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Posts Tagged ‘Academy Awards’

Deathbed State of Film Criticism Plays Key Role in Endless Awards Prognostication

BanehamOscarWe joked the other day that perhaps they should just move the Oscars to the first weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival. So as to kill two North American birds with one statuette and get the whole damn awards season thing over with, at a time when pundits are shuffling the deck at a most furious Twitter pace.

But then it hit us. While film criticism as a legitimate form of journalism has been flat-lining for years, the eleven-and-a-half-month annual rigamarole through which an increasing number of film journalists calibrate the chances of this actor and that studio for a BATFA, SAG, Golden Globe and Academy Award is a phenomenon that would meet with the hearty approval of a character played by Paul Bettany, Tom Hiddleston and others. It’s survival of the aisle-seat fittest.

If you filter the enterprising work of folks like Anne Thompson, David Poland, Jeffrey Wells, Sasha Stone, Roger Friedman and Anthony Breznican through the prism of changing-with-the-film-criticism-times, awards season journalism becomes suddenly a very different animal. It’s not just an attempt to keep the ad dollars rolling in. It’s also a clever and necessary way for film journalists to keep their opinions relevant.

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Vanity Fair Scouting for New Oscar Party Location

ShutterstockSofiaVergaraVF2012Nice lede from E!’s Marc Malkin. He writes:

Perhaps throwing a party for Hollywood’s biggest stars in a parking lot wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Vanity Fair confirms to Malkin that indeed, after a year in the main parking lot of Sunset Plaza, publication event staff – per Graydon Carter‘s directive – are evaluating new locations for next year’s star-studded bash. However, a spokesperson was equally quick to clarify that despite what Malkin had heard, the embattled Beverly Hills Hotel has not been visited as part of this process.

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Oscars ‘Pizza Guy’ Turns Around Quick Hollywood Sequel

Right now, the media attention is LA-local. But as the official grand opening of Edgar Martirosyan‘s Silver Lake pizza joint Wood gets closer, expect to see growing national coverage. Not to mention some sort of appearance on Ellen.

Martirosyan’s decision to expand from a Big Mama’s and Papa’s franchise to something more ambitious is the culinary equivalent of an Oscar winner losing their agent, manager and-or suddenly-way-too-old-looking Significant Other. In Tinseltown, you’ve got to seize the moment whenever you can. Carpaccio Diem!

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Willy Wonka and the Strange Oscar Night References

A lot of folks were puzzled last night on Twitter during the Oscars when the show orchestra, from several miles away at Capitol Records, played off Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o with the song “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s the ditty Gene Wilder intones when his group of visitors first catches a glimpse of the magical candy kingdom.

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A Gaggle of Oscar-Winning Producers

There are all sorts of fascinating group-snippets in the video below, shot by The Hollywood Reporter during a recent gathering of dozens of Academy Award-winning and nominated producers at the home of Robert Evans.

All these years later, Frank Marshall alongside Quincy Jones still can’t get over the fact that the Academy honored The Color Purple with 11 nominations but skipped director Steven Spielberg. Mel Gibson and Alan Ladd Jr. try to remember how they first met. And Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), with father Ivan next to him, details some unusual dynamics:

“I remember the first time I gave a screenplay to my dad – he was basically the first person to read it – he said, ‘Jason, this is a plotless screenplay.’ You can’t be so afraid of plot.’… It’s a very tricky line when your father is your producer and he has to find that moment of when is he being your father and when is he being a producer.”

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Barry Blitt Honors The Oscars

For the his latest New Yorker cover, Barry Blitt honors the upcoming Academy Awards with a nip-and-tucked Oscar. Blitt gave the award a slew of upgrades, including “chin work,” “neck work,” and something scary called a “freshened nape.”

Nice work by Blitt, but our favorite Academy Award New Yorker cover was one from Bruce McCall. In 2012, McCall drew giant Oscars getting blitzed to celebrate winning several tiny human statues. See it below.

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Bob Costas Co-Chairs The Dan Patrick Show

Post-Sochi, Bob Costas spent nearly two full hours this morning hanging out with Dan Patrick in the Man Cave. The NBC Sports colleagues began of course by revisiting the Winter Olympics eye mess, followed by a series of high-profile phone-in guests.

LupitaNyongo12YearsSlaveMatt Lauer reacted to Patrick’s joking revelation that DP had faked sickness in Sochi once it became obvious that Lauer and then Vieira were getting the prized opportunity to replace the sidelined Costas. Race car driver Jeff Gordon compared notes with Costas on some of the celebrities who live in their shared New York City high rise (Sting, Denzel Washington). And Chicago Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper jumped in to talk Oscars.

Although Patrick hasn’t seen most of this year’s nominated movies, he ran through some confident predictions for the major categories. While Roeper agreed that Lupita Nyong’o will likely take Best Supporting Actress from Jennifer Lawrence, he wasn’t so sure about Patrick’s Best Picture lock. Roeper thinks Gravity may well pull off the “upset” over 12 Years a Slave.

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A Sure Thing: Ellen DeGeneres and Oscar Prop Bets

The only problem with Jimmy Kimmel‘s brilliant proposal last night is that Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres is in absolutely no need of extra cash. But if she were, she might definitely take up her ABC-TV Academy Awards broadcast mate on his crafty idea.

Kimmel told Ellen she is in the perfect position to bet, through an anonymous middleman like Guillermo, on prop wagers like these:

  • Will Ellen wear a dress during the show?
  • What will be the color of the first suit Ellen wears on stage?
  • Will Pink and Bette Midler perform a duet?

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Nikki Finke Still Planning to Live-Snark the Oscars

ShutterstockSnarkAwards show watchers rejoice! All systems are still set to go with respect to Nikki Finke live-snarking the 86th annual Academy Awards.

It’s unclear at this point if the live-snarking will take place on Twitter or via NikkiFinke.com. Either way, it’s a welcome prospect.

Because despite Bill Murray‘s very solid indirect advice regarding acceptance speeches, chances are that – in the moment – winners like Cate Blanchett will espouse the tiresome thank-you drill. Which leaves only the opening monologue and dwindling comedy bits as the show lumbers on to hang our entertainment hats on.

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Bill Murray Tells Charlie Rose About the Oscar Speech He Would Have Given

BillMurrayCharlieRoseLast night’s full-hour conversation on Charlie Rose was as entertaining and memorable as we expected.

The first classic moment occurred about ten minutes in, when Rose observed that his guest’s trajectory seemed to have been “not a carefully thought out, well-planned life.” Murray was genuinely gassed by the observation, laughing heartily and deadpanning that no one has ever been quite this compassionate towards him.

A little later, the actor explained that because of his sons’ lives, he currently makes his home in South Carolina. Though he didn’t choose to relocate there, the actor explained, he now loves it. “The people are kind, the place is beautiful. It’s easier than being a parent in New York; being a parent there was quite a bit harder.”

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