Academy Awards

Why Is the Weinstein Company Dooming Two of Its Best Oscar Prospects? [UPDATED]

If you have more than a passing interest in the Academy Awards, you’re probably well past the realization that the presumptive criteria for those awards — high quality — often has very little to do with the films that are nominated and awarded. Sure, merit doesn’t hurt, but it certainly isn’t necessary; far more important is the quality and quantity of a film’s Oscar campaign, mounted by studios and distributors with the intensity (and sometimes the cost) of a political operation, complete with advertisements, mailings, and glad-handing. And the modern Oscar campaign was perfected by Harvey Weinstein, the face of the Weinstein brothers, who turned Mirmax and the subsequent Weinstein Company into Oscar factories, via notoriously aggressive campaigning (and occasional alleged “dirty tricks” against opponents). And yet, as 2014 draws to a close, The Weinstein Company is all but burying two viable awards contenders — and the only plausible explanation is ego and spite. … Read More

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The Movie Press’ Oscar Obsession Is Ruining Fall Film Festivals for Everyone

Today marks the kick-off of the Toronto International Film Festival, a massive ten-day orgy of movies big and small from all over the world. It follows last weekend’s Telluride Film Festival, a cozier but no lower-profile Colorado gathering of film lovers, film critics, and filmmakers. Your film editor, sadly, was/is at neither (Kickstarter for next year forthcoming). But I’ve been reading about them for decades, most often (and earliest) from the pen of Roger Ebert, who called Telluride “one of the best experiences a film lover can have,” and dubbed Toronto “the world’s top festival for — well, for moviegoers.” He wrote those words in 1999 and 1998, respectively, and I get the feeling the focus of these festivals has changed quite a bit in the years since. Maybe they’re still prized destinations for film lovers, but just about all I’m reading out of them are dispatches on what each new premiere does to next year’s Oscar race. At risk of putting too fine a point on it, who gives a shit? … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Official 2014 Academy Awards Drinking Game

Prep those cocktails and gather round the telly — it’s Oscar time. The Academy is ditching the bro-isms of Seth MacFarlane and has accepted that “hip” hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway didn’t cut it. They’re playing it safe this year with Ellen DeGeneres, who is making her return to the Academy stage after a seven-year hiatus. We expect a fairly sweet and tame affair — at least where Ellen is concerned. There’s no telling what will happen when a celebrity gets a strong drink in their hand. Imbibe with us by playing our Official 2014 Academy Awards drinking game. Cheers! … Read More

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The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Jim Parsons

SNL had a month-long vacation and returns with The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons and musical guest Beck (in full creepy preacher regalia). Parsons seems like an odd choice for hosting duties, but his quirky delivery is a welcome addition. Will the writers do him justice, or leave the newcomer floundering? How did Colin Jost perform his first time sitting at the “Weekend Update” anchor desk? Its all here, after the jump. … Read More

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Every Best Actress Winner’s Dress Illustrated in One Poster

As you’ve probably already noticed, the Academy Awards are fast-approaching. While there’s commentary galore predicting who’s going to win… Read More

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Flavorwire’s Official 2014 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Well, friends, the big night is right around the corner: on Sunday evening at eight, after hours of insufferable people screaming on a red carpet, Ellen DeGeneres will tell some jokes, montages will unspool, songs will be sung, and Hollywood will hand out some little gold statues. The winners aren’t always predictable — some of the voters might not be quite as tuned-in as you’d think (leading to some truly bizarre choices over the years), and this year’s crop of exceptional films have made the race a bit more competitive than usual. But here’s our best guesses for who will take home the major awards come Sunday, along with who we’d give them to if we were the only ones… Read More

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25 Years of Oscar Hosts, Ranked

The perceived success of Oscar night hinges on many factors — how dull the speeches are, how interminable the musical numbers are, whether Debbie Allen is involved, etc. — but no element, it seems, is more important than the host. A good Oscar host has to be something of a miracle worker: they keep the show moving, react spontaneously to whatever clusterfucks occur (and they always do), rib the royalty but only gently, and make the night edgy enough for home viewers, but not too edgy for the Cryptkeepers in the audience. Many have tried, but only a few have succeeded, so in anticipation of Ellen Degeneres’ second run at the job, we’ve ranked every Oscar host from the last 25 ceremonies (save 1989, which had no host). … Read More

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10 Times Oscar Got It (Unexpectedly) Right

The Academy Awards telecast is one week away, and we’re already cynical about it. Maybe it’s just the prolonged nomination season, extended by a couple of weeks due to the Winter Olympics; maybe it’s our annual memories of the organization’s voluminous poor choices, snubs, and awkward ceremonies; maybe it’s that recent, horrifying peek into the voting process. At times like this, it’s worth remembering that for all the times they got it wrong, the Oscars occasionally get it very right — even when it’s least expected. And in that spirit, we’ve collected ten occasions when the Academy Award went, surprisingly and delightfully, the right way. … Read More

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A Terrifying Peek Inside the Empty Brain of a Typical Oscar Voter

Like many, my young person’s love and unwavering respect for the Academy Awards died on March 5, 2006, when Jack Nicholson opened the evening’s last envelope and announced that the voters had decided, in a year that included Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, and Munich, that the Best Picture prize was going to Crash, Paul Haggis’ drippy, hackneyed, sledgehammer-subtle examination of race. “But, but… how?” I (and many others, it seemed) asked, befuddled as to what kind of human being could look at those films and choose that one as the cream of the crop. … Read More

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