March 27, 2022

ShowbuzzDaily’s Oscars Live-Blog

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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This is already an Oscars like no other, thanks to the Academy’s decision–at the behest of ABC and its concern over ratings–to give out 8 awards before the telecast begins, with brief taped excerpts to air throughout the show.  (Spoiler alert:  Dune took Original Score, Production Design, Editing and Sound, with Eyes of Tammy Faye winning Hair/Makeup, and the Shorts awards to Queen of Basketball, The Long Goodbye, and The Windshield Wiper.   Only the last was any kind of a surprise.)  What will the Oscars do with the time saved at the expense of the industry’s finest craftspeople and short film creators?  We know to expect a bunch of musical numbers, and some salutes are likely as well.  Hosts Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer will try to keep it all under control.

All times PDT.

5:01PM:  The Academy starts things off with the much-rumored bang of Beyonce singing the nominated song “Be Alive” from King Richard, a large-scale production staged in the Williams sisters’ Compton home tennis courts and shot for some reason with a greenish-filter.

5:07PM:  All of our hosts are on stage for the top of the show, with a boost from DJ Khaled.

5:09PM:  The 3-way monologue hits Timothee Chalomet, the Golden Globes, Power of the Dog, and glancing references to the off-camera awards and the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” law, none of them out of blood.

5:16PM:  And now… another monologue, this one from Schumer alone.  This is a more conventional Oscar stand-up, with gibes at the gathered celebs.  The sharpest barbs so far aimed at Aaron Sorkin and Being the Ricardos.

5:18PM:  The first “real” award of the night:  Supporting Actress to Ariana DeBose, repeating Rita Moreno’s feat in winning for the role of Anita in West Side Story.

5:27PM:  MasterCard is oddly running an add keyed to the movie Respect, which came out last summer and didn’t get the nominations it was aiming for.  And is pushing donations to Ukraine (can arms be bought without cash?).

5:29PM:  We’ve switched to Regina Hall and a Covid gag that’s about Hall seeking time with hot guys from the audience.  First bleep of the night accompanied the bit extending to presenters Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa, who will be presenting the pre-show awards through the evening.

5:34PM:  Was it clear before the show that the Oscars were going to pretend that these awards hadn’t already been given out?  What exactly is the point of this?  The only time saved seems to be the winners getting to the stage.

5:35PM:  A White Men Can’t Jump reunion hands out Cinematography to Dune, its 5th award of the night.

5:44PM:  A certain irony to the acceptance speech for Documentary Short saying that this win proves there’s an audience for women’s sports being relegated to a pre-taped insert in the show.

5;46PM:  Rachel Zegler gets in a scripted gag about her late-arriving invitation to the telecast, before the Visual Effects Oscar goes to Dune, which will almost certainly be the most-awarded film of the night with 6 prizes, even though it’s likely to lose its major-category nominations.

5:49PM:  A trio of athletes who have next to nothing to do with the Oscars or movies in general are on hand to present a montage salute to James Bond.

5:58PM:  The song from Encanto that isn’t “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” gets its performance in standard Oscar-show style, considerably less visually impressive than in the animated film.

6:01PM:  Disney owns ABC, yada yada, so here are a trio of Disney princesses to hand out Animated Feature to Disney’s Encanto.

6:06PM:  The fact that the Snyder Cut of Justice League “won” the Greatest Moments vote tells you everything you need to know about the Academy’s attempt to reach out to the “kids.”

6:11PM:  Another pre-taped award that accomplished the feat of saving 30 seconds of the winners making their way to the stage.  The Academy should be very proud.

6:14PM:  Wanda Sykes stars in a taped comedy sketch that doubles as an extended promo for the Academy’s new museum.

6:16PM:  CODA gets on the board with Supporting Actor to Troy Kotsar, who gives the most emotional acceptance speech of the night thus far.

6:26PM:  Did they have Chris Evans pre-tape congratulations to all 5 of the Supporting Actor nominees for his post-win promo for (the Disney, ABC) upcoming Lightyear?  The alternative would be unpleasant to consider.

6:30PM:  International Film goes to Drive My Car, presumably as a consolation prize for the more prominent categories to come later.

6:34PM:  Just plain bizarre to have a tribute to the people of Ukraine (without ever saying the word “Ukraine”) as part of the introduction to a Reba McEntire song.

6:38PM:  Although no one said so on the air, it actually did make sense for Mila Kunis to be presenting the Reba song, because she was one of the stars of Four Good Days, the movie that featured the song.  And Kunis has been raising contributions to Ukraine.  Still, building this all around that song was pretty odd.

6:45PM:  There was an assumption that the reason Costume Design was permitted to have an on-air presentation was because the show planned some kind of dazzling visual display for the category.  But… no.  And in a night so far marked by favorites, Cruella‘s win was another.

6:49PM:  More Disney synergy, as the show understandably found a way to get “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” into the broadcast.  With its big ensemble and the addition of Megan Thee Stallion, this one is a much more visually vibrant production.

6:54PM:  That Disney promo was… part of the show?  It’s genuinely unclear.

6:55PM:  Our hosts are doing a sketch, about which the best we can say is that it was short.

6:56PM:  A Juno reunion gives Original Script to Belfast, yet another favorite in a category that was supposed to be open to surprise.

7:02PM:  The first really key award of the night is Adapted Script, and the fact that it went to CODA probably means Apple will pass Netflix and become the first streamer to win Best Picture.

7:05PM:  The utter idiocy of the “Fan Favorite” award is perhaps a new low for the Oscars, because even on its own terms, the $800M-grossing Spider-Man: No Way Home comes in 4th behind a Johnny Depp movie no one saw, the awful musical Cinderella, and—ta-dah!–Army of the Dead (because the Snyder Cut was ineligible).

7:11PM:  More James Bond.  Maybe they should have put the montage as intro to the No Time To Die song?

7:22PM:  More host schtick, with a lob at The Last Duel, which just seems mean at this point, and an NFT joke, which is the 2022 version of a mother-in-law joke.

7:26PM:  What the hell just happened between Chris Rock and Will Smith?

7:33PM:  Apparently Smith was really offended by Rock’s GI Jane joke and said (twice) “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”  So that happened.

7:35PM:  Another sign of hos screwed-up this Oscars show is is the fact that they’re not having the 3 living legends from The Godfather give out Best Picture.

7:41PM:  One can’t help but wonder what Will Smith is going to say if (more likely when) he wins Best Actor.

7:52PM:  Three hosts, and none of them on camera 20 minutes after the Smith/Rock battle.

7:53PM:  Back in the world of the Oscars, No Time To Die wins Song.

7:56PM:  Best Director to Jane Campion gives Power of the Dog what’s likely to be its only Oscar of the evening.  Hopefully she’ll manage not to get hit while she’s at the podium.

8:01PM:  Frances McDormand chose not to attend, which means Best Actor–presumably to Will Smith–will be handed out by a Pulp Fiction reunion trio.  This viewer would pay to see Smith try that with Samuel L. Jackson.

8:05PM:  Despite the slicing of 8 categories to their bare essentials, we’re now in overtime.

8:06PM:  Will Smith wins Best Actor.  And very smoothly couches his comment about what just happened with Rock within a speech about King RIchard.  He apologizes to the Academy and the other nominees, but not to Chris Rock.  The orchestra doesn’t dare try to play him off.

8:20PM:  Not very subtly, the Hair/Makeup pre-tape award is inserted into the broadcast just before Best Actress.  Which may or may not go to Jessica Chastain.

8:21PM:  3 hours and 20 minutes in, Amy Schumer is doing a bit about seat fillers.  What is going on?

8:23PM:  Anthony Hopkins makes an awkward reference to Smith before he gives out Actress.

8:26PM:  Best Actress, once considered a wide-open category, coalesced around Jessica Chastain after her SAG win, and she carried the ball all the way to the Dolby Theater podium.

8:32PM: A really notable speech from Chastain.

8:33PM:  Picture is given out by Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli, which seems like the right surreal touch for this evening.

8:34PM:  CODA wins Best Picture, on a night that had virtually no surprises and yet managed to be truly shocking.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."