Oscars 2014

Semi-pro Oscarologists Tara Brady and Donald Clarke live and dangerous from the couch

Tara Brady, Donald Clarke Fri, Feb 28
 
LIVE: Oscars 2014

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  • 20:00
    'Sacheen Littlefeather'
    "Sacheen Littlefeather"
  • 20:09

    We're off. Greetings from Donald Clarke and Tara Brady at awards central.  There are only another five and half hours to go to the Oscars. By the awards season clock, that counts as about three seconds to midnight. Keep in mind that our first comments on the current Oscar season began a staggering six months ago. At that point we drew attention to an apparent fight between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. The seasons moved on and we ended up back where we started. They may as well have the blasted things in September and have done with it.


    Anyway, we will be working on a shiftwork basis when the red carpet gets going at midnight. Until then, enjoy the photograph of Sacheen Littlefeather, accepting Marlon Brando's Oscar, below and savour my favourite ever Oscar speech above. This is Louise Fletcher grabbing her best actress Oscar gong for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. if you fail to blub when she addresses her deaf parents then you are a very hard person indeed.



  • 20:11
  • 20:27
    Actually, before you go off for sandwiches, ponder that clip again of Louise Fletcher winning in 1975. We talk a lot about how great the 1970s were for film, but it still wasn't a fine time to be a female actor. Just look who was nominated against her. Anne-Margret for Tommy? Glenda Jackson for some forgotten version of Hedda Gabler? Carol Kane for the little-remembered Hester Street? Well, at least they honoured a foreign language film: Adjani is in there for Truffaut's Adele H. Still...
  • 20:31
  • 20:32
    If you wish to follow James's lead, you can add your favourite speech as a reply or tweet: @donaldclarke63.
  • 21:03
    Lupita prepares for turbulence
    Lupita prepares for turbulence
  • 21:04
    Good omens for Lupita Nyong'o. The air-terror thriller Non Stop -- in which she has a small role -- has eaten the box-office alive. There is every chance she could win an Oscar for 12 Years as her other, less, erm, demanding film sits at number one in the US charts.
  • 21:16
  • 21:46
    It never rains in Southern California, my eye.
    It never rains in Southern California, my eye.
  • 21:49
    Apparently it's lashing it down in Los Angeles. This will allow plenty of opportunities for British stars to make "feels like home" jokes on the red carpet. Still, we shouldn't have a repetition of that shaming night at the Baftas when the carpet began foaming. Let's hope Lupita Nyong'o is wearing her cape again. She may need it.
  • 21:50
  • 21:51
    Great compilation of best pictures posted by Padraic below.
  • 21:54
  • 22:13
    Some Oscar sure-things from the hard-working folk at William Hill: Cate Blanchett 1/33 for best actress; Jared Leto 1/12 for best supporting actor; Frozen 1/33 for best animated picture; Gravity 1/100 for best visual effects; Gravity 1/33 for best cinematography. You can happily make tea when these awards come up. Then again, you might miss one of the biggest upsets of all time.  
  • 22:28
    While we wait for something to happen, we may as well mention that the Razzie Awards took place last night. We've given about these things before. The supposed nose-snubbers always tend to drift towards the most-celebrity ridden projects and the most notorious financial flops when picking their worst films of the year. Madonna is, for instance, always fair game. Anyway, these year they rounded on the throwaway Movie 43 and two Smiths -- Will and Jaden -- for their turns in the not-that-terrible After Earth. Grow a pair, Razzies. Have a kick at something unexpected.
  • 22:37
    There's still time to read some of our interviews with the nominees. Here's Tara on Cate Blanchett. Here's Donald with Alfonso Cuarón. TB on Judi Dench. DC on Matthew McConaughey. TB on Chiwetel Ejiofor.
  • 22:44
    Has the time come to post the greatest Oscar moment ever? We think it has. We're talking, of course, about David Niven's sangfroid when confronted with a Streaker in 1974. I wasn't aware of the interesting background behind the story. Apparently Robert Opel, the offender, was murdered in 1979. There were rumours that Niven knew all about it and wrote down his famous quip beforehand. Well, it was the era of conspiracies.
  • 22:44
  • 22:49
    Oh, some sort of something-or-other is happening at the red carpet on the E! channel. So far, we been made slightly ill be the sight of Ryan Seacrest in a white dinner jacket. I'll have two 99's and a Wibbly Wobbly Wonder, please.  
  • 23:03
    Jesus, would the people at E! (and everywhere else) just TRY and pronounce Lupita Nyong'o correctly? It's really not so hard. Make a bloody effort. The woman herself demonstrates above.  
  • 23:03
  • 23:11
  • 23:17
    Oh, we have some arrivals. Olivia Wilde is pregnant. Viola Davis is wrapped in a green curtain. Hang on. We hope Olivia Wilde is pregnant. *hammers Google* Yes, she is. Stand down the lawyers.
  • 23:24
    Portia de Rossi is wearing a dress manufactured from doilies. It's the "doily look" as I am sure we're not supposed to say. Of course, she is Ellen Degeneres's 'er indoors, is she not? I suppose she has to get in early to fan the host's face and administer honey and lemon. The sun's out, by the way. So, ignore all that dope about rain.
  • 23:25
  • 23:35
  • 23:39
    I did not know that! Amanda Walker on Sky explains that there are three lanes, ranked according to importance, on the way along the red carpet. The Jolies of the world get an inside lane by the photographers. Elsewhere on Sky, our own Amanda Byram is doing the fashion and, more power to her, she makes an effort to prononce Nyong'o's name correctly. Respect.
  • 23:50
    Lupita Nyong'o has arrived about a mile down the red carpet and the folk at E! have gone bananas. We can report that she is wearing something blue. She'll be with our reporters at some point.  
  • 23:52
    Pharell isn't wearing a stupid hat. But he is wearing shorts with his dinner jacket. It's really odd. He looks totally normal from the waist up and mad below water.  
  • 00:02

    Just when you thought list culture had reached a new nadir… here comes the first of tonight’s many pointless selections.  

    Feel free to quibble by semaphore or smoke signal. We won’t budge an inch. But quibble away…

    Nicest frocks… Ever...Coming up…

    Best tonight thus far? Amy Adams and Lupita Nyong'o. Quel surprise.  

  • 00:03
    Prada. Nairobi Blue. Impecccable.  
    Prada. Nairobi Blue. Impecccable.  
  • 00:06
    Audrey. Herbert de Givenchy. 1954
    Audrey. Herbert de Givenchy. 1954
  • 00:10
    J-Law. Dior. 2013.
    J-Law. Dior. 2013.
  • 00:17
    Cumberbatch! Joy unbounded!  
    Cumberbatch! Joy unbounded!  
  • 00:17
    Hold everything. Benedict Cumberbatch has arrived. He's wearing a regular tie!  
  • 00:22
    More historic frocks. Nicole Kidman. Galliano for Dior. 1997.
    More historic frocks. Nicole Kidman. Galliano for Dior. 1997.
  • 00:27
    Cate Blanchett. 2014. Armani. Of course. She does work there.
    Cate Blanchett. 2014. Armani. Of course. She does work there.
  • 00:32
    McConaughey is there doing his cowboy who's just wandered in from wrestling bulls and thrown on a suit before making his way to the cowpoke's ball. "Aw shucks!" Actually, he's lovely and I don't know why we're being so mean.


  • 00:35
    Matthew McC with his wife and his mom. Not sure about the dinner jacket, but the women of the clan look nice.
    Matthew McC with his wife and his mom. Not sure about the dinner jacket, but the women of the clan look nice.
  • 00:38
    Naomi Watts. Fighting the up-do onslaught. 2014. Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein.  
    Naomi Watts. Fighting the up-do onslaught. 2014. Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein.  
  • 00:41
    J-Law!!! 2014. Dior. Natch.  
    J-Law!!! 2014. Dior. Natch.  
  • 00:47
    There was a real rush of celebrities hurtling in there. It is almost as if they've heard that the sausage rolls have just arrived. No fashion disasters so far. But the word is that Jennifer Lawrence fell over again. There will be gossip.  
  • 00:49
  • 00:50
    Meanwhile, back on the Best Speech Ever track... Hepburn's only Oscar appearance.  
  • 00:55

    Now we're at the lull where they all take their seats. Sky seems to be closer to the door, so they get interviws a bit later than E! The event kicks off in half an hour. You know what that means. It's only four and a half hours from the start of Awards Season 2015.


    Oh, Bono and the Edge have just arrived. But the reporters aren't bothering to ask them what they are wearing.

    Every wants to know who's doing The Edge's hats these days.
  • 01:02
    I don't know what the order is these days. But they always used to start with best supporting actress. This year that is among the tightest of the races. If Nyong'o does freeze out Lawrence then the momentum will be gathering behind 12 Years. Mind you, it really only has a chance at one more award between then and the last envelope (screenplay). One thing we know for certain: Gravity will win the most Oscars tonight.  
  • 01:13
    Dead cert for Best Supporting Actor, right? Jared Leto.  
    Dead cert for Best Supporting Actor, right? Jared Leto.  
  • 01:15
    But we're still hoping Fass can do it on the night. Always bet on ginger.
    But we're still hoping Fass can do it on the night. Always bet on ginger.
  • 01:16
    Di Caprio. Preparing to reunite with his Oscar-less trophy cabinet.  
    Di Caprio. Preparing to reunite with his Oscar-less trophy cabinet.  
  • 01:22
    Okay, I know we're going on about Lupita. But so is everybody else. What do you expect? Anyway, about eight hours after she arrived, she's now made her way to the Sky encolsure. There are ups and downs to this strategy. They get the stars after everybody -- including the New Scientist -- has had them. On the other hand, they get to keep chatting when everybody else is addressing empty space.
  • 01:24
    Okay, now we can begin.
    Okay, now we can begin.
  • 01:33
    Amy Adams. 2014. Gucci. Not Nairobi Blue.  
    Amy Adams. 2014. Gucci. Not Nairobi Blue.  
  • 01:36
    We're off. Some slightly off-key jokes about the Afican actors' names from Ellen and a very awkward moment where she congratulated Liza Minnelli on being an excellent male Liza Minnelli impersonator. She didn't seem to take it all that well.
  • 01:41
    Best supporting actor first...
  • 01:45

    I CAN'T BELIEVE IT. JARED LETO HAS WON BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR. To paraphrase the Simpsons, I was being sarcastic in case you didn't get that. A nice speech about his mom, who's here with him. Nice, actually.

  • 01:47
    Jared Leto hellos the dreamers of Ukraine and Venezuela. That was a looong speech. Good though.
  • 01:54
    Pointless tribute to animation. Introduced by Jim Carrey. Who was scary. Now Pharrell. Dancing with Best Actress nominees.   Meryl brings shoulder action. Lupita gets down. Amy less certain
  • 02:00
    Oh it's best costume design, which has gone to Great Gatsby. Cattherine Martin, Baz Lurhmann's better half, is unpretentious and charming. As others have pointed out, this will probably be the only DiCaprio film that wins an Oscar tonight.
  • 02:01
    Hair and makeup goes to Dallas Buyers Club, which suggests a real surge in that direction.
  • 02:03
    Pilomena Lee is in the audience. You go, girl.
    Pilomena Lee is in the audience. You go, girl.
  • 02:07

    You keeping score?

    One for Great Gatsby - Catherine Martin, Best Costume Design

    Two for Dallas Buyers Club - Jared Leto, Best Supporting Actor;  Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews, Best Hair and Make Up...

  • 02:14
    You may not care, but there is a big, big shock in animated short. It goes to Mr Hublot. Everyone assumed it was going to Disney's Get a Horse. The guys who won have funny French accents. Am I allowed to say that?
  • 02:15
    Kim Novak was a wee bit confused whlle presenting with the great McC.
    Kim Novak was a wee bit confused whlle presenting with the great McC.
  • 02:17
    Best animated feature goes to the wonderful Frozen. No surprises there. But this does mean that -- somewhat astonishingly -- Walt Disney Animation gets its first ever win in that category. Up yours, Pixar!
  • 02:23
    First of the night for Gravity -  Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould, Best Visual Effects.
  • 02:27
    Karen O has taken off her shoes to sing the drippy song from Her. If you must...
    Karen O has taken off her shoes to sing the drippy song from Her. If you must...
  • 02:28
  • 02:28
    Here is the trailer for Mr Hublot, which beat Disney to best animated short. It looks very nice.  
  • 02:30
    Weird montage on the subject of "heroes", featuring a great deal of the not-nominated 42, the flick about Jackie Robinson that nobody much liked.
  • 02:41

    Best feature documentary -- in a slight surprise -- goes to the people from 20 Feet from Stardom. The Act of Killing was favourite, but we always felt the old boys might not get through the DVD. Darlene Love gets a full standing ovation when accepting the award for 20 Feet.  

     

  • 02:43
    Round up -  

    Best Live Action Short – Helium, Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson Best Documentary Short – The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life

    And honorary gongs for Claudia Cardinale, Steve Martin and Angelina Jolie.  

  • 02:51
    Sorrentino takes Best Foreign Language for The Great Beauty.   Try to look surprised...
  • 03:00
    So, U2 just performed their dirge from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. They got a standing ovation. This may be because the song is absolutely brilliant or it may be because it's about Nelson Mandela. I can't imagine which.
  • 03:01
    Sing, sing, sing, Strum, strum, strum.  
    Sing, sing, sing, Strum, strum, strum.  
  • 03:02
    Okay, now we really do have the best supporting actress award. Arguably, the most exciting battle of the evening. Ooo...
  • 03:09
    Second award for Gravity - Sound Mixing. Sound Editing sure to follow.
  • 03:11

    I should point out the obvious: we don't actually have best supporting actress there. That Zane man on Sky led me astray. It should be soon. Ellen is doing a weird wandering round the audience thing that is disconcerting me. Oh here's Christoph Waltz...

  • 03:19
    And best supporting actress goes (finally) to Lupita Nyong'o. She looks stuns and delivers a charming speech during which she breaks down just the right amount (a little). So 12 Years wins an Oscar in a category where it failed at Bafta. If Nyong'o weren't already a star she would be now. J-Law proved her talent as an actor by looking happy.
  • 03:20
    Lupita gives a properly moving speech.
    Lupita gives a properly moving speech.
  • 03:26
  • 03:26
    They actually took that photo on the show.
  • 03:29
    Gravity on four now:  Emmanuel Lubezki, Cinematography.
  • 03:32
    And that's five:  Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger, Best Film Editing.
  • 03:38
    Pink (in red, confusingly) takes part in a largely pointless tribute to The Wizard of Oz. Bet you can't guess what she's singing.
    Pink (in red, confusingly) takes part in a largely pointless tribute to The Wizard of Oz. Bet you can't guess what she's singing.
  • 03:44
    There's been an awful lot of Ellen in this show. Often, the host vanishes for ages in these things, but she's really stuck to her task. The monologue has been uneven and her habit of constantly wandering into the audience is unnerving. But the multiple-selfie we revealed earlier has just become the most reTweeted Tweet ever. It beat Michelle and Barack Obama hugging aftter the election. So, fair dues. Also, she did order pizza into the auditorium. For some reason.
  • 03:47
    Catherine Martin has won more Oscars tonight than 12 Years A Slave. Gatsby takes Production Design.  
  • 03:50
    Several minutes given over to a movie tribute montage that appears to be a movie tribute montage to movie tribute montages...
  • 03:53
  • 03:53
    E! has spoken...
  • 04:01
    Time to complain about the in memoriam section. It ended with Philip Seymour Hoffman, which is fair enough. But with the best event technicians in the world (I assume) they could surely have squeezed in Alain Resnais. The director of Hiroshima Mon Amour would surely have appreciated the incongruity of Bette Midler singing the Wind Beneath My Wings in his tribute.  
  • 04:04
    The wind was beneath her wings. It's Bette Midler, obviously.  
    The wind was beneath her wings. It's Bette Midler, obviously.  
  • 04:12
    Bono did the decent thing -- if not immediately -- and joined in the standing ovation for Let it Go from Frozen. Belting performance of the song that will surely beat that Mandela thing to the Oscar.
  • 04:17
    Six for Gravity. Steven Price, Original Score.
  • 04:21
    As predicted, Let it Go from Frozen takes Best Song. Rock stars forced to go home empty handed. The writers,  Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, a husband and wife team, delivered a rhyming speech, which was raher lovely. They also had a good joke about all the other nominees being "rock stars... literally".
  • 04:24
    Ellen sticking with the pizza gag. She's doing banter.  
  • 04:27
    Best Adapted Screenplay - John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave. Now on same number of Oscars as Great Gatsby. Bizarre.
  • 04:30
    Spike Jonze -- looking very smart for a hipster -- accepts Oscar for best original screenplay. Her's first award.
    Spike Jonze -- looking very smart for a hipster -- accepts Oscar for best original screenplay. Her's first award.
  • 04:31
    Can we just point out that all Donald's prediction in the paper have converted so far. Could it be a clean sweep?
  • 04:36
    In an odd year, Alfonso Cuaron wins best director for Gravity, but, having just bagged best adapted screenplay, 12 Years still looks like favourite for best picture. He thanks his son who looks like his very slightly younger brother.  
  • 04:37
    "The wise guys at Warner Brothers... erm, the wise people at Warner Brothers," Alfonso stumbles.  
  • 04:40
    Alfonso Cuaron  
    Alfonso Cuaron  
  • 04:47
    i don't know why I am bothering to even tell you this, but Cate Blanchett has just won best actreess. Yes, she did thank Woody Allen. There was some sporadic clapping. Very relaxed and natural speech from Cate. You don't catch her blubbing like a Paltrow.  
  • 04:49
    And the award for longest list of 'thank you's goes to Blanchett. She's way in front.
    And the award for longest list of 'thank you's goes to Blanchett. She's way in front.
  • 04:55
    Matthew McConaughey wins best actor for Dallas Buyers Club. He doesn't say: "All right, all right, all right" at the podium. He's surprisingly Goddy about it all. Thanks the deity, daddy and then delivers som old-time advice. Strange rambling speech then becomes a sort of personal motivation thing. Oh hang on! He has just said "all right, all right, all right" This really is a "live blog", you see.  
  • 04:56
  • 04:57
    12 Years a Slave best picture
  • 05:02

    Steve McQueen and Brad Pitt both say a few words after winning the Oscar for best picture. Steve comically wrestled his Oscar from the hands of the presenter. It's been a long hard road and now it appears to be over. We predicted all the major awards, but there was still fun along the way.


    Good night from us. Now Awards Season 2015 begins. I'm betting on Paul Thomas Andesron's Inherent Vice.  

  • 05:04
    And it's good night from Steve too.  
    And it's good night from Steve too.