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Oscars 2004

updated 2/29/04
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12:38 pm. I would like to make you aware that the Barbara Walters special tonight will feature Billy Crystal, Diane Keaton, and . . . Matt Le Blanc. Please. This is going to suck, y'all.

What I've seen so far on E!, whose coverage began at approximately two in the morning: Wolfgang Puck stirring a bottle of red wine into a vat of gravy and Nicky Hilton (!) taking Keisha Castle-Hughes (!!) for a pedicure. (As certain as I am that Charlize will win, Keisha, I send you many good wishes.
And much penicillin.)

Oh, and I will definitely be playing along with the Moviefone Bingo. If you see a "Gratuitous Jack Nicholson shot" and then see me shout "BINGO!" on the Tag Board . . . you'll know why.

Okay, E!. Don't you dare try to tell me that Naomi Watts and Renee Zellweger "got ugly" this year the way that Charlize Theron did. That's just insulting to those two women. (Oh, and apparently I do a really, really good Zellweger-in-Cold-Mountain "It's RAYYYYUNIN'!" impression.)

Well, shit. It looks like is picking up Yahoo's slack with the official Oscar pool functionality this year. You can join groups and everything. So basically, THANKS FOR NOT TELLING ME UNTIL AFTER I CODED MY OWN. Bastages.

Tom O'Neil is sitting here talking about how amazing it is that Keisha Castle-Hughes campaigned for Supporting but was so beloved that the voters put her in Best Actress. You know what, Tom? I love me some Keisha, but . . . stop jinxing my pool entry, man. I put down Charlize and I'm sticking by it.

Although if Johnny Depp were to win Best Actor and upset my pool pick, I would not complain at all.

Oh, and I ended up writing an
editorial about LOTR hatahs last night. In a nutshell: your turn to fangirl the Best Picture favorite will roll around next year, or the next, or the next. Everyone has to suffer a movie they loathe winning Best Picture (or in this case, being the frontrunner. Let's be cautious here). So back up off the condescending attitude this year, Sparky.

1:00 pm. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Charlize Theron tried to get the lead in Showgirls. Dude. That's, like, the hand of God intervening right there.

So here's why the race is "so strange" this year (quoth Todd Newton): Oh, you mean the part about it coming A MONTH EARLY? Yes. And Billy Crystal is back. I prefer Steve Martin, although I do have a special affection for Crystal's affinity for dressing up at the show's opening. Oh, and the screener affair. The studios and their "piracy" bit can bite me. If they don't want to send out screeners, fine. But that doesn't mean that they should be able to ban the indie movies from sending out screeners, too. My favorite line was from some indie producer who said, "Uh, we like people to pirate our films. It means
someone's actually watching them."

1:27. Awww, a sweet picture of Bill Murray standing near his seat at rehearsals. In a sweater vest. Hee.

Well, I'm off to take a quick shower before things really get started. Be back in about half an hour.

2:29. Or an hour. Whatever.

Oh God, it's Bobby Trendy. He's promising to turn some room (I don't know, don't ask me) into a wonderland of vinyl and disco balls and beads and flowing drapery. I am not using anyone named "Bobby Trendy" as a designer.
Call me when you find a guy named "Bobby Still Looks Good Next Week."

Who is this woman on E! and why does she sound like a hoarse Star Jones? And how can I make her go away?

Somebody from the Style network. "New York Nick." Giulianna pretends like someone really wanted to know who he is. Whatever. "I don't know what this has to do with the Oscars," laughs Giulianna. She's no Steve Kmetko, but she's growing on me.

Courtesy Troll Princess at LJ: "Jamie Lee Curtis asked Futterman to repeat the question, then answered: 'My nipples are going to be completely covered. I'm the mother of two!' "

2:44. In a conversation about Sean Penn:

Todd Newton: "Is it true, 'All publicity is good publicity?"

Talking head, dripping with sarcasm:
"I don't know, ask the Jackson sisters--Janet and Michael."

Next segment: Low-carb party treats? Are you people insane? It's THE OSCARS. It's their job to twirl on that red carpet and be all twiggy and shit--and it's my job, and yours too, to sit on our collective ass and cheer/boo/make fun of them. Low-carb does not lend itself to cattiness.

Zero-carb spirits? Are you kidding me?

Speaking of which, I still regret that the Globes this year were not brought to you by booze. I see a bottle of cheap white wine that may be in my future tonight. Also, it looks like the Live Rank feature at E! will start up at 5 pm (my time--that's 2-1/2 hours before the show starts).

3:00. Nicky Hilton is wearing a Marilyn-esque white gown, very nicely biased and fitted, and a ponytail with what looks like one of those '60s lifts on top of her head. She seems less camera-ready than Paris, and therefore I can stand her.

3:22. COUGH COUGH COUGH Dust in my lungs, dust in my lungs, can't breathe . . . have moved Betsy to a rickety TV tray/stool setup, and am choking on dust. ("YOU KNOW, YOU COULD DUST BACK HERE MORE OFTEN." Hush, Betsy.) Have swiffered what I could out of the way.

E!: Nicky Hilton and some jeweler showing off diamonds. You know, there's nothing better than not one, but two people who are camera-awkward. (You gotta love someone who transitions out of a segment with, "Anyway . . .") Also, we got to see the $2 million dollar shoes. Which have clear glass stiletto heels ("They're Cinderella shoes!"), a one-million-dollar orange diamond on the toe of one shoe, and another million's worth of white diamonds between the two shoes. And they're sandals. You know, by "shoe" I mean "a sole and two straps."
So we've got this hugely expensive shoe with hardly any actual shoe, and they're also mismatched. Rock. Oh, and Alison Krauss is wearing them.

Whoa, the
SWAT team is out for security.

So. I have been downstairs to get more tea and to consult Mommy of Digest on the menu for tonight. She has switched from the original home-grilled burgers plan (what? We're having a bit of a thaw at the moment) to some sort of grilled chicken/mozzarella/marinara concoction, having apparently taken her recent dinners at the Olive Garden to heart. (Wolfgang Puck, eat your heart out.) Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide between the Gucci scrunchie or the Armani scrunchie.

3:40. Maker of Extremely Expensive Artisan Handbags hints that Charlize's gown may be silver. Charlize, Renee, and Nicole are the big-name gowns to look at tonight, and trust me, Nicole has a lot of penance to do.

I love Brassy's Oscars icon.

4:16. Talking to Correspondent Vladimir and eating Thin Mints.

Strong Bad and Lord of the Rings: Two great tastes that taste great together. ("Don't you know that night and day are different? What's wrong with you?")

E!: Blah blah blah.

Melicious is the first arrival. Does an employee count as an arrival? I like her dress, though. New York Nick is sitting out in the fan stands--apparently they didn't have them last year (security issues. You know, Al-Qaeda was totally going to bomb the Oscars), so they invited all the SOL ticketholders from last year to sit in the stands this year. They also mention that the producers have cut all the extraneous production number crap from the show. Seriously, I will never forget the soul-sucking boredom that was Debbie Allen's interpretive Best Score dances. Although I really did appreciate that year Cirque du Soleil showed up. Oh, and the year Robin Williams sang "Blame Canada." That was pretty awesome.

I am already getting tired. This is not good.

Tom O'Neil is saying that "we have to accept that Lord of the Rings might not win" because no fantasy film ever has. O'Neil's pick for upset? Lost in Translation.

The woman from the Broadcast Critics Circle is talking about how The Passion of the Christ is going to be the big point of controversy at the 2005 Oscars (and this from someone who also says, "I think the violence cannibalized the message of love and redemption"). And really, I think she's got a point. I was sitting here thinking about this last night--who are we going to see in 2005? Hmm. If Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind turns out to be any good, I think we'll be seeing that at the Oscars next year. In fact, I think that if Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban lives up to the advance reviews I'm hearing, we could possibly see a nomination for Alfonso Cuaron. I think we're going to see a lot of groundbreaking effects work, too, between The Polar Express and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. And then there's Scorsese's all-star cast in The Aviator. King Arthur and Alexander may show up in the Gladiator vein of Very Serious Historial Action Epics. The funny thing is that last fall--fall 2002, mind you--I was able to say, "Cold Mountain is going to be Miramax's big gun against the last LOTR movie. " It was just that obvious. I'm having a hard time looking at the calendar this year and spotting the Oscar bait, though. Maybe films haven't been announced  yet on the schedule--I think people are still reeling from the calendar change this year.

5:00. I really, really like Melissa Rivers' dress--it looksl ike a garden. Joan looks like nothing so much as a Skeksis in white fur. Passion of Christ joke. Passion of Christ joke. Aramaic joke. Jewish accountant joke. Gay marriage joke. "George Bush banning Marcia Gay Harden" joke. Something about midgets and the Macarena. I don't want to know either. Joan butchers the names of Shohreh Aghdashloo, Djimon Hounsou, and Benicio Del Toro with great flair in record time.

Commercials: God, make that '90s E! commercial stop. Oooo, Hidalgo.
Mommy of Digest and I have already started fighting over The Vig.

MOD: "You know, he really . . . he really doesn't do anything for me as himself, you know? It's like . . . he only comes to life when he's playing a character."

Cleo: "Well, more for me, then."

MOD: " . . . I mean, whether he's the guy in Lord of the Rings, or he's Hidalgo . . ."

Cleo: "Hidalgo's the horse, Mom."

MOD: " . . . he just doesn't do anything unless . . . WHAT DO YOU MEAN, MORE FOR YOU? NONE FOR YOU!!"

Absolutely true, folks.

Melicious. International event. I am actually getting to watch the TV instead of constantly whipping my head over and behind to see. V. nice.

Over at Yahoo: goodness me, diamonds and boobs. It's something for the whole family!

Awww, Keisha Castle-Hughes looks great in pale pink. She looks like a girl, which is the best part, and not a souped-up nymphet. Jamie Lee Curtis looks good in a turquoise-ish blue. And yes, her nipples are covered. She says she gets to introduce the Mighty Wind song, which I'm really looking forward to. She's about to start filming "Skipping Christmas" with Tim Allen, which . . . yikes. But Curtis is so classy--she pulls Keisha over and makes such a graceful exit after introducing KCH to Joan. I absolutely love her dress--it has this little sheer cape over the top that looks like fairy wings. Awwwwww, and she's wearing a whale barrette!

Commercials: Jersey Girl. Liv is very cute. The little girl is very cute. The whole damn movie is so cute that it doesn't even look like a Kevin Smith movie. It's so damn cute that my "Rom-com! Run away!" alarms are going off.

Melicious and Ted Casablancas are talking over each other so fast that I can't understand either of them. Actually, I heard "bling-bling" and ran away. Awww, poor Ken Watanabe, trying to speak to Joan. Thank God, he's got a translator. Joan behaves herself, which is unusual--usually she blurts something stupid out, like, "Wife or mistress?"

5:30. Commercials: Starsky and Hutch. Owen Wilson is the sensitive one who says it's okay to cry. It was funnier when Ben Stiller was attacking little girls' ponies.

Phil Collins is here to present, something about Brother Bear, "But Finding Nemo is going to wipe the floor with us." Well, at least you recognize that, Phil.

I am going to go get some caffeine.

The recap tonight is brought to you by Mountain Dew.

Holy crow--Alison Krauss is gorgeous, and then this angular cornpone speaking  voice comes out of her mouth. She says that she is going to sing both Cold Mountain songs--it sounds like they'll have another song between them. And here's Annette O'Toole and Michael McKean (who wrote the Mighty Wind song). Hey, I didn't know they were married.

Melicious is talking about her shoe emergency--
apparently it broke, so she just threw it into the crowd. Well, that's one way to deal with it. Also, I never want to hear the phrase "bling-bling" again.

Commercial: "Goldie and Kate: The E! True Hollywood Story." Here's one for Taking Lives, which seems mildly interesting but also completely derivative. A solid rental, I say. Here's Julianne Moore shilling hair dye. So, wait--is she a natural redhead or not?

5:49: Here's Naomi and Heath. SHOW ME HER DRESS! She looks good from the shoulders up. She also looks naked from the shoulders up. Naomi is gracefully resigned to the fact that Charlize will win. SHOW ME HER DRESS! Ooo, I like the back of her hair, a braided chignon sort of thing. Heath is extremely slicked back and wearing a peace pin. Naomi is wearing a beige spangled Versace that the camera is not doing justice to, I don't think. Still, it's basically a very  nice "I expect to lose, but I'm gonna do it gracefully" dress. (Heath is wearing Gucci, it's a penguin suit, they all look the same.)

There's Stiller and Wilson--I presume there's some comedy to be performed on the show--whoa, some tiny Asian woman in a giant fur. Here's Marcia Gay Harden in royal blue and a braid around a high, smooth beehive. It sounds strange, but it works.  Also, she is pregnant with twins. Great earrings, too. There's Tim Robbins, spiky and wearing black-on-black. There's Djimon Hounsou in cute rectangular glasses.  Now he's actually talking to Joan, after a commercial break, with his son. Oh God, they arrived in a hybrid car. I don't know why, but hybrid cars--or talking about driving them to awards shows--just seems pretentious.
Uh, someone told Joan Rivers they thought Mystic River had a happy ending, and she's having to check with Robbins on this. Yeah . . . I'm thinking it wasn't a happy ending.

Djimon Hounsou! I like him. Huh, apparently most of In America was shot in . . . Ireland. Oooo, is that Shohreh Aghdashloo? Get outta town! Damn, she looks good. Joan just slurred something about "two nominases." Booze! Here's Gary Ross from Seabiscuit. I'm still shocked that it was nominated for Best Picture. Shocked but not surprised, if that makes any sense.

Ohhhhh no. Thunder. That does not sound good. I BEST not lose power, that's all I gotta say. I think if worst comes to worst I can listen to it on the radio, since ABC does broadcast, but . . . yikes.

Here's Holly Hunter--tulle over chiffon in a color so pale I'm not even sure what it is. It's not my favorite Vera Wang that she's ever worn, but there you go. "So, tell me about your private life!" Joan blurts out.
"Uh, my private life is, uh, wonderful, and, uh . . . mine," says Hunter with a grin. Here's Elvis Costello and Diana Krall--damn, Patricia Clarkson looks good. She's one of these indie actresses who just came out of nowhere and suddenly became fabulous. Who else came out of nowhere and did that a couple of years ago? I can't think.

6:10. There's Scarlett Johansson in green, I think--here's Howard Shore. Who's that, Francis Ford Coppola? I can't see. Ah, it's the four hobbits. Too! Many! People! Can't! Keep Up! At least! Neck! Isn't! Cricking!

Wow, that was Shohreh Aghdashloo. Damn, yo. You know how Catherine Zeta-Jones turned up that year in that fire-red dress? Yeah, think that, sort of. Ooo, was that Jude Law? Teh pretteh. Here's Scarlett again, and her hair looks good. SHOW ME HER DRESS! Hmm, interesting front. Oh God, Robin Williams is behind her. Wow, Bobcat Goldthwait looks like a completely different person. Goldthwait avers that, in his "relationship" with Williams, he is the bottom. Well, good to know. Who is Goldthwait wearing? "Uh, this is Sears?" There's Jennifer Garner, I think, in coral?

Hobbitses! Joan is having the boys introduce themselves. They are all dressed appropriately and not in embroidered green velvet, ELIJAH. Astin is talking to his brother on camera, on his cell phone. Classy. Astin's father tells him to "lose the glasses."

Wow, I don't want to know how many disco balls died to make Samantha Morton's dress. There's Peter Jackson. Here's Jennifer Garner in that orange/coral Valentino--wow, I really like the back. Very nice. Awww, it's the Sheridan family ("Are you that girl from the movie about the illegal immigrants?" "Yeah . . .") Here's Eugene Levy--and there's Chris Cooper coming in; I imagine he'll be presenting Best Supporting Actress. Wow, Catherine O'Hara's hair is awesome. Oh God, there's Mickey Rooney. Ooooo, Jude Law is Teh Pretteh. Ah, there's a full-length shot of Watts--I like her dress muchly, even though it's sort of subdued. Even his voice is pretteh. I have no idea what he's saying. He's saying something about a movie that hasn't come out yet. Joan wants to know if he kept his Cold Mountain costumes (WTF?)--"I wear them everyday," he cracks. Heeeeeee.

Here's Samantha Morton. I like her earrings--what are they, turquoise? Nice hair, smoky eyeshadow. DRESS! Wow, Joan actually did research--she's astonishingly sober this year. Whoa, was that Diane Lane? Nice white dress with cutouts. Despite the disco ball crack, I do like her dress. Morton's very bubbly and charming and I think she knows she won't win, but she doesn't care.

Here's Peter Jackson; he seems sanguine about the whole thing. SHOW ME FRAN'S DRESS! Ooo, there's Liv Tyler. I love her hair--sort of a sh . . .. ooooooooo. Johnny! And all those crappy highlights are gone! Ooooooo. Pretteh . . . I knew Liv was wearing Givenchy! You can just tell. Here's Michael Douglas and CZJ--in red this year, speaking of red. I still can't get over Liv's Givency, it's fabulous. There's Sting and wife, there's Bill Murray--here's Liv. Wowwww.  Gorgeous back, with a ribbon choker. Awww, children really think she's a princess. She told a really sweet story about that in a . . . NICOLE! DRESS! SHOW ME! DAMN YOU! Aqua? Did I see aqua? Oooo, I like the necklace and the hair AND GODDAMMIT GO BACK TO NICOLE!

Holy shit, what is Kelly Lynch wearing? It's like . . . I don't even know what it's like.

Heee . . . Nicole says firmly that she is not representing Chanel, which she is wearing, even though she's doing a No. 5 campaign. Joan and the BBC come to blows over Nicole. For real, she was heard to say that she wished Chanel would stop making ruffly things for her, and what is she wearing? Ruffles down her cleavage. Poor Nicole.

There's Charlize. Her tan is a bit fierce, but silver it is.

I've just switched to CNN--ooo, I like Angelina Jolie's jewelry. They have Sandra Bullock and there's Julia Roberts and who did I just see pass by? UMA! I love Uma. She always wears interesting things. Oh God, Diane Keaton is wearing Johnny Depp's hat. Actually, I think she escaped from an Edwardian wedding . . . where she wa sthe groom. There's Pierce Brosnan . . . I haven't seen the back of Nicole's dress yet, but the guys are telling me that her dress is held up only by the will of God. Nicole is shouting at "Sandy!" to come over and talk to her.  HEE! The CNN guy says he wasn't sure who just went by, Depp or Keaton. I'm sayin'.

Keaton is freaking out over being reunited with "her daughter!" from Godfather 3. There's Renee--looked like white satin, SHOW THE DRESS! I still can't get over how bad Nicole's ropy navy-pantyhose dress was last year. The year you win your Oscar, you need to look good. Oh, and there's Stuart Townsend with Charlize. He looks like an ice cream man. Which is fine, because I hate him. There's Alec Baldwin, competently dressed--seriously! What else can you say about a penguin suit?

Ooh, here's Julianne Moore on Yahoo. Pretteh. Ah, there's Sean Penn. He actually deigned to show up. Go him.

Please, God, give me enough time to put some pictures up.

Oh my God. My right hand just curled up and froze. I am serious. I'm going to take a bit of a break. The  pictures are out of order and not spaced right, but they just need to sit there as placeholders, because when I come back, we're going to start on a fresh page.
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Welcome to the Oscars play-by-play! Full coverage starts at 7 pm Central Standard Time with the ABC arrivals show. The Globe ceremony itself starts at 7:30. Until then, we're just noodling around.

This page is going to get long. Use shift + F to search.

You'll to open this page again in a different window for the new tagboard, as this page will continue to update live (keep refreshing). You'll also need to refresh to see new comments on the Tag Board until the FEATURES THAT WE PAID FOR kick in (much shaking of fists).

You want these links:
(will post transcripts of accept. speeches)
E! Online (live Red Carpet ranking)
Oscar pool
(open until the moment the show starts)
Moviefone Oscar bingo!

Where can I watch the Oscars in my country? has the answer.

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Keisha Castle-Hughes