Tag Archives: Oscar news

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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Anne Hathaway & James Franco to co-host the Oscars?!

Wow…what a strange and kinda shockingly-cool pick. We’ve always loved Anne Hathaway and she has been game for anything on a number of award shows recently.  And James Franco is just plain cool in anything. Seriously, he even managed to make a guest-starring gig on “General Hospital” cool.

Yep, he was on a soap opera, like, all last summer. I’m just saying, the dude is cool, not to mention totally versatile. He writes short stories too!

So, yay for both of them. Who knows, maybe their combined newbie host energy will make the Academy Awards a lot more fun? The only weird thing would be if Franco snags a Best Actor nomination for his rocking turn in “127Hours”. What does he do, like, excuse himself and hurry out into the audience to hear his name read? And better yet, what if he actually wins? Does he hold the award next to him the rest of the night? Weirdness.

Either way, kudos to the Oscar producers for thinking completely outside the box with this year’s Academy Awards host picks. Too cool!

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Baldwin and Martin to host Oscars!

OMG, I know I’m more than a few days late on this one, but, what an inspired idea for Oscar hosts! Sure, Wolverine was fun last year, but the idea of a comic — not to mention musical! — genius like Steve Martin hosting this year’s Academy Awards with his “enemy”, Alec Baldwin is kinda awesome.

This way, even if that lame 10 Best Picture nominees idea falls flat, the rest of the show will still rock. And, who knows, if the guys are any good in Nancy Meyers’ upcoming romantic comedy, “It’s Complicated”, they might just snag a nomination or two of their own. I mean, come on, they are starring opposite perennial-nominee Meryl Streep in this one, so, that kinda increases the odds.

"It's Complicated" (2009)

Either way, kudos to newly-minted Oscar producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman for picking the right guys for the job. Now, just keep the rest of the show running smoothly and Bob’s your uncle!

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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

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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.

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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…

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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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Oscar Nominees 2009

Came home from Slamdance with a wicked cold, so, forgive me ahead of time if I don’t over-analyze this year’s Oscar nominees. It’s not that I’m not excited about them — because there are some really cool movies in the running this year –but having slept on the couch last night to avoid getting Christine sick, I am definitely not at my finest.

That said, if I had to describe this year’s crop of nominees in two words, I would call 2009 the year of the working actor. And with longtime journeyman actors like Frank Langella (“Frost/Nixon”), Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor”), Melissa Leo (“Frozen River”), Tarija P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Viola Davis (“Doubt”) and even Josh Brolin (“Milk”) for that matter, all scoring first-time nominations, the acting categories have never been stronger.

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Sure, some big stars snuck in there as well — Sean Penn for “Milk”, Meryl Streep for “Doubt”, Robert Downey Jr. for “Tropic Thunder” and the Oscar “it” couple du jour, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt scoring nods for their work in “Changeling” and “Benjamin Button” respectively. But the big story today is all about the old-school character actors.

And how refreshing is that? I mean, shit, Richard Jenkins has wracked up a whopping 82 onscreen credits since 1974, Leo has 78, Langella has 77, and Josh Brolin has been in 42 movies since his memorable debut in “The Goonies”. So, congrats to the “old-timers” of all ages…you guys have served your time and are totally due for some major gold!

Also surprised to see Kate Winslet nominated in the Best Actress category for her searing performance in “The Reader”. Till now, her “Reader” role has been relegated to the Best Supporting Actress category, with her role in “Revolutionary Road” taking the higher honor. I have always thought she was much better in “The Reader”, so, glad to see her pick up a nod for that performance instead.

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Oh, and speaking of “Revolutionary Road” — which fared far worse in the nomination count than I think anyone expected — the biggest surprise for me was the Best Supporting Actor nomination for Michael Shannon. Playing the deeply-troubled grown son of Kathy Bates, Shannon ignites every scene he’s in. Seriously, “Road” would have been a hell of a lot more boring without him. Very, very happy to see him pick up his first Oscar nomination today. Yay!

And though I agree with most of the Adapted Screenplay nominations, I gotta tell ya, the Original Screenplay category is kind of crazy this year. I’m not saying any of these movies are bad, but, wow, even the most experienced Oscar prognosticator couldn’t have guessed that this bunch of scripts would pick up nods. I mean, we’ve only seen one of the nominated films in this category…and we see everything! Ha!

On the directing front, happy to see Danny Boyle pick up his first directing nomination for “Slumdog Millionaire” and even though I hated “Benjamin Button” — and hate even more the fact that it scored 13 nominations…yikes! — I do love me some David Fincher, so, kudos to him for finally making the cut!

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Also kind of shocked that the Academy bucked the award-season trend by not awarding “The Dark Knight” a nod for Best Picture — giving the “wild card” fifth slot to “The Reader” instead. I guess Christopher Nolan and company will have to settle for their raft of technical nominations to go with the expected posthumous Supporting Actor nomination for Heath Ledger.

And while I was sad to see “Rachel Getting Married” and “The Wrestler” fail to pick up nominations in the Original Screenplay and Best Original Song categories, I was very happy to see the actors from both films pick up some very deserving nominations. So, yay!

Below is a list of most of the nominees in most of the major categories, to see the full list of nominated films, click here. And, as always, love to hear what you guys think of this year’s nominees…so, comment away!

BEST PICTURE

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“Frost/Nixon”

“Milk”

“The Reader”

“Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST DIRECTOR

David Fincher – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Ron Howard – “Frost/Nixon”

Gus Van Sant – “Milk”

Stephen Daldry – “The Reader”

Danny Boyle – “Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST ACTOR

Richard Jenkins – “The Visitor”

Frank Langella – “Frost/Nixon”

Sean Penn – “Milk”

Brad Pitt – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Mickey Rourke – “The Wrestler”

BEST ACTRESS

Anne Hathaway – “Rachel Getting Married”

Angelina Jolie – “Changeling”

Melissa Leo – “Frozen River”

Meryl Streep – “Doubt”

Kate Winslet – “The Reader”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Josh Brolin – “Milk”

Robert Downey Jr. – “Tropic Thunder”

Philip Seymour Hoffman – “Doubt”

Heath Ledger – “The Dark Knight”

Michael Shannon – “Revolutionary Road”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams – “Doubt”

Penélope Cruz – “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”

Viola Davis – “Doubt”

Taraji P. Henson – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Marisa Tomei – “The Wrestler”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Courtney Hunt – “Frozen River”

Mike Leigh – “Happy-Go-Lucky”

Martin McDonagh – “In Bruges”

Dustin Lance Black – “Milk”

Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter – “WALL-E”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Eric Roth and Robin Swicord – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

John Patrick Shanley – “Doubt”

Peter Morgan – “Frost/Nixon”

David Hare – “The Reader”

Simon Beaufoy – “Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST ANIMATED FILM

“Bolt”

“Kung Fu Panda”

“WALL-E”

BEST FOREIGN FILM

“The Baader Meinhof Complex” – Germany

“The Class” – France

“Departures” – Japan

“Revanche” – Austria

“Waltz with Bashir” – Israel

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Alexandre Desplat

“Defiance” – James Newton Howard

“Milk” – Danny Elfman

“Slumdog Millionaire” – A.R. Rahman

“WALL-E” – Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Down to Earth” – “WALL-E”

“Jai Ho” – “Slumdog Millionaire”

“O Saya” – “Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Changeling” – Tom Stern

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Claudio Miranda

“The Dark Knight” – Wally Pfister

“The Reader” – Chris Menges and Roger Deakins

“Slumdog Millionaire” – Anthony Dod Mantle

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

“Australia” – Catherine Martin

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Jacqueline West

“The Duchess” – Michael O’Connor

“Milk” – Danny Glicker

“Revolutionary Road” – Albert Wolsky

BEST ART DIRECTION

“Changeling”

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“The Dark Knight”

“The Duchess”

“Revolutionary Road”

BEST MAKE-UP

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“The Dark Knight”

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

BEST EDITING

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“The Dark Knight”

“Frost/Nixon”

“Milk”

“Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)”

“Encounters at the End of the World”

“The Garden”

“Man on Wire”

“Trouble the Water”

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