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Oscars 2012: 84th Academy Awards - live blog

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Oscars
Good evening, and welcome to Digital Spy's live blog of the 84th Academy Awards.

We've tuned our body clocks (and live update times) to Los Angeles O'Clock, so stick with us for the next five hours for up-to-the-minute newsflashes on all the gowns, gongs and glamour at the Hollywood and Highland Centre in Hollywood, California.

Before they start handing out the prizes, you can remind yourself who's up for what with our complete list of nominees, as well as our expert opinion on who we think will be the big winners tonight.


20:47Second, is that despite the advances since the early days of cinema, be it sound, colour, CinemaScope and stereoscopic 3D, a great film is all about a wonderful story, great acting and fine directing. The rest is just dressing and The Artist is a well-deserved winner. Thank you all, goodnight, and we hope you enjoy 12 months of cinema ahead.

20:43We've learned two very important things tonight. First is the pronunciation of Moët. We used to pronounce it "Mo-eh", as in, "Could we have that cheap bottle of plonk, near the Mo-eh?". According to the lady on the endlessly-looped advert, it's "Mo-eT". Consider ourselves told.

20:41So that's it for 2012. Despite a large haul for Hugo, The Artist was the biggest winner on the night, picking up the 'Director, 'Actor', 'Original Screenplay' and of course 'Best Picture' prizes. Meryl Streep won 'Best Actress' despite a late rally of support from Viola Davis, and Christopher Plummer made history by winning an acting gong at the age of 82.

20:39Michel Hazanavicius says hello to his kids, and tells them to get to bed because it's coming up to 6am in Paris. He also thanks Billy Wilder three times.

20:37And The Artist wins! Not a surprise on the night, but you wouldn't have been saying that on its first screenings last May.

20:35Billy Crystal introduces Tom Cruise to introduce our last award of the evening, that for 'Best Picture'. As we all know there's nine nominees this year, and we see a montage featuring clips of them all. 2011 was a pretty nifty year for films, and that's without even mentioning the wonderful movies that failed to make the cut.

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20:32"I just saw Viola Davis kick Meryl in the shin on her way to the steps," quips @helenzaltzman of the wonderful Answer Me This podcast.

20:31"When I heard my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, oh, her, again... but... whatever," Streep says, very bolshy, before blubbing as soon as she mentions her husband.


Meryl Streep, Oscars 2012

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20:30And after all that fussin', Meryl snatches the award from under Viola's nose. Her third Academy Award win, and the crowd are loving it.

20:29Colin recalls his time with Meryl Streep on Mamma Mia, which missed out on any Academy nods. It got some at the Globes, BAFTAs and a rather cruel Razzie win for Pierce Brosnan.

20:27Colin Firth talks us through the 'Best Actress' nominees. For months everyone thought that Meryl Streep would swipe this with the ease of our dear ex-PM nicking milk from the mouths of schoolchildren. The pendulum has now swung to Viola Davis, and yet again we think it's too close to call.

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20:24"So Moneyball is, in fact, the Moneyball of movies: Makes it to the postseason, doesn't do much when it gets there," says @usatmlb.

20:22A lovely little speech from Dujardin, opening with "I love your country," before recalling the 1929 Oscars. They apparently lasted only 15 minutes, which is making us a little jealous as we kick into yet more ad-breaks.


Jean Dujardin, Alexandra Lamy, Oscars 2012

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20:18It's Jean!

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20:17"Kudos to Oscar writers for using undocumented immigrant in describing Demian Bichir's role. Now, can the rest of the media follow?" says @joseiswriting.

20:15Natalie Portman steps up to present the 'Best Actor' prize. This is the tightest of the big awards we've had so far. We think it's between George Clooney and Jean Dujardin, and can't choose between them.

20:10That was Esperanza Spalding singing, by the way. Lovely voice, despite our reservations about the song choice. (We realise how Simon Cowell that sounds, and we wholeheartedly apologise for that).

20:08The film finishes with a clip featuring screen icon Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away last March.

20:07The In Memoriam segment... backed by a performance of 'What A Wonderful World'. The likes of Jane Russell, Sidney Lumet, Whitney Houston, Peter Falk and Steve Jobs flash up on screen.

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20:02"I wouldn't be mad if NEW #AcademyAward winner Oprah Winfrey hosted the #Oscars next year too! @Oprah looks great tonight!," says @JawnMurray.

19:59Honorary Oscars were dished out earlier to James Earl Jones, Dick Smith and Oprah Winfrey. Meryl Streep gets the crowd on their feet to give the threesome a standing ovation.

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19:56"I want to thank Uggie the Dog... I'm not sure he understands what I say, he's not that good," says Michel. "He's speaking so long for all the dialogue that wasn't in the film," quips @hulu.

19:55And Michel Hazanavicius wins his first Oscar, picking up the coveted 'Best Director' prize. He says that he is the "happiest director in the world" before rattling out the thank yous. It may seem like a dull forgone conclusion, but this is a (mainly) silent movie, in black & white, in 4:3 ratio, winning a major Academy Award. In 2012. Uggie the Dog gets a well-earned shoutout.

Berenice Bejo, Michel Hazanavicius

© PA Images


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19:52"Enjoy Angelina Jolie's leg while you can, pervs. President Santorum will allow an inch of ankle, and only after 11:00 pm," Twitter gets political, courtesy of @pourmecoffee.

19:50It's a pleasure to see Michael Douglas fit and well and on the Oscars stage, ready to announce the 'Best Director' prize, the biggest of the night so far for sure.

19:50'Best Documentary Short' goes to Saving Face and The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr Morris Lessmore wins 'Best Animated Short Film'.

19:42Norn' Irish movie The Shore wins the 'Live Action Short Film' prize. Terry George says that now he doesn't have to wait for a wedding to tell the world how brilliant his daughter (and the film's producer) Oorlagh is. She dedicates the prize to her mum. Awwwwww.

19:40All, the Bridesmaids girls are up, doing some short film/short penis gags, as foreplay for a trio of prizes.

19:39Milla Jovovich talks us through the previous presentation of some super-technical awards prior to the ceremony. Mr Doug Trumble, the man behind the stunning visuals in everything from 2001 to The Tree of Life, gets a special mention.

19:35Even though every half-decent Woody film for the last couple of decades has been called a "return to form", we think that Midnight In Paris is more than that. It's a great movie entirely on its own terms.

19:31Now for 'Original Screenplay'. And Woody Allen deservedly wins for Midnight In Paris. As per usual, he's not here to pick it up, being off playing jazz somewhere as he always does this time of year.

19:29The Descendants wins. It's Alexander Payne's second ever Oscar. He's flanked by his fellow writers, who are pulling 'vogue' poses. He says that he shares the award with George Clooney and the rest of the cast and original book writer. I bet George is hoping that he won't need to share Alex's by the end of the night.

19:26Angelina Jolie is up to present the award for 'Adapted Screenplay'. She is showing a lot of leg through a slit in her black dress.

19:22"Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis would be great #Oscars hosts. Just sayin'. Someone start a petition!" says tvdotcom. They were definitely amusing, but over a whole night we think we'd go slightly crazy.

19:20If you've not yet heard it (and if so, where have you been?) you can have a watch of the music video here. We guarantee it'll be in your head until at least next week.


19:19Will Farrell and Zach Galifianakis tumble around with their cymbals, before Flight of the Concords star Bret McKenzie picks up his award, and admits to being "starstruck" on meeting Kermit the Frog.

19:18'Best Original Song' next, a category with just two nominees. If 'Man or Muppet' doesn't win this, we will demand a recount.

19:16We imagine that Kim is angrily readying her wholly-inappropriate analogies already, as The Artist picks up the gong.

19:14Next up are Penelopé Cruz and Owen Wilson, two Woody Allenites. They're presenting 'Best Original Score'. I wonder how Kim Novak will feel if The Artist wins this one?

19:10"If I had 'em I'd lick 'em," is his line for Uggie the Dog, the only star looking less than happy with Crystal's mind-reading technique.

19:09Billy resurrects his "What they're thinking" shtick. It's all good-natured stuff, Pitt, Clooney, Marty etc. take the gentle ribbing very well, but the it's less of a ribbing than a stroke.

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19:06"Let us all be Christopher Plummer when we grow up," says @ColonelTribune. We can but agree.

19:04A lovely speech from a lovely man, opening with the classic line: "You're only two years older than me darling, where have you been all my life?" Christopher thanks his fellow nominees, prompting a spontaneous round of applause. He rattles through a list of thanks before ending on his wife. Awwwwww.

19:01Incredibly, it's Christopher Plummer's first ever Oscar, and he makes history as the oldest ever actor to pick up an Academy Award.

Christopher Plummer, Oscars 2012

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19:01It's time for another biggie - 'Best Supporting Actor', which features the 82-year-old pair Christopher Plummer and Max Von Sydow. We reckon Chris is a shoe-in here...

18:58Yet another thank you for Marty. Even if he doesn't win 'Best Director', he will feel well and truly fluffed by the end of the evening.

18:57Nope! Another win for Hugo, which is sweeping the board in the technical categories tonight.

18:56Will Potter win something? We think it might. It won't be the 'Supporting Actor' prize Alan Rickman should have got a nod for, but it has a fair chance of beating Rise of the Planet of the Apes here.

18:55Emma Stone and Ben Stiller are presenting the 'Visual Effects' gong. Stone is pretending to be overwhelmed by the experience while Stiller is completely unfazed. This is a lot lot better than Paltrow/Downey Jr's bit. Emma sings a couple of notes. We're impressed. She tries to beckon Jonah Hill up to the stage. He's not having any of it.

18:48Gore 'Pirates' Verbinski wins for animated Western Rango. He flings out the thanks left right and centre, including of course the movie's star, Mr Johnny Depp.

18:47Chris Rock is up next, and he keeps it clean. He does a great bit about doing voice roles for animated movies and the different roles that black actors get offered.

18:46The Undefeated team let out the word f**k, and very soon after the music fades out and they are ushered offstage. We think the two events may well have been connected.

18:45"Why are actors always so bad at acting during the #Oscars?" says Piers Morgan, in relation to Gwynnie and Rob's skit. We're in the position of agreeing with Piers. Hold us.

18:43All the funny has been sucked out of the room, and we breathe a sigh of release as the 'Best Documentaries' are read out. Sports doc Undefeated wins.

18:42Gwyneth Paltrow takes to the stage, and Robert Downey Jr eventually follows tracked by a camera and two production crew... claiming that he's filming a documentary called The Presenter. We're not entirely sure about this little sketch.

18:40@waitwait: "This is amazing, but if I were at the movies and some girl stood on her boyfriend's head in front of me, I'd be mad. #oscars"

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18:37Not everyone agrees, of course. @adamrubins quips: "Come back Brett Ratner, all is forgiven."

18:37It's time for a stunning Cirque du Soleil take on the movies. Not our usual bag, but this is impressive stuff. It most definitely beats Rob Lowe and Snow White as far as Oscars entertainment goes.

18:35Kermit and Miss Piggy are in the house. We love The Muppets, and it's nice to see them finally trying to get some publicity for the new movie. It's been a little undersold so far.

18:30And if it doesn't, then Martin Scorsese will definitely be the most-thanked man of the night. We dream of the day when we know him well enough to call him "Marty". From there, it's only one short step to being allowed to call Terence Malick "Terry".

18:29'Sound Mixing' next. It's remarkable how the films with the best scripts, acting and direction coincidentally have the best sound mixing, costumes and the like as well, when you stop and think about it. Hugo wins another. Even if it misses out on the biggies, it may well scoop the most gongs by the end of the evening.

18:27A travesty it is, as Hugo picks up its latest award of the evening. A worthy winner, perhaps, but we're a little sad that Drive has walked away empty-handed.

18:26'Sound Editing' next, for which our film-of-the-year Drive received its only nomination. It'll be a travesty if it doesn't walk away with it.

18:25Bradley Cooper and Tina Fey are up to present the 'Film Editing' award. Bradley gives The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo its first prize of the evening. It's the same chaps who won the prize last year for The Social Network. One of them wishes "the Roons" the best of luck for tonight, but we don't think that'll be enough for her to beat Viola or Meryl.

18:22A rather witty sketch shows "very rare early footage from a focus group screening" for The Wizard of Oz, starring some modern comedy greats.

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18:19"Agggghhhh this is infuriating... Bloody muggles. #oscarfail," says Evanna Lynch, who you may well know as Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies.

18:18As the Sky couch dissect Christian Bale's newly-rediscovered English accent, here's a look at Octavia from earlier in the evening when she was a little more composed.

Octavia Spencer, oscars 2012

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18:15Also the first tears of the evening, as Octavia blubs before pulling herself together to thank the Academy for putting her with "the hottest guy in the room", before she loses it again. "Please wrap up, I'm wrapping up! My god I'm freaking out," she says as she thanks pretty much everyone she's ever known.


18:11Billy welcomes Christian Bale with a quip about the crowd being in his eye-line, in reference to that on-set Terminator: Salvation rant. Could Jessica Chastain pick up the award as a cumulative prize for all her fine performances in 2011?

18:09"That made me uncomfortable sandy bullock speaking german," says comic Sandra Bernhard. We were actually a wee bit impressed.

18:08Another favourite wins, as critically adored Iranian movie A Separation wins, becoming the first flick from Iran to ever pick up the gong.

18:07Sandra Bullock claims to be speaking Mandarin Chinese "in a German accent" which gets some giggles as she clearly talks some German as she warms up to present 'Best Foreign Language' film.

18:06The Sky studio are split between Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer for 'Best Supporting Actress. Regarding Melissa maybe winning for a comedy, there is inevitable chatter about Marisa Tomei's (well-deserved) win for My Cousin Vinny in 1992

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18:00"Is Jennifer Lopez having a wardrobe malfunction?" asks @TooFab. Sorry Sacha, that dress seems to be the talking point of the night so far.

17:59The ladies stay on the stage for the 'Achievement in Make-up' prize. We're not quite sure of the sexual politics in having two talented actresses doing clothes 'n' make-up, but they don't seem to mind. Inevitably The Iron Lady, for turning Meryl into Maggie.

17:56And The Artist wins its first, but we bet not last, gong of the evening.

17:56'Costume Design' now, presented by what Billy calls his "recurring dream". Jennifer Lopez in that dress and Cameron Diaz in something equally sexy.

17:55A showreel fills some time, before ending on the classic orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally. Billy tells us that it was Estelle Reiner, wife of director Rob, who wanted what she was having.

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17:51Or maybe not. PR guru @adamrubins sticks his neck out and says: "Don't get carried away people, Hugo was always going to win these two. It won't win any of the major awards."

17:47Speeding through the prizes early on... and for 'Art Direction' Hugo picks up its second gong in quick succession. Martin Scorsese and the entire nation of Italy get a shout-out from the podium. Could Hugo pip The Artist to the biggies later in the evening? On the early showing it's definitely possible.

17:45Tom Hanks presents the nominees for 'Best Cinematography'... and Robert Richardson wins for Hugo. In a short speech he thanks a few people, including Marty of course, and "past, present and future filmmakers".

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17:43The crowd show their appreciation, though the Twitter feedback is mixed. "Crystal's opening song may be too edgy," quips @SklarBrothers. "How not to appeal to anyone under 50" by the Oscars, says @MattMira.

17:41"What's it all about, Malick," Crystal sings to the the tune of 'Alfie', while going through all the 'Best Picture' nominees. We're not ashamed to admit that we've got a silly big grin on our face.

17:39And Billy effortlessly slips into a song and dance number. We can't imagine Eddie Murphy pulling this off.

17:38First gags out of the bag, a quick one-two around Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, before a cheeky joke at the expense of Kodak, as Billy rechristens the venue the "Chapter 11 Theater".

17:34The warm-up is finally over, and into the Kodak Theater Hollywood and Highland Centre we go for the ceremony.

17:13Over at the Vanity Fair party, Jay Leno is asked if there's any advice he can give Billy Crystal, who's hosting tonight. He rightly brushes aside the suggestion, joking that it's the 58th time he's done the show and saying that he's "the best". We quite agree. You can watch our pick of Billy's best Oscars moments here.

17:07Now you can relive that fantastic Admiral General Aladeen vs Ryan Seacrest moment in all its dusty video glory.


17:04Harry Potter and You Instead actress Natalia Tena is almost rolling around on the Sky sofa after Nick Nolte confirms that he owns a crow. And a pinball machine.

17:02Now it's J-Lo, in a dress that plunges so low that the camera is drifting upwards to protect the innocence of any kids watching. "I just enjoy playing dress-up," she says with a cheeky smile.

16:58Colin Firth is being interviewed on the red carpet. He's being quizzed about his role in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in terrifically spoilery fashion by Sky. Let's hope that everyone watching this has seen the film already.

16:50If George Clooney is going to win the 'Best Actor' prize, he's going to look stunning doing it. Here he is with his latest love, ex-wrestler Stacy Keibler.

George Clooney, Stacy Keibler, Oscars 2012

© PA Images

George Clooney and Stacy Keibler


16:38Kelly Osbourne thinks that Emma Stone's red (and it is red, honest) dress is too similar to Nicole Kidman's frock from a few years back. The rest of E!'s fashion panel agree, but also say that it's gorgeous enough not to matter.

16:28CORRECTION: Earlier this evening, we said that Michelle Williams was in a red Louis Vuitton dress. It is in fact "coral". We feel suitably admonished.

16:23"E! has moved back from Sacha to the fashion talk. We're a little lost.

16:20"I was thinking he was either going to do that to me or George Clooney," a frowning Seacrest says, as E! show the incident over in super-slow-mo. Kelly and everyone in the studio are in hysterics. Ryan is not.

16:18The Dictator has just sprinkled an urn of "Kim Jong Il's ashes" all over Ryan Seacrest. His suit looks utterly messed up. He looks immensely narked off!

16:13He's flanked by a couple of pretty ladies, and we think we can see a glint in his eye beneath those shades.

Sacha Baron Cohen, Oscars 2012, The Dictator

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16:09The Dictator (Sacha Baron Cohen) has arrived! After all the back and forth between Admiral General Aladeen and the "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Zionists", Oscar backed down and Sacha is here in his full dictatorial regalia to pimp his new character comedy.

16:05Moneyball's Jonah Hill says that he's made a lot of comedies he's proud of, and now he's making some dramas he's also proud of. He does smile as he admits that his upcoming flick 21 Jump Street is less-thank likely to get a nod from the Academy.

16:02Kelly Osbourne is very, very excited about the "structure" of Rooney Mara's white Givenchy dress. We're not entirely sure what that means, but it's true that she does look awfully pretty.

15:58E!'s viewers seem convinced that The Help (34%) will beat The Artist (18%) to 'Best Picture'. The presenters (and us here at Digital Spy) aren't too sure about that.

15:56Ryan Seacrest is talking to Michelle Williams, who is wearing a very fetching red Louis Vuitton dress and lovely necklace, framing her short-cropped blonde hair. She says that she had "a lot of learning to do" about Ms Monroe for My Week With Marilyn, for which she is of course nominated for 'Best Actress'.

15:45Over on Sky, Heat's Boyd Hilton has switched his prediction to Viola on the back of her Screen Actors Guild prize (voted by her peers) and the flurry of bets at the bookies. Actor Nick Moran says that despite not being a fan of Maggie Thatcher, it'll be "a travesty" if Meryl misses out.

15:36... and George Clooney is their pick for 'Best Actor'. Despite The Artist's Jean Dujardin having his fans, there's the belief that it's George's turn this year.

15:32An E! viewer poll puts Viola Davis ahead of Meryl Streep in the 'Best Actress' category. The momentum has really swung in the direction of The Help over the last few days. There are even whispers of it pulling off a shock in the 'Best Picture' category.

15:27Following her great performances in pretty much every movie released in 2011, Jessica Chastain is now strutting her stuff very confidently on the Oscars red carpet... along with her just-as-glamorous grandmother.

Jessica Chastain, Oscars 2012

© PA Images

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