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.


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?)

“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.

“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.

“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.