Nikki Finke: Live-Snarking The Oscars – Welcome To Harveywood!

Oscar Winners List 2012
Backstage At The Academy Awards
OSCARS: Who Wore What On The Red Carpet
OSCARS: Wins By Studio
OSCARS: Wins By Film
Sacha Baron Cohen Punks Ryan Seacrest: ‘The Dictator’ Spills “Kim Jong Il’s Ashes” All Over Red Carpet Host! (Ryan Unamused)

Oscars Live Commentary 2012I’m live-snarking the 84th Annual Academy Awards for the outstanding film achievements of 2011 starting at 5:30 PM PT tonight. Comments will open when the show starts inside the Kodak Theatre. Come for the cynicism. Stay for the subversion. Add your comment. WARNING: Not for the easily offended or ridiculously naive.

This 84th Academy Awards show is supposed to be televised to more than 225 countries worldwide. So I’m tipping all you foreigners to something that Americans already know: The Oscars suck every year! And this year the Oscars are gonna suck worse than ever! Because we all know who’s going to win the marquee categories without a single envelope being ripped open.

So welcome to THE MOST BORING OSCARS EVER!

No one in Hollywood wanted to attend the Oscars this year. For the first time ever, instead of execs fighting for tickets, studio heads had to beg their spouses to accompany them. Why? Because the moguls and their lackeys couldn’t tolerate the prospect at sitting through the interminable telecast only to watch Harvey Weinstein gloat because he’ll win Best Picture et al for the second straight year. Everybody agrees that The Artist is a fun pic but hardly Best Picture Oscar worthy. And yet almost everybody voted for it anyway. I can’t even blame Harvey’s usual Oscar tactics (paying Academy members to fill out their ballots, redoing voters’ kitchens and bathrooms…). Hollywood only has itself to blame for Harveywood and bringing Harv back from the brink of extinction. So when he turns into a monster again, just remember that I said, “TOLDJA!”

The anti-Artist protest began as early as the Red Carpet tonight. It was summed up by Kaui Hart Hemmings, author of the book The Decendants on which the pic of the same name is based. She tweeted: The Artist people were in line in front of me, and now I smell like cigarettes and entitlement.” Bitter much?

Morgan Freeman welcomes everyone to the 84th Academy Awards.

Billy Crystal stars in a silent black and white movie. Like DUH!

Billy Crystal as Coma Woman! Full-on kiss with George Clooney. ABC just lost every Red State viewer and probably won the GOP presidential race for Rick Santorum. Seriously, Academy, you clearly don’t want families to watch, do you?

Nice touch that shtick with Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis Jr. (I forgot he did that impression.) But Crystal’s plastic surgery is so off-putting. His face looks like it was ironed — and I swear I can still see the scorch smarks.

Since only 3 people saw most of the Best Picture Oscar contenders, of course Crystal’s movie reel had to include one popular pic — Mission: Impossible 4. My guess is Tom Cruise paid for the product placement of himself. (Not even M:I4‘s ads showed the actor!)

It’s Billy’s 9th time hosting the Oscars, and he’s already bombing with his jokes. “We’re here at the beautiful Chapter 11 theatre” — reference to the fact that the Kodak Theatre is bankrupt. Two home viewers got that.

Best line: “Enjoy yourselves. Because nothing can take the sting out the world’s problems than watching millionaires present each other with golden statues.” You won’t hear a truer statement all night.

Oh god, Billy’s mincing (i.e. singing and dancing) onstage. Make it stop! He’s 63 (some say he’s really 65) and could break a hip.

Did you notice why you can’t understand the lyrics to the songs he’s singing? Because of all the Botox, he can’t move his mouth.

Billy Crystal tweeted before the show, “Opening number changed. War Horse broke his leg, had to put him down.” Funnier line than anything onstage now.

Presenter Tom Hanks loves to pretend he’s The Mayor Of Hollywood. Onstage with that beard, he looks like the boat captain on a box of frozen fishsticks. (Isn’t he in a movie about a skipper vs the Somali pirates?)

Cinematography
“Hugo” (Paramount) – Robert Richardson

Art Direction
“Hugo” (Paramount) – Production Design: Dante Ferretti, Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

So about an hour before the Oscars began, show producer Brian Grazer phoned me. I think he was worried what I would say about him during my live-snarking. I assured him that I wouldn’t make him the scapegoat for the inevitably bad show. Instead, I told him that I’ll keep reminding you readers that it would have been far worse under Brett Ratner!

Grazer told me that the show’s theme tonight is to celebrate watching movies in theaters “as we rapidly ascend into VOD”. (That’s video-on-demand for civilians.) “Too many people are seeing movies alone or at home with 2-3 people. We want to celebrate the collective community experience which is my indelible memory of movies, magnified by seeing it with hundreds of people. Otherwise, it doesn’t have the same emotional impact,” Grazer told me. Exactly what about this show illusrates that?

Who wants to be in the middle of a J-Lo-Cameron Diaz sandwich? Too bad it’s wasted on the zillion men watching the Oscars. All gay, they’d rather fix both actresses’ awful hair.

Costume Design
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company) – Mark Bridges

First mention of Harvey Weinstein so far — many more to follow. Ad nauseum.

Makeup
“The Iron Lady” (The Weinstein Company) – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Uh-oh, the men didn’t mention Harvey. They’ll never work again for The Weinstein Co. But no worries: everyone else in Hollywood will reward them!

These filmed vignettes were directed by Moneyball‘s Bennett Miller.

With all her money, Barbra Streisand couldn’t afford shampoo?

Hey, Adam Sandler won the most Razzies today for the worst movies of 2011 with 11 nominations for that abomination Jack & Kill. I mean, Jack & Jill.

Just remember, I’m not nasty. My fingers which do the typing are the meanies. Blame them, not me.

Sandra Bullock is great no matter what lame material she’s given. (From my peanut gallery: “Did Sandy Bullock get that outfit from the old Star Trek wardrobe? She looks like an alien ambassador.”)

Foreign Language Film
“A Separation” (Sony Pictures Classics) A Dreamlab Films Production, Iran

First movie from Iran to win the Foreign Language Oscar. This guy went through hell and back. A shoo-in because of that. Reminds us that good movies can have great cultural impact. As long as Hollywood isn’t making them.

Christian Bale is even hunkier as he ages. Go ahead and make my day and scream at me, Christian. Let me be your whipping gal.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer in “The Help” (Touchstone)

Foregone conclusion and well-deserved. Spencer reveals genuine emotion which is rare for this show. “Thank you, Academy, for putting me with the hottest guy in the room… Thank you Steven Spielberg for changing my life. Thank you Stacey Snider for changing my life,” she says as tears stream down her face.

She also thanked The Help‘s writer/director Tate Taylor who changed agencies last week (from WME to CAA). I heard from a good source that he told CAA he doesn’t care what he does next “as long as it’s not a movie about pussies in pain…”

Focus group on The Wizard Of Oz? Genius concept, poor writing. But I Love the Second City/SCTV reunion. Of course, no one under the age of 55 has even heard of it… Way not to attract a younger audience, Acad.

Justin Bieber was in the opening film? I missed him. I must have thought he was one of the Disney dwarves…

Film Editing
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

This pair won last year for The Social Network. Obviously, the Academy gives Oscars to people who survive working with that pain-in-the-ass David Fincher.

Sound Editing
“Hugo” (Paramount) – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

Sound Mixing
“Hugo” (Paramount) – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

Surprising that Hugo is winning so many technical awards. On the other hand, with a cost of $200+M, it probably employed every member of every craft guild in Hollywood and beyond, and they all voted for it. The Graham King Films/Paramount 3D pic has only made domestic $69.3M and foreign $46.4M for a worldwide total box office of $115.8M. In other words, it’ll never earn out.

Was that Miss Piggy or Penelope Ann Miller? They both looked like pork sausage stuffed into their dresses. And Kermit looked as green as every movie executive during the last half of 2011 when the box office was slumping badly and their bonuses were vanishing.

Why the Cirque Du Soleil segment? Was this some sweetheart deal between the Academy and the Kodak Theatre which houses the Cirque show the rest of the year? What a stretch to make this have anything to do with the movie biz. It would have been more entertaining to watch the writer’s room.

If I see one more close-up of George Clooney, I’m gonna hurl.

My god, Billy Crystal’s forehead is as big as Harvey’s ego.

Crystal’s writers must have gotten their starts with Henny Youngman. It’s from the Bad Borscht Belt school of humor.

I remember that nanosecond when Robert Downey Jr used to be funny. Gwyneth Paltrow, unfortunately, never was and still isn’t.

Documentary (Feature)
“Undefeated” (The Weinstein Company) A Spitfire Pictures Production, TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

The delay button caught that winner’s swear word. Disney chief Bob Iger can put his heart back in his chest now that he won’t have to pay any gazillion-dollar FCC fine.

Another Harvey win. He’s getting Oscars for movies hardly anyone knew he was distributing, like this one.

I remember that year or two when Chris Rock used to be funny.

Animated Feature Film
“Rango” (Paramount) – Gore Verbinski

Another shoo-in. Johnny Depp deserves this as much as Verbinski since this film represents a different way of making these toons and Johnny acted out every movement of his toon character. That said, it was another Graham King/Paramount budget buster. It eked out a box office opening and may never earn out. (That grinding sound you hear is Brad Grey and Rob Moore sharpening knives to cut me down to size tomorrow for picking on Paramount…)

Somewhere along the way, Billy Crystal made a political joke dissing the GOP presidential candidates. Those few remaining Red State viewers turned off their TV sets, muttering epithets about how the Hollywood liberals didn’t dare poke fun at President Obama. Nice going, Acad: you lost 50% of America.

I hear there was a Nipplegate controversy on the Red Carpet. (“Did anyone mention Jennifer Lopez’ nipple hanging out?” asks one of my peanut gallery gals watching the Oscars with 13 gay guys.)

So that backstage bit by Melissa McCarthy with Billy Crystal was just embarrassing. Then again, I thought Bridesmaids was going to flop at the box office so what do I know. I’m not even smarter than the bigwigs who are running Universal into the ground right now.

(“Is Emma Stone high? Or just channelling James Franco?,” my peanut gallery asks.) She made even Ben Stiller unfunny tonight.

Visual Effects
“Hugo” (Paramount) – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

New Oscar strategy: employ everyone in filmmaking artistry and you’ll win multiple Academy Awards when they vote for you.

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christopher Plummer in “Beginners” (Focus Features)

At age 82, the oldest actor ever to win an Oscar. “You’re only 2 years older than me, my darling. Where have you been all my life,” Plummer said to his Oscar.

Manager Lou Pitt gets a shout-out. Nice guy who really deserves it.

(From my peanut gallery: “There should be a spacial shout-out to whoever invented bronzer.”)

When did Nick Nolte turn into Jolly St Nick?

Isn’t Tom Sherak the single worst Academy president, and the most uncharismatic (“Mr. Excitement,” as Crystal swiped)? Meanwhile, he thanks Brian Grazer and Billy Crystal. What he should have said was, “Thank you, Brian and Billy, for saving the Academy’s sorry asses and coming to the rescue when Dawn Hudson’s and my lousy idea to hire Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy blew up in our faces.”

Music (Original Score)
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company) – Ludovic Bource

Tired of the frogs and their French accents yet? Another Oscar for Harvey Weinstein.

Will Ferrell demonstrates yet again why he can’t get arrested in films anymore. Is Zach Galifianakis far behind? (I’ve now officially lagging the live broadcast because I had to check the Internet for the spelling of Zach’s last name… I have to do it every time I mention Jim Gianopulos, too.)

Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” (Walt Disney) Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie

Fox’s Tom Rothman just lost what was a 50-50 chance at an Oscar. (He had the Rio song.) Note to that studio’s execs: Don’t come into work Monday morning. You know what a day at the beach Tom is even when he’s not feeling robbed by Hollywood… Save yourselves.

It’s astonishing how lame Billy Crystal’s mid-show jokes have been. Especially when you consider how many comedians work in and around Hollywood. Hell, I think the show could just go down to LA’s Mission District and pick up some homeless and do better. Or wander into any Starbucks in West Hollywood and get more laughs.

Angelina Jolie is channelling her inner vixen tonight. Love it! That pose she’s struck is saying: “Jennifer Aniston, just give up already. You can’t possibly have won that Stephen Huvane-orchestrated Sexiest Woman Of the Decade poll with me around.”

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“The Descendants” (Fox Searchlight) Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Midnight in Paris” (Sony Pictures Classics) Written by Woody Allen

If the Academy didn’t devalue comedy so much, this movie should win the Best Picture Oscar. But it won’t. And while I’m at it, the Academy has its head up its ass for not nominating the final Harry Potter movie. Think about it: there were 8 movies in this franchise and not a rotten one among the bunch. How rare is that for Hollywood? I do believe that if all those acting roles had been filled with American thesps instead of British, and more production and post jobs done in this country rather than across the Atlantic, then more Academy members would have voted for the pic out of sheer self-interest. Anyway, Harry Potter was effing robbed.

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Shore” An All Ashore Production, Terry George and Oorlagh George

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Saving Face” A Milkhaus/Jungefilm Production, Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

A movie portraying heroic plastic surgery? Of course Hollywood voted it an Oscar.

Short Film (Animated)
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” A Moonbot Studios LA Production, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

I’d like to be in the middle of a sandwich with these two self-described ‘swamp rats from Lousiana”. Toons of fun…

Is the show over yet? It’s dragged on almost 2 1/2-hours. Kill me now.

Hmm, I heard Steven Spielberg wasn’t going to attend the Oscars this year because he was snubbed for Best Director. But there he is at the Kodak.

Michael Douglas looks great. Sorry, but I don’t make fun of cancer.

Directing
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company) – Michel Hazanavicius

Any Hollywood hopes for an upset in these final marquee categories just went out the window. Another win for Harvey, who didn’t get a thank-you from the director.

Um, seriously? Meryl Streep gets a longer introduction than anyone or anything tonight? Yes, she’s a national treasure. But she or her career isn’t dead or dying. That was a eulogy, not an intro.

Barf to Oprah Winfrey, the most insufferable hypocrite in Hollywood — and that’s saying a LOT. [UPDATE: Suffice it to say that, of all the lousy decisions made by the Academy and its Board of Governors, choosing Oprah to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award had to rank among the worst in 2011. This Oscar is supposed to be given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry”. Winfrey’s career and contributions to the movie biz are at best spotty and superficial, especially considering that 99% of her career has been in television. Is the Movie Academy telling Hollywood that no one among the philanthropic film bigwigs deserved this award more than her that year? Or is this just another rich and powerful star throwing her weight around and buying the Governors Award honor for ego feed? And while I’m on the subject, the award announcement specifically pointed to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls which opened in South Africa in 2007. Who has forgotten the sexual abuse scandal that rocked Oprah’s school set up for disadvantaged girls?]

OK, In Memoriam coming up. Don’t forget to let me know how many movie R.I.P.s the incompetent Academy forgot to mention this year. (UPDATE: First omission: Andrew Laszlo, noted cinematographer. Next, Erland Josephson, who was Ingmar Bergman’s everyman.)

I just heard from someone that the telecast’s sound was screwed up for the East Coast feed. Aren’t you jealous? Don’t you wish you weren’t hearing this snorefest, either?

This excruciatingly boring Oscars show is why no heterosexual man should ever be hired to produce it. Don’t know about you, but may I please have these hours of my life back?

Those actor/filmmaker vignettes are becoming so annoying after the 58th one that I keep wanting to hit the ‘mute’ button to make them shut the fuck up.

What kind of facelift was it that made Billy Crystal lose his neck?

Ten minutes spent just to blow smoke up the ass of every Best Actor nominee? Like the Oscars aren’t fawning enough? And to have these cringe-worthy speeches read by Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala? (At least Jar Jar Binks would have been comic relief…)

Actor in a Leading Role
Jean Dujardin in “The Artist” (The Weinstein Company)

“I love your country,” Dujardin deadpans. He sounds exactly like Pepe Le Pew (“My leetle cabbage…”). He kinda channelled Howard Dean at the end of his speech there. (“And we’re taking this campaign to New York, and Pennsylvania… Yee-haw!”)

Another Oscar for Weinstein. Another winner who didn’t thank him. At the Golden Globes everyone was comparing him to God. Now they’re not even mentioning him. What’d you do to them, Harv?

Not again: this time embarrassing tributes to each Lead Actress contender. Even Colin Firth looks pained by the kudos he’s reading. The Academy could have shaved 30 minutes off the telecast without this nonsense. No wonder America hates Hollywood.

Actress in a Leading Role
Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” (The Weinstein Company)

Viola Davis was robbed. ROBBED!

I couldn’t agree more with what Meryl said: “When they called my name had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no. Oh, come on. Why her? Again?’”

Then Streep added, “But… Whatever.”

Chalk up another win for Harvey. (Did Meryl thank him? I’m pretty sure not…) That’s 7 so far if my arithmetic is correct. Will there be an 8th?

Tom Cruise is given the honor of handing out the Best Picture Oscar. Well, he did save his career with M:I4.

Best Picture
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company) A La Petite Reine/Studio 37/La Classe Américaine/JD Prod/France3 Cinéma/Jouror Productions/uFilm Production, Thomas Langmann, Producer

So the French schooled Hollywood by going back to the future with a black-and-white silent movie. The Weinstein Co took home 8 Oscars total. This last time Harvey wasn’t thanked, either. Thank god for small favors. UPDATE: I’m now told Langmann did thank Harvey. “It’s actually the first person he thanked,” someone named Frenchie tells me. “But the lousy sound might have swallowed that.” The Artist has made only $31.8M domestic and $44.6M international for a worldwide cume of $76.5M – one of the lowest grossing Oscar Best Pictures ever. By contrast, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 made $381M domestic and $947M foreign for a worldwide cume of $1.3+B — and should have won. But wasn’t even nommed.

Hollywood thinks Weinstein instructed the winners not to kudo him out of fear that the film community will hate him more than it already does. (“It’s Harvey’s world, and we must live in it,” movie mogul Tom Rothman was overhead saying from his seat inside the Kodak. How tragically true.)

Goodbye, and I leave you with one last thought: What would Brett Ratner have done better/worse producing the Oscars show? At least there would have been porn.

  1. I don’t think THE ARTIST is best picture worthy, but neither is THE DESCENDANTS, so that Kaui Hemmings chick should be a little more humble.

      1. Was there any film this year that would have won last year? I don’t know.

        This was a weak year for Best Picture nominees. THE ARTIST is almost as weak as 2009′s HURT LOCKER. Both are decent films…but forgettable. I think that it is safe to say that there were some better films left off of this year’s list of nominees.

        Oh well.

        I am just glad that some Hollywood elitist didn’t sing the praises of some politician or political/social persuasion.

        1. As French, I am proud of the success of the course of the movie “The artist” in America because it is the story of Goliath, the small against the big American production. American film or television series us fill our screens and it’s a bit like mc donald restaurant, it makes you fat without make us smarter.

          1. I’m also french and I don’t feel any proud about it because, first I don’t really like the plot and second the other movies were very good too and deserved more these prizes.
            BTW, if we have lots of American series in France it’s simply because we prefer it to our series which aren’t really interesting …

          2. A French person complaining about McDonald’s and America, how original! I’m so thrilled that you “as French are proud of the success of the course of the movie”, good for you and very well said!

          3. We’ve already put up with a David vs. Goliath upset at the Oscars (Hurt Locker vs. Avatar). It’s time to let the best movie win.

          4. I am french too, and yes, I am proud, because Jean Dujardin is the first french to have an Oscar. And if a lot of french people are proud too, it’s because this ceremony is a great honor in France, so Frenchies don’t complain about USA, it is a caricature… I think that this movie is a great movie, I try to imagine an other movie in black and white, without dialogues, like The Artist, and I don’t think that other actors could make better. Jean Dujardin makes a true performance with mime, like Chaplin. I like Brad Pitt an George Clooney, but I can’t imagine them in this role. What’s the definition of “the best movie of the year” ? A movie made with a lot of money ? with special effects ? A great movie must give you a lot feelings with simplicity, with sobriety, and with a great acting. This is not the movie of the century, of course, but this movie deserves this Oscar. And I don’t want to be afraid to be proud. That’s the reason why I don’t understand bad critics. American people should be happy for France, and french people should be proud… I am proud, but not prententious or snob. That’s my view. And excuse my bad bad english… :)
            (pour les Français : franchement je ne comprends pas certains commentaires… bien sûr que les séries américaines sont meilleures que les françaises, mais putain, on a un film français aux oscars ! et vous boudez ce plaisir?? ça c’est du pur snobisme…)

      2. Too many sexual comments in the show. Our family with 3 minor children will never watch the Oscars again( yes, I turned it off after the 2nd comment-don’t know or care to know how many more there were).

          1. Yes, you’re right. They should have the internet porn running at the same time. A Monica Lewinsky learning moment. Jackass. Oh, but then my children might not understand the wonderful contribution that transgender porn stars have made to society through years of intolerance.

          2. Yeah that’s right… You shouldn’t ever try to shield your children from anything.

            Trying to raise your children in a responsible manner is oh so ‘ignorant’ as Gavin points out.

        1. I am often amazed by the sexual comments, at the same time its not exactly pornography.

          Do you also have your kids look the other way when two dogs “do it” in public ?

    1. Agreed. I thought both “films” were BORING!! So glad I stopped watching the Oscars. I can’t believe Weinstein is back and destroying cinema one reel at a time, back at it, ugh. Does he blackmail everyone in Hollywood? What does he have on all of these people? I don’t get it. If someone wants to explain please I’m listening.

      1. Destroying?? are you HIGH? He’s practically the only one saving it..

        the guy released a black and white silent film and it has crossed 30mm at the box office.

        think about that, for a moment.

        -RnsW

        1. Yes, the second-least seen BP winner in American movie history. A film that never, ever was seen in more than 1300 screens. Abysmal boxoffice. Why didn’t Harvey release it in 3000+ theaters? Could it be that he got resistance from theater owners who wanted to avoid a financial bloodbath from hosting a freakin’ silent movie in 2012?

          1. Well, I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the movie yet, PaulH ~~ but your first comment really was hysterical.

            “Cut it out, Harvey.”

        2. Yes it crossed 30 mil total gross in the U.S. and Canada and that spells a loser in any language. The only other film to lose more is Hugo and that grossed just under 70 mil with a 200 mil cost to make. A funny way for H. W. to save Hollywood.

      2. Harvey is the only producer making “little” movies with stories….and where actors can really act….and not play against a blue screen. Or against CGI or against blow-ups. Scorsecee and Spielberg are dabbling into animation.

        Weinstein makes movies that “adults” want to see.

        1. I don’t know, Warhorse was a better film then the artist.* it really wasn’t the kind of movie that usually wins best picture. all in all this was a good year for movies though, with Warhorse, Arrietty, Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, so forth. *in my opinion

    2. Brian Grazer has done a lousy job with this show. It’s completely out of touch. Disgusted with the talking heads clips who are practically all men.

      1. What’s with all the close ups of Anne Sweeney? Was it in the ABC contract to air the show they had to zoom in on her over and over again?

      2. The show needed some gay energy and style. It was unfunny and so dull. Right out of the Brian Grazer catalogue.

        Did Alan Zweibel write Billy’s material? He was hilarious in 1980.

    3. I think this entire year was a terrible year for movies – period. to think that Goodfellas is not an Oscar winner and this Artist thing is going to get one is criminal….

      1. you’re an idiot. ‘The Artist’ is a beautiful film that harkens back to an almost forgotten era. I’ll choose that over ‘Goodfellas’ any day.

        1. BWWAAHAHAH Beautiful film that harkens back to a forget era… thats funny. There is a reason why it is forgotten. If Harvey hadn’t been involved with the project it would have won maybe 2 awards and only because it was made by a bunch of french guys LOL.

          1. We only watched from about 7p onward, after our family dinner. Subsequently I watched a bit of ABC’s “on the red carpet show” which moved from party to party. Now that was simply mindblowing in its general stupidity. The questions, the answers, the feigned interest, etc. etc. Why were all the “reporters” gay men with the absolutely phoniest smiles ever seen on TV. Were they doing toothpaste commercials at the same time? I had to turn off the TV way before it was over. Too bad because I kind of enjoy seeing the gowns on the women.

        2. Goodfellas is probably the most often watched movie on cable of all time. Not saying that is the only barometer of a good movie – but I think most cinephiles realize its greatnest as year go by. Scorcese was sort of frowned upon in those years.

          I went to see the Artis in the theatre last week because I always like to see most of the nominees – and while I thought it was interesting I agree with Nikke that it isn’t Best Picture material. If it had a better ending maybe – I actually thought towards the end that the actual movie was going to be the “remake” they were talking about at the end – but it wasn’t. They actually missed a cool plot twist that could have made it a bit more special.

          1. The Artist is more BP worthy than Goodfellas, even if it’s only because of the audacity and gamble to make a silent movies in this day and age. To even be recognized as a decent film with so many people who refuse to watch a silent movie.

            Goodfellas is great but is 2nd in mob movies to The Godfather. Way too many mistakes in The Goodfellas- always shocked at how it made it through post pro.

          1. Why would you watch a movie that everyone knows has no dialogue if you’re the type of moron that walks out of a silent film after ten minutes?

        3. The oscar show and most of the awards a waste of time. Back and white silent film…ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Girl with the dragon tattoo was the best thing out last year. Rooney Mara was stunning.
          Meryl in any movie is something to be avoided.

        4. Or if you want to harken back to an almost forgotten era… you could just watch one of those old b&w silent films. You know, the classics?

        5. My main problem with “The Artist” is that compared to other silent films, it’s not really that impressive. It doesn’t hold a candle to movies like “City Lights” (which wasn’t even nominated for an Academy Award) and “The General” or anything with Chaplin and Keaton, for that matter. I think this is why “The Artist” is going to be forgotten in the long run. There are simply better examples of silent filmmaking.

          That being said, I saw all the Best Picture nominees and none of them dazzled me, so I was bound to be disappointed no matter which film won. I probably would have preferred “Moneyball” over anything else though. And Pitt, Clooney, or Oldman for Best Actor. Jean Dujardin was good, but not Best Actor good.

          I actually thought “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was the best cinematic experience I had last year, but it wasn’t even nominated. Rooney Mara’s performance floored me – particularly the rape scene which still makes me sick to my stomach when I think about it. She should have won. I like Meryl Streep, but when they said her name, my first thought was, “I know it’s been thirty years since she won, but does she really need another one?” That being said, I would have been happy with Viola Davis winning.

          As far as the actual ceremony goes, I thought it was one of the most boring Oscars I’ve ever seen. Billy Crystal was all right, but he kept laughing at his own jokes, which really weren’t that funny, so that was kind of annoying. They only gave a few of the presenters something amusing to say and a lot of gags fell flat, like Robert Downey, Jr.’s documentary thing. I usually appreciate a good montage, but there were way too many and they didn’t seem to have a purpose. Thumbs up to Emma Stone though for making the writing look way funnier than it actually was. I guess overall, I don’t understand how a show that is prepared for many months in advance and only lasts three hours doesn’t run smoother and have better jokes.

          Anyway, there’s always next year, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

        6. They fooled you–it’s a gimmick man wake up. Making the artist without sound was just a gimmick. One still has to have a story, an original story to have a good film on their hands, you can’t just turn of the sound and say here, here’s my movie, although apparently now you can, well if Weinstein is behind it you can. If you want a great silent movie rent Metropolis. The artist is crap, there’s nothing ARTFUL about it.

    4. How about they make it an hour and give us only the big awards. It’s so boring to watch for 3 hours. I tried to watch it but gave up since it was a snooze fest.

      1. I agree. How many people really care who wins “best editing” or “best sound mixing?” Seems like there were a lot of famous actors missing from the show and almost no young actors could be seen. Maybe they should just get a pleasant person who can speak well to host and stop trying to be funny all the time (it usually is mediocre humor anyway).

    5. With 344 comments, I decided to jump the line and show up on this first page (having nothing to to with R. Tinder’s comment – no offence0 to commend Nikki for a job well done. On Oscars night, she’s a winner. We thank you. CHEERS!

      1. Let me second your praise for Finke. Her writing is hilarious and made me feel like I saw the entire show, which I didn’t.

    6. I agree with this poster, and with Nikki. “The Artist” was a charming trifle but hardly the best movie of 2011. “Midnight in Paris” is a movie I will sit through again and again. “The Artist” won’t likely be on my Blu-ray buy list or even merit a rental. “Hugo,” too, was deserving. Though based on a kid’s book, it’s not really a kid’s movie. “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” might have won in days gone by. It was also richly deserving and didn’t get a nomination. And finally, the Academy should have honored the Harry Potter series with a special statue. The movies were, individually, astonishingly good and got better with each installment. Eight superior films and never a Best Picture nomination, even in this era of the expanded (for the masses) category. Oh, and one last gripe: “Hugo” should have won Best Film Score. Didn’t “The Artist” use music from “Vertigo”? Shouldn’t that have disqualified it from competing?

      1. I agree about the Hugo soundtrack but a special statue for the Harry Potter series? That’s crazy talk. Maybe it’s ’cause I’m a fan of the books, but a couple of the film were BORING, for example the 6th installment was awful! The 1st two films were over-scored and the kids’ acting was pretty bad. The 3rd film was clearly the best directed of the bunch. I don’t have a problem with nominating the final film though, it was quite good.

      2. I disagree with you about The Artist. Today it is difficult to appreciate a movie without special effects, or with a simple scenario. The acting with mime is a great performance. During watching the moving, I am not bothered. It is a very poetical movie. Ok I am french, maybe I am not objective :) but the Artist is a french tribute to american movies of the 20ies !

    7. I watched because I love Billy Crystal. Check that, past tense: loved. He’s become a bitter and unfunny liberal political hack. His timing was off on most every joke and the jokes were awful. I’d like to see him retire now and live in peace somewhere calm and restful. Call it a day on a once above-average comedy career.

    8. I just heard from someone that the telecast’s sound was screwed up for the East Coast feed.

      This is what made the broadcast bearable! Was it ever fixed? I fell asleep before The O made her appearance. The only reason I ever watch this broadcast is to make a list of movies NOT to rent! Loved your critique – wish I had found it DURING the show – I may have stayed awake!

    9. Actually got to finally see The Descendants a few hours before the Oscars. Have to agree. Not Oscar worthy. Neither is The Artist, but it won for being nostalgic, the theme of this year’s Oscars.

  2. ok, someone tell me when Cirque du Soleil and the Muppets come on cause I am ready to change the channel already

    1. I gave up on the Oscars when “Shakespeare in Love” won over “Saving Private Ryan”.
      Now it’s just a joke.
      And Nikki you’re right about the “Harry Potter” series!

      And Hugo over Transformers for Special Effects? Really???

      1. I agree. Transformers hands down. Hugo good. Transformers great, verging on unreal and over the top. Just what you want in a movie like that.

  3. When Billy started singing I knew I had to come here and see what Nikki had to say. I really, really wish he didn’t. That’s so 90′s.

    1. At least every time he missed one of the notes, his blush would do an extra little flash, no?

      By the way, how did the effects guys do that? Was it with some form of luminescent cell culture stirred into his make-up?

      Not that there would be a lot of call for that, but it was an attention-getter!

    1. The sound quality is crap was thinking the same thing what the heck. Set DOES NOT look good on television. I swear if Grazer even brings out film montages/clips I’m switching channels. Poor Billy, I agree on the face job Nikki. But he is a great host.

    2. WTH is up with the beeping/buzzing noises!!!!!! I’m about ready to turn the channel and be done with this crap.

        1. Whew, so glad I’m not the only one who noticed this. I was mortified I had ruined my TV from watching something so BAD!

  4. I ready bored LOL!

    I just killing time turn into PBS SO CAL here in LA to watch rerun of Downton Abby at 7pm pst LOL!

  5. It’s getting really boring for Hollywood to exploit male on male/female on female kisses. Even conservatives are over it already. That whole opening was pathetic.

  6. re: audio issues

    a. music loud as crap
    b. anyone else hear that ringing feedback?

    how do they mess that up?

    1. Totally, there is the problem with the mic. Some kind of ringing annoying feedback. Unbelievable. We are going to change the channel.

  7. Great job! I didn’t plan to watch it anyway but I really enjoyed reading this.

    Keep us informed!

    1. For the first time I enjoyed the Oscars…why all the putdowns negative people? One of the things I noticed was the horrible anorexia looking arms of Angeline..she looked abit sick..those arms all bones..no flesh..like those emaciatedI models..Her hair and orange red lipstick was garish like a clown…I am concerned for her…

  8. “The sound quality is CRAP.”

    The mix is wrong. All the music and other aspects are too cranked compared to the mics. It’s audio 101 and someone’s getting a lot of money to mess it up.

  9. The sound on the telecast is so bad..the music drowned out Billy’s opening number – you could barely hear the words, which I think was a good thing.

    1. Remember, the theme this year was Nostalgia (e.g., Go Back To The Movie Theaters – Netflix, Redbox and VOD are KILLING US!).

      1. Right, I hadn’t thought of that. I was wondering where the heck this Artist movie come from, it came out of nowhere and then Grazer saying how people should go to the movie theaters blah blah. They’re losing a lot of money, they’re also not accustomed to making quality films and then movies on a reasonable budget. Very insightful Bob. Since when does Hollywood care about nostalgia/tradition/class/culture, it’s all about the money…

  10. I’m trying, but so far, a cringe worthy and forced opening. And what has Billy done to his face? There must have been a special on filler and Botox. He’s become a caricature of an aging borscht belt comic.

    1. I was instantly reminded of a former Olympics reporter who’s name I forget, McSomething. He presented the winter games for years and years and then one day, terrfic shock, he appeared with a plastic surgery job so bad that we couldn’t tolerate watching. Most people here are probably too young to remember. It was before the Botox era.

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