By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire March 8, 2010 at 5:49AM
James Cameron's futuristic 3D thriller "Avatar" and Kathryn Bigelow's intense Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" are among the ten film's vying to be named the Best Picture of 2009.
indieWIRE's Minute-by-Minute Academy Awards coverage includes occasional updates leading up to the start of the ceremony at 5:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. EST) and then non-stop reports as the winners are announced.
9:45 p.m. - “Keep fighting,” proclaimed Nicolas Chartier, producer of “The Hurt Locker” in an impromptu Oscar acceptance speech delivered in the tent near the beach in Malibu here tonight. More in the indieWIRE round-up story now.
Wild applause, embraces and pats on the back greeted Chartier when "The Hurt Locker" won best picture. And then he stood on a footstool, holding a small plastic trophy to deliver a lengthy speech. [Eugene Hernandez]
9:02 p.m. - I was the only one at the Egyptian to guess best foreign film correctly in their pool, and I'd live to thank the organizers for announcing my last name correctly. With that, I'm out. Happy Oscar night! [Peter Knegt]
9:00 p.m. - WINNER: Best Picture - The Hurt Locker
8:57 p.m. - WINNER - Best Director - Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker (!!!!!)
8:53 p.m. - Dear Sandra Bullock, OK, I wasn't rooting for you, but that was so classy. Congrats! [Eugene Hernandez]
8:52 p.m. - Okay, I was totally team Meryl, but Sandra Bullock might of just made me cry.. [Peter Knegt]
8:47 p,m. - WINNER - Best Actress - Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
8:34 p.m. - Kate Winslet defies the new rules. "And the Oscar goes to.... Jeff Bridges" [Peter Knegt]
8:33 p,m. - WINNER - Best Actor - Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
8:32 p.m. - Say what you want about the rest of this show, but the friends-giving-to-friends innovation is working very well. [Peter Knegt]
8:31 p.m. - "Why do you seem so calm," I asked Nicolas Chartier a few moments ago here the beachside Malibu viewing party. He's not.
Chartier's mom and girlfriend are in the tent, but he's holding it together as the ceremony unfolds. There are a lot of folks here pulling for him and the film. Huge cheers every time it wins. Silence when "Avatar" gets a statue.
"The Hurt Locker" has 4 Oscars and "Avatar" has 3, so folks here are *very* happy. But, we're heading into the home stretch. The big awards coming up will tip the balance towards one or the other.
Wait and see. [Eugene Hernandez]
8:24 p.m. - Four to go. Current tally: "Hurt Locker" 4, "Avatar" 3. [Peter Knegt]
8:17 p.m. - No mas! No mas foreign language. Turn that music on and get Zac Efron out there! [Brian Brooks]
8:17 p.m. - Thanks to 8-1 odds on sportsbook.com, Argentina just won me $400. [Peter Knegt]
8:16 p.m. - WINNER - Best Foreign Language Film: “El Secreto de Sus Ojos”, Argentina
8:08 p.m. - WINNER - Best Film Editing: "The Hurt Locker”, Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
8:05 p.m. - I saw that damn dolphin jump out of the water. I shouldn't have doubted. Congratulations Roadside! [Brian Brooks]
8:05 p.m. - Yes, that Fisher Stevens. [Peter Knegt]
8:04 p.m. - WINNER - Best Documentary: “The Cove”, Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
7:56 p.m. - Tie game. [Peter Knegt]
7:56 p.m. - WINNER - Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”, Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
7:55 p.m. - Visual effects, or, what looks to be "Avatar"'s last award of the night. [Peter Knegt]
7:52 p.m. - WINNER - Best Original Score: “Up”, Michael Giacchino
7:47 p.m. - This is the "get up and make another cocktail" number...[Brian Brooks]
7:45 p.m. - Never underestimate the power of interpretive dance. [Peter Knegt]
7:41 p.m. - Geoffrey Fletcher's (surprise) Oscar win for best adapted screenplay tonite had insiders here at the Chartier bash wondering...
"Does this mean something big is going to happen for 'Precious' later tonight?" a big name industry insider asked me here a few minutes ago. Many prognosticators expected "Up In The Air" to take the prize.
[I say it's a well-deserved honor for "Precious".]
Of course, we'll know for sure in about 90 minutes or so, but folks here are wondering if a surprise or two are in the making.
A little drama keeps it interesting. [Eugene Hernandez]
7:38 p.m. - Joke from an audience member at the Egyptian. Demi Moore begins her "in memoriam" speech with "Let's all take a pause to..." only to be heckled here with "you mean, menopause!" [Peter Knegt]
7:36 p.m. - For those keeping track, that's "Hurt Locker" 3, "Avatar" 2. [Peter Knegt]
7:34 p.m. - WINNER: Best Cinematography: “Avatar”, Mauro Fiore
7:28 p.m. - Things are not looking good, James Cameron. [Peter Knegt]
7:27 p.m. - WINNER: Best Sound Mixing - “The Hurt Locker”, Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
7:25 p.m. - WINNER: Best Sound Editing - “The Hurt Locker”, Paul N.J. Ottosson
7:20 p.m. - "Edward Scissorhands" is not a horror film. [Peter Knegt]
7:13 p.m. - WINNER: Costume Design - "The Young Victoria," Sandy Powell
7:09 p.m. - Wow. An Art Direction Oscar for Avatar and not even a courtesy clap here. [Brian Brooks]
7:09 p.m. - Collective boos at the Egyptan for the Art Direction winners "I see you, James Cameron" comment. [Peter Knegt]
7:08 p.m. - WINNER: Art Director - “Avatar”, Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
7:01 p.m. - Choice Mo'Nique quote: "Thank you for letting it be about the performance, and not the politics." The Egyptian goes wild over this one. [Peter Knegt]
7:00 p.m. - WINNER: Best Supporting Actress - Mo'Nique, Precious
6:56 p.m. - Ok I'm just going to confirm something here. If the Chartier party were in New York, people would watch the show. Here in LA (by way of Malibu) no - with some time out for major categories and films individuals are involved with. [Brian Brooks]
6:53 p.m. - OMf'nG!!! Queen Latifah??what spa did she go to? Gorgeous! Wow. Jeez. [Brian Brooks]
6:51 p.m. - Whoa... Take that, Jason Reitman! Fletcher's win a massive surprise and a collective gasp went down here in the Egyptian. Does this suggest anything en route? Also of note, of historical importance: Fletcher was the first African-American screenwriting winner ever. [Peter Knegt]
6:50 p.m. - WINNER: Best Adapted Screenplay - Geoffrey Fletcher, 'Precious"
6:48p.m. - Why is the Academy Awards rated TV 14? [Peter Knegt]
6:41 p.m. - WINNER: Best Makeup - “Star Trek”, Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
6:39 p.m. - I have a renewed sense of appreciation for Ben Stiller. [Peter Knegt]
6:36 p,m. - It looks like the biggest surprises of the night might end up being the short film categories. I just went 0 for 3. [Peter Knegt]
6:37 p.m. - WINNER - Best Live Action Short - “The New Tenants”, Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson.
6:35 p.m. - WINNER - Best Documentary Short: “Music by Prudence”, Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
6:32 p.m. - WINNER - Best Animated Short - “Logorama”, Nicolas Schmerkin
6:25 p.m. - Friend and collegue Mark Rabinowitz just texted me a question from East Hampton, NY:
"What's with all this 'The winner is?' Did they change the rules?"
The answer is:
In fact, the Academy and the show producers did make a change this year, abandoning the more politically correct phrase, "And the Oscar goes to...", after more than 20 years, in favor of:
"And the winner is..."
Apparently AMPAS has no further need for niceties. Let's be honest, tonight is about winners and losers! ;) [Eugene Hernandez]
6:22 p.m. - What! No Molly F'n Ringwald? Is she still in detention? [Brian Brooks]
6:18 p.m. - Shouts and hollers here at the Chartier party for this best original screenplay win of course. I wish people would sit the fuck down and shut up. [Brian Brooks]
6:17 p.m. - One of the most contested categories of the night, "Locker" winning that one is very suggestive of things to come. [Peter Knegt]
6:15 p.m. - WINNER - Best Original Screenplay: "The Hurt Locker," written Mark Boal.
6:12 p.m. - I suspect Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr will go down as the comedic highlight of the night. [Peter Knegt]
6:08 p.m. - This big film exec came up to me and said, [So and so] was supposed to get me in tonight. I'm so pissed." and I said, "but dude, you're in Malibu.... Cocktails, sunshine. What's not to love?" I think I didn't endear myself. Woops.[Brian Brooks]
6:05 p.m. - Quote of the night thus far: "I love you more than rainbows, baby" - Ryan Bingham to his wife. [Peter Knegt]
6:04 p.m. - WINNER: Best Original Song: "The Weary Kind" from "Crazy Heart" (Ryan Bingham, T-Bone Burnett)
6:03 p.m. - "T-Bone!!!!!!" Yells what I can only assume is a (already!?) very drunk audience member here, the same woman who screamed "Take off your shirt" at Ryan Reynolds fifteen minutes ago. [Peter Knegt]
6:02 p.m. - Our friend/actor Will Keenan just introduced us to Bollywood superstar Malika Sherawat. F'n Beautiful H-O-T!!! They're making a movie together called "Hiss." [Brian Brooks]
5:59 p.m.- WINNER - Best Animated Feature: "Up"
5:52 p.m. - Ayyy Caramba! The cable went out again. [Brian Brooks]
5:50 p.m. - And even greater ones for the introduction of Ryan Reynolds. [Peter Knegt]
5:48 p.m. - MASSIVE cheers here on that win. [Peter Knegt]
5:48 p.m. - Definitely a round of approval for the Waltz win here at the Chartier party. My mom will be disappointed though I know she was pulling for Christopher Plummer. [Brian Brooks]
5:47 p.m. - WINNER: Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
5:43 - Maggie Gyllenhaal doesn't look like she's has much spillage potential as she did on Friday at the Spirits. [Peter Knegt[
5:38 p.m. - "Gayest opening ever" is the consensus of at least two loud Egyptian Theater attendees. I agree. [Peter Knegt]
5:36 p.m - Waiting for the TV signal to return here at the party in honor of Nicolas Chartier, Graham Taylor leads a first round of applause for the guest of honor. Wild cheers from the crowd.
Chartier, and his posse near the giant screen TV, pop a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne to pass the time. He comes over to me and quips, "Eugene will you go on the Internet and tell us who wins?"
But, just as he asks, the signal thankfully returns. We're back in business in time for most of Martin and Baldwin's welcome. [Eugene Hernandez]
5:31 - A big round of applause here at the Chartier party when they introduced Gabourey Sidibe just now... Whoah!!! The big TV monitor just went out right now. Ugh. [Brian Brooks]
5:26 p.m. - Four minutes and counting....
5:23 p.m. - The Academy will be happy to know that one of its bigger then life-size statues of Oscar is gracing the main entrance of the tent here at the party for Nicolas Chartier. And there's a poster of Nicolas nearby with the caption, "BANNED" in red, white and blue. By the way, who the hell are all these people? [Brian Brooks]
5:22 p.m. - Egyptian audience heckling Miley Cyrus on the pre-show. One catty gentleman: "Hunchback! You don't belong there." [Peter Knegt]
5:19 p.m. - Clearly that dolphin was rooting for The Cove. [Brian Brooks]
5:13 p.m. - Hanging out here in the tent at Nicolas Chartier party with the sun about to set. I overheard someone say, "Oh yeah, this is why people live in Southern California," as he looked out over the ocean. And just to make the idyllic setting that much more ridiculous, a dolphin jumped out of the water. [Brian Brooks]
5:12 p.m. - As the pre-show goes over all 10 nominees, the audience at the Egyptian cheers or boos each... Consensus here? "The Hurt Locker." And there's some serious "Avatar" hostility. [Peter Knegt]
4:53 p.m. - indieWIRE's Brian Brooks and I are reporting now from the Malibu home of producer Mike Fleiss.
WME's Graham Taylor and producer Lynette Howell are hosting a large tented bash for "Hurt Locker" producer Nicolas Chartier who was uninvited to the Oscars after campaigning by email last month.
A red carpet leads to a large tent with an ocean view. A 7 foot + Oscar statue greets guests as they enter the tent and French flags are draped in honor of Chartier's heritage. Food and drinks aplenty with folks mingling amongst white sofas. Red, white and blue streamers hanging from the modest chandliers at the top of the tent.
More soon. [Eugene Hernandez]
4:44 pm - I have finally arrived at my post for the evening: A screening party at the Egyptian Theater, just half a block away from the Kodak. My fabulous introduction to the festivities? My fellow audience members cheering on Gabby Sidibe on the read carpet as she laid down my favorite read carpet line of all-time: "If fashion was porn, this dress would be the mother shot." [Peter Knegt]
3:57 p.m. - Anne Thompson is reporting from the Red Carpet. Chatting with me by phone a moment ago, she said that the rain is clearing. She has a lot of fodder from the earlier arrivals on her blog now. [Eugene Hernandez]
3:37 p.m. Weather update: Heading west on Sunset Blvd. for the aforementioned Oscar party, the weather is great. Bright sun and just a few clouds as approach the Pacific Ocean near Malibu in a car. The streets are dry. It hasn't been raining here. The storm was limited to the Hollywood area. [Eugene Hernandez]
3:05 p.m. - Hollywood hailstorm!
A downpour has opened up over Los Angeles, bringing heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightning to Hollywood for the Academy Awards red carpet arrivals. Rain is a rare sight on Oscar night in Los Angeles. Sitting in a car, en route to an Oscar watching party, I see dark clouds and sun at the same time. "What weird weather," my colleague Brian Brooks just commented from the driver's seat, "It's pouring and yet its sunny!" [Eugene Hernandez]
1:59 p.m. - Last minute planning for that Oscar pool? Last week, indieWIRE surveyed leading films critics, bloggers and Oscar prognosticators on who they want to win and who they think will win. Catch up with the full list results here on indieWIRE.
Not surprisingly, "The Hurt Locker" is the front-runner. Will "Avatar" (or maybe even "Inglourious Basterds") surprise our panel or predictors? [Eugene Hernandez]
1:10 p.m. - Looking out the window here in Los Angeles, I see some blue sky but it's increasingly cloudy this afternoon. The weather on Academy Awards day is always a big day because it rarely rains on Oscar's red carpet.
Last night the pre-Oscar parties were met with heavy rain and cold temperatures, but today's forecast is for temperatures in the 60s and some clouds. There's a slight chance of rain, but so far it looks like the day will be dry. [Eugene Hernandez]
1:02 p.m. - Forty three feature films are nominated for Oscars this year, comprising the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' de facto list of the best movies of the year.
The list: "Ajami," "Avatar," "The Blind Side," "Bright Star," "Burma VJ," "Coco before Chanel," "Coraline," "The Cove," "Crazy Heart," "District 9," "An Education," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Food, Inc.," "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," "The Hurt Locker," "Il Divo," "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," "In the Loop," "Inglourious Basterds," "Invictus," "Julie & Julia," "The Last Station," "The Lovely Bones," "The Messenger," "The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)," "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers," "Nine," "Paris 36," "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," "The Princess and the Frog," "A Prophet (Un Prophete)," "The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)," "The Secret of Kells," "A Serious Man," "Sherlock Holmes," "A Single Man," "Star Trek," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," "Up," "Up in the Air," "Which Way Home," "The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)," and "The Young Victoria."
Not a bad roster of films to try to check out for a decent snapshot of 2009. I still haven't seen some of the bigger Hollywood entries, namely "District 9" and "The Blind Side. Eventually. [Eugene Hernandez]
12:58 p.m. The Associated Press will be streaming arrivals coverage live. The player is below: