Oscar History

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"This is the best Streep performance ever captured on film. "That's all."" - Dorian

"I support this movie, partially because I loved the Styron novel and, along with Schindler's List, it's one of the best American movies to teach people about the holocaust. Streep is sublime in it, and it's such a great role - she gets to play Sophie before the war, during the war, after the war, etc. " - Tom

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Entries in Oscars (12) (291)


Review: Hunger Games 

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad. Congratulations to Towleroad for winning Outstanding Blog at the GLAAD Awards

"The Hunger Games," now in their 74th year, began as a way to punish an uprising against the government. The totalitarian regime of Panem (in what remains of the former United States) maintains total control over the outlying districts. Each of the 12 districts is required to send forth two "tributes" annually, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 to 18 chosen by lottery. They are shipped to the Capital where they are paraded about and then shipped off to die for the amusement of the masses. Everyone in the nation watches. There are no alternatives in this dystopia. Only one adolescent will live bringing supposed honor (and maybe food?) to their starving district... or so claims the capital. What honor there is in forcing teenagers to kill each other is not a question the Capitol asks itself.

Any similarities that The Hunger Games has to the Japanese classic Battle Royale (2000), which also features schoolchildren forced to kill each other by a totalitarian regime -- only one survivor allowed -- are, according to The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, entirely coincidental. Another film in this subgenre, the little seen Series 7: The Contenders (2001) also features mandatory lotteried killing for televised amusement. In short, the ideas are nothing new, just the treatment; these are topics we're obviously grappling with in popular culture in this era of televised "reality" and winner takes all capitalistic vice. The gap between the haves and have nots grows and this dystopia gives it steroids.

"The Reaping" Effie chooses tributes from District 12

When 12 year old Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields) is named as tribute in "The Reaping" ceremony, her protective sister Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place. The district also sends Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a sweet strong baker's son who Katniss knows a little. Will they kill or be killed? 

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Oscar Dates

The countdown is on...

Oscar Nominations will be announced on Tuesday morning January 15th, 2013... or in exactly 306 days, 11 hours, and 17 minutes... or thereabouts. Not that I countdown to Nomination Morning like it's Christmas with hundreds of prezzies. Not that I do that! New Year's Eve... er, excuse me Oscar Night happens on Sunday night February 24th, 2013.

As per usual, our first set of predictions will arrive starting on April 1st, 2012. Until then there is only obsessing over this past year.


"Don't you dare loose another arrow..."

I forbid it!"

Psssst. How great is the new Brave trailer? I wish all movies were confident enough to lead with an early scene instead of the traditional 'here are all the story beats' trailer. It was just the thing I needed this week to get me excited about moving on to 2012 once we wrap up with Oscar and Oscar post mortem this week.

Will this be a Pixar bullseye at the 85th Oscars on February...?

                               No, Nathaniel, No. I forbid it. No Oscar 2012/13 talk until April Fool's Day!


Leigh, Farhadi, Jake & Jury Name Berlinale Winners

Remember a couple of days ago when we shared the video of Jake Gyllenhaal handing Meryl Streep her Honoary Golden Bear in Berlin for a stellar career? Apparently he's making a habit of handing over Best Actress prizes. Here he is at the closing night ceremony with Best Actress winner Rachel Mwanza.

This 14 year old Congolese actress played a child soldier in a brutal sounding movie called War Witch.

The jury this year was headed by the brilliant Mike Leigh. The jury included Jake Gyllenhaal, Anton Corbijn, Charlotte Gainsbourg, François Ozon, Boualem Sansal, Barbara Sukowa and last year's Golden Bear recipient Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) who will now presumably have to jump on a Berlin to Los Angeles flight to prepare for the Oscars.

Prizes, Gay Films and a Possible Danish Oscar Submissions after the jump

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You Better Werk... And Link

Yahoo Movies! I talk Best Actress with a bunch of other internet peeps.
FourFour & The Daily "The Tao of Ru" and outtakes from Rich's week (!!!) with RuPaul, the world's most famous drag queen of all time. 
EW Gary Ross gets ahead of himself saying Jennifer Lawrence should be Oscar nominated for Hunger Games. Er... shouldn't we see even one of her competitors first, let alone dozens. It's... February! 
THR on Brad Pitt's Daily Show proposal for a new Oscar competition system "Hands on Oscar." This was fun last night. I ♥ Brad. I don't know if you know that about me. [Yes, I know you know that about me.]

You know what I think they should do? We should just put a trophy on the table, like one of those car contests, we should all just put our hands on it and see who can hold it the longest. And the last man standing takes the trophy! Hands on the Oscar

Rope of Silicon Russell Crowe wanted for Noah in Darren Aronofsky's Noah's Ark. What's with Crowe being suddenly in demand again? He must have recently expressed interest in getting back to it.
Coming Soon reports that Viola Davis has signed on for two new roles, both book adaptations, Ender's Game and Beautiful Creatures. Strangely the latter is listed as a lead role but given the book description it sounds very much like a small role. Have any of you read the book?

IndieWire speaks up for "7 films you must see this February" 
Playbill You'd think Broadway would eventually get tired of adapting hit films into stage musicals. I mean, many of them flop so it's nothing like a guarantee. But they won't quit. Next up: Back to the Future.
Kenneth in the (212) has an interesting reaction to Madonna's Superbowl interview 
In Contention Kodak taking its name off the Theater O' Oscar? 
Awards Daily reports on the Martin Scorsese tribute at Santa Barbara 
Liz Smith is so right about how the Oscar nominees play the "no, no, I can't" game after their nominations 


The Link Experience

Towleroad Revisiting Drive on DVD. Ryan Gosling's scorpion jacket is at auction. One more day to bid! (I suspect this is a good investment as movie memorabilia goes.)
Carpetbagger Author Jeffrey Eugenides on his Oscar ballot. He loves The Tree of Life and all things Woody Allen. Has issues with Bridesmaids
In Contention breaking Oscar's biopic addiction. Halleloo. 
Movie|Line today is The Artist day in LA. Officially! Harvey Weinstein continues to be a god amongst mortals when it comes to Oscar campaigns.


My New Plaid Pants JA has gone totes l'amour fou for Jean Dujardin. Pervy animated gifsm, dancing in boxer shorts, gratuitous photo spreads. But can you blame him?
Empire another new role for Jennifer Lawrence in the adaptation of the novel Serena about an ruthless ambitious married couple running a timber empire in 1929. This role was once earmarked for Angelina Jolie so clearly Hollywood has faith in Jennifer Lawrence.
IndieWire for your consideration at next year's Oscars. The Sundance crop.
Towleroad Director Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) is out of the closet. I didn't realize he was in. 

The TV Experience?
Brief somewhat random thoughts on Glee vs. Smash and more small screen after the jump...

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