Good morning everyone, and welcome to the world-renowned Great Bubble Oscar Blog! Huddled into Josephine Butler JCR this morning are Thom Addinall-Biddulph, Becky Wallis, Ruth Stanforth, Alex Landon, Nikeel Boyd-Shah, and Mike Johnson, waiting to bring you the best of the awards, complete with all the wit and humourous observations you’ve come to expect from this blog! Our search for a live feed has so far been fruitless, but we will continue looking – in the meantime, we’re discussing all the usual points of contention for the Oscars: who will win Best Picture? How will first-time host Seth MacFarlane do? And just what is the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing? Maybe, just maybe, we’ll find out tonight!
Alex: The hunt for a live stream goes on, so we’re relying on the (far inferior) BBC text commentary, which has so far informed us that Seth MacFarlane has done the impossible and made Tommy Lee Jones laugh, and that the ladies toilets on the second floor of the Dolby Theatre have flooded…because that’s vital information we needed to know, apparently.
Alex: Singing and dancing have come and gone, with stars such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Radcliffe, and Charlize Theron performing. Our illustrious host has also performed a song called ‘We Saw Your Boobs’, which followed an edgy joke about Rihanna and Chris Brown – this ceremony is clearly geared towards a younger audience. Meanwhile, Octavia Spencer has appeared to present the award for Best Supporting Actor, one of the more open categories of the evening. And it goes to…Christoph Waltz, who makes it two wins from two Tarantino films for his turn in Django Unchained!
Thom: Waltz hadn’t been originally tipped to win Best Supporting Actor, as De Niro had been campaigning hard for his turn in Silver Linings Playbook – a desperate ploy to avert his recent image as a living joke? De Niro didn’t deserve the award at all, his role in Silver Linings being perfectly adequate but nothing special. Waltz, on the other hand, was mesmerising as King Schultz in Django Unchained – for me, it was between him and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s by turns terrifying and fascinating performance in The Master.
Alex: Best Animated Short Film goes to the charming and heart-warming Paperman, a Disney film which blends live action and animation – worth a watch if it appears on your Facebook news feed as much as it does on mine! Scotland makes its presence felt in the category of Best Animated Feature Film as Brave takes the award, and one of the recipients takes to the stage in full Highland dress. This is almost as awesome as the time the dog from The Artist took to the stage at the end of last year’s ceremony!
Ruth: Nostalgia in the JCR as the cast of Avengers Assemble present Best Cinematography to Life of Pi; we were hoping for a couple of nominations for the Marvel film. I couldn’t help but wish Mark Ruffalo had stormed the stage in full Hulk make-up though. A second Oscar follows for Life of Pi, as everyone’s favourite badass, Samuel L. Jackson, presents the statue for Visual Effects.
Alex: Having waited several awards for a British winner, we now have two at once – Costume Design has been awarded to Anna Karenina, and Les Miserables has picked up its first award of the night, earning itself the award for Best Make-up. Expect Anne Hathaway to add to that later in the evening though!
Alex: With still no live stream in sight, the upbeat mood in the room is slowly dwindling, but we’re being kept entertained by Nikeel, who is currently discussing a far-fetched theory that Christoph Waltz is in fact a Natural Sciences student at Van Mildert – if any Mildertians/Natural Scientists know the double-Oscar winner and could enlighten us, we’d be very grateful! We’re at that stage of the show when the Academy rewards all those films that no-one has heard of: Best Live Action Short is awarded to Curfew, and Best Documentary Short goes to Inocente. However, the hotly-contested Best Documentary Oscar is awarded to Searching for Sugar Man, which was realistically regarded as the favourite – and we’ve even heard of it!
Alex: PRAISE THE GODS, WE HAVE A FEED!!!
Ruth: Praise the gods? Praise the Mike, who has toiled endlessly to find a live stream, and has finally succeeded, possibly at the risk of multiple viruses to his computer, but it’s all for the greater good!
Thom: Unfortunately there are adverts blocking the screen, but all this means is that we can’t see John Travolta, which may not be a bad thing. This quickly segues into a rendition of ‘All That Jazz’ by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jennifer Hudson, before the cast of Les Miserables perform ‘Suddenly’, which is up for Original Song later in the show.
Alex: Before all that jazz, we just about caught the presentation for Best Foreign Language Film, which, to absolutely no-one’s surprise, went to Michael Haneke for Amour. This might not be the film’s only award for the night, however – look out for it in the Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress categories in particular.
Ruth: Our temperamental feed disappeared temporarily, but resident tech deity Mike has fixed it once more – just in time to see Les Mis pick up its second award of the night, this time for Sound Mixing, which is probably mostly of the back of the audacious decision to use live singing. Sound Editing next, and WE HAVE A TIE. Zero Dark Thirty gets the first award, and Skyfall the second, but this is clearly a trick, because the winner looks exactly the same. Clearly the twin-ship has magical powers, which bodes well for me, muahahahahahaaa… Appaz the only other tie was 1969 between Barbara Streisand and Katherine Hepburn. Not sure if this tie is quite as epic, but it was quite an interesting turn of events…
Ruth: Next up, in Thom’s words, “The Anne Hathaway award for Anne Hathaway”. Methinks I agree, she was stunning in Les Mis and generally an all-round casual sort of person, so I can get on board with this whole-heartedly. Amy Adams will forever remind me of The Muppets so, my apologies. I’m sure at least Alex is a fan (it’s the red-head thing again…). Sally Field is awesome, but I havenae seen the film. Awww Anne, emotional song timeeeee. Can’t be doing with what’s-his-face director man doing all them close-ups though. Why has Helen Hunt’s clip got female genitalia as the main script segment?! Jacki Weaver… I don’t even know. HUZZAHHH. Annie baby’s done it. I can’t believe I just said Annie baby, but this was such a fore-gone conclusion that I felt compelled to spice up my commentary with something ‘out there’. I also want to stroke her dress, which surely makes me human and NOT a pervert.
Alex: Argo wins its first award of the evening, for Best Editing, but we’re a little distracted by an…interesting Twitter account called ‘Anne Hathaway’s Nipples’, which, according to Thom, is “more up to date than the BBC”. Riiiiight.
Ruth: As the feed is still unfortunately down, Alex has taken the opportunity to get side-tracked by Emma Stone videos… “There hasn’t been enough of her in this ceremony, I’ve got to get my fix somehow!”. And that, dear readers, is what we call an addict! (Context: last year’s blog was very E.S.-heavy as Alex is totes a fanboy).
Alex: “Anne Hathaway’s Nipples have gone rather quiet”, says Thom – there’s a sentence I never thought I’d hear. In other, less mortifying news, Lincoln has won its first award of the night for Production Design, as Thom finally gives up on Anne Hathaway’s Nipples.
Alex: And now it’s time for the People We’ve Lost montage, some recognisable names here: Ernest Borgnine, Michael Clarke Duncan, and the one that saddens me the most, Nora Ephron. Not just because she wrote the screenplay for one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time (When Harry Met Sally), but because she led such an amazing life – she was one of the first to know about the Watergate scandal and the identity of Deep Throat, and her writing is wonderfully witty, check it out if you get the chance. See, we can be informative on subjects other than Emma Stone and Anne Hathaway’s nipples!
Thom: Life of Pi takes best score, and now has three wins, the most of any film so far. The BBC has inexplicably decided to live broadcast the swearing in of South Korea’s new president but not the Oscars, how infuriating.
Alex: Best Original Song now, and the prediction around the room is for Skyfall…..and we’re proved right! It becomes the first Bond theme to ever win Best Song, which we all find rather surprising considering how iconic many of them are. A nice moment for Adele too, who can add an Academy Award to her already impressive list of accomplishments.
Ruth: I liked Argo. It had pretty colours. It’s also just won the award for Adapted Screenplay, in a fairly tough category. I’m not a fan of hostage situations, but seriously, this film truly made me care about the characters, which is rare for a film such as this.
Nikeel: In the Original Screenplay category, we have another member of the famed Coppola clan, Roman, who is nominated with Wes Anderson for the quirky Moonrise Kingdom. He won’t get an Oscar today though, as the award has, like the BAFTA two weeks ago, gone to Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained. Roman will have to fall back on the A he got in Spanish to impress his family, then.
Alex: Best Director now, another tough one to call, particularly since the favourite for this award, Ben Affleck, wasn’t even nominated! It looked to be going Spielberg’s way, but Thom is slightly perturbed to see it go to Ang Lee, who previously won for Brokeback Mountain. I’m content because my Oscar prediction that Best Director and Best Picture wouldn’t go to the same film is likely to be proved right, unless of course Life of Pi takes Best Picture – in which case Thom states he’ll refuse to do the blog next year. Fighting talk indeed…
Alex: One of the most interesting categories of the night – featuring the youngest ever Best Actress nominee, and the oldest, Emmanuelle Riva, who turns 86 today, making her older than the Oscars themselves – is up next. This was widely regarded as a two-way race between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain, but Riva’s BAFTA award could count in her favour. Resident Frenchman Jean Dujardin is back to present the award, and he’s handing it over to….Jennifer Lawrence! She retains her grace and dignity despite falling up the stairs, and even remembers to wish Riva a happy birthday, too.
Ruth: Daniel Day-Lewis has just picked up a third Best Actor win, which was delivered by Meryl Streep. It’s cajz how two years running the ‘key’ awards have gone to people portraying famous historical figures, and it is therefore fitting that Ms. Streep should be handing over his Oscar. Well done Danny, I may even go watch the film now!
Alex: We’re on to the final award of the night; the big one, la grand fromage – it’s Best Picture. Weeks of speculation put Les Mis, then Lincoln, and finally Argo as the front-runner, and tonight marks the culmination of this race, which has led us all the way to…The White House? Yes, you read it correctly, as Michelle Obama will be announcing the winner of this award, and it goes to….ARGO! The first film since 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy to win Best Picture without the director being nominated, it also nets producers George Clooney and Ben Affleck their second Oscars (having won for Syriana in 2005 and Good Will Hunting in 1998, respectively). Interesting that they announced it from the White House though; that’s likely to annoy a few Republicans! Can’t say I’m disappointed, Argo struck a neat balance between keeping you on the edge of your seat with taut action whilst being a genuinely good film.
So that concludes the 2013 Academy Awards, a night which promised, and then delivered, some surprises. No film dominated the ceremony – Life of Pi came out on top with four, mostly in the technical categories, but Ang Lee triumphed for the second time in the director’s race. Argo ended up with three, including the biggest award of the night, and Les Mis, propelled by Anne Hathaway, also nabbed a trio of statues. Meanwhile, Lincoln, Django Unchained and Skyfall all picked up two awards, as the high-profile awards in particular were shared evenly amongst the Best Picture nominees. Time to reflect on what we’ve learned, then:
– It is almost impossible to find a live feed of the awards without Mike’s technological voodoo.
– It is possible to share an Academy Award without cutting it in half – who knew?
– Christoph Waltz should only ever make films with Quentin Tarantino if he wants to win Oscars.
– Anne Hathaway’s nipples are surprisingly vocal.
With nothing else to add – since we can’t actually watch the closing of the ceremony, and no-one else is blogging about it – and drowsiness finally taking its toll, we’re going to stumble off to bed now. Join us next year for more witticisms, fake Twitter accounts, and the inevitable Emma Stone worship!