85th Academy Awards

Every year, the nominees assemble for the class photo.  It’s maybe the best thing they do all day.



And a few more photos from the luncheon.



angleejessicachastain suppactresses

Here is the live feed for the interview room.



More after the jump.

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The Supporting Actress category appears to be locked. It’s Anne Hathaway‘s to lose.  Part of it is who she is right now in the industry, who she is to the Academy itself, but the other part of it is her work in Les Miserables.  For some reason Hathaway has become the object of scorn – maybe because she’s “too smart” at the mic, taking out time from her speech to celebrate veteran Sally Field, being a little too verbose, perhaps, saying a little too much.  But to me, those are the dumbest reasons imaginable for a person not to win an award.  It’s as if the whole world has turned into high school bullies and we’re all acting like it’s okay.  It’s most definitely not okay, not in any way.  Either she gave the best performance of her career or she didn’t.  It should only come down to that.

So the critics had fun poking at her performance and the way Tom Hooper shot her performance – all in close-up.  And it’s probably a big deal that he mom played the part, and Hathaway lost weight to play the part and even shorn her lovely locks so that now she must do awards season without them.  But to me, there is no denying what Hathaway’s performance does to you when you’re sitting right there in front of her.  To me, Hooper’s vision of what he wanted to do with Les Mis is wrapped up entirely in Hathaway’s performance.  It’s melodramatic, brutal, tears-inducing.  But it is also one of the only performances in the film that knows it’s in a film.  That means, Hathaway translated her performance outward, which none of the others — save perhaps Hugh Jackman — do.

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By now, probably all of the pundits over at Gold Derby have switched to Argo.

It still feels funny to me to predict the way everyone else is. But each time I thought the guilds would swing away from the buzz and momentum and go with the more logical choice for Best Picture, they didn’t. And usually when that happens, there is no stopping a film. We’ve turned the Oscar race into its own reality show, complete with a villain and a hero and a happy ending.

If they’re going to supposedly call me an “expert” (no one ever should), though, I have no choice but to switch to Argo because it’s the only film right now that seems to be getting the majority votes.

Perhaps the lesson here is to not step outside the status quo, Academy. They better get in line with the general consensus or else all hell breaks loose. For over a decade, the precursors have decided the Oscar race. For the first time ever the Academy got to choose on their own, without any group influencing them, which films they themselves liked best. I will be curious to see if they follow the general consensus NOW or if they break from it, as they did when it was Apollo 13 and The Color Purple trying to push through that which the Academy rejected.

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The AMPAS just announced that Mark Wahlberg and Ted will present:

“We are happy to make it possible for Mark and Ted to make their debut appearance on the Oscar stage,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “And we won’t deny that Ted used his pull with our host to get himself the booking.”

Wahlberg and Ted starred in the hit summer comedy “Ted,” which is now the highest-grossing R-rated original comedy of all time.

“I’m excited to present an Oscar with Mark Wahlberg,” said Ted. “I’m spending the next month learning to pronounce ‘Quvenzhané.'”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Two-time Academy Award® winner Barbra Streisand, who has sung on the Oscars only once before, will perform on the upcoming Oscar® telecast on February 24. Streisand last sang the love theme from “A Star Is Born” on the March 28, 1977 show, winning the Best Original Song Oscar for “Evergreen” that same night.

“In an evening that celebrates the artistry of movies and music,” said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, “how could the telecast be complete without Barbra Streisand? We are honored that she has agreed to do a very special performance on this year’s Oscars, her first time singing on the show in 36 years.”

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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?

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The only large voting bodies who do this are the PGA and the Oscars. That’s why there is a good chance what wins the PGA will win the Oscar. The PGA are 4,500 and the Oscar voters are around 6,000. I’m including after the jump an interview I did with The Wrap’s Steve Pond in 2009 about balloting.  He was spot on.

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I like it that they have a female cinematographer on here.

A new video will debut each week – the participants listed after the cut. This is a joint project with Entertainment Weekly.

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The Academy has sent out a press release regarding final voting, which reads:

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the schedule for the final round of voting for this year’s Oscars®.

Final balloting will begin on Friday, February 8, at 8 a.m. PT, and close on Tuesday, February 19, at 5 p.m. PT. To provide as many options as possible, Academy members who voted online during the nominations round will have the option of using a paper ballot in the final round. Members who have registered to vote online may request a paper ballot by contacting the Academy’s Membership Department by Friday, February 1.

Several voting resources will once again be available to members, including assisted voting stations in Los Angeles, New York, and London, and a 24-hour call center.

“One of our basic goals at the Academy is to increase member engagement. Despite some challenges, more members voted for this year’s nominations than they have in the past several years,” said Academy Chief Operating Officer Ric Robertson. “We are looking forward to a continuation of that trend in the final voting.”

I know that my fellow bloggers are going to take issue with this statement but since I’m one of those people who really would only vote online it seems believable to me. I also don’t think they would lie publicly.

Make a note of the February 8th start of voting. They lengthened the time after nominations and before final voting to give them more time to reflect upon what should win. Either that or it provides more time for a late-breaking momentum shift.


[minimalist alt design after the cut]

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA – On Oscar Sunday, February 24, charities in 45 cities will bring the Oscar experience to life at viewing parties in each city. The Oscar Experience: Benefits is the Academy’s grassroots outreach program that allows charities across the country to host official Oscar parties while raising money for their causes.

In 2012, the Oscar Experience: Benefits raised more than $3.1 million in 49 cities. Since its inception in 1994, as Oscar Night® America, the program has brought in more than $36.6 million, with all of the funds staying in the communities where they were raised.

All of the parties will feature a live broadcast of the 85th Academy Awards®; many will integrate Hollywood-style glamour elements, including red carpets, local celebrities, “paparazzi” and predict-the-winners contests.

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Courtesy of First Showing and Empire:




Our readers have found errors – read them in the comments.

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lincoln 10

“We are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
― Carson McCullers

We knew it was going to be a crazy year because for the first time in 65 years of DGA/Oscar history the Oscar nomination ballots were turned in before the DGA nominees were announced. For a weary and busy Academy, the DGA can often provide a guidepost on how to vote. Usually there are one or two names that don’t match, but they’re not usually the two strongest contenders in the race.  That was unusual. This is partly because Academy voters were flying blind, without the DGA, PGA, WGA and ACE Eddie. They had only the films they’d seen and knew they liked to consider as evidence.  Not the powerful expert testimony of a voting body as big and powerful as the Directors Guild.

This experiment in accelerated deadlines could have gone either way. It could have confirmed to us what many assumed — that everyone votes roughly at the same time and they all vote for roughly the same things. Or it could show how very much the Academy voters lean on the major guilds. I think today it revealed the latter.

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Best motion picture of the year

  • “Amour” Nominees to be determined
  • “Argo” Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
  • “Django Unchained” Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
  • “Les Misérables” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
  • “Life of Pi” Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
  • “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

Achievement in directing

  • “Amour” Michael Haneke
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” Ang Lee
  • “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” David O. Russell

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman in “Les Misérables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”
  • Denzel Washington in “Flight”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

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5:30am start time.

Where: You can watch livestream the announcement right here.  

Follow Oscars’ Host Seth MacFarlane on Twitter –  Follow Seth’s Dad  – You Can Even Follow our Oscars’ Producer on Twitter for Behind the Scenes Updates

YouTube Channel

• Share the full list of nominees as posted on Oscar.com and encourage fans to our interactive ballot game – “MyPicks.”

And you can follow @awardsdaily and @filmystic on Twitter too.[/box]

It’s all happening too fast. Eeek!

Nominations for the 85th Academy Awards® will be announced by the show’s host, Seth MacFarlane, and actress Emma Stone on Thursday, January 10. This will be the first time since 1972 that an Oscar show host has participated in the nominations announcement.

As the last remaining Oscar voters finish up their voting today and by 5pm the deadline will pass.  It will be interesting to see whether the Academy’s votes reflect what we would have otherwise known from the nominations thus far or whether they will be vastly different from the general picture we’re getting from the consensus votes.  Right now, I feel like there are a few movies whose fate is unknown and those include:

The Master
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Middle of Nowhere

These film are likely to either hit or miss but haven’t thus far been strongly represented in the early awards. In other words, it could go either way.   The rest of them, though, seem fairly solid.  If any of the following aren’t nominated for Best Picture, it would count as an upset:

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If there was any year for a Bond picture to get a whole slew of nominations, this might be it:

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The 85th Academy Awards® will include a tribute to the James Bond movie franchise, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the telecast’s producers announced today.

“We are very happy to include a special sequence on our show saluting the Bond films on their 50th birthday,” said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “Starting with ‘Dr. No’ back in 1962, the 007 movies have become the longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon.”

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