Welcome to the One-Way Street live blog of the Oscars, because I no longer watch television without a laptop.
7:57: I’m reminded once again how awkward the Oscars are: the red carpet interviews, both fawning and curt; the opening monologue by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as they poke fun at people who don’t really have senses of humor about themselves; and the weird, overly complex stage, where everyone who walks across it seems vaguely disoriented and apprehensive about losing their way.
8:16: Tina Fey and Robert Downey are the highlight so far, perfectly capturing the tension between writers, who all harbor their own hurt lockers, and actors, those inarticulate narcissists.
8:23: A nice tribute to John Hughes. What’s not generally acknowledged about him is that he was fairly adventurous and advanced in his music choices, popularizing some relatively unknown bands at a time when rock music was changing dramatically.
8:32: Logorama wins best animated short, which is fitting: a lot of nominees come from the advertising industry.
9:02: I was wondering if ABC would be able to resist cutting away to Samuel Jackson or Denzel Washington when Mo’nique won the Best Supporting Actress. Nope. They couldn’t resist.
9:19: A tribute to horror films? Is this some sort of an attempt to revive the genre after a year in which it seemed to have died?
9:46: I was hoping that with the dual hosts the Oscar producers were also going to making another change: finally, finally, ditching the interpretive dance segment. But it’s still here, and this year it’s stranger than ever. None of the scores had anything to do with break dancing, and yet here they are, on this perilous stage.
10:17: The Secret in Their Eyes wins best foreign film. Yet another disappointment. Year after year the same thing happens. The voting in this category was supposed to have been changed so that the same really old people aren’t the ones casting the deciding votes.
11:04: Kathryn Bigelow wins best director (entirely expected) and The Hurt Locker wins Best Picture (not entirely unexpected). It’s hard not to be pleased with both awards. In a year in which the American film industry turned its back on independent films, a small, independently-produced film beat out the biggest Hollywood film of all time–and all the other studio products.