The songs are rarely my favorite part of the Oscar ceremony, since the quality of entertainment is so dependent on the nominated performers. I was really looking forward to this year’s live songs, though. There are only two, so it would not be a major time suck in the middle of the awards. And the two nominees are terrific. “Real in Rio” is infectious and promised a colorful and vibrant production on stage. “Man or Muppet” would get The Muppets on stage singing a truly clever song, which should be goal #1 in any year that releases a Muppet movie. And yet Deadline hears the songs may be cut this year. Said one of their sources: “It seems like a huge missed opportunity to me, and we certainly tried.” Dude, try harder. It’s two songs. Of course, the show is not locked yet, so telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer have time to reconsider before the February 26 broadcast. I sincerely hope they do.
Hit the jump for more Oscar news, in which Milla Jovovich hosts the technical awards and the nominees assemble for a group photo.
Marisa Tomei, Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Hudson, and Charlize Theron are the last 10 hosts of the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards. They clearly like pretty girls to emcee, a streak which extends back to 1996 when Richard Dreyfuss (the opposite of a pretty girl) hosted the ceremony. This year’s pretty girl is Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich. According to the press release, Jovovich will present 10 awards to 30 individual recipients on February 11 at the Beverly Wilshire.
Finally, I wanted to direct your attention to this group photo from the nominees luncheon. I like to picture it like a class photo, where the school nurse has a stack of combs ready for when Clooney shows up with his hair tousled again. If you click for the full image, you’ll see a few exciting budding friendships. Meryl Streep and Brad Pitt watch from the back row sporting the same no-nonsense haircut. Jonah Hill and Brett McKenzie are hopefully hatching a musical in the middle of the pack. And for film geeks, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg are together. Despite the fact that Scorsese is 5’3″, they also chose the back row.
Also, I don’t know who this guy is, but I’m pretty sure he’s casting a spell on the lady in front of him. [Edit: Commenters have pointed out that Chico & Rita director Fernando Trueba is laying his hands on Hugo editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Both are notable enough that I probably should have recognized at least one of them. The funniest thing about this section is now my stupidity, but I'll leave it up to keep me humble.]