The term "what a nightmare" is tossed around so frequently these days…

The Carillon’s navel- and star-gazing awards recap

Matthew Blackwell, Paul Bogdan, James Brotheridge, John Cameron, Mason Pitzel, Rhiannon Ward
Billy Crystal fans

Reading Week is a time of productivity and focus, a chance for students to get their heads back into the game and come out of February with a clear set of goals for the last month of classes. Failing that, it’s a good chance to spend a week forgetting about your coursework and then scrambling to finish it all on Sunday night.

This year, however, that Sunday night coincided with the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. So rather than spend time doing something tedious like studying, the Carillon got cozy with a social network, prepared for some kingly speeches, and Inception Black Swan Toy Story 3. If you didn’t watch the broadcast, we recorded our responses to the show’s highlights – and low-lights.

The Red Carpet

James Brotheridge: “Everyone will be taking home one of these chocolate Oscars.” No consolation, ABC.
John Cameron: ABC is already promising that their Monday night newscast will have “red carpet disasters.” What do you know that we don’t, ABC?
JB: ABC is has a crazy 3D model of the Kodak Theater. Lord forbid I don’t have a full conception of the space.
Mason Pitzel: A question from Facebook!
JB: The “question from Facebook” thing is a big scapegoat. “Here’s a shitty question I don’t have to take responsibility for.”
MP: I think Jesse Eisenberg is going to get tired of the suggestion that he should be home on Facebook right now.
Rhiannon Ward: I read an interview that said he doesn’t even have a Facebook, so.
MP: Jennifer Lawrence wants to be elsewhere. “My nickname is Jeff Bridges.”
RW: Jeff Bridges is a weird nickname.
JC: Jennifer Lawrence abides.
MP: Her jewelry really tied the outfit together.
JB: “Interactive questions”? Tim Gunn doesn’t understand the Internet.
RW: Every single host of this red carpet show is a terrible, terrible interviewer
MP: I really wish they could get the writers of these “Facebook questions” to appear via holograms.
JC: While ABC might have the theatre shots, E! has picture-in-picture, with the interviews nestled inside shots of people arriving. It’s an information nightmare.
RW: It sounds like disaster coverage.
JC: Ryan Seacrest just asked Spielberg if his family ordered in to watch this year’s Oscars. Spielberg seemed really uncomfortable. And speaking of uncomfortable: “When you see [Helen Mirren’s] body, it’s bangin’, still.”
JB: She still gets reported on when she wears a bikini, because it’s awesome.
JC: Seacrest just asked Hugh Jackman how Colin Firth was able to figure out how to stutter, for a film.
MP: Cate Blanchett: “brainy”.
Paul Bogdan: Those look like barnacles on her dress.
MP: I will never get used to the question, “Who are you wearing tonight?”
JC: Wait, I’ve been watching this for half an hour and haven’t seen Ben Mulroney once. Did they leash him?
PB: One can only hope,
JB: Natalie Portman looks so troubled.
RW: “I am so annoyed that I get to be at the Oscars” – Natalie Portman.
MP: Nicole Kidman talk forever please. Can I play with your hair?
JB: “Nicole Kidman, are you just a greedy bitch for even still competing for these things?”
MP: I would really love for someone to make a compilation of moments where Tim Gunn deals with technology, and technology words.
JC: Okay, the current E! thing: one of their correspondents isn’t on the carpet. She’s got a ladder up against a fence and is watching cars come in. She read out a Steve Martin tweet. It’s difficult to watch.
PB: I’m debating switching to E! because this sounds disastrously awesome.
JC: This is obviously contrived but now she’s talking about having been able to touch Marisa Tomei's dress. This is denigrating.
PB: She touched fashion history.
JB: Did Hugh Jackman plan his own slick entry, or did they request that he slide in?
JC: That’s just how Hugh Jackman rolls, man.

The opening pre-filmed segment and monologue

JB: This is just a mini-pilot for the Hathaway/Franco version of Portlandia.
RW: And it’s much worse. Whatever, I still love them.
JC: Morgan Freeman narration!
RW: I want Morgan Freeman to narrate my dreams too.
JC: Why are they in Back to the Future?
MP: Back to the Future is not up for any nominations.
JC: And we’re into the monologue.
MP: Anne Hathaway wins for Most Adorable, forever.
JB: “My presence is a present, kiss my ass.” Possible James Franco acceptance speech?
MP: I’m convinced the only thing that’s going to save the Oscars is if Tim & Eric start writing the jokes.

Best Art Direction (Robert Stromberg and Karen O’Hara, Alice in Wonderland)

JB: Tom Hanks to present the Gone With the Wind Award.
JC: The King’s Speech had to disguise its set’s gay porn roots, which to me sounds like Oscar Material.
MP: If Inception won they’d also have to give out a retroactive Oscar to whoever designed the Holodeck.
JB: Someone needs to take the awful ending of Alice in Wonderland that involves Johnny Depp breakdancing and just overlay the words “Oscar Winner” over top of that.

Best Cinematography (Wally Pfister, Inception)

JB: Wally Pfister. What a name.
MP: I hardly know her!
JB: These were all solid choices. Inception, True Grit, and The Social Network were all just beautiful looking movies, and any of those winning wouldn’t have been a crime.

Best Supporting Actress (Melissa Leo, The Fighter)

JC: Nominees announced by a seriously charming Kirk Douglas.
JB: This doubles as a list of ladies Kirk Douglas would like to make rude suggestions to.
MP: No one wasn’t grinning during that preamble.
JC: Whoa! Melissa Leo takes it.
PB: Her dress looks like it’s made out of doilies.
RW: You’re right. Stiff doilies.
JC: Yeah but she has an Oscar now, she can dress like a coffee table whenever she wants.
MP: “Fuckin’!”
JC: Melissa Leo takes it with the first audible “fuck” of the night, too.
PB: My Christian ears!
RW: I thought the broadcast was slightly behind!
JB: “It’s the young and hip Oscars!”

Best Animated Short Film (The Lost Thing)

JC: Okay, so the short film, which like nobody’s ever seen but let’s face it always look like they will be a fun thing.
JB: Everyone’s seen Day and Night, though.
MP: Visually The Lost Thing looks a lot like Robots.
JB: I wonder how the dudes who made The Lost Thing felt when they realized the score that they made would be what they’d walk up to when they won.

Best Animated Feature (Toy Story 3)

JC: I’m obligated to cheer for The Illusionist, but Toy Story 3 will win.
JB: Toy Story 3 is a lock, but How to Train Your Dragon was one of my favorites from last year. Just saying.
RW: I loved How to Train Your Dragon also, but TS3 made me cry harder so you know.

JC: Lee Unkrich was talking as if Toy Story 3 was a risk that they weren’t sure if people would go watch.
RW: Good point. There really wasn’t any chance of it being a flop.
JB: It was a movie that was universally accepted in a way that no other film was this past year, which is really cool for a cartoon-funny picture.
Matthew Blackwell: I definitely enjoyed both of the other films more than Toy Story 3, but when a movie's nominated for Best Picture and Best Animated Feature, it's a lock.

Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network)

JB: Sorkin!
RW: Obviously.
JC: Aaron Sorkin speech prediction: prewritten and archly contrived! Prediction confirmed with Network reference!
RW: What a bizarre reference, Aaron.
JB: No one in the room is surprised that Sorkin would have to be played off.

Best Screenplay (David Seidler, The King’s Speech)

MP: I’m a fan of this montage, just saying.
JB: Best Screenplay are always their opportunity to make the nominee videos look really cool.
RW: I always love these clips with the script on the screen.
JC: And David Seidler takes it!
MP: Accepts the award on behalf of stutterers everywhere! Class act.

Best Foreign-Language Film (In a Better World)

JC: Canada loses again.
MP: At least Australia didn’t win, am I right?
JB: I was really plugging for retroactive recognition for Men With Brooms.

"'Interactive Questions?' Tim Gunn doesn't understand the internet."

– James Brotheridge

Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale, The Fighter)

RW: I really don’t want to ever see Winter’s Bone, is what I’m learning – not because of quality but because I’m not good with sinister subject matter.
JB: The Ruffalo clip should just be the Ruffalo Wink.
MB: It’ll be Bale, I’m one million per cent certain of it.
JC: Eerily accurate, Matthew.
RW: Not really eerie so much as obvious.
MB: Yeah, I pretty much have been spending all of my time on Oscar picks and film blogs all week. Because I’m a huge nerd, suck it.
JB: How many websites have been mentioned by name in acceptance speeches before?

Best Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network)

PB: Go Trent Reznor!
RW: Academy Award winner Nine Inch Nails. How does THAT feel, year 2011?
MP: Academy Award winner The Prodigy.
JB: Academy Award winner Mixmaster Mike.

Best Sound Mixing (Lora Hirschberg et al, Inception)

MB: Don’t want to speak too soon, but this is almost always the loudest movie that wins.
MP: Inception features an Edith Piaf song slowed down beyond recognition; it wins the award. I guess the Academy loves chopped-and-screwed mixes.

Best Sound Editing (Richard King, Inception)

MP: And the award for Most Explode Sounds goes to …
JC: In an ironic bit of sound editing, they kept playing the explode sounds even after they cut to Richard King.
MB: Explosion speech!
JB: Just looking at this little guy on stage is weird, because his head is just filled with a cacophony of explosion noises at all times. His mind is Pandora’s Box.

INTERMISSION: Marisa Tomei recaps the Science and Tech awards

JB: I never know how to feel about the person who presents at the non-broadcast awards.
RW: James Franco does.
MP: “Congratulations, nerds.”

Best Makeup (Rick Baker and Dave Elsey, The Wolfman)

JC: Oh fuck me. The Wolfman?
RW: “That’s gross.”
JC: “That’s gross.” -me, watching The Wolfman take home an Oscar.
JB: This is totally just props because this production insisted on doing a ton of practical effects.

Best Costumes (Colleen Atwood, Alice in Wonderland)

JB: Tickle Trunk Award!
JC: Goes to an appropriate person.
MP: Well, The King’s Speech still wins for Best Achievement in Double-Breasted Suits.
JB: Double Academy Award winner Alice in Wonderland.

Best Song nominees, part one

MB: Randy Newman is so the boss.
RW: He sounds like he’s doing a Randy Newman impression.
MP: Mandy Moore in A Gown to Remember.
MB: I’m not ashamed to say that the sequence in Tangled that this song is taken from is probably one of the best animated sequences ever.

Best Documentary Short Subject (Strangers No More)

JC: Every film in this category looks really depressing.
MP: Award goes to Strangers No More! Because this wasn’t the “Best Typeface Used” award.

Best Live Action Short Film (God of Love)

JB: Best Live Action Short doesn’t look like it’ll be any less depressing, for the most part.
JC: The night’s gawkiest auteur takes it for God of Love!

Bizarre AutoTune montage

MB: Also known as “Let’s Make This the Most Dated Oscars Ever in Like Two Years.”
JB: They probably could’ve gotten Timberlake to actually sing his part. He would’ve been down.

Best Documentary Feature (Inside Job)
[note: this award was presented by Oprah]

JB: Oprah is giving out Best Doc obviously because of her sterling journalistic reputation, which includes talking to Jay Leno about his cars.
JC: Inside Job! Typical leftist Oscars.
RW: Oh my goodness.
JC: Political speech! Thank God, I was thinking Big Hollywood wasn't going to have anything to post about.

Guest hosts Billy Crystal and A Horrifying Hologram of Bob Hope

MB: They flew Billy Crystal out to save the broadcast.
JC: And a fucking creepy Bob Hope hologram.
RW: Better than will.i.am.
JC: The Hopeogram is like visibly walking around, despite being behind a podium.
MB: This is deeply frightening.
JB: From beyond the grave, Bob Hope announces the arrival of Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr.
JC: The Hopeogram, it speaks to the future!
RW: Okay, now it’s not better. Now it’s terrifying.

Best Visual Effects (Paul Franklin et al, Inception)

MB: Any fanboy’s hope of Inception winning any “important” awards is dashed by all of these tech awards.

Best Film Editing (Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Social Network)

JB: These dudes edited The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and couldn’t make that movie any shorter?

Best Song nominees, part two, and award (Randy Newman, We Belong Together)
MB: I’m still Jenny Hudson from the block.
MP: Singer, actress, and woman Jennifer Hudson.
MB: Thank you, Enya. Our next performer is …
MP: Mom-pop group Florence and the Machine. “Kaitlyn, did you leave your CD in my car? It’s not bad. Who is this?”
MB: Oh, it’s Gwenyth Paltrow.
MP: Well, it is now.
MB: This song is also really bad. Also her microphone is ugly and vain.
JB: “We Belong Together”, based on the Mariah Carey song, wins for Best Adapted Mariah Carey Single.
JC: Gwenyth was robbed. I’m writing a furious letter to GOOP in support of Gwenny.
RW: “Looks like a mic.”
PB: Maybe Randy Newman was confused after seeing Gwenyth Paltrow’s mic.

In Memoriam

JB: The one thing I can say about this is that there weren’t any surprises. It’s always the saddest when you discover that a character actor you’ve really loved died this year, and you find out via one of these.
JC: What's the mood in the Kodak Theatre like during the death roll call, do you suppose? Uncomfortable, because literally everyone in there knows that they’ll be on that screen one day?
MP: But it’ll be okay because they can still introduce Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.

Achievement in Directing (Tom Hooper, King’s Speech)

MB: Who’d have thought that Oscarbait would win Oscars?
JB: Tom Hooper looks like a James Cameron who still has hope for the world and trust in mankind.

Lifetime Achievements

JC: Eli Fuckin’ Wallach! Why wasn’t Godard invited to the actual ceremony? Oh right, he’s French.
PB: They should have got a Godardogram.
JC: Clarification: I totally thought he was dead.

Best Actress (Natalie Portman, Black Swan)

RW: Can you effing imagine being told you are good at something by THE EFFING DUDE?
MP: Keep in mind it’s just, like, his opinion, man. Now he’s complimenting Portman on her range of characters, but isn’t like the main criticism of her is that she plays a very limited range of characters?
MB: It’s a bogus criticism, honestly. But I’m a Portmanpologist.
JC: Natalie Portman wins Best Trembling and Sweating in a Leading Role.
MP: Natalie Portman, Best Holy Shit What Is Happening to Your Fingernails.

Best Actor (Colin Firth, The King’s Speech)

MB: I can’t believe Sandra Bullock is within three thousand miles of this auditorium. “Star of All About Steve, Sandra Bullock.” Fuck, even “Star of The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock.”
JC: Jesse Eisenberg nods, because it is impossible for her to be serious about his non-existent Facebook account.
MB: James Franco looks SO HIGH.
JC: I’ve been hoping the whole broadcast that he’s blazed. Cause wouldn’t you do it, if you had the chance?
RW: Everyone keeps saying that, but that is just James Franco. He looks high at all times.
MP: Colin Firth!
MB: Has anyone watched the Pride and Prejudice miniseries? Or, um, What a Girl Wants? Let’s just say he instantly makes any movie way better.

Best Picture (The King’s Speech)

MB: Sorry, but this whole 10 film thing is still ludicrous.
RW: We were just saying. It’s crazytown.
MB: Putting King’s Speech narration over a montage of every other movie means a King’s Speech win. Overall, this isn’t a bad list – maybe even a great list – but it has a distressing lack of The Ghost Writer in it.
JC: Ten films still isn’t enough for Matt Blackwell, everybody.
MB: Thanks John. Ki-ki-kin-King’s Speech!
JC: whoisthekingsspeech.tumblr.com


PB: Are those cotton t-shirts? So underdressed. Tsk tsk, youth choir.
JB: Tim Gunn is having a fit offstage.
MP: “Boy with cornrows, who are you wearing?”
RW: Anne needs to stop wooing.
MP: All I know is that this credit medley just featured a guitar solo to the tune of the vocal part of “Take My Breath Away.”

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