Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Night 5:17 a.m.

So after 50 posts, two jugs of coffee, two chocolate chip cookies, one piece of cake and innumerable catty comments, we join "The Departed."

At least until we have to wake up in two hours time.

P.S. If you're reading this on Monday, you might want to scroll down to the beginning (you'll see a picture of two cute boys clutching an Oscar-- we have those sorts of things lying about our house) and read up. Then you'll be able to chart the night/morning as it progresses.

Oscar Night 5:14 a.m.

Best Picture goes to "The Departed."

We say, "Thank God!" But Mr. MarathonMum's alarm clock is about to go off-- if it hasn't already-- so we didn't beat the watershed.

Oscar Night 5:07 a.m.

Now we know what George Lucas is doing there: he's presenting Best Director with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola.

And the winner is.... Martin Scorsese!

Good news for him, but better news for me, because, again, I was right. I take validation where ever I can find it.

Everyone is on their feet. God, he deserves it. And he's funny! But he's going on and on.

The directing mafia-- the four of them-- finally exit stage left. Or is it right? I think I'm hallucinating I'm so tired. Anne is so tired she's got nothing to say.

Oscar Night 5:01 a.m.

Sad Reese Witherspoon with the bad hair extensions is on to present Best Actor. It's just getting painful now. We want it to be over. Anne is saying (bitterly) she's not even going to bother to put on her PJs since we'll be getting up in a few hours. Yes, we're bitter.

Yeah! Forest (not Gump, but Whitaker) wins. Please God, I hope his speech is short.

By the way, MarathonMum fans, in the movie of my life, Forest would play my friend Jermaine. He totally looks like him AND he could capture Jermaine's gentle, cool nature.

Forest is choking up. That's sweet, but I'm still tired. This is a fine speech, which I think speaks to the benefits of preparation.

Oscar Night 4:50 a.m.

Ellen comes back on and says, "And that's our show for this evening." If ONLY, we scream in unison.

Philip Seymour Hoffman comes out to present Best Actress. I know he's a guy and all, and probably doesn't care about such prosiac things as HAIR, but it looks terrible and strange. Did they not give him a brush in his goody bag?

Helen Mirren, as predicted, wins! We love her dress. The nice thing about her dress is it goes nicely with her statue. They go well together.

I wonder if Queen Elizabeth II is up with us right now, waiting to see if Helen Mirren will win? Or does she have some underling watching to wake her for the category? Or perhaps, she's reading MarathonMum?

Oscar Night 4:45 a.m.

Just when Anne and I were hoping they were going to skip the "I See Dead People" feature, Jodie Foster strolls up to introduce just that. Damn her!

However, there is a fighting chance that Maureen Stapleton will be featured. And she is! She's number 18 out of 33. If you're curious as to who the most important dead person was, it was director Robert Altman, who won an honorary Oscar just last year. Seems like they gave it to him Just. In. Time.

Oscar Night 4:38 a.m.

Kate Winslet is presenting for something. Anne guesses editing, and she was right! She likes being right as much as I do.

"It's the moment we've all be waiting for," Kate says. No, Kate, the moment we're waiting for is THE END.

"The Departed" wins. We're both hoping she'll be short in her gratitude. It doesn't look likely.

I recommend "United 93" to Anne. It's one of those films that you wouldn't necessarily choose to watch, but you should watch it. It's fantastic. She duly notes it in her "Films to See" list.

Oscar Night 4:31 a.m.

The commentators from Sky talk about how there was an upset in Best Original Song since "Dreamgirls" didn't win. Who cares.

Will Smith is up to present something. He's talking about America in movies. Is this the film editing award? Oh, no. It's Michael Mann talking about America in the movies. We're bitter about this at MarathonMum HQ because it seems more and more likely that we'll still be up when Mr. MarathonMum awakes. This is just filler. This is also torture.

Oscar Night 4:28 a.m.

Finally! Best Original Song. We must be getting close to the final lap. Please, God, let the acceptance speech be short.

I think we just witnessed an Oscar first: A lesbian kiss!! Melissa Etheridge wins. Al Gore gets thanked. Yawn.

"Caring about the earth" yadda, yadda, yadda. Let's just get to Best Picture.

Oscar Night 4:22 a.m.

We finally figured out what Jennifer Lopez is doing there-- she's doing the introduction for one of the Dreamgirls songs.

Jennifer (we're so tired right now, I just had to look up her surname) Hudson has changed into a most fabulous red dress, but she still is, in Anne's words, "zaftig." I believe she's also got some incredibly serious support work going on underneath that dress that probably deserves its own Oscar.

Anne and I are now quite concerned that with Beyonce on the scene, we're going to be faced with some sort of dueling song thing, ala Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey a few years ago. Maybe one or the other will push the other one down. I'd put my money on Jennifer Hudson kicking Beyonce's ass. But I'm pretty sure they'll save that for the Vanity Fair party.

This must be some sort of medley of "Dreamgirls" songs. All we can say is we hope this award is going to be presented soon. We're getting tired and crabby.

Oscar Night 4:12 a.m.

Spiderman and Mary Jane, I mean, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst come out to present Best Original Screenplay.

We've altered our opinion on Kirsten's dress. It seems to wash out under the lights. But we still like it, just not as much as before.

I predict this award will go to "Little Miss Sunshine" and then it won't win "Best Picture." Though this one might also go to "The Queen" for the same reason. I'd be happy with either (not that it matters what I think).

I was right. God, I love being right. Just ask anyone who knows me.

I just noticed that the birds are up outside. I think I'll start taking bets about whether or not I'll be up when Mr. MarathonMum gets up. It's looking more and more likely.

Oscar Night 4:04 a.m.

Anne is in hysterics because I've just misstaken Hugh Jackman for John Stamos. I've got John Stamos on the brain tonight. Go Blackie, Go!

Original Score goes to "Babel."

"Great," says Anne, without enthusiasm. We're becoming just a little bit bitter at this point. Don't mind us. Tomorrow-- I mean today-- is going to be a long day.

Oscar Night 3:59 a.m.

We did some checking, and we found that the Oscars started 30 minutes later than last year, which doesn't bode well for our plans for sleeping. It is quite possible that I will still be up when Mr. MarathonMum wakes up for work in one hour's time.

Clint is translating for Enrico. Who knew Clint knew Italian? He truly is a multi-talented man. They just panned the audience, and Kate Winslet's brow is furrowed, as if she's trying to translate it herself. Anne and I just deduce that Clint doesn't actually know Italian, but he's reading it off a telepromter.

They just showed the balcony where Enrico's family is sitting, and I could SWEAR that's Idi Amin sitting next to Enrico's wife. But wait, Idi's dead. So I don't know who that man is.

Hooray. That's over, but it'll be another flipping commerical.

Oscar Night 3:50 a.m.

Clint Eastwood is presenting the honorary Oscar to Enrico Morricone. (Again, I doubt I'm spelling that right. Do you think I care at this point?)

We begin to lose the will to live when we realize we haven't even gotten to the "I See Dead People" feature of the evening.

Oscar Night 3:44 a.m.

Now we're on to the Best Short Documentary. We're hoping to God, that their speeches will be shorter than their short, but we doubt it.

Jerry Seinfeld shows up. It makes you think what he's doing at the Oscars, but I tell Anne he's got a new movie coming out this summer-- "Bee Season." He's doing a funny bit before he presents (yawn) Best Documentary. I wonder if he wrote it himself. We're both laughing. Then again, we're punch drunk, so perhaps our comedic taste can't be trusted at this point.

Al Gore wins! I just realize that our friend John Heasly worked as an intern for David Guggenheim before he went to Medill. So while David Guggenheim is holding the Oscar, I'm sure he was inspired by the fantastic photocopying of our friend John, which means we're only two degrees from holding an Oscar ourselves.

So Al Gore has won an Oscar, but didn't win the presidency. And he just got cut off, to which we say, "Thank God! We're tired!!"

Oscar Night 3:35 a.m.

We're perking up here at MarathonMum HQ.

Our man George Clooney shows up to present Best Supporting Actress. It's a heterosexual woman's dream: Clive Owen followed by George Clooney. I could be so lucky.

Jennifer Hudson wins, gets the Oscar, and even better for her, gets a kiss from George! What a lucky girl.

Lucky for you, the Academy and the millions of people watching, she had the good sense not to put her Judy Jetson jacket back on. Now, lucky for us, they cut her off. We're getting tired and grumpy.

We just noticed that George Clooney is going grey. We still totally fancy him, though. (But we both like Clive Owen more).

Oscar Night! 3:30 a.m.

I've just perked up a great deal: Clive Owen is presenting Best Foreign Language Film.

An upset! "Pan's Labrynith" doesn't win. (Listen, readers, I'm pretty sure I'm misspelling Labrynith, but do you think I care at 3:30 a.m.??)

Winner: "Blah, blah, blah." Look! There's Clive Owen standing behind him, looking as cool as all get out while he listens. (And having been within ONE FOOT of him, I can say with authority he is-- I must be tired, I'm at a loss for words.)

"It's men like that who make me realize I could never be a lesbian," Anne says.

And then, wouldn't you know it-- a lesbian shows up! Our host, Ellen. I guess Clive isn't doing anything for her. Oh, god, and she's doing soem interpretive dance now too. Please, save us. It's late, I'm tired, and that just isn't as funny as it should be.

Oscar Night! 3:16 a.m.

OK, first some more interpretive dance, and then a commercial break. Now we can check how much longer we have to stay up.

I've just realized we have yet to see our heartthrob George Clooney.

Oh! No! Claudia Winkleman just told us we're only HALF-WAY THROUGH. You've got to be kidding me. Does that mean we'll be up until 6 a.m.? Good God, I hope not. I need to check back and see how late I stayed up last year. It was 4:26 a.m., about an hour from now. That doesn't calculate, if we're only half-way through.

Naomi Watts is presenting now. She's definitely up the duff. I mean, pregnant. No less than authority than Us Magazine told me so.

She and Robert Downey Jr. are presenting the Best Visual Effects award. I've decided these boring technical awards of the vegetables of the night. You have to eat them-- I mean, watch them-- before you get to your dessert.

Oscar Night! 3:08 a.m.

Tom Cruise is presenting an honorary (I have to use the U.S. spelling, since it's a U.S. award) Oscar to Sherry Lansing. We scan the audience to see if Nicole Kidman is clapping. Lucky for us, she's wearing red, so she's easy to spot-- and she's clapping!

We like Sherry's dress, and even better, her speech is short, so Anne doesn't have to yell at the T.V.

Gwenyth Paltrow is presenting Cinematography. I hope "Children of Men" wins, because (and not that I'm an expert) the cinematography was amazing. But the juggernaught of "Pan's Labrynith" continues and they win.

So Anne's not yelling at the TV, but she is making fun of Gwenyth Paltrow's spanish. I think we're both getting drunk on caffiene. I'm not even tired!

Oscar Night! 3:01 a.m.

An Oscar first-- a Corgi is on stage!!

Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt are presenting Best Costume Design-- a total girl category is there ever was one. Although, if you think about it, this is a girl's Super Bowl, so maybe they're all girl categories. Except for the Sound Editing awards, those are definitely boy awards.

"Marie Antoinette" wins. Of course it did-- it's a costume drama! How can you lose for Best Costume Design if you've got a costume drama about Louis XVI and his court? (Thanks to my co-host Anne, who told me Louis' number.)

Anne just yawned and now she's getting a little bit snippy toward the winner. "Cut her off!" she's yelling at the screen. Perhaps she's feeling so grumpy because I just estimated that this marathon won't end until 5 a.m. GMT. "So we're going to have two hours of sleep then," she calculated.

I just made some fresh coffee for her, so there's not much more I can do from this end of the sofa. Maybe I should suggest some comfy slippers for her. Oh, wait, she still has trousers on. What she needs is some elasticated bottoms, like sweats or PJs.

Oscar Night! 2:49 a.m.

Helen Mirren and Tom Hanks are presenting "Best Adapted Screenplay."

This is Anne's category, because she is only TWO DEGREES away from one of the nominees. Her boys played with Patrick Marber's boys. Marber was nominated for his adaptation of "Notes on a Scandal," which I've read, but my boys don't know Patrick Marber's boys. I did read Zoe Heller's book, but that puts me about 20 degrees away from the nominees. So if Patrick wins, it's as if Anne wins, and since Anne is sitting on my sofa, it's as if I've won too.

Bummer. Anne-- I mean, Patrick-- didn't win. She'll just have to console herself by holding our fake Oscar. Anne seems a little sad. I should point out where our Oscar bar is, so she could comfort herself with liquor.

But "The Departed" wins, which might be a good sign of things to come for Marty Scorsese.

Oscar Night! 2:49 a.m.

Helen Mirren and Tom Hanks are presenting "Best Adapted Screenplay."

This is Anne's category, because she is only TWO DEGREES away from one of the nominees. Her boys played with Patrick Marber's boys. Marber was nominated for his adaptation of "Notes on a Scandal," which I've read, but my boys don't know Patrick Marber's boys. I did read Zoe Heller's book, but that puts me about 20 degrees away from the nominees. So if Patrick wins, it's as if Anne wins, and since Anne is sitting on my sofa, it's as if I've won too.

Bummer. Anne-- I mean, Patrick-- didn't win. She'll just have to console herself by holding our fake Oscar. Anne seems a little sad. I should point out where our Oscar bar is, so she could comfort herself with liquor.

But "The Departed" wins, which might be a good sign of things to come for Marty Scorsese.

Oscar Night! 2:43 a.m.

So I've made coffee, cleaned up the kitchen a bit, and done some other things and I missed NO awards.

But now on to a category we actually care about in this house: Best Animated Feature.

"Happy Feet" wins and I was right again! I'm 2 for 2!! I'm sorry for Pixar and all, but Happy Feet was better. Thing One and Thing Two will be disappointed at breakfast tomorrow-- I mean later today. If there was any question as to where their loyalties lay, check the picture at the beginning of all the Oscar posts.

Note to MarathonMum fans: I dreamed that Happy Feet would win. Next I'm going to pay attention to stock tips when I sleep.

Oscar Night! 2:22 a.m.

Rachel Weisz, wearing our favourite dress of the night, is presenting Best Supporting Actor. At last! Some stardust!!

Yeah! Alan Arkin wins, just as MarathonMum predicted. He's reading his acceptance speech. I can't decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. He's choking up, which is sweet. I like the speech.

Now ellen is trying to make Mark Wahlberg feel better for having lost. Nice try, Ellen, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be at the bar at the next commercial break.

Ellen has just told us we're going to get to see Interpretitive Dance THROUGHOUT THE SHOW. That's more than we can bear. They just did "Happy Feet." Pretty impressive, but it's still interpretive dance.

Oscar Night! 2:14 a.m.

Steve Carrell and Greg Kinnear are presenting the Sound Editing award. Why is this not given out in the technical awards?

Oh, Anne just yawned. It might be time for another pot of coffee.

But before we get there, we have a short discussion on the merits, or the lack thereof of "Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest." For the record, she didn't like it either.

That discussion slides nicely into one about John Stamos, now starring in "ER." Now I need to IMDB him to find out how old he is. I used to think he was about 10 years older than us, but that would make him about 50 now, which just isn't right. Will check later.

On to another boring award, this one presented by Jessica Biel and James McEvoy. Anne just told me this is the "Sound Mixing" award, which is somewhat different than "Sound Editing," but she doesn't know how.

Hooray! An acting award!!

Oscar Night! 2:11 a.m.

More boring awards! This is terrible!! This is some sort of sound effect thing. It's too early in the ceremony to make me endure this. Give me some stars! I'd even take Eddie Murphy at this point!!

I mean, I'm sure all the moms of the sound effects people are incredibly proud of them at this point, but if I didn't have a mug of coffee next to me, I'd be asleep by now.

Oscar Night! 1:53 a.m.

Will Ferrell, Jack Black (He's so great See "High Fidelity" if you haven't) and John C. Reilly are singing. Very funny. Now they're doing the award for makeup. "Pan's Labyrinth" just won again. It's on a roll! I'm still not sure I want to see it, though.

Best effect we've seen so far: when the makeup winner went to speak and the microphone and it was too high for you, they lowered it from somewhere. Nice job.

Now Abigail Breslin and Jaden Smith are presenting best animated short. I'm thinking the other Smith children must be pissed that they didn't get to go to the Oscars too. Maybe their dad will make a movie with them next year.

"The Danish Poet" just won the best animated short. When are they going to get to a supporting actor award? Why are we doing all the boring ones first? Give me George!!

"The Danish Poet" is going on and on in her acceptance speech. She-- and all the people like her-- are going to be the reason why we're up at 5 a.m. GMT. Anne is somewhat bitter about this. She has very stridently asked her to be quiet. (I've cleaned it up for you. This is a family blog.)

Where is Jack Nicholson's hair??

Oscar Night! 1:31 a.m.

Oooh! It's starting!!!

It's some sort of wierd clip job featuring nominees-- some we've seen before, but a lot we've never seen before.

They're now all saying they'll thank their mom. Then some joker said he'd thank he'd thank his in-laws, and then if he thanked them, he'd better thank his mom too. It wasn't that funny, unfortunately. Bring back George Clooney in bed with Jon Stewart!

Now they've asked all the nominees to stand up.

Ellen DeGeneres just entered and they showed her mom who looks incredibly proud. Isn't that nice. And her mom is sitting next to her girlfried, Portia di Rossi, who FINALLY looks as though she's had something to eat. How nice for her.

Ellen just said, "It's the most international Oscars ever!" How do they know that? But from here in Britain we say, "Hello! Hello!"

Now Ellen says there's been too many British nominees. That's just sour grapes. Then she apologizes, and says she didn't really mean it, but adds, "At home in my pyjamas with half a box of chardonnay who knows what I would say," Ellen said. How does she know what we're doing here in London??

Abigail Breslin! Hooray! She looks SOOOOO cute. Her dress is so perfect and great. Two thumbs up from us at MarathonMum headquarters.

Now there's Jennifer Hudson. Oh, thank god, she's taken off the Judy Jetson jacket! Maybe she's been reading MarathonMum and read what we were saying over here in London.

OH! A gospel choir at the Oscars. How different. Now, without further adieu, on to the first award. Art direction. Time for a bathroom break. (perhaps that is TMI for you)

Oscar Pre-Game 1:17 a.m.

Andre Leon Talley just interviewed the Smith family. We agree that Jada's dess is way too severe. She's got an amazing body, and she looks great, but it just doesn't work.

It must be near kick off because they seem to be shepharding people to the door. Even the famous lane is congested! They're either going to have to add a "really famous lane" to the "famous" and "not famous" lanes, or add a congestion charge.

Ryan Gosling is with his sister and his mom. What about his poor girlfriend Rachel McAdams? Why didn't she make the cut? It must not be too serious if she didn't get to walk the red carpet with him.

Now they're talking about Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes. "They've been married quite a while," they observe. Yes, like five years! Amazing!! How do they do that?

Oscar Pre-Game 00:58

Now they're dissecting Reese Witherspoon's look on E! "That separation from Ryan is the best thing that's happened to her," one of the hosts said. I don't think that Reese would agree with them.

Now it's 1:06 a.m. and we thought it was starting, but it seems as though we're still in the pregame coverage.

Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman are now being interviewed. Before we saw Naomi make a bee-line for Nicole in the famous lane of the red carpet, which was sweet. Naomi looks pregnant, but she looked pregnant last year, so we're not sure. I'll try to check at the next commercial break.

Andre Leon Talley interviewed Jennifer Hudson. Finally! Something nice to say! I like her shoes-- they're Manolo Bhalnik's. But they jacket just won't know. I understand that she is zaftig, and she felt the need to cover her upper arms. If I had to go to the Oscars, I would feel the same, but the silver jacket with the brown dress just doesn't work. She needs to fire her stylist.

"It's a Judy Jensen jacket!"-- the best description we've had all night.

Oscar Pre-Game 00:46

Nicole Kidman is wearing bright red with a buge bow. "She looks like a Christmas present," Anne says.

Kate Winslet is being inteviewed on E! We've had a bit of a disagreement about her dress. I love it. Anne thinks it is the colour of toothpaste. "But don't get me wrong, she looks gorgeous," she quickly added.

There's Reese Witherspoon, looking sad and alone. With obvious hair extensions. Not a good look.

Meryl Streep's daughter just got asked if she's anything like her character (the boss from hell) in Devil Wears Prada. "Yes," the daughter replied, to which Meryl beaned her on the head with her purse.

Oscar Pre-Game 00:40

Cate Blanchett just told Ryan Seacrest that she will "Die of shock" if she wins tonight. Respectfully, I disagree Cate. She thinks, "It's Jennifer's night." We'll see about that.

FYI: Anne has moved off the sofa to the floor. She said she doesn't want to get Repetitve Stress Injury in her butt. Or, more accurately, she doesn't want to get zaftig.

Oscar Pre-Game 00:29

They don't like Kirsten Dunst's dress on E!

"No!" we cried. "We like it! Shut up!"

We just got a quick look at Gwenyth Paltrow. At first, we didn't recognize her. The jury is out on her dress. We will report more later.

Now we see Beyonce Knowles. "It looks like a Miss America sash," Anne says. I just don't like it. I don't like the colour. It just doesn't work.

Now Gwenyth has been interviewed. She's wearing Zac Posen, which surprised us both. We decided the problem is the colour. It's too autumnal.

Oscar Pre-Game 00:21

Rachel Weisz just got interviewed by SkyOne. We think her dress is our favourite of the night. You can't go wrong with Vera Wang, can you? It's just so beautiful. The detail around the top is beautiful and the color (platinum, thanks Mr. MarathonMum!) looks great.

Just got a quick look at Cate Blanchett. "Oh!" we said in unison, and not in a good way. "It looks like she's been mud wrestling," said Anne. "It makes her look zaftig!" I replied.

Daniel Craig keeps popping up. Nice! As my friend Camilla said, he is "Mr. Yum Yum!"

"I don't think I'll ever get over it," Celine Dion just said to Ryan Seacrest. Is she talking about her backward tuxedo disaster of a few years back??

Oscar Pre-Game 00:03

Simon Cowell just wished Jennifer Hudson good luck. Yeah, right.

But she still looks terrible. I just don't get the jacket. It's troubling me.

We just realized there's a famous lane and a not famous lane. Leonardo DiCaprio just got admitted to the famous lane.

I'm off to make some crucial coffee for the MarathonMum Oscar coverage team.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar Pre-Game 23:54

Jodie Foster just got interviewed by Ryan Seacrest. He's an idiot. He said, "Your eyes perfectly match the colour of your dress," (by Vera Wang, who would be my Oscar dress choice). Jodie very wittily replied, "I got them dyed to match."

Now I've got a full view of Penolope Cruz's dress and I have to change my vote. I still don't like the colour, but I LOVE the train. It's just the sort of over-the-top skirt you should have for the Oscars. Beautiful.

Oscar winner Rachel Weisz just stopped by E! and we agree that her dress is beautiful. It's also done by Vera Wang, MarathonMum's Oscar designer in my fabulous parallel life.

Jessica Biel is stopping by E! We don't like her dress. We think it makes her look zaftig, which we're quite certain she's not.

Kelly Preston: wearing Dolce and Gabbana, and it's HORRIBLE. It's some sort of wierd animalistic print. It's a bad choice, but is making for a great year for horrible dresses for us to be catty about.

Oscar Pre-Game 23:48

We just saw Penelope Cruz. We like her dress, but we don't like the colour (or color, for our American fans). It completely washes her out.

Speaking of poor choices, we also just saw Best Supporting Actress nominee Jennifer Hudson. Her dress is destined for the Worst Dressed list. It's awful! It's so bad I feel compelled to cover my eyes! She should lose for her dress choice alone.

Oh, we seem to be in a rash of bad dress choices. Cameron Diaz is wearing some sort of awful white thing with bows on her shoes. The last time I wore bows on my shoes, I was 16 years old.

Oscar Pre-Game 23:43

Emily Blunt, and her boyfriend whom I've never heard of, is talking to Ryan Seacrest, whom I've also never heard of. Emily said she's presenting with her friend Annie. It's like I'm Emily and Annie is Anne Hathaway and we're presenting the Oscars! That would us!!

Tipper again! Still looking zaftig in brown! Al is still a dork!

Al is talking about climate change and HE'S BRINGING ME DOWN! It's Oscar night, for goodness sake!!!! Mr. MarathonMum, making a guest appearance, wants to know if Al has offset his flight to L.A. today, and he'd also like to know about his carbon footprint in relation to plugging his film.

Oscar Pre-Game 23:35

We're watching the second interview with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. Peter just said he realized moments before leaving that he didn't have a bow tie or cufflinks. How do you NOT KNOW something like that? Did he wake up this morning and think, "Oh! The Oscars! Is that today?"

We also briefly saw Jodie Foster and she looked AMAZING.

Jennifer Lopez has just arrived. Jay Emanuel just said, "This is a very different look for her." We respectfully disagree. It's the same Grecian/Vintage look she's been wearing for the last couple of years.

"It looks like she's wearing lingerie," Anne said. I would agree.

Oscar Pre-Game 23:28

Al and Tipper Gore just walked down the Red Carpet. Anne says that Tipper in her brown dress is "zaftig" which means "(of a woman) having a pleasantly plump figure" and "full-bodied, well proportioned."

I believe that zaftig will be our word for the night!

Welcome to Oscar Night!

Welcome to MarathonMum Oscar Night!

The wine has beeen poured, the coffee is ready and the treats (cake and chocolate chip cookies) are ready to go.

Your hosts for the evening are MarathonMum and my friend Anne.

We are toggling between SkyOne's coverage and E! "Live from the Red Carpet." It's obvious that it's early in the evening, because it's all the marginal stars who have arrived. Right now, SkyOne is interviewing Scottish superstar James McElvoy from "Last King of Scotland" and Michael Sheen from "The Queen." As we live in Britain, we could identify them immediately, but I'm sure the good people from E! had no idea who they were.

We also just briefly saw Gael Garcia Bernal, star of "Babel" and who I once saw in person on stage in "Blood Wedding" at the Almeida. He is very short, but quite lovely.

Oh! Joan Rivers just appeared and she is assaulting our eyes by being a vision in Red! Red! Red! Red fur, red dress. She looks, in a word, awful. And though she's made no secret of her love of plastic surgery, we agree that she's starting to look like a freak.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Academy Awards Eve

Happy Academy Awards Eve, everyone!

While I know technically, it's Academy Awards Day in the U.S., it is Academy Awards Eve here in the U.K. since the show does not begin until 1 a.m. (Monday morning).

As those who know me well will attest, I love the Academy Awards. I don't know why, but it may have something to do with the fact that I share a name with a woman who won Best Supporting Actress in 1981 for "Reds." Alas, she got to go the awards and wear a frock, but I did not. Maybe someday.

My love for the Academy Awards is deep and pure. My love is so pure that owing to time zone differences, I stay up all night long so I can watch them. My love is so pure hat for the past three years, I special ordered Sky Movies so that I can watch them.

This year, I will be joined on my sofa with my friend Anne. It'll be a sleepover!! Or, actually, an Oscar-over, since we won't be going to bed until the bitter end. (Please, God, give some of the winners the guidance that they don't feel compelled to thank every person they've ever met. Many, many acceptance speeches along the lines of Joe Pesci's, "Thank you. I'm very honored," would be appreciated.)

I plan to blog live, if Anne doesn't mind. In fact, she is witty and clever, so I imagine many of her quips will be included in this year's coverage. It's a two-for-one special at MarathonMum this year! So please join us.

To get in the spirit of things, here is a list of my predicted winners, and who I would give the Oscar to if given the power. It's been a very good year for Oscar viewing, as I've seen four out of five Best Picture nominees.

Best Picture: They say it's a battle between "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Departed." I think "The Departed" might take it, if only because everybody likes Marty Scorsese and they feel he deserves after so many years, and so many pictures, having not won one. I really liked "The Departed", but I didn't absolutely love it. But that's just me. "Little Miss Sunshine" was my favourite picture last year, so if I was in charge, it would win. It's a fantastic, quirky film that really captures the insanity and love of families. If you haven't seen it, go.

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, for the same reasons as given above. Lots of times, it seems the Academy gives awards to people they feel they've slighted in the past, [See Judi Dench winning in 1999 for 48 seconds in "Shakespeare in Love" when she should have won for "Mrs. Brown" the year before when Helen Hunt won for "As Good As It Gets."] and it would be case of this again. It's about time.

Best Actress: To the delight of Essex girls everywhere, Helen Mirren will win for "The Queen." [Editor's note: Essex girls are London's equivalent of Jersey girls.] But personally, I thought Judi Dench was better in "Notes on a Scandal." But she's won before, and Helen has not, so it'll go to Helen.

Best Actor: It's a battle between the oft-nominated but never victorious Peter O'Toole in "Venus" and Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland." I like Peter O'Toole and all, but if he wins, it'll just be an honorary Oscar. To be fair, I haven't seen Venus, but I doubt it could be as good as "The Last King of Scotland." Forest Whitaker should most definitely win because he is phenomenal. He is also one of those actors who's just good in everything (See: Morgan Freeman, Catherine Keenar, Philip Seymour Hoffman.)

Best Supporting Actress: It should be said up front that the Best Supporting categories are ALWAYS the wild card (See Marisa Tomei winning for (ahem) "My Cousin Vinnie") or the consolation prize (See George Clooney winning this rather than Best Director last year).

Oh. Give me a minute. I'm imagining myself winning the Best Supporting Actress this year so that way George Clooney will hand me Oscar and THEN give me a smooch. Sigh.

OK. I'm back. I'm going out on a limb here and I'm going to say that Jennifer Hudson isn't going to win, even though everyone thinks she will. I think the Academy still feels incredibly guilty that Cate Blanchett didn't win for "Elizabeth" (instead giving it to Gwenyth Paltrow) so they'll give it to her. Even though she's won since then for "The Aviator."

Best Supporting Actor: This is a toughie. I'd like to see Alan Arkin win for "Little Miss Sunshine." As this is always a wild-card winner, that would make sense, but it could just as well go to any of the other four. It would be an interesting moment in history to have a New Kid on the Block win an Oscar, so maybe Mark Wahlberg will take it (I hope he remembers to wear a belt). I'm going to go with Alan Arkin.

Best Animated Feature: Sadly, this is the category with which I could speak with the most authority for the past few years. I much as I love Pixar and "Cars," as does everyone else in my family, I think "Happy Feet" is going to win. However, both Thing One and Thing Two think that "Cars" will win it, so someone in the house is going to be right.

See you all in a few hours. I will be wearing my most fabulous frock, or at the very least, my most comfortable sweats.

Please check in regularly if you're watching the Oscars too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Charlotte's Web

Bursting with anticipation, Thing One, Thing Two and I kicked off half-term week by going to see "Charlotte's Web."

It is important that you know that I think Charlotte's Web is the BEST book EVER in the HISTORY of the UNIVERSE. I believe it is the only book that I would rate 10 out of 10.

It is the book that made me love reading and writing. It is the book that taught me about the cycle of life. It is the book that taught me the value of friendship. It is the book that taught me the power of well-selected words.

I already read the book to the boys last summer, such was my anticipation in sharing Wilbur's magical world with them. I was crying so hard at the end of the book that I had to pass it off to Mr. MarathonMum to read the last sentences: "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."

As a parent, there is nothing better than passing along your own enthusiasms to your children. When we sat in the cinema watching the movie, I was overcome with such happiness because we could watch the story of Charlotte, Wilbur and Fern unfold together. It was the same sort of happiness I felt when we read the book together too. As the movie moved toward its sad conclusion, and the tears were streaming down my face, Thing One kept saying to me, "Don't be sad, Mom," while Thing Two crawled into my lap, gave me a hug and said, "Don't cry, Mom."

As we left the cinema, Thing Two (now aged 3 1/2) summed up the action. [ALERT: Plot spoiler ahead!!]
"Charlotte died at the fun fair," he said. "That was sad."
"Then three of her babies stayed at the barn," he said. "That was happy."

I couldn't have summed it up better myself.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Death of a Snowman

Alas, all of the snow from last week's storm is well and truly gone. To commemorate the TWO (count 'em!) snowstorms we've had this year, I present to you....

Death of a Snowman.
(Do you see what I did there?)

Editor's Note: The above featured snowman is, in fact, from the first snowfall of the season. We made a much bigger and better snowman the second time around, but I didn't chart his demise.