Winners of the 84th Academy Awards; THE ARTIST Wins 5 Including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor

by     Posted 2 years, 174 days ago

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The Oscars are finally over.  The front-runner, The Artist, won the awards race by picking up Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costume Design, and Best Score.  There were also some big upsets as “locks” like The Tree of Life for Best Cinematography and Rise of the Planet of the Apes for Best Visual Effects were no match for Hugo, which ended up taking those categories and three more (Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Art Direction).  As for nice surprises…not really (unless you loved Hugo).

It was a forgettable year for the Oscars, and Billy Crystal, turning in his safe, predictable, and family-friendly routine was the perfect fit for a year that screamed “Don’t rock the boat!”  Last year’s Oscars took a chance on pairing Anne Hathaway and James Franco, and the show was a mess.  This year, they played it safe and the ceremony was still dull.  Quite simply, there was no films to root for and the “upsets” were for the establishment.  It was also funny to have the show and actors celebrate the theater when audiences are moving to OnDemand services, and studios are trying to make the theatrical release window even shorter.   Hit the jump for a full list of the winners, click here for mine and Adam Chitwood’s Oscar predictions (he did way better than me), and click here for my live-blog of the ceremony.

Matt Live-Blogs the 84th Academy Awards

by     Posted 2 years, 174 days ago

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We’re here at last.  The seemingly endless award season has reached its zenith/nadir.  I have never been less enthusiastic for the Oscars.  And I used to love the Oscars.  I loved the competition, I loved seeing the films and actors I loved get recognized with Hollywood’s highest honor, and this year I hardly have anything or anyone to root for.  This year, it’s mostly “Yeah, I can live with that.”  I know the awards don’t really matter, I know that the voting body is old white men, and I know my Oscar predictions are probably going to go down in flames (if you’re still trying to figure out your Oscar ballot, go with Adam’s picks; I’m playing the odds).

But this live-blog will keep me sane.  Sharing my frustrations and mockery with you fine people will help me get through this charade.  My live-blogging will kick in around 8:00pm (EST) and then just keep refreshing the page for my latest thoughts on the 84th Academy Awards.  I’ll also be live-tweeting (cross-platform mocking!) and you can follow me on Twitter at @MattGoldberg.  Together, we will survive.  The ceremony begins at 8:30pm (EST).

Matt and Adam Predict the Winners of the 84th Academy Awards

by     Posted 2 years, 175 days ago

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This Sunday, Hollywood will give itself a big, hearty slap on the back and hand out statues that can boost careers and boost box office (although the latter is somewhat debatable).  But since art is being forced into competition, we may as well make our predictions as if this were a sporting event.  I usually bat around .750, and it will be interesting to see who’s better at guessing how old white men vote.  I’ll also note that I think I’ll do far worse this year in my predictions since films I thought were a lock for a nomination didn’t even receive one.  My nomination predictions were so awful that I’m throwing caution to the wind.

Adam has been running point on our Oscar coverage this year, and I’m happy to have him join me in my annual Oscar prediction article.  Hit the jump for what we think should win and what we think will win.  The 84th Academy Awards will air live this Sunday on ABC at 7pm EST.

THE DICTATOR (Sacha Baron Cohen) Responds to Oscars Ban [Updated: Cohen Will Appear as The Dictator, Releases Victory Image]

by     Posted 2 years, 176 days ago

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A couple days ago, we reported that the Oscars were banning Sacha Baron Cohen from attending the ceremony as his character from The Dictator, Admiral General Aladeen.  The banning wasn’t unexpected since the Academy has the world’s largest stick jammed up the world’s tightest ass, and while Cohen’s character is comically offensive, it would be entertaining, which is not in the spirit of this year’s Oscars.  This morning, Aladeen went on The Today Show and MSNBC to protest being banned from “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Zionists.”  The video and the interview give a good sense of the offensive humor he was planning to bring to the Oscars, and it will be sorely missed from the unrelentingly dull ceremony on Sunday.

Hit the jump to check out the response video and his interview on MSNBC.  The Dictator opens May 16th. [Update: Oscar producer Brian Grazer has confirmed via Heat Vision that Cohen will appear on the red carpet dressed as The Dictator after all, so prep your DVR's accordingly] [Update 2: Cohen's General Aladeen has posted a victory image with a golden gun and Oscars tickets in hand.]

Full List of 2012 Oscar Presenters Includes Christian Bale, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis and the Cast of BRIDESMAIDS

by     Posted 2 years, 177 days ago

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We’re only a few short days away from the 84th Academy Awards, which means all that prognosticating and “fake controversy” business will finally come to an end on Monday morning. Until next year, that is. Nevertheless, a number of presenters have been announced over the past few weeks and we figured we’d bring you a full list of all the pretty celebrities scheduled to appear during Sunday night’s telecast. Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Emma Stone, The Muppets and the leading ladies from Bridesmaids will (hopefully) be bringing the funny, and today the Academy announced that last year’s winners in the acting categories will return to present. I really, really liked the way the awards were given out a few years back with past winners speaking directly to each of the nominees, so I’m hoping Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Natalie Portman, and Colin Firth will be doing something similar.

Hit the jump to read the full list of presenters and performers, and be sure to check back this weekend to see how yours truly and Matt Goldberg think the awards will stack up in our predictions feature. Billy Crystal hosts the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26th.

Infographic: Oscar Fashion Throughout the Years

by     Posted 2 years, 178 days ago

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Don’t lie: you mute the insipid Oscar red carpet banter and check out the dresses.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The dresses are one of the finer points of the evening, and you get to see which actresses found the right mix between elegance and originality, and which actresses found what the designer’s fever dream looked like in gown-form.  The people at Dish Network, when not trying to convince us that satellite dish signals can’t be blown out by a gentle breeze, have put together a fun infographic about the dresses worn by the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees from the past 22 years.

Hit the jump to check out the infographic.  The 84th Academy Awards air live this Sunday at 7pm EST on ABC.

Mike Myers Schools Kevin Kline on Oscar Etiquette in Funny-or-Die-Produced Promo

by     Posted 2 years, 179 days ago

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The 2011 Oscar race will finally be over this Sunday night, but winners need to know the proper way to accept the award.  To this end, Funny or Die has produced a promo on behalf of the Academy Awards starring Oscar-winner Kevin Kline (Best Supporting Actor for A Fish Called Wanda) and Sir Cecil Worthington (Mike Myers).  The sketch is meant to poke fun at the importance of the statue, but Worthington is really more of a reminder of the Academy’s largest voting block: old white men who have never won an Oscar.

Hit the jump to check out the promo.  The 84th Academy Awards air live this Sunday on ABC at 7pm EST.

Kermit and Miss Piggy to Present at the Academy Awards

by     Posted 2 years, 183 days ago

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Every day, the Academy is announcing new presenters for the Oscars, and those press releases are worthless.  No one cares if Ben Stiller will be reading nominees off a card.  But today, the Academy has made a terrific-yet-maddening announcement regarding a duo of presenters.  Kermit and Miss Piggy will present at this year’s Academy Awards, and it will be the fifth time that Muppets have presented at the Oscars.  While I’ll be happy to see them, the announcement makes me even more frustrated with this year’s ceremony.  First, there won’t be a performance of The Muppets nominated song, “Man or Muppet”, which might have made sense due to set construction concerns.  However, there was enough time and money to build a stage for Cirque du Soleil, who should be seen live (or at least in a movie theater) rather than your TV.  And now that they’re going to have Muppets on stage anyway, it feels like the Academy is saying, “Muppets, you’re good enough to deliver a little banter and read names off a card, but no one wants to see you sing a song on live television.”  At least “Man or Muppet” will probably win the Oscar.

Hit the jump for the press release.

2012 Oscar Nominations Announced; HUGO and THE ARTIST Lead the Pack

by     Posted 2 years, 207 days ago

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The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.

There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.

97 Original Scores Up for Oscar; DRIVE and ATTACK THE BLOCK Ruled Ineligible

by     Posted 2 years, 239 days ago

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As the 84th Academy Awards move closer, we’re starting to get a better sense of how things will pan out. We recently shared the 39 songs that will contend for the Best Original Song category, and now the Academy has announced the 97 original scores eligible for the Best Original Score award. AMPAS is notoriously picky when it comes to eligibility in this category, and as we feared the scores for both Drive and Attack the Block have been deemed ineligible. Also disappointing is the ineligibility of Alexandre Desplat’s mesmerizing score for The Tree of Life.

While it’s upsetting to see some of the year’s best work side-lined, there’s plenty to be happy about. I was a huge fan of Howard Shore’s work in Hugo and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as The Chemical Brothers’ brilliant work in the criminally underseen Hanna. Hit the jump for the full list, as well as who I think will make the cut.

39 Songs Contend for Best Original Song Oscar; Nominees Include THE MUPPETS and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

by     Posted 2 years, 243 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced today that 39 eligible songs will contend for the Best Original Song Oscar this year. Important to note is that a relatively recent rule change states that songs must be judged in the capacity that they appear in each film. In early January the voting body will get together and watch clips from each eligible movie in which the 39 songs are featured, after which they will determine the nominees. The list of eligible songs include three tracks from The Muppets, Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi’s song “Gathering Stories” (which director Cameron Crowe co-wrote) from We Bought a Zoo, and composer/songwriter/eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken’s “Star Spangled Man” from Captain America: The First Avenger. I’m partial to Jonsi’s work or “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, but we’ll see how the Academy’s taste stacks up towards the end of January.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of eligible songs. The 84th Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 24th.

TOP 5: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, MEN IN BLACK 3, LINCOLN, Cinemath, 2012 Oscar Previews

by     Posted 2 years, 259 days ago

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I’m writing to you this week a better person. “Why?” you ask? Well, I’d like to think it’s a result of my ongoing pursuit to better myself. Really, though, It’s because I watched The Muppets movie last weekend. I can’t remember leaving the movie theater that genuinely happy with the state of the film industry and the world as a whole. Any place that understands the societal importance of and allows for the continued expression of Jim Henson’s iconic creations is a place I’m happy to be a part of. In short, anytime The Muppets are around, I’m all the better for it.

In other news, in this week’s “Top 5″ installment you’ll find some of the first looks at Rhys Ifans’ The Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man, the first teaser posters for Men in Black 3, the first image of Daniel Day Lewis in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Brendan’s latest Cinemath feature, and each of our 2012 Oscar Previews. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.

2012 Oscar Preview: Best Picture and Best Director

by     Posted 2 years, 265 days ago

And so our 2012 Oscar Preview has come to a close. Over the past three days we’ve brought you our coverage of how the race stacks up for Best Supporting Actress and Actor, Best Actress and Actor, and Best Animated Feature, Screenplay, as well as the technical categories. Today, we’re covering the big ones: Best Picture and Best Director. There are two early frontrunners for the big prize, but we’ve still got a number of unseen pics that could play the spoiler. As for the director race, does Steven Spielberg have a shot at his first trophy in over a decade, or will an Oscar virgin take home the prize? Hit the jump for the current state of the race in the Best Picture and Best Director categories.

2012 Oscar Preview: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Technical Category Quick Picks

by     Posted 2 years, 266 days ago

Continuing on with our look at the 2012 Oscar race, today we delve into Best Animated Feature and the technical categories. As Pixar’s Cars 2 was the studio’s worst-received feature to date (it currently sits at 38% on Rotten Tomatoes), we’ve got ourselves an actual competition in the Animated Feature category. Not only that, but if all 18 films that were submitted to the Academy are deemed eligible, we’ll have a total of five nominated films. This leaves us to debate the merits of Rango and The Adventures of Tintin against the likes of Puss in Boots and Arthur Christmas.

Additionally, we’ve taken a stab at Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and the technical categories. As these are incredibly tricky to predict this far out (and my picks would be doomed to haunt me come February), I’ve simply listed a couple of frontrunners in each category instead of going in depth. Though it’s still early, we’ve got an overall picture of how things look like they’ll stack up; so hit the jump to check out the state of the race so far. If you missed our previous preview articles, be sure to take a look at our picks for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and Best Actor and Best Actress.

2012 Oscar Preview: Best Actor and Best Actress

by     Posted 2 years, 267 days ago

Yesterday we unveiled our picks for the top contenders in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories for the upcoming 84th Academy Awards. Today, we’re taking on Best Actor and Best Actress. Though it’s still relatively early in the race, we’ve got some surefire contenders and a couple of clear frontrunners for the top acting categories. In addition to Academy darlings like George Clooney and Meryl Streep, we’ve seen some extraordinary performances from relative newcomers likes Elizabeth Olsen and Michael Fassbender. As I stressed yesterday, it’s still pretty early so things can definitely change between now and February, but there are certainly some clear frontrunners in these two races already. Hit the jump to see find out how everyone stacks up.

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