Oscars 2011 – Movie Talk’s live report on the 83rd Academy Awards

Here we are, Movie Talk’s Jason & Adele, ready to begin our live report on the Oscars. Sadly we’re not at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood Boulevard but in an office in Southwark.

By day, Movie Talk tower (aka the Blue Fin Building) is a swish, cool and smart place to be. No wonder filmmakers are queuing up to use it as a location (we’ve had Woody Allen filming some of You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger here, plus Lasse Hallström, Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen).

By night, though, the BFB is cold, dark and deserted, and better suited as a horror film setting. A dumb place to be. Let’s hope the only horrors tonight are frightful frocks on the red carpet

Let’s hope too that we manage to stay awake throughout the broadcast and don’t end up slumped over our keyboards with our noses resting on the z key.

The red carpet action should be starting in about half an hour by which time Hollywood Boulevard will be looking very different from this.


Jason is setting our laptops up. Are we logged in to every social network available? I think so…

11.35pm Just finished watching Amy Adams in Leap Year on Sky Premier. Now we’ve got the start of Sky’s Oscar coverage, but no red carpet yet. Instead, we’ve got Brix Smith-Start (the most annoying woman on television), sitting next to Edith Bowman (my neighbour, yay!) and yacking away to Alex Zane.

11.45pm So we’ve had Sky’s correspondent Lucy Cotter live from the Red Carpet telling us how she’s chatted to Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges. How’s about showing us some footage, love?

11.50pm Still no red-carpet action. We learn that Robbie Collin “loves the bum-cheeks off” The King’s Speech.

12.10am Wow, the Red Carpet is rammed. Jesse Eisenberg is really short… Andrew Garfield is looking awkward and really skinny – doesn’t he need to muscle up a bit for Spider-Man?

Helena Bonham-Carter, the one we’ve been waiting for… And she ISN’T looking like a scarecrow! Surprisingly elegant in black.

12.20am The fabulous Jeremy Renner looking smashing in YSL, walking down the carpet with his mum! Awww.

Why does Mr Kidman (Keith Urban) always look a bit creepy? Think it’s the hair. And he always seems to be wearing way too much foundation. Actually, all the male actors look like they’ve got a lot of foundation on. Is this a result of HD tv?

12.30am Christian Bale – a young Santa Claus…

Gwyneth Paltrow is looking fantastique in a sleek Calvin Klein gold number.

Hailee Steinfeld getting ready for her first walk down the Oscars carpet. Cute as a button.

12.40am I want Amy Adams’ deep-blue sequinned L’Wren Scott dress! Good choice!

Otherwise a lot of black dresses this year and a lot of flowing hair. Speaking of hair, Donald Trump’s comb over is a crime against humanity.

12.58am Very near lockdown. Last few celebs dashing down the carpet.

Last few comments: Robert Downey Jr’s white tie white shirt combo is very classy and his producer wife Susan Levin is gorgeous in her black dress and Angelina Jolie-designed earrings.

Favourite dress of the night: Cate Blanchett
1.30am The Oscars are an ad break away. Tom Hanks to present the first award. Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts has been dwarfing all the actors on the red carpet, but even Tom looks tiny next to her.

1.35am Fabulously goofy movie parody intro from James and Anne. From Inception to Back to the Future. How cool is that? Dreams within dreams and Anne’s feather-sheddding dance of the brown duck!

But their on-stage patter isn’t so cool. James Franco acting dumb? Not a smart move.

Tom Hanks presenting Art Direction award – Alice in Wonderland. So it’s not going to be a King’s Speech clean sweep.

1.45am Cinematography. Roger Deakins is up for True Grit. His ninth nomination… but the award goes to Wally Pfister for Inception. Fourth time lucky for Wally.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Melissa Leo is the favourite, but has she spoiled her chances with her self-promoting For Your Consideration ads? Could there be an upset? My hunch is Hailee Steinfeld.

A very frail Kirk Douglas on stage to present the award. The suspense is killing us… but no the award goes as expected to Melissa Leo. She’s on stage and appears to be wearing a doily. She looks as though she’s going to tear up, but she drops the F-bomb instead.

2.ooam Best Animated Short Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis on stage with more lame patter: Justin cracks the first Banksy quip of the evening. “I’m Banksy… God that felt good.” And the award goes to The Lost Thing.


Best Animated Film goes to Toy Story 3 – now there’s a shocker…

2.20am Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem looking dapper in matching white tuxes to present the screenplay awards. Best Adapted Screenplay goes to Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network. The awards still going strictly to plan. Sorkin pays tribute to another writer who won an Oscar for a screenplay with Network in the title, Paddy Chayefsky.

And Best Original Screenplay goes as expected to David Seidler for The King’s Speech, the oldest person (apparently) to win this award. He gives a shout-out to the Queen for not putting him in the Tower for using the Melissa Leo F-word and accepts the award on behalf of all the stutterers of the world. “We have a voice, thanks to the Academy.”

2.25am Anne Hathaway doing a hilarious Les Mis song adaptation dissing Hugh Jackman.

… before the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar goes to the brilliant Susanne Bier‘s In a Better World from Denmark. Our friend Rachel Routh approves of the award’s odd-couple presenters: ‘Russell Brand and Helen Mirren…surprisingly worked! “Je n’ai pas dit ca, Russell. Tu es un idiot.”’

2.30am Best Supporting Actor… and the Oscar goes to Christian Bale for The Fighter. And his first words are “bloody hell”, but he promises not to drop the F-bomb. Instead, he pays tribute to the original of his character, Dicky Eklund. (Why is Bale’s beard red and his hair dark?) Apparently you can train with Dicky!

2.45am Australia screen couple Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman present the Best Original Score award, which goes to The Social Network. A much deserved Oscar for Trent Reznor.

We’re getting overwhelmed with some of the technical awards. Can someone explain the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing? In any case, both awards go to Inception. No surprise that Christopher Nolan’s dazzling film should pick up a number of technical awards, but it will probably miss out tonight on the bigger prizes.

2.55am Anne Hathaway has got changed (and thank God James Franco too as he was dressed as Marilyn Monroe earlier – not funny, not funny at all) and is looking marvelous.

Presenting Best Make-Up and Best Costume Design is Cate Blanchett (and her stunning dress!). Best Make-Up goes to The Wolfman. So Rick Baker gets an Oscar (his seventh) for giving Benicio Del Toro whiskers – almost 30 years after getting a gong for effecting similar lupine transformations in An American Werewolf in London (without CGI assistance, back then).

Best Costume Design goes to Colleen Atwood for Alice in Wonderland. Ohh, Helena Bonham Carter must feel torn as she is wearing an Atwood dress but The King’s Speech was also nominated in that category.

3.05am They’re zipping through the Best Original Song nominees. The first two:

“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater

3.20am Best Documentary, presented by TV goddess Oprah Winfrey, goes to Inside Job – so we don’t get to see Banksy pull a stunt in the Kodak Theatre for a victory for Exit Through the Gift Shop. Inside Job director Charles Ferguson gives the evening’s first political speech and disses the bankers.

3.30am Another dapper duo on stage to present a pair of awards. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. Jude sets up convoluted joke at Downey’s expense, which conjures up the image of the formerly dissolute actor getting busted in 2001 in a cheap hotel in the company of a girl dressed as Batgirl. Downey is quick to correct him: it was 2000, the hotel was far from cheap and the girl was dressed as Wonder Woman.

Then it’s on to the gongs – and another technical award goes to Inception, this time for Best Visual Effects. And Best Film Editing goes to The Social Network.

3.40am The next two Best Original Song nominees:

“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong – performed by Rahman and Florence Welch (minus The Machine)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey – performed by Gwyneth Paltrow

The twitterati aren’t impressed with Gwynie’s rendition of “Coming Home”. Smaranda Calin reckons she is pitchy! And her white mic looks like a dildo or something.

And the award goes to Randy Newman for “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 2.

Celine Dion not the best choice of singer to accompany the evening’s In Memorium section. Too cheesy. Nevermind. Among the greats remembered: Tony Curtis, Blake Edwards, Dennis Hopper, John Barry, Dino De Laurentiis, Lionel Jeffries, Susannah York, Sally Menke and Gloria Stuart.

4pm Four awards to go. But it’s the big ones. Our predictions (and we’re hardly going out on a limb here):
Best Actor: Colin Firth
Best Actress: Natalie Portman
Best Director: David Fincher
Best Film: The King’s Speech

… and we’re wrong right away. Tom Hooper gets the Oscar for The King’s Speech. He thanks his mum, in a charming way, and pays tribute to the film’s “triangle of man love that is Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and me.” But Fincher was robbed!

Kevin Brownlow, Francis Coppola and Eli Wallach accepting their honorary awards.

4.10am Best Actress. The coolest Dude in Hollywood strolls on stage to present the award. Is there going to be another upset? Surely, it’s Natalie Portman’s. And yes, Jeff Bridges presents the award to the heavily pregnant Portman, who salutes “fearless visionary” Darren Aronofsky and fiancé Benjamin Millepied, among a host of others in her acceptance speech.

4.20pm Jeff Bridges goes off stage and takes his place back in the auditorium in time for Sandra Bullock to run through the nominees for Best Actor. But he won’t have to get up again from his seat, will he? This Oscar has had Colin Firth’s name engraved on it for weeks.

And, yes, the Oscar goes to Colin, who makes a typically gracious and witty speech. “I have a feeling my career has just peaked.” This is the first time that British actors have made a clean sweep of the male acting categories since 1965 when Rex Harrison and Peter Ustinov bagged the pair.

4.30pm Steven Spielberg introduces the 10 Best Picture nominees. And the award goes to The King’s Speech, its fourth of the evening. Not as many as some predicted, but three of the big four is hardly bad. It looks as though the entire cast and crew have come on stage. Thanks from the trio of producers, but the get-off-the-stage music starts up before the third can get a word in. “I’ll be quick,” he says plaintively but he has to wrap up quick to allow a bunch of schoolkids to sing “Over the Rainbow” as the evening’s winners gather on stage for a final hurrah.

So that’s it for the 83rd Academy Awards. Most of the Oscars went to the expected recipients. The big surprise of the night was Tom Hooper’s award, but it showed that The King’s Speech was on a roll. A great result for the Brits. But a great shame for David Fincher and The Social Network.

As for us, we got through the evening in one piece, despite crashing computers, a sofa that swallowed you alive and our supply of chocolate melting from the heat given off by our laptops. Still, the night whizzed by far faster than we had expected, thanks to a fairly pacey and efficient show, notwithstanding the mostly lame and clunky script for Anne and James. Anne’s dress changes were fab though. High point: Kirk Douglas’s game appearance on stage. Low point: James Franco dressed as Marilyn Monroe. (Who thought that was a good idea?)

See you next year!

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