Tag Archives: Awards

That’s a Wrap: The 85th Academy Awards

25 Feb

Let me put it out there: last night’s Oscar telecast was fantastic. A little long yes, a tad dry in parts, but overall, I found it to be funny and delightful. I was genuinely surprised that Seth MacFarlane did so well. He was charming and walked the line of cracking jokes at Hollywood’s big players and being respectfully that the he, the dude who voices a vulgar teddy, alien-like baby and talking dog, was hosting the Oscars.

Though there weren’t a ton of surprises, winner wise (see the full list here), there were many moments during the telecast that stood out to me. Here are some quick reactions:

  • I seriously loved Oscars tribute to music, especially the performances from Chicago, Dreamgirls and Les Miserables. What can I say? I love me some musicals. 

  • Singing and dancing by Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Godron Levitt was a definite hightlight, as was the riff on The Sound of Music. The opening monologue parts with William Shatner were not my faves.

Another area in which the show really shined was with the host of wonderful acceptance speeches. Jennifer Lawrence receiving best actress (at the ripe old age of 22, making her the second youngest actress to win the award and the youngest person to have been nominated for Best Actress twice!) really nailed her speech, despite taking a tumble as she walked to accept the award!

jennifer-lawrence-fall.gif

Other speeches that stood out were Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis (surprisingly funny, and also history-making, as DDL is the first actor to win three best actor statues!) and Ben Affleck (not surprisingly emotional and poignant!) taking home best picture for Argo. He’s only the fourth filmmaker to take home best picture without being nominated for best director. Go Ben!

Another one for the history books was Oscar’s first tie since 1995 and only the 6th in Oscar history, when Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty both won for best sound editing!

What were your favorites moments from last night’s telecast? Were you a fan of Seth’s schtick? Sound off in the comments and check back in for more in-depth analysis later this week!

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A Man for All Seasons (Winner, 1966/39th Annual Academy Awards

19 Aug

When I saw this movie, I immediately thought maybe it has inspired one of my favorite Grease 2 numbers, Girl for all Seasons. Alas, I believe I was mistaken. Actually, A Man for All Seasons, which won the Oscar back in 1966, is decidedly not a light hearted, if somewhat terrible sequel; it’s more like the big brother to this year’s best Picture winner, The King’s Speech, but without a core friendship (actually replaced by some core hatred) and without being anywhere near as fun to watch. So…maybe all they have in common is an Oscar, some British thespians and a King. Close enough!

The man for all seasons in the title is Sir Thomas Moore, the Chancellor of England under the delightful and kill-happy King Henry VIII (or eighth, for you non-roman numeral readers). Why is Sir Thomas, played by Best Actor Oscar winner Paul Scofield, a “man for all seasons,” you may ask? No, he is not a four season athlete, but rather, according to the man who wrote the play the film is based on (also called A Man for All Seasons), that Moore is “the ultimate man of conscience and as remaining true to his principles and religion under all circumstances and at all times.”

In this movie, Moore’s man of all seasons-ness is put to the test. As apparently the only dude with any kind of sense of right and wrong, he tells Henry that it’s a bad idea to divorce his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, for his mistress, Anne Boleyn, without the approval of the Pope. It’s pretty clear (as history will show), that the Pope is never going to have this, which leads to Henry’s break with the church and the establishment of the Church of England, which Henry conveniently names himself head of and can do whatever he wants. Must be nice to be king.

This raises the question: who cares? If Henry wants to toss out the old lady and get a new wife, why does he care what Sir Thomas thinks? As the chancellor and a member of the Privy Council, More is the only one to refuse to sign a letter to the Pope urging him to dissolve the marriage (that conscience thing coming into play again). Then, when Henry takes it upon himself to form a new church, everyone in England must swear loyalty and recognize the king’s new marriage. Again, Sir Thomas refuses.

If you know anything about Henry VIII, you can likely piece together how this played out for good ol’ Sir Thomas. Spoiler alert: not well. King Henry is played by Robert Shaw, and is a delightful bi-polaresque mixture of batshit crazy and over the top ecstatic. Exactly what one would want in a King and total ruler of their country.

Crazy King Henry, before he killed a bunch of his wives

There are a bunch of other miscellaneous subplots around More’s daughter and her heretic boyfriend, all the other Privy Council members that hate Sir Thomas for being such a righteous jerk and not signing the King’s letter and various monologues about how moral Sir Thomas is, by Sir Thomas himself. I’m not going to call this my favorite Oscar winner to date, but it wasn’t half bad. It was definitely no Amadeus, so that’s something, I guess?

Fun facts (courtesy of IMDB and Wikipedia)

  • One of only 4 productions to win both the Best Play Tony (1962) and the Best Picture Oscar (1966). The other 3 are My Fair Lady (1957/1964), The Sound of Music (1960/1965) and Amadeus (1981/1984)
  • Paul Scofield won the 1962 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for “A Man for All Seasons” and recreated his role in the filmed production
  • Budget: $3.9 Million (estimate) gross revenue: $25 million worldwide

Why the Academy Awards were a Dud

3 Mar

Dud.Dud.Dud.

Yep, this year’s award show is gaining popular consenus on one thing: it kind of sucked.

From The Carpetbagger:

“One of the worst Oscar telecasts in history.”

“Dead. In. The. Water.”

“James Franco played a guy who cut off his own arm. Why couldn’t he play a guy who likes Anne Hathaway?”

Viewers were disappointed (ratings were down from last year), and despite its hype as a young show hosted by young stars, it seems old and fuddy-duddyesque.

But what happened? Why did a show that seemed to have so much promise sink? Here are a few of the reasons I think this was a suckfest!

  • It wasn’t funny

If the best that the writers of the onstage material could do was throw Kirk Douglas out there to add some humor to the show, you know there’s a larger overall problem here. From the lack of any kind of actual monologue to presenters that just kind of came out, gave their award, and peaced, I thought the show as a whole was seriously unfunny.

Exception: despite many critics and fans calling the opening segment tired, I liked seeing Franco and Hathaway appearing in some of this year’s nominees. I also enjoyed the autotune the movies video.

Exception to the exception: What the heck was up with the segment ending with a Back to the Future shoutout? SO random!

  • There were many a missed opportunity

When Anne Hathaway started her not-so-thinly veiled version of “On My Own” directed at former Oscar host Hugh Jackman, tell me, was I the ONLY ONE that thought the viewing audience would be treated to a fantastical duet? I hope not, because that would’ve been awesome. And then to follow that non-starter with James Franco coming out in drag for no reason except “you got to wear a tux, so I’m wearing this dress,” I just thought there were missed opportunities to bring the funny back (see number 1).

  • There was an awkward flow to the show

Now, this isn’t anything that I feel was specific to this show, but I just thought that the whole paying homage to Hollywood in year’s gone by was a little bit confusing. It felt somewhat out of place to randomly mention movies and briefly show them on the big screen, and then transition into the awards that maybe that movie had won before, or maybe not. I wasn’t a fan of that.

  • There were no surprises in any of the awards

No upsets, no real surprises, nothing unexpected; as far as OMG moments, this show was unfortunately lacking. Despite Melissa Leo dropping the Oscars first f-bomb in its history, the Oscars were, well, boring. This aspect could’ve been offset if there had been stronger hosts…which takes me to:

  • Bring back the comedians/actors who can actually host!

No offense to Anne and James BUT…they just didn’t cut it. They’ve both shown that they have the capability to be funny actors, but this wasn’t an acting job (thought at times you couldn’t exactly be sure of that…was Anne “acting” super peppy and Franco “acting” aloof and uninterested?, or…not) and they both came across as not exactly what you expected or particularly wanted in hosts.

Hopefully, next year’s Oscar telecast can bring the viewers back, by spicing it up and bringing back the funny.

Do you think you’ll tune in next year? Who do you think should be asked to host the 2012 show? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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!

The Road to the Oscars

31 Jan

This weekend, two more guilds gave out their yearly awards. No awards have been given out by my favorite guild, as seen at the right.

On Saturday, we had the Directors Guild of America’s highest honors. And who should’ve won 2010’s best feature film director, but Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech! This was considered something of a shocker, as most critics were sure that this award would go to David Fincher, director of The Social Network.

Then last night, the Screen Actors Guild gave out its set of awards. The biggest award to watch here is Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, which is SAG’s equivalent of Best Picture. The King’s Speech beat out Black Swan, The Fighter, The Social Network and The Kids are All Right to take home this prize.

For the individual acting awards, there were no surprises; both supporting awards went to The Fighter, to Melissa Leo and Christian Bale, and best male and female actors went to Colin Firth and Natalie Portman, respectively.

So, what does this mean for the Oscars? It’s very obvious that this is now a two-horse race, between The King’s Speech and The Social Network, whereas even a few weeks ago, The Social Network had seemed to be a Best Picture lock, having won almost all of the major awards, including the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association (according to Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil in this post). With TKS having won its first major award with the Producers Guild’s Best Picture award just a few weeks ago, there has been a serious shift in momentum here. Now with big wins from the Directors Guild and SAG AND receiving the most nominations for the Oscars (with 12), The King’s Speech has shown that it has what it takes to take home the big prize.

Another interesting note: with the support The King’s Speech has received from SAG, it’s important to remember that the actor’s branch of the Academy is the largest of all the branches. So it’s likely this support from both the actors and directors will translate over to the Oscars.

With just under a month until the big show, there are still a few awards to be given out of note; mainly, the Writers Guild Awards on 2/5 and the BAFTA Film Awards, on 2/13.

Do you think The King’s Speech will overthrow The Social Network? Or does The Social Network still have what it takes to reclaim its title? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

And the Golden Globe goes to…

16 Jan

The first big awards show of the year has come and gone, with last night’s Golden Globe Awards.  I made some initial hopes/predictions in this post, and was excited to see the outcomes of some of the hotter categories!

The night’s first movie award was best supporting actor.  No surprise here, this went to Christian Bale for the Fighter. He’s a well deserving shoo-in for the Oscar.

Next, we has Best Animated feature: Toy Story 3. Small consolation for snubbing it in the best picture category!

Followed by,Best Actress, musical or comedy: Annette Bening for The Kids are All Right. Another non surprise here, Bening was the heavy favorite to win this category.

Next up: Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network. Another expected win

And then, Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo, The Fighter. This was fairly competitive category, with Leo’s fellow costar Amy Adams, Black Swan’s Mila Kunis, Helena Bonaham Carter for The King’s Speech and Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingson (?), but I’m glad Melissa pulled it out she was really excellent in this film.

Followed by Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network. Another heavy favorite steps in here.  I expect to see Fincher take this award home next month at the Oscars.

Next, we had Best Performance by an Actor, Comedy/Musical: Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version. A weak category, with 2 showings by Johnny Depp, but I’ve always liked Paul, so I’m glad he pulled this one out.

And, Best Actress, Drama: Natalie Portman, Black Swan. YESSS, I am so very happy she won, and we got to hear her slightly crazy speech, in which everyone was wonderful. I think it will be between Natalie and Annette for best actress next month. Who will win?

On to one of the two best picture of the evening, Best Motion picture, Musical or Comedy: The Kids are All Right. Another YES, I loved this movie, and am so happy it’s received this kind of recognition and exposure.

On to Best Actor, Drama: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech. Good speech from Firth, who won a tough category; expect him to repeat at the Oscars.

And finally, Best Picture, Drama: The Social Network. Continuing its role of dominance, The Social Network adds yet another award to its repertoire.  Can it be stopped when it comes to taking home the Oscar next month? I’m leaning more and more towards no…

Some of my favorite highlights were:

  • Robert Downey Jr. making not veiled at all sexual references to best actress nominees; he’s hilarious and I love him.
  • Annette Bening calling out hubs Warren Beatty as the 1962 winner of most promising actor in her acceptance speech.
  • Melissa Leo’s emotional and touching acceptance speech
  • Natalie Portman going a bit off the rails with her acceptance speech and making reference to getting knocked up on the shoot…good to know
  • How much did I love seeing Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp chatting it up at the end of the night? It was like a very hot serendipitous moment in time, a nearly perfect way to end the night.
  • In TV wins, I love that Kurt Colfer and Jane Lynch continue their reign of dominance in the supporting actor categories, first at the Emmys and now at the Globes. And how about Glee winning best show, comedy or musical? Talk about combining the best of both worlds here!
  • I also thought Ricky Gervais was hilarious; I would’ve taken his funny and borderline offensive comments over some of the more rambling speeches any day! Fav line: “”Please welcome Ashton Kutcher’s dad, Bruce Willis!” Loves it!

For the full list of winners, you can visit the Golden Globes’ website here.

As for the Globes being a predictor of the Oscars, take this in to account: over the past 10 years (2009-2000), the winner of the best picture at the Globes (drama or comedy) won the best picture Oscar 5 times. I think this clearly tips the odds in favor of The Social Network this year, but we will see.

What did you think of the Golden Globes? Did you stay up to the bitter end? I’ll also post a red carpet fashion snapshot tomorrow; stay tuned!