2012 Academy Awards Live Blog!

Tonight’s the big night!  Yes, that time of year when Hollywood gives itself a giant hand (not saying what that hand is doing, mind) and celebrates all that the totally in-touch Academy feels is the finest in film over the past year.  I’ll be live blogging the event as it unfolds, so stay up and buckle in for what in all honesty will be a smooth predictable ride, but hey, you never know when there will be a gigantic pothole awaiting. Just ask Marisa Tomei.

I’ll also be tweeting and looking for the best lines from film Twits to include here, with all due credit of course, so everyone play along!

Who do you think will be taking home the shiny bald statues tonight?  I’m thinking The Artist will make a clean sweep.  So much so that in the night’s only shocking development, it will manage to take home awards it’s not even nominated or eligible for.  So, best animated short?  That’s right, my money is on The Artist.

Be sure to check in between 11pm and midnight tonight, when I’ll be kicking the online festivities off (dependent upon when my full-body bronzing is dry).

23.50: Another hour to go before the ceremony kicks off.  For now it red carpet bollocks about dresses and luviness.  Puff Daddy is there, just to remind people he’s still alive.  Surely that can be the only reason.  Kelly Osbourne is employed by E! to pretend like she has anything worth saying.  She’s not doing a very convincing job.

23.57: Ah, Mr Diddy is there because he’s an executive producer for UndefeatedWell, thank heavens for that.

23.59: Empire’s @chrishewitt says it best “The E! viewers have just voted in a poll, and have selected The Help as their Best Picture winner. The E! viewers are flaming tools.”

00.00: My feed has switched over to ABC, interrupting Octavia Spencer just as the interviewer was saying that she’s never at a loss for words before cutting off.

00.06: Yes, Johan Hill brings his mum as his date.  Goes to show fame and money isn’t always enough to ensure a score.  He was great in Moneyball though.

00.10: It’s be nice if I could be watching this on Sky Go, but it’s blocked. Maybe the ceremony itself will be shown, but I’m highly doubtful. Instead, I have to deal with the US feed and all their bloody adverts.

00.11: Apparently Sacha Baron Cohen is there as The Dictator. Not sure how I feel about it.  I’d be in favour more had there not been all the posturing about it beforehand.  A clear PR stunt from the start.

00.13: Ahhh, Jessica Chastain. Yesss, please. The woman is awesome in every way.

00.15: All this coverage about the dresses. Wouldn’t want to give any insight into actual film-making or anything.

00.19: @empiremagazine: “Sacha Baron Cohen has ‘spilled’ ashes over Seacrest’s Moss Bros tux. Seacrest looks genuinely pissed off. AMAZING.” Not that we get to see that on ABC. Muthafugga.

00.20: @Grazia_Live: “Ryan Seacrest’s so unamused face as Sacha Baron Cohen throws ‘ashes of Kim Jong Il’ … priceless” Damn it, I want to see that! Not the bloody dresses and the prince of Monaco.

00.25: @SkyLivingOnline: “Sacha Baron Cohen has been ‘escorted off’ red carpet after arriving dressed as The Dictator. How did he get in in the first place?” If the Academy wanted to be taken seriously, they should have never nominated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. They should all be doused in ashes for that alone.

00.29: More Viola Davis, now on ABC.  She was great in a SUPPORTING role. As a lead she has no business there.

00.31: Christopher Plummer now.  Not much talk about his dress, though.

00.33: A “Mom”inees feature now.  Well, at least this is about the people and not their bloody clothing.

00.35: Melissa McCarthy brought her mum, too.  I should go copy & paste my Johan Hill comments here.

00.38: @brendonconnelly: “They just showed a “package” with parents of several nominees. Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow’s folks cut out for some reason.” If you don’t follow this man, you really need to.

00.40: Kristen Wiig looking goooood. Is it weird that her penis impression in Bridesmaids was a turn-on?  Yeah, probably.

00.43: Hahahahah… @mant_a_tangi “@LondonFilmFan I would, even if she had a penis.”

00.46: Jean Dujardin vs the English language. D’awwww…

01.01: @TheAcademy: “We’re about 30 minutes from Billy Crystal’s first joke of the night – what will it be? #BillysFirstJoke #Oscars” Damn, I thought for sure it was starting at 8 EST.

01.03: Bradley Cooper does a great Christopher Walken impression, but that has to be the gayest moustache the Academy will see this year.

01.09: My popcorn is taking priority over updating this for the time being. Sincerest apologies.

01.15: NEWS FLASH: Uppity woman and middle-aged gay man love a few dresses.

01.22: Tom Hanks is rocking his own facial hair: a remarkably white goatee.  It actually makes him slightly less likable.

01.30: And here. We. Go.  Morgan Freeman!

01.37: The intro covers all the major contenders with Billy C inserted into key scenes. Decent, but nothing hilarious.

01.39: And now he’s singing.  A gentle Johan Hill fat joke included.

01.42: Tom Hanks is out to present the award for achievement in cinematography.

01.43: Hugo wins! (this was my pick… 1 for 1)

01.45: Art direction now.  Will Harry Potter get a consolation prize here? Nope, Hugo it is again!

01.47: they really should have spaced out Hugo‘s wins a bit.

01.53: Film flashbacks… err, okay. Nice that Crystal gets to revist When Harry Met Sally, I guess.

01.54: Cameron Diaz botches her delivery for Costume Design.  She’s with J-Lo.  The big talent is certainly on display tonight. The Artist wins its first statuette tonight!

01.57: Achievement in Make-up now.  J Edgar was robbed here.  No, really. Stop laughing.

01.58: The Iron Lady takes it.  No surprise there.  I’m pretty sure Diaz is high. No surprise there either.

01.59: That guy had his speech down pat!

02.00: The stars speak about their first film viewing experiences, including Adam Sandler.  Good to know where to lay the blame.

02.03: Commercial break and Cameron Diaz is back in the toilet burning another one down.

02.05: Sandra Bullock hits the stage to present best foreign language film.  This needs to be A Separation. She intros it in German. Huh.

02.07: First Iranian Academy Award winner. Comes at the right time too.  Will there be a political statement here?

02.08: Yep.  Kinda wish he would have said “Please, don’t bomb us”. Because the US really needs to not bomb Iran. Just saying.

02.09: Christian Bale is up to present supporting actress.  This is going to be Octavia Spencer.

02.13: The winner is… Octavia!  I hope she doesn’t say “Lawd, have mercy”  She just thanked the state of Alabama.  That was nice of her.  She’s tearing up and racing through it.  She’s sorry!

02.18: Ha… there are no black people in Beverly Hills.  Elitism is hilarious.

02.20: A test audience skit where they discuss The Wizard of Oz. Oh, dear.

02.22: Oh yeah, Justin Bieber was in that opening skit. Serious issues here.  Now Tina Fey is onstage to present Achievement in Film Editing with a gay cable repair man.  Oh wait, it’s Bradley Cooper.

02.24: And the winner is… The Artist.  I typed that while they were still introducing the nominees.  Oh shit… it’s actually The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Colour me surprised.  They’re as surprised as everyone else.

02.25: Sound editing now. Go Drive!

02.26: Or not.  It goes Hugo which I’m fine with.  I suppose.

02.27: Sound mixing now.  This will be Hugo too, no?

02.29: Yep, Hugo again.  Make no mistake, the Academy loves films that celebrate Hollywood.

02.30: Cirque du Soleil will be performing tonight.  If this was Twitter I’d end that statement with #WHY?!

02.34: It’s Kermit & Miss Piggy here to introduce Cirque with music from Danny Elfman. Zzzzzzzzz….

02.36: Anyway @eatsleepjordan “People, Hugo sweeping the technical awards means nothing when looking at Best Picture. #Oscars2012” Exactly.

02.38: This Cirque business is utterly pointless. And finally over.

02.40: Gwynnie and Robert Downey Junior are here to present… with RDJ filming a documentary entitled The Presenter.  They’re here for Best Documentary, which doesn’t matter because we all know Senna was the best of the year.

02.43: Undefeated wins. I guess we should have seen that coming.

02.45: Well, the Undefeated guys didn’t go un-Interrupted.

02.46: Chris Rock is onstage for best animated feature, but not before some racial based humour.  He may have a future with that.

02.47: And Rango wins, because obviously as a homage to cinema, it had to.

02.50: There’s some business about Jennifer Lopez’s nipple having a Twitter account.  I guess it made an appearance of some kind. Yeah, too bad it’s not still 2002.

02.53: Emma Stone towering over Ben Still to present Best Visual Effects.  That girl must be a trip! Do they toss Potter a bone here or will it be another one for Hugo?

02.56: Twitter has fallen in love with Emma Stone. Meanwhile, Hugo wins it.  Of course it was going to go to the 3D film. Real Steel actually had some terrific effects and I’m not sure Hugo deserves this one.

02.58: Now we have Melissa Leo to present best supporting actor. Plummer will win but Nolte deserves it.  Hoping here for the one big upset tonight.

03.01: Nope. We get the expected career achievement award.  Sorry, Nick.

03.05: Titanic 3D commercial. Nooo thank you.

03.08: Billy Crystal is now doing a “What’re the stars thinking” bit. Mildly amusing at best.

03.10: Okay, Crystal just growling for Nolte was pretty damn funny.

03.12: Penelope Cruz and Owen Wilson are next up to present best original score. A sure thing for The Artist, Kim Novak be damned.

03.15: The Artist and Ludovic Bource takes it, and deservedly so.

03.17: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakisisisisis are here to present best original song, cymbals in hand, both decked in white from head to toe. Classy.  It’s now Muppet time… “Man or Muppet” for the win! Bret McKenzie takes the statuette.

03.20: Nine former Saturday Night Live cast members have been nominated for Oscars, but Kristen Wiig would be the first to win.  Too bad that won’t be happening.

03.24: Angelina Jolie is due up once Billy C stops botching the introduction.

03.25: Best Adapted Screenplay time.  Come get your one award, The Descendants. Yes, Dean Pelton gets an Oscar!

03.29: Now we’ve got best original screenplay.  Some great contenders here, but it has to be The Artist. But no, it’s Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris. The Woodster isn’t there to collect it, though.

03.33: Best short is up after the break. I feel like I could use a short nap.  By short, I mean a good 5 hours or so.

03.37: Oh, here’s Mila Jovovich to cover the minor awards.  She’s got a highlights package for us.  Yay.

03.38: At least they kept her screen-time mercifully short.  The cast of Bridesmaids has now hit the stage to present three awards.  After some penis-joking (short, long, etc) we’ve got best live action short.  No idea who will take this.  It goes to… The Shore.  I wonder if the Academy voted this thinking it had to do with that Jersey Shore programme.

03.41: Next is best short doc. Again, this is anyone’s call and certainly not mine. The winner is Saving Face which appears to be about face transplants. F’n hell.

03.44: That leaves us with best animated short film.  Mention of former winner John Lasseter.  No pressure indeed!

03.46: The Oscar goes to the Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore.  And these guys are pumped to have won.  Good for them.

03.47: Commercial break with the major awards right around the corner.  I’m gonna stick with The Artist taking lead actor, director and best pic and with Streep taking lead actress.  No way should Viola Davis win a lead Oscar for a supporting role.  Streep’s performance is in a league of its own, regardless.

03.50: Michael Douglas is out looking increasingly like father Kirk. Time for best director. I’d better check how to spell Michel Hazanavanucleus.

03.53: And The Artist is back on track with Michel Hazanavicius taking the best director prize.  Ohhh how the French struggle with their English. It’s adorable.

03.55: Meryl Streep is now up to recap the governor’s awards. Hopefully this won’t be her only time on stage tonight.  James Earl Jones gets some well-earned love.

04.01: It’s now past 11pm EST with the lead acting awards and best picture to go.  Plus they’ve promised the In Memoriam video package.  So still a ways off from getting to bed. Too many commercials.  Damn you, capitalism!!

04.08: The In Memoriam video montage with a live performance of “What a Wonderful World” is nicely put together and then we throw it to more commercials.  Need to fit them all in before it wraps up.

04.12: Various actors check in to talk about the film-making process including Ed Norton, Bobby DeNiro and Jonah Hill.  Amazing that Hill is the most relevant at this point.

04.14: Na-Po is here to finally present the best actor.  Oh, Na-Po is what I call Natalie Portman. You heard it here first.

04.16: I’m really looking forward to seeing Dujardin’s acceptance here. Wow, major spoiler in the clip they used for his performance.

04.19: JEAN!!!!!! “I love your country.” Jean has lots of love, then closes with a few dance steps totally missed thanks to them cutting to a wide shot. Way to go.

04.24: Colin Firth takes centre stage to rundown the best actress nominees.  No, no, not in a car.  That’d be vehicular manslaughter.  He’s just calling them all a bunch of slags.

04.26: Streep had better win here.  I loved The Help but Davis does NOT deserve a best actress award for it.

04.30: There we go! Meryl!!

04.32: Classy acceptance speech from Streep. How can you not love her?

04.33: Tom Cruise is the final presenter here to present the big one, best picture.  Any chance The Artist won’t take this?

04.35: The best pic montage really makes the also-rans stick out like a couple of sore thumbs.

04.36: The Artist takes it!!!

04.40: That wraps things up.  A few minor surprises, but in the end, the film that deserved to stand tall did exactly that.  If you haven’t seen The Artist yet, you really need to do so.  It’s a splendid cinematic experience unlike anything you’ve seen in a long time.

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Free-lance film journalist and photographer residing in sunny London.