REFRESH MANUALLY TO KEEP UP
05:07- Right, that is that. The Oscars 2014 are over, awards have been given out, friendships have been broken, twitter records shattered, many people left happy. If you have been reading this with us, it has been a pleasure to guide you stutteringly through the awards, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have. We might see you next year. Who knows. Even we don’t. Well, have a good night everyone, and keep reading the OxStu.
05:01- Still think it’s the wrong decision. But that is a personal opinion. Wolf should have won it. Wolf actually ended the night not winning a single award. You read it here first, Wolf Of Wall Street in ten years will be remembered more than 12 Years. Also, American Hustle (we think) has gone awardless.
04:59- Steve McQueen seems nervous and happy.
04:57- BEST PICTURE GOES TO 12 YEARS A SLAVE.
04:53- McConaughey can talk as well. In the midst of the drunkenness here, a moment of genuineness. A really great speech about self-respect and knowing how to better yourself. Really well done to him.
04:48- JLAW presents the award for BEST ACTOR. (We bloody love JLAW). THE WINNER IS… MATTTTTTTHHHHHHEEEEEEWWWWWW MCCCCCCCONAAAAAUGGGGHHHHEEEEEEYYYYY. Who would have thunk it?! The man who spent a decade out in the romcom wilderness has turned up and shown that he is far, far more than just a pretty face. Just let this sink in- this is the man who was in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
04:44 – AND THE AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS GOES TO: Cate Blanchett. The last of the dead-cert results. It’s all to play for from here on out.
04:42 – DA GAWD Daniel Day-Lewis is here to announce the award for Best Actress.
04:42 – Ellen Degeneres has essentially rendered the stage redundant tonight.
04:37 – Cuaron leaves the stage as the first latino director ever to win the award. Degeneres pretends to think the ceremony is over (it isn’t!), hilarity ensues, and we go to an advert break.
04:35 – BEST DIRECTOR goes to Alfonso Cuaron. Well-deserved and very much expected.
04:32 – “I owe this… to the Oscars” blubs Alex as he sinks another tequila. The most important awards are about to be dished out, but the night may as well be over for your correspondents.
04:28- “He should win an award for Soundest Guy” a quote from one of our bloggers about Spike Jonze. Clearly a lot of love.
04:27- BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY GOES TO ‘HER’. Lynchehaun is so pleased that is physically hurts me.
04:24- De Niro hosting BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY. The winner is… 12 YEARS A SLAVE. What a massive fucking joke. How Wolf Of Wall Street didn’t win is beyond me- ridiculous. I am not even vaguely impressed.
04:16- BEST ORIGINAL SONG- FROZEN. No surprises for the believers.
04:15- Some of us disagree with a previous post. Let It Go is an amazing, amazing song. If you don’t like it, fuck off.
04:14- BEST SCORE goes to Gravity, somewhat inevitably
04:12- Jessica Biel is on stage, whatever happened to her career? Also Jamie Foxx is funny but also a dick
04:10- Is Let it Go a great song? No, it’s actually pretty mediocre, but then again Candle in the Wind is the best selling song of all time in the UK so being mediocre may actually be an advantage in a popular vote.
04:08- John Travolta looks like a vampire, not because he’s eternally youthful, rather that looking in the mirror is an unnerving experience
04:05- Goldie Hawn is genuinely less convincing in this broadcast than she was in Overboard, although more convincing than her daughter’s claims to be a successful actress.
04:04- Nicholas Hoult tweets Bono, from one wanker to another
04:03- Now for a L’Oreal advert. I am truly moved.
04:01- Could there be a greater reminder of mortality than a list of dead people followed by Bette Midler?
04:00- Bette Midler is serenading the dead
03:58- We have PSH, the montage closer
03:57- PSH yet to appear
03:54- Now, to introduce a montage of dead people, Glenn Close, who is yet to die
03:53- In a realisation that has shaken our worlds, Alex Zane is doing better than any of us in the OxStu hub. He is still a dickhead though
03:47- Now for a summer blockbuster montage or, in other words, a montage of movies not good enough to be released in December. Including Top Gun may well be a nod to gay rights in light of Sochi, but it’s still a terrible movie.
03:44- PRODUCTION DESIGN AWARD GOES TO… GREAT GATSBY. Gravity actually loses one… mental.
03:43- Ellen has just come out as a fairy. No pun in any way intended. She’s actually a pink fairy godmother.
03:42- Ellen’s picture has now officially become the most retweeted picture ever. Unbelievable.
03:35- “I want to be at the Oscars so much. Even it was just for something like Best Penis Double. Or Worst Penis Double. I don’t care” A DIRECT quote from one of our bloggers.
03:30- BEST EDITING IS… GRAVITY. Gravity is abso-fucking-lutely cleaning up here. They are smashing the awards.
03:28- GRAVITY WINS BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY. No surprises here at Univ HQ where we all called it. The tequila punishments take a break for now.
03:26- BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY COMING UP. Being hosted by Bill Murray and Amy Adams. Murray gives a shout out to Harold Ramis.
03:21- Ellen is trying to play Jesus and is attempting to feed the everyone at the Oscars. This is not even a joke. She has a pizza guy that she has called, and she is giving out pizza to people in the audience. Harrison Ford has just grudgingly accepted a pizza slice.
03:19 – Back to Alex Zane and his Wikipediesque platitudinous shite.
03:18 – Lupita, like her counterpart in the Best Supporting Actor role, has gone for the all-guns-blazing tearjerker speech manoeuvre. Can’t blame her really.
03:13: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS goes to Lupita Nyong’o! For once we all called it correctly! Emotions running high in Hollywood and the Univ MCR right now.
03:13 – Christophe Waltz his here to announce Supporting Actress. The tightest contest being announced by the tightest guy.
03:10 – SOUND EDITING GOES TO GRAVITY, as if anyone cares.
03:09 – Prithu’s extended lecture about the amazing sound effects in The Hobbit notwithstanding, Gravity takes sound mixing and the tequila keeps flowing.
03:08 – GRAVITY WINS BEST SOUND MIXING.
03:05 -By ‘we’ I mean Ellen and Brad and Meryl and Julia and Bradley and co, all of who are much cooler than us. Ellen is literally going round taking selfies.
03:02 – Not sure what it is, but Ellen seems to actively hate the Oscar stage. About 90% of her hosting has been from within the crowd. We’re also getting the world’s greatest selfie.
02:59 – No offence to Mandela, from which that song was taken. What do you think about Mandela‘s absence from this year’s awards? Let us know. Or don’t.
02:57 – A large amount of the Oscars’ target audience have presumably never heard of Pharrell, Ezra Koenig or Karen O, and that is the only possible justification for giving these smarmy has-been wankers the stage.
02:55 – U2 ARE SHIT
02:54- Ellen has now changed into a snowflake. She is literally completely white.
02:49- BEST FOREIGN FILM COMING UP- And The Great Beauty wins it. Travesty. Absolute travesty. The Hunt should have won. Only because I picked it, and now I have to drink for getting it wrong.
02:40- Kevin Spacey only fucking comes out and starts his short hosting session with a Frank motherfucking Underwood impression. What a guy. The only thing we’re missing is the Underwood double-tap.
02:40- This guy just thanked his kids and Harvey Weinstein in the same sentence. He has sold out, and he will pay for this in this life or the next.
02:38-BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE is won by 20 Feet from Stardom, condemning the three of us to shots, and Joshua Oppenheimer to eternal obscurity.
02:37- Bradley Cooper may be handsome as anything, but he’s not going to win tonight. The reason I’m saying this is because he’s currently presenting the award for best documentary.
02:33- DOCUMENTARY SHORT goes to the Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life, which may or may not be the title of a Chic song.
02:34- Otis’ reaction to tequila shots is quite literally Oscar worthy.
02:33- Or vampiric, for that matter.
02:32- Just to clarify, in an argumentative, not sexual, way.
02:31 – LIVE ACTION SHORT goes to Helium. Prithu and Alex are at each other’s necks.
02:29 – Zane and his fellow English non-entities bitch about the A-listers’ speech-fluffing. We bitch about them. And the inverted food chain of bitterness is complete.
02:28 – Ford, Gordon-Levitt, Watson, Efron, Koenig… all this celebrity is getting a bit too much. And as such we’re back to Alex Zane and co in the studio.
02:24 – Zac Efron ballses up the segue to a lovely performance of… something… by Ezra Koenig and Karen O. We want Channing Tatum back.
02:21 – VISUAL EFFECTS is presented by Emma Watson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (so everyone’s happy) to Gravity. “Quelle surprise” scoffs Alex.
02:19 – And now we’re being treated to an essentially quite arbitrary montage of great Oscar-winning performances of years past. Certainly not a bad thing.
02:18 – Can we all take another moment to appreciate Alex’s Pharrell joke below. Top drawer.
02:15 – ANIMATED FEATURE FILM goes to Frozen. Prithu called it; Alex and I didn’t. Two shots of tequila is what we get for supporting Japanese cinema.
02:14- The director has just thanked the audience for supporting shorts. I presume he’s referring to Pharrell
02:13- ANIMATED SHORT goes to Mr Hublot, which is not good news for the three here at OxStu HQ. It’s time for shots, in honour of Ms Novak
02:12- Kim Novak is smashed
02:11- Matthew McConaughey and Kim Novak are a more awkward couple than Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
02:10- If you’ve reassessed and still want to tweet us then please use #oxstuoscarsdrunkliveblogmark3its2014
02:09- If you want to tweet us about the liveblog, then you should probably reassess your life choices
02:06- But seriously, 21 Jump Street is seriously funny. If he and Jonah Hill aren’t best mates in real life then there’s nothing left for me in the world
02:05- Channing Tatum is onstage. Wait a minute while we drool
02:02- Harrison Ford may be an all time great actor, but I think he’s letting it slip a little with these nominations. I’ve never seen someone give less of a shit about anything than he does about Wolf of Wall Street
02:00- MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING goes to Dallas Buyers’ Club; Bad Grandpa has been absolutely robbed.
02:00- Please Bad Grandpa win hairstyling
01:58- BEST COSTUME DESIGN goes to the Great Gatsby. Period drama 1 – 0 Quality filmmaking
01:56- Naomi Watts and Samuel L Jackson may be two truly great actors, but even they can’t prolong a simile between music and films for more than 2 seconds
01:51- Pharrell on stage doing Happy. The song, not the drug. His fucking LUDICROUSLY sized hat is back. WHY?! He’s now dancing with the front row of the audience and is managing not to make it look twee. Fair play.
01:49- Jim Carrey does an impression of Bruce Dern. We love this guy. Borderline admits to doing LSD. We are all massive fans.
01:47- Ellen is tweeting the Oscars. Tweet us Ellen. Please.
01:43- LETO WINS. Of course he bloody does, he was phenomenal in it, fully deserved. His hippiness is kinda weird though.
01:41- BIG AWARD ALERT! NOMINATIONS FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR AT THE MOMENT.
01:40- We’re about ten minutes into the show and we are all massive fans of DeGeneres’ hosting. She seems like she doesn’t give a shit.
01:37- Ellen DeGeneres has no qualms about ripping into the seated actors at the Oscar. Particularly JenLaw. And Liza Minelli. My type of humour.
01:33 – Ellen Degeneres is going in hard and your correspondents are understanding very few of her jokes.
01:31 – AND THE CEREMONY IS OFFICIALLY UNDER WAY.
01:25 – Otis has just cracked secret of the evening- the woman judging all the dresses is none other than “that woman from Total Wipeout”.
01:23 – Pun of the evening so far from the women judging the dresses: “She’s just wearing all Dior…and well, it’s just Di-yawn”.
01:21 – Everyone reading this (all four of you), feel free to tweet in about who you think should win. And also which celebrity you hate the most. Anything really. This is what guerilla journalism is all about.
01:15 – Of course the real flashpoint of tonight’s ceremony will be the heated battle for the coveted Best Sound Mixing award, a conflict of near-Crimean proportions.
01:12 – Prithu is currently agonising over his Best Picture sweepstakes prediction. His head says 12 Years a Slave but his heart says Wolf of Wall Street. What do you think, readers? Let us know on Twitter, or something.
01:09 – Turns out one of the pundits joining Alex Zane for the intervening commentary is the Reviews Editor of Heat magazine. I guess Mark Kermode was unavailable.
01:05 – Otis here again. The red carpet antics are in full swing and it’s getting tricky coming up with interesting things to say about tuxedos.
00:59 – Jared Leto is currently looking as stupid as McConaughey is sharp at the moment, while Pharrell’s decision to wear shorts looks as poor a decision as Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia, without even inspiring the next War and Peace. At least he’s sold his hat.
00:54 – I’ve not seen much of the American coverage but one can only hope that of their 300 million population they’ve found someone more competent than Alex Zane and the guy-who-does-the-show-with-Alexander-Armstrong to host their Oscar show.
00:50 - The rumours are true, Leonardo DiCaprio IS wearing a navy tux rather than a black one, and looking pretty good in it at that.
00:39 – Kevin Spacey is looking absolutely prime tonight. He is an absolute hero.
00:36- If you read our blog last year, you would know that Jennifer Lawrence was considered incredibly attractive. Safe to say, that opinion has not changed in the slightest. She’s also an Oscar winner, so it means that she’s also supremely talented.
00:33- Lynchehaun thinks he has the Oscar categories sweepstakes in the bag. He seems overly confident. I hope he loses.
00:27- Alex Zane is trying to sound like he’s incredibly clued up on all the films. It genuinely sounds like he’s only read the IMDB synopses of these films and is trying to blag it over the next two hours. What an ass.
00:23- It’s actually Prithu here, and over the course of the evening, and just so you can tell, I’ll be the one with the flagrant use of expletives. So get fucking ready.
00:15 – Having watched 12 Years a Slave nary a couple of hours ago (and not having seen anything else but Wolf), I’m very much cheering for McQueen and co tonight. I’ll hand the reins over to Alex next for his more informed opinion.
00:12 – We’re joining you a bit behind schedule at the moment but not to worry: Sky’s Oscars coverage is currently still in Alex-Zane-talking-head mode, so you haven’t missed anything.
00:01 – Hello and welcome to the Oxford Student‘s 3rd annual Oscars drunk liveblog. Your intrepid correspondents for the night are Alex Lynchehaun, Prithu Banerjee and myself Otis Graham. Over the next couple of hours we’ll be bringing you the latest from the 86th Academy Awards, live as it happens. We’ll be here until the bitter end, or until we get kicked out of the Univ MCR, whichever comes first.
Her is a difficult film to review. Some people will buy into the premise of a man falling in love with his computer, and be genuinely moved. Others will find the whole thing just a bit creepy. I suppose I’m somewhere in the middle. Writer-director Spike Jonze plays with this tension, delicately teasing out insights about our relationship with the virtual world. But he is careful to avoid a preachy social allegory, and instead offers something richer and more tragic.
This wouldn’t be possible without two brilliant performances, delivered by Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. I doubt that any other casting choice would have worked for either role. Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a sweet man who wears pastels. He lives in a futuristic Los Angeles, and writes for BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com, a gentle reminder that almost anything can be purchased online. Despite his horn-rimmed glasses, high-waisted trousers, and 1970s B-list porn star moustache, Theo’s taste in women is decidedly ambitious. Going through a breakup with Rooney Mara, and unwilling to commit to Olivia Wilde, he can only connect with one woman: Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, his Operating System (OS).
Phoenix’s performance is at once whimsical and sad. We never get to see Theo’s wounds, but we sense their depth. It makes perfect sense that his version of the perfect women exists exclusively in cyberspace. Samantha organises his emails, doesn’t hesitate to perform “aural” sex, and appears genuinely interested in everything he has to say. The fact that she doesn’t have a body is made to seem insignificant; Johansson’s voice gives her character life. It’s crackling, sensual, and imperfect, enough to create the illusion of her humanness. Samantha isn’t a cipher, but at the same time she doesn’t ask anything of Theodore. The relationship remains almost entirely about him.
Perhaps that is what makes the film’s resolution inevitable. There’s a lot of talk, arguably a half-hour too much. And Phoenix, though entirely convincing, spends a lot of time gazing ahead and looking wistful. It’s interesting to see how Theo and Samantha attempt to navigate the challenges faced by ordinary couples, like when Samantha, eager to spice things up, finds a sex surrogate online to fill in for her body. But it’s difficult to see past the absurdity of the situation when they’re trying to be serious. And Theo eventually has to face this reality, as he realises the impossibility of a personal connection to an impersonal computer. It’s up to Samantha to be the mature one and finally dispel the illusion.
Her reverses the relationship between human and cyborg that has come to define the science fiction genre. While Blade Runner is about the identity crisis robots face, Samantha is by far the film’s most self-assured character. Everyone else is out to seduce their OS, or become BFFs. As humans scurry around trying to nab a virtual date or get more followers on Twitter, we’re forced to question whether social media makes our lives easier, or just provides new ways for us to be awkward and insecure.
I don’t think Her is a cautionary tale, despite Samantha’s frightening resemblance to Siri. Ultimately, Jonze’s film reminds us that the same anxieties, foibles, and needs will always be part of being human, though we might convince ourselves technology has made us immune.
Her is now showing at the Phoenix Picturehouse
How to create anticipation according to Nymphomaniac: 1) have a director veiled in controversy, who is unwilling to talk about said controversy or at all; 2) create the best poster campaign in years; 3) employ actor who is willing to wear a paper bag and quote Cantona. It certainly worked. Lars von Trier’s four hour opus has had people talking since that first teaser shot was released over a year ago. Now it is finally here and the Phoenix is sold out.
Von Trier opens his epic with ambience-filled darkness. The darkness rises and we find Joe (Charlotte Gainsborough) upon the floor, bloodied and bruised, with snow slowly falling. She is found and aided by Seligman (Stellen Skarsgård) to his bare, dingy flat, fed tea and encouraged to tell her tale.
Vol. 1 is told in five chapters, each of which is bookended by the musings of the quickly formed comedy odd-couple: Joe, the self-confessed nymphomaniac and social pariah; Seligman, the 60-odd year old virgin, whose life is the books that surround him. It is these musings that accompany the tales of young Joe (Stacey Martin) finding her sexuality, embracing it whole-heartedly and then losing its sensation.
I can be forgiven for not expecting this humour – the trailer was sounded by Rammstein after all. However, this light-heartedness is the highlight of Vol. 1. Whether it be found in one of Seligman’s many digressions – Fibonacci, fly-fishing or Zionism (subtle, Lars) – or in the bizarre, other-worldly tales of Joe.
The style of this first film mirrors the playfulness of the script – interspersed archival footage, split-screens and screen-filling graphics create a carefree mood. This is not to say that the film is without seriousness; the chapters Mrs H and Delirium showcase that.
Mrs H sees Uma Thurman as the cheated wife confronting Joe and her estranged husband. This acts as the first reality check for Joe, whose sexual voyage thus far had seemed harmless. Swinton is magnificent; her calm facade deteriorating to complete agony at the infidelity. Delirium, in contrast, is not related to Joe’s sexuality. The agony of witnessing a loved one’s slow demise is played out in monochrome. This is one of the few parts of the film where we see Stacey Martin lose her nonchalance, which otherwise dominates her performance, and adds depth to the youthful Joe.
However, there is a persistent problem with Vol. 1 – Shia LaBeouf’s accent. Hollywood’s most confusing actor plays Jerôme, Joe’s one persistent love interest, whose voice flitters between bad-British, Australian and something akin to Leonardo’s “Rhodesian” twang in Blood Diamond. You question whether it is purposeful of just shoddy acting; whatever the answer, it’s annoying.
Aside from this aggravation, the acting is on point throughout and relationship between Gainsborough and Skarsgård is exceptional. However, the sex scenes, though well done, felt overly fake. Yes they were explicit, but barring one instance they were more porn-world instead of real-world. This, I felt, detracted from the overall emotional context of the sex scenes.
With the first half of Nymphomaniac over, I felt slightly deflated. Vol. 1 didn’t feel like a complete piece. “That’s why Vol. 2 is there” is the answer – but this film is being released stand alone and does not work as such. It wasn’t the full exploration of a woman’s sexuality that I was hoping for, but it was superbly funny and, from the flashes of Vol. 2 that appear in the credits, a much easier ride than what is to come.