To quote Patton Oswalt from his great KFC Famous Bowls routine, “America has spoken,” and for Oscar pundits bemoaning Lincoln’s loss to Argo, this Oscars truly was a “failure pile in a sadness bowl”: A reported 40.3 million people tuned in to the Oscars telecast, making it the most-watched entertainment show in three years, Entertainment Weekly reports. (Suck it, Golden Globes.) more »
The Oscar season enters its last weekend, but one suspects it is far from over. Even if Academy members ultimately hewed to tradition and voted Lincoln and Steven Spielberg Best Picture and Director, respectively — as is the customary coronation for films with the most Oscar nominations — this outlier season will be studied and debated. For at least days to come.
With less than two weeks before the Academy Awards, the Oscar conversation is veering from “What now?” to “What if?” Amid all the talk of frontrunners and inevitabilities, some pundits are pondering the inscrutable. What if Oscar voters suddenly ignore all that Argo mojo (which got a further boost last weekend with Best Picture and Best Director wins at the BAFTAs)? What if the Best Supporting Actress race isn’t fait accompli, but instead, as Roger Ebert observed, asserts, as in years past, its independence as the category “where the voters like to throw a curve ball?” What if a BAFTA win earned Emmanuelle Riva a little Oscar Amour? more »
After all the tiptoeing and carefully constructed speechifying that has accompanied the Oscar race so far, it's fun to see Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Christoph Waltz, Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams engaging in the comedy equivalent of a WWE wrestling match with Zach Galifianakis on a special "Oscar edition" of his Funny or Die talk show, Between Two Ferns. more »
The mailing of the final Oscar ballots this week signals the final stage of what has been the most volatile and tumultuous Oscar race in years. Between the snubs and the snark (that Anne Hathaway spoof has topped 500,000 hits), this year’s races rival for drama Frank Fane’s ruthless pursuit of Best Actor in The Oscar. At this late date, several races are still very much up for grabs. Let’s go to the Gold Linings Playbook to see how the major Oscar categories are shaping up this week. more »
Here's a novel way to keep from getting worked up about your main Oscar rival: forget his name entirely. For Time magazine's Great Performances video feature on this year's Oscar nominees, Les Miserables co-stars and Oscar nominees Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman spend some time lauding their competition. Hathaway even praises the computer-generated tiger in Life of Pi. But watch what happens around the 2:09 when Jackman slyly raises the topic of Lincoln. more »
It’s one month before the Academy Awards: Do you know where your Oscar buzz is? This week has been rife with distractions from the main event, including the Sundance Film Festival and the presidential inauguration, not to mention the public spectacle of admitted liar Lance Armstrong and online hoax victim Manti Te’o. And then there’s the little matter of new Academy rules that prohibit campaigning following the Oscar nominations. more »
The Academy Award nominations brought good news and bad news to one of my favorite movies of the year. Les Misérables eight nominations including Best Picture, Actor, for Hugh Jackman, and Supporting Actress, for Anne Hathaway. That ain't chopped liver, but the highly publicized snubbing of its director Tom Hooper along with its absence in all-important bellwether categories like screenplay and editing means what was once considered a front runner is now a real long shot to actually win Oscar’s top prize. more »
The big winner when the Oscar nominations were announced Thursday might have been not the nominees themselves, but venerable Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman, who once famously proclaimed about Hollywood, “Nobody knows anything.” Not even the canniest Oscar pundit or deeply embedded Hollywood insider could have predicted that three of the Director’s Guild of America nominees—two of them perceived front-runners—would not get an Oscar nomination. more »
Les Misérables director Tom Hooper may have been bypassed with a nomination Wednesday by the British Film Academy for Best Director (though the film itself received nine nominations), but at the Palm Springs International Film Festival this week, he received the event's Sonny Bono Visionary Award at a celeb-filled event that included Naomi Watts, Bradley Cooper, Helen Mirren, Sally Field and Ben Affleck. At the festival, Hooper talked about the creation of Les Misérables, why the story made him cry and the "dark box" Anne Hathaway traveled to as she took on the role of Fantine.
This is getting exciting — not so much the Oscar race; but the recent spate of news about the Academy Awards telecast on Feb. 24. Things are shaping up for a evening that may be less cringe-worthy than usual and that could improve on last year’s slight ratings boost. You’ve got Adele to perform Skyfall" you’ve got the 50th anniversary James Bond tribute, and now comes confirmation that Barbra Streisand will perform for the first time in 36 years. (Just please, God, not with Seth MacFarlane.) Plus, the “In Memorium” segment should feature some especially beloved character actors (Andy Griffith, Ben Gazzara, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Klugman). more »
We can all agree that Anne Hathaway's brief but gloriously tragic turn in Tom Hooper's Les Miserables earned her the enviable position as Best Supporting Actress front runner. Now you can listen to her movie-topping number "I Dreamed A Dream" online and pinpoint the exact moment when that Oscar statuette officially writes "Anne Hathaway's syphilitic whore" on its nameplate, because all you other Supporting Actress hopefuls can just give up and go home already*.
If you and the fam headed to the multiplex to watch one of the season's big new releases this week, chances are you caught Tom Hooper's epic weepie Les Miserables or Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. (Or maybe the in-laws dragged you to Parental Guidance, in which case, my condolences.) We'll get spoilery all over Django later, but for now let's get to hashing out the answer to the question that's been on every showtune-lover's mind for months: Which Les Miz cast member totally nailed the live-sung suffering for the big screen (and whose warblings made us les miserables)? more »
Now that Les Misérables is expected to surpass its opening-day box-office expectations by $5 million-10 million, director Tom Hooper could pretend that adapting the beloved musical for the big screen was a walk in the park — but he'd be lying. On Thursday, Hooper spoke to Movieline from his Sydney, Australia hotel room and, as he watched a massive tanker navigate Sydney Harbor, likened the challenge of directing the film to piloting an unwieldy boat through a very tricky channel. more »
Earlier this week, Funny or Die tried to answer the question I hoped would never get asked this Oscar season: Who had it worse, slaves or poor, single mothers driven into prostitution? more »