For the next 5-plus hours or so -- give or take a speech or two that go really, really long -- I'll be doing some hopefully snappy (and a bit snarky) commentary on this year's Oscars, part of our extensive coverage of all the winners, all the fashion and all the excess of Hollywood's big night.
And in the end: "The Artist" is triumphant, Meryl Streep upsets Viola Davis and the show clocks in at a reasonable (by Academy Awards standards) three hours in change. The only real disappointment: Uggie the charming Jack Russell terrier from "The Artist" makes only a cameo appearance as Tom Cruise is handing out the top prize. Come on, guys, Uggie is a star.
See you at the movies -- and good night.
Jean Dujardin grabs the golden guy for best actor (sorry, George Clooney). And then in more than a bit of an upset, Meryl Streep is called to the stage to get the Oscar for best actress. Streep has been nominated 17 times but hasn't won since 1983's "Sophie's Choice." She held off what had seemed like a tidal wive of support for Viola Davis of "The Help" who recently beat Streep at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
I'm sure my editors are thinking, "Gee, there are only three more awards to go. Maybe they'll finish on time." Naw.
Order is finally restored as French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius wins best director for "The Artist," beating "Hugo's" Martin Scorsese. There were more than a few
Oscar pundits who thought the voters might give the best director award to Scorsese while giving the top award to "The Artist." It's not unheard of to split the best film-best director awards but it has happened. Tonight? Probably not.
Bad night for Pixar as the company's "La Luna" loses the best animated short Oscar to "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." This summer's Pixar entry, "Brave," better be good.
Just want to note that when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" lost for best visual effects to "Hugo," it marked the last chance for the film franchise to win an Oscar. Over the years, "Harry Potter" has been nominated for 12 Oscars and has won zero. of course, the films have grossed $7.7 billion at the box office -- a lovely consolation prize.
OK, "The Descendants" finally gets some love by winning best adapted screenplay. And, to almost no one's surprise, Woody Allen wins best original screenplay for "Midnight In Paris." Equally unsurprising: Allen is a no-show. I'm sure he had a great speech.
Bet Bret McKenzie of "Flight of the Conchords" never thought he would win an Oscar when he first started writing "Man or Muppet" for "The Muppets." Of course, in the end, only two songs got nominated so he had a 50-50 shot.
Wow, Christopher Plummer won best supporting actor! Just kidding, no exclamation point necessary. Heck, Las Vegas had him as a 1 to 9 prohibitive favorite. But, like most British actors, he gives good speech -- noting he's only two years younger (at 82) than the Oscars itself and, after mentioning the cast and creators of "Beginners," saying, "I would share this with them if I had any decency. But I don't." By the way, until tonight, the oldest actor to win an Oscar was Jessica Tandy in 1989 for "Driving Miss Daisy." She was 80 years and 292 days young when she gave her acceptance speech.
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