This might sound a little nuts at first, but hear me out: the Academy needs to add another Acting category. I know, I know: the ceremony is already too long, and actors already get too much attention, and there are entire subsections of film workers not being honored at all.* And certainly I believe that the Academy should recognize the best of everything from trailers to end credits; as “a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures,” it should recognize dedicated professionals in all the different fields that make up movies. Why not recognize the people behind particularly striking title sequences [...]
Brian: George C. Scott, loveable old grump that he was, famously called the Oscars "a two-hour meat parade," as well as "offensive, barbarous and innately corrupt." It's hard to argue with any of that, but it makes me nostalgic for the days when the Academy could get it over with in a mere hundred and twenty minutes.
Brad: The Oscars officially died for me in 2002, when Ron Howard somehow won Best Director for A Beautiful Mind over Robert Altman and David Lynch, who were nominated for Gosford Park and Mulholland Drive.
As the Oscars draw near, the second in a series about our strong movie opinions, past and [...]
Someday, when the history of the Internet is assembled, this accounting of the first time someone live-Tweeted the Oscars will provide invaluable source material to whoever is forced, probably out of the worst kind of desperation and basic human need, to write it.
• This is actually Nick Nolte's third Oscar nomination! (For Warrior.) He was most recently snubbed for his work in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.
• While, as usual, women don't direct any films, because they can't, due to being women, and therefore they don't get nominated, two women actually at least somehow got nominated for Best Screenplay! That's Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote Bridesmaids, which should totally win its category. And! A woman actually got nominated in the Adapted Screenplay entry! Co-nominated at least; husband-and-wife team Peter Straughan & Bridget O’Connor wrote Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which should completely and utterly win, because that [...]
Here is a gallery of some of the most memorable quotes from last Oscar telecast, in handy e-card format. Suddenly some of these lines make sense!
Alex Balk (9:20): Welcome to the second section of our liveblogging extravaganza. It is brought to you by Awl publisher David Cho's belief that by offering an empty commenting area we will somehow maximize pageviews. For our earlier coverage of tonight's astounding ceremony, please go here. Now that this unpleasantness is out of the way, let us continue.
Mallory: Has Crash suffered enough? Sure, it won homecoming queen at the Oscars, but then no one would let Crash sit with them at lunch for the next eight years. Ta-Nehisi Coates named it the worst movie of the decade; Natasha Vargas-Cooper referred to it as a "white guilt manipulation-a-thon." Even Slate wouldn't throw it a contrarian bone. It's The Most Popular Girl That Nobody Liked.
Anne Helen: No, it has not. This movie needs to keep suffering, because it will not stop hurting us. When it came up on Twitter the other night, someone suggested it's a PowerPoint presentation posturing as insight—and that feels true. [...]
As predicted in the previous installment of Mr. Wrong, here are my Oscar® picks. I am showing clips of my picks on the New York Times thing they have for Oscar® Picks, and I am not Plagiarizing the New York Times, OK? If you do the thing on the New York Times you could win an iPad, so go do that, and that explains why I have pictures of my picks from the New York Times here, it's "Fair Use," and I'm a Journalist, HAR.
I feel pretty good about my picks and I'm putting five bucks into my regular Oscar® pool, where everybody picks all the Oscar®s, [...]
In early 2003, when evidence emerged that plans for war against Iraq were not merely afoot, but were looking more and more like a fait accompli, the French advised the luridly stupid and prevaricating administration of Bush II against an invasion. This sound suggestion was roundly condemned by nearly every Republican who could get in front of a microphone, culminating in possibly the dumbest episode of the run-up to the war: the announcement of Representatives Robert W. Ney and Walter B. Jones, Jr. that thenceforth the various House restaurants would be serving "freedom fries," rather than French fries. "This action today is a small but symbolic effort to show [...]
I'm actually scared about tonight! There are Strong Feelings about the films in contention and but also? Concerns about the hosting! Which may be magical. Or may be horrifi—oh my God, look at Andrew Garfield's hair.
What was I saying? The real fun will be in the comments here, I imagine. HAVE AT IT. Heart you all.
There was a moment, early on filming day for the pivotal scene in Barney's Version, when Paul Giamatti looked to me like an athlete preparing for a big game. As nattily dressed extras milled around the ballroom of Montreal’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, Giamatti, freshly planted in your father’s powder-blue tux, stood by the breakfast table around the corner. The producer, Robert Lantos, greeted him, and the two chatted a bit about the day ahead. Then Lantos, an imposing Hungarian-Canadian, abruptly gripped Giamatti’s shoulders, straightened him up, and gave him what looked like a Knute Rockne–style pep talk. Win one for the Richler, kid.
With that, Giamatti strode to the ballroom, [...]
There was a lot of trashing of Elinor Burkett last night on the Internets, and Eli did go a little crazy by seizing the microphone for best documentary short, especially because she was not technically the winner, according to the director, as she and the director of the winning film have been suing each other for a while, although The Academy™ does recognize her as producer. But Burkett was the most fascinating person to hit that stage last night, and trashing her is a mistake for those who might be 1. pleased about big wins for "The Hurt Locker" and also 2. interested in authenticity and nonfiction. While [...]
"But Skyfall does not fit into the Oscars' strangely limited and calcified definition of excellence. Neither does The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers or The Hunger Games, although all are excellent movies, well-cast and acted from fine scripts made better by good direction. Alas, they were also fun, and fun no longer fits the list of qualifiers for Oscar quality after all the Usual Suspects (grim, inspirational, historical), have been named." —Which of your favorite well-made, enjoyable movies from 2012 were ignored by the Academy Awards? And don't say Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter because that's what everybody says.
There have been a lot of Current Events going on lately, man, seriously, the Maniac Ex-Cop out in Los Angeles doing "Asymmetrical Attacks," then holed up in that cabin, 30 people killed in a human stampede during the big Kumbh Mela in India, the Eastern Seaboard of the United States of North America got buried in precipitation, there's drones flying around, the Pope quit, and then Ted Nugent didn't shoot an arrow into POTUS at the State of The Union Speech, nor did he holler out "MY FACE IS A MASERATI," which was kinda disappointing, and they had the Grammy Awards on Sunday, which, when you do the [...]
It was Tuesday night, April 2, 1974, and America and various other parts of the planet were knee-deep in the telecast of the 46th Academy Awards. David Niven (co-hosting with John Huston, Diana Ross and Burt Reynolds) was introducing Elizabeth Taylor, who was to present the Oscar for Best Picture, only to be interrupted by a young man running across the stage behind Niven. The man flashed the peace sign and kept running. He was wearing no clothes. And Niven noticed, and paused to acknowledge the amusement of the audience, and said something Niven-y and withering. And the live broadcast continued. (The Sting won!)
This event is notorious, and often [...]
Please join us here at, oh, Oscar-time, on Sunday, when our very own Choire Sicha and you will be discussing the Academy Awards with various and sundry as they happen. (This is sometimes referred to as "liveblogging.") Warning: we have a premonition this is going to be a horrifying Oscars! See you then! Or not!
Who's going to be in this year's Parade of the Dead at Sunday's Oscars?
Alex Balk (11:20): Since David Cho is never satisfied, we are once again shifting locations! Welcome back to the purgatory that is this year's Oscar ceremony. They just gave the Award For Thing In Non-English Language, but I was too busy setting this up, so I hope you were all able to make your own jokes about it. Anyway, let's RIDE THIS BITCH HOME.