7 p.m.: Thankfully, the 29th and final – yay! – Barbara Walters Oscar special is over, and we have survived with most of our wits about us. From my comfiest chair here at the BAM homestead, the live-blog begins on the official Oscars red carpet. Loyal BAM’s Blog readers know what I like: elegant gowns popping with color (basic black is so boring, especially if everyone’s doing it), classic tuxes or suits on the guys and the minimum amount of inanity we can manage considering the nature of this event.
7:01: “The glamour, the fans, the fashion” … blah, blah, blah … the magic, the most prestigious awards show ever, the most famous red carpet … They’re just trying to get us ready for the gushiness of the speeches.
7:02: Jeff Cagle introduces the five best support actress nominees, and as much as I love Vera Farmiga, her dress is scaring me. That’s a crazy construction of ruffles. Wow. Penelope Cruz, last year’s winner, says she’s excited as the first time she was here. Vera and Anna Kendrick exchange playful banter, Maggie Gyllenhaal is glad both she and co-star Jeff Bridges are nominated and shoe-in Mo’Nique, looking fab in royal blue, says here feet aren’t touching the ground.
7:04: Kathy Ireland – who darn her, still looks gorgeous – is interviewing Jake Gyllenhaal, who is neither Persian nor a prince, but promises his upcoming film “Prince of Persia” will finally, finally be a satisfying video game film. Believe it when I see it.
George Clooney (Associated Press file photos)
7:05: Sherri Shepherd is blatantly throwing herself at George Clooney, and asks his date if it’s OK if she desires George. George says “She doesn’t speak English. If she understood you, she would cut you.” No one looks hotter in a tux, but jeez, can we keep our composure, please? And George is taking a good-natured dig at his critics, claiming he conned Jason Reitman into casting him because no one else could play a frequent flier addict with commitment issues than he.
7:07: Sandra Bullock looks gorgeous in her golden gown. And it’s gonna match really well with her statuette when she wins best actress.
7:08: She’s still lovely but Kathy Ireland isn’t much of an interviewer. We now knows that producer Adam Shankman personally invited Zac Efron to present at tonight’s ceremony. Yawn.
7:10: Matt Damon says learning the South African accent was tougher than learning to play rugby for “Invictus.” He’s giving a nice shout-out to his dialect coach, crediting him for helping him snag that best supporting actor nom. Super nice guy.
7:11: Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer of “The Last Station” look quite dignified on the red carpet; I love Helen’s lovely lilac Badgley Mischka gown. They’re talking about doing a love scene at their age and how they made it fun: Helen says she could laugh at his bad back, and he could laugh at her bad knees. That’s a pair of great performances; I wish more people had seen “The Last Station.”
7:13: Morgan Freeman has brought his daughter, Morgana, with him to the Oscars. They and one of the producers of “Invictus” are wearing exclusive, lovely bracelets that will be auctioned off for the Nelson Foundation. Morgan is nominated for best actor for playing Nelson Mandela in “Invictus.”
7:14: Jennifer Lopez says the ideal Oscar gown has to have “that wow factor” and be comfortable and make the wearer feel good. Her pink gown definitely is eye-catching, with its pale pink color, grand train and not too much ruffle. But the texture looks a bit too much like a quilted bedspread.
7:15: Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick make a lovely couple on the carpet. SJP is presenting tonight and waxing nostalgic about her first Oscar dress. I think that long yellow column with the fancy silver neckline looks smashing on her.
7:16: Gold is gorgeous tonight. Cameron Diaz looks smashing in her golden Oscar de la Renta sleeveless gown. But she is cagily uncommitted on what movie she thinks will win best pic.
7:19: Tina Fey and Steve Carell says they know they’re at the Oscars and not the Emmys because everyone is taller and better looking. I love these two together.
7:22: Miley Cyrus is proving the exception to tonight’s golden rule. I’m not a fan of her dress. It looks like one of those complicated Victorian undergarments.
7:23: Jeff Bridges is “all Gucci-ed out” – Sherri dubs him “yummy” and makes me want to slap her – and he says winning an Oscar on his fifth try would be “beautiful.” He’s definitely channeling the Dude a bit tonight; he’s very serene. Being a shoe-in will do that to you.
7:24: Last year’s best actress Kate Winslet looks sleek in silver and fields a few questions about whether her children might one day becomes Oscar winners, calling them flamboyant and creative individuals.
7:25: Go, Gabby Sibide, who is wearing a boldly blue gown with silver floral sparkles on the bodice. She’s proud of herself for being there and calls it “prom night for Hollywood.” Fast learner for a newcomer, that one.
7:26: As Sherri calls him, “the most famous werewolf in film history,” Taylor Lautner is there to present tonight. His preparation involved getting a suit. Not very insightful, but he looks nice in it.
7:27: Meryl Streep looks totally elegant in her white gown, and she admits she can’t wait to get inside and get off her Jimmy Choos. Gotta love her, especially after she did such a terrific job playing Julia Child.
7:29: The red carpet part is over. The awards are next, after this commercial break.