawrence has acquired some sort of unstoppable momentum,
The red carpet woman has found host Seth Macfarlane’s father and sister. His father is a large pink man in a kilt, and his sister is the most terrifyingly insincere Hollywoody automaton the world has ever seen. They are very proud of Seth for making racism and obnoxiousness so very profitable. “He pushes the envelope,” says the sister. Yes. By making jokes about people being poor, brown or foreign, largely.
Eddie Redmayne is getting into the Seth Macfarlane spirit by talking about poo. Seemingly his awards season has been dominated by a continual need to poo. Red carpet lady does not wish to know this but nor can she think of much to say about Eddie because she was only briefed about ONE ginger person and that was Jesscia Chastain. Also she has spotted Channing Tatum and she wants to speak to him and his big face MUCH more. Channing Tatum’s wife is pregnant and is thrusting out her bump in an erotic fashion as though it were an extra breast.
It is always good when Red Carpet Lady has to talk to someone insignificant from behind the camera. Uncomfortable with the difficult concept of screenwriting, she has nothing to say to John Gatins, who wrote Flight, and to whom the obvious question is therefore “Why did you make it so awful in the last third?” So she asks him and his wife what they are wearing. Mrs John Gatins is wearing a designer she has never heard of, so she goes silent until they get out of her sight. But John Lasseter of Pixar and Disney is next and she doesn’t know who he is either! SOMEONE BRING HER CHANNING TATUM LIKE SHE ASKED! “Let’s talk about the Oscars,” she suggests to John Lasseter. “How does it feel going in?” I think she thinks he is someone’s nice old dad. Lasseter lets her know that he gets to go to the Governors’ Ball and the Vanity Fair party afterwards, which makes him very important indeed. HER MIND IS EXPLODING WHO IS HE??? Ah who cares, here comes Jessica Chastain.
So pale and waxy and severe-looking is Jessica Chastain that one expects that when she opens her mouth a chill wind is going to blow and children are going to cry and crops perish. But she’s actually all giggly and sweet in real life. (Also synaesthetic, it seems: “I see every colour, every smell, every sound,” she is burbling.) Looks like it’s down to Michael Haneke to bring the scary tonight. But Red Carpet Lady will not speak to Michael Haneke. Oh no. She will think he is there to deliver wine, or stalk someone. Jessica Chastain talks about working with Liv Ullman. Red Carpet Lady goes into freeze mode again because, like, who even IS that anyway?
Red Carpet Lady: “Is this the place where all the deals are really made?” Jeffrey Katzenberg: “No.”
Oh dear: Best Supporting Actress nominee Jacki Weaver has come as mid-period Miss Piggy.
Zoe Saldana is outrageously thin. “Your body is sick,” says Red Carpet Lady, in what may be the first insightful thing she has accidentally said. “It’s just rest and hydration,” claims Zoe. Rest from the strain of lifting food towards one’s mouth, presumably. It took four people to get her into her dress. Because she has no energy to move.
In speaking to Jason Clark from Zero Dark Thirty, Red Carpet Lady suddenly gets some interference on her frequency, and has an interesting conversation with him about the politics of the film. This blip has passed by the time she gets to the director of The Gatekeepers, Dror Moreh, and ignores everything he says about the potential for peace in the Middle East in order to tell him “It’s a great honour for you to be here.”
Quvenshané Wallis is reliably adorable and quite rightly DOESN’T KNOW WHO DESIGNED HER DRESS, RED CARPET LADY, BECAUSE SHE IS NINE. Where is she going to put her Oscar if she wins? “I am going to put it in my hands.”
“I have weird anxiety so I twitch and chew and stuff,” says Olivia Munn. She should get together with Eddie Redmayne, in some kind of special enclosure for neurotics. Relax, doll, you’re not even in anything. She is claiming that the awful, awful Aaron Sorkin TV show she was in, The Newsroom, has a second series, which is clearly the delusion of a madwoman. Red Carpet Lady wisely moves her on: “You’ve had such a great career; let’s talk about the dress.”
I swear one of the photographers just shouted at Don Johnson, “Don, what have you had done?” Is this the next step in red carpet endorsement? “I’m wearing Armani Privé, Christian Louboutins, Harry Winston jewels, a buttload of collagen right HERE and a little botulism in between my brows.”
Helen Hunt has gone for that “face all one colour” make-up look that ensures that a person’s lips entirely disappear. It’s probably quick, though: you just spray paint your whole head mid-brown before leaving the house.
Red Carpet Lady tries to get Jennifer Lawrence to explain her dress and Jennifer Lawrence says “This is the top, and this is the bottom.” More important, Anne Hathaway has made a Terrible Mistake, involving a dress which makes her look as if she is a giant pair of satin nipples with a small little lady attached as an afterthought.
Naomi Watts and Helen Hunt perhaps went to be sprayed mid-brown together, on a two-for-one Groupon deal. Charlize Theron looks absolutely phenomenal, like a future sex robot based on spliced elements of Brigitte Nielsen and Sharon Stone. She emits a beam of white light in which Rupert Murdoch and Wendie Deng visibly shrivel a little more.
Speaking of shrivelling, here is Michael Douglas. He looks very small. He is, however, articulate and charming in a way that makes you realise how much difficulty most of these people seem to have in saying anything coherent. Catherine Zeta Jones, a third thrifty participant in the Groupon Obscure Your Lips deal, has become Welsh again.
Don Johnson has seen the films and has stuff to say about them. The Red Carpet Lady is getting well narked with all this substance, and needs someone to talk to her about OLD HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR and FEELING LIKE A PRINCESS real soon. Bigelow arrives, invisible-lipped (OK, it’s clearly a Thing) but quite ravishing in dark green. Then Jennifer Aniston, in a tomato.
Red Carpet Lady insults Sally Field. “You’ve been around the block,” she says. “You’ve been doing this a very, VERY long time.” She goes on to question how on earth it was that Field got her part in Lincoln. Field remains reasonably gracious through this assault.
And now, Emmanuelle Riva, who to Red Carpet Lady’s mind must qualify as a zombie. Riva looks wonderful. Through an interpreter, Red Carpet Lady wonders how this feels for Riva “after all your years of, you know, roles.”
Nicole Kidman materialises, resembling a sexy oil slick, with her confused-looking little husband in tow.
“It really feels like an old, magical piece of time to be part of,” says Jennifer Aniston. Her fiancé Justin Theroux looks as if he wants to die. Thankfully, for him and for us, it is time to go inside and join Seth Macfarlane, that lovely man, for the main event.
So, Seth Macfarlane. Seth Macfarlane is a person who thinks it is subversive and funny to insult minorities and vulnerable people from a place of rich white male privilege. Seth Macfarlane has, somewhere along the line, critically misunderstood what subversion is and also what funny is. It is exhausting how without comic inspiration he is - and how phoney his pseudo-rebelliousness. He sniggers in a self-congratulatory I’m-so-naughty manner after every precision-tooled, offensive-but-not-too-offensive little non-barb, like the demeaning AND dull opening song in which he details films in which famous actresses have displayed their breasts. The whole script has probably been run past his legal team. He’s like a schoolkid who pretends not to have done his homework to be cool but then hands it in secretly when the other kids aren’t looking. What a GIT. Anyway, actor in a supporting role. This is the Waltz’s according to my prediction. Christoph Waltz looks oddly like Woody Allen (BIOPIC!!). And wins, and makes a very gracious speech.
Bad Presenting commences with Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy. His suit is funnier than she is, because it is weirdly tiny, and her hair is funnier than he is, because it is weirdly large. They are terrible. The lovely Paperman wins animated short, and then I blot my prediction sheet early because I thought Wreck-It Ralph would win Best Animated Feature over Brave and it doesn’t. The two directors, one of whom was fired and replaced with the other, take the stage together and pretend like they collaborated.
Clips from the Best Picture nominees. I have an emotional reaction to Beasts of the Southern Wild and indulge a brief fantasy about it winning which it’s not gonna because Argo is gonna because Argo says that it is clever and important to make useless films which a lot of the Academy voters do whereas Beasts of the Southern Wild says that it is clever and important to live up a tree and kill fish with your bare hands which a lot of the Academy voters don’t.
Life of Pi starts winning technical categories, as well it might. Cinematographer Claudio Miranda also triumphs in the unofficial category Hair Most Like That of an Albino Lion God. Accepting Best Visual Effects for the same film, Bill Westenhofer tries to publicise the fate of the collaborating effects house Rhythm & Hues, which has just gone bankrupt; but Macfarlane has his winged monkeys drown him out with the music from Jaws, because that’s funny.
Anna Karenina, which everyone has forgotten about, wins for Costume Design, and Les Miserables takes makeup. Incredible that Hitchcock was nominated in that category, for surely some of the worst make-up ever seen in a film. They perhaps confused “Best” with “Most” there.
Halle Berry, looking breathtaking, says some stuff about Bond films, which, she very nearly claims, “make your heart feat baster.” I confess that I do some noodling about on Twitter during the ensuing Bond montage because, Jesus, Bond films, please.
Kerry Washington, also looking just beautiful – whither our entertaining fashion foul-ups? – and her Django Unchained screen paramour Jamie Foxx present the winning shorts, making the point that for the first time this year, all the nominated films have been made available to the voters. Er, what does this say about the fairness of the competition in previous years?? It is worth noticing this: the assumption tends to be that Academy voters are somehow compelled to see everything they’re meant to be comparing, but how many of them actually bother, or even get the stuff presented to them to view? Anyway Curfew wins fiction short and Inocente wins documentary.
Seth Macfarlane, a pretty unemphatic presence thus far except for emitting a faint miasma of obnoxiousness, says something misogynistic about Zero Dark Thirty, and smiles in his vile frat boy way. I want Jessica Chastain to waterboard him. Ben Affleck, presenting, is clearly relieved that the joke wasn’t about him not getting a Best Director nomination, an omission so endlessly noted and debated that it has by now possibly benefited him more than GETTING a Best Director nomination. Searching for Sugar Man wins.
Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Garner present Best Michael Haneke Film, I mean Best Foreign Language Film, to Michael Haneke, who makes a surprisingly warm and humble speech for such a moody old toad. He pays sweet tribute to his wife, as well, who looks smiley and lovely. I had imagined he would be married to a cruel woman, perhaps carved out of ice or marble. I am faintly disappointed by the Haneke family’s failure to live up to my prejudices.
John Travolta’s current face is to John Travolta’s former face what Anthony Hopkins’ Hitchcock make-up job is to Alfred Hitchcock’s face. He introduces a musical montage that goes from Catherine Zeta Jones’s meaty pounding of All That Jazz, via that squally throat-mangler Jennifer Hudson did in Dreamgirls, to the whole entire cast of Les Mis trilling away about being destitute in their priceless couture. This all lasts for about a month and presumably gives everyone a chance to rush outside and buy a pretzel.
Seth Macfarlane, the horrible ferret, congratulates himself for his stupid abomination Ted, the success of which makes you pray for humanity to destroy itself forthwith. Mark Wahlberg, following male custom this evening by cramming himself into a tiny little suit, comes on with the film’s racist sex pest animated bear character to present the sound categories. The bear says some stuff about Hollywood being run by Jews, because that’s subversive.
Supporting Actress comes along, and the clips remind us that Amy Adams should have been in the Best Actress category, and is unfortunate to be up against Anne “Foregone Conclusion” Hathaway here. Also that Helen Hunt was dismal in a poor film. Anne Hathaway and her alarming nipples win; no-one is surprised, including her, as is apparent from her expertly practiced speech.
The Editing category is seen as a useful guide to what will win Best Picture, presumably because Academy Members aren’t all sure what Editing is and just give that one to a film they liked. Argo wins Editing. The Death Montage is moving, but omits Michael Winner, to the consternation of some Brits online. I lose some detail around her because my wholly legitimate feed goes down, or the internet breaks or something; but when I get back to the room Adele is picking up for Skyfall. I adore Adele when she is talking but cannot stand to hear her sing. She looks fabulous. EVERYONE LOOKS FABULOUS IT’S BORING.
Charlize Theron and Dustin Hoffman, whose spectacular height differential makes their pairing look a bit like Wahlberg and Ted revisited, presented Adapted Screenplay to Argo. The cheering has really upped in volume, presumably due to drunknenness; but this is taking FOREVER.
I am surprised, although apparently not that many other people are, that Quentin Tarantino gets Original Screenplay for Django Unchained; I thought all the n-word business made it too edgy. But Tarantino’s care with dialogue is unusual, so he stands out as a writer in a town that basically hates writers. He does a nice appreciative speech and manages not to be a self-important creep. Whither tonight’s controversy? It’s all so nice. Someone better slap Emmanuelle Riva, or something, and soon. Mind you, Tarantino is played out with the music from the staunchly pro-slavery Gone With the Wind, thus making a weird, clumsy joke out of his film’s whole subject. That’s got Macfarlane’s pawprints all over it. “Yuk yuk, he doesn’t like slavery, let’s play THIS. SUBVERSIVE.” Bit like if Spielberg had got Springtime for Hitler as exit music after winning for Schindler’s List.
Jane Fonda, looking like a statue of herself, and Michael Douglas, who looks to have perked up a bit, present Ang Lee with Best Director. On Twitter, people seem genuinely disappointed that Haneke didn’t win this. They are missing something critical about the Oscars, which is that it is a big popularity contest largely voted for by quite mainstream, conventional film viewers. It’s not a jury vote debated by a small group of experts. Interesting nominations might happen, but the gongs will go to crowd-pleasing compromise choices. Amour is not taking anything else home tonight, and nor is Beasts of the Southern Wild. Ang Lee impressed across the board because he did something Obviously Hard, and Oscar loves that – hence rewarding singing and dancing, feigned disability, prosthetic ugliness etc. Anyway I am pleased, I did think Life of Pi was an impressive directing feat.
Meryl Streep, who seems to have sort of ABSORBED Margaret Thatcher, presents Best Actor and appears, as any of us confidently could have, to announce Daniel Day-Lewis without actually opening the envelope. The man appears authentically delighted, inevitable as his victory is, and makes history to boot by getting his third statuette.
Jack Nicholson – one of whose three was for a Supporting role; in your face, jack – comes on to present Best Picture, looking bizarre in glasses that do not fit on his head. He crosses to a surprise video link-up with Michelle Obama, who is standing around with, I don’t know, some drum majorettes? I’m tired. On a night of people looking gorgeous, she looks gorgeous. This is the Oscars asserting its supremacy over other awards ceremonies that have lately been on the rise: only the Academy has THIS kind of influence, even if it can’t find a decent presenter. Argo wins. Baffleck, sweaty and emotional, makes a fast, incoherent, deranged speech, appears to faintly upbraid the Academy for NOT GIVING HIM BEST DIRECTOR AS WELL, and refers to his marriage as “work.” Ben, it’s time for bed. Perhaps all the misbehaviour will occur at the parties. Perhaps Seth Macfarlane will be savaged by wolves and Catherine Zeta Jones will get into a fight with Adele in the loos. Whatever. At this end of the dodgy live feed, it’s all over bar the snoring.