It's time, after all the drama, all the intrigue, all the scheming, the millions spent, the 82nd Academy Awards are finally here. Will "Avatar" or "The Hurt Locker" rule the night? Can someone upset Sandra Bullock for Best Actress? Let's sit back and enjoy the wonders of when Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic produce the Oscars.
[FYI, the entire show will refer to Los Angeles, PST]
5:02 PM It's the pre-show! Jess Cagle with all the Best Supporting Actress nominees. They all look overwhelmed. Must be a relief knowing Mo'Nique is gonna win it all. "I don't think my feet are touchin'. Am I floating Maggie?"
Kathy Ireland interviews Jake Gyllenhaal who looks like he's bored out of his mind. Ireland is already proving she may be one of the worst celebrity interviewers of all time.
5:06 PM So, after interviewing real stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock (humble, self-deprecating), Kathy Ireland is acting inane questions to Zac Efron who is blugging his next movie (which doesn't even have a trailer). Ireland, "You've got a great future!" Really Kathy? You think? No wonder we haven't seen you in years.
5:10 PM Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer are interviewed by Sherri Sheppherd. Mirren, "I could laugh at his bad back and he could laugh at my bad knees." 'Nuff said.
5:11 PM The comedy of Ireland segueing from talking about Freeman playing Nelson Mandela to asking about their jewelry. I'm calling an Ireland spoof on next week's "SNL." Who agrees?
5:12 PM The pre-show reminds us the last time there were 10 nominees in 1943. And as a friend says, "Does anyone remember them?" Well, people remember "Casablanca."
5:15 PM Jennifer Lopez says she wants "Precious" to win. Oh, well if only she had a vote. That's followed by Sarah Jessica Parker whose husband, Matthew Broderick, stands there and can't get a word in as Cagle and Parker chit chat about fashion.
*Crowd at Egyptian Theater, only blocks away from the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Blvd., bursts out laughing once Whoopi Goldberg's commercial is revealed to be for "Poise."
5:21 PM Cagle impresses us all on how special he by being able to see "Date Night" before everyone else and "it's really funny." Something tells us Tina Fey and Steve Carell aren't that impressed.
5:25 PM More Ireland genius..."Gablourey the world is holding on your every thought." Really? Either Ireland
Ireland, Cagle and Shepperd end the "greatest red carpet show" and dear god, let's hope Ireland never comes back. Why did anyone thinks she should be doing TV? Whose personal friend is she?
5:30 PM All the actors and actresses nominated in the top category receive a standing ovation. Gabourey Sibide works it! You go.
The actors are all then escorted to their seats.
Dear god. It's Neil Patrick Harris (not a surprise). Doing a musical number. Again. He appropriately asks, "Why am I here?" Excellent question. The song, "No one wants to do it alone." Well, it was better than "Snow White" in 88.
The set, again designed by David Rockwell who did last year's show, looks great. Though I'm not a fan of the "82nd" font.
5:35 PM Martin and Baldwin descend from the ceiling.
Martin and Baldwin have awkward banter. Not sure this is that funny. A good one - Martin, "There is that Damn Helen Mirren," Baldwin, "Steve that's Dame hlene Mirren."
Baldwin delivers a lame joke about CAA. Martin makes a "Jerk" reference. Baldwin has a good zinger on Harrelson, "He's so high." Baldwin, "That cut away to Cameron has already made $3 million." Martin, "You know it's an amazing fact that James Cameron used to be married to another director Kathryn Bigelow." Baldwin, "She was so pleased to be nominated with him that she sent him a gift basket with a timer." Martin, "He reciprocated by sending her a Toyota."
This is close to Borscht Belt humor. A bit old, a bit industry.
Martin "Who doesn't love Sandra Bullock?" Baldwin, "Well, tonight we may find out." (Good one)
Yikes. Not great.
5:44 PM Penelope Cruz comes out to give out Best Supporting Actor. The film clips for each actor are very long. Will they get this much time for their speech? Is this why the show is reportedly going to be over 3 hours?
Your winner: Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds."
No surprise. It's "uber-bingo." "This is your welcoming embrace." Not a bad speech.
Update: Cablevision is now airing in NYC if you've been cut out. Come and join the fun!
5:50 PM Love the location of where Reynolds introduces first Best Picture nominee "The Blind Side," but that copy is corny as hell.
5:56 PM "When you are as beautiful as Cameron and I," Steve Carell. Nice gag of Carell saying he was there for a missing Jude Law.
Very fun animated sequence with the stars of "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Coraline," "The Secret of Kells," "The Princess and the Frog" and "Up" being interviewed by Barbara Walters. Cue: Ed Asner as they come out.
Your Winner: "Up," directed by Pete Docter
Will we get a Pixar talking point? Will he stay on message? Hard to tell. Seems like a combo. Also seems like Docter has had some time to memorize the speech.
Baldwin and Martin come back and do a shtick about "The Hangover." That cues Amanda Seyfried and Miley Cyrus in huge dresses arriving on stage to present Best Original Song (nope, no performances this year people). Either Miley looks fake-tanned or Amanda is paler than a white wall.
[Audience hisses in my theater when they show the song from "Nine"! Eek.]
Your winner: "The Weary Kind (theme from "Crazy Heart") written by T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham.
Bingham, who has endured an awards campaign ride he never thought he'd go through gives a wonderful sweet speech.
6:05 PM Chris Pine comes out and introduces "District 9." Nice choice to have the "Star Trek" star out there.
6:11 PM "The Academy Awards, the biggest night in Hollywood since last night," Baldwin. Introduces Tina Fey and Robert Downey, Jr. Fey, "What does an actor look for an actor? Memorizing, not fear of improving." Both are very, very funny. Great pairing.
It's time for Best Original Screenplay. Will "Hurt Locker" win? Will "Basterds" surprise?
Your winner: "The Hurt Locker," Mark Boal.
"Hurt Locker" takes the first shot across the bow. Boal gives a nice speech, he seems genuinely surprised. Gives a nice shot out to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, his father and his girlfriend Bigelow (whoops, you didn't know?).
6:17 PM Molly Ringwald and her odd hair appears with Matthew Broderick to provide a salute to John Hughes. Broderick says, "Every day, for 25 years someone comes up to me and says 'Hey Ferris, is this your day off.'" The montage of Hughes flicks is well done.It even figures a star roll of all the names who appeared in his films and, of course, ends with his most enduring character Ferris. What is all these guys doing out on the stage? Jon Cryer? Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Maculy Culkin. Will they do this for Woody Allen? They better. This was 10 minutes of the show. FYI, anyone notice no standing ovation?
6:27 PM Samuel L. Jackson introduces a clip from "Up." Okie.
6:31 PM Took awhile, but found some power in the Egyptian. Zoe Saldana and Carey Mulligan introduce Best Animated Short film.
Your Winner: "Logorama."
My first wrong prediction and the first time Nick Park has lost with Wallace and Gromit. Who knew?
Now, its time for Documentary Short.
Your Winner: "Music by Prudence"
Stunner. No one thought this one would win including the director! And his producer comes through and completely interrupts him. And we have our first played off....yikes.
Now, it's time for Live Action short. I can't go 0-3 here. That would be truly embarrassing.
Your Winner: "The New Tenants."
Stunning. Never in a million years would anyone have thought. 0-3 for shorts. After years of going 3-0. Again, who knew?
6:37 PM Ben Stiller appears in "Avatar" make up and hair and tail! "This seemed like a better idea in rehearsal." "It was between this and a Nazi uniform, but the show seemed a bit Hitler heavy." Stiller is on hand for Best Makeup. "Ironic thing since 'Avatar' is not nominated." (Cameron finds it very funny)
Your Winner: "Star Trek"
Yes, Trekkes! "Star Trek" wins an Oscar!
6:43 PM Bridges comes out to introduces his buddies the Coen Bros.' "A Serious Man." Nice pick.
6:48 PM Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams present Best Adapted Screenplay.
Your Winner: "Precious: Based on 'Push' a Novel by Sapphire" written by Jeffrey Fletcher.
George Clooney is STUNNED (Covers his mouth as Fletcher walks by). Biggest upset of the night! Alright! Go "Precious"! The Paramount peeps are not gonna be happy they lost this one. Jason Reitman's bad reputation came back to haunt him. Big time.
6:54 PM Lauren Bacall and Robert Corman get a Standing Ovation from the Oscar audience. Why are they not on stage? Huge mistake. Huge.
6:55 PM Robin Williams comes out to present Best Supporting Actress. "There all balls being held all over Hollywood" line gets a huge laugh.
Your Winner: Mo'Nique, "Precious: Based on 'Push' a Novel by Sapphire."
Standing ovation. So deserved. "I want to thank the Academy for making it about the performance and not about the politics."
[Expletive] YEAH. Amazing speech.
7:02 PM Colin Firth introduces "An Education." Meanwhile, the room I'm in is still not over Mo'Nique's great moment. Pumped!
7:05 PM Sigourney Weaver arrives to give out Art Direction which should go to her own movie, "Avatar."
Your Winner: "Avatar"
James Cameron's opus gets its first win and was expected. Great win and amazingly deserved. Wow, some heavy stuff from one of the winners.
7:09 PM Baldwin and Martin are back. To introduce "clothes whores" Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker for Best Costumes. Has she presented this before? Something tells me yes...
Your Winner: Sandy Powell, "The Young Victoria"
Called it. Powell's third. Not sure she should have won, but she's loved by the Academy. Nice win for Apparition. She sort of throws out a faux paus by noting its her third, but then gives a big shout out to all the costumers who don't do films about "dead monarchs."
7:12 PM Charlize Theron introduces "Precious: Based on 'Push' a novel by Sapphire." Not sure why.
7:17 PM Martin and Baldwin do a funny bit mocking "Paranormal Activity." Audience her loves it.
7:18 PM Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart appear to the pretty music of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." They arrive to give a salute to horror...cause when you think horror you think..."Twilight?"
The montage is a tad bit long. Did this satisfy the horror fans out there? Quentin Tarantino appeared to like it.
7:22 PM Zach Efron and Best Supporting Actress loser Anna Kendrick show up to present the Sound awards. And who is helping them? None other than the great voice of Morgan Freeman who uses his own flick, "The Dark Knight," to explain how sound mixing occurs. I will say it makes me want to watch "The Dark Knight" again. First? Sound Mixing.
Your Winner: "The Hurt Locker"
Impressive. And not good for "Avatar's" Best Picture chances. I had "Locker" for this one and changed it to "Avatar."
Now, Sound Effects Editing.
Your Winner: "The Hurt Locker"
Wow. Another win. So much for "Lockergate" having any effect...so far.
7:28 PM Elizabeth Bank comes out to remind people about the Sc-Fi Technical Awards held earlier this month. She's great when she presents. Maybe she should host some day? Or co-host?
7:29 PM John Travolta introduces another Best Picture nominee, his buddy Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."
7:34 PM Sandra Bullock gets her first (?) moment in the sun to give the Cinematography award.
Your Winner: Mauro Fiore for "Avatar"
Boy, "Avatar" really needed that. If "Locker" won you could kiss Best Picture goodbye. Of course, it's hard to argue he really should have won considering how much was done in the computer, but good for him. Italian-Americans are thrilled everywhere!
7:37 PM Demi Moore, whose career is dead, comes out to present the In Memoriam segment (sorry, it's true!). James Taylor performs The Beatles' "In My Life" to the montage of those passed away, an innovation created by last year's producers.
7:45 PM J-LO and Sam Worthington (with glasses) present the Original Score nominees. Done by street dancers. It's your "So You Think You Can Dance" moment as only Adam Shankman could give you.
What a "Hurt Locker" moment. Where's Debbie Allen when you need her? Shoot, where's the cast of "Glee"?
Egad, Boos from our audience in the Egyptian.
Your Winner: "Up" by Michael Giacchino
Long predicted (he already won a Grammy for the score). Giacchino had a great year with the "Star Trek" score as well. He also was the musical director for last year's show. Great speech about pursuing your cinematic dreams as well.
7:54 PM Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler appear to present Visual Effects. Do we even need to go through the nominees? Really?
Your Winner: "Avatar"
Duh. Let's hope they took the time to write good speeches! Nice shot of Saldana and Weaver standing to applaud.
7:56 PM Jason Bateman presents his own Best Picture nominee "Up in the Air" which was "his chance to boss George Clooney around."
8:01 PM Baldwin returns to introduce Matt Damon who presents Best Documentary. Can't remember the last time this category was so far into the show.
Your Winner: Fisher Stevens and Louis Psihoyos, "The Cove"
Expected. Oh, wow. They cutt him off from getting to put up a txt message. That's really sad. Psihoyos had wanted to have this moment for so long. That's horrible. Horrible.
8:03 PM Tyler Perry, "They just said my names at the Oscars. Better remember it cause it may never happen again!" He then does a nice bit about Best Film Editing.
Your Winner: "The Hurt Locker" Bob Muraski, Chris Innis
Looking very much like "Locker" will win Best Picture.
8:09 PM Keanu Reeves introduces his "Point Break" director's Best Picture nominee "The Hurt Locker."
8:16 PM Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino indroduces best Foreign Language Film.
Your Winner: "The Secret in Their Eyes"
ARGH. Fine film, but should not have defeated "White Ribbon" or "A Prophet." Second year in a row the Academy has embarrassed themselves. They have got to change the rules. Even the audience was stunned.
8:18 PM "Titanic's" Kathy Bates comes out to introduce James Cameron's "Avatar." Yawn.
8:25 PM This year's spin on five presenters, "Friends." Up first, Best Actor.
Michelle Pfeiffer presents to Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart." Sweet story from "The Fabulous Baker Boys."
Vera Farminga presents to George Clooney, "Up in the Air." Sort of an odd intro.
Julianne Moore presents to Colin Firth, "A Single Man." Nice intro, but they only really are friends for three days.
Tim Robbins presents to Morgan Freeman, "Invictus." Funny story about their time together on "The Shawshank Redemption" which totally cracks up Freeman (who really gave a great performance as Mandela).
Colin Farrell presents to Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker." Funny Mexico story from the longtime buddies.
The always stunning Kate Winslett, last year's Best Actress winner, appears to present the award.
Your Winner: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart."
(Winslet says "And the Oscar goes to...")
Immediate standing ovation. Bridges is off the charts. "Thanks mom and dad for turning me on to such a groovy profession." "This is honoring them as much as it is honoring me." Bridges gives the love to his director, Gyllenhaal, Farrell, T Bone Burnett and the whole crew. And of course, his wife of 33 years. Wow.
Can't wait for them to put "Academy Award Winner Jeff Bridges" in front of the next "Tron Legacy" trailer. And "True Grit" too!
8:49 PM Best Actress montage appears. Hmmm.
Forest Whitaker presents to Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side." Directed her in "Hope Floats" way back when. Completely forgot. Bullock looks great and its nice coming from a former Oscar winner.
Michael Sheen presents to Helen Mirren , "The Last Station." They worked in "The Queen" together. Sheen, "Is it wrong to be so attracted to a Queen? Royalty with a tattoo." [James McAvoy was supposed to do this and had to drop out at the last minute due to a personal matter.]
Peter Sarsgaard presents to Carey Mulligan, "An Education." A little awkward and creepy with the "I should have told you I was married line."
Oprah Winfrey presents to Gabourey Sibide, "Precious: Based on 'Push' a Novel by Sapphire." Winfrey, "If that isn't a Hollywood fairytale I'm not sure what is?" Sibide cries. Great moment. "A true American Cinderella on the cusp of a great new career."
Stanley Tucci presents to Meryl Streep, "Julie and Julia." Tucci, "What they don't know is your kindness, your collaborative nature and your good humor." "That is why I have spearheaded the number of nominations at 16. Meryl Streep is quite simply the best."
Last year's Best Actor, Sean Penn appears to present Best Actress (who knew he wasn't in the Academy?)
Your Winner: Sandra Bullock, "The Blind SIde"
Standing ovation for Ms. Bullock. They love her. They really do.
She gives a very classy speech. "Meryl you know what I think of you and you are such a good kisser." America is thrilled. And honestly, most of Hollywood is too. "So, if I can take this moment to thank Helgaby for not letting me ride in cars with boys until I was 18. We are all deserving of love."
8:52 PM Barbra Streisand, as predicted, appears to present Best Director. And she notes, the winner, for the first time, could be a woman, or an African-American.
Your Winner: Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"
Barbra really didn't need to say "The time has come" but Bigelow truly deserves this. "Locker" is hands down a director's movie. Sanding ovation well-deserved. "I just want to dedicate this to the women and men who risk their lives on a daily basis who risk their lives in Iraq and in Afghanistan and may they come home safe."
[Really, did we need "I Am Woman" playing as they walked off? Good lord Shaiman.]
8:59 PM Tom Hanks appears to present Best Picture.
Your Winner: "The Hurt Locker"
Wow. Stunning. Bigelow backstage with her Best DIrector statue. Amazing. Congratulations Summit Entertainment, congratulations 42 West on a classy, classy campaign. So much for "Lockergate." Producer Greg Shapiro gives a shout out to banned producer Nicolas Shapiro. Great to see the actors standing behind Bigelow. Genuine happiness for the underdog crew.
And as a friend says, "Smack talking E-mails do work!"
What did you think of the results? Are you happy or mad "Avatar" didn't win?
For a list of all the 82nd Academy Award nominees, click here.
For the latest Oscar and Entertainment news, follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory.