2011 Oscar Live Blog

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Paste editor-in-chief Josh Jackson and film editor Michael Dunaway live-blogged the Academy Awards from the comfort of their respective living rooms. They looked at how far off base our Oscar picks were and shared our favorite Oscar-related tweets.

11:38 – Final tally: We got 14 of 24 right. Franco/Hathaway landed 4 of 24 jokes. We win!

11:34 (@joshjackson) – For all of you who haven’t seen The King’s Speech, the Academy sincerely apologizes for giving away the final scene. #idiots

11:33 (@michaeldunaway) – What odds it take to make you bet $100 on King’s Speech not winning Best Picture? 100,000 to one? 1 million to one?

11:33 (@stableford) – Colin Firth: “I have a feeling my career just peaked.” Hey Colin, that was James Franco’s line! #Oscars

Best Picture
Who’s Nominated:
“Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine
Rattray, Producers
“The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and
Ceán Chaffin, Producers
Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Who Will Win: The King’s Speech
Who Should Win: The Social Network
Who Really Should Win: The Social Network

CD: Social Network will age beautifully, an important time capsule of our connected era. But it’s a dark, cautionary tale with almost no sympathetic characters. King’s Speech makes viewers feel all warm and hopeful.
TB: David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac, Se7en) has created a film where the young heroes aren’t superficial, aren’t trying to find a clever shortcut into the castle. In The Social Network they build the castle themselves and then barricade it.
MD: In a year without a truly great film, my two favorites (Get Low and Blue Valentine) weren’t nominted. Winter’s Bone is the best of the rest, a chilling evocation of one young woman’s descent into her deepest fears.

Who Won: The King’s Speech

11:28 (@joshjackson) – Funny. Colin Firth didn’t mention anything about Hooper’s man-love triangle.

11:25 (@ebertchicago) – Jesse Eisenberg looked a little surprised to learn he had inspired lonely young men hunched over their keyboards.

11:24 (@michaeldunaway) – Bullock to Bridges = about the third cool moment of this show

11:23 (@BorowitzReport) – BREAKING: WikiLeaks Releases 140,000 Pages of Aaron Sorkin’s Original Acceptance Speech #Oscars

11:23 (@kellyoxford) – Remember last year?? When Sandra Bullock was married to that tattooed Nazi and he got to sit front row at the Oscars?

Actor in a Leading Role
Who’s Nominated:
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Who Will Win: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Who Should Win: Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network
Who Really Should Win: Robert Duvall, “Get Low”

SG: While Sorkin wrote a fantastic script and Fincher’s on-screen panache was undeniable, Eisenberg’s presence filled every moment of The Social Network. Understated usually doesn’t work well with the Academy, though, so expect the more traditionally good performance from Colin Firth to win the category.
CD: Easy decision for the Academy. Right actor in the right role at the right juncture in his career.
MD: I’m not sure what the Academy’s problem is with the greatest living actor. He’s only won once (for Tender Mercies). Nothing for The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, or The Apostle, among many others. It’s positively shameful that his performance in Get Low, which runs circles around all these nominees and won the SAG award for best actor, didn’t even get nominated. This will be one of those omissions people point to in years to come to demonstrate the Academy’s baffling bad choices.

Who Won: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

11:20 (@FilmFix) – Bardem is so good in such a sad role. The guy is pissing blood the whole film.

11:17 (@ChrisWillman) – How great would it be right now if she apologized for the Star Wars prequels.

11:17 (@timbasham) – Please stop, Ann Hathaway. I didn’t know cute and kind could be so nauseating.

11:17 (@FilmFix) – Okay, it is very informative when the performers are placed back to back. With the actresses, the clips showed how the race was really between two actresses—Portman and Lawrence. Yes, Lawrence was very special in Winter’s Bone, but heck Portman gave the best of the best. Love that she mentioned Besson. The Professional is so well regarded—check IMDB and it is ranked in the top 30 or so of all time.

11:16 – We’ve picked 12 of 21 tonight, including this obvious guess.

11:15 (@michaeldunaway) – Bridges’ intro of actresses fantastic but can’t touch Downey’s at GG’s http://bit.ly/gjo0Yo

11:13 (@harvilla) – if banksy won best actress it would be the raddest thing

11:13 (@michaeldunaway) – “Fragile?” No. Annette’s performance was excellent but not “fragile” at all. Plus #JulianneWasBetter

11:12 (@wwtdd) – “annette is almost as reliable as the all new Sonata”

Actress in a Leading Role
Who’s Nominated:
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman, The Black Swan
Who Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Who Really Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

SG: There’s a reason why we chose Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in Winter’s Bone as our best of 2010. That being said, months of hype surrounding Portman in The Black Swan will be impossible to erase from the Academy’s mind. The spectacle of her losing weight and training for a few months is unfortunately more important than her dry performance.
CD: Learning ballet, acting crazy, currently pregnant? Portman better have her acceptance speech memorized by now
MD: Portman’s performance might be the weakest of the nominees, but she’s a shoo-in to win. This won’t be Jennifer Lawrence’s last rodeo, but it will have to be another year that she takes home the trophy.

Who Won: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

11:10 (@seangandert) – My track record predicting who wins the shorts categories remains… pretty poor. Much better choices this year than usual. For once I think I underestimated the Academy.

11:07 (@michaeldunaway) – If I were Annete Bening, don’t think I would have left Warren Beatty sitting next to a neckline that low

11:04 (@michaelianblack) – Tribute to Lena Horne but not Corey Haim? NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!!!

11:04 (@michaeldunaway) – Wow. King’s Speech had some good qualities but was TERRIBLY directed. A travesty.

11:02 (@pattonoswalt) – 2nd dude in a dress tonight! #hilaryswank #Oscars

Who’s Nominated:
“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky 
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech” Tom Hooper
The Social Network” David Fincher
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Who Will Win: David Fincher, The Social Network
Who Should Win: David Fincher, The Social Network
Who Really Should Win: David Fincher, The Social Network

SG: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was the most groundbreaking film to be released in 2010 and that’s largely a result of Edgar Wright’s incredible sense of what’s possible visually. But Fincher turned in a masterpiece in the traditional sense and well deserves the award he’ll receive.
CD: Tough call. Coens already got theirs. Fincher deserves it but he’s too prickly a personality for many Oscar voters, making safe and steady Speech the pick.
TB: Like many of Mike Leigh’s films, Another Year relies on superb acting, where the study of social behavior through the actions of interesting though often sedate characters is the strength of the film.

Who Won: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

10:57 (@sportsguy33) – Lena Horne over Dennis Hopper?!?!? Vegas books withholding Dead Montage payouts until they determine if this was rigged.

10:57 (@joshjackson) – And Lena Horne makes every other musical moment on the show sound pedestrian.

10:54 (@TheTweetOfGod) – Some of these people are with Me now, in a better place, where Celine Dion never sings.

10:52 (@joshjackson) – Celine Deon can only be a breathe of fresh air after Gwyneth Paltrow sings.

10:51 (@joshjackson) – How about the entire cast of Modern Family host this thing next year?

10:45 (@michaeldunaway) – Why is David Bowie wearing that blonde wig and singing a country song?

Music (Original Song)
Who’s Nominated:
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas,
Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and
Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman 

Who Will Win: “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Who Should Win: “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
Who Really Should Win: “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater

SG: Oh lord, none of them should win this. Neither should anything else. Ugh. Umm… I guess Tangled probably would and should win for the category, but seriously, this category should just die.
CD: Again—the conventional structure of Alan Menken over the more ethereal A.R. Rahman

Who Won: Randy Newman

10:43 (@joshjackson) – I’m pretty sure James Franco decided to ditch the script in favor of Beavis and Butthead, making Anne giggle with nervous laughter.

10:37 (@michaeldunaway) – Wondering if Scrooge McDuck will get part of INception’s awrds http://bit.ly/cqtryHa

10:36 (@hodgman) – Fake casting news: Bob Hope hologram ACCEPTS offer to host Golden Globes. Billy Crystal hologram still busy at LA Clipper games.(@scarpling)

10:34 (@ThatKevinSmith) – INCEPTION wins again! Amazingly, according to the nominations, it did so without even having a director! #SMoscars

Film Editing
Who’s Nominated:
“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris
The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Who Will Win: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Social Network
Who Should Win: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Social Network
Who Really Should Win: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Social Network

SG: Social Network was extremely tight and managed to pace out what would otherwise be a slow drama, not to mention making its labyrinthine plot easily understandable (not easy if you read the script).
CD: Social Network is dependent upon seamless cutting and transitions.

Who Won: The Social Network

10:32 (@aimeemann) – Obviously, Robert Downey Jr should host every single awards event from now on.

Visual Effects
Who’s Nominated:
Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and
Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John
Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Who Will Win: Inception
Who Should Win: Inception
Who Really Should Win: Inception

JM: Two or three amazing sequences win the day for Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending vision.

Who Won: Inception

10:31 (@joshjackson) – Billy Bob just made Anne James cry.

10:30 (@questlove) – hahhahah uh bill i dont think i was allowed in the theater when bob hope first hosted.

10:27 (@joshjackson) – Save us, Billy Crystal!

10:26 (@azizansari) – No TV station in London is live telecasting the Oscars. Does anyone know if Jason Statham won the Oscar for Best Transporter?

10:24 (@michaelianblack) – OMG: Oprah just gave Jack Nicholson a NEW CAR!!!

10:23 (@BobLeyESPN) – not a single financial executive in jail; who will be prosecuted for TONIGHT?

10:22 (@joshjackson) – Ferguson and Marrs should make a documentary getting to the bottom of why Waiting for Superman wasn’t nominated.

Documentary (Feature)
Who’s Nominated:
“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Who Will Win: Inside Job
Who Should Win: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Who Really Should Win: Waiting for Superman

SG: Usually I’m that documentary guy, but for once I don’t feel like I’ve seen enough of the nominees to really comment. Yup, I’m a disgrace. But Exit is the only one of these that has real press power, and that will win the day. Plus, people hoping to get a crazy reaction from Banksy’s acceptance.
CD: Amazing nominees—each important in their own way. How cool would it be to see Banksy win (even if we wouldn’t see him). But Gift Shop pushes too many boundaries of a traditional category/understanding of docs for Academy voters. Inside Job chronicles the greatest misunderstood story of our time. Bet on history.

Who Won: Inside Job

10:20 (@michaeldunaway) – Autotune = best two minutes of the show so far

10:17 (@pattonoswalt) – Luke Matheny — funny, heartfelt and spontaneous. And those 3 things now leave the Oscar stage for the rest of the show! #Oscars

10:16 (@tannenbaumr) – The dude from Be Your Own Pet won an Oscar!

10:16 Sean Gandert says the Academy did this on right: “In a sort of opposition to the polished nature of “Confession” in particular is “God of Love,” a fun little tale about a man given a set of love darts. He uses these on the girl he has a crush on, but unfortunately the darts only work for a few hours, after which whoever he hits with the dart goes back to normal. The sheer whimsy of “God of Love” is enjoyable, even if what’s under its surface is a pretty obvious case of hipster wish-fulfillment. The semi-unprofessional style of the short, coupled with the more fantastic elements at its core, make it pretty interesting. I doubt it has much of a chance with the Academy, but as far as making a strong calling-card short for first impressions, “God of Love” works wonders.”

Short Film (Live Action)
Who’s Nominated:
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Who Will Win: Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite, Wish 143
Who Should Win: Luke Matheny, God of Love
Who Really Should Win: Luke Matheny, God of Love

CG: God of Love is really fresh and funny. An NYU film school project.

Who Won: God of Love

10:14 Sean Gandert would like to rain on Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon’s big night: “While every other nominee strove for hard-hitting, investigative journalism, Strangers No More is a human interest puff piece. As such, at 40 minutes long it can really be difficult to finish. It focuses on a school in Tel Aviv that brings in international refugees and gives them an education. If you want to know about the school, then great, there’s 40 minutes of it here. And while the school’s mission is admirable, it’s a very forgettable film. “Strangers No More” also never goes beneath the surface to ask any remotely hard questions of what’s going on—I couldn’t help but wonder what its policy on Palestinian refugees is. In all, the film’s not so much bad as it is completely average.”

Documentary (Short Subject)
Who’s Nominated:
“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein
“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Who Will Win: Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block, Poster Girl
Who Should Win: Jed Rothstein, Killing in the Name
Who Really Should Win: Jed Rothstein, Killing in the Name

SG: Impossible to say who really should win — too many short documentaries a year to see enough for an opinion. Probably none of these, though.
I’ll go into more detail about why killing in the name is so great in my piece about the shorts next week, but in general it’s both personal and entertaining, not to mention a lot more complex than the rest of these. Poster Girl has some of that going on, but it’s also meandering and leads nowhere by its end.
CD: Strangers No More has plenty of emotional appeal. But Poster Girl
gets inside the soldier’s experience.

Who Won: Strangers No More

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