"Let's acknowledge that the Oscars are bullshit and we hate them. But they are important commercially...”
- LA Times film critic Manohla Dargis.
What’s Oscar night without a bit of controversy? And there’s been plenty of that in the lead up to today’s awards.
The Hurt Locker v Avatar competition was already intense as the archetypal David v Goliath, with each bringing a swag of industry awards to date. But an unusual personal element has put a new slant on the Oscar race this year, given that the creative forces behind those two front-runners happen to be a former husband and wife. Then came last week’s ill-advised email campaign from a Hurt Locker producer that broke Academy rules by slagging off its billion-dollar blockbuster competitor. Said producer won’t be at the Kodak Theatre to witness the results in person, but his actions have upped the ante even more, and intensified the competition between these two films.
But there are eight other films in the running this year, which could very well be an upset in the works, though that’s a remote possibility, according to most pundits and armchair experts….
The Hurt Locker is widely tipped to take out the best film and director double; the latter because of The Hurt Locker’s success to date in peer-voted awards such as the writers, producers and directors guilds (Avatar’s main successes to date have come from journalist-voted awards such as the Golden Globes); secondly, many are suggesting that the tiered nature of Oscar voting is like to favour The Hurt Locker when preferences are taken into account.
Read the full form guide here, and stay up to date with breaking news below, as we’ll have the live results as soon as they’re announced....
The show opens with a lavish musical number from Neil Patrick Harris on the subject of having two hosts. They're going the razzle dazzle route, over the traditional comedy intro. Flanked by Fan dancers, he introduces co-hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, who proceed to land some zingers on nominees Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren (SM: there's damn Helen Mirren... AB: er, that's dame Helen Mirren); rehash details of James Cameron/Kathryn Biglow's marital woes (Baldwin: "She was so pleased to be nominated in the same category as him, she sent him a gift basket with a timer"), and engage in curious stare-offs with George Clooney.
First award - Actor in a Supporting Role
Hot favourite is Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds...
WINNER: Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds
"Oscar and Penélope that's an über bingo. I always wanted to discover some new continent and I thought I had to go this way, and then I was introduced to Quentin Tarantino, who was putting together an expedition that was equipped by Harvey Weinstein and Lawrence Bender and David Linde, and he put this script in front of me and he said, "This is where we're going, but we're going the other way."
So Brad Pitt helped me on board and Diane Kruger was there Melanie Laurent and Denis Menochet and Bob Richardson and Sally Menke and Adam Schweitzer and Lisa Kasteler. Everybody helped me find a place. Universal and The Weinstein Company and ICM and Quentin, with his unorthodox methods of navigation, this fearless explorer, took this ship across and brought it in with flying colors and that's why I'm here.
And this is your welcoming embrace and there's no way I can ever thank you enough, but I can start right now. Thank you."
Cameron Diaz and Steve Carell intro an animated film montage - interviews with Fantastic Mr Fox, Coraline etc.
Nominees...Animated Feature Film
Pete Docter: "Boy, never did I dream that making a flip book out of my third grade math book would lead to this. Boy. It's incredible being here, it's just me right now, but please picture this whole stage full of the most amazing cast and crew you've ever experienced. Jonas Rivera, producer. Bob Peterson, co-director. You guys should all be up here with me. Thanks so much to Disney and to Pixar Animation Studios for believing in this oddball film.
It was an incredible, incredible adventure making this movie, but the heart of it came from home. And to our families, in my case, to my wonderful parents, they were so supportive. My kids, Nicholas and Ellie, and my amazing wife Amanda, you guys are the greatest adventure. Thank you."
Amanda Seyfried and Miley Cyrus intro best songs...No live performances of the songs this year...(someone should have sent that memo to Neil Patrick Harris...)
Music (Original Song)
Almost There from The Princess and the Frog Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Down in New Orleans from The Princess and the Frog Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Loin de Paname from Paris 36 Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
Take It All from Nine Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
WINNER: The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Ryan Bingham: "Thank you so much. I'd like to thank my wife Anna, I love you more than rainbows, baby. My uncle Clay, my band, Jack Whigham, Scott Cooper, the cast of Crazy Heart, Jeff and Maggie and Colin and Mr. Bob. Everyone at Fox Searchlight and Mr. T Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton. Thank you all so much."
Tina Fey and Robert Rowney Jr (in what appear to be Real 3D glasses), on writers/actors awkward collaborations, to intro original screenplay.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
The Hurt Locker Written by Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds Written by Quentin Tarantino
The Messenger Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
A Serious Man Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Up Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy
WINNER: The Hurt Locker Written by Mark Boal
Score one to Hurt Locker. This one was considered a good chance for Tarantino.
Mark Boal: "Oh my god. Wow, thank you Academy. You honor me and humble me with this. More than, more than you know. I was a reporter back from Iraq with the idea for a story about these men on the frontlines of an unpopular war.
I thought it might make a movie. The result wildly exceeded my expectations. And that is thanks to so many people. To Summit Entertainment. To our amazing cast and crew, and most of all to one extraordinary individual and visionary filmmaker. Kathryn Bigelow, this belongs to you.
I would also like to thank and dedicate this to the troops, the 115,000 who are still in Iraq, the 120,000 in Afghanistan and the more than 30,000 wounded and 4,000 who have not made it home. And to my father, who didn't live to see this, but inspired me and got me up here. He passed away a month ago. He would've really liked this a lot. Thanks, dad. Thank you."
Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick take the stage for a personal tribute/montage to the late, great John Hughes. Broderick cracks wise about the lasting legacy of Ferris Bueller.
Zoe Saldana and Carey Mulligan navigate the tricky staircase to present a montage of short films, demonstrating career trajectory of a short filmmakers. Taylor Hackford and John Lasseter reminisce about their short oscar wins.
Short Film (Animated)
French Roast Fabrice O. Joubert
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte) Javier Recio Gracia
Logorama Nicolas Schmerkin
A Matter of Loaf and Death Nick Park
WINNER:Logorama Nicolas Schmerkin
Nicolas Schmerkin: "Good evening. It doesn't look like, but it's a French film. Sorry about the accent. I'm the producer of the film, so I have to thank the 3,000 non-official sponsors that appear in the film. And I have to assure them that no logos were harmed in the making of the project.
This award has to be shared with the incredible people who made the film. All the team and especially, the three directors that are with us in the theater tonight: François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy and Ludovic Houplain. You can applaud them, the directors.
Thanks for them. They have been working for a very long time on this film. It took, like, six years to make this 16 minutes, so I hope to come back here with a long feature film, in about 36 years. Thank you very much. Bon soir."
Documentary (Short Subject)
China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
Music by Prudence Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
Rabbit a la Berlin Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra
WINNER: Music by Prudence Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
clumsiest awkward acceptance speech so far...
Roger Ross Williams: "Oh my god. This is amazing. Two years ago when I got on an airplane and went to Zimbabwe, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I'd end up here. This is so exciting. This is so exciting. So exciting..."
Elinor Burkett: "...Let the woman talk. Isn't that the classic thing? In a world in which most of us are told and tell ourselves that we can't. Liyana, the band behind this film, teaches us that we're wrong. Against all odds they did, so we can. So the bottom line is, to me, my role models and my heroes, Marvelous and Energy, Tapiwa, Goodwell, the whole rest of the band and especially Prudence..."
Roger Ross Williams: "...And Prudence who is here. Who is back there. Prudence is here tonight. This is for Prudence."
Short Film (Live Action)
The Door Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
Instead of Abracadabra Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellstrm
Kavi Gregg Helvey
Miracle Fish Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
The New Tenants Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson
Good luck to Australian nominee Luke Doolan on this one..
WINNER: The New Tenants Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson
Joachim Black: "Whoa. I just don't know if I should dance or if I should... Well, this is just pretty much amazing and I just want to say thanks to everybody who's been on this project and to our beautiful cast and my producer Tivi. And it's pretty much... a ride, I must say, I can't say anything else, but I just want to thank Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman and Russell Icke. I hope you guys are watching. Edelman, Pawel Edelman, beautiful. But anyway, thank you very much for everything."
Ben "blue-face" Stiller speaks na'vi...translated "that scene worked better in rehearsal", to introduce make-up, despite fact Avatar's not nominated in this category...
WINNER: Star Trek Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
District 9 Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
An Education Screenplay by Nick Hornby
In the Loop Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
This one's probably an Up in the Air victory but it'd be great to see the bleep-riddled In the Loop clip in the broadcast.. Ditto Precious!
WINNER:Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
Second of the night's upsets... sign of things to come?
A recap of last year's Governer's Ball winners..
Robin Williams with a double entendre: "The Governors Ball is just one of many balls being held tonight in Hollywood..."
Presents supporting actress noms montage. Mo'Nique is the clear favourite for this one...
Actress in a Supporting Role
Penelope Cruz in Nine
Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air
Mo’Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire
WINNER: Mo’Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire
Sigourney Weaver to present Art direction. Getting an Avatar star to present...hint at winner, perhaps?
Avatar Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
Nine Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
Sherlock Holmes Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Young Victoria Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray'
WINNER: Avatar Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
No surprises there.
Rick Carter: "Jim Cameron, this... this Oscar sees you. Clearly, your vision is so deep..."
Robert Stromberg: "You know, 13 years ago, the doctors told me I wasn't going to survive and I thought that this dream of standing here would never come true. And, here we are. I owe this to my amazing wife, Lizz, my two kids Reese and Remy, for supporting me. Brooke Breton and Rick Carter and the hundreds of people that it took to make this film. Thank you. Special thanks to Jon Landau.
Jim, every day we went to work. We knew we were working with a genius. We really were. We all felt that. Thank you so much."
Costume design, introduced by Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Second Australian nominee in this category...
WINNER: The Young Victoria Sandy Powell
"Wow. Well, I already have two of these. So I'm feeling greedy. I'd like to dedicate this one to the costume designers that don't do movies about dead monarchs or glittery musicals. The designers that do the contemporary films and the low-budget ones actually don't get as recognized as they should do, and they work as hard. So this is for you, but I'm gonna take it home tonight. Thank you."
"I already have two of these"... noone likes a gloater, Sandy!
Cue Horror film montage for no apparent reason (other than to drive interest DVD back catalogues?), led by a very funny Paranormal Activity send-up of Steve and Alec bunking together pre-Oscars.
Sound awards, introduced by Mr Voice of God himself, Morgan Freeman...
Avatar Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
The Hurt Locker Paul N.J. Ottosson
Inglourious Basterds Wylie Stateman
Star Trek Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
Up Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
WINNER: The Hurt Locker Paul N.J. Ottosson
closely followed by mixing...
Avatar Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
The Hurt Locker Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
Inglourious Basterds Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
Star Trek Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
WINNER: The Hurt Locker Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
A return trip to the stage for Ottosson and his win makes 3 out of 3 for Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottoson: [To Ray Beckett] You have to say something. Again, thank you so much. It's a little bit embarrassing. And to quote Kathryn, "spoils of riches."
Ray Beckett: Thank you to the Academy. This is the crowning achievement of my career. Thank you to Kathryn, the whole production team. Thank you to my team in Jordan, Simon Bysshe and... thank you all. Thank you.
Sandra Bullock to present cintmatography...probably an Avatar one for the 3D shoot
WINNER: Avatar Mauro Fiore
"First of all, I want to thank the Academy for this unbelievable honor. It's a pleasure to be here. I want to thank the visionary Jim Cameron for an amazing vision of the film. My parents, Lorenzo and Romilda, who came to this country with four suitcases and a dream. I want to thank everybody in Chicago, Omaha. I want to thank my crew, everybody in New Zealand. Un gran saluto a Italia. Viva Italia. Gran abbraccio. I think I forgot a bunch of other people. Jon Landau, Colin Wilson, my crew, everybody. Thank you very much. Incredible honor. Thank you."
Demi Moore appears, to the strains of the Ghost theme, Unchained Melody. Cue the In Memoriam montage...
JLo and a bespectacled Sam Worthington intro the original score category... with accompanying So You Think You Can Dance-like interlude... Why didn't best song contenders get their time to shine too?
Music (Original Score)
WINNER: Up Michael Giacchino
"Thank you, guys. When I was... I was nine and I asked my dad, "Can I have your movie camera? That old, wind-up 8 millimeter camera that was in your drawer?" And he goes, "Sure, take it." And I took it and I started making movies with it and I started being as creative as I could, and never once in my life did my parents ever say, "What you're doing is a waste of time." Never. And I grew up, I had teachers, I had colleagues, I had people that I worked with all through my life who always told me what you're doing is not a waste of time. So that was normal to me that it was OK to do that. I know there are kids out there that don't have that support system so if you're out there and you're listening, listen to me: If you want to be creative, get out there and do it. It's not a waste of time. Do it. OK? Thank you. Thank you."
Avatar Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
District 9 Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
Star Trek Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
WINNER: Avatar Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
Joe Letteri: "Thank you, on behalf of all of us here. Avatar is a film about learning to see the world in new ways, and for that extraordinary inspiration I have to thank our director, James Cameron. Jim, it was an honor to work with you on this. It was amazing. Also, Jon Landau. Jon, you were such a champion of the film. Thank you very much for that. Everyone at Lightstorm who was so helpful. Eileen Moran and everyone at Weta Digital for your talent and creativity. John Kilkenny, all of our friends at Fox, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, all of our great cast, thank you for trusting us with your performances. I know that couldn't have been easy.
To everyone watching, thank you for the great appreciation you've shown for our film. And just remember the world we live in is just as amazing as the one we created for you. Thank you."
Matt Damon to present doumentary feature...
Burma VJ Anders Ostergaard and Lise Lense-Moller
The Cove Nominees to be determined
Food, Inc. Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
Which Way Home Rebecca Cammisa
WINNER: The Cove
Avatar Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
District 9 Julian Clarke
The Hurt Locker Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
Inglourious Basterds Sally Menke
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire Joe Klotz
WINNER: The Hurt Locker Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
Another Hurt locker win...
Bob Murawski: "Wow. This is definitely the night to be here, a tribute to horror films and now Roger Corman. It's unbelievable. And my wife.
Chris Innis: Thanks to my co-editor, Bob Murawski, my amazing husband, and to Sam Raimi, who gave us both our first cutting jobs. To Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, all our amazing crew. Our assistants, Sean Valla, Rupert Lloyd".
Bob Murawski: My mom who's here in the audience and Chris's sister.
Chris Innis: Everybody. We love you guys.
Bob Murawski: "And thank you to the Academy for giving this award to a movie that was made without compromise. We didn't have any preview screenings or focus groups or studio notes. Everybody made the movie we wanted to make and it turned out great, so I'm glad everybody liked it."
Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino double-up to present foreign language film...
WINNER: El Secreto de Sus Ojos Argentina
Argentina's entry upsets the favourite, Michael Haneke's palme d'Or/Golden Globe- winning The White Ribbon.
Juan José Campanella: "It is on behalf of a crew and cast that comprise mostly of people that I love and that are very close to my heart that I want to thank the Academy for not considering Na'vi a foreign language, first of all. And for letting us spend three great days in the company of incredible filmmakers.
On a personal note, I would like to thank my producers Gerardo Herrero, Mariela Besuievsky, Vanessa Ragone, Axel Kuschevatzky and Telefe. Tom Bernard... Sorry. In English, it's more difficult, it's a little slower. No! No, oh no, countdown. Tom Bernard and Michael Barker from Sony Classics. And Cecilia, you found a guy stuck in development hell and made something watchable out of him. Thank you so much. I love you. I owe you."
Best actor time... following last year's lead, a bevy of past co-stars and colleagues toast/roast the nominees: Michelle Pfeiffer for Jeff Bridges; Vera Farmiga for George Clooney;Julianne Moore for Colin Firth;Tim Robbins for Morgan Freeman; Colin Farrell for Jeremy Renner
Not a fan of this presentation technique - peer acknowledgment is all well and good but it drags out an overlong ceremony, and has all the hallmarks of a wedding reception/21st party.
Actor in a Leading Role
WINNER: Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart
"Oh! Thank you, Academy members! Mom and dad, yeah, look! Whoo!
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for turning me on to such a groovy profession. Oh, my dad and my mom, they loved show biz so much. I remember my mom, getting all of us kids to entertain at her parties. You know, my dad sitting me on his bed and teaching me all of the basics of acting for a role in Sea Hunt.
They loved show biz so much and I feel an extension of them. You know, this, this is honoring them as much as it is me. I wanna, I wanna thank Scott Cooper, our wonderful director, for his knowledge of film and country music and for his ability to instill self-confidence in his actors. I thank you for that. Scott, where are you? Raise your hand, man. Yeah! Scotty! Thank you for that, Scott man! And thank you for assembling such a wonderful cast. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin, wherever he is backstage. And Bobby Duvall, so wonderful you guys brought your heart and soul. I want to thank Barry Markowitz, our wonderful DP, he did such a brilliant job. Judy Cairo, our producer, and Fox Searchlight, our wonderful, our wonderful distributor. Thank you guys for keeping us all together and for making it all happen. T Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton for bringing all of that great music and those wonderful musicians to the party, man.
My wonderful team that's kept me together. Jean Sievers, David Schiff, Rick Kurtzman, CAA, Bob Wallerstein, Loyd Catlett, Tarra Day and Roger Love, man.
Thank you, guys. And I especially want to thank my gorgeous wife, Sue, we've been married 33 years. We have a beautiful family. Three girls, Isabelle, Jessie and Hayley. Thank you, guys. I wouldn't be up here without you. Thank you so much."
Second verse, same as the first... now the best actress nominees get their personal serenade: Forrest Whittaker for Sandra Bullock; Michael Sheen for Helen Mirren; Peter Sarsgaard for Carey Mulligan; Oprah Winfrey for Gabourey Sidibe; and Stanley Tucci for Meryl Streep.
Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
Helen Mirren in The Last Station
Carey Mulligan in An Education
Gabourey Sidibe in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire
Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia
WINNER: Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
Directing now, and Barbra Streisand to present... looks good for KathrynBigelow...
WINNER:The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow
"The moment has come.." Babs says Fitting that Oscar history finally takes place on International Women's Day.
Kathryn Bigelow: "This really is... There's no other way to describe it, it's the moment of a lifetime. First of all, this is so extraordinary to be in the company of such powerful, my fellow nominees, such powerful filmmakers who have inspired me and I have admired for, some of whom, for decades. And thank you to every member of the Academy. This is, again, the moment of a lifetime.
I would not be standing here if it wasn't for Mark Boal, who risked his life for the words on the page and wrote such a courageous screenplay that I was fortunate enough to have an extraordinary cast bring that screenplay to life. And Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty. And, I think the secret to directing is collaborating and I had truly an extraordinary group of collaborators in my crew. Barry Ackroyd and Kalle Júlíusson and Bob Murawski, Chris Innis, Ray Beckett, Richard Stutsman and if I could just also thank my producing partners, Greg Shapiro, Nick Chartier and my wonderful agent, Brian Siberell, and the people of Jordan, who were, such a... so hospitable to us when we were shooting. And I'd just like to dedicate this to the women and men in the military who risk their lives on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world. And may they come home safe. Thank you."
And it's Tom Hanks, with obvious orders to wind it all up - doesn't even bother to name the ten nominees..!
Avatar James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
The Blind Side Nominees to be determined
District 9 Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
An Education Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
The Hurt Locker Nominees to be determined
Inglourious Basterds Lawrence Bender, Producer
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
A Serious Man Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
Up Jonas Rivera, Producer
Up in the Air Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers
WINNER: The Hurt Locker
So there you have it. Steve Martin ends with a quip that the ceremony's gone on so long that Avatar's now considered a period film...