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Entries in Oscars (12) (288)

Monday
Feb252013

Why Does Anyone Want the Job of Hosting The Oscars?

All That (85th Oscars) Jazz
The Big Night: Fun ArrivalsWinner's ListJennifer Lawrence in the Press Room
The Look Back: Funniest Tweets, & Season Finale Podcast
The Fashions: Fifteen MenThe Ten Nominated LadiesGoodbye Glamour

The Opening Monologue
As today's reviews will surely attest, Seth MacFarlane bombed badly last night in the unenviable host position. Why anyone would want the job is beyond me. Occasionally someone will get 'good job' reviews (Hugh Jackman, Billy Crystal, etcetera) but those positive reviews almost never come directly after the show but later in context once they're sized up in memory against newer worse hosting gigs. Nearly everyone gets mixed to negative reviews in the moment. Fact: people love to hatewatch the Oscars. To his credit (eep), MacFarlane understood this and even attempted to get out in front of the criticism by mocking it. In his interminable opening monologue (18 minutes!) he was visited from the future by Captain Kirk (William Shatner) - a joke more suited to the Emmys which he'd be a better host of given that he's a television personality -- who showed him the headlines from the next morning.

It was funny because it was true. But the gag continued. As the monologue progressed his reviews improved until he got somewhere around "mediocre". It wasn't funny because it wasn't true. [Editor's Note: The "worst" part isn't true. That title will obviously and forever belong to James Franco who couldn't be bothered to show (in spirit) though he undoubtedly cashed the check.] 

See, Captain Kirk was right. His jokes were "inappropriate and offensive" and we all DID wish it were Tina & Amy hosting instead (a weird shoutout to the Golden Globes, which were without question the highlight of this awards season as televised events go though Oscar Night usually plays "no comment" on that precursor). Worse than MacFarlane's fratboy jokes though was that the humor seemed entirely centered around HIM, as if we were watching The Oscars to send 3½ hours with MacFarlane and not with the biggest movie stars in the world. Oops. Somehow doesn't know why people tune in to the Oscars.

Each year the media and the producers and even the general public play a little complicit game of "OOOH, ____ IS HOSTING AND NOW WE'RE EXCITED". But it's never the hosts. It's the movies and the movie stars! Mostly the hosts do best when they show up for brief intervals and make a funny but stay out of the way so we can gawk at stars and remember the year's most celebrated pictures and, for the less devoted, make a mental grocery list of movies we want to see now. 

Perhaps Captain James T Kirk can tell us if any future Oscar Producers and Hosts figure that out.

The three most terrible moments:

 

  1. That joke about Quvenzhané and Clooney. I've since blocked it out but I have a vague memory of being offended.
  2. Flight reenacted with sock puppets. (Somehow there was a lot of laughter in the Dolby. Please tell me that was a laugh track and not actual enjoyment)
  3. That weird flying nun / seducing Sally Field skit. 

So as not to be a total downer --  I enjoy the Oscars even when they're lame! --  here were a few things I think worked about Seth's performance.

 

  1. He sings well. His love of musicals was obvious and gave us fun expected moments like Charlize Theron (originally a dancer) and Channing Tatum dancing together and even a kickline with Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Daniel Radcliffe who both have a song & dance man inside of them.
  2. As stupid as that "we saw your boobs" number was -- it would have been much funnier if it were shorter -- the actresses who filmed reaction shots were good sports with solid comic timing and the Kate Winslet punchline was great. (Oh shut up, I bet she laughed from home). In an evening full of dumb jokes, inevitably some of them will land. 
  3. Later in the show when he wasn't taking up so much space he was better. His introductions were sometimes amusing (loved the Channing Tatum / Jennifer Aniston intro) and I especially enjoyed the "needs no introduction" introduction for you know who, didn't you? I mean, she doesn't! 

Do you have against-the-grain kind words for Seth MacFarlane or are you already making a mental list of 500 celebrities who would have done a better job last night? (If so care to share a few of them?) 

And why does anyone want the job of hosting -- beyond the cash -- given that it's rather like having a worldwide target on your tuxedo'ed back? 

P.S. Don't forget to like The Film Experience on Facebook. Please and thx

Sunday
Feb242013

The Oscar Winners

Previously: Arrivals
Next: Tomorrow begins the extensive post-mortem mania!

And The Oscars Go To...

SUPPORTING ACTOR Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
"Respect" to the fellow nominees... "Unlimited Gratitude" to Tarantino
Three Best Pics introduced
ANIMATED SHORT John Kahrs, Paperman 
ANIMATED FEATURE Brenda Chapman &  Mark Andrews, Brave
CINEMATOGRAPHY Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi 
VISUAL EFFECTS Life of Pi 
COSTUME DESIGN Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
MAKEUP Les Miserables
James Bond Tribute -Dame Shirley Bassey killed it. 
LIVE ACTION SHORT Shawn Christensen, Curfew 
DOCUMENTARY SHORT Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine for Inocente 
Three more best pics introduced

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Searching for Sugar Man
FOREIGN FILM Michael Haneke for Austria with Amour 
Musicals Tribute with performances from Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Hudson, and the cast of Les Misérables
SOUND MIXING Les Miserables
SOUND EDITING (TIE !!!) Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall  

It came true."
-Anne Hathaway's opening words 


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables 
FILM EDITING Argo 
Adele Performs "Skyfall"
Last three Best Pictures introduced
PRODUCTION DESIGN Rick Carter, Lincoln
Governor's Award Clips
In Memoriam & Babs "The Way We Were"
ORIGINAL SCORE Mychael Danna, Life of Pi 
ORIGINAL SONG  Adele & Paul Epworth (hello!) for "Skyfall" from Skyfall
With this prize, Skyfall's second of the evening the Bond franchise doubles its Oscar win tally. It had only won two Oscar previously, one for Sound Effects for Goldfinger (1964) and one for visual effects for Thunderball (1965).

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Chris Terrio, Argo
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained 
DIRECTOR [drumroll...] Ang Lee, Life of Pi
I'm not into that movie at all but I love him. I'ma just pretend it's a prize for Crouching Lust Hidden Caution. For what it's worth Ang Lee is both the first and the second (and therefore the only) non-caucasian director to win this prize. He is not however the only director to win twice despite having never directed a Best Picture winner. That trick was also performed by Frank Borzage in the late 20s/early 30s (his two wins: Bad Girl lost to Grand Hotel, and Seventh Heaven lost to Wings), George Stevens in the 50s (his two wins: Giant lost to Around the World in Eighty Days and A Place in the Sun lost to An American in Paris). [Note: John Ford actually won Best Director without winning Best Picture THREE times. But for How Green Was My Valley he won Best Director and the film also won Best Picture]
ACTRESS Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
ACTOR (Meryl Streep should just give this Best Actor Oscar to herself to get #4 overwith) And the Oscar goes to ... Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

Finally... Jack Nicholson came out to present Best Picture which led to a weird and shocking moment when The First Lady appeared via satellite to congratulate the nominees and talk about art teaching us to overcome our problems. Fun tweets followed:

   

 

PICTURE Argo
Grant Henslov spoke first cracking up about the three sexiest producers as he stood between George Clooney & Ben Affleck. Ben spoke second, teared up with a speech that was kind of endearing kind of annoying and all over the place (more on the speeches tomorrow). George Clooney never spoke.

And hey, to everyone reading. You survived another Oscar Year. 

You da man!

Good night!
Wrap-Up Party Blogging tomorrow after some sleep.

P.S. Don't forget to like The Film Experience on Facebook. Please and thx

Sunday
Feb242013

Red Carpet Arrivals

I shan't be live-blogging the awards tonight -- I miss too much of the show when I do that but expect some tweets here and there and lots of post-mortem recapping tomorrow ALL DAY. But for now a few arrivals...

 

 

 

MORE GOWNS & GOODIES AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb242013

Happy Oscar Day !

The Oscars are just 3½ hours away. Arrivals in 2½. May you all hyperventilate with joy at least once tonight, when something or someone you truly love takes home a golden statuette.

my fav oscar win from 93.... wanna hear more?

What are you doing to get ready?
Are you throwing a party? Hosting one? Or watching alone in an apartment that is a freaking mess due to furniture delivery and various unfortunate events (*raises hand*)?
Are you able to attempt any normalcy today in the lead up?

Have a super fun night filled with blasts of euphoria... (and take five seconds to "like" the film experience page on facebook so you don't miss any of the after-excitement in March!). Do cheer wildly for your favorites. Do not however jump up and down on the furniture with excitement... unless your party host has expressly condoned it. Otherwise, it's rude.

Since we're talking Oscar Joy, I want you to point you to a virtual gathering at Nick's Flick Picks wherein Nick polled his closest critic friends to list their favorite Oscar wins throughout the years -- only one from each year allowed! I played along. See my list (off the top of my head so some of it might not hold true tomorrow) and the lists of Nick, Guy, Joe, Tim, Colin and Katey. Right now it's just 1996-2011 but there's more to come !

Merry Our Christmas. It's Oscar Night!

In case you're just joining us after weeks away (lame!) here's important tonight-related stuff you might have missed! NAIL BITER RACES |  FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS | FILM BITCH AWARDS - The Gold Medals! |  Nathaniel Talks AMOUR on CNNi | ARGO, Second Viewing |  OSCAR'S BIGGEST "LOSERS" and recent live blogs: BAFTA | Spirit Awards 

And On To Next Year?

The Film Experience's annual "April Fools Predictions" will arrive on, when else, April 1st. The best 'year in advance' predictions anywhere on the web if I do say so myself (on that note the Weinstein Co. just picked up the Nicole Kidman vehicle Grace of Monaco and Quvenzhané Wallis just signed for a remake of the musical Annie). Until then March is Reader Appreciation Month with contests and interviews and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" returns so stick around to get to know the TFE community and reminisce about great older films, this year's High Holy Night (coming right at'cha) and new springtime movies. 

 

Sunday
Feb242013

Oscar Day: The Key Nail-Biter Categories

I filed my final Oscar predictions on Friday and I'm just horrified looking at them now, certain I'll be wrong. Surveying the landscape of my predictions in chart format (I changed the photo above each category to those final predictions) I realized I was predicting a night that has very little in the way of dominance with 4 Oscars to Life of Pi and 3 each for Lincoln, Les Miz, and Argo. The problem with this prediction is that it doesn't account for the year long Bond Mania (which did end up breaking through AMPAS's historic disinterest in the franchise; they gave Skyfall 5 nominations more than doubling the franchise's previous 49 year tally of nominations) and it doesn't account for the Weinstein factor. Only one Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook feels improbable and foolish as predictions go, given how hard they pushed this last month. And yet the one Oscar I did predict for it (Best Actress) is the one that a lot of other pundits have abandoned in favor of Emmanuelle Riva's late surge for Amour

Here's the categories I change my mind about every five minutes and the ones I think will reveal themselves as "keys" to how the general membership really felt this year once the dust settles. 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Three Way Race. Though I felt fairly confident predicting this one for Argo, it's not inconceivable that Lincoln could still take it considering the "deserved" factor and Kushner's Pulitzer prestige. But then the current Silver Linings Playbook mania suggests that it's also a likely winner... unless Oscar voters decide that Director is as good a place as any to reward David O. Russell who they finally came around to with The Fighter (2010). The perverse trivia-mad side of me is actually hoping that Argo ONLY wins Best Picture because it would be such a fun statistic to obsess over and reference in future years, don't you think?
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Three Way Race. I predicted Anna Karenina with Life of Pi as a probably spoiler. Now I absolutely wish I had reversed that. My prediction was wishful thinking in that I've become quite uncomfortable with the cinematography & production design categories being so fused so consistently with visual effects. Visual Effects is its own form and ought not to be confused with others. Anyway, they've retitled the category to "Production Design" instead of "Art Direction" and though it's the exact same category it's not unthinkable that the title shift also affects perception for those who aren't well versed in the specifics putting Anna at a disadvantage since it reads more "art" than "design" if that makes sense. And yet... if voters like Lincoln as much as the nomination tally suggests rather than as little as the internet keeps insisting, here's where it picks up its sole statue outside the big eight. A final note on Lincoln: The constant groupthink noise of the internet -- a different pool of thought and a different demographic than the Academy -- makes predicting much harder than it once was rather than easier. If you trusted the internet NO ONE in the Academy would ever dream of voting for "tries hard" Hathaway or "boring" Lincoln. And yet obviously this is not the case. It can be hard to keep your head clear of the noise or at least keep your ears discerning. For, embedded in all the internet noise, is both buzzy truths and bored conjecture falsehoods ... but how to tell the difference?
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

DIRECTOR
Three Way Race. Whoever wins this, it'll show (I think) that that was the runner-up film for Best Picture... unless it's a shock win for Michael Haneke or Benh Zeitlin in which case the voters felt that Spielberg (Lincoln) & Lee (Pi) had been awarded enough in previous years and they weren't quite ready to hand the once "difficult" Russell (Playbook) the top prize. I thought about changing my prediction to a shock win for Michael Haneke until I remembered that no director of a foreign language film has ever won this prize -- no not even Federico Fellini or Ingmar Bergman, Oscar's indisputable favorites as foreign auteurs go. Neither of them ever won for direction or writing despite multiple nominations in each category. They never took home a competitive Oscar outside of Foreign Film which, semantically speaking, belongs to the country rather than the director.  (Though surely the director keeps the trophy?)
Oscars Nominees | My Choices 

You votin' for me? You votin' for me? Then who else you votin' for?

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Five Way Race. The internet seems to believe that this is now Robert DeNiro's to lose given the Playbook mania, the lack of "narrative" in giving any of them the prize (weak year), and the hard hard push to get the acting legend a third Oscar. I stuck with Tommy Lee Jones on account of I do still think anyone could win and the numbers separating them all will be razor thin. Is it too much to hope for an historic tie? Nevertheless I have trouble imagining that that "hasn't won an Oscar in 30 years" narrative for De Niro will really pay off. Sure, it worked for Streep last year but that was only after several attempts (aka lots of momentum) and a year-long build up with tributes and genuflection. De Niro had no such festive built up and literally zero momentum (outside of this last month) given that he has done nothing Oscar worthy in those 30 years. I think if Jones loses, it'll be Christoph Waltz at the podium. But if Jones loses, I think it's clear that the Lincoln fans in the room weren't very committed to the film despite the hefty nomination tally. 
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

Which categories are giving you the strongest last-minute anxiety?

Saturday
Feb232013

Talking "Amour" on CNN

Look how happy I was guaranteeing Ralitsa that Michael Haneke is going to win an Oscar tomorrow on CNN International's World Report! 

I will always discuss Best Foreign Film if people will listen. Also, I desperately had to pee. 

VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

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