A lot of the world’s most powerful people look like Lester Burnham: white, male, middle-aged, well off, and bored to death. There are Lester Burnhams in public office, in the Supreme Court, at billion dollar corporations, at record labels and movie studios. These people in power aren’t happy, and this movie gives them what must be a very comforting message: let go of your responsibility, but not your power. Don’t worry about what the world will look like after you die. You’ll be happy if you help yourself — not the people who need you.Fifteen Years Later, 'American Beauty' is Just a Bad, Pretty Movie
Behold the five Oscar-nominated Supporting Actresses of 1973: a "bitchin' babe" (Candy Clark), a pint-sized con-artist (Tatum O'Neal), a possessed teenager (Linda Blair), a selfish carnival dancer (Madeline Kahn), and a vinegary New York institution (Sylvia Sidney). A roundtable discussion at The Film Experience. [more inside]
Bill and Coo Plot: The feathered residents of Chirpendale are terrorized by an evil black crow by the name of "The Black Menace". But to the citizen's rescue comes a brave young taxi puller named Bill! [more inside]
10. If you are throwing an Oscars party, you need to decide if it's going to be a cinema lover's party or an Oscars party. "At a cinema lover's party, people dress up and have thoughtful conversations about the nominees and the year in cinema. At an Oscars party, everyone sits in their sweatpants and trashes every single thing that happens for four hours." This was written by a WSJ sportswriter, who doesn't understand that you can do both at either type of party.
The 2014 Oscar nominations for best song are: Happy- Pharrell Williams (Despicable Me 2), The Moon Song- Karen O (Her), Ordinary Love- U2 (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Let It Go- Idina Menzel (Frozen), and Alone Yet Not Alone- Joni Earekson Tada (Alone Yet Not Alone) -- wait, what? [more inside]
Christopher Doyle, cinematographer for Wong Kar-Wai's most acclaimed works (and dozens of other movies), calls Life of Pi's Academy Award an "insult to cinematography" in a recent interview. He elaborated: "What a total fucking piece of shit." (Part 1 of the same interview, more informative but less entertaining) [NSFW film posters and language]
"Oh, Anne! With your small head and pert nose and oversized, ready smile and glossy pixie cut and squeakily tuneful speaking voice, uttering lines like “It came true!” as you gaze at your newly won Oscar with moistened doe-eyes, wearing a powder-pink Prada gown adorned with diamonds and bows: Why are you so annoying?"
"The members of TVTV (Top Value Television), the 1970s guerrilla video group I cofounded, were among the first to exploit the then brand-new portable video camera. We took them to big events and turned the cameras away from the spectacle and on to the people; almost no one had seen one before, and there were no rules about how to use them, or act in front of them..." Behind the Scenes With Jack Nicholson, Lily Tomlin and Michael Douglas at the 1976 Academy Awards.
Without visual effects the average blockbuster movie would look like this. However as Hollywood comes under financial pressure they are putting the squeeze on the VFX industry that they rely on, who are in turn passing the pressure onto workers. Now VFX workers are organizing a protest in time for the Oscars, which will be celebrating visual effects as the companies responsible for them close down. [more inside]
With the "true story" films Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty having been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, discussion has risen about storytelling accuracy: "Does the audience deserve the truth, the whole truth and nothing but? Surely not, but just how much fiction is OK?"
'I Was Rob Lowe's Snow White': The Untold Story of Oscar's Nightmare Opening "Once upon a time -- March 29, 1989, to be exact -- a 22-year-old aspiring actress named Eileen Bowman thought that all her dreams were about to come true. She was very wrong." (the 61st Annual Academy Awards previously on MetaFilter)
Since March 21, 1994, when the first regular obituary segment was dropped into an Academy Awards show, a spot on the yearly scroll of recently deceased movie luminaries has become one of the evening’s most hotly contested honors. And as in most Oscar races it is the focus of sometimes ferocious campaigning.
Since 1983, Chicago's R.S. Owens & Company has been making one of the world’s most famous awards: The Oscar.
Never Too Early Movie Predictions: "Quite possibly the earliest Oscar predictions on the web. Predictions are currently being made through 2017!"
Age, race and gender breakdown of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, although the exact list of members is one of the best guarded secrets in America
When Brandon left for camp, his last words were, "stay out of my room!" Unfortunately for Brandon, he has the
meanest most awesome family in the entire world. [more inside]
Alan Light has posted dozens of candid shots he took at the 1989 Academy Awards and Governor's Ball. Included in the shots are Lucille Ball a month before her death, River Phoenix, and a very young Drew Barrymore.
Oscar The Grouch picks the Oscars. (1m28s)
The King's Speech is an extremely well-made film with a seductive human interest plot, very prettily calculated to appeal to the smarter filmgoer and the latent Anglophile. But it perpetrates a gross falsification of history. - Christopher Hitchens on the historical revisionism of The King's Speech. The LA times suggests that this, along with the History Channel digging up footage of King George VI not really stuttering all that badly at all, might be the beginning of a backlash against the film, which has been gaining Oscar momentum since it's SAG Award wins. With The Social Network, 127 Hours and The Fighter also having a basis in reality, is today's film making too hung up on the "true" story?
He predicted a losing season for the White Sox in 2007 and foresaw that the Tampa Bay Rays would be the best team in the American League in 2008, although he wrongly predicted that the Rays would win the World Series. He also predicted Obama's 6-point victory over McCain. Now the stats guru Nate Silver is picking the Oscar winners and predicting an upset win for Taraji P. Henson in the Best Supporting Actress category.
Is Slumdog Millionaire A) A white man's imagined India B) The reality of Mumbai C) An immensely likeable slice of broad entertainment – nothing else D) All of the above? And will it win the Oscar for Best Picture now that it's taken the Producers Guild Award for Best Picture and the SAG award for Best Ensemble?
Oscar Lists: Records And Curiosities. A plethora of fun facts to keep you entertained while you wait for the start of the 79th annual Academy Awards ceremony today/tonight. It's part of Oscar Lists: The Index, which is filled with almost every Oscar fact you could possibly need.
AMPAS ankles Oscarwatch skein The Academy has brought the banhammer down on the Oscarwatch blog, issuing a demand that blogger Sasha Stone cease and desist from using the Oscar trademark in her domain name. Why now after 7 1/2 years of blogging under that name? Maybe because they found out about her whopping $20k yearly ad revenue.
The Mysterious Geographical Explorations of Jasper Morello is a series of four gorgeous steampunk victorian silhouette animated shorts from Australia. The first link goes to a trailer for the films, all four full animations are available on a DVD via the official site (which is loads of fun to explore play around on), and the (Academy Award Nominated) first of the four shorts has been released on YouTube.
"Best Animated Short" is the Oscar category that (arguably) gets the least love. But why? They're often the most accessible, usually coming in at less than 10 minutes in length. Thus, for you consideration, here are direct links to three of the five 2007 nominees: "Maestro", "No Time For Nuts", and "The Danish Poet" (via).
"Mixed" reviews of John Stewart's performance last night. A reminder that someone warned in February that Crash might win best picture because many Academy members were "unwilling to screen Brokeback Mountain" [permalinks broken, scroll down]. Marvel that YouTube somehow managed to get rights [cough] to Oscar video, at the Oscar frocks and that thing on Charlize Theron's shoulder, and at the persistent myth that a billion people watched the awards.
The Oscars don't only breed argument about who should have won--but also about the speeches? Were they good? Did they suck? What are the classics? What's Memorable? What's Misquoted? How would your speech go? Would you thank your "makeup man"? Oprah? Complain? Or just go crazy? And here are some more top ones (1,2,3) and another bottom. And Oscar Night bingo in case it all gets to be too much, too boring or too damn long.
Say "cheese" — stinky, expensive, overprocessed American cheese. The venerable Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed its set design for the Seventy-Eighth Academy Awards® Telecast. This year's edition is described as "an homage to old movie theaters" by designer Roy Christopher. "It's a no-holds-barred return to classic Hollywood glamour." Others may beg to differ.
“Wouldn’t you know, the kid they pick to play tramps is the only good girl in Hollywood.” Before Myrna Loy rose to stardom with Manhattan Melodrama and The Thin Man (both 1934), she was often relegated to playing vamps, mistresses, and other assorted flavors of wicked women. Then, after 80 movies playing mostly bad girls, Montana native Loy became “the perfect wife.” “Men Must Marry Myrna Loy” clubs were formed around the country. She and Clark Gable, in a poll conducted by Ed Sullivan, were voted by 20 million of the nation’s moviegoers as The King and Queen of Hollywood. She was FDR's favorite actress, and John Dillinger died just to see her new movie. A staunch anti-Nazi since the mid-Thirties (to MGM's dismay, Hitler promptly banned her films from the lucrative German market), wondered aloud in the press why blacks were always given servants' roles, and was the first major star to buck the studios in a contract dispute (the issue: equal pay for equal work. She was making half what William Powell was, didn't like it and quit work for nearly a year until MGM capitulated). When WWII broke out she quit Hollywood and worked full time for the Red Cross, and helped run a Naval Auxilary Canteen. More inside.
Jon Stewart to host 2006 Academy Awards. "As a performer, I'm truly honored to be hosting the show,' Stewart says. "As an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the choice.'
Rochus Misch is the last man alive from Hitler's underground bunker. His most recent interview is in light of Der Untergang ["Downfall"], the new German film which portrays Hitler as a man, not a monster. Misch asserts that while factually accurate, the movie fails to capture the atmosphere in the bunker... as if anything ever could. The movie has recieved much critical acclaim and has been nominated for best foreign language film at this year's Academy Awards.
Why Gollum shouldn't win an Oscar. Many Lord of the Rings fans think Andy Serkis should be nominated for an Academy Award for his work in the films, but as Roger Ebert writes, the actor shouldn't benefit because animators kept Gollum from falling into the Uncanny Valley.
The Box Office Oracle You pick the writer, director, genre, actrons, budget, rating and month of release. You get projected box office receipts, chance of winning an Oscar and critics most likely to praise and pan your movie. There's even a BOO Hall of Fame. [via All Movie Guide reviewer Matthew Tobey]
It's A Dirty Post But Someone's Gotta Do It: The 2003 Razzie and Oscar nominations have been announced and all bets are on (though I couldn't find any online odds). Meanwhile, nominee Meryl Streep recently denounced the Academy Awards process as a "political campaign". Be that as it may, are they still fun to follow and predict?
74th Annual Academy Awards aka The Oscars are on. History was made tonight? or just the same old, same old? Please note the discussion may give away the winners, as does the linked page.
Mr. Showbiz is doing live coverage of the Oscars. I'm breaking a handful of MF rules by posting this, I realize, but I think it's really cool, and it hasn't gotten nearly enough press. (The Big D decided to put all its press behind Oscars.com, whose live coverage isn't nearly as fun.)
If you're in or around LA this weekend, you might want to check out all the academy award nominated documentary films being screened at the Director's Guild theater.
And the oscar for best salvage man goes to... That didn't take very long. There's not much you can do with highly publicized, stolen goods, especially when they're barely worth more than scrap metal when melted down.