2005_02_oscars2005.jpgYou know it's the Oscars when P. Diddy busts out the velvet suit! Gothamist loves the Oscars, and we're going to attempt to do a little liveblogging. We might need to order a vat of caffeine and an EMT team at the ready; not because Chris Rock will be boring, but because we think that Gil Cates might kill us with his newfangled ideas and because we're meh about this year's nominees in the big categories. Anyway, onto the show.

Pre-show: Poor Mike Leigh, being interviewed by Star Jones. Poor, poor Mike Leigh. Not only is he nominated and have slim chance of winning, he's got to endure this. To Star's credit, either she's seen Imelda Staunton or she has great producers, so she asks some decent questions, but still, he's too cool for her. Beyonce is wearing a black dress. It's nice, but perhaps too grown-up and old - she sort of looks matronly. On a more fashion forward note, supporting actress nominee Laura Linney looks kind of punk, with slicked back hair and this neutral tattered dress by J. Mendel. Gothamist gives New Yorker Linney credit for doing something interesting, but it doesn't quite work. We do wish Liam Neeson and Peter Sarsgaard had been nominated for Kinsey as well.

Damn! Helen Mirren looks rad. She's 59 and totally rocked out her sexy dress. She's with her husband, Taylor Hackford, who is nominated for directing Ray. Hotel Rwanda nominee Sophie Okenedo looks very lovely in her white dress - it's princessy, but still looks modern. Co-star and nominated Don Cheadle tells her to mention a car maker to get a free car, but she declines. Aw.

Again, what's with the young actresses with boring dresses: Emmy Rossum is wearing a rich red Ralph Lauren. It's nice and she looks fine, but she's a young girl - it seems way too old. Catalina Sandino Moreno, surprise Best Actress nominee and winner of best actress at yesterday's Independent Spirit Award, looks awesome in her simple white dress, with some sequin/bead detailed straps. She looks young and age-appropriate. And Virginia Madsen looks hot in Versace Couture, which she apparently picked out yesterday.

2005_02_oscars_hilary.jpgHilary Swank looks fierce in her Guy Laroche dress, with the sexy back. Chad Lowe seems like the most supportive husband in the world. Is that Gisele with Leo? That's kind of fun. But no Naomi Campbell with Usher - yeah!

The rest of the Sideways crew is trailing later on. Aw, Paul Giamatti...Saturday Night Live repeated his great hosting job from a few weeks ago...Paul, you were robbed! Gothamist loves Sandra Oh, but we don't like how she succumbed to wearing a lot of old-lady jewelry; she seems much more modern, and these necklaces are too heavy and don't work well.

God bless you, Kathy Griffin. She says, "It looks like Renee is a child's size 6X. My, she's a tiny girl." God bless.

We love how Star Jones is trying to get the attention of Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett, who are talking to each other. They both look great, as they usually do (Kate's dress, Cate's dress). Speaking of Kate Winslet, check out Fametracker's Fame Audit of Kate Winslet, aka "Anatomy of a Girl Crush." Ooh, Melvin and Mario Van Peeples are wearing matching suits and hats. Cute. We think. Another family affair: Jake Gyllenhaal and sister maggie Gyllenhaal arrive together. Jake's got the shaved head, and Maggie looks great, kind of modern.

ABC pre-show: Billy Bush is part of this pre-show? Good lord. Warren Beatty seems confused, while being interviewed by Chris Connelly; Warren's wife Annette Bening blah-blahs about being honored to be nominated - zzzz. Halle Berry is wearing taupe/neural again. She looks good, but it's hard for her to look bad... but she's just boring. For eff's sake, they are showing Roberto Benigni's acceptance in a clip package, where he jumps on the chair. Stop it, Gil Cates - please. And jeez, Billy Bush is interviewing Renee who looks ridiculously thin. She needs a sandwich very badly. Get her to the Governor's Ball stat!

Kirsten Dunst looks really grown-up - heavy black eye make-up, very chic bobbed haircut. Interesting. And Gothamist would like Clive Owen to marry us.

The show: Montage of films...talking about the timeless nature of film, with classic clips and clips of this year's nominees. Heavily featured music: Eminem's Lose Yourself, which won an Oscar last year.

2005_02_oscars_chris.jpgAnd it's Chris Rock, what Hollywood has been fearing and looking forward to. The crowd gives him a standing ovation! "Welcome to the 77th and last Academy Awards." Nice. He says the four acting black acting nominees (though one is the same man - Jamie Foxx) are like "Def Oscar Jam." And he gets Nicole Kidman zinger in there. Hot stuff.

This is freaking awesome stuff. His riff on the difference between stars and popular people, and how there are only four stars. "Clint Eastwood is a star...Tobey Maguire is a boy in tights...If you want Tom Cruise and all you can get is Jude Law, WAIT...If you can't get a star, wait." And now some political humor, putting the screws to President Bush, by creating an analogy to being a cashier at the Gap and you're 70 trillion short in the till. Mentioned The Passion of the Christ, muted applause. "They make six Police Academy movies, but they won't make Passion of the Christ." The monologue is great - it's passionate, charged, and Chris Rock is taking few prisoners. Touche, Gil Cates.


Halle Berry for Set Design. All the nominees are standing on the stage behind her. Now, that's awkward - the "non-winners" will be standing behind her when the winner is accepting the award. Dante Feretti and Francesca Scavano win for The Aviator; Dante has done great work, so Gothamist is pretty happy about this.

2005_02_oscars_renee.jpgRenee Zellweger shuffles out (that dress is tight) to hand out the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. And hoorah - Morgan Freeman wins for Million Dollar Baby. The crowd IMMEDIATELY gets up for a stnading ovation. We knew that Morgan had it when he was Count Dracula on The Electric Company. He gives a short, beautiful speech in his mellifluous voice, thaning everyone who was involved with Million Dollar Baby, and makes everyone love him so much more.

God lord, there's a Pepsi ad using Spartacus footage? Again, Stanley Kubrick is turning in his grave.

Robin Williams comes out, to give out the award for Animated Features. The NY Times had a feature on how ABC didn't allow his original song making fun of the Spongebob Squarepants "outing." He's somewhat amusing, but Gothamist feels like we've heard a lot of this before - we've been watching awards shows for a very long time. The Incredibles wins, and Samuel L. Jackson is super excited. Now that's everyone loves Brad Bird, everyone should go see Iron Giant now. Also, check out how Bird gives props to Steve Jobs for creating the greatest studio, but not Disney proper (the marketing team does get a thank you).

Cate Blanchett has to present the Oscar for Best Make-Up in the back of the Kodak Theater. This move was so that the show wouldn't waste time on waiting for the nominees in the cheap seats to walk up to the stage. The winners are sitting in the last row, the team from Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Uh, when the anounncer calls someone "multi-talented," as they do with Drew Barrymore, it means the writers got lazy. She announces that Beyonce will sing the first nominated song, "Look To Your Path," from The Chorus (also nominated for Best Foreign Film) in French with the American Boys Choir. Our Francais is comme-ci comme-ca, so we think she sounds good, but let us say that this year's crop of song nominees is thin.

Okay. We're bored, we want some crazy, tacky dance numbers choreographed by Debbie Allen. We want Isaac Hayes with the sparkly piano. We want the song-and-dance with "young Hollywood," few of whom have made good. And we want Rob Lowe with Snow White.

What was that? Some guy ran backstage when the Oscars came back to air. Nice, Chris Rock goes to the Magic Johnson Theater. Moviegoers favorites are Alien vs. Predator, Saw, Chronicles of Riddick...they haven't seen any of the Best Picture nominees. But they did see White Chicks and loved it! Ha, and Albert Brooks is at the end of the clip. Aw, Albert. And now, these common folks are giving Oscar speeches, while holding an actual Oscar...and it end with Martin Lawrence giving a speech and mentioning blackness; ABC censors decide to let it fly.

2005_02_oscars_scarlett.jpgDude, Scarlett Johansson talks about being honored to presenting awards at the Scientific and Technical Awards; tons of nerds eagerly look to work in the film industry so they can get awards from babes like Scarlett, or Charlize Theron and Jennifer Garner in years past. Scarlett is speaking from one of the balcony boxes on the side of the theater; it kind of sucks.

Pierce Brosnan, with a frog in his throat, awards Best Costume Designer with The Incredibles' Edna. You say you don't want to be Bond anymore, and you present an award with a cartoon next. Sandy Powell wins for her work in The Aviator; she won an award for Shakespeare in Love. A big thank you to Marty, and Gothamist wonders if The Aviator will rack up the technical awards, but still fall short with the big ones.

2005_02_oscars_cate.jpgChris Rock announces Tim Robbins by saying he bores people with his politics. Rock's stuff is working, because he's making fun of white people, and luckily, he has tons of material with his crowd. Anyway, Robbins announces that the Best Supporting Actress Oscar goes to Cate Blanchett. Hmm, she's a great actress, but we would have preferred her to get an Oscar for her more compelling leading work...whereas Laura Linney and Virginia Madsen are much more critical for the movie as a whole. (Not to question, her talent, because we think she should have won for Elizabeth instead of Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love in 1999). Anyway, this wins gives Marty a better shot for winning the Best Director Oscar, but we'll know better after the cinematography (which Million Dollar Baby isn't nominated for) and editing awards.

A tribute to Johnny Carson. Aw, we miss Johnny. Whoopi gives her thoughts...where is David Letterman? Steve Martin or Billy Crystal? That's a little odd.

DiCap comes out to present and the camera cuts to Jay-Z. Dude, the nominees of Best Documentary feature are standing behind Leo, and this new feature has to stop. Born into Brothels wins, and a big thank you to HBO Films, who helped support the film. Gothamist is happy with this, because it's an important message movie people should see. Still, Morgan Spurlock is wondering if he had eaten fast food for two months, would he have won?

2005_02_oscars_marty.jpgKirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom, stars of the upcoming Elizabethtown (directed by Cameron Crowe), are presenting the Film Editing Oscar. Thelma Schoonmaker wins for The Aviator. She pays lavish praise on Martin Scorsese, who she works with a lot. Schoonmaker won an Oscar for editing Raging Bull, and, as bonus trivia, was married to director Michael Powell, who directed The Red Shoes, one of Scorsese's favorite movies.

Mike Myers, working the long and shaggy hair, has to incorporate Andre Bazin and farts into his banter. Oy. Oh, THIS is why the Counting Crows is here: To sing the song from Shrek 2. At the Golden Globes, Adam Duritz showed up with Mary Louise Parker. Given that Duritz has been linked to Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and Mandy Moore, Gothamist is more confused than ever. We're flipping to Law and Order on NBC.

2005_02_oscars_adam.jpgAdam Sandler comes out, and the comedy bit is that he's supposed to be presenting with Catherine Zeta-Jones, but she's not there, so Chris Rock is filling in. It's kind of fun, in a theater of the absurd way. Sandler presents Best Adapted Screenplay. Interesting, moving a big category like this so early into the telecast (it's usually in the last hour - maybe this telecast will end soon!). Sandler has pre-recorded the nominees, and his Spanish pronunication is funny. Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor win for adapting Sideways from the Rex Pickett. Paul Giamatti looks like he's sorta sulking.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Ziyi Zhang, who will always be Zhang Ziyi to Gothamist, are paired for the Visual Effects Oscars, and all the tons of nominees are standing on the stage. The clip they show for Spiderman 2 is the one with the controversial (to us) subway sequence, and Spiderman 2 wins. Clearly, logic is not part of the Academy criteria. Lead visual effects guy, John Dykstra says he's glad there wasn't a fourth Lord of the Rings. You and us both, mister.

Academy President Frank Pierson comes out to give the Academy message. He thanks the troops, and the camera pans to the audience, proving that Mickey Rooney is still alive. Then Pierson intro's Al Pacino, who will be giving an honorary Oscar to Sidney Lumet. Lumet has directed Network, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Serpico, and Prince of the City, as well as The Wiz, Running on Empty, The Verdict. Again, the fact that Lumet hasn't won an Oscar yet should make Scorsese feel better if he doesn't win. And, damn, one of Lumet's daughters (at least we hope it's his daughter) has a HUGE rack.

Emmy Rossum announces that Lord Lloyd Webber and Beyonce will be performing some song from The Phantom of the Opera. Okay, Beyonce is just an all-right singer. Or this song needs more production to sweeten it up.

Jeremy Irons (called "comedy genius" by Chris Rock) gives the Best Short Film to Andrea Arnold for Wasp; Arnold says the Oscar is the "dog's bollocks" - producers fret, kids add this to their repertoire. Laura Linney, loooking very modern, gives the Best Animated Short to Chris Landreth for Ryan. (Fellow nominee Bill Plympton points to his eye, makes a heart with his hands, and points to the camera.)

It's Cinematography time, and Kate Winslet looks stunning in her lilac colored dress. Robert Richardson wins for The Aviator, and he does not thank Martin Scorsese, wishing to dedicate the award to his sick mother. Hmm, things are looking good for Marty.

2005_02_oscars_pensalma.jpgChris Rock pretends that the Pricewaterhousecoopers accountants are big black guys. Then Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz, probably the sexiest duo to present sound mixing, let their accented English loose on the nominees. They'll be starring in Bandidas together, in case you were wondering if the Academy was trying to pair minorities together. The crew from Ray wins. Jamie Foxx claps, but his daughter looks confused. Next, Cruz and Hayek present Sound Editing with some more bad banter. The Incredibles wins, and again, the director decides to get a reaction shot from Samuel Jackson.

Hayek is at the podium again, now presenting the nominated song from The Motorcyle Diaries, performed by Antonio Banderas and Santana. They give a great performance - Antonio has a lot of sex appeal. Gothamist wishes we had seen him on Broadway in Nine; we hopes he gets to do a musical at some point, but we'll just be happy with his work as Puss in Boots.

Natalie "Kissing in a Sacred Place Kisser" Portman comes out after the commercial break for Best Documentary Short. Again, the nominees are linged up on the stage. Maybe the Academy thought this would be a way for people to experience being on the stage, but how crappy must they feel when they don't win. The film, Mighty Times: The Children's March, which is about Birmingham, Alabama's children who marched against segregation in 1963, wins.

Oprah's "favorite white man," John Travolta gives Best Score to Jan A.P. Kaczmarek for Finding Neverland. Then Martin Scorsese comes out to give the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar to Roger Mayer, a film executive active in film preservation and making sure artists get health coverage. It seems like the narration to go along with Mayer's montage is lost. Mayer gives a lively speech.

Annette Bening trots out to announce that Yo-Yo Ma will perform a Bach requiem to accompany the "In Memoriam" montage. Applause is loudest for Ronald Reagan, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Orbach, Howard Keel, Janet Leigh, Christopher Reeve, Ossie Davis, Paul Winfield, Jerry Goldsmith, Rodney Dangerfield, Tony Randall and the very loudest for Marlon Brando, with catcalls.

The Cadillac ad in a ballroom reminds Gothamist of one of the Cremaster movies, where there are cars in the lobby of the Chrysler building.

P. Diddy comes out, reaction shot from Jay-Z. He calls The Polar Express, up for Best Song, a very hip film. Huh. P. Diddy tells the audience to "listen up" and listen to the song's message. It's Beyonce again, this time with Josh Groban, singing "Believe." Gothamist is so very sleepy. After all of that, Prince, who won an Oscar for composing Purple Rain over 20 years ago (!!!), gives the Best Song Oscar to Jorge Drexler for the song, The Other Side of the River, from The Motorcycle Diaries. It looks like Jorge kisses Prince's hand, or at least he's genuflecting. Jorge sings and then says, "Ciao! Thank you, gracias, ciao!" Nice.

2005_02_oscars_hilary2.jpgSean Penn saunters out, sticks up for Jude Law (his co-star in All the King's Men, the movie that's the reason for Sean's weird hair), and seems drunk. As he won the Best Actor Oscar last year, he's here to award the award in a competitive (for once) Best Actress category. Sean Penn, where's your tie? You're totally slurring! And Hilary Swank wins for Million Dollar Baby. Gothamist can't tell if Clint is crying or chewing on some gum. Hilary gives a pretty poised speech, and Annette looks like she might be crying, because her agents have made her take on a project the same year Hliary has good work again. She does end up thanking Chad Lowe first, and thanking so many people that she makes the music wait for her to finish, and she still ends up shouting over the music.

2005_02_oscars_gwyn.jpgChris Rock references Gwyneth Paltrow's new-motherhood boobs. It's funny, having a kid and dropping out of sight can really make Gothamist find Gwyneth 20 times less annoying. She presents the Best Foreign Film Oscar to Alejandro Amenabar for The Sea Inside. Oscar loves movies about assisted suicide or medical issues. Gothamist hears this is a great movie, but we're afraid we'll be upset and sad. We saw Million Dollar Baby instead.

Hooray! Charlie Kaufman finally wins an Oscar, along with Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth, for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's original screenplay. Samuel L. Jackson presents to the Oscar to Charlie first, and he is the only one who ends up being able to speak. This is a crap decision on the part of the producers, because it would have been fun to hear Michel Gondry.

2005_02_oscars_jamie.jpgWearing a wedding cake kind of dress, Charlize Theron puts us one step closer to sweet, sweet sleep by announcing Best Actor and the Oscar goes to Jamie Foxx. Gothamist braces ourself for crying and singing and a very, very long speech. Oprah thrusts a fist in the air at someone. Jamie Foxx, we think you're a talented guy. But we liked you much better before your campaigning for the Oscar - you seemed so fresh back then...now, you remind us of a Miramax minion.
But your speech was less painful than we thought.

Hey, the music for the ad for the mid-season ABC medical drama, Grey's Anatomy (snort), is from the Postal Service!

Julia Roberts proves that Pilates and good metabolism can get your twins-carrying body back into shape...and she announces the big one - Clint Eastwood wins Best Director. Boy, Marty can't win a break: he directs a couple gritty films that define moviemaking, no go; he does period in the 1800's, no go; he does period in early Hollywood, no go. The thing is that Martin Scorsese not winning again becomes a bigger story than Clint winning.

2005_02_oscars_clint.jpgDustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand come out to announce Best Picture. They are actually very fun in Meet the Fockers; they might be the best thing (Gothamist would love to see Babs in a fun musical comedy...but this would require Hollywood to do musical comedies). And the Best Picture is...Million Dollar Baby. One of the producers, Albert S. Ruddy, also produced The Godfather - who knew? Anyway, we're sure various sites are developing theories on why the Academy doesn't like Martin Scorsese or Michael Mann (one of the producers). Million Dollar Baby winning...hmm...it's a solid film, but not one for the ages the way Clint's other Oscar winning film, Unforgiven, is, and this has been a lot of the criticism (besides complaints of being manipulative) MDB has been getting. But we're not sure what other film could have won: Sideways is too indie, Finding Neverland was sweet but forgettable, Ray was a performance-driven biopic, and The Aviator was an unwieldy (and long) biopic again. Sigh.

Chris Rock says he had a great time doing the show and "Good night, Brooklyn!" Good night, indeed! Gothamist like Chris Rock doing the show; if only he gave out all the awards. Anyway, we might have some more thoughts tomorrow, but now we're going to dream that 2005 will have some great movies.

out of focus did pretty well guessing who would win. Defamer also liveblogged, too...add your links below.