Oscars Plan Tribute to Movie Musicals of Last Decade

Just announced – this will be a good way to draw in the many Les Miserables fans in the US and elsewhere:

The musical as a motion picture genre has had a remarkable renaissance in the last decade,” said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.  “We are excited to showcase three musical films—‘Chicago,’ ‘Dreamgirls’ and ‘Les Misérables’— on our Oscar®show.”

Fun fact: both Chicago and Dreamgirls won Best Supporting Actress. Will Anne Hathaway finish it out?

63 Comments on this Post

  1. After completely snubbing Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Hairspray? It feels like an insult, to me.

  2. Tom Dewey

    This has possibilities but will ultimately prove to be a time-waster. Besides I hardly think 3 successful musical films counts as a “remarkable renaissance.”

  3. Moulin Rouge? even Phantom of the opera, Rent, the producers? or they just want to go Film+Broadway Hit.?

  4. Am I mistaken or was there a tribute to the musicals back when Hugh Jackman was hosting?

    And has there really been so many musicals in the last 10 years that they have to honor it with a tribute?

  5. Shame that Moulin Rouge (2001) just misses the cut because that’s what re-started the interest.

    “Renaissance”? Hardly – there were more misses than successes – but I guess “Attempted Comeback” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  6. Not beaing a huge musical fan I have to say that the best musical achievment in the last 10 years is that episode of “Community” where they are taking a huge piss out of “Glee”.

  7. Sasha Stone

    Why didn’t they include Moulin Rouge I wonder?

  8. ^ “last decade” and MR was 2001. Guess they don’t think we can remeber back more than 10 years? Or they’d have to sacrifice the “decade” reference.

  9. NO! Enough with the goddamn montages. Just get on with it. What are all these great movie musicals I’ve been missing out on? Moulin Rouge is fantastic and it’s not even going to make the cut. The fact that Les Miz is even a contender is baffling to me; I can’t think of a more incompetently made Hollywood film from last year (and I loved the show on stage).

    Bond makes sense given the 50 year anniversary. Leave it at that. Bloody hell…

  10. David Lindsey

    ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, ONCE, SWEENEY TODD, and the many musical biopics. It depends on how liberal they want to be in their interpretation of “musical”.

  11. Who wants to bet that this tribute directly precedes the Best Supporting Actress category in the telecast?

  12. I still remember the great stab at “My week with Marilyn” that Seth Rogen made at the Globes calling it a “hilarious comedy” :). Those biopics are not musicals in my book. In that respect “Slumdog Millionaire” is more of a musical than “Walk the Line”.

  13. @steve50

    “Who wants to bet that this tribute directly precedes the Best Supporting Actress category in the telecast?”

    I’m pretty sure the Bond tribute will be followed by Best Song.

    They could also make an American Presidents tribute before Best Actor :)

  14. Why didn’t they include Moulin Rouge I wonder?

    Still embarrassed that they didn’t nominate Baz Luhrmann. They’d rather just forget the whole incident. Instead of music, there will a brief interlude choreographed in silence featuring the Ron Howard Face Palm Mime Troupe.

  15. @Koles, I might actually find that more relevant, were they to do a montage of all the movie Presidents, particularly film biopics. It’d be a fun mix of The American President, Mars Attacks, Independence Day, Young Mr. Lincoln, Wilson, Hyde Park on Hudson, 1776, The Contender, and I’m struggling to come up with any more.

  16. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer

  17. @ Zach

    Actually come to think of it the American President is a goldmine for a tribute

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_actors_who_played_President_of_the_United_States

  18. Freddy Ardanza

    They meant “remarkable renaissance” at the Oscar: Chicago and Dreamgirls were multiple winners. This look like a tribute in disguise to Les Misérables .

  19. rufussondheim

    I’d actually argue that the tv version of Gypsy with Bette Midler got this “renaissance” going – sure it was in 1993, but it was an enormous success and was always used as an example when others were trying to get Chicago made. (Not coincidentally the producers of this telecast were also producers of Chicago, and before that Gypsy)

  20. This look like a tribute in disguise to Les Misérables .

    More precisely I think it’s a tribute to fans of Les Mis. The Oscar producers know their TV audience this year. It’s a nice thing to do but restricting it to the past 10 years is a dumb way to do it.

  21. Where is Once? That is one of the best musicals of all time let alone the last decade. It even won Best Original Song. Wat was the last musical to do that?!

  22. @Koles, great list! I could pore over that for an hour!

  23. And I’m wondering if this is the Academy’s way of showcasing Les Mis since it won’t win more than Anne and Sound. If it even wins that. Makes ya think.

  24. It’s been reported that the producers want Meryl Streep and John Travolta to have parts in this musical salute.

    The producers are also including Mamma Mia, Sweeney Todd, Hairspray and Enchanted segments.

    If this is true, then I hope Johnny Depp will be on that stage singing.

  25. Stupid. Then they can play winners off when they’re trying make their speeches because the show’s running late.

    I’m still hoping for a tribute to the tribute of John Hughes.

  26. filmboymichael

    Funny that Moulin Rouge! isn’t in the mix – it is an oscar winning film….and yes, agreed – Once should be in there as well.

    Of course, seeing as how it is Meron and Zadan producing, it’s really no wonder that they start the decade with their film.

  27. Bryce Forestieri

    You know what this means right? LES MIZ has the big one it in the bag….

    ACROSS THE UNIVERSE the only “musical” I cared about in the last decade and the only one I’ve seen more than once.

    THE MUPPETS and HAIRSPRAY weren’t bad either.

    Couldn’t care less about those which made it into the Oscar race. And like someone said already this is pandering to LES MIZ old ladies.

  28. Well, “Chicago” is from 2002 and the last decade is 2003-2012 (even in the USA “decade” is ten years, I assume :P ). But who cares? Still – if they include “Chicago” they could have included “Moulin Rouge!” also.

  29. Ew ew ew. Those three? Taking the piss.

  30. “Roxie” number <3

  31. And few years ago, Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé performed an homenage to film musical history and its “comeback” in a medley of songs from “Top Hat” to “Dreamgirls”.

  32. If Jennifer, Catherine, Amy and Meryl take the stage I will weep Tom Hardy loves Marion Cotillard tears. I will weep Beyoncé-bot loves Jay-Z tears. I will weep Glee used to be better tears.

  33. I will weep Olivia pines for Fitz tears.

  34. Groan. Like the ceremony isn’t already long enough.

  35. 1) Great marketing move.

    2) Also shrewd maneuver to get les miz performance into the mix without regulating itself to “suddenly.” As well, the producers can have Adele, without backing themselves into a corner to include performances from all five song nominees.

    2) musicals have made comeback, but the return has been tempered some by the lack of frequency in output as well as grand slams. But in order for there to be an increase in output, there has to be a more commercialized and less artistic approach. (I.e. the by-the-numbers approach that got les Mis off the ground, as well as crappy, but popular properties like mamma Mia! getting made).

    3) moulin rouge! is the reason Chicago, etc finally happened. But, perhaps the pop songs utilized are looked down upon from broadway elitist thinking? Don’t know. Just a theory.

    4) hedwig rules. The AMPAS are always going six inches forward, five inches back.

    5) the music and songs to les Mis are amazing.

  36. Yeah, I’m not looking forward to this either, not only because it’s another stupid montage, but of the musicals they’re paying tribute to, even the good ones (I liked CHICAGO and SWEENEY TODD; DREAMGIRLS I liked as a movie but not a musical) they’re paying tribute to are a triumph of form vs. feeling, which MOULIN ROUGE most certainly was not. Like Chris, I want to know where ONCE is, and ROMANCE & CIGARETTES, despite its flaws, is better than any of the movies they’re looking at (except maybe CHICAGO).

  37. I think all 5 song nominees should be performed. “Suddenly” is fine. Adele and MacFarlane will obviously be performing. The Pi song is beautiful. This musical tribute could be fun, as long as it’s used to keep the show entertaining rather than disrupt the flow and feel like filler. But when you have your first halfway decent set of Song nominees in years, you better allow everyone to sing–and not just 20-second snippets.

    Another thing: don’t do a medley of the Best Song nominees. Do one song every 20 minutes or so, as in the olden days. It keeps the show moving, whereas a medley is awkward and slow, delaying the announcement of the next winner.

  38. Tribute to Movie Musicalsof Last Decade?

    But Moulin Rouge was the last great musical…

    Ok, we had Hairspray, so nice and lovrly, and Across the Universe, nice too…

    -curtain -

  39. I really want Anne Hathaway to sing “I Dreamed A Dream” live during the event! I know the cast is performing (as a whole), “Let the people sing.”

  40. Anne can only sing I dreamed a dream if they have her start right after her customer gets up from on top of her like Tom hooper directed.

  41. unlikely hood

    Next year’s headline:

    OSCARS PLAN TRIBUTE TO HOCKEY MOVIES OF LAST DECADE

    “The hockey movie as a motion picture genre has had a remarkable renaissance in the last decade,” said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. ”We are excited to showcase three hockey films—‘Goon,’ ‘Miracle’ and ‘Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice’— on our Oscar®show.”

  42. Or have Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams perform Chicago! Anne will be Velma Kelly and Amy Adams (sporting blonde wig) will be Roxie Hart.

    They’re both my dream cast to star in “Wicked” if the musical ever gets made into a feature film! Anne Hathaway is Elphaba and Amy Adams is Glinda. Come on Harvey Weinstein make it happen!

  43. So this means in a few years they’re gonna do a tribute for movies based on comics with every movie released after 2009 so they won’t include The Dark Knight

  44. @unlikelyhood Hey, now. MIRACLE was great. :)

    Okay, what I gather from this thread is that everyone likes a different musical from the recent era better than Les Misérables. Am I right?

    ftr, My fave would be MOULIN ROUGE! as well, with VELVET GOLDMINE as a close runner-up.

  45. unlikely hood

    @Antoinette: I agree, actually. I thought I’d have over-gilded the lily if I chose a sub-sub-sub-genre where ALL the movies stunk.

    My point is less about bad films, and more about a so-called “remarkable renaissance” of – let’s be nice and include every musical mentioned on this thread – about ten films over ten years. As a genre, Adam Sandler films have been more prolific. But hey, I think you knew what I meant. :)

    I love “Once.” Feels like it happened.

  46. el laurens

    Chicago and Dreamgirls also won for best sound mixing; Les Miserables looks to follow suit as well.

  47. If Anne plays Elphaba … things will get very, very ugly. And, I’m not talking green makeup.

  48. rufussondheim

    Clearly, next year they will do a celebration of slavery in film. They will get Debbie Allen to choreograph a tap dance. Goldmine!

  49. rufussondheim

    Oh, and they clearly need to make a movie version of the Ragtime musical. And Ang Lee needs to direct it. If a Hollywood studio can do this, I can guarantee 11 nominations

    Best Pic
    Best Director
    Best Actor
    Best Actress
    Best Supporting Actress
    Best Screenplay
    Best Editing
    Best Cinematography
    Best Production Design
    Best Costumes
    Best Sound

  50. Could be fun, rufus. Lee may as well attack a musical next.

    Here’s your cast suggestions (yes, all these can sing):

    Mother – Meryl Streep
    Father – Kevin Spacey
    Mother’s younger brother – Eddie Redmayne
    Tateh – ?? (Ewan McGregor, maybe?)
    Harry K Thaw – James Badge Dale
    Evelyn Nesbit – Evan Rachel Wood
    Houdini – Taylor Kinney
    Emma Goldman – ?? (I can only picture Maureen Stapleton)
    Coalhouse – Frank Ocean
    Sarah – ??

    Then again, maybe not.

  51. rufussondheim

    Well, I couldn’t imagine anyone other that Audra MacDonald playing Sarah.

    But I guess there are others who could.

  52. SeattleMoviegoer

    rufuss…very good point.
    RAGTIME would be a great film but (and i can hear many of you howling) it would be a perfect vehicle for Mr. Spielberg. it captures his sensibilities and concerns as a filmmaker perfectly. and i would cast Will Smith as Coalhouse Walker Junior. now…my other dream movie musical would be for Woody Allen to adapt (which is something he never does) Gower Champion’s stage musical of 42nd STREET. with his old pal Marshall Brickman, he could fashion a better script of the show and give it an awesome spin.
    and as for MOULIN ROUGE being the great kick-starter of the modern genre, i’d have to disagree. Alan Parker rebooted it all with EVITA. the Weinsteins bought the right to CHICAGO and had it in development long before Mr. Luhrmann assaulted our senses with ROUGE, which I despised. it seems to be the musical for people who don’t like musicals. it’s one of those I would call unwatchable. but that’s just me. i’m not, like so many of you, making a sweeping, declarative, final judgement on the film. it was just, for me, the movie equivalent of waterboarding. how it won the PGA award is a mystery of the ages.

  53. SeattleMoviegoer

    and Audra MacDonald? she’s getting a little old for Sarah. better if she were able to parlay her recent Tony win in PORGY AND BESS and transfer it to the screen with Mr. Stokes Mitchell. i read that Spike Lee is interested in a remake. that would be impressive.

  54. I like the idea of Spike Lee – he’d bring something new to it, for sure. Like the text and structure in the original novel, the tone of the entire film should be syncopated. Maybe this is the project Baz L should have taken, instead of destroying The Great Gatsby.

  55. rufussondheim

    Yeah, Porgy and Bess would be a great film too. Plus, I think the copyright on that is up so one wouldn’t have to worry about acquiring the rights.

    And, outside of a few things that could be changed, it’s held up really well.

  56. rufussondheim

    Ooops, another decade needs to pass before Porgy and Bess’s copyright lapses.

  57. LaQuifa Wadley

    Isn’t the next musical to be made in to a film going to be Book of Mormon? I wish Wicked were next with Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth (who only needs an Oscar to become a member of the EGOT club) reprising their roles. Tony Kushner should adapt it, because let’s be honest it’s not the best written musical, and only the Kush would do an excellent job adapting the book. Ang Lee or Kat Bigelow should direct. Also, I wish they’d make Into the Woods in to a film. Audra or Bernadette could play the witch (oscar guarantee). That would be so cunt.

  58. Hadn’t Chicago the movie been in development since it hit Broadway? Goldie Hawn and Liza Minnelli did a TV variety special in 1980, hoping that they could get a movie version off the ground.

  59. That’s right, Vince. Ever see this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIXun7tFU_4

    They did it for TV to generate interest, which never happened.

  60. rufussondheim

    I always figured that Into the Woods should be made into a movie. And it could have a kids version and an adult version released simulataneously!

  61. FilmFanGirl

    Actually, I bet Seth MacFarlane made a big push for this tribute – God knows he’s a big fan of the movie musical.

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