83rd Oscar Ceremony

Apparently a lot of people still irked at James Franco and now wish he’d shut up altogether. That’s why I’m happy to post the entire interview to provide another outlet for him talk about his experience as much as he damn well wants to. I trust that anybody who’s sick of hearing about it knows how to use a scroll bar and skip it. (Hint: If you don’t care how he feels, just don’t click ‘Play’) For me, Franco’s postmortem and his honestly about processing the while ordeal is as valid as anything else that happened at the Oscars this year. I especially like what he has to say around the 08:30 mark. I’d rather hear about the ephemeral “honor to be nominated” from a “loser” like Franco than listen to another minute of backstage press-room preening by many of the winners.

Who better to consult about navigating the three stages of Oscar Host Grief? (“A modicum of embarrassment, a period of numbness, and finally, righteous defiance.”) Letterman’s sage advice: “What the hell do you care?” Exactly.

(via Brad Brevett at Rope of Silicon)

“What a week, right, people? I mean this week, Americans turned on their televisions and were witness to a pathetic disaster slowly unfolding. And then after the Oscars were over…”

New Rule: Colin Firth has to admit that he’s not a human being, but a robot designed by women. He’s handsome, charming, witty, he’s got that accent, and he has a gay best friend. The only way he could be any better is if he ejaculated Hagen-Dazs. — Bill Maher, ‚ÄúNew Rules‚Äù (March 4th)

Admittedly, if we’re not even permitted to see two straight guys swap a jokey air-kiss in America then we won’t get away with “ejaculating Hagen-Dazs” on network TV. While sanitized sex is timidly endorsed, the sticky bits are frowned upon. But even within the stringent limits of family-friendliness, is it too much to ask that the culminating celebration of the year’s achievement in movie entertainment be as entertainingly aimed as a few deftly-lobbed slingshot zingers like these? Bill Maher’s good friend Ariana Huffington sums it up precisely:

When comedy works, it seems effortless. This year’s Oscar broadcast showed what happens when it doesn’t: you can see the heavy lifting (Franco coming out dressed like Marilyn Monroe and delivering a lame Charlie Sheen joke? Or ending a recap of the technical awards by saying, “Congratulations, nerds!” …You know things aren’t going well when the funniest part of the show is the clips of Bob Hope delivering 50-year-old jokes.

And there’s the key. No matter how many flashy autotune gimmicks the producers concoct to drag the Oscars into the 21st Century, it’s all just slapstick lipstick on a 3D pig without retuning the writing to bring it up to date. No matter how fresh the presenters’ physical appeal, until the Oscars wise up and realize their writing staff is stale, the hosts can’t help but stink up the joint.

I think one reason Franco had an out-of-body demeanor is because he was already in postmortem mode, doing an instantaneous mental autopsy of his onstage oblivion. Riding the clutch, with the meta-gears grinding in his own head, already deconstructing the mediocrity of the banter before propping it up with any game-face grinning facade. In spite of the jazz-hands CPR Hathaway was valiantly trying to administer, in his mind’s eye Franco was already seeing the tiresome lines on the teleprompter shrivel and wither on the vine. The quips had no sizzle, no wit, no bite. And who’s the notoriously tacky writer I like to blame? Nobody chokes the gag reflex from a gag like Bruce Vilanch. Academy, please ditch this haggard relic!

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What’s a good rescue strategy do we think for the Oscar telecast? ¬†It seems they’ve tried lots of new techniques to spruce things up – some complete disasters (having the winners in the tech categories stand up in the audience – what hath god wrought), and some decent attempts at fixing things — all of the previous winners on stage paying tribute to the new winner. ¬†Ratings dip and rise ever-so-slightly and then dip again. ¬†The problem isn’t so much with the telecast. ¬†It’s with what has sprouted like an uncontrollable garden of more thriving weeds around it.

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Turns out there might have been some memorable moments at this year’s Oscars after all. We just didn’t get to see any of them. When Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin came appeared to present the Best Screenplay awards, Movieline noticed a long and awkward cutaway to the audience. What was happening onstage too shocking for home audiences to handle? With their nervous fingers on the 7-second delay button, the puritan directors in the control booth decided the world wasn’t ready to see Javier and Josh do a brief spontaneous slow dance ending with a quick kiss on the lips.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: protecting you and your family from anything unconventional for 83 years.

Remember how the kiss between Meryl and Sandy was one of the most talked-about highlights of the BFCA awards last year? heck, it was of the high points of the entire awards season. We’ll have none of that impromptu brass and dash at the Oscars! If the men manning the blackout buttons at ABC are so panicked about any hint of gender confusion, don’t they realize they’re overreacting like a flustered bunch of dainty old ladies?

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(readers who can’t bear to make a joke about Tom Hooper can find two alternate photos to caption, after the cut.)

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I heard a lot of grumblings that no one liked the 83rd Oscar telecast. ¬†See, I come from a different perspective on that. ¬†I actually like it when it’s bad. ¬†I like it when it chunders on and on and lasts all night. I like it when they accept that they will never be cool and just embrace their uncoolness. ¬†I’m so about the Rob Lowe/Snow White dance number. ¬†If the Oscars aren’t unhip, what hope do we have for a streaker moment again? ¬†All of the talk about lesbians and nudity – James Franco’s altogether outlined in a unitard, James Franco in drag, James Franco staring blankly at the camera as if to say: What in god’s name have I gotten myself into?

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This comment was left last night by maybe Aaron Sorkin.  We never quite know, do we.  One could always be punking me.  But if so, Sorkin or (oval or any other shape) a person pretending to be Sorkin:

I apologize for crashing the conversation but now that the envelopes have been opened I wanted to say thanks to everyone here for being such great movie fans. You’re a tough audience to please but I have a hunch I speak for almost everyone who does what I do for a living that we’ll take tough to please over easy to please any day.

Finally, I think everyone here understands that movies aren’t race horses. There’s no such thing as the best. I could make an argument why any of the 10 nominated films should have won (and 10 more that weren’t nominated). The important thing is that those movies got MADE. That’s good for movie fans.

Don’t worry if your horse didn’t win. Raging Bull’s legacy is in fine shape. Just like The Graduate and The Wizard of Oz and Citizen Kane and that other movie with “network” in the title.

Thanks again for loving movies so much.

Aaron Sorkin

Thank YOU (real Aaron Sorkin of fake Aaron Sorkin) for writing the screenplay of the decade, as Owen Gleiberman would say.  It was one of the highlights of my eleven years at this dog and pony show to see the movie you wrote and ruminate on it for an entire year.  I hope all of you involved keep making great movies.

And yes, you are right.

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UK author and historian Dominick Sandbrook voices his own dismay that “the Redcoats have conquered Hollywood,” once again:

The success of “The King’s Speech” is not the only example of what looks like a creeping Anglicization of American culture. Britain may cut a sadly reduced figure on the world stage these days, our military hobbled by cuts and our economy hamstrung by debt, but in Hollywood the Union Jack has rarely fluttered more proudly.

This coming summer, the final Harry Potter film seems bound to bring the world’s highest-grossing movie series to a lucrative conclusion, while no fewer than three iconic American heroes — Superman, Batman and Spiderman — are being played or are about to be played by British actors (Henry Cavill, Christian Bale and Andrew Garfield, respectively). Throw in the forthcoming Hobbit movies, based on a book by an intensely insular Englishman, the looming return of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, the success of Hugh Laurie in the Fox series “House” and the inexplicable popularity of Ricky Gervais, and you have an unmistakable pattern.

How does Goldfinger put it in Ian Fleming’s book? “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action.”

For the NY Daily News, Sandbrook dutifully enumerates the occasions when the hoariest of Oscar traditions came into play, naming all the actors and actresses who ascended to the Oscar throne wearing the crown of historic British royalty. Then he bears down on deeper psychological analysis.

But it’s not hard to see why films such as “The King’s Speech,” “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love” play so well in Peoria. Continue reading…

As we close out Oscars 2010, with an an ending predicted but not yet determined, it’s starting to feel a little … off. ¬†Something feels weird about the potential win for Best Picture. ¬†There feels to me to be a lot of heat around The Social Network. ¬†I know this defies logic in every way, and I know that when they call Best Picture it’s going to be The King’s Speech, but some little tiny needling bit of — what, wishful thinking? Hope? ¬†Hope, the thing with feathers that perches on the soul.

Or is it the possibility that the Oscars will want to undo the damage caused when the DGA handed out their award to Tom Hooper. ¬†Hooper is a fine director, a very good one – The King’s Speech is a fine movie, a very good one – but it’s so hard to fathom that in 2010, when the Academy itself is going all social networky, when our President has called upon all Americans to start innovating, start rebuilding that they will pick the British film set in 1937 about the monarchy, rather than the film that is such an American story, made by American filmmakers. ¬†There is just that tiny little niggling thing that has always been there that tells me The Social Network is clearly the better film and that it will win. ¬†So if it does win, here is why I think it might, even after all is said and done.

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Don’t miss Andy Trudeau’s annual look at the Best Score category. He picks John Powell’s score for How to Train Your Dragon, which of course means the Academy won’t pick it. Listen now! (thanks to Marshall for the link). All of the scores are so beautiful, aren’t they?

Nat Rogers has created his Oscar Map of the World — check it out.

Filmjerk does a whole stat rundown on the race. ¬†A lot of work but comes up with The King’s Speech anyway. Check it out.

Join up and click off your selections in the Awards Daily Oscar Pool at Picktainment.com. (1) register & log in (2) search for “Awards Daily” and go the group page (3) click “View/Edit My Picks” and fill out the ballot.

The Carpetbagger will be doing Oscar coverage with video!  And here she intros their coverage, and especially NY Times star and my good good pal David Carr, along with AO Scott. David Carr and video just have this kind of unexplained magic. The camera loves the guy. As do we.

Meanwhile, Movieline’s Stu Van Airsdale is busy creating the stuff of nightmares with his time lapse videos of the accurate Oscar index. I’m just going to freak you out with Best Picture and Best Actor, after the cut.
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[notice]This editorial was written by a British 15 year-old named Michael Dalton living in Switzerland. [/notice]

When The Social Network won every critic award in sight many, including me believed that this love would continue right up to the Oscars. The Social Network was the ‚ÄúZeitgeist‚Äù film, it supposedly captured us today, it was the film that the Oscars would want to reward in order to maintain their image as a respectable awards body following wins for The Hurt Locker and Slumdog Millionaire. However as we approach the ceremony this Sunday, a drastic U-turn has occurred and it is The King‚Äôs Speech, which is expected to perform a King‚Äôs Sweep. Really we should have all seen it coming, yes The Social Network is fantastically written, brilliantly directed by David Fincher and features, in my opinion, the most complex performance of the year in the shape of Jesse Eisenberg, however it just wasn‚Äôt an Oscars film. The film’s tagline reads ‚ÄúYou don‚Äôt get to 500 million friends, without making a few enemies.‚Äù Well it seems that tagline was almost prophetic of its Oscar chances, you don‚Äôt win 5 Oscars, by making a few enemies.

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What is your Oscar night routine? ¬†I usually spend the evening with my 12 year-old daughter Emma, who is almost as old as this website. ¬†We don’t do much in the way of cooking and entertaining – I’m always way too consumed with keeping the server from crashing and tweeting to cook so it’s usually take-out of some fashion. ¬†Either way, here are some great suggestions offered up by food bloggers Phoebe Lapine and Cara Eisenpress:

True Grits with Southwestern Shrimp
Black Swan Bottomed Blondies
Winter’s T-Bone Tacos
Fighter Black (Bean) Eyes
Mark Ruffalo’s Green Market Crudites
Inception “Peeling-Back-the-Onion-Layers” Tart
Buzz Lightyear’s Spiked Lemonade
Coconut Cake Fit for the King’s Speech
Mark Zuckerberg’s Favorite Dorm Room Ramen
127 Hours Wingless Chickens

That’s really cute. ¬†The wingless chickens is great. ¬†Would just like to point out that Zuckerberg eats only two things in the course of The Social Network: tuna out of a can and contemplates eating a stick of red licorice. ¬†He does try to shove a giant sandwich in his hoodie pocket.

And how do you plan to spend Oscar night?

The Carpetbagger, aka Melena Ryzik on the Academy’s kind of funny push-me, pull-you year they’re having. ¬†I have never tried to sell the idea that The King’s Speech appeals to older while The Social Network appeals to younger, necessarily: more young people actually prefer The King’s Speech I’m told. Actually, the King’s Speech is doing well because it appeals broadly — young and old, rich and poor, American or British or Brazilian….it is one of those movies that simply appeals. ¬†Still, one can’t help but note the irony of the Academy going all social networky this year:

The theme of this year’s show on ABC is “You’re Invited,” and the normally staid Academy has been working overtime to lift the veil on its big night. It’s live-streaming backstage moments on a newly revamped Web site,Oscar.go.com. A new app will feature footage from the Governors Ball, the Academy’s official, exclusive afterparty. Fans can submit questions for nominees to the Academy online; a few mothers of nominees — “mominees” — have even been corralled to post on Twitter. (Ever the over-achievers, the Franco family has not one but three generations online: Mr. Franco; his mother, Betsy; and his grandmother, Mitzi.)

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Well, here it is, folks Рour tired old ship has finally reached land and we mere days away from the Big Night.  The No Guts, No Glory is a tradition here at Awards Daily Рand a fun one.

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Well, once you read Nikki Finke’s spoilers on how the telecast will unfurl – Steven Spielberg will be handing out the top prize to The King’s Speech — well, it doesn’t exactly SAY that — talk about taking some of the fun out of it. ¬†Either way, she outlines how the show will go, who is presenting what and in what order. ¬†I didn’t really feel like copying it and pasting it here but you can head on over to Deadline to check it out if you want to know.

A sampling:

Russell Brand (Get Him To The Greek) and Helen Mirren (Red) present the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Then comes Reese Witherspoon (How Do You Know) to hand out the Supporting Actor Oscar.


Apparently, Ricky Gervais has been kind enough to write up a script for Anne Hathaway and James Franco! ¬†Source: Film Drunk [RickyGervais via¬†Cinematical] – he takes the edge off by making fun of himself in a cruel way so that no one can cry that he’s hurting people.

You probably know me from 127 Hours where I play a man trapped in an enclosed space who decides he would rather cut his own arm off than stay where he was. Now that sounds “way out” but wait till half way through this f**king ceremony and you’ll start to identify with him.

And I’m the new Catwoman. The first white woman to play that role since Michelle Pfeiffer. I want it to be an inspiration to all white people everywhere. Your dreams can come true in Hollywood too.

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Oscar history supports a Tom Hooper win. You simply have to look at the obvious, unbeatable combo of DGA + most nominations. Chicago and Reds are the two films I can think of that won the DGA, had the most noms and a split resulted. Chicago won Best Pic but lost Director, Reds won Best Director and lost Picture.

In the examples of Apollo 13 vs. Braveheart, The Color Purple vs. Out of Africa, the DGA winner was not even nominated for an Oscar so we have to take those out of the equation.

Let’s look back, though, at the years when there were ten Best Picture nominees with five Best Director nominees. This paradigm might explain how Best Director COULD split with Picture, and why that would be the only logical reason. With five Picture and five Director nominees, no way does Hooper lose. But with ten Best Picture nominees and five Best Director nominees? Those who choose another film for Picture — what director will they choose?

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