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February 23, 2009

Oscars 2009 Live Blog: This Just In

Because this URL has driven me and friends crazy for days, I must finally, at long last, say ... This Is Justin. (My friend Carol, earlier: "Why is the Sentinel so obsessed with Justin?")

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February 22, 2009

Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Picture (and it's not even midnight!)

And here we are.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"Frost/Nixon"
"Milk"
"The Reader"
"Slumdog Millionaire"

Slumdog! Obviously this was the best and only choice, because it's the only one I've seen of the five. I'd like to commend myself on my excellent judgment.

I would also like to note that I did not, at any point tonight, get to eat even a teensy bit of lamb vindaloo. And what is up with that?

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Actor

Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"

I hate "an historic." I'm not seeking out a debate about this, but I just hate it. Does anyone say "an hilarious"? I do not feel they do.

My Consort is, mysteriously, applauding wildly for Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas.

I just mistook Leslie Mann for Gywneth Paltrow. This is a compliment to both of them.

Consort convinced Penn will win. I'm pulling for Rourke, although I openly refuse to ever watch The Wrestler even though Darren Aronofsky directed it. I just ... can't. It's like Gran Torino. NO.

Yeah, I almost feel like they changed the vote here due to fear that Rourke would go on for six minutes and be extremely profane and also invoke Eric Roberts repeatedly (truly, please do see below if you haven't yet. More entertaining than anything that's happened tonight).

Penn: "You commie homo-loving sons of a gun." Love.

Also happy to see him and Robin Wright Penn back together now. And hey, maybe now he doesn't go to film festivals and try to pick up teenage girls anymore. Maybe?

Consort doesn't think Robin will be happy that she didn't get mentioned in speech. I think she'll be all starry-eyed over his political idealism and that will compensate. Plus, clearly, the woman has put up with plenty over the years.

This is all very high-minded and intellectual, I realize. Like all things I say.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Actress

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"
Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

I always forget that they do this: Bore you to death with numbing whateverness for hours, and then suddenly real things are happening.

I want Hathaway here. I think it's going to be Streep, or Leo as an upset. Or Winslet just because that's just how great she is. So, basically, anyone but Jolie is going to win. You're welcome for these amazing insights.

Sophia Loren -- aging less gracefully than anyone since, I don't know, that crazy cat woman? Wildenstein? Whatever.

Wow. OK, Winslet, fine, always amazing. But for that movie? Really? That movie that's also somehow up for best picture.

Winslet and the dad whistling thing? Adorable.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Director

Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Gus Van Sant, "Milk"

Yay, Danny Boyle! ... Who appears to now be talking about Tigger. OK.

This category happening honestly almost shook me out of the aforementioned coma, which it turned out didn't even need to be medically induced because ... seriously. I was all checking my comments, email, Facebook, etc ... and all of the sudden here's lovely Reese Witherspoon and it's a real category. How confusing.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Where Am I?

Alicia Keys looks fantastic -- that sort of thistle shade of her dress is lovely -- although I did not even vaguely recognize her. Charlie insists that Zac Efron looks just like Leonardo DiCaprio circa Gilbert Grape, which is assuredly not a compliment.

I have no idea why or how anyone who was not obligated to watch this broadcast for work purposes would do so. As far as I can tell, the only salient change is that it's even more draggy and pointless than usual.

Ryan Seacrest referred to John Legend as "my brother" during the red-carpet nonsense, right? Oh, Ryan. So down. So street. So undoubtedly heterosexual, as well.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Important Alert

I am going to put myself into a medically induced coma for anything that might involve a tribute to Jerry Lewis. That is all.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Shoutout to "suburban Florida"!

Yep, another (not all that meaningful, this time) award for The Dark Knight, and the winner mentions growing up in "suburban Florida." As my fellow Floridian viewers note, that truly could mean anywhere.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Documentary

"The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)"
"Encounters at the End of the World"
"The Garden"
"Man on Wire"
"Trouble the Water"

Charlie and I perhaps making up over this category, based on shared love for Werner Herzog and also Man on Wire.

Oh, looky. Bill Maher is reminding me again that, even though I do rather like his HBO show, this whole "if you are not an atheist you are an idiot" position is just so patently offensive and reductive and lots of other important words I can't think of right now.

How does Man on Wire not win this? ...

Yep, I guess it has to! Yay! And yay! Crazy Frenchman who also just recently appeared with Crazy Socks on Colbert has rushed the stage! Behold:

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"
Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road"

darkknight.jpgCountdown to me crying over Heath Ledger has begun ...

Is it wrong that I associate Joel Grey most with Buffy?

Yeah ... I like how Alan Arkin didn't even pause before saying Heath Ledger's name.

And now I cry while Charlie makes fun of me.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Shocking, confusing me with "curiously amusing*" moments

(*Charlie's words)

Pineapple Express segment -- fantastic. Although maybe slightly better if I weren't distracted by how slimmed-down Seth Rogen is there/now as opposed to how he looks in the movie itself.

My alcohol-bringing, Indian-food-denying Consort hasn't seen Pineapple Express (which I think is a great besides the entirely needless opening sequence) yet, and I want to pretend there's a chance we could watch it later tonight, after all of this, except it seems if it's after say midnight and we try to watch anything at all -- even something as minor as Flight of the Conchords -- we cannot get through more than the first two minutes.

I am pretending this entire musical sequence has not just happened. Much as Jack Bristow "[doesn't] ... read ... Evites," I don't ... watch ... musicals.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Art Direction

"Changeling"
"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"
"The Dark Knight"
"The Duchess"
"Revolutionary Road"

Charlie has just made 97 consecutive Sarah Jessica Parker-as-horse jokes, none of which I will acknowledge. The woman starred in Girls Just Want to Have Fun, for the love of Helen Hunt. Annnnndd Footloose!

However, I'll give you this: "You know what's a really solid period piece? Maniac Cop 2. Not the first one. But Maniac Cop 2 really takes you back to 1990."

(Benjamin Button just won, for the record.)

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Animated Feature

"Bolt"
"Kung Fu Panda"
"WALL-E"

Yeah. Because I do not have children and am joyless and hateful in general, I have seen none of these. I trust whatever Pixar has made will and should win.

AND, WINNER: Yeppers.

Jennifer Aniston looks stunning. I really hope that, like her, I can somehow manage to progressively get hotter from say age 30 to 40. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my hot life! Clearly.

Certain members of my home right now are distressingly happy to see a shot of Peter Gabriel.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Adapted Screenplay

Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"
David Hare, "The Reader"
Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon"
John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"
Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

WINNER: Yay, Beaufoy for Slumdog! Also known as the single one of best picture nominees I've seen (and loved, passionately).

Fun fact: My dream job is writing adapted screenplays. I could never do anything original, obviously, but a book I love that is adapted into a movie in some brilliant fashion, like The English Patient or The Ice Storm or (to go into short story/novella category) Brokeback Mountain ... yeah. Dream job.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Original Screenplay

Dustin Lance Black, "Milk"
Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"
Mike Leigh, "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Martin McDonagh, "In Bruges"
Andrew Stanton, and Jim Reardon; original story by Stanton and Pete Docter "WALL-E"

I am so, so, so over Steve Martin. Never would have thought he'd end up riding, of all things, Tina Fey's coattails. But ... that's what he's doing these days. Honestly. He's one (more) terrible movie away from being Chevy Chase, which is among one of the worst things a person could ever fear being. (Other than the random SNL sketch a couple of weeks ago in which Martin cupped Kristen Wiig's breasts. That was pretty awesome.)

AND THE WINNER IS ... Dustin Lance Black for Milk. I, um, haven't seen this movie. Like so many others. Now seeing movies is not part of my work day, and my work days tend to be long, and I don't get awards screeners ...

Or maybe I'm just lazy. In any case, that speech was OUTSTANDING. And made me teary, and wish he'd gotten a standing ovation.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penélope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"

OK, really? A random selection of five previous winners to name the first winner? Not sure how I feel about this "change."

Although I am never not happy to see Anjelica Huston. Also, gorgeous color.

Whoopi Goldberg: Somehow did not know she had the kind of tattoo that would qualify her as a Rock of Love contestant.

Goldie Hawn: OH GOD HELP US Side-Boob of Death

Tilda Swinton is scaring me, as usual, with her makeup and clothes. Yet -- she's so wonderful. Her performance in Michael Clayton is one of my favorite in years.

AND THE WINNER IS ... Oh, great! I get to listen to Cruz. Who was unpleasant to a certain giant-headed Cuban film critic and me a few years ago in Toronto, and whom I do not like in general, unless she's acting in Spanish-language films, in which case I do.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Reconsidering Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman: Entirely charming me against my will. (Were that accent South African, I'd basically be on the floor by this point.)

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Anne Hathaway FTW

Rachel Getting Married is the kind of movie that I love so much that it makes me actually sad, like punch-in-the-gut sad, when other people don't feel the same way. I can't even discuss it with such people. It just breaks my heart.

That said, can she pull off the best actress win against Meryl Streep or Kate Winslet? Probs not. Does this really matter to me? No.

Is there any point to this entry? ... Right.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Downey, not Bobby Brown and IT'S MILEY!!!

I have little comment on his nomination for Tropic Thunder, but Robert Downey Jr. looks almost creepily young and good.

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Apparently getting off crack and heroin and God knows what else does wonders for the complexion.

Charlie refuses to accept that Viola Davis' consort is not Bobby Brown.

Miley Cyrus: "Angelina Jolie is like my favorite person of all history." There are almost too many brain cells there for me to contemplate.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Actually live, AND high-def!

Not sure what I'm happier about now that I'm on ABC: a high-definition broadcast, or Tim Gunn. Either way ... oh, but now it's all ruined by having to watch the same people about whom I do not care (e.g., SJP) talk about the same idiot subjects on which they were forced to talk back with Seacrest and his E! ilk (e.g., the horror that is anything regarding any future big-screen SATCs).

Charlie Is Not Helpful, part the first:

Me: Who is this woman? Who is this giantess?
Charlie: Uh ... Grace Jones, maybe?

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Angelina, Winslet, weak shoulders and going liiiive!

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Angelina Jolie appears to have green lollipops hanging from her earlobes. That's the only bad thing I can come up to say about her appearance, though, so there you have it.

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Kate Winslet is glorious. I haven't seen Revolutionary Road (which, yes, I understand is not what she's nominated for here) because I was eager to read the book first, which I did a couple of weeks ago in Montreal.

I kind of worry about the movie, however. From the clips, it seems like it has a tone rather unlike the book -- a tone in which the characters' whims are taken more seriously than they were meant to be. The movie, I mean. I worry about the movie. I love the book. Anyway, I had this same problem with Little Children; utterly lost the all-important satirical undertone of the book.

Almost live. Which means almost switching over to ABC for the official red-carpet show! And then, not that long after, having to try desperately to find Hugh Jackman as attractive as every other straightish woman allegedly does.

It's just ... ugh, I hate those downward-sloping shoulders. Like McConaughey's. I don't care how good of shape a guy is in if his shoulders slope downward, making them look weak even if they aren't.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Random thoughts (first in a series)

Charlie's angry about something new now: Sophia Loren continuing to exist and "ruining the old times" by being, well, old. Actually, no: The oldness is not the problem; it's the orangeness. "Kind of like a Slim Jim, pretty much," Charlie says. "Like a Slim Jim wrapped in some pale, pig-based casing."

When I think "Robert Pattinson," I definitely think "Oscars." Oh, and Sarah Jessica Parker, too. Ew. PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT "SEX AND THE CITY 2." I want to pretend none of these things exist. I want to so very much.

Below the jump: Seacrest, me crying over Mickey Rourke's dead dog, the evil lure of DVRs and how I am not live with this right now ...

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Ryan Seacrest, Heidi Klum's "cheeks," Coca-Cola

I say (or write) what could be construed as vaguely critical things of Ryan Seacrest a whole lot, but actually I find him a lot more entertaining than, say, Joan Rivers ever was.

Like, say, how he gets into fashion-related conversations with Heidi Klum and Seal and, when she makes a reference to her genetically, demonically perfect bottom, he goes back to it (the subject, that is) as often as possible.

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And then begins plugging Coke, because apparently has has forgotten they are not sponsoring this (at least, I assume they are not) as they do American Idol. (Should I go back to watching Idol? I used to be quite into it. I haven't since the Blake Lewis/Jordin Sparks season. So ... two years?)

Michael Sheen: Good guy. I interviewed him in Miami Beach a couple of years ago when he played Tony Blair (brilliantly) in The Queen. He's oddly cute in person. Also, he and Kate Beckinsale were together for a long time until she married (or whatevered) the director of, ahem, Underworld (aka Chauncey Mabe's total fave movie of all time). They have a child together and everything! I think that is germane, yes.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: The real problem with "Milk"

Yes, it is my brother Charlie's first (but I hope not last, because I am not feeling very "clever" today, or this weekend at all for this matter) contribution: He is enraged that it seems Milk might have used the Futura font. "That just makes me angry," he said, while actually shaking his fist. (I should clarify that the photograph below is not, like, live or anything; in fact it's from when he was 19. Which was in 2000 or something.)

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Yep. Oh, more important news: My most important co-watcher of the evening is completely hiding from me, which is a real problem, because he's supposed to bring me -- say it with me now -- ALCOHOL.

Also I was already thinking about ordering in Indian food tonight, and not until this very moment did it occur to me that there was any, you know, connection there with Slumdog Millionaire. I'm a writer; a poet; a genius; I know it.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: "Changes"

Yeah. Unless the "big changes" promised for this year's ceremony involve it moving at the sort of crazily fast clip that the Spirit Awards did, I don't think I care about them. Of course, back in the days of yore when I had to write about the Oscars in a real way, I was incredibly grateful for how long everything took. Gave me more time to work on the story that was always due about three minutes after best picture was announced -- writing dummy ledes for all possible outcomes, etc.

(Also, one thing that is guaranteed to NOT happen tonight: Crash will NOT beat Brokeback Mountain for best picture. And so, what could possibly go wrong?)

Oh, right-O, but so Spirit Awards just zip by because they're corporately sponsored to a literally comical degree. No, really, literally: My beloved Elizabeth Banks presenting some kind of award sponsored by Lacoste? Hilarious.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: Zac Efron is a genius

Asked by Ryan Seacrest what his favorite is this year, Zac Efron replied, "Everything." Yes. I'm going with that, too. "Everything" is my favorite. Saves you from so many more difficult explanations or discussions.

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However, it says a lot about how scarily old I am that I would much rather watch a full-screen view of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates than I would Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.

Oh dear. Ryan Seacrest saying, "Take care, Phoebe" FREAKS ME OUT.

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: "Bale," "Phoenix" more entertaining than I, although that is not really a challenge

Yeah, so apparently the only part reaaally worth watching in the Spirit Awards was this, which my mom sort of already ruined for me earlier, as that is her way. Although Mickey Rourke's speech was pretty awesome (and profanity- and Eric Roberts-laden), too, and I did get to see that. Also, I enjoyed that Mickey Rourke made out with Darren Aronofsky more often, and with far more passion, than Rachel Weisz ever got to.

Click through for Rourke's acceptance speech ...

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Oscars 2009 Live Blog: I Have No Idea What I Am Doing

Yes! Welcome! I just finished watching almost the entire second half (but not quite even that much) of what are no longer called the Independent Spirit Awards, but which I will continue to think of as such, on IFC.

We're going to pretend that I only watched a portion of that awards show in order to continue the theme of my almost shocking ignorance on the subject of movies released in 2008 that have been nominated for awards, and not because of all the napping that needed to happen (and still does, but hey).

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But seriously: I have not seen fewer movies in any year since I was a small child, probably. It is sad for all of us.

Ryan Seacrest is talking to Miley Cyrus on E!. Oh, yeah, this certainly feels like the Oscars to me.

-- Phoebe Flowers

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February 20, 2009

The Oscars are coming! Join our live blog Sunday evening

set-up.jpgFrom Ryan Seacrest's spectacularly awkward red-carpet questions to my embarrassing (yet predictable) displays of sentimentality toward Heath Ledger to Slumdog Millionaire's probable best picture win (which will take place sometime around 2 a.m., chances are), join me for each and every superficial insight I feel compelled to share on Oscar night. The live blog begins at 6 p.m.

-- Phoebe Flowers

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