Well, film fans, the big night is here. After a month spent puzzling over the nominations, remembering acting snubs and other illogical choices, and scrambling to see all of the nominees, HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT has arrived. It’s Oscar night, kids. Glam it up!
We’ll start the big live-blog at around 8pm; in the meantime, be a dear and check out some of that Oscar coverage above, because we worked very hard on it. Oh, and here’s our official picks and predictions, but if it’s just too much hard work for you to click over there and read them, here’s the list of our predictions (not always, it must be stressed, our actual picks), which we’ll track for accuracy throughout the night:
Best Picture: The Artist
George Clooney – The Descendants Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Actress: Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer – The Help
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Documentary Feature:
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Undefeated
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation (Iran)
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource – The Artist
Emmanuel Lubezki – The Tree of Life Robert Richardson, Hugo
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash – The Descendants
See you in a half hour. Or more. Or less. IT’S UNPREDICTABLE.
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Consider this a consumer’s warning: If, in the coming weeks, you and yours decide to finally see what all the fuss is about and go check out that British movie with the stuttering dude, you may not be seeing the movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture two nights ago. Wait, what?
When rumors first started to leak in late January that the Weinstein Company was considering re-releasing The King’s Speech in a PG-13 version that would scrub the film’s instances of the dreaded “F-word,” our response was pretty much the common one: WTF? It seemed an odd move, and a rather greedy attempt to squeeze a few more dollars out of an already insanely profitable movie ($130 million in worldwide box office, and that was before Oscar night), but whatevs — it would probably just amount to one of those curio footnote releases, like Mel Gibson’s sanitized flop The Passion Recut or that post-DVD expanded re-release of Avatar. What we didn’t realize at the time was that the Weinstein Company was so anxious to take advantage of the millions of tweens clamoring to see The King’s Speech (seriously, why else would they be spending so much money on that Justin Bieber movie?) that they would straight-up replace the movie that’s still in theaters with this bowdlerized cut.
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We’re not going to join the chorus of amateur psychopharmacologists who’ve decided James Franco hosted the Oscars high last night — mostly because we know he’s always got something much weirder than recreational drugs up his sleeve. But whatever possessed him to be so absent at the ceremony was contagious: the award winners, performances, and speeches were all fairly boring, too. (Those of you still longing for an enjoyable film awards show should try and catch a rerun of Saturday’s Independent Spirits on IFC. Host Joel McHale blew Franco out of the water.)
In fact, there is so little about last night’s show that’s worth commenting on this morning that we’ve put together a post on what we found most interesting: not any individual presenter or upset or joke, but Anne Hathaway’s dresses, all eight of them. Some were wonderful, a few were awful, and (thankfully) none were yawn-worthy. We rank them from best to worst after the jump.
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1. Gawker asks what many of us were wondering last night as we watched the Oscars: Was James Franco totally stoned? As Max Read’s post points out, various critics described him as “heavy-lidded and smirky” (The Washington Post); “a tad bewildered” (Moviefone); “mellow” (Entertainment Weekly); “distant [and] uninterested” (The… Read More
That’s right kids, it’s Oscar night, when America’s most self-celebratory town gets together and just cold pats itself on the back for three or four or eight hours, and we all watch and make fun of the dresses. We’ll be liveblogging the whole damn thing tonight, right here (well, the whole ceremony, at least—not that endless red carpet crap, because really, what do you want from us?).
We’ll start the big liveblog around 8pm EST, when the ceremony kicks off, maybe a little earlier, if our party guests decide not to take forever straggling in like a bunch of hoboes. In the meantime, line up your bottles and shotglasses and check out Flavorpill’s Official 2011 Oscars Drinking Game ™, and come up with your own predictions for the night’s biggest surprises.
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When we first posted about this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Picture, we objected to a couple of exclusions (seriously, you guys, if you haven’t seen Blue Valentine yet, we’re not quite sure how else to sell you on it). But, in general, the ten films nominated this year are all solid choice. And though it’s a change that some have objected to — loudly — we really do like the ballooning of the list from five nominees to ten (and lest we forget, five was only the rule from 1944 on — in the ’30s, they’d nominate up to 12 films for the Best Picture honor). Sure, it makes the list comparatively unwieldy, and adds a few minutes to the awards telecast, which can be a bit of a long haul to begin with. But it allows traditionally snubbed titles — like genre movies, smaller titles, comedies, and animated features — to get a little bit of extra recognition.
Were it not for the ten-nomination rule, we probably wouldn’t have seen Best Picture nominations for Inception, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, 127 Hours, or The Kids are All Right, and since those are some of our favorite films of the year, we’d have been looking at a far less interesting list. The fact of the matter is, too often there are more than five really great movies in a year — or the Academy simply recognizes the wrong damn movies. If the ten-nominee rule had been in place over the last decade, for example, we might have seen Best Picture nominations for some really great films that got passed over. Take a look at just a few of them after the jump.
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A couple of weeks ago, an interesting comment popped up in one of our posts. On Tuesday, January 25th, we wrote (as countless other blogs did) about that morning’s Oscar nominations — the snubs, the surprises, etc. The next day, this comment from “ANGA” appeared: “Claims in the film Gasland have been widely documented to be untrue. See the investigative documents for yourself here,” followed by the URL for a “truth about Gasland” page. Here’s what’s interesting about that comment: all we did in the post was mention Gasland — we listed it, among the Best Documentary nominees, without comment.
At risk of getting ourselves mixed up in this controversy over the accuracy of Gasland, we will merely note that we’ve seen the film and it seemed awfully convincing to us; that Fox has responded to each of the claims being lobbed against him; and that ANGA is a high-profile natural gas company which certainly benefits from Fox’s reportage coming into question. The fact that they have the resources to troll the Internet and comment on blogs that so much as mention the film gives you some idea of what a documentary filmmaker is going up against when taking on big targets like this.
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So, you know what was a great movie? Blue Valentine. Yes, you walk out of it feeling like you’ve been punched in the gut, and it may be one of the worst first-date movies of all time, but good lord, the performances are crushing, the structure is masterful, and there’s just not a moment of it that you don’t believe. Oh, and you know what else is great? Rabbit Hole. Again, not exactly an upbeat, fizzy movie, but wow, it’s so subtle and restrained but it just absolutely breaks your heart. Now, these aren’t the kind of movies that do gangbuster business based on their loglines (“Enjoy this heartbreaking tale of a couple falling to pieces!”), but it’s a good thing they’ve been properly recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, so they can promote all those Oscar nominations, right?
What’s that? They each got only one nomination? Oh dear. Well, still, even getting one Academy Award nomination is a big deal, right? A movie’s got to be pretty exemplary to even be considered for that kind of award recognition. Just take a look at the full list of nominees, and you’ll see some of the other movies that got nominated this year, like… Salt? The Wolfman? Country Strong? Wait, so, at least in terms of the number of nominations, Blue Valentine is somehow comparable to Country freaking Strong?
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As we discussed earlier in the week when the 2011 Oscar nominations were announced, there were a few good surprises in the Best Picture category — namely the inclusion of Winter’s Bone and Toy Story 3. Another thing we find pleasantly surprising: How freaking cute some of the more intense films in the bunch — like Black Swan,127 Hours, and The Fighter — can be when adorable little kids are in the starring roles. Click through to see some of this year’s strongest Best Picture contenders as reenacted by children, and let us know in the comments who’s your favorite to win.
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