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Mike Cohen
Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:13:47 pm

Anyone planning to join the live blog this Sunday? It was great fun for the Globes.

Suppose we could do a Google Hangout to make it even more interesting

See you here

Mike


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Mark Suszko
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:59:15 pm

Honestly, I can't imagine taking the time to watch that live, when I could DVR it and speed thru to the "good" parts in much less time. Then too, I don't believe in the Oscars beyond what it takes to get nominated... they're just too fluky and political, and the categories set up fake equivalencies between unrelated but just-as-good movies.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Feb 26, 2014 at 6:05:08 am

The Oscars are better than Christmas.

When I used to travel, my wife said it was okay to miss her birthday, okay to miss our anniversary, but missing the Oscars was absolutely out of the question.

She wasn't kidding, and neither am I.

That's why I won't be live blogging the Oscars, any more than I would live blog Thanksgiving. It's just too important, and besides, it's family time. The one day of the year when everyone you love is in one place.

My heart will always beat on Eastern time, so I'm not 100% sure how I wound up in California -- but I'm 100% sure that my favorite thing about living here is how early the Oscars are. They start in full sunshine, and are done around 9 PM. The night is still young, and there's dancing to do.

I'm a couple of hours away from LA, but I get LA affiliates on my cable. It's great fun to watch them cover this as local NEWS. The E! network has its own flavor of fun for the celebrity angle, but seeing multiple big-time news teams compete for who has the best NEWS packages -- some of which are spectacular, every bit the equal of the Oscar telecast itself -- and who has the best INSIGHT into the actual MOVIES and the INDUSTRY (as in INDUSTRY). It's the one time of the year that these news organizations pride themselves on providing the best CONTEXT for the story, partly because they have the TIME to.

That's just the past few years I've been here though. Otherwise, my love from afar has been for the usual stuff, so to me, not liking the Oscars is like not liking...food or something. It's like not liking music, or not liking TV. I know that there are people like that, but I don't get them, and I don't even know how to talk to them.

The fact is that I much prefer TV over movies. I don't remember the last time that my anticipation of the telecast was fully satisfied. Of course, not having Billy Crystal host sets an automatic default grade for the telecast at A+++. It's likely that the score will be reduced a notch or two as the night goes on, but really, the non-Billy-ness of the thing will work to keep the score afloat a bit.

(Although, the only thing nearly as bad as Billy Crystal hosting is ABC's half-hour lead-up to the telecast. Maybe the worst half-hour of TV the entire year. Combined with Billy, it's easy to see why so many people commit suicide around the Oscars. Or was that Christmas. Gotta be Christmas...although the Oscars with Billy hosting are surely close behind.)

(I like the guy, by the way. Just not as an Oscar host.)

But my love for TV is one reason I love the Oscars. At their best, they are GREAT TV.

There are many good reasons why it's the second-most watched TV show on the planet. The entire world WANTS it to be good. We WANT to be entertained. We want to see games played with high stakes, even if the game is a little goofy....although really, is there a goofier game than American football? No. There is no goofier game than American football. Not even curling. And yet, while Super Bowl Sunday (an actual DAY named after a GAME) is no Christmas, it's certainly better than Easter.

The point being, I love live blogging. I will be reading your live blog reports very closely and carefully....along with a half dozen or so others (starting with Deadline.com and Grantland.com, with EW.com as the next stop). on MONDAY. And believe me, you will most definitely have my most positive thoughts sent your way.

When I can spare a thought for anything but the events unfolding in front of me.

I'll close for now with an amazing short that Erroll Morris created for the 2002 Oscar telecast. It's not only one of the best descriptions of being a movie fan, but by extension, movies themselves...and by extension, of the Oscar telecast, which is why this clip even exists. It might be the best short I've ever seen, but in any case, it made for unforgettable TV.



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Jeff Breuer
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Feb 26, 2014 at 2:33:03 pm

A few thoughts--

I enjoyed the last live blog but like others I will be partying with friends that night. Years ago my sister-in-law and I turned the Oscars into a drinking game, fill out your ballot and if you loose the guess it's time for a shot (on a side note, one of my best friends was about as drunk as I ever saw him last year because he wanted Silver Linings Playbook to win everything so badly). If Gravity looses all of the technical awards, I might be a lot of fun to chat with though.

Tim, your wife is amazing!

That promo is awesome! Really freakin' awesome! That will be the only promo in the history of mankind to speak fondly of Earnest Goes to Jail. Well played. The air around the Oscars can get pretty hoity sometimes and this video did a great job of bringing everybody together for their own unique admiration of this medium that is so universally loved. Thanks for sharing.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Feb 26, 2014 at 4:30:15 pm

I kind of liked Billy's montage deal where he inserted himself into each nominated movie... and the ad-libs are always better than the stuff they've scripted for the prompter.

Ellen will do fine, I'm sure. I'll DVR it and skim thru to get to the parts everybody will be talking about Monday, then again, there will be an army of web sites and bloggers already doing that work for me.

I wonder if Ebert will be in the
"In Memoriam" section. Technically, he's a screenwriter, after all, not just one of the finest critics ever. So what if it was for a Russ Meyer flick.


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Tim Wilson
Ebert, Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Feb 26, 2014 at 7:15:19 pm
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Feb 26, 2014 at 7:39:21 pm

Roger will definitely be in the In Memoriam. He wasn't just a critic. He was somebody who CHAMPIONED films. He's the one writer who inspired writers, readers, moviegoers, AND movie MAKERS, many of whom owe their careers to him. (Scorsese proudly counts himself among that group.)

It is with very good reason that he was the first film critic to earn a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1974, and it was 29 years before another film critic won. He towered that high above the world he lived in.

One of the first times he made a difference in the movie world was one of his first reviews, for Bonnie & Clyde. It got hammered on its first release. I did some of the specifics of this research when I bestowed a lifetime achievement award on the film's editor, Dede Allen, but until I look it all up again, you can start out by googling the New York Times review. Brutal. (In fact, neither Allen nor director Arthur Penn, who was part of my presentation, had seen it before I showed it to them, in 2005 I think, and both were horrified.)

Well, the one kid, and I do mean kid, who wasn't having any of this was 27 year old Roger Ebert. In one of his first reviews, he completely upended the first reaction of the old guard, and painted a beautiful picture of what made this movie so special, far beyond what seems obvious now.

It's still a stunning piece of writing. Absolutely stunning.

"Bonnie and Clyde" is a milestone in the history of American movies, a work of truth and brilliance. It is also pitilessly cruel, filled with sympathy, nauseating, funny, heartbreaking, and astonishingly beautiful. If it does not seem that those words should be strung together, perhaps that is because movies do not very often reflect the full range of human life.


Wow. Who writes like that? Nobody. And that was just the first paragraph!

On the strength of THAT, the studio re-released the film later in the year, and THAT was the run that stuck. Roger was officially on the map as somebody to watch, because he GOT it. He talked about movies in a way that made people see them differently, and opened up new possibilities for the movies themselves.

Another of the movies that he championed hard was Hoop Dreams. He and Gene gave it two thumbs up, in the days when this was the ONLY endorsement that most studios ever used on ads. They named it the best movie of 1994, but Roger in particularly named it the best movie of the DECADE, and said it was the best film about American life he'd ever seen, PERIOD.

And it was nearly 3 hours long, about a couple of black kids nobody had ever heard of, and their FAILURE to fulfill their hoop dreams, and it was amazing. As the circle came around, the director of that film just premiered his documentary of Roger's life at Sundance, to great acclaim.

Roger was in fact a champion of Sundance, as well as Telluride, when these were much more about indie films. Indeed, starting with Bonnie & Clyde, Roger was maybe the most important voices representing indie films.

His own festival, Ebertfest, was built solely around movies that Roger felt were overlooked it. That's all. Movies that he WANTED you to see. He always tried to include a 70mm feature projected in 70mm, and a silent movie with live orchestral accompaniment. While obviously not of the enduring influence of some of these other festivals, it spoke to Roger's advocacy of MOVIES.

It's really, really important to underscore the word MOVIE. The fact that these were MOVIES, rather than FILMS, mattered to him.

This is a story for another day, but Roger exposed the scandal of the Academy's voting process for selecting the five finalist documentary films, leading to a complete re-writing of the rules to something resembling....not scandalous. That's really enough, isn't it? Just be "not scandalous."

Talking about indie documentarians -- Werner Herzog owes Ebert a debt he'll never be able to repay. You know who else does? Martin Scorsese, and he's the first to admit it. Roger met him when he was an editor on Woodstock, and felt like he had something special, so he stayed in touch. Their relationship always kept a professional distance -- I think at least partly because the relationship was so important to the both of them that they didn't want to taint it with a whiff of impropriety.

Here's a great interview Roger did with Martin and Paul Schraeder, as Taxi Driver was being released.

You can spend days and days doing nothing but reading Roger's stuff -- not just his print stuff compiled there, but the acres and acres he wrote that was just for the web. Of any writer doing any kind of writing, he was the boldest advocate and exploiter of the power of online communication. His twitter feed was by itself reason enough to join twitter, and if you didn't subscribe, I'm sorry that you missed what would have been one of the greatest pleasures of your life online, probably for the rest of your life. Especially if you're old as I am. LOL

I could go on and on, and now feel like I probably will another day. His books are amazing, including his book on movies he hates -- such as, "I Really Really Really Hated This Movie." LOL "Your Movie Sucks" may have been better. LOL





Kidding aside, you can start with Awake In The Dark, a 2006 best-of, as well as The Great Movies. The sequel to that was in some ways even more awesome, as he explained a bit more of why the movies in the first book made the cut, and why these didn't, but easily could have. Awwwwwesome stuff.


Sorry that this is so scattershot even by my standards, but it's simply not possible to overstate Roger's importance to the movies, far, far beyond his role as a critic -- at least partly because the word "critic" implies a cool objectivity, with an inclination to negativity, that he simply didn't have, even for the movies he didn't like. He wanted EVERY movie to be excellent, even the schlock...with the goal of excellent schlock being a goal he obviously felt was achievable.

I remember once when Gene gave him grief for his Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls screenplay he said, "I keep it on my mantle right next to my Pulitzer."

When I get around to this, I'll also talk about the ways that Roger and Gene (who died too soon to get the credit he deserves for this too) changed the entire relationship between TV and movies....and if you're talking about the relationship between TV and movies, you're talking about the Oscar telecast.

If it was me, I'd put Roger last, in the place of highest honor...but wherever he shows up, I guarantee he'll get the biggest ovation.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Ebert, Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Feb 26, 2014 at 7:41:58 pm

It occurred to me belatedly that I should include the LAST paragraph of Ebert's 1967 review of Bonnie & Clyde. It really is impossible to overstate his impact.

This is pretty clearly the best American film of the year. It is also a landmark. Years from now it is quite possible that "Bonnie and Clyde" will be seen as the definitive film of the 1960s, showing with sadness, humor and unforgiving detail what one society had come to. The fact that the story is set 35 years ago doesn't mean a thing. It had to be set sometime. But it was made now and it's about us.


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Kylee Peña
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 1, 2014 at 5:26:51 pm

I will probably be here to live blog with you. In previous years, I had a lot of fun watching at a nearby indie theater where they did trivia during commercial breaks and stuff. Now I live elsewhere and I'm too tired to drive anywhere on a Sunday night.

So I look forward to potentially flooding the forum with those of you who choose to partake.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Kylee Peña
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 1:30:44 am

We doing this? Anyone else here?

The red carpet coverage was horrid. J-Law already fell. Jimmy Kimmel reminded us that all of us at home are a bunch of unwashed savages. Sums up the last couple of hours, eh?

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Kylee Peña
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 1:43:44 am

Me talking to myself in this thread pretty much sums up my life. SOB.

Opening monologue. Terrible. Oh em gee. Old jokes, race jokes, etc. Boring. BORING.

There are so many scientologists in the audience. My word.

The Oscar statues in the back look like they're inflated with helium.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 1:55:04 am

I'm here now! And have my thoughts on the first twenty minutes! They're important!


Ellen's monologue was pretty tame and unmemorable.

Anne Hathaway's dress hurt my eyes.

Love that they used clips from the movie to introduce nominees instead of just showing awkward closeups of the actors doing nothing in their seats, while the presenter reads crappily written, empty statements about them.

The entire Leto family is annoying good-looking.

Far too much Shrek in that sloppy "Animated Heroes" montage, which oddly didn't even lead into the Animated Film award, and was just randomly sort of there... for no reason... Uhhh... What was that?

They only give away one award in the first twenty minutes before we're all forced to listen to a Pharrell Williams song? Poor pacing so far.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 1:57:44 am

Wow, this is some bad, overly-serious presenter writing so far.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 1:58:46 am

Damn! Perfect score ruined on the second award!


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:01:29 am

Whoa, I am failing terribly! But I will defend my pick of Bad Grandpa to the grave, I tells ya!


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:13:39 am

And now my perfect streak of slam dunking Animated Shorts disappears as well...! What a terrible night!


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Kylee Peña
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:15:56 am

Checking in to say I'm really sucking so far. I've only gotten Jared Leto. OH WAIT, Frozen! HA. WIN.

Man. Not a whole lot to say up in here. Yep...yep.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:18:23 am

I will always have a sour spot for Sally Field because of what a jerk she was in Mrs. Doubtfire.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:26:01 am

Karen O and the dude from Vampire Weekend playing an acoustic guitar? THE OSCARS JUST GOT INDIE AS S**T.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:40:41 am

Continue staying 20 feet from the microphone, 20 feet From Stardom lady. #BURN


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:52:05 am

Tyler Perry Presents Nebraska?


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:55:59 am
Last Edited By Scott Roberts on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:56:27 am

Great, a U2 performance! I have to go to the bathroom!


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 3:03:14 am

Oh god, these Ellen "chit chat" segments are just awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwful.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 3:24:25 am

Ok, the pizza segment was kinda funny in how painfully long it went on for.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 3:47:33 am

And now it's pretty much official American Hustle and Wolf of Wall Street will go home empty handed.

Also, what's with all these hero montages? How do these tie into any theme of the actual awards show?


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:02:20 am

Bette Midler? Did the Oscar producers call my mom for input on the telecast?


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:09:46 am

Philomena, Captain Phillips, and Nebraska should have been grouped together in a montage about films that shouldn't have been nominated for Best Picture in the first place.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:27:09 am

All those typewriters make me nervous that a Naked Lunch-type situation is about to break out.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:34:52 am
Last Edited By Scott Roberts on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:41:24 am

THAT MOMENT WHEN YOU REALIZE DAVID O RUSSEL RHYMES WITH AMERICAN HUSTLE


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:53:11 am
Last Edited By Scott Roberts on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:54:34 am

Wait, so does Rust Cohle believe in god or not...?


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:56:39 am

IRONICALLY, THE MAN BEHIND AFTER EARTH GETS TO PRESENT THE BEST PICTURE AWARD


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 5:08:15 am

I'm 17 out of 24... Pretty average, you guys.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 5:12:10 am

Goodnight everybo- oh...


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Mike Cohen
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 4, 2014 at 9:39:58 am

The Pizza segment was the best part of any awards show in recent memory. I have to assume it was planned like everything, though watching Brad Pitt hand out paper plates and napkins proves he's just a regular guy (or he was taught how to do this by his housekeeper).

I was waiting for someone in a white tux to spill pizza sauce on themselves - that would have been great television.

Mike Cohen


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Kylee Peña
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 5:18:13 am

I got overstimulated and gave up live tweeting. Here is my summary.

I got 16/24 correct. The major categories went exactly how I thought.

The telecast was straightforward and kinda boring. Pizza joke was boring. Ellen isn't as cute hosting the Oscars as she is on her own daytime show. The memorium thing was nice until Bette came out and sang AFTER. And why that stupid song? Holy crap.

John Ridley had the best speech. The Frozen winners had the worst speech except for maybe McConaughey not even mentioning AIDS once.

12 Years a Slave will go down in history as yet another best picture winner that nobody remembers in 5 years. Like The Artist or Crash. Not that they aren't good movies, they just aren't that memorable in the long run. (Not that I wanted Gravity to win either. None of the films nominated really stood out to me this year.)

What about Travolta butchering Idina Menzel's name? What did he even say? Did we get hypnotized? Am I a level 6 thetan now?

It does feel kind of weird when Gravity wins editing and cinematography...not because it doesn't deserve it, but because the lines are becoming so blurred now that it's hard to find where one thing ends and the other begins. The future of film, no doubt, but I wonder how that will affect future awards? Hm.

Screw being on the east coast for the Oscars. Midnight. EFF.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:55:12 pm

No Dennis Farina in the Memorial???

Sumbuddy needz a tune-up


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Mike Cohen
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 3, 2014 at 3:28:06 pm

I'm on a news blackout. Watched the Walking Dead, Talking Dead, and went to Bed.
Excuses not to make, today I'm more awake, my DVR was set to tape.
TTFN
Mike Cohen


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Mike Cohen
Re: Oscars 2014 Live Blog
on Mar 4, 2014 at 10:08:57 am

I agree with most of what Scott and Kylee said. It was nicely directed by Hamish Hamilton, with slightly more interesting camera angles than the typical awards show, cutting to non-direct angles for closeups during speeches. I suggested Hamilton in this post after last year's show
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/267/4581

Maybe the Oscar producers read this forum, so let's make some other suggestions for next year just in case:

1. Do not invite anyone to sing a song as cheesy as The Wind Beneath my Wings. Ever again. What is this, 1987?

2. I don't think there are any songs that cheesy to sing after the In Memorium, so perhaps disregard #1.

3. Show slightly longer clips from nominated short films.

4. The host does not really matter. It is a person to introduce the presenters, make some silly or not so silly jokes before and after commercials and do a few sight gags. Ellen was pretty innocuous. They tried non-traditional with Anne Hathaway and Franco, so that idea is out. How about Tom Hanks or George Clooney - everyone in the room loves those guys and they can be funny and charming. And since this is broadcast to the whole world, the whole world loves these guys too.

4a. Or maybe you take the best actor and actress winners and let them host the following year. Matthew McConnaghey and Kate Blanchett - I'd watch that.

Ok, so directing was decent. They only played music over a couple of people who broke the "one person speaks upon accepting an award" rule. It was comical that Cuaron got cut off and simply said "ooh, hi!" for the co-award for editing.

Beards seem to be popular with actors nowadays, and not always full beards, but Amish beards, goatees, etc. Best beard award goes to Jason Sudekis who actually looked less goofy and more like a cool actor-type guy.

The Wizard of Oz thing was nice. Good job Pink.

Happy that I watched this on replay, taking about 2 hours to do so while cooking dinner and checking e-mails. Sorry for not participating live but watching zombies with my wife took priority.
Insert joke about celebrity of your choice here.

Until next year.

Mike


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