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Ovi & the Oscars: Live
by Asa Butcher
2009-02-23 06:57:40
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Tonight's the night that the stars come out to place their fragile egos on the line and then perform that well-rehearsed loser's face, but for the rest of us mere mortals the Academy Awards are a chance to bitch about the fashion, create new “must-see” lists and count the number of montages that have been professionally edited together.

For the first time in Ovi's esteemed history, we are offering a live report from the Academy Awards... okay, it is actually live from my front room in Helsinki, Finland, but that won't mean we can't have fun. I invite you to join me as I miss an entire night of beauty sleep and make comments on the unfolding evening.

If you have been disconnected from Planet Hollywood and don't know the nominees at the 81st Academy Awards, then click here.


Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor: Sean Penn – Milk
Best Actress: Kate Winslet – The Reader
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Original Screenplay: Milk – Dustin Lance Black
Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire – Simon Beaufoy
Best Animated Feature: WALL-E – Andrew Stanton
Best Foreign Language Film: Departures (Japan) in Japanese – Yojiro Takita


You are free to leave comments below this article or email me on asa@ovimagazine.com.

Let's have fun!


00:21 - Here we go. Just under two hours before we see smiles that cost more than my education and outfits that cost more than the education of my entire graduating class! It is exciting... or at least it will be once I boil the kettle for the first cup of coffee. I can't wait to hear Hugh Jackman's opening monologue - will he use his Wolverine claws to open any of the winner's envelopes?

Challenge: Name five famous Hughs.

00:55 Ah-ha! Finnish TV is about to begin its Red Carpet coverage. The excitement creeps up another notch. Time to stick on the kettle.

01:00 Randulph Duke and his "Uberglamour" would have made me snort the coffee out of my nose had I been taking a sip. Idiot. Looks like good weather, so no golashes, which is a shame. Ah yes, the new Hannah Montana film will surely earn its star Miley Cyrus a Best Actress award next year. Is it me or does Miley look and sound like Gilbert Gottfried's love child? Any answers for the Hugh challenge?

01:15 If you are wondering what I am wearing tonight, well a white t-shirt is stylishly accompanied by a cream tracksuit top and gray tracksuit bottoms. Photos available on request. Okay, we are back in the Finnish studio with presenter Mr Foppy Hair, Mr Eyebrows and a very lovely lady.

Hugh answers: Hugh Dancy, Hugh Grant, Hugh Hefner, Hugh Jackman and Hugh Laurie

01:20 Wolfgang Puck showing off his selection delicious food that will be vomited back up later tonight. Some of it looks as though it had already been partially digested... Bitchy! Time for ice cream here.

01:30 Note to presenter George on the Red Carpet: Shouting does not increase excitement levels.

Challenge: How many films has Kevin Kline starred in with Phoebe Cates?

01:35 Poor Bjork. She'll never live down that swan dress.

01:37 Thanks for the part spoiler there, AP!

01:51 "What's going on in your tummy right now?" What sort of professional question is that?! 

Answer: Three (The Anniversary Party, I Love You to Death and Princess Caraboo)

02:00 One hour to go! I think some fresh air is needed, but it bloody freezing outside. D'oh! I Right, I have to take a break from the Red Carpet cliches...

02:05 So close! I thought that Michael Sheen would say "Brian Clough" on the Red Carpet while telling about his next film The Damned United. Cloughie will have to wait until next year!

02:20 AP, some of the nominees have only just arrived in Finland and, as a married father of two, I don't get as many free evenings as I once did - is that the sound of a lone violin playing just for me?

02:30 Oh Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind with your suit! He has to win tonight!

02:35 Those videos! I spend too long on the PC during the day to then stare at the screen in the evening watching films! As for diapers, I am pretty quick!

02:40 Anne Hathaway is so lovely. Don't tell my wife I said that!

02:41 Please no apologies for spelling mistakes tonight. My brain is already slowly down... hmmm, that should be slowing down!

02:50 Okay, it is a bad clip but still better than Chicago. It is great to see a husband and wife team both nominated, but I don't think Pitt and Jolie will both win. Ha! "Who's looking at the dress anyway!" Excuse me!

02:55 Why aren't Catherine Martin, Jacqueline West, Michael O'Connor, Danny Glicker and Albert Wolsky being interviewed on the Red carpet? It would make sense, since they are all nominated for Best Costume Design and that's the focus, nay obsession, in the build-up.

03:05 Ah-ha! A countdown clock (25mins to go). And welcome to the party, Alexander!

03:07 Who was that kiss-ass with Pitt and Jolie? They both looked freaked, probably because of his Mr Whippy ice cream hair.

03:19 Oh god, parading accountants... and the first montage of the night. Yes! Does P Cruz come with subtitles?

03:23 Jack Black owned him.

03:25 50% terror, 50% thrill - isn't that how most of us describe how we felt when losing our virginity?

03:28 More coffee to make, quick toilet break, maybe some fresh air and we are ready to go!!!

03:30 Wow! What a stage! Go Hugh! Now, will he be in the Australian version of Mamma Mia?

03:35 A very fresh opening. Kudos. Very cheeky. It also feels very intimate.

03:46 Are they going to have a group hug? I wonder if the guys will do the same emotional intros to one another.

03:48 So I was wrong with my first prediction. Anybody think she deserves the win?

03:53 Steve Martin: Comedy Genius

03:56 Okay, my second prediction was wrong... grrr! Touching speech; we can only hope it reaches the right people. Wait, wait.. wait... I got a prediction right! Bring it on Slumdog!

04:04 Black cuts very close to the bone. I wonder how Aniston felt with Pitt and Jolie watching her from the front row.

04:07 Well, not only did I predict WALL-E, but I have now actually seen one of the winners!

04:11 AP, he was probably thinking, "Damn, why did I skip all those English lessons to go and draw cartoons!"

04:17 Ouch, heartburn from too much coffee. Back to the Oscars, the stage design is great this year. Poor Daniel Craig tripping up twice... oops! You have got to feel for the non-acting speechmakers who probably do stuff behind the cameras because they do not want to be making speeches in front of a billion people! Not sure I could do it.

04:24 Do you think that rattling off 100 names sort of takes the uniqueness of being remembered as somebody to thank?

04:28 They can certainly bang out the montages. Wasn't it last year when Jon Stewart introduced a montage to binoculars in the movies?

04:36 I wonder what a cinematographer's home videos are like. Could you imagine them ensuring the perfect lighting for the blowing out of the candles on their child's cake! Stiller is certainly out there...

04:39 Basic technology and CGI don't really go together. I am sure it is far from simple!

04:46 That was a montage that can only be described as unexpected.

04:48 The show would be finished by now if there were no ad breaks. Yes, I'd be in bed. Asleep. Tucked up and snoring. No, I must remain strong. Where are the eye drops?

04:55 Will we ever look at Wolverine in the same way? X-Men: The Musical?

05:06 Maybe he plans to steal the Oscar in case Heath actually wins. Ahh, there's Heath's family, so let's get a close-up of their emotion...    Here we go.... the late Heath Ledger. Deserved. I got another correct!

05:11 Great speeched by the Ledger family. Really touching.

05:12 Damn, I have to watch Man on Wire It looks haunting. I hope it wins.  And it does.

05:26 Documentaries just don't get the distribution. 

05:36 A slight slowdown in posts from me, but there wasn't much to say about the post-production awards. Still they are some of the unsung heroes and deserve every moment up there on stage. I need a few more ad breaks so I can finish my book tonight, or should that be this morning?

05:41 Wow! Eddie Murphy at the Oscars and Jerry Lewis finally getting Academy recognition, plus the great Coldplay song! Congratulations Jerry! Congratulations!

05:47 It is a Catch-22 with documentaries, plus I think they have a bad reputation for being boring and aren't the first choice for people going out on  Friday night.

05:51 Peter Gabriel should be there performing his own song, plus Bruce Springsteen's song for The Wrestler should have been nominated, plus two from one film... come on!Well they ruined Gabriel's song in that mix. Bloody hell, there is no justice. How did that win???

06:05 Indeed, AP, the thought had also crossed my mind. If we were dripfed Bollywood we could cope, but this is a bucket poured over our heads. Now, best foreign film and... damn I was wrong again. Not the best night for my predictions! However, the Japanese are given some fun speeches.

06:11 Ahh, now the In Memorium, but slightly different with a llive performance - live and death, you could say. It never fails to amaze me the length of the list. Paul Newman: The Man. 

06:20 So, we get to the next of the big awards. Will I get another hit or shall I add another to my miss list? I chose Boyle, but I think Fincher should win.... here goes.... oh well. A hit for me and great for the man behind Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. Nice Tigger bounce though.

06:33 Kate Winslet won! Wow, I was wrong again! Plus, this is bloody funny, watch this and you will fully understand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPTV8PZo-Tc

06:37 Right, one half of the Pitt-Jolie failed, so will Pitt manage to wrestle it off Rourke. I doubt it and, anyway, I want to hear Rourke's speech! Oh well, I get both wrong, but at least my track record remains tarnished!

06:45 Commie homo sons of guns... brilliant. AP - You are spot on with Winslet. I think there's only one award left and it is the BIG ONE.

06:47 Watch out! The Berg is moving on to the stage. I think another montage is coming....  Not a bad one either. 

06:52 Well, Bollywood has officially hit Hollywood. Slumdog Millionaire wins the Best Picture and I hear people outside going to work, walking the dog and generally happy to have had a full night's sleep. I am now packing up and heading to bed. Thanks for joining me tonight and I wish you a great week. Goodnight!

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Eva2009-02-22 19:40:51
It's been a poor cinema year for me, in that I haven't seen a lot of this year's nominees (I'm ashamed to say) - so I'm not really qualified to make any guesses.

However I would be very surprised if Heath Ledger didn't win Best Supporting Actor - I can't see anybody else even competing in that sector this year. The Dark Knight was brilliant, and Ledger was outstanding - even I thought so, although I had expected to hate the film due to all the media hype surrounding it - but nope, I loved it.

Best Documentary Feature, the only one I've seen out of the nominated films is Man on Wire, and it was SUPERB! A really, really well-made and INTERESTING documentary! It was a complete surprise to me and it blew me away. Just a genuinly good film, without any extra b*llshit. Simple, good, quality. In fact the reason I went to see it, was that I was at a film awards ceremony in Edinburgh this summer, where no other that Sir Sean Connery himself was giving out the awards - and he said that Man on Wire goes to his Top 5 favourite list of movies ever made! Wow. Now, I maybe wouldn't go that far myself, but I heard it from Sir Sean first, it made me go and see it... and I have to admit it was brilliant! So if you haven't seen it, see it! :)

Lastly, Best Original Screenplay, I'd like to see In Bruges win. Another really, really good film. I normally don't like comedies, but give me a black comedy, and I'm happy - and this... is as black as it gets, with many, many quirky and weird small details built into it. Just a piece of writing art, right there!

Eva2009-02-22 19:45:31
Asa, who do you want to see wining, and why?

Eva2009-02-22 19:48:30
Eh, WINNING, I mean... must have been a Freudian slip there... ;)

Thanos2009-02-22 21:36:47
Can we comment your comments Asa?

Eva2009-02-22 21:44:49
Has he been able to stop you in the past, Thanos? ;)

AP2009-02-22 22:09:43
I don't know if Slumdog Millionaire is going to win all that... might be.

Asa2009-02-22 22:29:17
Everybody can comment on the comments, except you Mr Kalamidas.

As for my choices, well I am also in the club that has seen few of the nominees, which is why i have gone with the ones I have seen. The Wrestler and Wall-E are those, while the others are gut instinct.

Should I now go and grab some sleep before the pre-show... hmmm.

Eva2009-02-22 22:43:53
Don't ruin it with sleep, Asa, grab yourself a beer and start preparing yourself! :) Write lists, talk/email to people across the world, work yourself up for the proper stuff! It won't be the same if you sleep until 5 minutes before the awards ceremony!

As for Wall-E - I had too many co-workers doing all the 'noises' from the movie, namely 'eeeeeeeeeeev', so I decided I'd rather cut my wrists than watch that movie!

So. I haven't seen it, it might be ...eh, whatever... but I refuse to see it on those poorly chosen terms.

Asa do you have films you 'refuse' to see?

Eva2009-02-22 22:54:11
..and I only read your review of 'The Wrestler' now - I haven't heard anything about it before and to be truthful it would not be the kind of movie that would be a 'must see' for me.
Now it is...

Thanos2009-02-22 22:55:30
Beer? Asa? do you want him asleep in an hour? hahahahaha!!!

AP2009-02-22 22:56:42
Sean Penn and Pitt are strong competitors to Rourke, Angelina was great (and Winslet so touching and subtle), but Meryl was just superb - there's really no one like her. The woman is pure talent, she's a chameleon born for acting, a force of nature.
Viola Davis was fabulous in her supporting role - although she had a short appearance.
And Doubt and B. Button are strong competitors for Slumdog in best adapted screenplay.

Asa2009-02-22 23:15:32
Sleep has been abandoned, you will be relieved to read. I have written a shopping list, checked my DVD wants list and am ready to update my Best Picture need to review list.

But Eeeeeeeeeva, WALL-E is so sweet! The dance in space is beautiful!

Films I refuse to see... hmmm... actually, World Trade Center was on tonight, but I decided not to watch that because it just feels wrong. I Chicago had been one I'd refused but now the scar is deep on my movie soul. Others... let me think.

Beer would have been an option but my father-in-law drank the last one yesterday and my planned M&Ms snack was stolen by my wife. I am not happy.

I think I shall put on some movie music (Flashdance, Top Gun OST, etc) and finish my book, Michael Marshall's The Intruders.

Question: What's your favourite Best Picture winner?

Eva2009-02-22 23:21:18
OK Asa, maybe you should have a shot of something to keep you awake? Vodka, whisky? Or are you asleep already?

AP, you've obviously watched a lot of the movies so you are more informed.
I didn't even know Meryl Streep was nominated this year. But wow, she's in her own cathegory - I love her as an actress. I saw Kate Winslet in The Reader and she was good, but in my mind she's nowhere near Meryl Streep in general.

Question: what makes for an Oscar? Who earns it, and why?


Emanuel Paparella2009-02-22 23:21:18
I think that Asa has it on the button regarding Slumdog Millionaire. It may win even more awards than the ones he mentioned, given that it has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards and has won several other awards. It has a score which, as in all great operas, perfectly matches the action, plus great cinematography with remarkable images and good acting by children who have never acted before. A Western critic has dubbed it “the world’s first globalized masterpiece” but some Indian critics are not so sure; they think that it portrayes as Mumbay as seen by Western eyes; which is natural given that the director is a British Westerner. Just that perplexity, in my opinion, makes for a very interesting and intriguing film which we'll be discussing for a while.

Eva2009-02-22 23:29:29
We cross-posted there, Asa. Best Picture, eh? I'll have to check, I don't know them by heart :)
I'll get back to you, I'm awake too!
Still, my question to you remains, what makes an Oscar?

Eva2009-02-22 23:56:18
Wow, Asa, I did a quick time machine search of he Best Picture Oscars... and I must admit I was surprised - ok, for the earlier productions I haven't seen them all, but even in 'my' or 'your' generation, I didn't know all these films were even nominated - never mind that they WON!?
I obviously don't keep up with it like you do, hahaha.
OK, so of the entire list of movies ever winning - of the ones I KNOW - I must say, my favourite is 'Out of Africa'.

Asa2009-02-22 23:59:03
What makes an Oscar?

I believe the current statue is made from gold-plated britannium on a black metal base... huh, oh you mean what elements make up a winner ;)

There used to be a surefire formula:

3hrs running time + main character dies at end = Best Picture winner

Now I am not so sure, but it seem as though having a main character die but with a shorter running time is today's key: See last year's NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and THE DEPARTED the year before.

So, this year I guess BEN BUTTON follows the old rule and MILK follows the new, but then who can really say after effing Chicago won a few years ago!!!

Asa2009-02-23 00:03:16
Well, og the 80 past winners I have seen all but four!

My favourite five (in no order) are:


I think you can guess my worst...

Asa2009-02-23 00:04:28
My review of Out of Africa:

Eva2009-02-23 00:25:31
Actually it is sad, but true what you say, that there is always a 'surefire formula' for who wins the Oscar. It varies slightly from year to year, but it somehow always seem to have one thing in common: 'how much money was spent on the movie?"
The more money spent, all the more certain they can expect great awards.

This is why I never take the Oscar's serious. For me the Oscar's almost represent the opposite of what is good in film making today.

No disrespect to the great films up for the awards tonight - because there are some great films there! - I simply don't think they are up for the award because of them being the 'best of the best' for their outstanding quality: they're up for the award because of the money and the marketing behind them..

AP2009-02-23 01:28:34
Maybe Meryl won't win just because she was nominated 15 times already and won twice (for best actress and best supporting role). That does not mean she wasn't the best this year... again!
About the best picture, Slumdog is interesting but the choreographed dance and everyone living happily ever after frankly do not get my deepest enthusiasm.

AP2009-02-23 02:11:23
Man, there are videos with that, I thought you had seen them. Anyway, unless you usually have the same movie tastes as a critic or someone else, it is totally worthless to care for what they say until you go watch it and judge for yourself.

AP2009-02-23 02:30:45
I meant videos on the internet - you don't have to go out to see that coreography :) The time between one diaper and another is enough :)
Marisa Tomei looks like a swan too. And Rourke looks pretty much like a blonde sea swallow. :)

AP2009-02-23 02:34:40
errata - choreography

My god, I'm overwhelmed with so much style in one single place. :D "Anne Hathaway, true fashionista", they say...

AP2009-02-23 02:46:15
Now seriously, do you think this is worthy of an Oscar?:

It looks like Liverpool Street Station...
P. Cruz should have lost her folk accent by now...girl, you've been in the States too long to speak english like that. Great actress wasted by Woody Allen on a stupid role.
Has NY Fashion Week moved to LA and no one told us anything?

AP2009-02-23 03:07:23
Hey, Downey Jr. has turned almost as white as Michael Jackson - impossible!
"they will end up down there on the carpet and they will start... up there on the carpet" - nice explanation of the stars' trajectory!
Since when is Nicole Richie even an actress (or a talented person for that matter) for them to be talking about the second child she's going to have precisely tonight????!!
The second most important subject of the night: the Jolie-Aniston crash! Oh pleeeeaaase....

AP2009-02-23 03:37:56
Wow are they running for Tonys too?

AP2009-02-23 03:42:03
Steroids! :D he's a genius...

AP2009-02-23 03:50:57
Ohhhh stereotyped neurotic and annoying character which didn't deserve it. The actress did.
But Viola did too.
The actors of Spain thank you too, dear. And you did a hell of a lot better figure with Almodovar.

AP2009-02-23 03:57:59
You were wrong again... ahah

AP2009-02-23 04:10:37
So heavy?? :D What was he thinking?

AP2009-02-23 04:19:06
Heavy, shiny AND golden! :P
Well art direction was deserved.

AP2009-02-23 04:32:27
Oh no, the crazy guy is on stage!

AP2009-02-23 04:34:25
He really behaved like that on Letterman. Good portrait!

AP2009-02-23 04:36:36

AP2009-02-23 05:05:02
Why is Hoffman disguised of a burglar?

AP2009-02-23 05:17:02
He's right that people should go and watch documentaries more. Also about the gods part... :P
the Kodak circus :)

AP2009-02-23 05:31:22
But there are so many documentary festivals. They don't get the distribution because people don't watch them.

AP2009-02-23 06:01:10
What the hell is this, Bollywood invaded Hollywood??!
How cheesy...!

AP2009-02-23 06:08:53
Well at least this one didn't say it was heavy... he was "baby happy" and he will "baby be back". Cool...

AP2009-02-23 06:23:03
Errr... who will tell him that there's no problem that he forgot about that guy...

AP2009-02-23 06:36:52
Winslet always sounds too fake when accepting her awards... is she still acting? Yup!

AP2009-02-23 06:50:47
That explains a lot! Penn deserved it.

AP2009-02-23 06:55:46
I thought they would all start dancing and doing the choreography on stage!! Disappointing...!!

AP2009-02-23 06:58:06
Time to sleep... and dream with people dancing! What a nightmare.

Emanuel Paparella2009-02-23 07:09:48
Indeed Asa, you had it on target with the movie Slumlord Millionaire: of the ten gategories you chose to predict Slumlord was 100% correct with best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay. It appears that I was also on target in predicting that the movie would win more awards than that. It also won on sound mixing, film editing, original score and original song. Inspiring too the fact that the movie with the lowest budget won this time around; but then this is the year when an African-American became president.

Emanuel Paparella2009-02-23 07:12:14
Errata: Slumdog Millionaire

AP2009-02-23 07:29:51
Either that or the academy has an absolute need to be politically correct...

Emanuel Paparella2009-02-23 13:58:23
“It varies slightly from year to year, but it somehow always seem to have one thing in common: 'how much money was spent on the movie? The more money spent, all the more certain they can expect great awards.” (Eva)

Indeed, but what I am suggesting however is that if the above is the customary, expected, “politically correct” outcome of the Oscar nominations, then the inescapable conclusion is that this year we have had, together with Obama’s election, a surprising politically incorrect outcome. Perhaps that too needs to be celebrated within the fifteen minutes of vicarious cathartic fame we in the audience are presently enjoying with the winners.

Emanuel Paparella2009-02-23 14:04:28
P.S. What I am also suggesting is that the need of present day journalists to be part of the sensationalism which they report ad nauseam is integral part of the prostitution of Truth and the glorification of half-truths.

AP2009-02-23 17:03:26
Yeah right... politically correct was to choose the India movie this year - to "show how Hollywood has changed with the White House: look at us, look at us, we're so much more open to other cultures, we even know that the rest of the world exists already!".

AP2009-02-23 18:00:15
The plus: the ceremony was actually entertaining as it is supposed to be and a cinema (or Broadway? hmmm...) celebration for the first time in many years (yes!!), Jackman did a terrific job and it was touching to finally see the interaction between the peers, so many great actors introducing the nominees very personally. The only questionable moments were that Beyonce-Chicago thing and the Bollywood dances...
But the gentlemen of the Academy, I don't know...

Emanuel Paparella2009-02-23 18:57:41
Indeed, they are the same gentlemen who awarded and rewarded the likes of Michael More for his half-truths parading as political certitudes. But what makes it all possible is us the audience who love to be entertained by half truths and banal gossip about the rich and famous and thus live vicariously the fantasy that is Hollywood. I am afraid we are all in the same boat of self-deception and we can be cynics or we can be idealists but it is the same coin that refuses to look at things as they really are and then ask the question: how could or should be?

Emanuel Paparella2009-02-23 19:06:03
P.S. By the way, the director of the movie is not American but European, descendant of those who went to India to civilize the natives and then did a movie on that story titled Gandhi to show how repentant they were. One can commercialize and make money on anything, even on one's transgressions and in the process unburden oneself of guilt while laughing all the way to the bank. Ah, the wonders of a Western Civilization that has lost its soul, if it even grasp what soul is any longer!

AP2009-02-23 19:16:46
Ben Stiller's impression of Joaquin Phoenix was fabulous.

AP2009-02-23 20:07:26
the original here:

the impression here:

AP2009-02-23 23:10:10
sorry, impression here instead:

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