Movie stars aren’t the only ones who help hand out Academy Awards: each year, they’re joined by a cast of presenters who help distribute the statuettes to winners. Previously, these presenters have been gorgeous, skinny model types, but the producers of this year’s show wanted to switch it up: they asked aspiring film students around the country to submit a 30-second video clip explaining how they would contribute to the future of film, then selected six winners from over 1,000 entries. In an interview with the AP, co-producer Neil Meron explained, “This tradition of the buxom babe that comes out and brings the trophy to the presenter to give to the winner seemed to be very antiquated and kind of sexist, too… Why can’t we have people who actually care about film and are the future of film be the trophy presenters?” Flavorwire reached out to contest winner and Oscar presenter Jennifer Brofer, a Marine Corps vet who currently studies at the University of Texas at Austin, to ask about her work and what it was like to take part in the biggest award ceremony of the year. … Read More
Here are the premises of some of Seth MacFarlane’s jokes during last night’s Oscar ceremony: People from other countries are often hard to understand. Black people, even movie stars, all look alike. Jewish people run Hollywood. Naggy women just can’t let stuff go. Women will often make themselves sick in order to be thin. You can ogle the nude scenes of even our most respected and awarded female actors. And even nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis is a future George Clooney conquest. Meanwhile, after the show, whoever was writing The Onion’s Twitter feed thought it’d be funny to satirically call that nine-year-old the name that most of us would politely refer to as “the c-bomb.” … Read More
We movie geeks may complain about the Academy Awards, but we get wrapped up in them every year, for one simple reason: Oscar night is our Super Bowl, the one night where being a movie expert is actually an advantage, where knowing all about the inner workings of the Hollywood machine actually makes you… well, not cool, certainly, but it makes it seem as though all of your unnecessary knowledge is useful. But don’t worry, those of you who’d like to be the belle of your Oscar ball without spending the other 364 nights of the year alone with your Netflix queue — we’ve got you covered. After the jump, an Academy Awards variation on one of our favorite semi-regular features: a few bullet points to help you fake like you’re an Oscar expert. … Read More
If there’s one thing you hear a lot in the run-up to the Academy Award nominations, it’s that they’re predictable — that the industry’s “Oscar bait” films are clearly labeled and marketed as such. So maybe it’s just because there was such an embarrassment of cinematic riches in 2012 that there were so many genuine surprises and shocking snubs when Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone announced the Academy Award nominees yesterday… Read More
As a general rule, we try to steer clear of “Oscar blogging” this far ahead of the game — it’s a subset of online film writing that too often amounts to announcing that any fall release that generates a fair amount of early-screening praise is suddenly an awards contender that is totally, unexpectedly changing the game. It’s become a pretty silly ritual that we all go through every fall, particularly as more moviegoers and writers come to realize that the Oscars are an essentially meaningless horserace that seldom if ever genuinely reflects what is actually the best of the current cinema.
But gauging trends among the fall prestige pictures — the best foot that Hollywood puts forward every year — can be valuable; it gives us an opportunity to read the tea leaves a bit, to see what studios are hoping to accomplish, and what they would at least like our perception of them to be. And that’s maybe why this year’s Oscar pre-nomination race has become so interesting: because it’s so dominated by big studio releases. … Read More