Mostly Oscars 2017

Welcome to MostlyFilm’s coverage of the 89th Academy Awards, where in the era of Brexit, Trump and the New England Patriots we are confidently predicting a clean sweep for Hacksaw Ridge.

Not really

Hello again! We’re just popping in early to let you know that our live(-ish) coverage from the red carpet will start here from around 11pm, UK-time, and to provide an update to yesterday’s predictions post, now that we’ve been awake all night watching the rest of the films.

We apologise if you have put a bet on Ennemis intérieurs as winner in the Live Action Shorts category, because while it’s the favourite, it’s not our favourite, so we’d like to retract our selection and instead put in a shout for Timecode, which is completely charming and fits its fifteen-minute length perfectly, unlike the rest of the nominees, all of which are trying to fit a feature-length movie inside a short film’s running time (except for Ennemis intérieurs, which is an underwritten play turned into a film). That said, we will be reasonably happy as long as they don’t give it to Silent Nights, which is both racist and bad.

We are sticking with the rest of our predictions for now, even though we think Denzel might sneak Best Actor at the last minute. And we should also like to formally introduce tonight’s team, so you can tell who’s who when we all start shouting over one another later:

Back for a third year is Clio, who is an hour ahead of the rest of us, so will know all the winners before we do. She says:

“The mixed reception of La La Land proves the old adage about musicals being one of the most divisive of genres, and few films in recent years have had to contend with such high expectations. But if the Academy does reward the film, it will be because – whatever the reservations about the plot, the singing and the dancing – it is an extremely well-crafted movie. The technical performances, from the cinematography and the production design through the costumes and the music – are uniformly top notch. The direction, which holds cinematic history in esteem but is not overawed by it, is likely to be recognised too. And, let’s be honest, Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood. The stars will probably align for La La Land.”

Also returning is resident music expert Victor:

“It’ll probably be La La Land for score although I wish Nocturnal Animals had gotten a nod there.”

And notedly muted diplomat Ricky:

“Anything that La La Land wins is overt approval of a hideous inversion of “feelgood”, where a pair of self-absorbed pissmonkeys allow their badly-drawn inner lives to fail due to a crippling addiction to showing off. Anything that Moonlight wins confirms that stories that just scream about pain, despair, longing, love, identity and hope can be told without shouting at all, and that a couple of blokes standing in a kitchen trying to successfully complete a sentence can be the most riveting thing in the world. Moonlight is the year’s best picture. La La Land is a jingle.”

We have new blood too as MF regular Blake Blacklash joins us for the first time:

“I’m gonna predict Moonlight for Best Picture partly because that’s what I want to win, and partly because it just might, and putting money on the outcome that will make you happy is better for the soul than a safe bet.”

And acting as administrative overseer and chief purveyor of typos will be Laura, who is currently entirely free from original thoughts, and will let poet Claudia Rankine speak for her instead:

“Moonlight is doing something that no other film has ever done. It has humanised poor people, poor black people. It has recognised intimacy between black men, black queer men, and it’s done it in a way that we’ve never seen before. So, similar to Lemonade, it’s a groundbreaking moment, right? So when it wins it will have won for all of the right reasons. If it loses, we will understand that excellence is not the criteria, and we already know that.”

It is, as we noted yesterday, going to be an interesting night, with so many undercurrents at work that it’s possible the whole show will come unmoored and drift off in unexpected directions. Whatever happens, we’ll be here to bring you the latest action, so go and get an afternoon nap in and we’ll see you back here from 11pm, with drinks, snacks and Oscars Bingo cards at the ready.

10:30pm Welcome back! Are you all set? We are starting early because so is the red carpet, and we’re collectively looking our sparkling best (no photos, sorry), though the drinking has started early as we reel from the news that Sting’s song from a film nobody has ever heard of has surged from rank outsider to second favourite at 5-1 over the last few hours, sending How Far I’ll Go out to a distant 14-1. It seems impossible that anybody knows anything, but on the other hand it sort of seems like maybe somebody knows something. We’ll find out in due course. In the meantime we’re preparing our Oscars bingo card, which this year contains the following targets:

  • Ryan Seacrest failing to understand someone else’s joke
  • The return of the Manicam™
  • A nominee bringing a family member as their date
  • Jimmy Kimmel throwing shade at Matt Damon
  • Anyone throwing shade at Trump (go easy on this one, maybe limit it to a sip of Diet Pepsi each time this happens)
  • Camera jumps to a right-wing actor looking pissed off anytime anyone throws shade at Trump
  • President of the Academy Cheryl Boone Isaacs throwing shade at Trump (you can go full tequila here)
  • An awkward moment between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield (in an alternate universe Garfield wins Best Actor and they have to pose together with their statues, but even we aren’t actively hoping for that outcome)
  • Treble points for anyone in the Pantone Colour Of The Year (“Greenery”)
  • Anyone referring to a movie called “Hidden Fences”.
  • Bill Paxton appearing in the Death Montage: raise a toast to the harassed producer and editor who found a still or clip, cleared the rights, and cut it in all in the space of a morning
  • The Adele Dazim Award for the most impressive mangling of a nominee’s name
  • The Annual Samuel L. Jackson Memorial Really Bad Loser Award

The red carpet is just getting going on E!, although Blake us stuck on NowTV, where The Revenant hasn’t finished yet. “In terms of fashion trends, fur is big this year”, he says.

10:34pm Best Supporting Actor candidate Lucas Hedges is on the red carpet with Ryan Seacrest and has shaved his head, presumably to honour the evening’s Nazi theme. “It’s such an honour just to be here”, he says, and then immediately apologises for being wanky. (He didn’t say wanky, we are paraphrasing.)

10:36pm Giuliana Rancic is  critiquing Ryan’s outfit (white tux, black tie) as they both try to fill up the airtime before anything has actually threatened to happen.

“It’s in the fifties here in Hollywood”, Ryan says, though we’re not sure whether he’s referring to the weather or the political climate.

10:42pm Ryan is interviewing Best Actress nominee Ruth Negga, who is in dazzling red and is wearing an ACLU badge. We don’t want to get you drunk too early in proceedings, but we think that technically counts as a Bingo!

10:52 We’re hearing that the show is going to kick off with Justin Timberlake singing his nominated song Can’t Stop The Feeling from Trolls, which is good news because (a) it gets the no-hoper candidate out of the way early and (b) it means Jimmy Kimmel isn’t doing a song-and-dance number.

10:53 Felicity Jones has arrived in a dress exactly the colour of her skin. “The fashion is happening”, announces someone we don’t recognise on E!

10:55 “Rogue One was 2016’s best film about trying to send an email attachment” says Ricky.

10:59 E! have run out of anything to show us, so we’re getting reprises of last year’s red carpet hits. What we’re seeing so far for 2017 is a lot of primary colours, although here is Isabelle Huppert in a very pale mauve. “When you are in every frame it’s all very easy”, she advises Ryan.

Auli’i Cravalho, better-known as Moana, has arrived in a wedding dress, and we remember that we meant to have  a wedding dress bingo.

11:04 Here’s Lin-Manuel!

“Moana saved me every day, in all the craziness while Hamilton was happening”, he says. “Every time it all got too much I’d go sail across the sea with Moana.”

And he’s here with his mum! Bingo! And they are also both wearing ACLU ribbons. DOUBLE BINGO!

And now the cast of Hamilton is serenading him with his nominated song How Far I’ll Go in a live link-up. “I hate you for making me cry before the Oscars”, he says. Everybody loves Lin so hard.

11:05 Ryan is trying to get Gael Garcia Bernal to critique Viggo Mortenson’s red carpet look, but he politely extricates himself.

11:10 Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, he of the backstage mini burgers, is here telling us what he’s cooking up for tonight’s winners, none of whom have eaten in a week. “What about gluten-free options, vegan options?” asks Giuliana. “We’re gonna have wonderful vegan pasta” says Wolfgang, who is wearing a black chef’s jacket. If he didn’t look and sound so disconcertingly like the second-most evil villain in The Burbs we’d totally eat his mini-burgers.

11:12 Viggo Mortenson, who doesn’t look right not covered in mud (GoFugYourself once memorably described him as “the smoking-hot in Lord Of The Rings, problematic in real life Viggo Mortenson”) is in an elegant shade of grey and says he “had a great time” playing dad to six. He then introduces his real-life son, who is “bigger than all six of them put together” (It’s true, he is).

11:16 Wait, Viggo with his son is another bingo!

11:19 Saroo Brierly, subject of Lion and author of the memoir on which it is based, is here with his parents, and all three of them as are adorable as the characters who depict them, though not quite as adorable as Sunny Pawar, who plays the young Saroo and has just showed up on the red carpet wearing green and yellow trainers with his tux.

11:22 Victor advises us that were he to appear on the red carpet he would also be wearing trainers.

“If I was there I would be wearing Crocs” says Ricky. This is not a joke.

11:23 Jackie Chan!

11:24 Sunny Pawar is the only interviewee whom Ryan has ever had to kneel down to reach (this is a lie, he did the same with Jacob Tremblay last year). Ryan praises Sunny’s hair (it is exceptionally good hair) and asks him what he was doing at the Grammys. “I was there for fun” says Sunny. Hard to imagine another answer, really.

11:28 Wee glimpse of Suicide Squad on Sky. That’s enough Suicide Squad for one Oscars, thanks.

11:29 Here’s Sting talking about his song from that film nobody has seen which has suddenly and inexplicably surged ahead in the odds. It turns out, you guys, that the film is a true story about James Foley, a photojournalist kidnapped and killed by ISIS, and now we have to stop being rude about it.

11:32 Emma Roberts is wearing a “sustainable dress”, which sounds good although we are not quite sure what it means. She is reminiscing about seeing her aunt Julia (who she makes sound a hundred and fifty years old) trying on dresses back in the day. Ryan asks her about Scream Queens. “I’m the scaredest person in the world of everything”, she tells him.

11:34pm Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann are here. They have been married for twenty years, which must be a record in Hollywood. Ryan tells them his parents have been married for forty-seven years. “Can you imagine being married for twenty-seven more years?” Judd asks Leslie. “No. Oh my god, no” she says.

11:36 Over on Sky, Alex Zane asks whether by the end of the evening we’ll be “Dancing in the Moonlight”, raising the question of why this seminal song was not used in the film.

11:38 These guys, you guys:


11:41 Alex Zane hair watch: Ian McShane in Deadwood.

11:43 Kirsten Dunst is in black and Ava Duvernay, director of Documentary Feature nominee 13th, is in Miss Havisham grey (better than it sounds). Pharrell, meanwhile, who has deigned to switch his sweatshirt for a tux, is talking about NASA. “I was always a big fan of NASA”, he advises us.

11:47 Hidden Figures’ Taraji P. Henson compliments Ryan on his outfit, which we now realise bears a deep red tie rather than a black one. “I love it when men pop colour” she says, though technically she probably says “color”. “I didn’t know about these women, so I sat at the back in math and science because I didn’t know I could be a mathematician or a scientist. I mean, if I’d known about these women I would probably still be an actress.”

11:50 Ryan says it might be “a big night” for Taraji. Can presenters have big nights? Maybe if they fall over, or Adele Dazeem someone. At least she isn’t likely to mention “Hidden Fences”.

11:51 Andrew Garfield is here with his dad. Bingo!

11:52 Apropos of literally nothing at all, Andrew Garfield explains how his mother would still bake him cookies even if he were in jail for murder. “She might say, I’m a bit disappointed in you for killing all those people”, he admits.

11:53 Karlie Kloss is here. “I hope her middle name isn’t Karen or Katherine” says Victor.

11:54 No it’s OK, it’s Elizabeth.

11:55 “The strength of the competition means there’s barely any category which is a foregone conclusion this Oscar night” says Alex Zane, who has clearly shown up at a different ceremony from the rest of us.

“Getting it wrong from A to Z” points out Ricky.

11:57 “You look handsome, honey” Octavia Spencer tells Ryan, who is still asking women about their clothes before he asks them about their work.

“I want to tell more of these stories. There are a lot more hidden figures, a lot more underrepresented people out there” she adds, to our collective applause.

Midnight Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Biel! He is in black, she is in gold (like an Oscar, the closest Justin will get to one tonight).

00:06 Moonlight is now down to 7-2 for Best Picture.


00:11 Steve Pond has some great red carpet photos, if you need visual evidence of everything we’re telling you.

00:12 Mahershala Ali, all in black, who has a four-day old baby daughter, is probably tireder than he looks.

“I’ve worked with some terrific writers and directors, none better than Barry Jenkins” he says. We are hoping so hard for a final swing towards Moonlight.

00:14 Ryan is talking to Dakota Johnson. “Tell me about Fifty Shades”, he says. She acts surprised.

Janelle Monae! In an outfit that we absolutely can’t begin to describe (“Get a fashion shot!” instructs Ryan) but we will find a photo for you just as soon as we can. In this instance we forgive Ryan (just) for focusing on the dress.

00:20 Yep:


00:21 Dev Patel in a white tux, with his ma. Bingo! Wait, have ALL the Best Actor nominees brought their parents? Where’s Casey? We will drink TWO shots of tequila if he has Ben as his date. Three if it’s Jennifer Garner.

00:27 Ryan is interviewing Scarlett Johanssen, who very evidently doesn’t like him. Her hair is second only to Sunny Pawar’s in the awesome stakes.

Meanwhile back on Sky they are avoiding talking about Elle with Isabelle Huppert by offering her sweets. Whatever it takes, Alex.

Admittedly, Elle is a difficult film to talk about. Here’s Blake:

“If Elle was in English, Huppert would win Best Actress, partly because it’s an amazing performance by an actress who is always good and partly because celebrating Huppert is a way of acknowledging Elle exists without having to celebrate the film itself, which is a trickier prospect. My take is that while there might be lots to take issue with about how (or even if) the film understands (or seeks to understand) what rape is, the depiction of the rape itself is not exploitative. So it might be wrong about rape but it’s not rapey.”

(“Put that on the poster!”)

00:31 Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman have a mutual hair appreciation session which doesn’t extend to Keith Urban, who has a bad soul-patch. (Is there such a thing as a good soul-patch? We think not, but are willing to be persuaded otherwise. Write to us at the usual address.)

00:33 The E! fashion police are up, though sadly this year there is no Kelly Osbourne and the only Kardashian available was Kris Jenner. They like Michelle Williams in black-and-cream and Taraji P. Henson in full va-va-voom mode. If Kourtney were here she’d tell us which colours are unacceptable, but this team seems a little gentler.

00:35 Back on Sky, Alex Zane is desperately filling time by asking trivia questions of his d-list guests. Where does the idea of walking down a red carpet come from? Ancient Greece, apparently.

“I continue to not regret watching the Sky show” says Victor.

00:36 Alicia Vikander is in lace, a theme we are starting to notice this evening. She has a lot of ruffles, which the fashion police refer to as “tiers” because they are fashion people.

00:39 Ryan asks Nicole how being a mother affected her performance as a mother in Lion. “You want to find the things that vibrate deeply from within” she tells him. If you say so, Nic.

00:42 The fashion police are discussing their favourite designers. “I love Zuhair” says Kris Jenner. Casey Affleck has zoo hair, which is close.

And maybe zoo smell.

00:43 And maybe zoo sexual etiquette.

(Hush now.)

00:53 Ryan Gosling is wearing the same suit as everyone else only with wiggly gold spirals on his shirt, but he carries it off with a breezy air of “yes, I do look the best” and is so convincing that we all believe it.

Meanwhile Emma Stone is in gold with no accessories and lots of make-up. “She’s like old Hollywood” says Kris Jenner. She is also a lot like a Best Actress winner.

00:57 The ceremony is due to start in half an hour, so the red carpet moments are tailing off as people make their way indoors to have a pee and make sure they’re not sitting next to Mel Gibson. While we wait we will seek out some good Twitterness for you. Like this.

01:00 And this.

01:02 Naomie Harris is in white, with a slit that makes it look a BIT like she’s wearing a bra and a skirt. But if anybody can pull off that look, she can.

01:03 Dakota Johnson, who doesn’t want to talk about Fifty Shades (and who can blame her? Neither does anyone else) is in yellow-gold Gucci, and one thing we are noticing is a preponderance of high necklines and long sleeves, as though everyone has been asked to dress as Victorian dolls.

01:06 This picture is just as good when it’s not a selfie:


01:10 Ryan is with Denzel Washington. “You starred, you produced, you directed Fences” he says. “Catering…” agrees Denzel.

01:12 Stylist Jason Bolden of the fashion police is enamoured of Janelle Monae’s look, although not to quite the extent he is by Ruth Negga, of whom he says “When I come back evolved to a higher form of human I want to be her”.

01:14 Emma Roberts and Michelle Williams are in almost the same dress.


01:22 ABC have revealed that Casey’s beard is for a job. A bank job, presumably. Alex Zane has not taken the opportunity to provide a similar excuse for his ‘do. Meanwhile the E! fashion police are talking about what the men are wearing (hint: tuxedos).

01:26 Nearly there! And AwardsWatch have tweeted the running order, with both screenplay awards right at the end of the ceremony, ahead of Director, Actors and Picture. What could it mean?


01:28 Alex Zane says “that’s it! The doors of the Dolby are being shut tight!” as if the whole thing is some sort of horrible trap.

01:30 And off we head to the Dolby Theater, where Justin Timberlake is kicking things off by starting his song from the lobby. We’re off!

01:32 The stage backdrop is a sort of art deco cityscape, with a twinkling night sky above it. A city of stars, if you will.

This isn’t a bad song, it just isn’t a winning song.

01:34 Jackie Chan looks unamused, and Keith Urban knows all the words.

OH GOD Justin is making everyone dance and the strained faces (and zips) are a horrible sight. But now it’s done, phew.

01:35 And here is Jimmy Kimmel. “Oh good, I got a sitting ovation” he says. “Awesome!”

“I really hope the other guys from N-Sync were watching that performance, because if they were there’s a really good chance they’re gonna let you back in the band.”

01:36 “This broadcast is being watched by millions of Americans and all over the world by over two hundred countries that all hate us.

“This country is divided and I’m not the man to unite us. There’s only one brave heart in this room…and he’s not the one to unite us either.”

Tight smile from Mel Gibson: BINGO!

01:38 IMMEDIATELY into the Matt Damon shade. BINGO!

“He was a producer on Manchester By The Sea, and he could have played the lead, but instead he gave the part to his childhood friend Casey Affleck and made a Chinese ponytail movie that went on to lose eighty million dollars. That’s generosity.”

01:40 And right on to another BINGO with “I want to say thank you to Donald Trump. Remember a year ago when we thought the Oscars were racist?”

01:41 “To Isabelle Huppert I’d like to say: we didn’t see Elle, but we absolutely loved it.” Jimmy doing a pretty good job so far.

01:44 Standing ovation for Meryl Streep just for being there, presumably based on her perfectly-pitched anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes last month. This does, of course, mean she hasn’t won (but we knew that).

01:46 First award of the night is Best Supporting Actor, which we all hope and expect will go to Mahershala Ali for Moonlight.

Alicia Vikander, presenting, looks very nervous.

01:49 And in the first big non-surprise of the night the Oscar goes to Mahershala Ali! He stops to shake Jeff Bridges’ hand on the way to the stage, and Bridges sort of bows. It is mildly awkward but also kind of sweet.

01:50 What with being four days a new dad, this is turning out to be quite the week for Mahershala.

He’s crying a bit. And he thanks the characters before he thanks his fellow film-makers, which is apt because all three Chirons in Moonlight are versions of its creators Barry Jenkins (who wrote the screenplay) and Tarell Alvin McCraney (who wrote the play on which it was based).

01:55 Jimmy Kimmel calls Moonlight “this big movie that came out of nowhere” and then starts trying to ask Mahershala Ali and Jeff Bridges, who are both in the front row, questions, but they aren’t wearing mics so he swiftly moves on.

Costume, make-up and hair next, and here come Kate McKinnon and Jason Bateman to present the awards. We have called Star Trek Beyond (also a Madness song) for make-up and Jackie for costume.

01:58 But the make-up and hairstyling award goes to Suicide Squad! None of us has seen this, so we have nothing to say.

(“At least we can say Suicide Squad’s award was made up” says Ricky.)

02:00 Now Giorgio Gregorini, one of the winners, is talking about his dead wife and gets physically pushed off the stage when he overruns his time. Bad show, Oscars!

Costumes now.

02:01 The Oscar goes to Fantastic Beasts! This is the fourth Oscar for Colleen Atwood. And even the Academy wasn’t expecting it, as she was sitting outside the theater.

“Obviously I haven’t prepared anything” she says.

02:08 After an ad/pee break, we come back to the theater with Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson who are here to present the award for Documentary Feature, which we all think will go to OJ: Made In America.

Oh! But before that, here is Katherine Johnson, the real-life character Taraji plays in Hidden Figures, and  we have our second (?) standing ovation of the night.

02:11 Biggest cheers for Ava Duvernay’s 13th, but the Oscar goes to OJ: Made in America.

Ezra Edelman dedicates the award to “two people who can’t be here tonight: Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown”. Good.

02:15 Dwayne Johnson introduces Auli’i Carvlho and Lin-Manuel Miranda to perform How Far I’ll Go.

02:17 The prologue could, we’ll be charitable, have been dropped, although we guess everyone wanted to see Lin. But Auli’i is good, although the staging is a leetle bit Cirque du Soleil and (at least from our sofas) the sound isn’t brilliant.

02:22 It’s another ad break. While so far we have only correctly predicted 50% of the winners, we are a bit excited at the notion that it might all go off-script.

02:23 Jimmy Kimmel introduces Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy, for her annual speech. Tequila at the ready!

Meanwhile over on Sky the panel have murdered Alex Zane and are now splitting the hosting duties between themselves.

02:26 A very political speech, but no direct mention of the current administration, so no tequila for you, sorry.

A propos of seemingly nothing, bags of sweets float down from the ceiling. This seems unfair to nominees who still have several hours before they can get out of their clothes.

Next up: Sound Editing (we are going for Arrival) and Mixing (La La Land).

02:28 The Oscar for Sound Editing goes to Arrival! And we are both pleased AND pleased with ourselves.

02:30 Sound Mixing goes to Hacksaw Ridge and Kevin O’Connell, who wins his first Oscar after 21 nominations, and gives an adorably overwhelmed speech about his wife and kids, then spoils it by thanking Mel Gibson (we guess he has to do that).

02:32 Coming up next is Best Supporting Actress, so we hope Viola Davis hasn’t nipped out for a pee.

02:34 Point of information: La La Land has now lost in too many categories to equal Titanic and Ben Hur for the most Oscars ever.

02:26 Alex Zane is talking about Viola Davis. “The actress and the part she plays almost become indecipherable from one another” he says, in an admirable mangling of the English language.

02:38 Vince Vaughan is here, doing the honorary Oscars bit that we never understand or pay attention to. Feel free to make a cup of tea.

02:41 Now it’s Mark Rylance, last year’s Best Supporting Actor, who introduces the next category by wondering whether it would be better called “Best Opposing Actress”. Women, he goes on to say, “seem to be better than men at opposing without hatred”, which is beautifully-put.

We can’t imagine anybody but Viola will go home with this, and we saw her earlier looking AMAZING so we’re (a) keen to look at her again and (b) even keener to see what she will say when she gets up there.

Although looking again at the clips they’ve chosen, these are all terrific performances.

02:45 The Oscar goes to Viola Davis! Another standing ovation, and genuine joy coming from the other nominees (though, we suppose they are all good at acting).

Viola’s speech is heartfelt and long (she does not get Orchestra-ed off, nor manhandled away from the mic), but does not contain anything to surprise us. She cries a bit. She should, of course, have been Best Actress.

02:52 Viola only needs a G for the EGOT now. Let’s have her sing something. Although you can get a Grammy for talking, right? And she’s pretty good at that.

“Viola Davis just got nominated for an Emmy for that speech”, says Jimmy Kimmel.

After saying that she wouldn’t recommend Moonlight to her mum, Rachel Riley on Sky has now said about Fences that she “didn’t see the characters as real people”. Something you want to tell us, Rachel?

02:56: Here to present the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film are Charlize Theron and Shirley McLaine, who gets the “she’s still alive” standing ovation.

“That’s the nicest reception I’ve had in two hundred and fifty thousand years, thank you” she says.

02:58: We haven’t seen everything in this category but we’re predicting a win for The Salesman.


“The Salesman follows the Farhadi template perfectly (bad things happen to good people, who then go on to do bad things). Good acting and sympathetic characters couldn’t quite overcome the suspicion that this is sort of a retread of A Separation. If it does win at the Oscars, we will have Donald Trump to thank for it.”

And the Oscar goes to The Salesman by Asghar Farhadi, who of course isn’t here due to the immigration ban. His statement, read out on stage, regarding “the inhumane law that bans immigrants from the US” gets enthusiastic, if not rapturous, applause.

03:00 Here’s Dev Patel to introduce Sting singing The Empty Chair from Jim: The James Foley Story, the third of tonight’s nominees in the Original Song category. They’re obviously saving the La La Land duo for last.

03:04 Next up are the Animated Short and Animated Feature categories. In the former we think Pixar’s Disney Does Attenborough effort Piper will take it, and for the latter we think Zootopia, though Kubo And The Two Strings and Moana are also in with a chance.

03:08 Presenting both awards are Gael Garcia Bernal and Hailee Steinfeld, who is wearing a dress almost exactly like the one Crystal Barbie used to wear.

Animated Short goes to Piper!

03:11 Gael Garcia Bernal speaks up against division, in a very vague way, and gets a sort of standing ovation for it.

And the winner in Animated Feature is Zootopia. The Academy agrees with us again!

Another ever-so-slightly political message about the power of tolerance. It’s like nobody can quite ignore the elephant in the room, but nobody is quite ready to confront it.

03:14 Production Design next, where we have predicted La La Land.

And the Oscar goes to La La Land – its first win of the night.

03:18 Emma Stone’s date is her brother. Bingo!

We are mostly ignoring a peculiar segment where a bunch of tourists have been brought inside the Dolby theater and are standing uncomfortably between the stage and the front row, being made to look awkward and gauche. The idea is sweet, the execution less so.

Jennifer Aniston has just given her sunglasses to a random woman, having been basically bullied into it by Jimmy Kimmel.

Maybe it’s a political balance thing, like they thought dragging a bunch of tourists off a bus was the only way to get some Trump voters into the theatre.

03:30 Pointless but appealing segment on how cinema is a universal language. And now here are Riz Ahmed and Felicity Jones to introduce the VFX category, where we have gone against the prevailing wisdom and plumped for The Jungle Book.

The Oscar goes to The Jungle Book!

After all, the whole film was one big special effect.

03:25 Eleven Oscars awarded so far, to eleven different films. Whatever this is, it isn’t a clean sweep.

03:34 The Delorean (and Michael J. Fox and Seth Rogen) are onstage to present the Film Editing award. We think La La Land, still, just.

“I know none of that applause was for me” says Seth.

03:37 But the Oscar goes to Hacksaw Ridge! Which currently has more Oscars than anything else does. Oh god, please don’t let our comedy prediction earlier come true, we couldn’t bear it.

03:45 Salma Hayek and David Oleyowo are here to present the Documentary Short award, which is still pretty wide open: we are going for Watani: My Homeland.

The Oscar goes to White Helmets, another Syria-based short film. The makers read a statement from the leader of the White Helmets, then ask for a standing ovation on their behalf – and receive one, but that was a bit awkward.

03:47 And now Live Action Short, where we loved Timecode, and if the Academy is going to stick with being determinedly non-political there’s no reason it shouldn’t win.

And the Oscar goes to Sing, which we also liked (and is also determinedly non-political). It takes the winners a while to get to the stage, because they too started out in the parking lot.

03:50 Jimmy Kimmel is now tweeting Donald Trump. It’s still very gentle stuff, though, under the circumstances.

Now he introduces John Cho and Leslie Mann, to talk about the Oscars that nobody cares about (not the honorary ones, the super-technical ones.)

“The Sci-Tech Awards Ceremony is so prestigious that none of you were invited” says Leslie.

(Actually they have made this segment more interesting than it usually is.)

03:55 The later it gets, the more frequent and longer the ad breaks get. We presume this is to do with a combination of an increasing need to comfort breaks and the amount of money that ad slots at this point can command.

Next up is Cinematography, where we would love a win for Moonlight. Meryl Streep and Javier Bardem are here to present.

04:00 The Oscar goes to La La Land, which has now caught up with Hacksaw Ridge on two Oscars each.

04:02 We’re into the last hour! And we have a special Oscars edition of Mean Tweets, where Jimmy Kimmel has famous people read out mean tweets about them. Our favourite so far: “Miles Teller has the face of a guy who requests Gangnam Style at a wedding where he doesn’t know the bride or the groom”

04:04 The final musical performance of the night (we think) is going to be John Legend with a double-bill of La La Land’s City Of Stars and Audition Song, and here are Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone to introduce him.

He has a much jazzier set than Auli’i did. It might be recreating the film’s poster.

04:07 The sound balance is also magically better now than it was earlier. JUST FANCY THAT. And next up are both musical categories!

04:10 We’ve also just noticed that there’s been no intro to all the Best Picture nominees this year, or if there is it hasn’t been interspersed through the evening the way it usually is.

What’s happened to the real Oscars? WHERE IS TOM HANKS?

04:11 Alex Zane keeps trying to get his guests to sing along to City Of Stars with him. Third attempt now.

04:12 Matt Damon trips Jimmy Kimmel up as he passes him in the aisle. We didn’t have it that way round on the bingo card but hey, have a drink anyway.

It’s Samuel L. Jackson, in blue velvet. The fabric, not the film. He is played on with – what else – Misirlu and is now introducing the nominees for Original Score. Do we still think La La Land? We think we still think La La Land.

04:15 And the Oscar goes to La La Land!

04:16 After a short-and-sweet speech from Justin Hurwitz, it’s Scar-Jo to present the Oscar for Best Original Song. We felt super-good about How Far I’ll Go earlier, but after the peculiar shifting of the odds and the vastly superior staging of the La La Land numbers, we now have no idea.

04:18 The Oscar goes to the favourite (just), City Of Stars. Justin Hurwitz has only just sat back down and he has to get up again.

Does that mean Ryan Gosling sort of has an Oscar?

04:20 Memories plays as Jennifer Aniston comes on, which means it’s time for the Montage Of The Dead. Just in case anyone had forgotten how shitty 2016 was, here’s a reminder.

Sara Bareilles is playing Barbra Streisand this year, and gives us a spirited, if slightly John Lewis-y, rendition of From Both Sides, Now.

04:26 Traditional pause during the ad break as we all go to check Twitter to find out whose omission from the Montage of the Dead is causing outrage.

(They could have included Nate Parker’s career.)

04:27 The screenplay awards are up next. Manchester By The Sea still looks hopeful for Original and we’re still holding out for a second win for Moonlight in Adapted.

04:29 Another Matt Damon moment, if anyone needs another drink (who needs a drink at 4.30am? What’s wrong with you?)

“And now to present the award for Best Original Screenplay it’s Ben Affleck, and guest.”

Jimmy Kimmel is now conducting the orchestra (you know, sort of). As Damon starts to speak, he is orchestra-ed off. This is actually, even though it’s been a bit laboured, quite a good joke.

04:32 The Oscar goes to Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester By The Sea! Phew. We hope he has a good speech.

“Thank you Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck.” And a bunch of other people. It’s another short, sweet, unremarkable speech.


04:33 “Please welcome four times Oscar nominee Amy Adams”. Don’t rub it in!

Come on, give it to Moonlight. Although as Matt gave the Oscar to Kenny Lonergan, does Amy presenting mean this will go to Arrival?

More love in the room for Moonlight than any of the others.

04:34 The Oscar goes to Moonlight, and there is dancing at MF towers.

Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney manage a more political speech than we’ve heard so far. Just the four big awards to go now. Stay awake!

04:38 More free food (cookies and doughnuts) and Keith Urban is delighted. Perhaps he doesn’t get to eat much at home.

Next up is Directing, and we would LOVE Barry Jenkins to win this too, although at this stage we’d also be happy with bookies’ favourite Damien Chazelle, just as long as the prize doesn’t get anywhere near Mel Gibson.

04:41 Here’s Blake:

“I think this will be a year that Best Director and Best Picture go to different films. I’m not at all sure whether that means Barry Jenkins or Damien Chazelle will win.

Up until now no-one ever, really, lost money overestimating the conservative inclinations of Oscar voters. So if past behaviour is the best predictor La La Land will win Best Picture. It is ‘great’ in the way Oscar voters understand greatness: big, technically impressive, conscious of movie history and with the kind of direction that foregrounds its own impressiveness. Whatever bits of films you worked on to get you into the Academy you can look at La La Land and see it as exemplifying a technical competence in the field you know best.

But this is a new lot of voters. Bringing younger and more diverse voters into the Academy has already made a difference to kind of films that got nominated and, until this year’s ceremony is over I’m not sure whether we know or not if it will make a difference to who wins.”

04:42 Best Director is Damien Chazelle, though Halle Berry pronounces it “Chazeel”. Drink!

At 32 he is the youngest ever Best Director winner. He does not go full Adrien Brody and go in for the smooch, sadly.

04:46 Actor next, and Rachel Riley says she will “throw something at the screen” if Denzel wins, and wants a win for Casey Affleck. That’s this Casey Affleck. Who almost certainly will win, but that doesn’t mean we need to be happy about it. We would like Rachel Riley disinvited for next year, please, Sky!

Ryan’s clip is just him being annoying about jazz. There go his chances (as though he had any).

04:51 It’s Casey, of course. And another first, we think – first two brothers to win in different categories (Ben has Best Picture for Argo as well as Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting).

04:55 And now Leo glides in to tell us about Best Actress. These are five great performances, in very different ways, but this can’t go any other than Emma Stone’s way. Although Meryl gets the best clip.

04:58 The Oscar goes to Emma Stone, of course, and Meryl looks genuinely delighted and Ruth Negga immediately gets up to give her a standing ovation.

She tells “Meryl, Isabelle, Ruth” how honoured she is to be nominated with them. She leaves out Natalie, but since Natalie isn’t present we decide this is to do with who is in the room, and not a deliberate snub.

There is nothing political, or even interesting or even funny in Emma’s speech. We wanted so much more from you, Hollywood!

05:01 Just Best Picture to go now. It’s probably still La La Land, but we (well, some of us) are hoping so hard it hurts for a Moonlight upset. Although nothing else interesting or unexpected has happened, so it seems unlikely.

So far the tally is six for La La Land and two each for Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight.

05:04 Here are Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to present Best Picture. Beatty gets a bit political; not very. It’s like everyone has been told not to make any trouble AND is obeying the instruction.

05:08 Seeing these clips reminds us that it’s (mostly) a really terrific pool of candidates this year, and we should be grateful for that, even if our favourites don’t take home every prize going.

05:09 And Best Picture goes to La La Land, which with its final tally of seven wins from fourteen nominations has actually done less well than everyone was expecting. Hey, at least it wasn’t Hacksaw Ridge!

05:12 HOLY SHIT, they have just announced that Warren Beatty read out the wrong winner and Best Picture has gone to Moonlight.

Massive confusion on stage, but La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz grabs the envelope from Warren Beatty and shows it to the cameras to confirm that Moonlight is the winner. With everybody else running around like headliess chickens, he has just made the only classy and decisive move of the last five minutes.

The most boring Oscars in recent history has just become the most interesting Oscars ever! Although we feel pretty awful for everyone involved, because they had all prepared themselves for every eventuality – except for this one.

05:14 A confused but enthusiastic audience reception for an equally confused set of acceptance speeches from the makers of Moonlight. Meanwhile Warren Beatty wants the people to know “I was not doing a comedy old man bit” (he seems to have somehow gotten hold of the wrong envelope) and Jimmy Kimmel is blaming himself for the confusion, we’re not sure why.

The La La Land team, to their credit, were amazingly gracious under excruciating circumstances.


“What made that extra surreal was when it was LLL that was exactly what I expected and I was like well that’s what happens in the world, this is what it’s been leading up to. It was the closet thing to experiencing what its like to live jump into an alternate timeline or parallel universe.”

05:19 That was amazing, and not just because some of us won some money. It’s also a way to make sure that the Oscars get even more coverage than usual. And to cement the reputations of La La Land and Moonlight in the collective memory in completely different ways from what we were expecting.

Alex Zane points out that John Travolta will be happy to no longer be the star of the most embarrassing Oscars mistake in recent history.

We are also wondering how many people turned off right after the La La Land announcement, and have gone to bed thinking it won.

05:25 We should all be off to bed (or the Governors’ Ball, we can’t remember which), but haven’t quite regained our composure yet.

That was nearly a disappointingly unmemorable Oscars – and we still wish it hadn’t been quite so timid and fluffy – but that final moment will stay with us for a long time (and we are a bit worried that from now on, every time we encounter an expected disappointment, we will then hope for a last-minute change of reality).

Still, we’re glad we stayed awake, and we’ll leave you with this, from Joe Posanski:



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