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Online Oscar Party

Oscar statuettes.
Oscar statuettes. (By Paul Hawthorne -- Getty Images)

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Jen Chaney, With Special Guest Liz Kelly
washingtonpost.com Movies Editor, Celebritology Blogger
Sunday, February 24, 2008; 6:00 PM

Don't watch the Academy Awards alone. Spend Oscar night on washingtonpost.com.

For the fifth year, Jen Chaney -- washingtonpost.com's movies editor -- hosted a live discussion during the red carpet and Oscar telecast, beginning Sunday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. ET.

This year Jen welcomed special guest Liz Kelly, Celebritology blogger and fellow partner in "Lost" blogging crime, who participated in the red carpet portion of the evening. Jen continued chatting for the duration of the Oscar telecast.

We cannot promise there will be blood during the discussion. But there will undoubtedly be snarkiness.

A transcript follows.

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Jen Chaney: The strike got settled. The stars are showing up. And Oscar night is here.

I can't believe this is the fifth year of this discussion. I still remember when it was just a baby. (This discussion's first words? Cate Blanchett.) They really do grow up fast.

As always, we'll be making pointed observations about what's happening on the red carpet, sharing picks in various Oscar categories and doing spur-of-the-moment analysis of the winners and losers. Because this is such a special night, Liz Kelly -- washingtonpost.com's Celebritologist extraordinaire and my partner in "Lost" blogging -- will join me during the red carpet part of the proceedings. And believe me, she's got plenty to say about Ryan Seacrest.

By the way, throughout the night, I will add up the number of times the phrase "I drink your milkshake" is used, both during the telecast and in this discussion. A caveat: You can't just toss the phrase around haphazardly. It must be used to convey a. that someone is robbing another of something (as it's used in "There Will Be Blood") or b. that you admire someone else. As in, "Wow, I would totally drink George Clooney's milkshake." Consider it an Oscar night challenge.

That said, Liz, shall we activate our wonder-twin Oscar powers?

Liz Kelly: Let's do. And thanks, Jen, for welcoming me into the fold. While Jen is busy prognosticating the awards, my main purpose will be to point and laugh at the unfortunate outfits.

And, first, let me just say that Ryan Seacrest (for those watching E!) is wearing a valet's uniform.

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Centreville, Va.: Yay! The strike is over! Yay! Jen's Oscar chat is back! As a Chatological and Celebritological chatter, let me also welcome the esteemed Liz to the chat.

Since I'm submitting early, there's nothing to snark on yet, but I have a question: This will be my first year watching the O-telecast in HD. Am I going to be shocked or thrilled?

Jen Chaney: Oh, you will be thrilled beyond your wildest imaginings. Everything is better in high-definition. And the Oscars sparkles that much more on a super-duper TV.

You'll see Jon Stewart in a way you never have before.

Liz Kelly: And, remember, Nicole Kidman -- she can't use the Botox because of her "condition." I'm watching on my normal old Sony WEGA -- so you'll have to give us the HD report.

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Ellen Page: Do you think she'll go all Juno-esque or glam it up? I'm not the biggest "Juno" fan, (it was fine, but I nearly OD'ed on cute in the first 20 minutes) but think she's adorable. I hope she has a competent stylist and doesn't end up in a Gwynnie-like pink prom dress.

Liz Kelly: My guess is she'll glam it up, but not come out looking like the typical cookie-cutter starlet. She's one of Barbara Walters's guests on tonight's pre-Oscar special, so she isn't totally mainstream averse. After all, she's an actress trying to make her way in this town and needs to try to parlay her "Juno" buzz into a real future.

Jen Chaney: Agreed, I think she'll go alterna-glam. Chic but a little quirky. Diablo Cody? She'll be pure alternative, maybe less glam.

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Washington, D.C.: Why do you think the Academy chose not to nominate "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days"?

Jen Chaney: This was clearly an oversight and a huge controversy, as Ann Hornaday mentioned in this article. As Ann implies, I think many of those voting are on the older side, and probably didn't care for the movie's subject matter. I don't mean to bust on older folks as a whole. There are certainly plenty of them who are very open-minded in their tastes. But I think some of the crustier ones sometimes dominate the votes, an issue for the Oscars in many categories, not just Foreign Language Film.

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Waterbury, Conn.: Don't you think "Juno" is overrated? I thought the dialogue was so distracting!

Jen Chaney: I have to say, in the first scene I was afraid the dialogue would distract me. All of Rainn Wilson's lines -- "doodle that can't be undid, etc." -- fell in the distracting category. But I thought the movie got better and moved beyond the dialogue, which is a little much at certain points.

I also think Ellen Page is a huge reason why that movie works. She makes you believe that she actually talks like that, which a lot of young actresses could not have pulled off.

Liz Kelly: I have to agree with Jen. The first few minutes had me a bit worried that "Juno" was perhaps a little too cute, but that impression quickly lifted for me, too.

And Ellen Page is totally why this movie worked. She carried the whole thing on her shoulders -- though the entire cast was fabulous.

The one I'll be watching in the next year or two is screenwriter Diablo Cody, who has been lauded as the next big thing. Has she got what it takes to go the distance or is she a flash in the pan?

Jen Chaney: Totally agreed. I don't think we'll know until we see Cody's next film. She's become so big, so quickly without many traditional credentials. Will she rise to the challenge or flame out? We shall see.

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Akron, Ohio: How much will the actors pay to go to the dinner by Mr. Puck? Who gets the money?

Liz Kelly: Akron, I could be totally wrong and often am, but I'm not sure the actors pay anything extra to attend the Governor's Ball following the ceremony. It's put on by the Academy.

BTW, for you non-E! watchers Kimora Lee Simmons is now on screen talking up her "million dollar" hair bling.

Liz Kelly: Oh, and she just called Ellen Page a "plain Jane."

Jen Chaney: Liz is correct. As far as I know, they do not pay to go to the Ball.

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Washington, D.C. : I have only seen a few nominated movies ("Juno," "Atonement" and "Ratatouille," of course) but I'm dying for a Diablo Cody speech for Best Original Screenplay! She strikes me as particularly hilarious.

Jen Chaney: Yes, I think that speech will be interesting. She seems like someone who will be spontaneous and speak her mind, a rarity (sadly) at the Oscars in recent years.

Cody is my pick to win Original Screenplay, by the way.

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Flyover, IN: Okay ladies. Who are you wearing? What are you noshing on? And most important, which channel are you viewing?

Liz Kelly: Dream: Marc Jacobs.
Reality: A big warm sweater, 7 for All Mankind Jeans and my wool slippers.

Dream: Vegetarian sushi.
Reality: Kale and carrots and, soon, chocolate.

Dream: A close-circuit feed from the Kodak Theater Restrooms (cuz you know that's where the real action is).
Reality: E! then, of course, ABC.

Jen Chaney: Dream: Reem Acra.
Reality: Fuzzy socks, pants that are way too big (thank YOU baby weight that went away) and a sweater from Lord & Taylor.

Dream: A steak topped with blue cheese and a big ol glass of Zinfandel.
Reality: Nothing. I am starving.

Dream: I wouldn't be viewing a channel. I'd be watching via my own personal Clooney cam, as his date for the evening.
Reality: I've got E! on the HD set, will check TV Guide soon and eventually switch to ABC and Regis.

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Flyover, IN: Uh oh, Joey Fatone! He just mentioned that TV Guide channel has an overhead cleavage cam.

Jen Chaney: Oy. I will have to check this out. After the Grammy red carpet, I am more than a little frightened.

Liz Kelly: I'm kind of scared of Lisa Rinna's lips, personally.

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Washington, D.C.: I saw "No Country for Old Men" last night and could barely watch any of it -- so much violence! "Juno" was cute, and I didn't see the other two movies. "Michael Clayton," however, was a superb film, well acted (George Clooney hubba hubba) and modern, with the environmental twist. Am I the only one who thinks "Michael Clayton" has been overlooked this year?

Jen Chaney: I found "No Country" tough to watch at times, more because of tension than the violence. When you think about it, a lot of the stuff isn't shown explicitly. It's more psychological.

I feel like "Clayton" has gotten a decent amount of attention, including several Oscar nods. Seems like it's best shot at a win tonight is Tilda Swinton, though.

Personally, I would pick "There Will Be Blood" for Best Picture. It really polarizes people, but I thought it was thought-provoking, epic, beautifully shot and riveting. I admired all of the nominees, but I have to say, there wasn't a film that I felt really passionately about. I thought many were well done but I wasn't in love, head over heels, with anything, perhaps because they all are on the dark side. (Not to quote John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.)

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OMG: I just have to tell you how happy I am to be chatting with you two ladies on a weekend! I totally drink your milkshake during the week's chats -- this is a super bonus!

I have seen none of the Oscar movies, sadly. But I saw "Charlie Bartlett" on Friday night -- it was really good!

Liz Kelly: Well, if you tire of the ceremony tonight you can pop over to OnDemand to watch "Michael Clayton."

Heidi Klum just told Ryan Seacrest she's not wearing any panties.

Also, a little intel -- Angelina Jolie is not expected at tonight's show, but she did turn out for last night's Spirit Awards sporting a pretty obvious baby bump.

Jen Chaney: Yes, I rewound my Tivo last night while watching the Spirits to see the bump for myself. The image they just showed on E! seems to confirm. Not that we couldn't tell she was pregnant after the SAGs, when she showed up wearing a pup tent. (A pretty tent, but let's face it, a tent.)

We are super-happy to have you with us. I saw "Charlie Bartlett" too and didn't love it as much. Felt a little "been there done that" to me. I did like Robert Downey, but that's always a given.

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Liz Kelly: Here's a look at a small sampling from the Governors Ball:

Mini Kobe Burgers on Brioche with Sweet Pickles, Tuna Tartare with Wasabi Aioli on Togarashi Toast, and Chef Sherry Yard’s gold-dusted chocolate Oscars.

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Norfolk, Va.: I am having a heck of a time picking between Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Casey Affleck. Both performances were simply amazing, but with Hoffman's body of work it is hard NOT to pull for him. But Affleck's performance was so unexpected, and he inhabited Robert Ford so completely, that he is deserving as well. What do you think will happen in this category?

Jen Chaney: I have picked Javier Bardem because he seems to be the favorite. I loved both of those performances, too. But actually, I really want Hal Holbrook to win. He's the oldest male Oscar nominee in history and he is AMAZING in "Into the Wild." He turned that movie around in many ways for me.

Supporting Actor is the toughest category this year, I think. Tom Wilkinson was quite strong, too.

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middle of nys: Having a 5-year-old, I'm not up to date on movies nominated by the Oscars, after the show I plan on making my must-see movie list. What should I add to it not to disappoint?

Jen Chaney: I actually think all the Best Picture noms are must-sees. I would add "Into the Wild," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "The Savages" -- one of my absolute favorites from last year -- to that list.

Liz Kelly: I would have to add "La Vie En Rose" to that list. Talk about a biopic. It managed to capture the sweep of Edith Piaf's life without feeling like an episode of "Biography." And Marion Cotillard just rocked. Well, as much as you can rock when you're lip-synching French pop standards.

Jen Chaney: Good call, Liz. I have predicted Cotillard as an upset for Best Actress. She was indeed tremendous.

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Falls Church, Va.: I LOVE Heidi Klum. Her dress is the bomb.

awwww Clooney's date is sweet looking.

Liz Kelly: Heidi did look good. As did hubby Seal.

Jen Chaney: Sweet, shmeet.

No, I'm sure she is lovely. I just have to hate her, you know, in principle.

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Centreville, HD: Ah, good point about Jon Stewart, Jen. I know he was pretty much panned by the Hollywood and WaPo (coughShalescough) old farts, but I looove him and thought he was very entertaining. I hope he had enough time to put together a good show.

Will Heath Ledger get his own "In Memoriam" segment? Otherwise, he'll totally upstage all the other dead folks. (I don't mean to sound flip about this. It's a terrible loss, but it must also be a touchy subject for the producers.)

Liz Kelly: I can't imagine that Heath wouldn't be included in the main "those we lost" montage. His segment may be a bit longer or emphasized in some way, but I think it would almost be disrespectful to the rest if he was somehow singled out.

Jen Chaney: Yes, Heath will get a little extra attention, I'd imagine. Still cannot believe he is dead. Cate Blanchett and Todd Haynes both mentioned him in their Spirit acceptance speeches.

I hope Stewart barely prepared. I'd prefer to hear him unscripted. Makes it more interesting.

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Heidi: said she wasn't wearing a bra, but was wearing panties.

Liz Kelly: Bra, panties -- who can keep track?

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Virginia Beach, Va.: Jan, I know how you feel when you are discussing Clooney's date. I have always liked Paul Bettany a lot, but since he married Jennifer Connelly (who is arguably the most beautiful actress of the last 50 years) I feel I must dislike, or at least resent him, simply on principle. The bugger.

Jen Chaney: Ah, envy. It does ugly things to use, doesn't it?

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Flyover, Ind.: Clooney's date is wearing my grandmother's couch. I thought she had access to his credit card. Where does she shop? Marlo Furniture?

Jen Chaney: Oh, snap! I didn't think it looked that bad, but the color is a little on the Nana's Tablecloth side. I need to take a closer look at it.

Liz Kelly: I think we can safely say she can wear a burlap sack and look better than most of us.

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Flyover, In: Ladies, you look wonderful in your fantasy outfits. Joan Rivers would be proud.

I hear screaming, so I think we have a Clooney sighting. Swoon!

Jen Chaney: Indeed. Could he be more Cary Grant-esque? Holy moses.

Liz Kelly: George indeed looks good.

Did everyone read the Time cover story with George this week that featured a home video of him dining at the reporter's apartment. He just comes off as an incredibly down to earth guy and, really, he has no reason to be so well adjusted.

Liz Kelly: Here's the link to that Time piece.

P.S. It is now raining on the red carpet -- or would be if it wasn't covered with a series of tents.

Jen Chaney: That's the thing, he is so down to earth. I interviewed him once and he immediately put me at ease simply because he's so funny, down-to-Earth and likable.

In a joking way, he actually called me a chicken [expletive]. I have never felt so good about being a chicken [expletive] in my entire life.

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Jen Chaney: I want to hear everyone's picks. I've revealed three of mine: Cotillard, Bardem (though hoping for Holbrook) and Diablo Cody. For Supporting Actress, I have Cate Blanchett. Anyone else willing to 'fess up to their picks?

Also, for the record, the "milkshake" score is now one, thanks to the previous poster's well-played reference.

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Anonymous: Is Seacrest's outfit a valet uniform or an organ grinder monkey's outfit?

Jen Chaney: I'll offer a third option: Guy passing hors d'ouevres at a Ritz-Carlton wedding reception?

Liz Kelly: I only wish. This guy is everywhere.

I'm watching TV Guide channel now and I think Lisa Rinna did in fact have some kind of lip plumping accident. Her upper lip is, well, misshapen.

Jen Chaney: The government actually didn't deploy a missile to knock that satellite out of the sky. They borrowed a chunk of Rinna's lips. I hate it when people mutilate their faces like that, especially in the name of looking younger or hotter.

Swoon: Jason Bateman is on TV Guide Channel right now...

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Liz Kelly: There's Diablo Cody... she seems to be wearing some kind of gold crushed velvet kind of criss-crossed collar thing. I've gotta say, I'm not crazy about it. Though she is showing off her tattoos and I can't fault a girl for that.

Jen Chaney: Darn, I missed Diablo. I'm sure we'll see her again soon.

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Norfolk, Va.: I have another question for you ladies. Why on earth wasn't Amy Adams nominated for SOMETHING? Her work in "Enchanted," and even more so in "Charlie Wilson's War," was simply stunning. That is my biggest, and most unfair, snub this year.

Jen Chaney: I love Amy Adams. I thought she was wonderful in "Enchanted" and sublime in "Junebug" a couple of years ago. I think the problem is that "Enchanted" is a comedy and, generally, the Academy doesn't honor them. I thought Nikki Blonsky was great in "Hairspray," too and she didn't get a nod either.

Adams will get another shot, though. I have a feeling.

Liz Kelly: Right -- the Academy really has a hard time figuring out how to reward musicals and comedies, not to mention kids' movies.

I was watching "Some Like It Hot" last night. Fabulous movie. Incredible comedic performances from Tony Curtis, Jack Lemon and of course Marilyn Monroe. And nominated for a whopping six Oscars. Not so sure that would happen in 2007.

By the way, I thought Amy was the best part of "Charlie Wilson's War." I wasn't overwhelmed by that movie. Just another step on Tom Hanks's road away from making good movies.

Jen Chaney: I actually thought Philip Seymour Hoffman was best part of "Charlie Wilson." He was phenomenal in that, as he is in pretty much everything. He pulled off a hat trick this year: He was in three movies -- each a radically different role -- and superb every time.

I also thought the screenplay for "Charlie Wilson" was strong. But I would have cast someone other than Hanks and Ms. Julia Roberts in those roles.

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Bateman!: I'm pretty sure Ryan Seacrest just responded to a comment by Jason Bateman that the "snowball" of an Arrested Development movie was rolling down the hill by saying he hoped the "coal ball" would gather steam. The look Jason gave him was priceless.

Jen Chaney: Shoot, I missed that moment.

I would drink Bateman's milkshake ... and possibly his bathwater.

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Dupont Circle, D.C.: This is only tangentially related to the Oscars, but Angelina Jolie totally drank Jennifer Lopez's milkshake in the baby-making news this weekend. Guess we all know who'll make the covers this week. Pwned!

Jen Chaney: Hmmm ... not sure if that's quite the right use of that phrase. But I'll give you a point anyway because you're smart to point this out.

Jolie will trump J.Lo, although she still has not officially announced her pregnancy even though it's apparent to pretty much anyone with a pair of working eyes and an understanding of human biology.

Liz Kelly: Let's remember that J.Lo played the same "Who me? Pregnant" game for quite some time before she and husband Marc Anthony admitted that they were indeed expecting. Jello was practically the size of a house before they made the news official.

Rut roh -- Ryan Seacrest is "interviewing" Ann Hathaway and she's trying to be clever. It's not working.

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Melbourne, Australia: As someone who has to wait until I get home from work to watch a rebroadcast of the Oscars (it is 10 a.m. down here), I wanted to know what are your picks for the best Web sites for dress successes and my favorite, malfunctions. Do you think any of the men will be wearing pleated pants?

Jen Chaney: We'll definitely have a fashion gallery later tonight. Other places to look: E! Online, People and some of the fashion mags, like Elle or Vanity Fair. Liz, other suggestions?

Liz Kelly: Yes, you might want to check out Us Weekly online and definitely gofugyourself.com if you're looking for drippingly sarcastic criticism of the malfunctions.

Jen Chaney: Oh, gofugyourself. Good call, Liz.

Is it me, or does E! have the worst camera angle ever?

Also, does John Travolta have hair or is it just air-brushed on these days?

Liz Kelly: Actually, some pix surfaced recently on the net of Travolta's scalp and it sure looked like he's given up toupees in favor of spray-on hair. Just not a good look. For any guys out there tonight who may be experiencing male pattern baldness, please please just shave your head.

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Jen Chaney: This just in: The Rock and John Travolta have the same hair.

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Jen Chaney: Saoirse Ronan should not have opted for the ponytail. It's a bit too tight. But I can't bust, being as how she's just a sweet Irish girl.

Liz Kelly: She is adorable. She's this year's Abigail Breslin.

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Flyover, IN: Mr. Flyover just said that Patrick Dempsey looks like Spicoli.

What is up with Travolta's GI Joe fuzz head?

Liz Kelly: I'm looking at Dempsey right now and he does not look like Spicoli. Or even Sean Penn. And, I'm sorry, but I don't get the Patrick Dempsey thing. He's still the nerd from "Can't Buy Me Love."

Also, I think we're close to being able to declare Travolta's spray-on hair one of the fashion moments of the night.

He must be so jealous of Patrick Dempsey and his full head of wavy locks.

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Centreville, Va.: I haven't seen enough of the movies to make many informed picks, but I'll go with Tilda Swinton. She was terrific in "Michael Clayton." So was George Clooney (swoon), but not his year.

What do you think about "Atonement" as a possible upset for best pic? I'm not pulling for it, but it's such Oscar bait. If you knew nothing of any of the movies but had to make a guess about best pic with only a description and a trailer, you know you'd pick "Atonement."

Jen Chaney: I really liked "Atonement," but you're right. It does scream Oscar movie.

I think Best Pic is more wide open than it has been in a long time. "No Country" is the presumptive winner, and what I predict will win, but it's totally possible that the old crusties I mentioned earlier could make this "Atonement's" night. I doubt it, but it's possible.

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Flyover, IN: Lisa Rinna has to be the worst interviewer ever.

Lot of red on the ladies. Anne Hathaway is wearing Kate Winslet's dress from a few years back - she bought some RIT to dye it. (Snark - but she DOES look good.)

Jen Chaney: Good call. Kate wore it in perwinkle, if memory serves.

I agree, Anne looked nice. Red pops beautifully on TV.

Liz Kelly: And, don't quote me on this, but there's been a big red-wearing push lately to raise awareness about women with heart disease -- apparently now the number one killer of women. So, maybe there's a connection?

Jen Chaney: Yes, there was a "wear red day" a couple of weeks ago. I'm a big fan of basic black and jewel tones. The whites and the nudes I almost never like. They wash people out too much.

There, I've said it. And I feel better now.

Liz Kelly: Though I'm strangely liking Kelly Preston in her mustard yellow gown. Reminds me of Michelle Williams's 2005 dress.

And now that we are getting a close up of Travolta, his hair looks a little like astroturf.

Jen Chaney: And the Rock follows Travolta, just to reemphasize the astroturf similarities.

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Washington, D.C.: What is up with John Travolta's hair? Is that spray on?

Jen Chaney: That, or paint.

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Atlanta: Okay, i got delayed in my watching so I'm a little behind (thank god for Tivo so i can catch up). I don't want to drink the milkshake of George Clooney's girlfriend. Again, I'm sure she's a lovely person, but I don't think she's really pretty. Cute, interesting, different, okay I can see that. But not beautiful in a classic way. Or maybe it's that I have little respect for spokesmodels.

I would kill for her body though.

Jen Chaney: Fair enough. She is very pretty, but not drop-dead gorgeous. Perhaps there is more to her than mere looks. Can I dare to imagine?

Laura Linney tonight: Simple, classy, lovely.

Liz Kelly: I love that The Rock is at the Oscars. Good for The Rock. I'd drink his milkshake any day.

As for Clooney's girlfriend -- I think she's lovely. I like that she's not cookie cutter Hollywood hot.

Jen Chaney: True.

Speaking of not cookie-cutter hot, here comes Seth Rogen...

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Flyover, IN: Amy Adams looks like she is in her corset waiting for the big poofy dress to go overhead.

Liz Kelly: Oh, I htink she looks great -- classic and the dress really shows off her cute little figure and her lovely hair.

And here's the pregnant (and also expecting twins) Jessica Alba. She seems to be wearing a fuzzy eggplant.

Oh, and Seth Rogan is sporting a beard -- he looks like Peter Jackson.

Jen Chaney: Adams is with Seacrest ... and he just stole her purse.

She is pretending to be delighted and amused. Ladies and gentlemen, that's good acting.

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Morgantown, W.V.: Is that Arthur Miller's daugher with Daniel Day Lewis?

Jen Chaney: It is. Rebecca Miller is Daniel Day's wife.

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Anonymous: Laura Linney is s serious class act. She looks lovely.

Jen Chaney: I really wish she would win for Best Actress. Loved her in "The Savages."

Liz Kelly: She was good in that, as was PSH -- but talk about depressing.

Jen Chaney: I disagree, actually. The ending was uplifting. And a lot of it is really, really funny. Darkly funny, but still funny.

Liz Kelly: Agreed. But a lot of it was also uncomfortable -- not that it's a bad thing, but you have to be in the mood for it.

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Presenters: OK, The Rock and Anne Hathaway are presenting awards? Did they book all the "no names" thinking that if the writers were still striking, the presenters who need the pub would still post?

And is The Rock no longer married?

Liz Kelly: A little harsh -- no names? Hardly. The Rock is a box office heavyweight. As is another face we should expect to see during tonight's ceremony: Miley Cyrus (aka Hanna Montana). Perhaps the Academy is actually trying to get people to tune in?

Jen Chaney: Yes, they often book people with box office appeal who were not nominated. An appeal for ratings; not sure it will work, though. It hasn't in recent years, anyway.

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Morgantown, WV: Why do you think "The Rock" is faster on his feet than most of Hollywood? He did a great job!

Jen Chaney: He's a former wrestler. He knows how to change up his moves at a moment's notice.

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Foggy Bottom, DC: Okay, admittedly I did not read all the previous. Did someone already mention that John Travolta looks like Curious George? Not flattering.

Liz Kelly: Yes, John Travolta is one of THE stories of the red carpet. There's just something supernatural about whatever is clinging to the top of his head.

Jen Chaney: If Travolta were smart, he would have showed up in full-on "Hairspray" garb.

Oh, look. It's Cameron Diaz, in a prom dress. Wow, that's a major flub.

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Chicago: I have the SAME earrings as Daniel Day Lewis!

Liz Kelly: Do the similarities end there? If not, please e-mail me at celebritology@washingtonpost.com.

Jen Chaney: Gary Busey is about to kill Seacrest.

I seriously was scared for a minute there. As was Jennifer Garner.

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Washington, DC: Is that mold growing on Jessica Alba's breasts?

Jen Chaney: No, dead flowers, actually.

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Liz Kelly: GARY BUSEY ALERT! He just accosted Ryan Seacrest while he was trying to interview Jennifer Garner.

I love Busey.

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Arlington: CRAZY BUSEY!!!!

Jen Chaney: That was AWESOME.

Totally inappropriate, a little scary. Quality live television.

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Washington, D.C. : That Gary Busey moment was priceless! Have you seen that episode of Entourage where he had a cameo? I think that exact same thing happened, if you substitute Ryan Seacrest for Kevin Dillon and subtract a terrified Jennifer Garner.

Jen Chaney: Yes! I have a feeling Busey wasn't riffing on his "Entourage" appearance. I think he's just nuts.

But proves that it is possible to hijack the red carpet. Which I would love to see more of.

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Juno cast: Love that Jennifer Garner just totally blew off Ryan Seacrest. Love her jewelry, not so much her hair. Plus, was she just attacked by Nick Nolte?

Jen Chaney: Nope, that was Busey. Don't demean Nick Nolte that way.

I think she was genuinely frightened and just wanted to get the heck out of there.

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Branford, Conn.: For those of you watching E... Who let that weirdo on the red carpet? I thought they had tight security at these functions. Poor Ryan.

Jen Chaney: On one hand, I feel bad for Seacrest and Garner.

On the other hand, I stick by my previous statement: AWESOME.

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NASCAR, not kidding: Okay, my hubby has commandeered the TiVo and is watching some kind of NASCAR race nonsence. Thank you for having this chat so I can kinda-sorta keep up with what's going on. I am looking forward to the actual Oscars ('cause I've got that LOCKED into the lineup tonight) and tomorrow's galleries to compare your thoughts with pictures.

Jen Chaney: You need to stop that now. Like, NOW.

The Oscars are once a year. You deserve the TV.

NASCAR. Phah.

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Norfolk, Virginia: Amy Adams can drink any item of food (or anything else) that she would like. Or I would be her slave and drink whatever she had on offer. She is a classic beauty on a par with Jennifer Connelly (and that is rare air indeed). What a beauty!

Jen Chaney: We're all in agreement. She rocks.

Liz Kelly: Indeed. Amy Adams is stunning. Though Jennifer Garner is looking quite lovely herself. Interesting to note she's wearing a similar look as Amy.

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OMG: Miley Ray Cyrus is WAAAAY too articulate to be 15.

Jen Chaney: She is articulate and she seems fairly grounded.

And yet, I am sick to death of her and the whole Hannah Montana thing.

Liz Kelly: I agree with the questioner. She is far too poised for 15.

Javier Bardem sporting the sideburns. Ai yai yai!

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Morgantown, W.V.: Is Nick Nolte drunk?

Liz Kelly: He's in a different dimension.

Jen Chaney: It's Busey. Busey, I tell you!

That said, Nolte could be drunk somewhere for all I know. He's just not accosting people on E!

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Amy Adams: I liked her dress when I thought it was black. But then I saw that it looked hunter green. ick.

Jen Chaney: Someone restrain Gary Busey, seriously.

Yes, it is indeed green. I don't mind it so much.

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Confused about the milkshake . . .: I thought drinking someone's milkshake, a la "There Will Be Blood," wasn't exactly a good thing -- in the movie it referred to siphoning oil from someone else's property, or something like that. So I figure saying Angelina Jolie stole Jennifer Lopez's milkshake in the baby attention grabbing stakes is probably more accurate than using the term to compliment someone. (Right?)

Liz Kelly: All I know is that Javier Bardem's milkshake brings all the girls to the yard.

Jen Chaney: Right. There are two uses, the literal one, which is siphoning from. Which is why I think I can allow a point for your interpretation.

But the phrase has been co-opted by the culture at large to also mean admiration. As in, I'd drink his milkshake.

I think our score right now is 6, but I've honestly lost count already. I know, shirking my duties.

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Falls Church, Va.: I didn't really mean that Anne Hathaway and The Rock were no-names. I meant to say: actors who don't seem to be doing a lot currently. or really fit into the Oscars' crowd.

Jen Chaney: Well, The Rock was in "The Game Plan," which was a big hit last year. And Hathaway is still working steadily, just not in one of the biggies this year. But I hear what you're saying.

Okay, Marion Cotillard -- who looked so beautiful at the SAGs -- literally is dressed like a mermaid. Not digging that.

Liz Kelly: Oh no -- I missed Marion. It's not Bjork level of ridiculousness, is it?

Jen Chaney: No. But it was scales on the skirt. Yikes.

Jen Chaney: I meant, has scales.

Liz Kelly: Well, better on her dress than her face.

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Silver Spring, Md: Lisa Rinna on TVGC just interviewed Amy Adams, and you could tell she was totally mixing her up with Amy Ryan, thinking she was nominated tonight for a second time, etc. Cringe.

Jen Chaney: Why does Rinna have this gig? Bring back Joan, pronto.

Liz Kelly: Seriously -- poor 47/==

Okay, my cat just walked across the keyboard, so "poor 47/==" was his contribution.

Anyhow, I was going to say -- Poor Joan. Melissa I'm not so worried about, but Joan pretty much invented the red carpet interview. She really should be there.

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Falls Church, Va.: OK, at first look, I like Cameron Diaz's dress. Jessica Alba - I thought she was having twins? Why did she not correct Ryan? Her fiancee is cute, I assume he is the babydaddy?

Liz Kelly: Cameron looks cute, but again with the ponytail. She's just such a California girl.

Cash Warren is indeed Jessica's baby daddy.

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Arlington, Va.: I really just want the Oscars to be three hours of listening to and watching James McAvoy. Is that wrong?

Jen Chaney: How about this: An hour of McAvoy, an hour of Clooney and then an hour of Amy Adams and Laura Linney?

That would be solid television.

Liz Kelly: But that doesn't leave any room for Gary Busey.

Jen Chaney: Oh, my apologies.

Actually, someone better make sure that if he gets into the theater, he stays in his seat. It's entirely possible he could reprise the streak.

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Ronan's ponytail: agreed, it was not a good look.

I love that Steve Carrell's wife was as funny as him.

Liz Kelly: Can we all agree that the ponytail is not Oscar appropriate -- for men or women?

Jen Chaney: In most cases, I agree. Leave the ponytail for another time.

Carell's wife ought to be funny. Nancy Walls was on "The Daily Show" and is a Second City alum.

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Norfolk: Jen, you asked so here are my picks. I included the stuff that no one seems to care about unless you are in Equity.

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Best Picture: There Will Be Blood

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (finally! He should have at least been nominated for Boogie Nights)

Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis

Best Actress: Laura Linney

Best Supporting Actor: Any of them would be great, but I am going out on a limb here and say Casey Affleck

Best Supporting Actress: SHOULD be Amy Adams, but since she isn't nominated (figure THAT one out!) then Tilda Swinton (that is far and away the easiest one of the night)

Animated Feature Film: Ratatouille

Adapted Screenplay: There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson

Original Screenplay: Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy

Art Direction: There Will Be Blood

Cinematography: There Will Be Blood

Costume Design: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Colleen Atwood (of course).

Documentary: Sicko (even if Michael Moore DID make it)

Documentary Short Subject: Freeheld

Film Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum, Christopher Rouse

Foreign Film: Beaufort, Israel

Makeup: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Original Score: 3:10 to Yuma, Marco Beltrami

Original Song: Happy Working Song (Film: Enchanted), Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz

Animated Short Film: Peter & the Wolf

Live Action Short Film: At Night

Sound Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum, Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg

Sound Mixing: The Bourne Ultimatum, Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis

Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier

Jen Chaney: Thanks, Norfolk. I think our picks are different in almost every category. Everything is so hard to call this year. I hope that means we're in for some upsets and surprises.

I'll need something to keep me awake.

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Liz Kelly: Okay, I'm watching Marion Cotilard now and i love the dress. It's Gaultier baby!

Liz Kelly: Though she needs a little help with her accent. She tried to say she was having a "unique" time here, but it came out sounding like she said she was having a "eunich" time. Which was interesting considering that she was talking to Ryan Seacrest.

Jen Chaney: Dang, Liz!

On second look, it didn't look as it bad as I thought. But I still don't like it. No one should wear scales at the Oscars.

Tilda Swinton's dress does nothing for me either. She's a striking woman, and she's wearing a taffeta sack.

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Oh for God's Sake: Seacrest just asked Jessica Alba if she's going to breastfeed. Ugh. Cringe.

In related news, she looks suspiciously small if she's having twins and is in her third trimester, no?

Jen Chaney: A little bit. Maybe that's why she's being cagey.

That was just uncomfortable all around. And yes, still not as horrible as the red carpet was in the Starr Jones days.

Liz Kelly: Was it Carson Kressley who actually grabbed one starlet's rack on the red carpet? I can't remember.

Jen Chaney: No, that was Isaac Mizrahi.

He also was a train wreck.

They should hire us, Liz. We'd be way better on the carpet, don't you think?

Liz Kelly: Oh, hells yeah. I can promise now that I will neither grab anyone's chest nor use action figures as props.

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I think: Tilda = Carrot Top's sister.

Liz Kelly: Tilda needs a stylist. The dress was hideous and she seems to have opted out of wearing any makeup at all. I get that she's kind of anti-establishment, but puh-leeze.

Jen Chaney: Agreed. You can be anti-establishment without looking like you just didn't bother.

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Anonymous: Jennifer Garner had NO IDEA who accosted her. Which of course makes it scarier.

Jen Chaney: Indeed. I believe she referred to him as "this man." Classic.

Someone needs to tell Cameron Diaz not to talk.

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ugh: Jessica Alba should have slapped him; her reaction to his completely inappropriate question was a little too restrained.

Jen Chaney: She's trying to seem poised, I guess.

Liz Kelly: But hold on -- Ryan has a point. Ellen can ask the same thing of Xtina, but it's off limits for Jessica Alba?

Jen Chaney: Well, Xtina's breasts were popping out of her clothes at the time. And she's already delivered.

For some reason, it seems less personal to ask after the baby arrives than prior to. Also, Ellen is a woman so that makes it less icky, too. May not be fair, but I think that's part of it.

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Colin Farrell: (sp?) I hate his hair. Did any guy ever look really good with that hair style?

Liz Kelly: I don't know about other guys, but for Colin it does not work. He is perennially hair challenged. Remember his Alexander blond? Yech.

You know who looks great? Jennifer Hudson.

Jen Chaney: Agreed. As the E! ladies just said, this year's dress is a major improvement over last year's.

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Falls Church, Va.: Ryan was totally drinking up Keri Russell's milkshake

Jen Chaney: Can you blame him?

Liz Kelly: I thought Ryan liked milkshakes of a different flavor.

Jen Chaney: Okay, we're veering into libelous territory here.

Oh. Ellen Page. Not good.

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Arlington, Va.: Yay! Another year chatting with you during the Oscars.

Question: I consider myself to be pretty up on films, but I was horrified that I didn't recognize any of the Foreign Film nominees. Normally, I've seen them all. Were any of the nominees actually released on screens in D.C.? Do you have a favorite?

Jen Chaney: "Mongol" played briefly here. But the others did not open in D.C. that I recall. "Counterfeiters" will open here in a few weeks.

As mentioned earlier, the foreign language category was a bit of a debacle. I have no favorite, but I've picked "Counterfeiters" to win.

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Liz Kelly: OMG, Calista Flockhart loks horrible. She's got some kind of hair piled on top of her head thing going.

Jen Chaney: Hang on, rewinding...

Jen Chaney: Oooh, yeah. My hair looks better right now, and I didn't even brush it.

Zellweger also doesn't look so comfortable with her new short 'do.

Liz Kelly: No, Renee can't seem to keep her hands away from her hair. I'm guessing that's a new cut.

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Cincinnatti: Tilda looks like Conan's long lost twin

Jen Chaney: Conan, Carrot Top ... they all work.

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OK: Renee Zellweger = albino, especially in that dress.

Jen Chaney: I need a better view of that dress.

Katherine Heigl would look great if she toned down the roughe a bit. It's a little much. I like the dress, though. Red might be the color of the night.

Liz Kelly: Agreed. Katherine seems to have gone a little blush crazy. Maybe it's so "Knocked Up" co-star Seth Rogan won't recognize her. After all, she dissed the movie a month ago -- saying she thought it was demeaning to women (this after it pretty much made her a movie star).

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Honolulu, Hiawaii: Ugh-

I hate that I missing the actual play-by-play. It's a tease for things to come.

Ryan Seacrest hasn't even shown up yet-it's just the guy from PR a couple years ago vamping with some models and Debbie whats-her-name. And what's with the swimsuit portion? I'm so confused...

Liz Kelly: Hmm, I wonder if you can get a live feed online anywhere. Jen, do you know if the red carpet is being streamed anywhere?

Jen Chaney: You can check on E! Or oscars.com, but it wouldn't the carpet coverage, just a cam or something.

I never get to look around for that sort of thing because I am always here chatting with you fine people.

Four minutes 'til Regis!

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Adams Morgan: How bad is it that instead of watching TV, experiencing the Oscars pregame for myself, I am glued to this chat?

Jen Chaney: Bad? We think you're a genius.

Liz Kelly: I'm all for multi-tasking. Bring the 'puter to the TV, or the TV to the 'puter. Either way, why choose?

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Cameron Diaz: Someone please explain the appeal.

Also, how did Gary Busey get through security?

Liz Kelly: I don't know, but I"m so glad he did.

And there's Ellen Page. She's got kind of a flapper thing going -- complete with fingerwaves.

Jen Chaney: The first thought I had about Ellen's dress was: Dumpy. Hate to say it.

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Norfolk: Okay, Travolta's hair has been located. Somehow it jumped over to Viggo Mortensen's face!

Liz Kelly: Okay, this is my favorite comment of the night. Hands down.

And a perfect place for me to sign off and turn the other rein over to Jen so she can guide this chat through to the bitter end. I'm off to make a mug of tea, grab some chocolate and join the audience.

Thanks for having me, Jen!

Jen Chaney: Liz, it was a pleasure. Thanks a million.

By my count, I've got at least nine hours to go. I might have to take a potty break now, while I still can.

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Chicago: Helen Mirren ... Rowr. Fantastic.

Jen Chaney: She is a beautiful woman, fo' shizz.

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Flyover, IN: "Persepolis" was totally robbed out of the Foreign Language nomination. It's an excellent film. At least it's up for best animation.

Jen Chaney: I still need to catch up with that one, but indeed you are not alone in that sentiment.

Cate Blanchett's dress is stunning.

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Flyover, IN: Hilary Swank and her teeth have arrived.

Liz Kelly: Hey now -- play nice. You don't want Hilary and her Krav Maga to come after you.

Jen Chaney: Liz, we stopped playing nice after the eunich comment, didn't we?

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Wilmington, Del.: I am at work and this is the only Web site I have access too. So make it good, PLEASE! I want to hear details!! Is Angelina coming, Brad?? And what time does it start? Where can I see pics from tonights Oscars on this site?? Thanks!

Jen Chaney: Brangelina are not coming, sorry to report.

I'll do my best to make it good. The ceremony begins at 8:30. We'll have red carpet photos later tonight, as soon as we can get them live. Most likely shortly after midnight.

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Brookland: Yay, Regis on the red carpet. Now HE can interview. But, yes, Clooney's girlfriend's dress looks like nana's table cloth.

Jen Chaney: Laura Linney with Regis: Love her. No table cloth on her.

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Flyover, IN: Ladies,

Next year, how about using the Yaplet thingy you have for the Lost chat? Just a thought....

Jen Chaney: The thought crossed my mind, too. Problem is the yaplet doesn't allow us to keep a transcript on the site. And I think it's crucial for this Oscar chat to be readable after the night ends.

You know, so we can relive it over and over again.

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S. Spring: Reeg on ABC???

Ryan S + 40 years = Regis Philbin.

Jen Chaney: I don't know, Regis is a kind of a TV legend. Doesn't always ask the smartest questions, but I have a bit more respect for him than Seacrest.

And I still say Seacrest is way better than Starr. She was the WORST.

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Arlington, Va.: I've switched over to ABC, and I hate the voiceover. Not the right voice or tempo at all! Oh here's Clooney. Mmm.

Jen Chaney: Missed Clooney during the potty break.

AND ... rewinding to that portion.

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Falls Church, Va.: Renee's hair is AWFUL, bless her heart.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, I am not a huge fan.

I say this every year, but it's worth repeating: Give the girl a sandwich.

And give Calista a five-course meal, stat.

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jes: I have to go back a bit and say I thought Colin Farrell's mother was absolutely lovely. Usually random family members that come to the show look so uncomfortable and dressed off the rack.

Jen Chaney: She did look nice, from what I saw. Agreed.

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ladies' hair: it appears that some went to a real stylist who did a good job (Heidi Klum, Jennifer Hudson) and other look like they did their own (Cameron, Calista).

Jen Chaney: Indeed. Cameron Diaz looked crummy last year, too. I mean, how do these beautiful women with killer bodies manage to look so bad? It seems like it must take a lot of effort to screw yourself up like that, you know?

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S. Spring: New York Mag completely blew it. L. Lohan is NOT Marilyn. However, Katherine Heigl could have completely rocked that photo shoot.

Jen Chaney: The resemblance is certainly stronger there, I would agree. But Heigl wouldn't have gotten as much buzz as Li Lo.

I love Daniel Day. But Rebecca Miller's dress is AWFUL. It looks like it weight 150 pounds. She must be boiling in that thing.

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Norfolk: Is Helen Mirren a class act or what? Has she EVER done a bad project? Her Jane Tennison character, and both Queen Elizabeths, are absolute classics, especially Tennison from the Prime Suspect series.

Jen Chaney: Totally, Norfolk. And I love her dress. The shimmery jacket is lovely.

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Arlington: Rebecca Miller's giant jewel is not doing her any favors. But nice that Daniel Day-Lewis got asked a substantive question on the red carpet.

Jen Chaney: Semi-substantive, yes. But kind of stupid, too. Of course he saw humanity in the character, he kind of had to, didn't he?

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NASCAR in the kitchen, Red Carpet in the living room: What on earth is going on with Rebecca Miller's dress? Aren't those red ribbons just supposed to be used to keep the dress on the hanger after she's done wearing it?

And I know bodyguards are a must, but ABC has got to find a camera angle for Regis's interviews where they can show the interviewee in closeup w/o having to look at this guy's square head (complete with high-and-tight haircut and forced non-smile) every ding dang time.

Jen Chaney: It's a Christmas tree skirt.

That might be the worst dress of the night.

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Norfolk: Amy Adams again.....please pass the milkshake!

Jen Chaney: And that brings our total to seven.

Actually, I'll just pass you the straw so you can drink it up.

So at what point will the milkshake references start getting old? Like, an hour ago? I don't care, continue bringing them on.

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I'm sure it's just because I'm watching in HD: but that upper torso of the Oscar statue with the countdown clock underneath it looks just like a big golden middle finger raised up in salute.

Tilda Swinton looks like Eric Roberts in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Jen Chaney: Hmmm, I'll have to look when we return from commercial break.

You mean Eric Stoltz, no? Another interesting comparison. Sigh, I like Tilda so much. Just not that dress.

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Ellen Page fan: Why did Ellen Page take a big risk on screen with a great flick like "Juno," but play it so safe on the red carpet? I expected more of her. The dress is blah. Is it because she's Canadian?

Jen Chaney: Ha! Is it because she's Canadian? I'm not even sure what that means, but it made me laugh.

That dress looks like it was pulled out of her closet. She's a cute girl, but she did herself no favors. A cute, short cocktail dress would have been perfect.

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Norfolk: I agree that the milkshake thing is getting old, but ITS AMY ADAMS! Pass the straw please....

Jen Chaney: No, like I said, keep 'em coming. I'm trying to gauge how creative we can get with this.

"I drink your milkshake" is the "It's hard out here for a pimp" of the '08 Oscars.

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Cameron, Diaz: At least she seemed smart enough to give a diplomatic response about Daniel Day Lewis's acting method. Perhaps good coaching by her publicist?

Jen Chaney: Perhaps. She just seems a little dim sometimes.

(Did you notice how diplomatic I just was?)

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DDL's Earrings...: ...have got to go! They look awful. I have been a fan of his since "Last of the Mohicans" but the disheveled/earrings look do not work for him.

Jen Chaney: Like his wife, I don't think he's terribly concerned about the fashion aspect of this.

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Ellen Page's truly Oscar-worthy performance was...: "Hard Candy."

Brutal. She was nothing short of .... Amazing. That showed what an incredible artist -- nerves of steel, fearless -- ARTIST she is. Some incredible things should be pouring forth from this incredible talent.

Did you see it? She shoulda been nominated for that one for sure. The one for "Juno" might be one of those "sorry we overlooked your previous performance" nominations, doncha think?

Jen Chaney: I still haven't seen "Hard Candy," have been meaning to catch up with it for quite sometime.

I don't think it's a make-up nod, even though that performance was reportedly solid, too. I think she was very good in "Juno." As I said before, the movie rested on her shoulders. If she stunk, the movie would stink. But she was likable and believably quirky.

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Regis needs a bronzer intervention: I thought it was merely an addiction to Mystic Tan, but now that he's inside, you can see that much like Rudolph's nose, you could almost say he glows.

Jen Chaney: Indeed. But I like this walking onto thje stage thing.

Oh, oh, it's starting!! Nicholson is in the house. That means we can officially begin.

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Wilmington, Del.: What the heck does "Can I drink your milkshake mean??" I am so lost!!!

Jen Chaney: Sorry, Wilmington, for not clarifying. "I drink your milkshake" is a line from "There Will Be Blood." I explained early in the discussion, but you may have missed that part.

Carry on.

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LOL: Regis just said "Xavier" instead of "Javier" (as in Barden)

Jen Chaney: And what did Nicholson say after that? I think he was talking about Tommy Lee Jones, but I was not sure.

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Leipzig, Germany: How many writers strike and Obama-Clinton-debate-at-Kodak-Theater related jokes will be there in the show? Jon Stewart presents...

Jen Chaney: Writers' strike: 4.

Obama/Clinton: 6.

Election in general: 87.


Here we go... comedic montage time.

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Move your ass, Regis!: Right at the end of the ABC Red Carpet show, Regis standing right in front of a woman in a gorgeous violet dress, and I couldn't see who she was. Does anyone know? I just loved the color of that dress!

Jen Chaney: Cate Blanchett is in purple. And I think I saw Diablo Cody, too, but I am not positive.

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Javier! It's Javier!: Ummm, did Reege just call him "XAVIER Bardem"?

Jen Chaney: He did.

For those away from TVs, we just saw a digitally animated tribute to the movies, featuring homages to "Back to the Future," Ah-nold and Travolta when he still had legit hair.

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Jen Chaney: Jon Stewart is on. Writers' strike reference ("the fight is over") is getting applause. "Welcome to the make-up sex," says Stewart.

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Wilmington, Del.: A side note: My cousin is best friends with Diane Lane and her hubby Josh Brolin brought my cousin to the New York premiere of "No Country for Old Men." Look at little old me from Dela-where????

Jen Chaney: That's cool. Hey, I like Delaware. Bethany Beach is there.

Stewart is joking about the dark movies. "Thank God for teen pregnancy."

Okay, he's not blowing me away yet.

That was not Cody in the front row. I amend my previous statement.

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Chesapeake Beach, Md.: Five minutes into the monologue and I'm thinking of to NASCAR, and I hate NASCAR. Why should I keep watching?

Jen Chaney: Okay, so far a Hillary Clinton joke. And a Yom Kippur joke.

Oh, and a nice one -- "Great that 'Norbit' got a nomination. Too often the Academy ignores movies that aren't good."

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Love Jon Stewart: I think it's going to be a good night! I'm all giggles.

Jen Chaney: Busting on Dennis Hopper. Just wait til Stewart gets a load of Busey.

I haven't seen Cody's dress in its entirety yet. But I don't like the top at all.

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Norfolk: Did Eddie Murphy just get slammed or what?

Jen Chaney: Well, "Norbit" did. And after he reportedly left last year in a huff, he kinda deserves it.

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For those without TV: The LA Times website (latimes.com) has posted at least 50 pics from the red carpet. But the discussion here is better. You could toggle back and forth.

Jen Chaney: They're ahead of us on red carpet pics? Well, they are in L.A. They probably have a whole army of people working this thing.

Tonight it's just me and a Commodore 64.

(Kidding...)

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Jen Chaney: I can't even recreate this here, but Stewart just made a very funny joke about Gaydolf Titler.

Overall, a decent start. Now, Jennifer Garner is presenting costume design. Get out your ballots, people.

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DC: Stewart finished strong! (Gaydolph Titler!)

Jen Chaney: Agreed. That made me laugh out loud.

"He had such good ideas!"

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Front row, violet dress: I've seen her briefly twice now, and it looks like she's with Cate Blanchett - perhaps a publicist, manager or relative? I'm obsessing on that dress. Helps me ignore dumb punchlines like "Gaydolf Titler".

Jen Chaney: Yes, I don't know who she is either. Love the color, too.

And I liked the Gaydolf joke. I'm clearly an 8-year-old boy.

Costume Oscar goes to "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." Which means I'm ... 0 for 1. This isn't good. Unless you're Alexandra Byrne, that is.

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Jen Chaney: Wonderful. We just listened to Barbra Streisand talk about how fantastic her own Oscar acceptance speech was.

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Morgantown, WV: Why can't everybody give speeches just like the winner for costume? Gracious and to the point.

Jen Chaney: Yes, and short. Supposedly the ceremony will come in under 3.5 hours tonight. I'll believe it when I see it. But that's a promising beginning.

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Arlington, VA: I just got all giddy with the first award. The Oscars still have their charm, after all! Oh and I love the titles introducing the awards. Very classy font.

Jen Chaney: Oh, I love me a high-quality Oscar font.

They've only given out one award and already I am delirious.

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Jen Chaney: Clooney is presenting a montage celebrating 80 years of Oscar. To the tune of music from "E.T."

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Chicago, Illinois: Love Stewart but I thought he played it safe. Last year was funnier for the home audience, even if the industry people at the Oscars didn't like it.

He went for a mild Johnny Carson impression. Yawn.

Jen Chaney: He didn't exactly kill. But he had some good laughs.

Like I said, decent. Not amazing.

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Wither Supporting?: I thought they always lead off with a Supporting Actor/ress award?

Jen Chaney: Right you are. Not sure why the change-up.

As soon as we see Alan Arkin or Jennifer Hudson, we'll know it's time.

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Washington, D.C.: CLOONEY!! Needs to run for president. "Hi, you guys." So real and charming. But I don't need to tell you that. Just trying to turn this chat into a Clooney lovefest.

Jen Chaney: Too late. The lovefest began a few hours back.

He said he would never run for office. He would win in a landslide. Can you imagine the polls? "85 percent of women over 35 said they voted for the candidate because they are attracted to him."

We're onto Animated Film...

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I never thought I'd ever see it again: They actually showed a snippet of the infamous Rob Lowe meets Snow White performance from back in the ugly 1980s decade of the Oscars. And could Jane Fonda's hair have been bigger back when she won that Oscar for On Golden Pond?

Jen Chaney: No, it could not have been bigger.

I wish the Academy would be more liberal with their video archives. I would love to have a DVD of Oscar moments (hint, hint).

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Brookland: I loved the history montage. So many great moments. But the clothes from the '70s. Ick.

Jen Chaney: Trudat.

"Ratatouille" just won Animated Feature. My picks are now redeemed.

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8:51 pm: my first tears

Jen Chaney: The montage did it?

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Alexandria, Va.: Isn't there a certain irony in Clooney making a joke about how long the Oscars are, and then introducing a pointless, self-congratulatory montage of "great Oscar moments"?

Jen Chaney: There is.

There is also an irony in asking Katherine Heigl to present make-up when she is wearing way too much.

She seems a little nervous.

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Milkshake City: This is awesome.

Jen Chaney: I have heard about this video. During commercials, enjoy, everyone.

"La Vie en Rose" just won for make up. Got that one, too.

Cotillard is crying, getting glittery eye shadow in her eyes and everything.

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My first LOL moment with Jon Stewart: He's watching Lawrence of Arabia on the iPhone - "incredible cinematography"

I love how the Daily Show guys always get in their little fake dig-ins every time. Carell and Anne Hathaway have decent humorous interplay. And am I the only one still outraged that Persepolis got shoved in the Animated Film category when it was obviously snubbed for Best Foreign Film? Must be those damn old crusties voting wrong/stupid again.

Jen Chaney: That was funny. And you are not the only one outraged about "Persepolis."

Amy Adams is singing "Happy Working Song." She sounds great. Song loses its humor without all the weird cockroaches and stuff. She's out there all by herself.

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What happened to La Heigl's face?: It's like she took seriously that whole makeup counter crapola about how you should apply bronzer "wherever the sun would kiss your face". Except in her case, the sun slobbered all across the top of her not-insubstantially sized forehead. So not a good look for her.

Jen Chaney: The rouge is excessive. Yes, it is weird. It's common to apply extra makeup for TV, but that's just ridiculous.

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easy crier: it's that dang "Titanic" song.

Jen Chaney: I'm an easy crier, too. But I've held it so far. If Holbrook wins, I'm a goner.

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Burtonsville MD: Someone is singing about hairballs and mildew?

Jen Chaney: Yes, it makes much more sense in the context of the film. Trust me.

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Arlington, Va.: Amy Adams just confirmed her goddess status. It takes guts to go out by yourself and sing a song from a movie.

Jen Chaney: It does. Zellweger did not have the same guts when "Chicago" was nominated.

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Why did Amy Adams Change?: I think she's doing great with "Happy Working Song" but what did she change into? I loved the other gown and she probably needed to be more confortable to sing but still, I would have rather seen her wear what she was wearing in the movie (which was soooo cute!).

Jen Chaney: I like that dress more than what she had on during the red carpet. Maybe she didn't want to get into her princess garb.

I don't know, they usually go so over the top with these numbers that I appreciated the spareness of it. It just didn't have the same effect as the movie, though, because you don't understand what she's doing during the song.

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Yes, I'm still bitter: Every time I see them present a nominated song where the original person sings it -and- they get the time to sing the whole song, I think about Ann Reinking singing Phil Collins' "Against All Odds"...and then years later, Elliot Smith trapped in a rotating box where he got to pop out and sing precisely 30 seconds of "Miss Misery". Grrr.

Jen Chaney: The song category has issues. I'm still bitter that they didn't nominate that song from "Moulin Rouge." Really wanted to see Nicole Kidman and Ewan MacGregor sing that year.

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Speaking of irony,: Isn't it unfair that they're cutting off this year's winners at two-second acceptance speeches to show montages of...past acceptance speeches? What will they show 80 years from now?

Jen Chaney: A little bit, yeah. 80 years from now? We'll be seeing Jon Stewart playing with an iPhone and laughing from inside the space pods in which we live.

The Rock just presented visual effects to "Golden Compass." Dang. I had "Transformers."

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DC: Jon Stewart stole that opening joke about black/woman presidents and an asteroid hitting the earth from a recent online issue of the Onion. I only know because when I read it in the Onion a week ago, I thought it was hysterical. He obviously used different words, but its the exact same joke....

Whaddya think about this?

Jen Chaney: Really? Can you produce said joke, for comparison's sake?

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Falls Church, Va.: I heart the Rock. I throw my panties at that tall drink of milkshake.

Jen Chaney: I like him, too. I wish he'd get some better movies, because he's very likable and charismatic onscreen.

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Washington, D.C.: So, how many years before they ask Steve Carell to host? I keep hearing that no one likes the host each year because they aren't hollywood insiders that appeal to the people at home too. Carell seems like he'd fit both bills. Then again, what do I know. I always like the hosts, even Letterman.

Jen Chaney: I loved Letterman, too. So it's the two of us then.

Carell hosting ... that's an interesting concept. I'd be intrigued to see how he'd do.

"Sweeney Todd" just won for art direction.

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Blaine Johnson?: Huh?

Looks just like "The Rock".

Jen Chaney: Dwayne Johnson. That's his real name, and the name he goes by as a professional actor.

Can you smell what Dwayne Johnson is cooking? Doesn't have the same ring, does it?

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Monterey, Calif.: JEN! I know you'll know this -- who gets to go to the Oscars (besides nominees and their entourages)? For example, could Macaulay Culkin just show up and grab a seat?

Jen Chaney: As far as I know, no. You have to be invited to the Oscars.

So I am sorry to inform you that, until Culkin stars in the next Scorsese opus, you probably won't see him there.

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Flyover, IN: The Rock rocks the Travolta hair much better than Travolta.

Jen Chaney: Agreed. That's always been his hair.

We are about to do Supporting Actor, in the midst of a montage of past winners. You know, just to make the nominees more nervous.

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Calista is dating David Letterman?: For reals, that's what those grampa glasses are doing to, not for, Harrison Ford. I wonder if he's wearing those in the new Indiana Jones movie?

Jen Chaney: I hope not. Have you seen the Indy trailer yet? It's pretty good. I'm excited to see it.

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Washington, DC: Settle an argument. My friend is a die-hard "Michael Clayton" fan. I think it's a completely average film, and the only reason it got the Best Picture nomination is because Hollywood loves Clooney, and if it were some other just-as-capable actor, it wouldn't have been nominated. Who's right?

Jen Chaney: I thought it was certainly above average. The Clooney factor probably helped, but I thought it was well-directed. And its themes harken back to many of the films from the '70s, and many in Hollywood love that.

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Washington, DC: Can someone direct me to this evening's chat on Pride and Prejudice? Mr. Darcy isn't dressed like a valet. There is plenty to snark about Gillian Anderson and the softening lens used on her.

Jen Chaney: So sorry, no "Pride & Prejudice" here tonight. But plenty of pride in more general terms.

Oh, Hal Holbrook. Please, let him win!

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Richmond, Va.: Would you agree that Jennifer Hudson was awesome (singing!) in "Dreamgirls" ... but the acting? A bit overrated.

Jen Chaney: She absolutely killed "I'm Telling You I am Not Going." That won her the Oscar alone.

Javier Bardem just won Supporting Actor. He delivered part of his speech in Spanish, dedicated his award to his mother, grandparents and Spain. His mother -- who appears to be in the audience -- was in tears.

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Team Barton?: Oh, Tim Burton. Love him. Thank you, Tim.

Jen Chaney: I also enjoy Team Barton. (That refers to the group responsible for "Barton Fink," right?)

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Javier's Haircut!: He thanked the haircut. Muchas gracias!

He can talk a lot faster in Spanish than English. And Mama es muy linda!

Jen Chaney: Si. She seemed pretty touched.

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Sorry about Hal Holbrook, Jen: I was rooting for Tom Wilkinson myself, but I'm consoled by the hotness that is Javier (not Xavier) Bardem. They said that pageboy haircut made him depressed, and I can sure see why.

Why did the sound cut out briefly during his Spanish tribute to his mother? Did they think he said a bad word in a foreign language?

Jen Chaney: Look, Bardem was phenomenal, no question. As was Wilkinson and Casey Affleck, for that matter. A very, very strong category.

That was Holbrook's only chance. And he was Deep Throat. DEEP. THROAT.

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Flyover, IN: OK, I now lurv Javier Bardem. I lost it when he spoke to his mom in Spanish. You gotta love a guy who loves his momma.

Jen Chaney: He just gave her a kiss. Very sweet.

This salute to binoculars and periscopes -- a parody of the montage -- very funny.

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Chicago: Is it just me, or is the cut-off music much more ferocious and quicker this year? I feel bad for the "littler" acceptance speeches. All they have time for is one or two thank yous and an "um."

Jen Chaney: They clearly are very serious about keeping it under four hours.

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Washington, DC: What made you sadder about the clip of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s acceptance speech? The fact that there hasn't been anywhere near as good of a speech in the past ten years, or what's happened to Cuba Gooding Jr.'s career since then?

Jen Chaney: Well, to Cuba's credit, he was in "American Gangster," albeit briefly. Doesn't make up for the many "Daddy Daycamps" on his resume, but worth noting.

I would argue that there have been some memorable speeches. Exhibit A: Adrien Brody. He made out with Halle Berry. I mean, that takes serious cajones.

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from the onion web site: What I am saying is that under the watch of a black man that comet destroyed the entire Eastern seaboard. So, if history is any indicator, a vote for Barack Obama in 2008 is essentially a vote for the complete and total obliteration of the human race.

Jen Chaney: Thanks, the link sent earlier got messed-up in translation.

See, I can't remember exactly what Stewart said. Hewed pretty close though, right?

If so, I am sure others noticed and will probably point it out.

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Norfolk: Hmmmm, interesting. The buzz was actually RIGHT for once. I still thought Affleck and Hoffman were better. Oh well. Might that be an indication of a sweep coming?

Jen Chaney: Hoffman was awesome, too, yeah. Not necessarily a sweep harbinger, but it could be. How's that for wishy-washy?

Oh, here comes Owen Wilson. His nose looks slightly more askew than usual. Maybe it's the HD. We're on to Live Action Short Film.

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Washington, D.C.: Way to pull through, Sweeney Todd! 3/5 in my Oscar pool...and as a side note, they have not been showing Johnny Depp nearly enough.

Jen Chaney: Nicely done. I'm not 3 for 6. Not so impressive.

"Le Mozart de Pickpockets" just won for live action short film, for those keeping score.

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DC: "Helen Mirren, you got served"

Hilarious. Hal Holbrook had no idea what he was talkin about..

Jen Chaney: No. I think he's still adjusting to his loss.

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New York: Wow! How great was that young girl from the choir for the song from "August Rush"? AMAZING!

Jen Chaney: She was quite good. But that song stands no chance of winning.

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College Station, Tx: Jen, who is receiving the Irving Thallburg award tonight? Do you think they'll ever give it to Woody Allen?

Jen Chaney: I am not sure if tnhey are giving a Thalberg tonight. I was trying to find this info earlier today and could not dig it up. They don't give one every year.

I do know that Nicole Kidman is giving a special award. But I suspect that will be some sort of honor for fellow Australian Heath Ledger.

Allen probably would not get a Thalberg, as it's for producers primarily. But an honorary Oscar? Possibly. He certainly deserves one.

We're about to do Supporting Actress...

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Is it just me: or are there a lot of winners this evening from a variety of foreign countries? I find the variety of languages intriguing, which may also be one of the reasons so many acceptance speeches are so short this year!

Jen Chaney: There are, which is kind of nice, given the foreign film screw-up.

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¿Cajones?: Jen, that means "drawers." For "balls", say "cojones".

Jen Chaney: Maybe I meant to say drawers. Ever think of that?

Ha, good catch. Am typing very quickly. Ruby Dee looks beautiful, doesn't she?

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Springfield, Va.: What's with all the red dresses tonight?! I need to go out and buy a red dress to keep up with the Joneses!

Jen Chaney: Seriously. I love the color so I am all in favor.

How cute is McAvoy, nudging Saoirse Ronan?

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Kerri Russell: I think she is the next big actress (even though she's a little older). I thought she showed so much heart and spirit in "Waitress" with a flair for both drama and comedy...

Jen Chaney: Tilda Swinton just won Supporting Actress. She looks genuinely shocked.

She is dragging her Hefty cinch sack onstage to get it now.

I like Keri Russell, too, agreed.

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DC: Onion Headline:

Do We Really Want Another Black President After The Events Of Deep Impact?

Second Paragraph:

Have we learned nothing from the tragic events of 1998, when, under the watch of President Morgan Freeman, this nation was plunged into chaos, and hundreds of millions of people died at the hands of the deadly Wolf-Beiderman space rock? The mere fact that this country is even considering putting another black man, Barack Obama, in the Oval Office proves that we have not.

There's lots more... here's the link:

http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/do_we_really_want_another_black

BTW, my wife (sitting next to me) says that she will NEVER have sex with me again if this adversely affects Jon Stewart in any way...

Jen Chaney: People, we have a plagiarism scandal on our hands. It is brave of you to risk the rest of your sex life as you know it in order to bring the truth to the masses.

A good speech from Swinton -- busted on Clooney for his Batman role. Nicely done.

My picks are so in the toilet tonight.

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Pride & Prejudice Music: Considering that P&P is playing up against the Oscars this year and they use (very beautiful, in my opinion) music from the most recent P&P movie while doing the best supporting actress montage?

Jen Chaney: Oh, that wasn't a coincidence. Don't kid yourself.

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S. Spring: Tilda's really rocking that Hefty Bag dress. From the side, she looks like a vampire. And she just channeled Bob Dylan when she said, "Oh man." Take that, Cate Blanchette.

Jen Chaney: I hate that dress. She's giving Rebecca Miller a run for the frumpy money. I think Swinton's a fine actress, though, and am happy to see her win.

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Inside the Beltway: Tilda Swinton looks like a hood ornament.

Jen Chaney: I'm sticking with Cinch Sack. Say it with me: "Hefty, hefty, cinch, SACK." That's what I am going to think every time I see a photo of her in that.

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Thoropolis, US: Can they say "rubber nipples" on network telly???

Jen Chaney: Can we say it in this chat?

Yes, I think so. Those aren't bad words.

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Tilda: Make up! Stet!

Jen Chaney: Yes, that might have helped matters, too.

You know, I kind of like Alba's dress now. I think it's elegant, especially for maternity wear.

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M&Ms commercial: I have loved that "The The" song ("This is the Day") since Empire Records today, but it is so fitting during the Oscars.

Jen Chaney: I like that song, too. But hearing it in an M&M commercial feels so wrong.

So for those keeping track, we've done eight awards. And we're an hour and 15 minutes in. That's not bad, actually. This seems speedier than usual.

I think Josh Brolin and James McAvoy are about to do adapted screenplay.

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College Station, TX: Wow! Am I the only one who noticed Tilda Swinton's beautiful green eyes?

Jen Chaney: Yes. The rest of us were distracted by the trash bag.

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Chicago: I think the "Just woke up, wiped the sleep out of their eyes and showed up" award should go to Renee Zellwegger and Tilda Swinton.

Jen Chaney: Duly noted.

The Coens just won for "No Country" screenplay. As stated earlier, we may have a sweep of sorts on our hands.

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Midwest: I LOVE Jon Stewart!! The pregant/Jack Nicholson comment was classic. How does Jack always get front seat with the sunglasses? He'll be there when he's 100.

Jen Chaney: He is doing very well on the whole. His banter between awards has been funnier than his monologue. Regardless, everyone will say tomorrow that he sucked. Just you watch.

Nicholson has guaranteed front row seats to the Lakers and the Oscars. It's a nice life.

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16th and Q: Live blogging the Jewish references at the oscars...

http://16thstreetj.wordpress.com/

Jen Chaney: This is legit, people. Very funny.

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Josh Brolin: was funny!

Jen Chaney: He's a very funny guy, from what I have seen and read in interviews. And he seems super-cool, too. He's had a great comeback this year, not just "No Country," but "American Gangster" and "In the Valley of Elah," too.

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Foggy Bottom, Washington DC: James McAvoy looked scrumptious presenting tonight!

Jen Chaney: He and Brolin are both pretty scrumptious.

You know, I get the sense that they created all these montages in case there wasn't a "real" Oscars. And now they are forced to show them.

Kristen Chenoweth is singing "That's How You Know" from "Enchanted." This is going to be the showstopper number of the night, I suspect.

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Washington, D.C.: Seriously, I will stop watching the Oscars the year Nicholson doesn't show up. I know it's bound to happen someday, and I'm already dreading the year he and his sunglasses aren't in the front row.

Jen Chaney: He is a requirement, that's for sure.

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Brookland: Oh my, where have I been. Josh Brolin has certainly grown up nicely. I remember him with that greasy long hair in Young Riders. Oh my. His looks and James Mcavoy would almost make the perfect man.

Jen Chaney: He has come a long way since "Goonies," although I thought he was pretty cute even then. (I was 11 or 12 then, for the record. So nothing icky.)

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College Station, Tex.: "Atonement" has been shut out so far. Too bad.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, there seemed to be a backlash against it because of what we talked about earlier, the presumptive Oscar front-runner thing.

I thought it was very, very well-done. Not an easy book to adapt. The subtext of that book is text, after all, and how words can alter people's lives. But they made the story cinematic and compelling in its own right.

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Washington, D.C.: "Some people ask me why do we give out Oscars"? Oh, come on. No one's ever asked him that. Why lie to the audience?

Jen Chaney: Because someone else wrote it so he had to say it?

Actually, that entire speech was in The Onion recently. Swear to God.

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Gary Busey Mystery Solved: Gary Busey was actually nominated for a Best Actor award in 1978 for "The Buddy Holly Story" and I believe actors who have been nominated can get an invite back pretty easily so that explains how he got in. However, once they go off their rockers and start accosting other participants, that invite should be revoked.

Jen Chaney: Ah, that makes sense. That still might be the highlight of the evening. I wonder if they will have second thoughts about letting him in again.

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Burtonsville MD: I've lost track, how did this little reggae/mariachi/construction worker thing relate to "There Will Be Blood"?

Jen Chaney: Don't you remember the scene where Daniel Day-Lewis started toking up and jamming to reggae?

No, that song was from "Enchanted," a really nice musical number that takes place in Central Park in the movie.

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Honaunau, Hawaii: Aloha everyone,

This is much more entertaining than actually watching the show - we don't get to see it until 7PM HT. One question - is is worth watching or does this chat cover the important stuff. I can catch the highlights in You Tube.

Mahalo!

Jen Chaney: It's worth watching, in my book. But the YouTube option is not a bad one.

Stewart just did a great bit. Announced three pregnant women in the audience: Alba, Blanchett and Kidman (who doesn't seem to be there yet). Stewart opened an envelope and said, "And the baby goes to ... Angelina Jolie."

Now Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill are doing their shtick, and presenting sound editing.

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RE: 16th and Q: Uhh...the joke is that Bob Hope was passed over for awards, not that it's too long. Can't believe I didn't get Atonement though. Haha puns.

Jen Chaney: See? That blog is helping.

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The G-Man: I thought you were going to write "85 percent of women over 35....said they would drink his milkshake" I swear I thought for sure I was reading that !

What a hunka hunka burnin love that man is.

Jen Chaney: The Clooney lovefest continues...

"Bourne Ultimatum" just won for sound editing. Well-deserved but not what I picked. This might be the worst I have ever done.

I think that woman is wearing the same necklace as Ellen Page...

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Herndon, Va.: Seriously? Did Jon Stewart really just make an adoption joke to the pregnant women? Seriously?!!?!? Angie is going to take their kids? Stupid on SOOOOO many levels

Jen Chaney: No, no, Herndon. The joke played on the fact that Jolie is pregnant, too, just has not announced it yet. As discussed earlier in this chat -- five hours ago, it seems like -- she was sporting a very obvious bump at last night's Spirit Awards.

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Arlington, VA: The Bourne Ultimatum wins something! It should have been nominated for Best Picture. And Jen, I'm doing badly on my picks this year, too. Needless to say, I won't be winning the office pool.

Jen Chaney: Just won again for Sound Mixing. Dang it. I had "Transformers" in both categories.

Geez, can't they let these guys say a quick thanks? They are cutting off people right and left.

Maybe our poor Oscar performances means we're going to win the NCAA pools. Maybe?

I think we're about to do Best Actress.

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Flyover, IN: Are you having issues with the sound? It drops for a half second and then comes in, like a bad speaker at a drive-through? Or is it my TV?

Jen Chaney: Has been happening to me, too. Very strange.

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Baby Award: ok that was funny. award to jolie. lol.

Jen Chaney: Yes. Kudos, Mr. Stewart.

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Gainesville FL: Am I the only one who feels kind of sorry for Gary Busey? OK, so he had a sip or two before the red carpet. I think he was just trying to make friends and get connected back into the biz. Little did he know that Jennifer Garner would have NO clue who he was. She thought he was a random crazy camera man.

Jen Chaney: Well, a little. But Busey has a reputation for being totally nutso (see episode of "Entourage"). So it's not like this is one random mistake.

And he should know not to grab women while they are on camera. Although, I have to say, Laura Linney handled it a bit more gracefully.

We're in the midst of Best Actress now.

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College Station, Tx: D-MN! Kevin McConnell is now zilch for 20 on his Oscar nominations for sound mixing. This is scandalous.

Jen Chaney: I know. That's why I thought "Transformers." Poor guy!

Marion Cotillard just won! I called the surprise win of the night! Vindication. Sweet, sweet vindication.

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Burtonsville, MD: I'm new to the Oscars so sorry to be asking stupid questions. But was there a requirement that Ratatouille be nominated in every category?

Jen Chaney: No question is stupid. I don't think it's nominated in that many categories. Score, Animated Feature, Screenplay ... I think that's it.

Cotillard kept her speech short. She truly didn't know what to say, but her obvious joy and shock was wonderful to watch. As she walked offstage with Whitaker she was shaking. I love Julie Christie, but I wasn't as bowled over by that performance as I was by Cotillard's.

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Best Actress: Aw. Can I tell you how much I love Laura Linney? She's the bestest actress ever. And the bestest friend. Taking Jennifer Garner away from Gary Busey. But OK, I like the French gal.

Jen Chaney: I adore Laura Linney. Completely agree, as I have said earlier. She is a wonderful actress and she handles herself with class, every time.

Cotillard was tremendous in "La Vie en Rose," though. I believe Linney will win one of these days. She's just too good not to. Although I could say the same about Kate Winslet, who still has yet to win.

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They got Best Actress right, how about that?: Even though I'm totally in the tank for Laura Linney, even I know that Marion Cotillard was above and beyond the best of the lot. (But the scales have got to go!)

Jen Chaney: Agreed on the scales.

Another great joke -- Jon Stewart playing Wii. Now here is Colin Farrell, asking the "help" to make sure the floor is less slippery.

We're about to hear the lovely song from "Once..."

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Joyeuse Marion Cotillard - Bravo! : That was, simply, one of the best acceptance speeches ever, kind of the genuine opposite of the Sally Field "You really love me" speech. She was IN love with the audience, the moment, the city of angels, etc. She was so overcome with joy, it was quite a spectacle to watch!

Jen Chaney: Agreed. Not articulate (there is a bit of a language barrier), but pure emotion. First thing to bring me close to tears tonight.

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Indianapolis: Best Actress BEFORE 10:15 Eastern?! Is it me or is Gil Cates trying to set a speed record for shortest Oscars?

Jen Chaney: He is going for speed, there is no question.

Which means I get to bed at 4 a.m. instead of 5.

The "Once" duo sounds great. But I think they'll lose to one of the 800 songs from "Enchanted."

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Jean Paul G.: Meh oui! Ah ha, so we get to see my wonderful feesh dress, no?

Jen Chaney: Oui, oui!

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A shocker: So how big an upset was that Best Actress selection? And why do people who speak broken English give better acceptance speeches than the native speakers? That line about "angels" was a classic.

Jen Chaney: Some had predicted the upset, but I think most thought Julie Christie would get it. It sort of looked like she was looking for her acceptance speech as it was being announced.

She already has an Oscar, though, so I can't feel too badly for her.

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Herndon, Va.: okay...they're FINALLY getting to "Falling Slowly" from "Once"...if this song doesn't win the award, then the academy can kiss my...well, you know the rest....

Jen Chaney: That was lovely, wasn't it? We'll see. Maybe they will want to honor the film for doing so well on such a limited budget.

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College Station, Tx: Forest Whitaker seemed genuinely touched by Marion Cotillard's win. That was nice camera work showing him escorting her into the wings after her speech. Good moment.

Jen Chaney: He did. A very nice moment. It almost seemed like Whitaker was acting as her Oscar mentor. "Welcome to the family. Everything will be all right."

Sweet.

More from Montageland ... Now we're seeing a moment from every Best Picture winner.

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Adams Morgan: Going back to that montage that Clooney introduced, it

was filled with Hollywood stars that almost every one still

recognizes: Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Bette Davis, Henry

Fonda, Katherine Hepburn. I think 50 years from now

people are still going to recognize these people. Are any

of today's stars going to have that longevity? Are we

going to see Johnny Depp at age 85 receiving an honorary

Oscar or will he and other stars of today be long forgotten

at that point?

Jen Chaney: I meant to answer this one earlier. People say this all the time, that the stars of today don't hold a candle to the ones of yesterday. And there is some truth to that, partly because cinema was still on the young side when some of those actors first debuted on the scene. There had never been a Cary Grant or a Jimmy Stewart before them, so they didn't beg comparisons to predecessors in the same way current stars do.

That said, I think few have true movie star power in the same way, simply because our culture is nichified now. We have access to indie films and all sorts of other works that people didn't back then, so there are only a few are known by the masses in the same way.

But I would put Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Julia Roberts in that category.

"Bourne Ultimatum" just won for editing. And now Kidman is celebrating an honorary award to Robert Boyle. Guess it's not for Ledger after all.

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Washington, DC: I've been hitting the mute button for most of the acceptance speeches. I just can't handle the triteness and babble anymore while watching the Oscars - and I'm a longtime Oscar viewer! I did listen to Javier Bardem and Maria Cotillard's speech, but they are the exception. I just like to see who won. Am I being rude or is my rudeness somewhat acceptable/understandable?

Jen Chaney: It's understandable. I think this year is zippier than usual, though. I love movies and I love awards shows, so I still like sitting through the babble. Call me a sap.

("Sap!")

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The Tom Cruise connection: Nicole Kidman walks out, and the camera cuts to...Penelope Cruz. Huh?

Jen Chaney: Ha! Funny.

Is it me or does Kidman barely look pregnant? She's so thin. She looks healthy, just not like she's gaining much baby weight.

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Baby Bumpville: They aren't showing Nicole's baby bump. Why would she choose a black dress and not show it off?

Jen Chaney: Maybe she is trying to be modest? I don't know. If you can't see the bump, you can't tell exactly when she is due.

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I'm a Loser: I've only seen 29 Best Pic movies. And I'm 35.

Jen Chaney: That's not bad, my friend. I didn't talley it up myself, but I'm sure I am missing some crucial ones. Just means we still have them to look forward to, right?

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Nicole Kidman: I thought she looked lovely. However, her baby bump is much smaller than I expected it to be. Even Angie's (from the Spirit Awards yesterday) looked bigger than Nicole's and we've known Nicole is preggers for a bit now.

Jen Chaney: Yes. But some people carry small, then burst out later in the pregnancy.

I just hope she has a healthy baby. If what's been written is remotely true, that miscarriage was pretty devastating for her.

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I've often wondered: How can Renee Z see with her eyes all scrunched up like that? She always looks like she's just sucked on a really sour lemon or smelled something awful.

Jen Chaney: Yes, she does have a lemon puss. And she is very calculated in the way she carries herself on the red carpet. Always poses in a very particular way.

That said, I think she's a pretty fine actress. And I look forward to seeing her in "Leatherheads" opposite former beau, some guy named Clooney. Not that we've mentioned him at all tonight or anything.

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Arrrrrrlington, Va.: The proper French phrase for Cotillard's fish dress, a la Flight of the Conchords, is "Jacques Cousteau!"

Honh honh honh une baguette!

Jen Chaney: Nice. You are the Rhyme-nocerous AND the Hip-hop-potamus.

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College Station, Tx: If I make it to 98, I hope I look and sound as good as Robert Boyle.

Jen Chaney: Seriously. He sounded sharp and looked good, too.

I hope I make it to 98 ... or heck, even the end of this evening.

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Honaunau HI: Just finished reading the whole chat and I agree, I'll be watching.

On a side note - thank you, your producer and the Washington Post for these chats. From the Oscars to national and world issues, it is so helpful to be able to chat with the reporters and get more of the story. Once I found the chats and saw the scope of the coverage, the Post became the national paper I read daily online. This is one way other papers could help move to the digital age - I don't see another major paper using chats to the extent the Post does. Thank you!

Jen Chaney: Hey, do you work for our marketing department?

That's very, very kind. And nice to hear, especially in light of the hard times newspapers are facing these days.

Right now Penelope Cruz is presenting Foreign Language Film ... "The Counterfeiters" has won. Finally, another check mark on my ballot. I was not expecting all those "Bourne" wins, though I should have considering how well it was edited.

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Scottsdale, Ariz.: I've never relied on a live blog for Oscar coverage before, but this year I'm sans TV. You're a star -- the play-by-play is great. I could share the welling emotion for Cotillard's moment at the podium. Thanks!

Jen Chaney: Hey, thanks, Scottsdale. Wow, you all are too kind tonight. Quick, someone start telling me what a jerk I am to even things out.

We're finally on the last song from "Enchanted," which means that award should be up next. By my count, we have nine awards left. Add some In Memoriam and I'm going to say we are done by midnight. Anyone else want to predict an end time?

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Burtonsville: You: But I would put Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Julia Roberts in that category.

Me: Wow, just wow! I will never see any movie with Johnny Depp in it. Each role is more preposterous than the next.

There are a few actors who I can rely on to make a pretty solid film. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, for instance.

Julia Roberts?

Jen Chaney: I'm not talking about quality of acting. I am talking about "movie stars."

If we're just talking acting quality, I definitely would lose Roberts and add Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney, perhaps even a Peter Sarsgaard.

But I think Depp, Clooney and Roberts are movie stars, even though Depp has gone an unconventional route to get there. Make sense?

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Chicago: Wait, do Penelope Cruz and Jennifer Garner have the same dress on?

Jen Chaney: No. Similar, but not the same. Cruz's has more feathers. And the skirt is not as fitted.

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S. Spring: So the "Bourne Ultimatum" was that technically good? Really?

Jen Chaney: I thought so, yeah. A really well-paced action film. Also has a bit more gravitas than, say, "Transformers."

Travolta, aka Action Figure Head, is presenting Best Song.

Yay! The song from "Once" won!!

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Wow: That Amy Adams - she can sing, she can dance AND she can act. I think I'd like to be her!

Jen Chaney: Me, too!

Glen Hansard is charming. Good for him for saying that the people who should be thanked know who they are. More people should go that route.

But shame on the orchestra for cutting off Marketa Irglova. She didn't get a chance to say anything.

And love Stewart's comment after Hansard's humble speech: "Man, that guy is so arrogant."

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Ditch the old crusties in the Foreign Film committee already: So not only do they ignore Persepolis and 4 Months, 3 days, etc, and they disqualify The Band Visit because it had "too much spoken English" (never mind that was the common language understood by the various groups represented in the movie), but what wins? The WWII movie. Yes, I'm sure it was a worthy film, but is that the only kind of foreign film these old crusties can get behind? There's a reason that genre is always there, and why we always pick it in the Oscar polls, and it's getting old.

Jen Chaney: It is pretty predictable, isn't it? Exactly why I picked it on my ballot.

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Song: Yay!!! I could cry for the Once song winning. Okay, I'm tearing up right now.

Jen Chaney: So glad I picked wrong in that category. KNow what makes it sweeter? That Hansard was in "The Commitments." I LOVE that movie.

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College Station, Tx: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Falling Slowly!

Jen Chaney: Amen. A good night for underdogs.

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New York: Do you think Jon Stewart is acting like a jerk? Many of his lines are not funny.

Jen Chaney: I don't know, I am enjoying him. Then again, I am a sucker for sarcasm.

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D*** Orchestra: Really? There are TWO people up there, one gives maybe a 15 second speech and the orchestra (or show director) just blows the other person off? The "Once" girl's shining Oscar moment is speaking pointlessly into a mike while the orchestra drowns her out.

Jen Chaney: I agree. It's out of control. I'm all in favor of a brisker pace, but that was her one chance to thank people at the Oscars, probably for her whole life. Give her a couple of seconds at least.

Wait, Jon Stewart is bringing her back. Good for him!

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WDC: That's class--letting the woman from Once have her say!

Jen Chaney: Absolutely. Don't know if that was Stewart's idea, but if so, nicely done.

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A wrong is immediately righted - I'm gobsmacked: They let Marketa come back out and give her thank you speech. There's hope for this d*** show yet.

Jen Chaney: Hey, maybe Marketa is right. Dreams can come true.

I am dreaming that Cameron Diaz would stop talking ... shoot, not happening...

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Falls Church, Va.: Either you like Jon, or you don't. Simple as that. I think he is a great host, but I watch his show each night, even on rerun nights.

I like the idea of Steve Carrell. And I liked it when Letterman hosted.

Jen Chaney: Yes, yes and yes.

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Kristen Chenoweth: What a triple threat -- really special on so many levels.

I'm just bummed she likely won't be the star whenever the film version of "Wicked" finally makes it to the screen.

Jen Chaney: She is immensely talented.

Here we go, In Memoriam. They noted that the cutoff is Jan. 31. Which means no Roy Scheider.

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Brookland: I think I just fell in love with Jon Stewart for allowing her to give her acceptance speech that got caught off. How cool was that???

Jen Chaney: We're all in agreement on that being tremendous. He has now won the heart of America, or at least Ireland.

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Reading You/Listening to Watching: Dexter! I never got to see season one on Showtime so I'm playing catchup (cuz I did see season 2). Love Michael C Hall (who often looked weird in Six Feet Under) but shows so much more classically handsome in

Dex, yah? He's great. Think he'll ever do more movies? Plus, I'm used to actually being in L.A. in past years and we were always the last to see the Oscar show on the telly (except for Hawaii, maybe).

So, thanks for keeping me in the loop!

Jen Chaney: I do love Michael C., though I have yet to get into that show. It's on my to-do list.

Speaking of, did anyone catch "The Wire"? Tonight's is devastating.

Heath Ledger got the last moment in the In Memoriam. Not longer than the others, but more prominent.

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Boston, MA: Love Jon Stewart for bringing that woman back!!!!!!

Cameron Diaz---is there a problem with the way that dress fits her--it's like it's squeezing fat up under her armpits.

(I've just joined as P&P finished but have been lurking all nite)

Jen Chaney: There is a problem with that dress period. It's not flattering. It looks like a reject from the '80s.

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In Memoriam: I wonder why they didn't include Brad Renfro?

Jen Chaney: Did they not? My eyes weren't on the screen the entire time. Hmmm ... that is strange.

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'the woman from Once...." : Great song, glad it won, but doesn't she look like she's about, oh, I don't know ... 15? Going on 14? Glen Hansard could be her father. I am a little bit creeped out right now, knowing that they are an actual couple.

Jen Chaney: She is quite young. She was definitely under 21 when they met.

Oh, now they have done it. They're showing an "Eli Stone" commercial. I am so SICK of these ads.

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Washington, D.C.: Every year I wish they would ban clapping until the end of the in Memoriam. I feel like it turns people's life's work into a popularity contest.

Jen Chaney: I was just thinking the same thing. The people who worked on the technical side never get applause.

Here comes Amy Adams, back in the green dress. She is about to give out the award for score.

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Arlington, VA: Did they miss Brad Renfro on the Memorium??

Jen Chaney: Sounds like they did, yeah.

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Slippery stage?: So when Colin frist said "someone should do somehting about this" I thought - ok maybe his shoes are spippery, but later Travolta seemed to slip too - this is making me nervous for the women in heels (and some pregnant) that may have to use that mike... yikes.

Jen Chaney: Hopefully they fixed this during commercial.

I am rooting for the score from "Ratatouille." And the winner is...

Dang. The "Atonement" score won. I guess they had to give that movie something.

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WDC: Amy Adams needs to fire her hair stylist. Or learn to stand up straight and project.

Jen Chaney: Wait, now we're turning on Adams? Say it ain't so.

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WDC: Hilary Swank: she always looks so strange to me. Is it the unusually shaped looks or the stiff, rehearsed delivery?

Jen Chaney: Maybe the teeth? I don't know, I like her.

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With You on Eli Stone: Yuck! It is a total Ally McBeal rip-off and doesn't seem to have nearling the wit AB had. But that's why ABC is lucky to be hosting the Oscars.

Jen Chaney: I haven't really watched it. I am just sick of the George Michael song, the teaser that tells me how "delightfully wacky" it all is. Enough, already. I don't gotta have faith, dammit!

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Washington, DC: I don't know how Michael Giacchino has time to compose film scores around his work with Lost! I'm happy Atonement won. That score was brilliant. Loved the use of the typewriter to create tension.

Jen Chaney: Yes, very true. The typewriter effect was excellent.

That's why I wanted Giacchino to win. I think he's very talented, and his music on "Lost" is wonderful.

"Freeheld" just won for Documentary Short.

I am assuming they won't have soldiers present the Best Doc nominees. Having them say "No End in Sight" just seems mean.

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Amy Adams: I love her. "Junebug" wouldn't have even been a movie without her. I want to put her in my pocket.

Jen Chaney: Ha! That's great. "Put her in my pocket" now officially trumps "drink her milkshake."

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Chicago: I support all the P&P love...I'm the biggest Colin Firth as Mr Darcy fan...but hello? DVR? TiVo? That was my answer to tonight's scheduling dilemma.

Jen Chaney: See, I can't DVR and watch another show at the same time. It's a bigtime problem. Like, global dilemma big.

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Alexandria, VA: Pre-watched the Wire last week on HBO onDemand so as to focus completely on tonight's Oscars, but, agreed, it was devastating. This season is like watching a train wreck in slow motion - you know it's turning out bad, bad, bad for the big players, but you just can't turn away.

Jen Chaney: The whole show is like a five-season train wreck. I won't spoil for others, but something awful happened to one of my favorite characters. And I am very upset about it.

Tom Hanks is presenting Best Doc. I think it will be "No End in Sight," though I wouldn't mind hearing what Michael Moore has to say.

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Foggy Bottom, Washington DC: That woman (girl?) in the green next to my man James McAvoy: is she his wife?!!? She looks like she might be about 12!

Jen Chaney: No, the woman in green is Saoirse Ronan, his young costar from "Atonement."

And "Taxi to the Dark Side" just won. Didn't see that coming. Worst. Oscar. Ballot. Ever.

The wife of Alex Gibney, the filmmaker, is crying.

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End Time: Since you asked, I predict the show will end by 11:45 - it is going pretty speedily. However, since it is going faster than usual, will they add in more commercials to make up for it?

Jen Chaney: Don't think so. There are only four awards left. So I think 11:45 is doable.

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Falls Church, Va: Oh Jen, we were on the same page all night. Then you reveal that you (a) haven't gotten into Dexter and (b) don't like Eli Stone. We are no longer friends. Now I will have to love The Rock and Jon Stewart all by myself.

As well, I like Cameron's dress. And so did the fashion critics from E. Bu - she is not aging well. she needs to use some sunscreen, or somethin'

Jen Chaney: I want to watch "Dexter." Doesn't liking Michael C. Hall give me partial credit?

I still consider you a friend.

Sniff, sniff.

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Norfolk: Jen,

How are you doing on your picks? I am at 33% so far.

Jen Chaney: Let's count ... I am 8 for 20. That is just horrible.

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Sleeplessness: What were all the celebrities doing last night? A bunch of them have bags under their eyes! (Owen Wilson, Tom Hanks..)

Jen Chaney: Some were at the Independent Spirits, others were probably out partying.

Speaking of bags, it's Harrison Ford! Original screenplay time.

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Future predictions: Is "A Raisin in the Sun" going to launch P. Diddy's acting career? Will he be one of the future Oscar nominees?

Jen Chaney: I doubt it. He did it on Broadway, and he was reportedly not the strongest performer in the cast. He threw killer after-parties, though.

_______________________

Baby Marketa: She is STILL under 21! the story in the post said she was 13 when they met. She is 19 now, half his age. gross!!!!

Jen Chaney: Is that right? Maybe I was thinking that she was now over 18 instead of 21.

Diablo Cody just won. And she's wearing a dress straight out of Tarzan.

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Hendersonville, N.C.: Is it just my imagination or does it look like Harrison Ford had a slight stroke that he's recovered from?

Jen Chaney: Oh, gosh, I don't think so. He's been filming Indiana Jones and reportedly doing some of the physical stuff himself.

Cody just lost it at the end of her speech. Not in an embarrassing way, she just got a little emotional, started walking the wrong way offstage.

That slit in her dress was almost a wardrobe malfunction.

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Alex, VA: Re: the couple from "Once": according to IMDB, he's 37 and she'll turn 20 on Feb. 28.

Jen Chaney: I believe you. Yes, the age difference is a little weird. I still love them, though.

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Falls Church, Va.: wWw, I think this is an upset in Documentary Feature!

Also, can you enlighten us on where former Guru Erin went? I saw her last blog but did not find any other explanation of it.

Jen Chaney: That was a bit of an upset.

Erin left us to edit the D.C. version of Daily Candy. We will miss her terribly.

_______________________

Hampton, Va.: I'm crying after Diablo Cody. A reminder, family is everything...

Jen Chaney: Yes. That's when people usually lose it in their speeches, when they thank their parents.

We're about to give another Oscar to Daniel Day-Lewis ... otherwise known as the Best Actor category.

_______________________

College Station, Tx: Whoa, Diablo! That's awesome skin art you're wearing. Is it a self-portrait? (And I'm not even going to comment on the leopardskin.)

Jen Chaney: Yeah. I know Liz digs the tats, but I think that one looks tacky. Not to be a conservative crank, but it does.

_______________________

Chicago: OK, you KNOW Diablo was shocked and in awe because she didn't even notice that the person handing her the Oscar and escorting her offstage was Harrison Ford. Harrison. Ford. She's gonna look back at that tape and say, "Wha?!!?"

Jen Chaney: Yeah, totally.

Here comes Helen Mirren. She just looks perfect. I really love those sleeves.

_______________________

WDC: Helen Mirren: she looks fantastic! Wow. The dress looked good on the red carpet but with the lights giving some sparkle to the top it's amazing. Love her.

Jen Chaney: I just noted the same. Stunning.

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Aw, Diablo Cody got me teary eyed: That part at the end about her family loving her "just the way I am" was why (although that dress could bring a weaker person to tears as well).

Jen Chaney: True.

How crazy has the past year been for her? It must be so overwhelming.

_______________________

Helen Mirren: Definitely an actress that ages gracefully and is just amazing! I have a girl-crush on her. Her dress, not so much.

Jen Chaney: I like her dress. It looks great on her.

Ms. Mirren is about to tell us who won Best Actor ... surprise, surprise, Daniel Day-Lewis.

_______________________

Boston: : I might be open to ELI STONE except that it has so many advertisements during LOST.

Jen Chaney: Exactly. I just can't take it anymore. That is the sole reason for my hatred of the show.

"Sprang like a sapling out of the mad, beautiful head of Paul Thomas Anderson." How eloquent is Daniel Day-Lewis?

_______________________

Oh but they HAD to give it to DDL: He -is- that movie, heart and soul. As much as the others were worthy, it really would have been a travesty if DDL had not won.

Jen Chaney: Agreed. He was phenomenal. And gave a very classy speech.

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Washington,Dc: Was Diablo iwearing NO underwear? When skirt split open you could see all way up leg well past hip and it was all skin.

Diablo reminded me of youngster who needs help pulling up panties.

Jen Chaney: Well, the slit was just ill-advised. She looked nervous, like she was trying to hold it together. Never something you want to be doing when you've just won an Oscar.

I wouldn't be surprised if she went commando.

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Brooklyn, NY: Wow! I would listen to Helen Mirren read the phone book. Definitely the sexiest catagory introduction of the night.

Jen Chaney: Yes, it was like she trying to win an Oscar for presenting at the Oscars.

So all that's left is Best Picture and Director. Who is thinking upset?

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Taxi more politicallly palatable than No End In Sight: I never considered the Academy voters conservative, but do you think the fact that No End In Sight was the consensus favorite and it evicerates the Bush Administration scared away many voters? Incidentally, Alex Gibney was exec producer on NEIS, so he wins either way

Jen Chaney: Maybe. I haven't seen "Taxi" yet, but "No End in Sight" is also very talking-head-heavy. Maybe they wanted to give it to something more cinematic?

We're all just second-guessing since who knows what was on their minds?

We're about to do Best Director.

_______________________

No "I drink your milkshake"????: How could they not use the Milkshake clip from the bowling alley for DDL? I always try to figure out what the "Oscar clip" is going to be when I watch a film with strong acting performances. No one can possibly say that the church scene is better DDL than the bowling alley!! Does the studio or the academy pick the clip for nominees?

Jen Chaney: Oh, I can say it. The bowling alley scene is fantastic, but it's also a little bit funny and over the top. I found the church scene more truly dramatic and emotional. Although it gets funny, too, when you can tell DDL is ticked about getting slapped in the face.

_______________________

WDC: DDL: eloquent...and creepy.

I wanted it for Clooney. Sigh.

The pantomime between DDL and Mirren was charming, though.

Jen Chaney: Oh, I don't think he's creepy. He's just unconventional. I love Clooney but DDL deserved it more in this case.

_______________________

*Yawn*: I'm sleepy.

Jen Chaney: Hang in there. Two more awards.

I still have hours worth of work to do after this ends, so be thankful. You could be me!

The Coen brothers just won for directing. I think a Best Picture win is a foregone conclusion.

Great speech from Ethan. He barely said anything when they won earlier, and he just said: "I don't have a lot to add to what I said earlier. Thank you." Now Joel is doing the talking.

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Earrings: I really can't get past DDL 's earrings.

Jen Chaney: Okay.

Speaking of earrings, Denzel is on now and has a sparkly one in his left ear.

We're on Best Picture.

The winner is.... "No Country for Old Men."

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Hampton, Virginia: Anybody got an extra spoon lying around, I want to scoop me up some Denzel---yummy...

Jen Chaney: We've gone from milkshakes to spoons. We've truly come full circle.

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Arlington, VA: You know what I miss? The clips to introduce each Best Picture nominee. Remember how they used to show a clip from each throughout the show?

A solid show this year, though. I really enjoyed it! (a bit to my surprise)

Jen Chaney: Yeah, although we had seen clips from several via the acting nods. I don't think they've shown Picture clips in recent years.

So how did everyone do on their picks. Overall, I was abysmal. But in the eight major categories, I got everything but Supporting Actress. So that redeems, though only a little.

_______________________

Is It Just me or does: Denzel seem a little cranky/not so happy to be there?

Perhaps a little "Miffled" (as Tony Soprano would say) about "American Gangster" being left out of the party?

Jen Chaney: Oh, I doubt he's miffed. Didn't notice crankiness. I saw it as "intensity."

So I'm going to stick with you for another 10 minutes or so, then I sign off at midnight. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good show. Especially since they were working under tighter constraints than usual because of the strike.

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It's always the movie I haven't seen: Do not even tell me, Scott Rudin, that it is a "complete surprise" that your movie won Best Picture. I love me some Coens but all the talk about all the violence has kept me away until recently. Then when I tried to go see it this weekend, it's only playing a few places not near me, so I'm hoping this means a video release soon?

Jen Chaney: Yes, it's coming out on DVD in early March. So you can see it there soon.

The violence is largely implied. It's definitely there, but it's not like you're watching graphic murders for two hours. It's a very good movie, although I kind of wanted "There Will Be Blood" to win.

_______________________

Logan Circle: I think we need a pre-awards writers strike every year to keep it under 4 hours

Jen Chaney: Well, I am not sure if that's why it remained under four hours.

I think the faster pace was good, with the caveat that they need to give people a little more time to talk. Just a little. Whoever is cueing the orchestra needs to chill.

_______________________

Why is the closing credits song the theme from Mission Impossible?: Is this a musical editorial comment about tonight's proceedings or what?

Jen Chaney: It's their homage to Tom Cruise.

His presence is always with us. And don't you ever forget it.

_______________________

Flyover, IN: Thanks for a great party and not making us clean up afterwards. Great job and see you on the Lost Yaplet.

Jen Chaney: Thank you, Flyover. I very much look forward to talking "Lost" with you later this week. When, hopefully, I will have recuperated from this night.

So here are my top three moments of the evening:
1. BUSEY!!
2. Marion Cotillard's emotional win as Best Actress.
3. Jon Stewart bringing back the "Once" star so she could accept her award.

_______________________

What does PTA have to do to win Best Director?: Open a vein? Cast George Clooney in the lead? Call it the feel-good hit of the summer? I'm stymied.

Jen Chaney: Listen, Paul Thomas Anderson is an exceptional director. But he is a little outside of the mainstream. I love him for that. But a lot of people are put off by it. They like his movies to a point and then they go, "But wait, why is it raining frogs?"

And then they freak out and can't vote for him. I'm not saying it's right, but I think that more traditional voters don't know what to make of him. But I think he'll have his day eventually.

_______________________

So next year...: Coen Bros + Paul Thomas Anderson = "There Will Be Blood Simple."

ba dum bum

Jen Chaney: Nice.

_______________________

Oh my: The man candy in the best actor category just left me speechless. Boo on Viggo's beard though.

Jen Chaney: A lot of candy tonight, of both the man and woman variety. It's what Oscar is all about, baby!

I should warn you, after midnight, I start to talk like Dick Vitale. It's not pretty.

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Herndon, Va: Okay...all you people getting -grossed out- by the couple from Once....if you'd actually seen the movie you'd know they were never a couple. Yes, the movie is about the love story that could have been. But it is also about the love story that wasn't. They don't even kiss in the movie! (Plus, I have no idea how old she is, but in the movie she has a 2-year-old child, so she's clearly playing older in the movie...)

Jen Chaney: You're right, Herndon. But the actors are a couple in real life, which is where the ick factor comments come in.

It isn't an issue in the movie that much. You don't really think about the age difference at all, actually.

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WDC: I liked the faster pace. I vote for fewer montages and more time for speeches. But a limit on the number of people thanked! That's boring. Stewart did well. I always enjoy him.

Jen Chaney: Yes, agreed.

Well, that will have to be the last word. As always it has been a pleasure sharing Oscar night with you all. Now go to sleep, and have pleasant George-Clooney-filled dreams.

Thanks, all.

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