MSN Movies Blog

The Big Show

By Kim Morgan Feb 27, 2011 10:32PM
-- Best Director! Tom Hooper for "The King's Speech." I'll admit this, I'm surprised. I have predicted a Best Director win for David Fincher ("The Social Network" -- and should have won for his much more innovative picture) and a Best Picture to "The King's Speech." Well, I was wrong so all I can think now is ... I don't know. The speech is quite moving with a genuinely sweet dedication to his mother. I'll just wait. By the way, I'll state the obvious, Katherine Bigelow looks stunning.

--  I seriously, incredibly, entirely dislike how the Lifetime Achievement Awards are doled out. A separate ceremony for Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola, Jean-Luc Godard and Eli Wallach (and the legend, Godard, who avoided the whole thing, as we would except)? Really? Give these guys time to make a speech for heaven's sake. I want to see what they have to say! Eli Wallach was in, among other fine movies including "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," "Baby Doll" people. "Baby Doll." Remember when Stanley Donen won? Not a dry eye in the house when the "Singin' in the Rain" director did a little soft shoe on stage. But again, have you seen "Baby Doll"? These "young" people up there, those two thinking they're pulling off the edge, need to check out Elia Kazan's masterpiece. Here's a refresher in some daring dialogue. Case in point: Eli Wallach is cooler than any youngster on stage.

-- James Franco looks embarrassed. This is so odd. How is he going to spin this one? And again, Franco, think of Eli Wallach. By the way, Eli Wallach also made a cameo in one of the year's best pictures, snubbed by the Academy, Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer."

-- Jeff Bridges is a class act. I'm glad they got rid of the counsel ready to be beamed back up by Scottie vouching for the Best Actor and Actress nominee, and though Jeff Bridges is kind of lecturing here, it's still a vast improvement from the PTA Meeting of past.

-- Best Actress Winner! Natalie Portman! In spite of some critical split takes on her performance and the movie, "Black Swan," it was nearly a consensus that Natalie Portman was bravura as fragile, crazy ballerina Nina. Her dedication, which feels so real, is staggeringly touching. And her winner's speech is genuinely sweet. And a special note to Mike Nichols.

-- Sandra Bullock is making it look so easy. Charming. Gracious. Casual. Come on Oscar hosts. Take a cue. I love how she addresses James Franco: "James ... you are the reason children get picked up late from school because their mothers are home watching 'General Hospital.'"

-- Best Actor Winner! Colin Firth for "The King's Speech." Oh ... he's flat out wonderful with his acceptance speech: "I have a feeling my career has just peaked." What is with the entire cast and crew of "The King's Speech"? It's enough that the movie makes everyone in the theater blubber, but it seems that the players overcame their own real life obstacles. Or perhaps it just feels that way. Colin Firth is going to make me misty for Tom Ford for chrissakes (I have no idea why -- Tom Ford is fabulous, but not a person I cry over), and then ... Harvey Weinstein? Oh, you are a brilliant actor Colin Firth. Bravo. (Jesse Eisenberg should have won, by the way).


The Big Show

By Kim Morgan Feb 27, 2011 10:05PM
-- We MISS you Billy Crystal! Come back!!!!! Everything he says is funnier than Anne Hathaway and James Franco. And so was the man he's giving his ode to, Bob Hope. Even Bob Hope during his Brooke Shields U.S.O. era.

-- More Bob Hope. This is wonderful. Seriously. More "old" hosts. And he just announced Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. I'm being a bit hard on the current hosts, I know. Again, it's not entirely their fault given their material (Vilanch!) is so stale. But, please. Just get the "Bob Hope of Oscar's past" to host the rest of the affair. Also, why didn't they pull this joke out of his arsenal -- the Kodak Theater could use a political zinger about now:

-- Wait. I'm waiting for the Vatican Warlock Assassin for Christopher Nolan ... come on "Inception" winners ...

-- I'm so glad "The Social Network" just won for Best Editing. A beautifully written, perfectly interconnected story that makes it look all so easy and doesn't draw attention to its editing seems quite rare to win. It also makes me wonder if "The King's Speech" may not be the new sure thing?

-- Franco is actually almost being funny. "How to Train Your Dragon," etc. euphemisms. I mean, if he's doing this because he actually knows it's a bad joke (Vilanch!). But maybe not. At this point, I can't tell with Franco. His heart isn't in it. He's thinking of his 12-hour movie with Gus Van Sant right about now ...

-- So ... some of these musical performance were lovely (Paltrow was a bit flat, however) but I'm rooting for Randy Newman because, I'll admit it, I want to return to my childhood. And his song, though it ain't no "Short People," is the most memorable.  And ... he just won! Congratulations Randy Newman. 20 nominations! And this is his second win? That's crazy. I feel like he did (or should have) won like, ten times by now. Odd.

-- This just in: Melissa Leo apologizes for dropping the "F" Bomb during her acceptance speech. From People: "Speaking backstage to reporters afterwards, Leo said, 'Those words – I apologize to anyone if they offend. There's a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular. I really don't mean to offend, and probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word.'" Oh my.

-- The  In Memoriam reel. Oh. These always get me. I have to stop for a moment because it's just too much to take in. This was an especially bad year -- we lost some legendary talents. Here's just some in the role call: Tony Curtis, Gloria Stuart, Sally Menke, Leslie Nielsen, Claude Chabrol, Pete Postlethwaite, Patricia Neal, George Hickenlooper, Robert Culp, Lynn Redgrave, Peter Yates, Anne Francis, Arhtur Penn, Susannah York, Ronald Neame, Jill Clayburgh, Irvin Kershner, Dennis Hopper, Dino De Laurentis, Blake Edwards, Kevin McCarthy and Lena Horne. Celine Dion's restrained version of "Smile" is a lovely touch. The song, originally composed by Charlie Chaplin was first performed by Nat King Cole. A highlight of the evening (and I can't believe I'm stating this about Celine Dion). However ... the reel missed Eric Rohmer, Corey Haim, John Forsythe, Betty Garrett, Fess Parker, Harold Gould, Peter Graves and Eddie Fisher. And I certainly hope Tura Satana and Maria Schneider make it next year's reel ... unless they forgot them as well. How can you forget these women? Any of these talents? This makes me sad too.

The Big Show

By Kim Morgan Feb 27, 2011 9:27PM
-- I like that Jake Gyllenhaal just acknowledged George Lucas for "THX 1138" but, here's the audience response: "Should we clap for George Lucas? Yes, er ... no ...? Uh ... well ... uh ... no. Get a hold of yourself. He's not Steven Spielberg. Also, save your strength to get through these short film winners." 

-- "God of Love" winner Luke Matheney is officially giving one of the best acceptance speeches of the year. Funny. Touching. Genuinely sweet. I love this guy. Perk up room. Also, check his hair. It's good. Good hair.

-- Anne Hathaway is really getting on my nerves and yet, I feel for her. She's trying. But relax! She needs to go back to her sister's wedding, darken her eyes with all of that black eyeliner and make everyone uncomfortable talking about her AA Meetings. Instead she says something like: "Breathe the same air of this presenter" before Franco announces, "Ladies and Gentleman, Oprah Winfrey!" I'm not an anti Oprah person or anything, I like her in fact, but even Oprah was like, "Cool it kids. I'm not Ernest Borgnine."

-- OK, I really wanted to see Oprah Winfrey give Bansky the Best Documentary award. One, he deserved it for one of the best films of the year, "Exit Through the Gift Shop" (which may be a fraud, which makes the film even better) and two, I wanted her to yell in her imitable Oprah way: "BANKSYYYYYYYYYY!"


The Big Show

By Kim Morgan Feb 27, 2011 9:11PM
-- O.K. Now I feel old. I never thought I'd see the guy who wrote "Head like a Hole" win an Academy Award. But Trent Reznor does deserves Best Score for "The Social Network." I just wonder how my mother will feel about this. Is he cool anymore?

-- I think any sound award goes to ... loud. And annoying. And not like a dream at all. And ... falling ... Oh yes, "Inception."

-- Why is everyone talking about Christopher Nolan like he's the great and the allmighty one? If they're gonna take it that far, why not just pull a full Sheen and call him a Vatican Assassin Warlock? Why not?

-- I'm really starting to question James Franco's brand of irony. He seems like he's on the longest SNL skit in the world or, he's found himself stuck in a dream where he's in one of the longest SNL skits ever written and he cannot get out of the thing.

-- Who was that square, perky cheerleader in "Grease" who said "Isn't it the most! To say the least!"? I think she's really Anne Hathaway.

-- Christ. Where the hell is Bansky when you need him?

-- Wait. "The Wolfman"? Calm down darlings, it's Best Makeup. And Rick Baker is awesome, mainly for one of his first jobs -- John Landis's "Schlock." 

-- I'm going to sound heartless here, but I always cringe during the "Joe on the street" accounts of what someone's favorite ... oh ... wait. Now they've dragged the President of the United States into the proceedings. I take it back. And nice choice, Obama.

-- Kevin Spacey sings a Fred Astaire tune from "Top Hat." Randy Newman sings his nominated song from "Toy Story.' Some woman in a blue dress (I know who it is, thank you) sings ... what is going on? And where's Bansky?

-- Jake Gyllenhaal and Oprah are next? OK ...


The Big Show

By Kim Morgan Feb 27, 2011 8:40PM
-- Best Adapted Screenplay winner! Aaron Sorkin wins for "The Social Network." This is well deserved and not a surprise and his speech is quite warm. And of course he's on the cusp of being yanked off the stage. Sheesh. Writers. No respect. Even Aaron Sorkin.

-- Best Original Screenplay Winner! David Seidler for "The King's Speech." Seidler classes up the place, makes amusing jokes about being perhaps the oldest winner and speaks so calmly and with such grace that it appears the music pull off cues don't apply to him

-- Oh my Anne Hathaway. I feel like I'm watching a super talented production of Crescent Valley High's production of "Oscar!" They were going for young this year, but this is ridiculous. I do enjoy James Franco in drag, however (as Marilyn Monroe) But only because it makes no sense and feels right about the time Franco's going to call his agent to apologize. Still, why didn't he sing the song?

-- Is it possible to try to be so young that you age 45 years? I mean, if the oldy-McOlderson's like Chris Rock and Jon Stewart were too elder for Oscar, then I don't know what "being young" means anymore. I think Anne Hathaway just went from 28-years old to ... my Aunt Mary.

-- Wait! I totally forgot about the matching white suits worn by Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin. I was looking down, blogging my brains out here, and I sort of missed the reason for the Bobsy Twins routine? Was it supposed to be funny? Old Timey? Young? What? It doesn't matter. I liked it, and wish they had broken into song instead of Hathaway.

-- Best Supporting Actor Winner! Christian Bale for "The Fighter." Yes! Yes! Boo on people who think he's too over-the-top in "The Fighter!" Have you ever been around a washed up, once famous, crack addicted pugilist? How do you know? Also, have you ever seen the real life Dickey Ecklund? Well, check him out. And speaking of that, I love Christian Bale even more right now. He just totally did the greatest web link shout out in the history of blogrolling -- he dropped a from the Oscar podium to the real Dickey Ecklund. And Mr. Ecklund (who you can take boxing lesson from if you go the that website) is in the audience. Mr. Bale is, to use a phrase coined by old people, the bee's knees.


The Big Show!

By Kim Morgan Feb 27, 2011 8:07PM
-- Kirk Douglas! Yes, yes and yes. From "Out of the Past," "Champion," "Spartacus," "Ace in the Hole," "Lust for Life," and more ... here's some real old school Hollywood talent and charisma. God bless him. And on that note, Happy Birthday Elizabeth Taylor.

-- Best Supporting Actress Winner! Melissa Leo! Her campaign didn't hurt her. GOOD. Someone actually wins on merit. And no, she wasn't overacting. Well, as a woman who in real life is overacting (the character, not Leo). But then, back to Leo, given the way she's been campaigning for the award and complaining about her part, all "I'm not old!" and "I'm actually gorgeous!" I'm wondering how the crowd is going to take this.

-- Are they ushering Kirk Douglas off the stage? F them!

-- O.K. Back to Leo. Why is it so deathly quiet in the room? Is it me, or does no one in this auditorium like her?  And most certainly her cast members. Holy Jeez. Mark Wahlberg is looking at her like he actually is her son.

-- Why isn't Justin Timberlake hosting? Wait. Why aren't Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake hosting. Or better yet, why aren't Timberlake and Beyonce hosting?

 -- Best Animated Feature Film Winner! "Toy Story 3"! I'm so not surprised I'm writing this before they announce the name of the picture.

-- And ... it wins!


The Show ...

By Kim Morgan Feb 27, 2011 7:52PM
-- So the show has started and it's not bad, but not looking so good when I have to credit the great Alec Baldwin for making the entire opening sequence good (not to mention the great Morgan Freeman). The whole let's run through the Best Picture nominees and comment joke, is not without its charms, but kind of aimless and airless and lacking in the necessary crackle (like "Inception" itself, so maybe it all makes sense ...). I'm missing Billy Crystal right now.

-- Oh my. The opening monologue. A bit too cutesy. And the lesbians jokes? Has Anne Hathaway been working part time at Giggles comedy club? I'm not going to blame Franco and Hathaway however. Bruce Vilanch! Come on. Didn't you learn anything over these 22 years writing this thing? And weren't you on "The Hollywood Squares?" Hello! Paul Lynde! I realize that was before your time but if you want some good, sexy jokes Mr. Vilanch ...

-- I think I'm correct in saying Franco may be regretting this gig and was actually really angry that he didn't get to sing that Cher song. I'm really angry he didn't get to sing that Cher song.

-- I realize more is yet to come and this was already decided but ... does it feel like Tom Hanks was sent out here last minute because Franco and Hathaway don't have a proper opening number.


Red Carpet Rundown 4

By Kim Morgan Feb 27, 2011 7:33PM
Here's some trends I'm noticing on the red carpet:

-- Lots of red. From Sandra Bullock in a strapless Vera Wang, to Host Anne Hathaway in eye popping red, to, the best in red, so far, Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence (nominated for "Winter's Bone), so smashing in a Calvin Klein tank dress -- red is standing out as the "It" color. (I'm trying to channel my inner Gunn here, excuse me).

-- And more color. Some interesting color choices this year and not so much of the stand by black. Navy Sequin on Amy Adams, maroon and lace on Scarlett Johansson donning Dolce & Gabanna and Mila Kunis in a beautifully elegant and comfortable looking lavender gown by Elie Saab.

-- Green jewelry. Lots of it. And costing a lot as well. Reportedly, Amy Adam’s green necklace is a whopping $1.3M.

-- Feathers. Hilary Swank in an elegant, sequined gray gown by Gucci and Sharon Stone in a one-shouldered black dress with again, feathers. As I keep wondering. Does "Black Swan" have anything to do with this?

And, now, back to the red carpet:

-- Why is Christian Bale so peppy and eager to talk? I find this a lot more sinister than I'm supposed to. I guess he has regular days like all of us. You know where we're just stoked to be nominated for Oscars and know we're going to win. I totally felt like that yesterday.

-- Tim Gunn is doing his fashion rundown. Imagine. He knows what he's talking about.

-- A Bening sighting! And no feathers.

-- All of this livebloggig is making it impossible for me to understand all of the other interactive features the Oscars are boasting about this year.

-- I've just realized that "Who are you wearing" sounds less creepy than "What are you wearing." Even if you could actually be wearing a person. Like Jane Fonda carting Red Buttons around near the end of "They Shoot Horses, Don't They."

-- And now begins the ... Oscars ...

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