The Academy Awards are glitzy, glamorous, and really, really long. In order to break down the show, I assembled a crack team of pop culture aficionados who offered up their real-time analysis of the Oscars telecast.
Forming the roundtable were me, power couple Brian and Erin Byrne, the lovely and talented Greg Elwell, man-about-town Matt Clayton and known photographer Nate Billings.
Here’s how it all shook out starting with the Red Carpet Show:
Erin Byrne: Kristen Chenowith is precious and loves the (OKC) Thunder. Nicole Kidman, watch her seethe over Naomi Watts. Mostly because Naomi Watts is married to Sabretooth.
Brian Byrne: No way! Kidman and Naomi Watts are all BFFs! I thought they were. I can’t hate on NK because she escaped Tom Cruise. It’s like having escaped a Taliban detention camp.
Greg Elwell: #OscarMystery Why do we care about the box?
BB: OMG GWYNETH PALTROW’S HEAD IS IN THE BOX!!! #bestoscarsever
Mat DeKinder: Is it me or should the entire red carpet show just be Hugh Jackman lifting people?
Nate Billings: Has E! had any actual video of the Red Carpet or are they just limited to stills? You won’t get any snarky fashion commentary on ABC.
EB: I would kill to spend an afternoon with Kristin Chen and Jenn Garner.
Matt Clayton: How many uppers has Chenoweth taken tonight?
EB: She’s always like that MC. That’s what makes her magic.
GE: SHE HAS A LOT OF LIFE TO LIVE, CLAYTON.
BB: K-CHEN AND ADELE! I want them to hang out and solve crimes. I love looking at them.
GE: Stacy Keibler! WWE in the house! Clayton, remember when she was with “Standards and Practices”?
BB: Clooney, I love you. “Win or lose, I will be drinking.” Me too, GC. Me too.
MC: Clooney, you amazing bastard! Yes, Greg. I remember her legs.
NB: She was my favorite contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”
MD: Hey, remember when Sandra Bullock won an Oscar? For acting?
BB: She had it coming. Sandra Bullock is solid. I will add that there are very few movies she’s starred in that I didn’t at least enjoy.
NB: “Hope Floats?”
GE: Dude, I will watch and enjoy “Two Weeks Notice” with you. RIGHT NOW.
NB: I’m cool with Sandy.
MD: I didn’t know I walked into a Sandra Bullock fan club meeting. Apologies. Also “Crash.”
BB: OK, well done. I would not watch “Crash” unless you paid me a bare minimum of $125.
MD: That’s saying a lot because Brian will drink a cup of his own pee for $50
EB: Ok guys. We’re here to talk about the Oscars.
GE: Is that countdown for the Oscars to be over? They don’t give away awards anymore, right?
GE: Thank you for bringing Lincoln to life in a way that hasn’t happened since the Hall of Presidents gained sentience and went on a killing spree!
BB: DDL’s storied insistence on verisimilitude will culminate in an impressive and tragic end when he ends his life by being shot in the head by John Wilkes Boothe.
EB: I like that she asked the Irishman how much he loves Abraham Lincoln.
MD: How many hosts do they have on this red carpet show? Is Nate hosting too?
GE: Everybody who wasn’t nominated for an award is an official host. These kids in this Hyundai commercial? Hosts. Except for the kid wrestling a bear. He’s up for a technical award.
BB: Oh shit, here we go.
NB: Did you see Samuel L’s tux? Was that velvet?
EB: Of course it was velvet.
MC: Do the OSCARS need a theme? They don’t need a musical theme. That’s what the Grammys are for I thought.
GE: Yeah, Clayton. I thought the theme of the Oscars was “Good Movies.”
NB: I like the Affleck joke.
BB: I like that every time Nate makes a comment it’s automatically Nota Bene.
NB: My nickname is footnote.
BB: Let’s take a moment to imagine someone showing Daniel Day-Lewis an episode of “American Dad,” and his creeping horror.
GE: I like “American Dad.” And I’m OK with some foreign dads.
BB: I not only hate “American Dad,” I hate YOUR DAD.
GE: Somebody just took a Shat on this broadcast.
BB: Shatner is already right. WOW! He’s insanely prescient!
MC: It’s already better than LL Cool J hosting the Grammy Awards.
GE: Boobs. That’s not so bad. I’m with you. It could be much worse. And look, it’s Stars Dancing With Actual Stars.
GE: In all fairness, Sally Field was very hot at both “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun.”
MD: Ok, the “Smokey and the Bandit” thing saved the whole bit.
GE: The Bandit saves everything. Except for the career of Harry Connick Jr.
BB: Can we talk about a much more overarching unanswered question, which is WHY IS SHANTER NOT HOSTING THESE? This year and every year?
NB: He’s best as a guest star.
BB: I refuse to accept that.
NB: Shatner’s like bacon. Very delicious in moderation, but make it your main meal and you begin to puke.
MD: Actual awards! I’m actually cool with any one of these guys winning Best Supporting Actor.
GE: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s date looks like a little boy. It’s kind of creepy.
NB: Waltz was very good on SNL, too. Good month for him.
GE: Christoph should win all the awards.
MD: I’m very happy with Christoph. He rocks the hell out of that movie.
NB: Best traveling dentist ever.
GE: Good work remembering all of their names, Waltz. That’s legitimately classy.
MD: OK, so I’ve only seen two of these but “Paperman” was one of them. It was cute, so I guess I don’t have to write a thousand-word complaint letter to the Academy about Best Animated Short again.
BB: Wow, I just now realized how beautifully shot “Skyfall” was. And am now a little bershon Roger Deakins didn’t get it.
MD: Nate, cinematography!
NB: I know. My favorite. But I don’t think I’ll ever get over “The Tree of Life” getting snubbed.
MD: True dat!
MC: Is that one of the guys from Nelson?
MD: “Life of Pi” was probably the prettiest movie I’ve ever seen. Plus I like tigers.
MC: Tigers are lame.
EB: I’d like to see you say that to a tiger’s face.
MJC: Bring me a tiger and I’ll punch him straight in the nose.
ELB: Not gonna happen.
BB: Tigers have to get off the stage! Wow.
MD: It was cold, but I have to admit that I like the “Jaws” theme as the “you’re running out of time” music.
NB: Is John Williams conducting the orchestra? If so, he’s choosing it for the royalties.
MD: Costume Design, Clayton!
MC: Paco was robbed.
ELB: How come modern movies don’t get costume awards?
NB: I’ve heard that comment made before, and it is true. Plenty of modern films deserve to be nominated.
MD: Maybe they are worried the award would go to Nordstrom Rack.
BB: In related news, apparently somebody made an “Anna Karenina” movie this year.
MD: And “Les Miz” takes the award for Best Makeup.
BB: “We’d like to thank dirt.”
MD: Favorite Bond, Go!
NB: “Skyfall.” Oh, individual? Craig.
BB: I gotta tell ya, Daniel Craig is mine. I never seriously gave much of a shit about Bond movies until he came along.
EB: Craig is my current favorite simply for the shorts alone, but Moore was my first and I LOVED me some “Octopussy.”
BB: I remember being a kid and thinking “Why the hell isn’t that guy from ‘Remington Steele’ James Bond? He’d be PERFECT!” I think if he’d been Bond then instead of in 2000 I’d have been more excited.
NB: I didn’t care for the cheesiness of Moore’s Bond. His films weren’t the best, but Pierce was pretty good. I like early Connery, as well.
MD: Early Connery rocks pretty hard, but I do dig Craig an awful lot.
EB: SHIRLEY BASSEY!!!!!!
MD: This might be my favorite Oscar moment ever!
BB: MAAAAAX POWEEEEERRRRRRR. It is pretty frickin’ fantastic. GOOOOO SHIRLEY BASSEY!!!!! NAILED IT!!!
MD: I’m standing and applauding at home.
BB: I’m making out with my remote control.
ELB: I’ve finished a 6 part Queen Latifah/Shirley Bassey fan fic epic.
MD: Short film awards: America’s bathroom break.
MC: We watched “Argo” last Tuesday. It was freaking amazing. Even understanding what was going to happen, the movie was really well done. Affleck was superb. And his beard should have won best supporting actor.
EB: What happened with Affleck? When did he get 2 legit 2 quit?
BB: When he started directing.
BB: They should rename the Best Documentary category “Best Movie You Heard About on NPR Last Week and Thought it Sounded Kind of Interesting.”
GE: So, is it just documentarians who get “Jaws”-ed off the stage?
NB: This whole next part is just for you, DEK.
MD: I love musical theater!
BB: Musical theater loves you.
EB: So that’s why that hag is here.
BB: You’re not still talking about DeKinder, are you?
EB: I am now.
GE: I don’t know how old Catherine Zeta-Jones actually is, but she still looks good. Welsh blood is the fountain of youth.
NB: I hope Michael Douglas is a happy man.
ELB: This is some clunky dancing from CZJ.
BB: WOLVERINE SINGS! SNIKKITY SNIKKITY!
MD: Jackman can do no wrong.
BB: Agreed. Though wow, am I ever not ever seeing this goddamn movie.
MD: I’ll say it; I’m a “Les Miz” lover.
BB: Like I accidentally watched most of “Battleship” the other day, and I’m much happier about seeing that than I would’ve been about seeing “Les Miz.”
ELB: Crowe sounds way better here than he did in the movie, though his face looks about to explode.
MC: Playing the role of mid-life Clayton will be Russell Crowe. Angry, bearded, and frankly, kind of mean.
MD: Musical Theater, Bitches!!!!!!
MC: OK, I’m taking a break.
MD: But you’ll miss the recap of technical awards given out at a ceremony held earlier!!
GE: NERDS! THIS IS FOR YOU! Sure, they make modern movies possible, but we’re not going to let them in the same building with you.
MD: Sound mixing!!
NB: I enjoyed it when they dedicated a segment to showing us the difference between sound mixing and sound design a few years back. I have since forgotten what I learned.
BB: Sound design is painting with waves of pressure. Sound mixing is tantamount to masturbating a rhinoceros.
GE: There will be no sound mixing among the races. Racially pure walls of sound.
EB: Look at Jackman and Hathaway BLOWN AWAY by the sound crew win.
GE: A tie is like kissing your sister, but winning an award for it.
MD: Second awesome head of hair by a behind-the-scenes guy.
GE: All sound editors are required to have stringy, long blonde hair.
MD: Make that a third awesome head of hair.
BB: They are not frequently allowed out of the studio.
MD: This Best Supporting Actress category is solid. I know no one saw “The Master” but Amy Adams gives one of cinema’s all-time great hand jobs in it.
EB: I’m not sure I can watch Hathaway’s “humility.” Susan Boyle owns that song from here on out.
NB: Here we go!
MD: Musical Theater, Bitches!!!!!!!
GE: Oh, hey, no surprise. I don’t actively hate her, most of the time, but for whatever reason this year she just bugs me.
MD: Important note for those still paying attention, Film Editing usually predicts the Best Picture winner.
GE: Spoiler alerts, DEK.
MD: Sorry. Also, someday the sun is going to explode.
BB: Spoiler alert: Playtime is Fun!
NB: Adele is coming up, Clayton.
NB: I still say the lyric should be “What the hell is Skyfall?” because that’s how I felt until the final act.
GE: Yeah, usually Skyfall would be the codename of a program that has all the agents’ names. When it turned out to be his house, I thought, “Oh, yeah, this is called Skyfall and not Awesome James Bond Movie.”
BB: Because it’s ALL ABOUT YOU, Nate. JESUS.
MD: I felt the same way about “Octopussy” Nate.
BB: I was actually pretty clear about the meaning of the octagonal lady-bits, personally.
MJC: I can’t truly express my love of Adele. She’s kind of perfect.
GE: Because of a restraining order?
MJC: No comment.
MD: Erin, you are allowed to start hating now.
EB: Stop touching your hair, Kristen Stewart! Also, I hate you.
MC: Even her limp is annoyed at being there.
EB: Her bershon is so strong that it has produced a limp.
BB: One of the many, many shames of this is thinking of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of struggling actors out there who WOULD ACTUALLY LIKE TO BE THERE PRESENTING AN OSCAR, and are reflecting right now on the non-muttering ways they’d be reading nominees’ names.
GE: They have such chemistry. Like when someone pours water onto burlap.
MD: I feel like I unleashed the Kraken. Love it.
GE: In Memorium, when everybody goes, “Oh…he died? When did that happen?”
MD: This is Borgnine’s time to shine!
EB: He’ll get the final salute.
BB: I miss him so much already. I can’t think of any, but obviously, I’ve got a profound pro-Borgnine bias, “Airwolf” fan that I am. Plus, does America fully realize how awesome it is that Borgnine continued voicing Mermaid Man on “Spongebob” pretty much up until the day he died? Because for real.
BB: FIRST! Even better than last.
BB: WE LOST KLUGMAN!?! WE LOST CHARLES DURNING!?! This is a devastating year for fans of Old Men. Such as myself.
GE: Charles Durning was a badass.
BB: He stormed the beach at Normandy. No lie. CHIEF INSPECTOR DREYFUSS DIED? HERBERT LOM? GAAAAAAAAD
MC: Tony Scott gets a mention. I thought they might skip him.
GE: It’s not like a Catholic graveyard. I don’t think a suicide keeps you out of the Oscars. (I only know that because of the movie “Constantine,” so I apologize if it’s categorically false.)
NB: I didn’t know Ray Bradbury was still alive this year.
BB: Nor did I. He clinches the “He was alive?!?!?” category.
MC: Is that Babs? Yes, it is. Gold Chain Babs at that. 50-cent has hit that.
MD: They brought out Babs!!!!
EB: AAAAAHHHHH! BARBRA! Though I have always admired her commitment to her nails.
BB: I imagine it like in “Alien 3” when Ripley hooks Bishop’s torso up to a car battery to get some information out of him. “C’mon, Babs. One last song.”
MD: I’m getting verklempt.
BB: Jesus Christ I’m tired.
EB: Me too.
MD: You didn’t know this was a “Hunger Games”-style commentary did you?
NB: If you get near the cornucopia, I’ll cut you.
MD: If we do this next year we need to be sure to pace ourselves. I think at some point Hollywood needs to ask itself, “Does the Oscar ceremony really need to be three and a half hours long?”
MC: Or maybe start it at 6 and have all the other stuff earlier? They start “The Ten Commandments” earlier (runs on ABC) because they realize it takes a while. They’ve been doing it for 80 years.
BB: Yeah, you’d think the light bulb would’ve popped on in 1983 or so.
MD: Poor Hoffman, couldn’t they have got Chenoweth to come out so he wouldn’t feel so short.
BB: Dude, Dustin Hoffman could not possibly give less a shit. Dustin Hoffman wakes up every morning and looks in the mirror and says “Hey! It’s you again!!!”
MD: I think the “Argo” momentum is building.
MC: Best Screenplay has to be “Django,” right?
MD: Yesssssss! And QT just dropped a “Peace out!”
MC: I want that on my tombstone. Here lies Clayton. Peace out.
BB: I want pepperoni and sausage on mine.
MD: Do you think QT will ever win for directing or will he just have to take his screenplay Oscars and like it?
MC: I think he could, but it just depends on what he’s up against. Unfortunately, he’s come up against some really great films when he’s been nominated.
BB: They’ll pull a Scorcese/Denzel and give it to him for some later, lesser movie. Because they’re the Academy and that’s their whole bit.
MD: Like a “Herbie the Love Bug” sequel?
MC: Like a “What’s in the briefcase from Pulp Fiction” movie.
MD: So that’s what makes Herbie drive by himself!!!
BB: I like Ang Lee. He seems like a nice guy. BEST DIRECTOR!
MD: It’s looking like “Lincoln” is going to get the shaft.
MC: DDL will win best Actor, right?
MD: Oh yea, that will be the movie’s consolation prize. Also, good on Ang Lee. He makes very pretty movies.
MD: Homestretch bitches! Best Actress time. Don’t sleep on the old French lady here.
MC: YESSSSS!!!!!!! Prepare for an awesome speech! And she falls down on her face.
MD: Boom with the J-LAW!!
MC: Jennifer Lawrence is one actress (of many) I would really like to kick it with. Just hang out. Have some water. Maybe a donut. Talk about life.
MD: Clear the decks for DDL!!
MC: If you’re nominated with Daniel Day-Lewis, you just have to come in thinking that isn’t going to end in a win, right? History shows it’s not going to work out very well.
BB: True story. Also, in a very real sense, every Oscar DDL wins is basically a makeup Oscar, because he’s giving a Best Actor performance every goddamn time he leaves the house.
MD: This was probably the only lock of the night. His speech just so happens to be getting the biggest laughs of the night. DDL also does bar mitzvahs!
MC: “Lincoln, the Musical” would be A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!
BB: Can we talk about how magnificently awkward a literal human pyramid consisting of Spielberg, Tony Kushner, and Abraham Lincoln would be?
MD: Uh-oh. They woke up the king of Hollywood! I’ll be shocked if it’s not “Argo.”
BB: POW! Holycrap! Michelle Obama is growing the bangs out.
MC: Zooey Deschanel thinks her bangs look really, really good.
MD: Well shit they broke out FLOTUS. Maybe “Lincoln” will get the White House mojo.
BB: The woman to her left looks like she’s about to cry. The woman on her right looks incredibly pleased. I think they’re simulating the “Theater!” masks.
MC: Does Nicholson look like Don Rickles tonight?
BB: That’s a terrible thing to say about Don Rickles.
MC: I thought the FLOTUS meant it would be “Lincoln.” Glad it was “Argo” though.
BB: Well I’ll be damned! I haven’t seen “Argo,” but it seemed like the universal consensus was that it was awesome and was gonna get snubbed.
MD: Agreed, I’m totally good with this. Take that Matt Damon! Plus it was a movie about Hollywood saving hostages! Of course, it is going to get votes.
BB: I feel like I’ve almost won because this is nearly over. Hey! K-Chen!
MD: How is this show still not over?
MJC: Will Seth McFarlane host again? I’m thinking no. He was good I thought, but it’s hard to stay interested for four hours. What about Neil Patrick Harris?
BB: I’m torn. I still can’t stand McFarlane, but at the same time, I’m grateful to him for not being Billy Crystal. I would pledge $20 public radio style for an NPH Oscars.
MD: Night, fellas. This was great fun. Thanks for sticking out until the bitter end.
MC: I’m already excited about doing this next year. Or next week. Let’s just watch it again on DVR.
BB: Indeed! Unfortunately, I am now already asleep.
MC: Good night, old men!