The other night the Honeybee and I sat down and watched the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, and I have to say it was the most entertaining show I’ve seen since Billy Crystal was hosting.
Naturally, we recorded the event to avoid all the commercials.
Here’s my minute-by-minute take…
7:30 PM: The Honeybee and I send the kids upstairs and snuggle up to the fire before hitting the play button. I’ve also got with me my trusty bag of Hostess mini-donuts (chocolate) and a glass of milk. The Honeybee goes the other route: A big bag of peanut M&Ms which she has decided to wash down with a Jack and Diet Coke. I know.
7:33 PM: WTF is this? Is that Doogie Howser doing a song-and-dance number? Yep. But you know what? As I watch Neil Patrick Harris start belting out his number it is obvious that he is a capable singer. Who knew? I’m now suddenly intrigued.
7:34 PM: As the openly gay Harris continues his number, two beautiful show girls cozy up to either side of him, seductively pawing at his body. A mere mortal man would easily have trouble keeping his, um, composure. “Look at Doogie!” I tell the Honeybee, “The guy isn’t even breaking a sweat.” If that were me instead of Doogie, decency laws would force the director to cut to a crowd shot.
7:35 PM: Harris continues his show tune, and is picked up by three male models that would make Brad Pitt look like a nerd. Harris continues belting out his number as he sits on their hunky shoulders. “I bet he’s sweating now,” deadpans the Honeybee.
7:40 PM: Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin just brought down the house with a hilarious monologue. I bet they threw out 30 jokes in five minutes and maybe two of them fell flat. The best line was Steve Martin commenting on the movie-star good-looks of young actors Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner, warning how time eventually takes its toll: “Take a good look at me guys,” said Martin, “This is you in five years.”
7:41 PM: Penelope Cruz comes out to give the Best Support Actor award and she looks absolutely stunning. What was Tom Cruise thinking when he let her go? Between Katie Holmes and Penelope, I’ll take Penelope every time.
7:42 PM: Of the five guys up for best supporting actor, I’m rooting for Christopher Waltz for his awesome job as the Jew-hunting SS colonel in Inglorious Basterds.
7:43 PM: Waltz wins! His acceptance speech is beautifully done, quick and to the point. “We’re off to a really good start!” the Honeybee says. I have to agree. I’m almost 15 minutes into the show and I haven’t eaten a single donut yet.
7:56 PM: Teenagers Mylie Cyrus and Amanda Seyfried come out to give an award. Unfortunately, Cyrus stumbles badly over her lines, finally apologizing to the crowd. “As you can tell, we’re both kind of nervous,” she says. We? I’m sure Seyfried, who had delivered her part flawlessly up to that point, had more than a few choice words for her “friend” back stage. Welcome to Hollywood, kid.
7:58 PM: Wow. District 9 is a nominee for Best Picture! I’d vote for it.
8:08 PM: “What’s wrong with Molly Ringwald?” the Honeybee asks. Giving a tribute with Matthew Broderick to the late director John Hughes, she looks like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. Either that, or she was trying to do her best impersonation of the eyeball scene in A Clockwork Orange.
8:10 PM: Dairies all over America are working overtime to print new milk cartons: Judd Nelson is alive! He just walked on stage with a few other 80s brat pack members including Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall.
8:15 PM: The first injustice of the night: The great Nick Park, of Wallace and Gromit fame, fails to win best animated short film for A Matter of Loaf and Death.
8:16 PM: The Honeybee begins fast forwarding through the rest of the “film short” awards. Meanwhile, I eat my first donut. Mmm. Hostess minis.
8:20 PM: Ben Stiller comes out to present the award for best makeup dressed up in the Avatar blue-face get-up of the Nav’i – complete with a fuzzy tail. Stiller’s irreverence is the perfect antidote for a crowd that tends to take itself way too seriously.
8:30 PM: Robin Williams informs the audience, “You’ve just seen the Governor’s Award. Later this evening the Governor’s ball will be held, just one of many balls being held all over Hollywood tonight.” After I was done rolling on the floor, I ask the Honeybee if she heard that, giving her a wink. Her curt reply: “He said Hollywood, Romeo.”
8:45 PM: Almost simultaneously, the Honeybee and I can barely contain ourselves as we joyously exclaim, “Hey, look!” Was it Jack Nicholson? No. Arnold Schwarzenegger? Uh uh. A Led Zeppelin reunion? Nope. It’s the musical director from Dancing with the Stars, Harold Wheeler, being introduced as the Academy Awards’ conductor!
8:48 PM: Pinch me. An albino just walked up on stage to take the award for sound editing. What are the odds of an albino winning an Academy Award? They have to be astronomical. It could be one hundred years or more before the Oscars ever see another sight like that again.
8:50 PM: Check that. The same albino just claimed another Oscar – this time for sound mixing. Good thing I’m not a betting man.
8:58 PM: Time for the traditional 15-second mention of the Oscars’ ugly stepchild – the science and technical awards. “As an engineer, that really bugs me that they give no love to these guys,” I complain to the Honeybee. “Why should they?” she says as she downs the last of her Jack and Coke, “Nobody cares.” I tell her I care. “Like I said…” she replies.
9:02 PM: Everybody knows I adore Sandra Bullock but whoever did her makeup tonight did her no favors. That red lipstick makes her look like Bozo the Clown.
9:04 PM: Don’t look now but it’s Demi Moore – DEH-mi (not Deh-MI). “Wow. She’s looking great!” says the Honeybee. That she is. DEH-mi is pushing 50 and she looks absolutely terrific. Talk about cougar town – grrrrrrrrrr. What was Bruce Willis thinking? If I were Ashton Kutcher, I would send Bruce a thank you card every Valentine’s Day.
9:08 PM: They’re now playing the annual tribute to those in the Industry who passed away the year before. “Why is Michael Jackson in the tribute? Does his Thriller video qualify him as a movie star?” the Honeybee asks. I doubt it; she has a good point there. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out how the Academy could have left Farrah Fawcett out of the tribute. Tragic.
9:09 PM: It’s only fitting that Jennifer Lopez should immediately follow the Academy’s tribute to the dead. Come to think of it, they not only forgot Farrah, they forgot to include JLo’s career in that retrospective too. Time for another donut.
9:15 PM: Avatar just won the award for visual effects and director James Cameron looks ecstatic. His movie has been getting trounced by The Hurt Locker, which was directed by his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, but now this win narrows the Oscar awards gap to 3-2 in favor of his ex. There’s still the four big awards to go, so this is anybody’s contest.
9:18 PM: It had to happen. The lone political statement of the night is made by some dude who raises a banner on stage during the acceptance speech for the best documentary award, which went to The Cove, asking us to “Text ‘Dolphin’ to XXXXX.”
9:23 PM: Oops. The Hurt Locker just took the award for film editing. Kathryn Bigelow 4. James Cameron 2.
9:33 PM: Uh oh. Somebody had a tailgater outside the theater before the show started. Unfortunately, that somebody is an apparently very inebriated Buffalo Bill Cody, who just decided to jump on stage and accept the Best Actor award for Jeff Bridges. Buffalo Bill is giving a rambling speech, punctuated by lots and lots of “yeah, mans.”
9:34 PM: Buffalo Bill is still up there babbling. Apparently his dad was the late Lloyd Bridges. Who knew? Meanwhile, we’re at eight “yeah mans” and counting. Hopefully, I have enough donuts to get through the rest of this.
9:36 PM: Cody finishes his speech and not a moment too soon. I’ve got one donut left. How many grams of fat are there in an entire bag of Hostess mini donuts?
9:45 PM: Sandra Bullock wins for Best Actress! That’s my girl. I’ve always said she was a highly underrated actress – so this award is justly deserved. In complete contrast to Buffalo Bill’s acceptance speech, Sandra’s is both touching and magnanimous. She thanks all of her fellow nominees and even mentions her Razzie award for Worst Actress. A real class act.
10:03 PM: If James Cameron wants to save face in his head-to-head Oscar battle with his ex-wife, he needs the billion-dollar grossing Avatar to take the last two awards, including the Best Director award.
10:04 PM: This can’t be good for Cameron: Barbra Streisand is presenting the award for Best Director. Babs asks the crowd if it’s finally time a woman won the award for best director. Everybody knows what she thinks and, I gotta tell you, for Cameron it’s now a lose-lose situation. Even if he wins the award over ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, I would half-expect Babs to hit him over the head with his statuette.
10:05 PM: Lucky for Cameron he doesn’t have to find out. Babs is smiling. Bigelow just beat her ex out for the Best Director honor. Bigelow 5, Cameron 2.
10:06 PM: The Hurt Locker finishes its evisceration of the mighty Avatar, winning the Best Picture award and taking its sixth Oscar of the night. Avatar may be the biggest grossing movie of all-time (well, actually that depends on how you keep score), but in terms of Oscar hardware, it can’t hold a candle to a lot of other films.
10:08 PM: It’s finally over. But even without commercials, the Academy Awards was still a marathon event. In fact, Steve Martin just walked on stage and closed the festivities by saying the show had run so long that Avatar “now takes place in the past.”
10:10 PM: While it looks like the Honeybee has squashed my plans for any after-parties tonight, it’s not all bad. I’ve still got one donut left.