|Oscars 2012: As It Happened|
From the red carpet to the last award..
27 February 2012 | Written by Helen O'Hara
Welcome to Empire's live coverage of the Oscar red carpet and the ceremony. We'll be commenting on the Academy Awards' best (and worst) dressed as they arrive on the red carpet - and then commenting on all the winners and losers as they're announced. Sit back, grab a brew of your favourite beverage and enjoy the night with us....
And that's it! Good night, and good luck everybody. The big categories went more-or-less as predicted, with the possible exception of Viola Davis losing out to the unstoppable Streep, and Hugo did well technically but lost out on the very big prizes to that strong, silent type The Artist.
Crystal presented with ease if, perhaps, not vast panache, and we have established that movies are A Good Thing thanks to all those montages; obviously we were a little shaky on that before. Best presenters, for our money, would probably be Emma Stone's giggly ingenue act, followed by maybe the Downey / Paltrow double act and the Ferrell / Galifianakis cymbals turn.
Everybody looked great, no one fell over on their way to the stage, and the Muppets got a chance to speak if not to sing. A few questions linger: what on Earth was oh-so-credible Pharell doing there all week given that there were no obviously cool musical bits? Did Streep's gold, Oscar-like dress finally tip the scales? And why get rid of the musical numbers when you could ditch the montages instead?
Still, not a disastrous year. Thanks to all of you for joining us here and on Twitter, to the folks at Sky who hooked us up with the broadcast and to, y'know, movies. Because they really are quite good.
Crystal: "To present Best Picture, someone who's been a movie star since he was 19 years old. Someone whose entire career has been about making the impossible, possible: Tom Cruise!"
Cruise: "There are so many reasons that we all love to go to the movies. Here are 9 of them." Cue the nominees.
Best Picture. The winner: THE ARTIST
(Surprising no one! Thomas Langmann, the producer, collects)
I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the members of the Academy, not only because we've received the award that any filmmaker dreams to achieve, but because this gives me the chance to pay tribute to an Academy member, Claude Berri, who I admire so much. I remember thinking could I ever work with such a director. Tonight I do because I worked with Michel Hazanavicius and I am glad to be his producer.
I want to say a very important thing. I want to say hi to my kids, and it is 6am in Paris so you should go to bed in 30 seconds. I want to say thank you to my wife Berenice Bejo, because you inspired the movie, you're the soul of the movie, and thank you for being in my life. And I want to thank three persons. I want to thank Billy Wilder, and Billy Wilder, and Billy Wilder.
"They must be going nuts in France right now, or whatever they have instead of joy."
Now it's Colin Firth, to present, of course, Best Actress. Again, in proof that he deserved his prize last year, he's selling the to-nominee blurbs as only he can. He even sounds a bit like Mr Darcy as he does so.
The only one worth mentioning is his tribute to a former co-star. "Meryl, mamma mia! We were in Greece, we danced, I was gay, we were happy, I probably fathered your only daughter."
Best Actress. The winner: MERYL STREEP, The Iron Lady
(Something of an upset? But at the same time, not at all. It was the gold dress wot won it)
Oh my god. Oh COME ON! [of the standing ovation] Thank you so much. When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, 'Oh her AGAIN!' But, whatever. First I'm going to have to thank Dom, because if you thank your husband at the end they play you out, and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives, you've given us. And also my other partner - 37 years ago I met the hair and make-up artist Roy Helland and we've worked together ever since, every single movie since Sophie's Choice. I just want to thank Roy, but also I understand I'll never be up here again, I really want to thank all my colleagues, all my friends. I look out here and I see my life before my eyes, my old friends and my new friends. This is such a great honour, but what counts most for me is the friendship, the love and the sheer joy of making movies together. Departed or here, thank you for this inexplicably wonderful career. Thank you!
Crystal: "Our next presenter is everything little girls want to be when they grow up: smart, talented, beautiful and a murderous ballerina." It's last year's winner Natalie Portman, in a gorgeous red dotty dress. The bad news is that they've kept those cringeworthy personal tributes to each of the nominees, which Portman is delivering with a straight face and sincerity. Give this woman another Oscar!
Best Actor. The winner: JEAN DUJARDIN, The Artist
Wow. Thank you! Wahey! I love your country. Thank you to the Academie. It's funny because in 1929 it wasn't Billy Crystal but Douglas Fairbanks who hosted the first Oscar ceremony. Tickets cost $5 and it lasted 15 minutes. Times have changed. Thank you, Douglas Fairbanks! So many of you here tonight have inspired me. Thank you Michel, for this incredible gift. Thank you, my wonderful partner Berenice Bejo. Thank you my wife, I love you. And if George Valentin could speak he'd say WAOW VICTOIRE GENIAL MERCI! Thank you, I love you!
Another little video about movies being quite good and all, with big stars talking about how films are quite hard to make. As you were.
It's the In Memoriam section, Crystal singling out Gil Cates and Laura Ziskin for a special mention beforehand,since both previously produced the Oscars and Cates recruited Crystal for the first time.
The list this year includes: Jane Russell, Annie Girardot, John Calley, Polly Platt, Ken Russell, Donald Peterman, Farley Granger, Whitney Houston, Bingham Ray, Tak Miyagishima, Bert Schneider, Michael Cacoyannis, James Rodnunsky, Peter E Berger, Jack J Hayes, Peter Falk, Cliff Robertson, Laura Ziskin, Sidney Lumet, Sue Mengers, Steve Jobs, Geroge Kuchar, Hal Kanter, Theadora Van Runkle, Tim Hetherington, Gene Cantamessa, Gary Winick, Bill Varney, Jackie Cooper, Gilbert Cates, Richard Leacock, James M Roberts, Marion Dougherty, Ben Gazzara, Elizabeth Taylor.
"Our next presenter is Meryl Streep. By tonight, she's been nominated 17 times and won twice. So 14 times she's had to act happy when someone else wins - for that, she deserves an Oscar!"
Meryl: "Following recent Academy tradition, the Governor's Awards were presented in November."
Ah yes, it's another set of awards not saved for the actual ceremony itself. This year's bash awarded Honorary Awards to Dick Smith, make-up artist and James Earl Jones, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Oprah Winfrey.
Meryl invites them to take a bow. Everyone stands and applauds, as is only right.
Says Crystal, "Our next presenter was occuping Wall Street before it was cool." It's Michael Douglas!
"The director does everything imaginable to realise a singular vision," is how Douglas explains the role.
It's Best Director. The winner: MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS, The Artist
"Yes! Thank you very much! I have an Oscar. I forgot my speech. I am the happiest director in the world right now - thank you for that. Thank you the Academy, thank all of you. I want to thank my producer, the Weinstein Company, the cast, all of you. I want to thank all the crew, Uggie the Dog. I think he doesn't care - I'm not sure he understands what I say - he's not that good. I want to thank the crazy person who put money in that movie. Also, I want to thank the movie, because since this movie is made its life is full of grace and it brings to us joy and happiness. Thank you for giving it to me, thank you very much!
The Bridesmaids are presenting now, en mass.
Wiig: "Six beautiful women, invited by the Academy not only to present three awards but to prove that size doesn't matter. But it does."
They're discussing short films, but we have a strange feeling like there's maybe a double meaning going on. When Wiig talks about, "Sometimes I'd rather have a short film that lets me lie back and enjoy it rather than a long film that makes me do all the work" it seems like maybe she might not mean films. But on to the envelope-opening!
Best Live-Action Short. The winner: THE SHORE
"This is my daughter the producer. I'd like to thank the Academy because now I don't have to wait for her wedding to tell the world how brilliant she is. This film is for the people of Northern Ireland who, after 30 years of war, sat down and made a peace, proving that the Irish are great talkers. This is for us."
"Mum, this is for you!"
That means this is for ME and CHRIS. Well done us!
McCarthy and Byrne present, while obeying some sort of drinking game rule which forces them to down a mini bottle of something if a friend (in the crowd) shouts "Scorsese".
Anyway, Best Documentary Short. The winner: SAVING FACE
"Look, it's more important that the Pakistani on the stage speak than me, but I want to thank HBO
"Daniel and I want to dedicate this award to all the heroes on the ground in Pakistan. To all the women in Pakistan who are working on your dreams, don't give up on change. This is for you!"
Now it's Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey and Best Animated Short Film. The winner: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
"Look, we're just these two swamp rats from Louisiana, and this is incredibly grand. We love the movies more than anything."
"it's made us storytellers."
"And there are thousands of men and women throughout the history of cinema who have inspired us. We're just down there in Louisiana trying to keep going. Thank you to our wives, to the Academy, THANK YOU!"
We briefly panicked when Alex Zane claimed the coverage was "halfway" through, but we think we're further than that.
Now Milla Jovovich is presenting a round-up of the Scientific and Technical awards, which were presented separately a few weeks back so that the big stars didn't have to share the room with any insane tech geniuses they didn't know.
It's another montage about the inspirational power of movies. Hey, Sacha Baron Cohen is in it as himself! Enjoy that rare sight, people.
It's still Jolie-by-name, Jolie-by-nature, presenting Best Original Screenplay. The winner: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, Woody Allen.
The Academy congratulates Woody Allen and accepts the Oscar on his behalf."
Yes, he ain't there, and since Marlon Brando's antics it is no longer possible to send a proxy. It's hard to think of anyone but Woody Allen who would skip the Oscars. Eh: he's been there, seen that.
Crystal, to audience: "You know what I'm thinking? Why don't we chip in and buy the Dodgers?" He's introducing Angelina Jolie, "the original girl with the dragon tattoo". She strikes a pose and sticks a leg out of that dress, because of course she would risk looking very plain if she didn't. As it is, you could actually hear the increase in pulse rate of every man in the room / world. Hubba.
Jolie: "Legend has it that Oscar-winning screenwriter Billy Wilder was told by Samuel Goldwyn, "You've got the scenes; just go home and put in the words."
Now it's Best Adapted Screenplay. The winner: THE DESCENDANTS, Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, Nat Faxon
Payne: This is Jim, this is Nat, and I'm Alexander. We bow to our fellow nominees. [All three strike the same leg-out pose that Angelina did, amusingly] We share this with George Clooney and the rest of the cast, and also with Kaui Hart Hemmings. On a brief personal note, my mother is here with me from Omaha. After watching the show a few years ago she made me promise that if I ever won another Oscar I had to dedicate it to her like Javier Bardem did with his mom. So mom, this is for you, and thanks for letting us skip nursery school to go to the movies.
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis ("Zaj Gabanibanabis") have appeared in white tails with cymbals crashing. "As serious musicans" they're pleased to be presenting an award that has gone to songs like Moon River and It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp. Yes, it's...
Best Original Song. The winner: Bret McKenzie, MAN OR MUPPET from The Muppets!
Wow. Thank you, Academy. I grew up in New Zealand watching the Muppets on TV, and never dreamed I'd get to work with them. I was genuinely starstruck when I first met Kermit, but he's just a normal frog and like many stars, much shorter in person. I'd like to thank everyone on the production, Disney for making movies with songs in them, my wife and kids, my parents for never telling me to get a real job, and Jim Henson and team for creating The Muppets in the first place. Thank you!
"Thank you Tom for whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Mr Excitement," says Crystal. Well, that's an accurate summation. Now we're coming on for music, and a giant score is appearing from the stage. ("This is why there's a buffet," says Crystal, pointing at the clearly expensive trinket onto which images from the nominees are being projected).
Now it's Penelope Cruz and Owen Wilson presenting.
It's Best Original Score. The winner: THE ARTIST, Ludovic Bource
Wow. I want to pay tribute first of all to the power of music, and I want to pay tribute to my colleagues. All the musicians tonight, it's a wonderful show. I'd like to thank the Academy. With this Oscar you have given me a special honour. To all of you, please accept me because I've got so much love to give to you. My wife is there - cherie, je t'aime.
Crystal: “The average age of winners has now jumped to 67. This is a pressurised night for the nominees; people look at them in the audience and wondering what they’re thinking. But I can tell." He proceeds to read the minds of a few guests.
Brad Pitt: “This better not go too late; I have 6 parent-teacher conferences in the morning.”
Morgan Freeman: “For 40 days and 40 nights the Emperor penguin…”
George Clooney: “Billy didn’t till me that kiss was being filmed.”
Viola Davis: “I’ve got to thank my agent for finding the role of a strong black woman not being played by Tyler Perry.”
Now it’s the President of the Academy, Tom Sherak, with a short thank you for everybody and reminder that movies are nice. So, sure!
Melissa Leo, as outgoing Best Supporting Actress, is here in a really nice dress to present
Best Supporting Actor. The winner: CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, Beginners
(No surprise! And officially the oldest actor to win ever!)
[to Oscar] You're only two years older than me, darling; where have you been all my life? I have a confession to make: when I emerged from my mother's womb I was already rehearsing my Academy acceptance speech. Mercifully for you I've forgotten it, but I remember who to thank: the Academy for this honour, and my fellow nominees. I wouldn't be here at all without this enchanting film, and my screen partner Ewan McGregor, that superb artist, who I would happily share this award with if I had any decency, but I don't. And not to mention my little band of agents provocateurs, who have tried so hard to keep me out of jail. My daughter Amanda, who always makes me proud, and lastly my long-suffering wife Elaine, who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day of my life. Thank you!
Best Visual Effects. The winner: HUGO, Joss Williams, Rob Legato, Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning.
I didn't expect this. I really wouldn't be here without the special genius of Martin Scorsese. It's a special thrill to work with him and his collaborators, many of whom are here tonight. Thank you to our producers for giving us the go-ahead to do what we did.
Another video clip: Crystal's trying to get past an, ahem, amorous Melissa McCarthy at the door of his dressing room. "Why don't we make this an undressing room?" she purrs. There's an amusing visual gag stolen from Naked Gun: she manages to get both feet stretched up on his dressing room door. While still standing. Hmm. You maybe had to be there.
Anyway, MEANWHILE, on stage, Emma Stone and Ben Stiller are there to present Visual Effects. She's all excited. "This is my first time presenting an Award!" She keeps interrupting and sighing. "Or we could say that we had a big song planned about all the nominees but then I lost my voice but then I didn't lose my voice and I could sing. I could pull somebody out of the audience to just dance with me. Jonah! Let's dance" [He's making "not a chance] motions.
"You don't want to be the presenter who tries to hard," advises Stiller.
"What, like dressing up in full Avatar make-up? Or appearing in a motion capture suit?" she retorts.
Chris Rock is introducing Best Animation. "I like animation because you can play anything. If you're a white man, you can play an Arabian prince. And if you're a black man you can play a donkey, or a zebra! Well, you can't play white, can you?! I've done animation, and it's the easiest job in the world. They tell me the line, I say it, and then they give me a million dollars!"
So Best Animation. The winner: RANGO, Gore Verbinski
Thank you so much, this is crazy. Someone asked me if this film is for kids, and I don't know, but it was certainly created by a bunch of grown ups acting like children. We just had the best time - thank you to Johnny Depp and the cast and crew for coming out and playing. Thank you to my beautiful wife and family who inspire me every day with their smiles and laughter.
They're presenting Best Documentary. Downey's interrupting Paltrow, and they're essentially playing Stark and Potts. RDJ: "Listen, I turned down The Descendants. This is leading edge; this is live documentary." She points out that The Descendants is a plural title, contrary to his previous statement. This actually verges on good banter, with him on familiar form as the arrogant sod and her offended and trying to keep it civil. Anyway.
Best Documentary. The winner: UNDEFEATED
"This is ridiculous. We want to thank the Academy for this honour. A year ago today we were sitting in our editing room, depressed, thinking that no one would ever see this movie. A friend said we'd be here now and we called him an idiot. We'd like to apologise to him now."
"We'd like to thank our fellow nominees. If we could get the rest of the people nominated up here with us that'd be fucking incredible..."
The winners' mics are cut rather than, strictly, being played off.
"I pulled a hamstring just watching that!" says Crystal. "Happy Birthday, Oscar! He's 84, but what does age matter in Hollywood? One of our nominees, Christopher Plummer, is 82; he may be walking up onstage tonight. He may, because he sometimes wanders off. Max Von Sydow too, and he's still making movies. At his age we didn't let my grandfather even watch movies. We are nailing the 78-84 demographic."
Now it's Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr presenting. He brings his own documentary crew to film his documentary, The Presenter. She asks why it wasn't "The Presenters" since they're presenting together, but he says that "singular titles" are in this year - like The Artist.
Miss Piggy and Kermie are in a box! She's upset not to be nominated ("How many more Oscars does Steven Spielberg need anyway?") and they're introducing a Cirque de Soleil "interpretation" of what it's like to go to the movies. We were sceptical, and then Cary Grant in his grey suit turned into two Cary Grants on trapezes, and we were sold. That was followed by a whole crowd of Metropolis-style workers, spinning away as apparently hapless audience members were brought onstage and into the film, stepped it up another level. Basically, there are people flying about all over the place and going mad. We'd still have preferred Man Or Muppet though, for the record.
Tina Fey and Bradley "WTF moustache" Cooper are presenting the next one. "The relationship between a film director and editor is like a marriage," says Cooper, quoting Ridley Scott. Fey adds, "Just like in a marriage, they spend all their time in a dark, windowless room ordering in pizza and looking at pictures of other people."
Best Film Editing. Winner: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
"We weren't expecting this. I'd like to thank the Academy. We're missing some very important people up here with us - primarily David [Fincher], who isn't here tonight. We're missing people..."
"Let's get out of here."
"OK, thank you all!"
Best Sound Editing. Winner: HUGO, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
"I'd like to thank the members of the Academy; Thelma, whose indefatigable work ethic is an inspiration to us all, and Martin, for the opportunity to work on this film."
"I'd like to thank everyone who is born or yet to be born or reborn."
Now Best Sound Mixing. Winner: HUGO, Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
(OMG we totally know the latter; he's our Ali's mate's dad!)
Fleischman: Thanks to the Academy. Thanks to my fellow nominees who have inspired me for years. Marty and Thelma, what a privilege to work with you! Thank you to everyone back home.
Midgley: This is such an honour. Thank you to my crew, Mark and Charlotte. Thank you so much to Martin Scorsese.
Crystal: "That moment for Octavia is what the Oscars is all about. After I saw The Help, I went up to the first black woman I saw - which from Beverly Hills is about a 45 minute drive..." This leads into a pre-recorded video gag about focus groups, with the likes of Eugene Levy, Bob Balaban, Catherine O'Hara (no relation)...basically, Christopher Guest's regular team, playing a clueless 1939 focus group slagging off The Wizard Of Oz. It's mildly amusing.
"A Dark Knight, an American psycho or a crack addict: you'll get to choose one on Super Tuesday. But for now welcome Christian Bale!"
(Best intro yet! Political humour! It's like having Jon Stewart back as host)
Yes, it's Best Supporting Actress. Winner: Octavia Spencer, THE HELP
(Not a surprise. But a good result!)
Oh thank you! [tears] Thank you for putting me with the hottest guy in the room. I have to thank my family in Alabama, the state of Alabama, my LA family, my Help family. [tears] I share this with everybody. Steven Spielberg, thank you for changing my life, thank you everybody for changing my life. Better wrap me up because I'm freaking out. Thank you everybody!
Sandra Bullock is here, in an unflattering dress. She's presenting what she claims is Chinese "with a German accent" but it sounds awfully like German to the untrained ear. And her category is:
Best Foreign Language Film. Winner: A SEPARATION
Farhadi: Many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be happy. They are happy not just because of an important award or a film, but because at the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged, the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.
Now it's a video of actors talking about what movies mean to them, why they love them and what first got them into movies. There's Brad Pitt waxing lyrical about Gargantua, Tom Cruise, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, ADAM SANDLER?! One gets the impression that winners have been encouraged to talk about their love of movies in speeches - even aside from this section - to big-up the industry as a whole in a time of uncertainty. Cynicism aside, we all feel this way about films, right?
Now Best Make-Up. Winner: THE IRON LADY, Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
(This follows a weird model turn-to-camera bit by J.Lo and Diaz. We're hearing rumours it's due to some sort of wardrobe malfunction but that's completely unconfirmed)
Helland: "Thank you Academy, and my colleague Mark Coulier, without whose brilliant prosthetics I wouldn't be standing here this evening. Thank you Meryl for keeping me employed for 37 years; your brilliance makes me look good no matter what.
Coulier: "What an amazing experience. Thanks Meryl!
It's Best Costume Design. Winner: THE ARTIST, Mark Bridges.
I want to thank Michel Hazanavicius for making the film, and Harvey Weinstein for getting it out to the world, and my wonderful crew. I was just a kid from Niagara Falls who dreamed of making movies, so I want to thank the Academy for making a dream come true.
It's the first montage! It starts with Forrest Gump, probably not the best option. Proceeding via Titanic and Twilight and Legends of the Fall (ah, Brad) to The Princess Bride (yay!), Avatar, Ghost, Amelie to Jaws. Um, we thought it was a love story thing, but now it's all action. Wait, comedy. Wait, war. It's the montage of all the montages! It includes "bigger boat" and the "can't handle the truth" and "use the force" and "I'll be right here" and "I'm walking here" and "Adrian!" and "I'll have what she's having". ALL MOVIE LIFE IS HERE.
Now, "Please welcome a recurring dream of mine: Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez.
Now Achievement In Art Direction. Winner: HUGO, Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo
(They also won the BAFTA, and were fellow nominee Stuart Craig's prediction)
Ferretti: Thank you to the Academy for this prestigious award. Great thanks goes to Graham King and my art department. But most of all to a special director, Martin Scorsese, who guided us through this wonderful journey.
Lo Schiavo: This is for Martin, and for Italy!
A very good start for Hugo - but will it do as well outside the technical categories?
Tom Hanks and his dashing new goatee are presenting the first award. He's paying tribute to a "celebrity seat filler" who's been seat-filling for 59 years. First up, it's
Best Cinematography Winner: HUGO, Robert Richardson
"I can't believe somebody put cinematography first. It can only go uphill from this point. Martin, you're a genius. To all the cast, to future and present filmmakers this is for you.
Hey, wonder if this was the musical bit that Pharrell's been working on all week. We're going to go ahead and guess not.
Billy Crystal has arrived in person. "Well, that was extremely loud and incredibly close - which is how my relatives are watching the show. This is my 9th time hosting the Oscars, so tonight just call me War Horse. We're here at the beautiful Chapter 11 Theatre [funny!] to celebrate a Hollywood tradition that creates resentment that lasts a lifetime. The movies are the place to go to enjoy yourselves; to laugh, to cry, to text. Nothing eases the world's economic woes like watching millionaires give each other gold statues."
Now he's singing his way through the Best Picture nominees. There's a bit of a dig at Jonah Hill, who doesn't look pleased to be reassured that "There's cupcakes afterwards" in the wake of his weight loss. Martin Scorsese is treated better and seems amused.
THE AWARDS ARE BEGINNING!
Morgan Freeman has emerged to introduce the ceremony. "There is one constant that is true for all generations: all of us are mesmerised by the magic of the movies. This magnificent event enables us to celebrate the present and look back at its glorious past. This is the 84 annual Academy Awards."
And now it's the filmed intro. In a silent film segment based on Metropolis, Billy Crystal is being electric-shocked to force him to host. Now Crystal's in a coma in Hawaii, with George Clooney going in for a kiss. "Say 'I'm Batman', George; it'll help me". Clooney coaxes Crystal to life, and promises that the Academy has lined up the youngest, hippest writers in town to help with the ceremony; they have in fact lined up the aged scouts from Moneyball.
Now Justin Bieber's arrived in F. Scott Fitzgerald's car from Midnight in Paris "to get you the 16-24 demographic". Now Crystal's eating Octavia Spencer's chocolate pie. If you've seen The Help, eeuuuwwwww. And that's what's causing the stomach upset in Bridesmaids as we cut to that scene.
So now Crystal's watching a Melies movie with Hugo's Michael Stuhlbarg when Tom Cruise crashes in through the window ("Is this the 141st floor?"). And suddenly, in the most bizarre turn yet, Crystal's, er, Tintin. Courtesy of some dodgy CGI, he's now travelling through any film this year they haven't already managed to fit in. Even Margaret Thatcher is urging him on to host. Oh dear.
There will now be a brief hiatus while all the important and glamorous people take their seats in the auditorium and Ryan Seacrest goes to seek rest. But it's almost curtain up!
Meryl's in old gold. We like to think that's a hint. "Look, Academy! I'm dressed to match the statuette!" Because we like to think that Meryl would stoop to such tactics rather than being as classy as she looks to the casual observer.
Brad 'n' Angie have finally arrived, and Brad's hair is giving us Legends Of The Fall flashbacks. Gosh. Angelina Jolie's in strapless black floor-length, but with a slit up to there and mega-curves. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you play Power Couples. Take that, George-and-whatshername.
Penelope Cruz has come as Grace Kelly in a gorgeous sort of lavender. Bradley Cooper is really stretching the Sexiest Man Alive thing by sporting a porn star moustache. ANd now THE CAPE. Gwyneth has a full-length cape over a rather nice cream one-shoulder dress. But it comes with A CAPE OMG. I can't quite get past that. Superman fashion is here at last! Now all we need is for Brad Pitt to turn up with his pants over his trousers.
Nick Nolte is being gruff and wilfully (we think) misunderstanding every question he's asked. Everything he says sounds like one of his lines in Tropic Thunder. Rumour has it that Gwyneth Paltrow has arrived and is wearing a cape. Apparently she doesn't follow Edna Mode (aka Wolfgang Puck). We'll bring you confirmation as soon as we can.
Colin Firth is in attendance as the outgoing Best Actor of the year, along with his wife in an atypically meh red dress. Jean Dujardin's back on the camera. "I am not a star; I'm a human!" he proclaims. Delightfully, he has also proclaimed that "I am an artist!" - prompting us to speculate on whether he's been in character this entire time.
We're watching on Sky now: the Sky panel includes the very lovely Natalia Tena from the Harry Potter films (and more recently Game Of Thrones), Nick Moran, Alex Zane, and Henry Holland, who used to work across the corridor from us at Sneak magazine before he went off and became a fashion designer. What was he like? Well, he would never hold the door open for anyone who happened to be using it after him. Make of that what you will.
Emma Stone's is wearing a gorgeous pinky-red colour - let's call it raspberry - but her dress is tragically marred by an unfortunate side-neck-bow the size of my flat. Still insanely charming and funny: go go Gwen Stacey.
Antonio Banderas' hair is exactly the same shade as Seacrest's desecrated suit; Melanie Griffith's hair looks great, as does her dress, but she herself looks a little...different than she used to. Maybe she should have a chat to Jane Seymour about getting one of those portraits. Tina Fey is holding J.Lo up in the Seacrest queue; both have matching pouffee hairdos.
It's OK: Seacrest has acquired a towel (from a Japanese crew next door - why did they have it?) and a lint roller and is cleaning up. So, that happened.
Oh dear. OK, we're going to have to mention it. Sacha Baron Cohen is there in character as The Dictator, along with an urn containing the "ashes" of "his tennis partner" Kim Jong-Il - which he promptly spills over Ryan Seacrest. The unflappable Seacrest finally looks flapped and brushes fussily at his previously impeccable tux. He looks the closest to upset we've ever seen. "He was either going to do that to me or George Clooney, right?" You know, this entire stunt is really going to hurt the ratings in North Korea.
Kristen Wiig's in such a beigey beige that she looks naked, at first glance, but takes a moment to say hi to her mom. Her writing partner Annie Mumulo is in a much better teal shade. Now The Descendants' cast are up for interview, which means that Matthew Lillard is on the red carpet at the Oscars. Take a moment and drink that in.
Jean Dujardin, as at the BAFTAs, has turned up with a translator to help deal with the quick-fire and challenging red carpet questions. He claims not to be an intellectual, but we know for a fact he speaks French, and if that isn't a sign of high intelligence we don't know what is.*
*We don't know what is.
Jonah Hill's there with his mum and looking genuinely chuffed. "I'm just happy to be here," he says, and he appears to really mean it.
Viola Davis is in a really interesting but terrifically booby green dress, and has left her hair at home in favour of short, natural curls. She's looking terrific. And also boobalicious. Elsewhere, Jonah Hill has shown he's a rebel by wearing a black shirt; Rooney Mara's in white, Glenn Close is wearing a sort of tuxedo jacket with her fishtail gown (and looking, on close inspection, fab), and Octavia Spencer looks mega-glam in more silver. Leslie Mann is giggling a lot but can't actually move in her dress; P.Diddy examines his reflection in the shiny, shiny side of his limo because he is RICH and POWERFUL.
You really have to want to dislike George Clooney. He's funny, he's self-deprecating and his salt-and-pepper hair sets off a tux perfectly. Kinda wish he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt with the tux though just as a little nod to the movie. Also for the LOLs.
This Oscar ceremony isn't offering much celebrity gossip. Jessica Chastain brought her granny (bless) and Michelle Williams (in a coral-y red! A colour!) brought best bud and fellow Dawson's Creek alumna Busy Phillips. Doesn't anyone date anymore?
An unsurprising update: Christopher Plummer looks patrician in what appears to be a velvet tux. "Gorgeous" George Clooney looks dapper. Nick Nolte is wearing sunglasses. In less-certain news, Melissa McCarthy is looking great, Jessica Chastain has knocked it out of the park in a vaguely Tudor number and Shailene Woodley is somehow rocking her 70s-looking dress. In terms of surprising attendants, Jane Seymour is there looking astonishing in flame-red sequins. Not present: the portrait that she must keep in the attic.
Rose Byrne is wearing sequin-covered black (not pastel! Yay!) Vivienne Westwood and, despite her native Aussie accent, is somehow managing to channel a little of her Bridesmaids character, Helen. I doubt there's any other real way to deal with red carpet interviews. Lea Thompson's there, and looking completely great. Good choice, George McFly!
While NOTHING AT ALL happens on the carpet, I know what you're all wondering: who are we wearing? Well, Amar, Chris and I decided to go a little vintage and dress from Mugatu's legendary Derelicte range. On the biggest night of the year, nothing but his witty deconstruction of jeans, grey hoodies and "some old T-shirt" would do.
Excitement! Actual movie stars are now walking the carpet. The Artist gang have arrived early: Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle and Berenice Bejo have all turned up and are looking very old-Hollywood glam. Milla Jovovich, who's presenting, also looks spectacular - although she looks good even in thermal bandages so that's no big surprise. That all said, I'm already bored of pastels and silvery-cream dresses.
Want to see a picture of the red carpet earlier before the stars arrived? Of course you do!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome! We hope you are well equipped with snacks, drinks and copious amounts of caffeine in preparation for the imminent start of the Academy Awards, because we're about to get going. The red carpet coverage has started already, which means that our IQ is dropping steadily as we type - but for you, dear readers, we are taking that bullet. A thought to consider as the event looms: "Ryan Seacrest" is an anagram of "Nyaar, secrets". What secrets is he keeping? Quis interviewiet ipsos interviewes, eh?
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