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The Annual Beside the Queue Oscars Live-Blogging Extravaganza

It’s Oscar night and despite my frustrations and disagreements with the Academy concerning some of the nominations – or lack thereof – I still love the Oscars. I love tonight because its all about celebrating movies, which I’m all for!

So throughout the ceremony and festivity, I’ll be live-blogging my thoughts, observations and various other notes. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section (I’m always up for a good argument when the moment is right!).

The ceremony begins at 8:30 pm ET, and is on ABC.

OSCAR NIGHT LIVE-BLOGGING:

— First of all, as the preview show is now on ABC, I’d like to point out that Kate Winslet and Amy Adams – two of my favorite actresses – both look amazing. I’m no fashion expert (ha!) but that dress Winslet is wearing is very pretty, really classy. Here’s to hoping she wins tonight!

— You can see my predictions for what will happen tonight at Into the Hill.

— One of the big questions about the show tonight is doubtless how Hugh Jackman will handle being the host.

— Thoughts on the stage, etc? Classy? No? What do you think?

— Well, the opening number was a bit self serving but pretty funny all the same. For the same reasons that films like Slumdog and The Wrestler were so beloved. That is, in a time of economic struggle and depression, people have been drawn to tales of the downtrodden and the hurting, the underdog, if you will. So, its clear that the Awards are trying to scale back and appeal to the many hurting Americans. And while the opening number was scaled back in terms of money, that set sure seems a little overdone.

— My hope and my prediction is that Viola Davis will win this best supporting actress award. That being said, i think this is the strongest category this year and I won’t be disappointed if any of them win.

— Congratulations to Penelope Cruz. Her performance in Vicky Cristina is dynamic and moving. A worthy choice.

— Favorite presentation I’ve seen in a long time. However, come on. Least favorite choice. In Bruges should have won! It was a fabulous combination of the profane and the life-giving.

— Chalk one up for Slumdog Millionaire. The first of many to come, I’m sure.

— Congratulations to Wall-E! The Academy got one right! What a great film and a great choice!

— I vote Revolutionary Road, but can’t argue with that choice.

— The Academy may have failed this year, but I’m loving these sets!

The Duchess was a favorite just for those crazy hats. No surprise there.

— It’s impossible to go wrong here for Make-up. All three nominations were fantastic, but it looks like its shaping up to be a good night for The Curious Case, at least in some of these secondary categories.

— The show tonight is making excellent use of montages – sometimes the show is just dull, in between the speeches and bad jokes, but tonight they’re doing a fine job maintaining interest and truly celebrating film. That being said, I’d have loved to see some more indie, less mainstraim films featured in a montage or two.

— Yikes. This whole making-fun-of-Jouaquin Phoenix thing is getting old. I still vote Revolutionary Road for cinematography. How was it not nominated! Roger Deakins work was the best of the year.

— The Apatow short fell a bit short in the end, but hey, it was worth a laugh or too.

— Wow, that ode to the musical was a Baz Luhrman number. Well, hey, that gives me a chance to mention how much I loved his film this year, Australia. See it, sorely underrated.

— Nice moment in honor of Heath Ledger – and he certainly deserved that award. He didn’t win because he died, he won because it was the best supporting performance of the year.

— No surprise for Documentary. Man on Wire was the most seen doc. this year and that certainly helped it. Oh, and the person you saw giving that speech? Same guy you’ll see in the movie should you watch it.

— More awards for Slumdog and The Dark Knight, this time for sound mixing and sound editing. I really love how joyful the directors and big name actors are when a lesser known person from his crew wins and award. Film truly is collaborative and these people are aware of that.

— More for Slumdog, this time for editing. Sure looks like their night.

— Nice, concise, heartwarming speech from Jerry Lewis. A good award but one that they thankfully avoided making overly sentimental.

— No surprise on original score. Slumdog wins again. Gotta wonder if this signals a clean sweep or a major upset in the best picture category.

— Another win for Slumdog. I think that’s five. This time for original song. Should have been Springsteen’s The Wrestler!

— This is turning into a Slumdog lovefest. ‘Eh. There were so many much better movies last year.

— Wow, big upset with The Departures taking best foreign film. Haven’t seen it and I suspect most critics haven’t.

— Nice montage celebrating the people in the industry who passed away this year accompanied by a stirring rendition of “I’ll Be Seeing You” performed by Queen Latifah.

— Best Director award coming up…..

expect Danny Boyle….

and…

the Oscar goes to….

Boyle. Slumdog again. It’s their night.

— Well, we can only have one of the last three awards go to someone from Slumdog. Go Kate!

— Okay, here is actress. I’m hoping for Kate, but Hathaway was amazing in Rachel Getting Married as well and of course the other women were fabulous as well.

— It goes too…..

KATE WINSLET!

— She should have been nominated for her work on Revolutionary Road, but this is a great choice.

— Her speech was very Kate Winslet. A bit long, very totally emotional and heartfelt. She is someone who is truly happy and moved to win the award. She is classy and appreciates the meaning of the award.

— Now up: Actor. I vote for Langella, but expect Penn or Rourke. Jenkins was fantastic in The Visitor as well. Pitt is the longest shot.

It goes to Penn.

— He begins his speech: “you commie, homo loving sons of guns…”

— Next up, best film! Steven Spielberg presenting….

It’ll be the biggest shock of all if Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t win.

– The winner is….

Slumdog Millionaire.

– Congrats to Boyle and co.

– Well, that’s all for tonight. Congratulations to all of the winners and all of the nominations! I’ll be back tomorrow with some further thoughts on the broadcast and on the various awards.

HERE’S TO A GREAT YEAR OF FILM IN 2009!

And be sure to check out the many less heralded movies that were excellent example of top flight artistry!

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