Archive | February, 2011

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards

28 Feb

So the 83rd Academy Awards are said and done. My verdict: underwhelmed. Overall, I thought the telecast was someone disjointed and lacked in pizazz. Along with almost zero surprises among the award winners, I found something seriously lacking.

I thought James and Anne (yes, we’re buds and on a first name basis) did a notch above fine. He may or may not have been high and she was at times too chipper, almost bordering  on insincere for me, but I thought they were pretty funny and served their purpose well enough–to move the show along and introduce others. Do I think they’ll be asked back? Not likely, especially since this year’s rating are down 10% from last year’s show. I did really enjoy the opening montage, which you can see here (I’m having some SERIOUS embedding issues here, lemme tell you!)

Despite the strong start, it sort of fell off from there. Sure, there was Kirk Douglas still kicking at 94 years young dragging out the Best Supporting Actress announcement, but funny moments were few and far between. Now on to the all the shockers in the awards! (Not)

Best Original Score, Best Film Editing:, Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network

Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography: Inception

Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

Best Original Screenplay, Best Director:  The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper (<–I would call Tom Hooper’s directing win the closest thing to an upset we saw. David Fincher for the Social Network was a favorite here, but really, how much of an upset is it when the director of the eventual best picture winner wins, as usual?)

Every.single.acting award went to the favorite (Melissa Leo and Christian Bale in the supporting categories for The Fighter and Natalie Portman, Black Swan, and Colin Firth, The King’s Speech for the lead categories.

Then it was time for the coronation of The King’s Speech…which started about 90 seconds before the winner was actually announced, due to the VERY awkward scoring of the nominee montage to the monologue at the end of The King’s Speech. Talk about ruining the moment for the other 9 nominees! For those who were pulling for The Social Network, is it really any surprise that the Academy went with the movie with heart, a strong lead performance by an Oscar darling, that is classic Oscar material? Especially one that has swept most of the recent award shows? Answer: No, no it is not surprising. The King’s Speech was the safe, obvious choice, and it won. Better it than The Social Network, I say!

So there you have it! What did you think? Did it live up to the hype? Do you think the youth viewer was into this telecast? Now the countdown is on for the 84th Academy Awards…let the races begin!!

Locks, Surprises and Upsets: Who will win at the 83rd Academy Awards?

24 Feb

With the big show only a few days away, I’ve stopped my hemming and hawing and FINALLY whittled down my Oscar picks. Are there several no-likely-surprises-here locks to win certain categories? Yes. But, are there some potential upset categories also? Hells to the yes! I’ve outlined several of the likeliest upset categories below, along with my picks for most of the major awards that will be given out on Sunday!

Best Cinematography, art direction, visual effects, sound editing and sound mixing: Inception. Yep, that’s a 5fer for Inception!

Best Film Editing: The Social Network

Best Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network. Aaron Sorkin gets some serious Academy love with this one; I’d call this a lock

Best Animated Feature: HAS to be Toy Story 3. Another lock!

Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network. Though the best director winner usually agrees with the best picture winner, I’m thinking this will not be the case this year! Upset potential is here, but slim.

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter. Though there’s been some recent rumbling that this very well may be an upset category (hello, Hailee Steinfeld, who should have been up for best actress anyways), but I think Melissa Leo’s performance and momentum will keep this category for her. We’ll see what happens, but I think the potential for an upset is relatively high.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter. Duh. This is one category where I think there is slim to no chance of anyone other than Bale taking home the prize.

Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan. Another quasi lock, but could Annette Benning or Michelle Williams come in and steal her thunder?

Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech. Hand’s down, the best part (for me) about The King’s Speech was the acting, and Colin Firth absolutely deserves to win best actor.

Now for the BIG one: who will win best picture?

Will win: The King’s Speech. There’s been such a huge momentum shift from The Social Network for best picture to The King’s Speech, I’d be VERY surprised if it shifted last minute. I still think this a close call, so it will be interesting for all us staying with the telecast until the bitter end.

However, while I do recognize this as two pony race to the finish, I would seriously be so so happy if The Fighter pulled out a win here. I loved The King’s Speech, and think it deserves all the praise it has gotten, but for me, The Fighter was the best film of the year, with The Social Network coming in closer to the bottom of my best picture list.

Looking for Oscar ballots?  EW.com has a nifty one here, and so does Twig & Thistle here!

Do you see any major upsets on the horizon? Think Melissa Leo’s somewhat controversial Oscar ads might hurt her in the long run? Do you see any way there won’t be a British sweep of the male acting awards? Is the award Natalie Portman’s to lose? Leave your predictions (crazy and otherwise!) and what you wish would win in the comments!

Crunch (voting) time!

16 Feb

The final ballots for the Oscar voting were mailed 2 weeks ago and in less than a week, the final voting for the awards will be closed, and the winners will be determined. But have you ever wondered how these winners are determined? I (obviously, hence this post) have, so I set out to do some digging into the who and what of the nomiantion and voting process!

But first, some background! The Academy Awards are presented by the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences, the organization made up by over 6,000 “motion picture professionals.” These professionals are divided up into 15 different branches based on what area of film they contribute to. There’s an actor’s branch (which is the largest, at around 1,183 members), a director’s branch, a producer’s branch, a music branch, editing branch, sound branch and even a branch for makeup artists and hairstylists (which is also the smallest, with 118 members). Each member of the academy must be invited in, and can only belong to one branch.

Some of the Academy from the Nominees Luncheon! (via Facebook)

So on to the awards themselves! The process begins when nomination ballots are mailed to Academy members in late December, along with a Reminder List of Eligible Releases (all films with a commercial release in Los Angeles county in 2010). For most categories, voters only vote for their own category (ie, actors nominate the acting nominees, directors nominate directors). The exceptions to this rule are the categories for Foreign Film, Documentary and Animated Feature Film, and of course, Best Picture. For the former three categories, special screening committees are made up of voters across all branches, and for best picture, all academy members are welcome to nominate and vote for their pick.

Following the announcement of the nominees at the end of January, final ballots were mailed on February 2nd, and are due back to PriceaterhouseCoopers (the Academy’s accounting firm) this year on February 22nd. Then, the accountants tabulate the votes and seal the envelopes with the winners’ names, not to be revealed until the live telecast on the 27th! Now, only 11 days to go until the winners are shared with the world!

I’ll be posting my official ballot and predictions later this week, along with a fun giveaway, so check back later!

For more information, refer to the Academy Award Nomination Wikipedia page and these two pages on the Academy’s website, which were supremely helpful!

Oscar says…You’re Invited!

9 Feb

If you haven’t seen, ABC has been pimping out the below Oscar promo videos pretty hard lately. Playing up to the “You’re Invited” tagline, which, incidentally, is the first time in its 83 year history that the Oscars has actually had a tagline, the spots show the “behind the scenes” prep going on as Anne Hathaway and best actor nominee James Franco get ready to host the show in just over 2 weeks.

Personally, I think these are great attempt to inject a little bit of both Hathaway and Franco’s personality into the hosting gigs. Who doesn’t love a good thwarted wardrobe malfunction?

What do you think of the promos and the tag line? Do these make you any more likely to tune into the telecast, even just to see how the opening goes? Do tell!

Link Lovin’ the Oscars

4 Feb

Confession time: I love links. On Twitter, Facebook, newsletters, blogs, suggested articles below something I’m reading-doesn’t matter, I will click on that link. And you know what? This has led to hours of wonder and delight, as I’ve seen some excellent things that maybe I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Case in point: my favorite article of the week, Police Bust Giraffe-Fighting Ring. Would I want to go on living a life that hadn’t been exposed to this? No, thank you very much, I would not.

In honor of my link love, I wanted to share some of this week’s best tweets (with links!) from my favorite sources of Oscar info. Happy Friday and enjoy!

http://twitter.com/#!/GoldDerby/status/33218003621384192