Tag Archives: Natalie Portman

Worst Oscar Telecast ever!

How boring was last night’s Oscar telecast? So boring that I couldn’t even stay awake to blog about it afterwards…and, trust me, I stay up late up all the time, so, that is really saying something.

Long, strangely-paced, badly-produced, hosted and directed, I gotta tell ya, last night’s show was probably the worst Oscar telecast of my adult life. And, yes, I’m including the David Letterman and Rob Lowe/Snow White fiascos.

The thing that really kills me is that I was so excited about the hosts this year. I love Anne Hathaway to death and James Franco is great in everything I’ve ever seen him in…but, together, wow, they were like, epically bad.

I know most of the blame falls at the feet of the lame-brained writers and producers — did we really need those hideous “Gone With The Wind” and “Titanic” graphics projected in the background? And don’t even get me started about that freaky Bob Hope hologram…yikes! — but Hathaway and Franco were so boring that you could practically hear viewers switching the channel. Urgh…

To her credit, Hathaway at least tried to keep things lively, but the dead-eyed Franco looked like he needed a nap most of the night. Watching Hathaway desperately flit around the stage last night while Franco half-napped at the podium reminded me of those old elementary school group projects where one person on the team always worked harder than the other. As a team, they failed, but, I think I’d give Annie an “A” for effort!

Not helping the overall yawn-factor last night was the fact that almost everyone who was predicted to win, did. Which is cool for the very-deserving winners (way to go, Queen Amidala!) but makes for really boring television. Thankfully, “Inception” cleaned up in the technical categories…so, that was fun to watch, even if Christopher Nolan was denied his Oscar (again!).

Dying to hear what you guys thought of the show, and if you have any suggestions for better hosts for next year — hell, that Bob Hope hologram would be better than Hathaway and Franco! — I’d love to hear them too…so, fire away!

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Oscar Nominee Luncheon (2011)

OK, I’ll totally admit it…aside from actually attending the Cannes Film Festival, one of my dreams is to attend the Academy’s annual Oscar Nominee Luncheon. And, I ain’t picky, I don’t need to attend as a nominee. No way. Hell..I’d wait tables or, you know, make lattes for them if it got me in the door!

I mean…check out these pics and tell me this does not look like the coolest event of the entire award season. No pressure to win, no live-television audience, just all the free food, drink and movie star snapshots you can stomach. So awesome!

Oooo, hey, come to think of it, I made scads of lattes for Ms. Bening when I worked at Peet’s, so, who knows…maybe she’ll give me a recommendation for next year. Either way, sign me up!

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2011 Golden Globes wrap-up

OK, after reading several, far better and far more in-depth accounts of all that went down at the Golden Globe Awards last night, I just have two things to add.

One, I thought host Ricky Gervais, though a bit crass at times, was even better as a host this time than he was last year. Yes, he pushed some buttons, but, man alive, some of his shit was hilarious. The bottom line is that he kept the crowd on their toes and I haven’t heard any of the Gervais-haters say they were bored by the show. So, kudos to you for keeping it real, Ricky!

The second thing is that I was really pleased, if not entirely surprised, by most of the winners. Everyone who won seemed really excited and honored to be there and that always makes for a good show.

And though I cheered out loud for several of the winners, I gotta say, seeing a dyed-in-the-flannel, 90’s alt-rocker like Trent Reznor collect a Golden Globe for his brilliant work on “The Social Network” soundtrack…wow…that was the highlight of the night as far as I’m concerned.

I downloaded Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack last week on Amazon and have been listening to it non-stop. The movie itself is collecting a little too many awards for my taste — if I have to see that smug-ass Aaron Sorkin pick up another award for his hugely-overrated screenplay, I might puke. Urgh! — but “The Social Network” soundtrack deserves every award it wins. So, rock on, guys!

And finally, if there was any doubt about who will not only be nominated, but also win Oscars this year in the major acting categories, it was wiped away last night. With the exception of a surprise Best Supporting Actress nod for the amazing Hailee Steinfeld for “True Grit” — which might give Melissa “The Fighter” Leo a real run for her money — I think everyone pictured here will repeat at the Oscars.

Yeah, Annette Bening is overdue for some Oscar gold, but her ham-fisted work in “The Kids Are All Right” is so not her finest hour on film. She’ll get another shot someday and if it makes her feel any better, she won’t lose an Oscar to Hilary Swank this time out. So, there’s always that!

Which means, we’ll have two royals in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories at this year’s Academy Awards: The extremely-deserving Colin Firth for “The Kings Speech” and Queen Amidala of Naboo herself for “Black Swan”. Yee-haw!

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2011 Golden Globe Nominations

Whoa, talk about an eclectic bunch of nominees. I mean, three nods for “The Tourist” would be shocking enough, but the fact that they came in the Comedy/Musical category? Crazy!

And Johnny Depp is cool and all, but, two nods for totally lame movies in the same category? Yikes, if the Hollywood Foreign Press wanted him to show up that badly they shoulda just cut out the middle man and  given him an honorary award already. Jeez! But other than that bit of typical Golden Globe-cheesiness, it was sort of business-as-usual this year at the HFPA.

After dominating the LA and NY Film Critics awards this season, David Fincher’s rocking “The Social Network” is looking like the one to beat with a very well-deserved six nominations. I know it came out a while ago, but “Social” is still one of the best things we’ve seen, and I’m happy to say that after taking a detour into straight-up Robert Zemekis hokumville with his last effort, the vastly-overrated “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, David Fincher is back with a vengeance, baby!

Also was thrilled to see “Inception” score several major nominations yesterday. Like I said before, this movie seriously rocked our world, so, here’s hoping it does the same with the Globe voters!

We haven’t seen “The King’s Speech” yet, but, it looks amazing and we love everyone involved with it, so, kudos to them as well. If there’s any justice in this world, two of our favorite actors of all time, Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter will finally win awards this year for their work. Go, Brits!

I was also glad to see David O. Russell finally score a nomination (for directing “The Fighter”) of any kind after years of creating crazy-cool, fantastically-quirky movies. I know a lot of people hate it, but, I still “Heart Huckabees” to death. So, even if you are a big old a-hole in real life, congrats on joining the ranks of the nominated, Mr. Russell!

The TV side of things was pretty cool too, with many of last year’s nominees returning for a second chance at the gold. My favorite nomination though has got to be “The Walking Dead” for best TV Drama. That show is insanely-good, so, really glad to see it represented here.

Oh, and finally, how cool is it that NIN’s Trent Reznor scored a Best Original Score nomination for his dreamy “Social Network” soundtrack? Reznor’s thumping, trance-like music made the movie, man. So cool!

To see the full list of this year’s Golden Globe nominees, click here. And don’t forget to watch the big show on Sunday, January 16th, 2011. Ricky Gervais is back as host, so, you know it’s gonna be fun!

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Wolverine at the Oscars…

OK, I know this mini-review of the big night is a couple of days too late, but I gotta say that, surprisingly, Hugh Jackman did not totally suck as host of the Oscars. The opening number was actually pretty funny and he tried his damnedest to keep a very bloated telecast light and lively, but, any way you look at it, that second big dance number was a total train wreck.

2009 Oscars #1

First off, Beyoncé needs to simmer. Seriously, she should go into hiding for the rest of the year, America has had enough of her. And if the bitch sings “At Last” one more time, I swear to God, Etta James is gonna have to get in line to beat her down. Enough with that already! Yikes…

The most annoying  thing about that colosally over-produced number — aside from the fact that it serves as further proof that Baz Luhrmann has just plain lost his mind — was that most of the songs they “celebrated” were never even nominated for Oscars. So, what was the whole thing about? The return of the musical? What, because there were three big musicals released last year? Please…that was such a stretch.

I was also really annoyed with the clips they played this year too, those comedy and action scenes were kinda cool, but, seriously, sometimes it felt like we were watching the freaking MTV Movie Awards: “And now, Will Smith will present the award for Best Kiss.” Y’all are the Oscars, OK? You do not need to pander to kids with a bunch of clips from movies that most of your craggy-old membership has never even seen. Aside from being a total time-filler, it’s just lame…

2009 Oscars #2

2009 Oscars #3

And though I am so down with most of the winners — especially all the Oscar gold for “Slumdog” and the “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto” quoting Japanese dude! — I have to admit that those creepy induction ceremonies with the past acting winners were just plain scary. Yes, it was great to see some of the old timers out there onstage, but, wow…that whole circle of five shit was freaky.

We kept joking that they were gonna give the winner a chalice of blood to drink from at the end of it all: “Welcome to the club. Now drink from the blood of Oscar and live forever…” Ahh!

Of course, being the Oscar nerd that I am, I went back later and re-watched each of the acting award presentations to see if maybe I missed something. I mean, were we just overreacting when we laughed through most of them? And guess what, we weren’t. That shit was crazy. Well-intentioned and very sweet sometimes, but still straight-up crazy.

2009 Oscars #4

2009 Oscars #5

I’ll write another post soon about the super cool Oscar-themed food we had at our party, but for now, here’s hoping the Academy works out the major kinks from this year’s show in time for next year’s bash.

Oh yeah, and I HATED the Ben Stiller as Joaquin Phoenix bit. I think Stiller stopped being funny like, ten years ago, but when he kept on mugging for the cameras as the clips from the nominated films played behind him, seriously, I wanted to kill the dude. That is just plain rude, man. Even hot-ass co-presenter, Queen Amidala, looked embarrassed…

2009 Oscars #6

2009 Oscars #7

But like I said, overall, a pretty decent show. I was pleased. Dying to hear what you guys thought of the big night, so comment away…

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Closing Ceremonies: Cannes 2008

Film-geek Francophiles everywhere rejoice!

For the first time since 1987, a French film, “The Class” — a drama about a teacher challenged by his tough, inner-city students in one of Paris’ roughest junior high schools — has taken home the prestigious Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Rock on, Frenchies!

And that was the first of many surprising wins at this afternoon’s closing ceremonies, where the Jury seemed to take iconoclastic Jury President Sean Penn’s recent statements to French daily Le Monde to heart.

Urging his fellow jurors to “do just the opposite” of the Oscars “where manipulation and very good marketing are rewarded” Penn implored the Cannes jury to honor compelling, unconventional films instead, and man alive, did they take his advice to heart!

And not only are the winners interesting and totally unique — I’m not entirely sure what short film winners “Megatron” and “Jerrycan” are about, but cool titles! — but the presenters were even cooler.

Not only did two-time Oscar-winner Robert DeNiro hand out the award for the Palm d’Or to director Laurent Cantet (he’s the grey-haired dude in the pics with his “The Class” cast, above), but legendary expatriate — a previous Palm d’Or and Oscar-winner for “The Pianist” — director Roman Polanski presented the Grand Prix award to Italy’s Matteo Garrone for “Gomarra”. Cool!

And while I’m sure conspiracy theorists will have a field day with the fact that two of Monsieur Penn’s famous friends took home major awards — Benecio Del Toro for Best Actor in Steven Soderberg’s four hour-plus “Che” and Special Jury Award winner Clint Eastwood for his upcoming film “Changeling” — I like to think the jury did the right thing.

So, check out the complete list (and mad links!) of 2008’s Cannes winners below, and until next year’s shiny festival on the Riviera…vive le France!

PALME D’OR
“The Class” directed by Laurent Cantet

SPECIAL JURY AWARDS
Catherine Deneuve and Clint Eastwood

GRAND PRIZE
“Gomorra” directed by Matteo Garrone

BEST DIRECTOR
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, for “Three Monkeys”

BEST SCREENPLAY
Brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, for “Lorna’s Silence”

BEST ACTOR
Benicio Del Toro, in “Che”

BEST ACTRESS
Sandra Corveloni, in “Linha de Passe”

CAMERA D’OR
“Hunger” directed by Steve McQueen

CAMERA D’OR SPECIAL MENTION
“Everybody Dies But Me” by Valeria Gaï Guermanika

BEST SHORT FILM
“Megatron” by Marian Crisan

SHORT FILM SPECIAL MENTION
“Jerrycan” by Julius Avery

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
“Il Divo” by Paolo Sorrentino

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