The goodie bag for the Oscar contenders this year is impressive. Hell, it’s worth getting an Oscar nomination just to get one:

This year’s goody bags include a $12,000 trip to Australia, condoms, a $600 acupuncture appointment and a package of 10 personal training sessions valued at $850.  Circus lessons for the nominee’s children worth $400 are also included, as well as a $5,000 face-lift procedure, a $1,800 one-year membership to Heathrow Airport’s private VIP service, a $3,000 stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Mexico, and Windex.

David and Goliath narrative reaches its climax in teasers for Oscar:

“Lincoln,” “Argo” in tight race as Oscars roll out red carpet
“Lincoln” goes into Sunday’s three-hour plus ceremony with a leading 12 nominations, including a directing nod for double Oscar winner Steven Spielberg.  But its front-runner Best Picture status has been dented by the six-week victory streak enjoyed at other Hollywood awards by Ben Affleck’s “Argo.”

Django wants you to want violence — disturbs this Colorado writer:

So, too, do I go to malls, to churches, to public gatherings where political figures speak — all places where someone has inflicted violence. What were those thugs feeling when they let loose? At the moment of their massacres, were they also fueled by anger, powerlessness, a need to snuff out what they perceived as evil?

As I watch “Django,” I, too, can think of no other way to escape the chains of my wrath than to see those people dead. Do I actually share something in common with the worst of the worst?

Forbes Magazine – “Oscars 2013 – Please, Anything but Argo“: it basically comes down to the mostly faceless house guests.

Wired MagazineZero Dark Thirty should win the Oscar.  Really? Even after Argo was based on an article from Wired magazine?

First Early Oscar moments.





Load More Related Articles
Load More By Sasha Stone
  • 12 hang

    Oscar Bits and Bites

    NPR Talks to John Walker, editor of 12 Years a Slave: “And we see him hanging, and d…
  • Martin-Scorsese

    Oscar Bits and Bites

    Nathaniel Rogers (Gurus of Gold pundit and otherwise brilliant human) has begun his Oscar …
  • Martin-Scorsese

    Oscar Bits and Bites, December Edition

    Kris Tapley talks to Scorsese’s longtime editor, Thelma Schoomaker. Movie City News&…
Load More In Bits and Bites
  • filmboymichael

    We should all get something for enduring this crazy ass season!

    I’ll start the love in now. Sasha, you did stellar work this year. Can’t wait for the year ahead!


  • Bruce L

    LOL I am sorry, it was hard to read the rest of this article after seeing the goody bags. WOW Condoms, Facelifts and Acupuncture all the more enjoyable on your Aussie Vacation. LOL

  • Bruce L

    Forgot about the Circus lessons. Oh YEAH!!!!

  • joe

    circus lessons are fun.

  • a $5,000 face-lift procedure

    Bet Nicole Kidman is pissed she got snubbed.

    Condoms lol. Do they hand them out in a variety of sizes? I get the feeling David O. Russell and Denzel Washington might not match up.

  • PaulH

    MSNBC/Today Show Oscar Day poll: Argo, Lincolln neck and neck for BP (37-34%). Lawrence (49%) far out in front of Chastain (26%). Riva? Non-factor (8%). DDL, TLJ runaway leaders. Hathaway barely holding off Field.

  • What’s Quvenzhané going to do with condoms and a free face-lift?

  • Tye-Grr

    ^At least she can have some circus lessons…

  • Spacey

    Does anyone have the order of the awards presentation?

  • PaulH

    Spacey, ask and ye shall receive; hat tip: Israel’s Cinemascope blog:

    SOUND MIXING 7:08:52 PT
    SOUND EDITING 7:14:17 PT
    FILM EDITING 7:31:00 PT
    ORIGINAL SONG 8:17:16 PT
    DIRECTING 8:32:33 PT
    BEST PICTURE 8:53:29 PT

  • Spacey

    Awesome. thanks, Paul.

    BSA first!!!

  • eclipse22

    fudge me! whistle at the generous bounty in that goodie bag to all nominees,and they say there are losers in this game, if that doesnt cushion the said feeling of loss, these are pampered elite indeed!

  • PaulH

    This could be one ginormous clusterfrak of a show if Deadline’s Nikki Finke is to be believed:

    EXCLUSIVE: What is maybe the most anticipated Academy Awards in recent memory is also mutating into what could be one of the longest Oscars in Hollywood history. I can feel a yawnfest coming on already. Sources tells me that last week the show clocked in at 3 hours and 40 minutes. Then it was shortened. But now the telecast doesn’t even commence presenting the Best Picture Oscar until after 3 hours and 23 minutes. And that’s only if everything goes according to schedule – which it never does. The telecast’s opening number lasts a full 15 minutes in what is the prelude to the most music-filled Academy Awards ever. So this could easily become an Oscar ceremony lasting 4-plus hours. (The longest on record is 4 hours, 23 minutes in 2002.) That’s not good news for longtime Academy Awards broadcaster ABC whose research demonstrates that, after 11 PM East Coast Time, the network loses 100,000 people per minute. That could hurt ratings for Sunday’s show that contains more suspense than in recent years. At around $1.7 million to $1.8 million for a 30-second spot, the Disney-owned ABC has sold out its ad inventory at prices higher than the network has charged since 2008 when the economy started to tank.

    I’m routinely in the habit of proclaiming doom and gloom every time these marquee Hollywood awards celebrate the movie season. But not this time around. Because I don’t anticipate a snorefest. Rarely have so many of the 24 categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Screenplays, and more been up for grabs. Is it Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain or the 85-year-old French star Emmanuelle Riva of Amour? Is it Steven Spielberg or Ang Lee or dark horse David O Russell? Is it Argo or Lincoln or shocker Silver Linings Playbook? Nobody knows for sure.

    Another rarity is that moviegoers across North America and many markets overseas actually have seen tonight’s nominated films and performances. That’s because 6 of the 9 Best Picture contenders have grossed over $100 million domestically and a 7th is close. (By contrast, last year’s winner The Artist only grossed $44M all in, and 2009′s The Hurt Locker just $17M.) Every major studio has product in contention. And independent studio The Weinstein Company has two solid grossing pics in the mix.

    Given all this good news, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is daring to hope that tonight’s show will be a rare ratings blowout. It’s possible. Last year’s show was up a slight 4% from 2011 and the second most watched Oscars in the past half decade with 39.3 million viewers. But one problem is that TV toon creator Seth MacFarlane isn’t a familiar face to American audiences. Though his global hit movie Ted is – and Universal is paying for the foul-mouthed teddy bear to appear alongside Mark Wahlberg. trying to push popular pics not nominated much, the Academy arranged for 5 members of last summer’s mega-blockbuster Marvel’s The Avengers to present Oscars at the Dolby Theater tonight.

    But the telecast’s producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have musicals on their resumes so they’ve planned a tribute to the movie musicals of the past decade, including their own Best Picture winner Chicago featuring an on-stage reunion of Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Richard Gere. Jennifer Hudson will reprise Dreamgirls, and odds are good that Barbra Streisand will sing The Way We Were as a tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch.

    Grammy-winner Adele will be part of the James Bond special celebrating 50 years of the spy film franchise. I’ve learned it was impossible to get all the actors who played 007 together on one stage because of various behind-the-scenes fusses and feuds over the years. All in all there are so many performers scheduled that there’s a shortage of dressing rooms. And if even a few participants are a minute or two late hitting a mark, then this show’s length could wind up in the history books.

  • Diego

    The goodie bag is worth a whopping 45K in total value according to the press release.

    And what would Riva use the condoms for?

  • PaulH

    I *heart* you, LA Times critic Mary McNamara:,0,7256817.story

    The members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are always happy to acknowledge big action movies, franchise films and mega-hits — especially if there’s a possibility they’ll boost the ratings of the Oscars telecast and bring in the young folks.

    This year’s producers tapped comic hipster and “Family Guy” Seth MacFarlane to host Sunday’s ceremony. The super-cool cast of the “The Avengers” was asked to reassemble for the show, and James Bond will be feted for turning 50 years young.

    Yes, indeed, the academy clearly understands the value of really big movies, it just doesn’t like to nominate them for the really big awards. Even if it means, as it did this year, leaving the 10th slot for best picture blank.

    The best-picture omission of the latest Bond film, “Skyfall,” creates a particularly hilarious bit of Oscar weirdness. On Sunday night, the academy will rhapsodize a character it utterly neglected in the major categories despite the near-universal opinion that “Skyfall” moved far beyond its franchise status to become a terrific movie. Not only did Daniel Craig breathe new life into an icon teetering on the archaic but Dame Judi Dench’s formidable M character also died, for heaven’s sake. In any other sort of film, that scene alone (are those tears, Mr. Bond?) would have triggered an immediate “nominations all around” reaction.

    But “Skyfall” does not fit into the Oscars’ strangely limited and calcified definition of excellence. Neither does “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Avengers” or “The Hunger Games,” although all are excellent movies, well-cast and acted from fine scripts made better by good direction. Alas, they were also fun, and fun no longer fits the list of qualifiers for Oscar quality after all the Usual Suspects (grim, inspirational, historical), have been named.

    More important, these films were also four of the top domestic-grossing films of 2012, something the academy so frowns upon during Oscar season that Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee have taken to expressing bafflement at the strong box office for their respective best picture nominees “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi,” as if that required an apology.

    Oscar nods for many reasons — to encourage new kinds of moviemaking (“Slumdog Millionaire”) or welcome those much missed (“Argo”), to celebrate new voices (“Juno”) or honor old ones (any Clint Eastwood movie). In the end, though, it’s supposed to be about excellence, and the academy has become unforgivably unimaginative in its definition. Excellence is not even close to being synonymous with popularity, but it isn’t antithetical either. Just as a popular, pretty girl can be smart, a popcorn hit can be Oscar-worthy.

    After “Chicago” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won best picture titles in 2003 and 2004, members of the academy seemed to go into limited audience lockdown. The academy’s taste turned so self-consciously exquisite, the definition of “good” so alarmingly narrow, that few moviegoers had actually seen most of the nominated films.

    Even the academy recognized there was a problem. In 2009, the number of potential best picture nominees doubled, from five to 10. Then-President Sid Ganis proclaimed a new age of the wider net; never again, he implied, would a film like 2008’s “The Dark Knight” be excluded from the hallowed roll call.

    Tell that to Christopher Nolan. This year, “The Dark Knight Rises” was excluded from not only the best picture, it was excluded from all the nominations. (Yes, that’s right, “Snow White and the Huntsman” got more nominations than did “The Dark Knight Rises.”)

    When glancing at a list of nominees, or potential nominees, it might help to ask: Would I watch this movie more than once? More than twice? Would I pay a sum of my own money to possess it? Excellence sustains itself over the years. How many repeat viewings of “The Artist” will there be, really?

    Things have gotten so out of hand that when this paper published a report on the demographics of the academy last year, no one was surprised by the revelation that the members’ median age was 62, that 94% (94!) were white and 77% male. The voting trends of the last 10 years have been so curmudgeonly old-white-guy cinephile that if “Star Wars” opened today, it probably wouldn’t get a best picture nomination either.

    Which is odd, because frankly (cue multi-paragraph irate emails), it is, in many ways, much more difficult to make a thoughtful and resonant genre action film than it is to make a thoughtful and resonant historical biopic. Sure, Daniel Day-Lewis was great in “Lincoln,” but how much effort and imagination does it take to make Abraham Lincoln seem smart and likable? Not as much as it does to play both Dr. Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk believably. Many performers have done a good Lincoln, but how many actors were felled by the Hulk before Mark Ruffalo nailed it in “The Avengers”?

    A more serious argument could be made that Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway gave better performances in more challenging roles as Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” and Catwoman in “Dark Knight Rises.” Yes, they were terrific as Tiffany and Fantine in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Les Misérables,” for which they are nominated. But to create an emotionally provocative and complicated young woman in a mondo-budget, CG-enhanced whirlwind of plot, violence and geek-fan expectations is an act that borders on the miraculous.

    Actually, Hathaway did that in “Les Misérables” too, but with its built-in rabid fan base and theatrical back story (it had its premiere in London!), “Les Miz” was an Oscar shoo-in the moment Hugh Jackman said, “I’m in.” Never mind that everyone agreed at least one of its major roles was miscast, or that even the most positive reviews acknowledged it never quite achieved liftoff, the bar “Les Miz” had to clear to make the various Oscar lists was much lower than the ones set for films of more populist genres.

    In many ways, “The Dark Knight” was superior to “Les Miz,” and “The Hunger Games” could certainly go toe-to-toe with the similarly themed “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” And there was some early talk of nominations for these films, of Joss Whedon getting some love for making “The Avengers,” a fine, funny and very literate film, out of a cast of divas and a pretty crazy comic book series.

    But in the end, this is the same academy that last year gave a best picture nomination to “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” but not the critically acclaimed “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” the final film of the wizard series, which over eight unprecedented years received no big awards and only a handful of below-the-line nominations.

    Then again, three years ago, it did nominate “Avatar.” More heartening still, that same year, the surprise sci-fi hit “District 9” made the best picture list.

    It didn’t win, of course, but audiences everywhere were grateful just for the nomination.

  • Spacey

    There’s a huge gap between the supporting awards

  • And what would Riva use the condoms for?

    Sex. What would you use them for?

    The circus lessons are for the nominees’ children. Quvenzhane doesn’t have children. She’d better get busy quick! She defs won’t need those condoms.

    I wish Film Editing was on early. If Argo didn’t win it, it’d be such an exciting night! But it’s not. Still, it’s sure to be an exciting night.

  • CMG

    Interesting that the Wired piece on Zero Dark Thirty hit the web around the same time Ali Soufan dropped another load on the movie in The New York Times also right around Timothy Egan, in the same paper, also deeming it is a shame that Zero Dark Thirty will likely be shut-out. So much retrospective on the movie being shunned. Can we at least see if it wins something?

  • eclipse22

    oooh this sounds like lots of fun! i love the glitz of hollywood …
    in france the industry and esp actors are under the spotlight of a financial inquisition , maoning because the top ten actors earn 2 to 1 million euros per film or per all films they did in the fiscal year, and people find that amount insane! this makes me laugh when you think about the top 20 actors salary in america!
    bet they didnt get the same goodies at the cesars loll

  • Question Mark

    That’s too bad about not getting all the Bond actors on the stage at once, that would’ve been an incredible moment.

  • Jade Fox

    So I’m the only one who noticed the goody bag contains Windex?

    Fancy stuff, fancy stuff, fancy stuff and then… Windex.

    But then again My Big Fat Greek Wedding did show how useful Windex can be.

  • Fancy stuff, fancy stuff, fancy stuff and then… Windex.

    Knock Knock
    Who’s there?
    Ammonia who?
    Ammonia bird in a gilded cage.

  • Jack Traven II

    Off topic:

    I thought I’ve said everything I had to say about (this year’s Oscar-)films – after my last comment one week ago. But then I finally saw Amour yesterday. In an arthouse cinema – funnily enough, just one day after its DVD release here in Germany and one day before the Oscars.

    And I must say that I was really, really impressed by that film. A calmly and unsentimentally narrated extremely relevant and yet so heartbreaking story, with long shots and without a score – and (last but not least) with a superb acting duo. In short: pure life brought to the screen. And that’s what cast a certain spell over me. And definitely something I will not forget.

    And after having left the movie theatre I couldn’t help thinking about, well, the film itself, of course, but also about the BP contenders I have seen thus far – meaning six out of the nine (in three different cities and over a span of three month): Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook. Exactly the ones that pretty much cover everything concerning our very own life – well, among other things, of course.

    Two of them (Amour, Silver Linings Playbook) are about the power of love, two (Argo, Lincoln) are about the pursuit of liberty and the remaining two (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi) reflect the mysteries of that life. And all that uniquely captured on screen in 2012 – a really wonderful year for films, IMO.

    In that regard I wouldn’t mind at all if Argo won Best Picture – now less than ever – and therefore proven my gut feeling about Lincoln’s clean sweep so utterly wrong. Since Argo is also about (Hollywood-)films one could argue that it is the only nominated movie that represents the medium ‘film’ itself (and therefore the rest of the BP nominees) – and that precisely because of the missing BD nomination. I know it might sound a bit odd, but for me it sort of makes sense: just the film, no director as a figurehead – quasi as a symbol.

    Anyway, right now I also still wouldn’t mind if any of the other nominees won BP. Does that sound too nice, too liberal, too un-edgy? Maybe. But since life itself is already edgy enough why wasting time on bashing, trashing and slashing films.

  • Watermelons

    Thankful for the appearance of Oscar-winner Kate “The GREAT” Winslet (The Reader, The Holiday) in this update! Such a shame she did not win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Sense and Sensibility) she richly deserved that year.

    Here’s video of Kate Winslet rockin’ out on the carpet from that same year:

  • Spacey

    Today’s the big day.

    Thank you, Ryan and Sasha for this site. Thank you for not being cookie-cutter. Sasha, thank you for your passion for “Lincoln” in the face of a lot of criticism on this site and elsewhere on the web. It’s easy for me because most years I agree with you. This year you had to handle a lot of bullshit and you never backed down.

    Here’s to a better race next year!

  • Can I make a shameless plug?

    The Screen on Screen Review of 2012!

  • Natasha

    BSA first. There you have it; if Arkin pulls off the win there–long night for “Anything but Argo.”

  • eclipse22

    soo i saw LIFE OF PI

    hmmmm the good visually beautiful

    what made me go hmmm there’s more to this , the ending when he gave alternate story, clearly this requires a 2nd viewing

    the not so great, i was half-asleep for a good portion in the middle of the film until the island bit , the sea motion in addition to monologue was hypnotic, i’d close my eyes ,open them a few minutes later still the tiger and the kid (maybe if the tiger talked ok ok i’m joking)

    an interesting effort on ang lee’s part, i can see this film growing on me, i watched it instead of my sunday afternoon nap so that might account for my drowsyness

    there’s a french enigma which this film reminded me of, its about a farmer who has to cross a river on a small craft with a sheep , a wolf and a cabbage and the teacher asks us how is he going to get over with them all intact when he can only have one passenger at a time, because the sheep might eat the cabbage and the wolf might eat the sheep

Check Also

Miles Teller Honored with Vanguard Award from SCAD

Last night at the Savannah Film Fest, presented by Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD…