Academy Awards

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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The ‘American Hustle’ Backlash and Why We Expect Too Much From Best Picture Nominees

In October of 2012, Warner Brothers released Argo, Ben Affleck’s highly fictionalized and highly entertaining account of the extraction of several Americans from Tehran in 1979. It was greeted with solid box office and enthusiastic reviews, and everyone seemed to agree that it was a well-executed and engaging period drama/caper. But a funny thing happened as 2012 became 2013 and Argo started accumulating year-end accolades: a chorus of Hey, hold on nows slowly formed, and continued to crescendo as it racked up seven Oscar nominations, became the Best Picture frontrunner, and won that prize. Suddenly, Argo wasn’t worthy of such praise; the agreeable little movie that everyone liked back in the fall had miraculously become terrible. … Read More

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Get to Know the 2014 Oscar-Nominated Short Films

When it comes to awards season, the short film categories often get overlooked in favor of their flashier, star-studded brethren. However, many filmmakers and actors started their careers in short films, and some of the most compelling movies are mere minutes long. The Oscars just announced the nominees for its 86th awards show. We took this opportunity to highlight the 15 short films that made the cut. Become familiar with these wonderful works in the documentary, animated, and live action shorts categories, below. … Read More

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