Tag: The Oscars
CBS just announced that actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway will be replacing Katie Couric as anchor of the CBS Evening News. “Franco and Hathaway will bring a new, fresh, young, bold, sexy, glamorous, vibrant, hip, edgy, totally in-your-face feeling to the anchor desk,” said CBS Embarrassingly Waning News Division spokesperson Melanie Andells. “Because, as we all know, the news itself isn’t nearly as important as the people telling it to us.”
To prepare for this latest assignment, Franco plans to audit three years’ worth of courses in two weeks at the Columbia School of Journalism, in-between updating an article about anti-retroviral treatment for children with peripartum neviparine exposure for The New England Journal of Medicine and filming a recurring role as Betty White’s love interest on the sitcom Hot in Cleveland.
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When Christian Bale won his Oscar for The Fighter (2010), I was hardly surprised, but nor was I elated. And I had to ask myself why.
This now hugely successful movie star is prodigiously talented, blazing with intensity and intelligence — not to mention killer good looks.
Still — with apologies to all the self-proclaimed “Baleheads” out there, on an emotional level the actor leaves me cold.
This fact got me thinking about how we relate to public figures and celebrities, and the importance of that elusive, yet fundamental human connection- admiring someone famous not just for their ability, but because we feel we know and “get” them.
In the realm of major politicians and movie stars, the “likeability” factor has always been important. This quality has helped more than a few undistinguished if not downright inept politicians get by (continue reading…)
It is one year since the starry Oscar week debut of The Soho House, Los Angeles, and the movie, TV and music stars with their entourages are still coming out in force to hang out in this gorgeous Waldo Fernandez-designed club overlooking the city of LA. Just about every A-list Oscar party was booked into the Club once again this year, and with good reason.
Nick Jones, the charismatic and jovial Brit who runs the Soho House worldwide, has a knack for hiring the most personable group of waiters, bartenders and hosts. Not once did I see a grimace on their faces during all the week’s madness. True tests of hospitality at its most difficult (continue reading…)
Whatever you may think of how Anne Hathaway and her co-host James Franco did as hosts of the newer, younger, hipper Oscars, one thing appears to be certain: When Anne Hathaway makes headlines, the stock for Warren Buffet’s Berkshire-Hathaway goes up. Think of Berkshire-Hathaway shares (BRK.A) as a really expensive version of the IMDb’s StarMeter (which actually is designed to go up and down as actors make the news). But a bedrock member of the New York Stock Exchange? The evidence would indicate as much.
On the Friday before the Oscars, Berkshire shares rose a whopping 2.02%. And on the Monday just after the Academy Awards, they rose again, this time 2.94% (continue reading…)
Earlier this week on this very Huffington Post, Andrea Savage gave us a look at the role that cunnilingus played in this year’s Academy Award nominees for best actress, noticing quite rightly that three out of the five women nominated were recipients of oral sex in their films.
Used to be that all you needed for an Oscar nod was to play mental retardation or have a convincing physical affliction, right?
You see, for several years now, my husband and I have been working on a theory. An award-worthy, dazzling in its theatricality theory, as to how to get nominated for an Academy Award.
Forget commentators debating about and forecasting the winners. Here’s how it’s really done by the pros.
Step 1: Pick a setting. As real estate agents know, there is hardly anything more important than location, location, location (continue reading…)
This Oscar seasons the gifting suites were much more varied then ever. Some were traditional gifting suites while others focused more on beauty, pampering treatments and putting together red carpet looks. While most suites piggy-packed on Oscars, others tied themselves to the Independent Spirit Awards and even Valentine’s Day. One company chose to send nominees a bag of goodies directly, eliminating the need for a suite entirely (continue reading…)
The King’s Speech: Resiliency wins. There is no magic bullet to being successful in business. The King didn’t show up one day to work with Lionel Logue and he was cured. It took decades of work for the King to make effective speeches (continue reading…)
Well, it’s certainly evident the Oscar show organizers wanted to do something really different this time around.
In a year when a movie about the past was competing against a movie very much about the present for top prize, the producers were clearly trying to bridge old and young, the traditional with the tweeters, you might say.
Problem was, their strategy was showing, and it felt flat.
The show tried too hard to be topical, cute and tongue-in-cheek, and though it offered scattered moments of freshness at the start, it soon curdled.
It’s good James Franco is a famous movie actor; he need never fall back on his MC talents. As to Anne Hathaway, she sure is a trouper (continue reading…)
The Academy Awards on ABC opened very well. Okay, not so original, inserting Oscar hosts into nominated film clips, but it was fun. Plus, considering the question mark of having non-comedian movie stars James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts, it seemed to dispel the notion they weren’t up to the task.
Then it happened and the bubble burst as the couple tripped over the obligatory monologue. Flatly written and seeming more like a very extended bit of pedestrian patter by two ordinary presenters, the only good thing was it was mercifully short (continue reading…)
If justice is served in Hollywood tonight, the people and films I predict in the video below are the ones who will take home Oscars.
Do you agree with my choices? Leave your comments and let me know. Also, for my thoughts on the selection of Anne Hathaway and James Franco as hosts for this evening’s telecast, watch my commentary here.
You can also check out my reviews of some of the films I call out in the above video, including: True Grit, Blue Valentine, Black Swan, The Fighter, The King’s Speech and The Social Network.
And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
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The Academy Awards are tonight and as we wait to see what James Franco and Anne Hathaway have in store for us and the nominees get in their fancy clothes, here’s a look back at some of my favorite movie-themed videos from the past year.
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William H. Macy. Portrait by Leslie Hassler.
William H. Macy has a voice that could sell needles to a porcupine (continue reading…)
Since actor Mark Ruffalo’s involved with so many things, it’s inevitable that I run into him periodically. For instance, when he attended a special DVD release reception which paired him with another Oscar nominee, director Josh Fox, who co-directed Gasland.
But it’s no wonder Ruffalo was there giving support to his fellow upstate neighbor — both were there addressing a cause that needs help — to stop the “fracking” done to get at the natural gas supply. It pollutes water tables and is happening in upstate New York (continue reading…)
Disney spent the season taking a serious shot at Toy Story 3 becoming the first animated film in history to win the Best Picture award at this year’s Academy Awards. The campaign centered on a serious of mock posters, with the cast of Toy Story 3 emulating Oscar-winning films that were somewhat unique (IE – The Godfather part II – the first sequel to win, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – the first fantasy film to win, Silence of the Lambs – the first horror film to win, etc). Since they likely already have the Best Animated Film award more or less locked, why not go for the big prize? And, quite frankly, while its chances of taking home the big prize on Sunday are between slim and none, it damn well deserves to win. Not because it would be a groundbreaking achievement, the first animated film to win Best Picture, but because it is the best film of 2010.. (continue reading…)
It’s time once again for the Oscars, when millions of Americans plunk down in front of their televisions to watch Hollywood’s starlets and veteran actresses walk together down the reddest red carpet of them all. This Sunday evening, like so many years prior, our shared fascination with seeing female stars strut their glitziest and glammest looks will mean big ratings for the networks, not to mention box office bucks for the winning films. Our fervent interest in what Hollywood’s women are wearing, it seems, never goes out of fashion. But when it comes to the films they star in — specifically those with strong, pioneering female leads — our interest has waned (continue reading…)
Are you suffering from award show fatigue? I wouldn’t blame you if you were, although I am not. I can’t get enough of watching celebrities being celebrated and with the Oscars just around the corner my anticipation for the biggest night in film is growing daily. The various associations (Globes, SAG, DGA etc.) may use their own lingo but their awards all acknowledge the same thing: who and what is “the best.”
I want to know who decided being “the best” is best. We live in a culture obsessed with contests and extremes (continue reading…)
This year’s animated shorts nominees include two children’s cartoons, two non-U.S. entries noteworthy for their skillful and creative animation, and one political satire.
Day and Night (USA)
If you’ve seen Toy Story 3, you’ve probably seen Day and Night, the Pixar short that accompanied its showings. When the two characters representing Day and Night first meet, they are suspicious of one another and, being complete opposites, they even start fighting. But gradually they begin to appreciate one another’s traits and even join together (sunrise and sunset) (continue reading…)
What is all the fuss with celebrity gift lounges? Whether your obsessed with celebrity lifestyle or not, you have probably heard some of the outrageous stories regarding celebrity gift suites that are held in honor of major award shows and film festivals. As a veteran of this business, I am going to give you an insider’s look at what takes place at these functions and why they continue to grow.
To begin let me take you back about ten years ago, the era of the mega celebrity gift basket. At this time our company had been working with Award Show producers from the Oscars and Grammy awards to help secure luxury brands willing to provide products for their presenter gift baskets (continue reading…)
Oscar night is a big deal in my family, and last year, Cara joined me for an intimate Oscar night meal. Whether you’re having over two people or twenty for the red carpet stargazing, these two menus–one for a 2011 themed Best Picture potluck, the other for a classic Oscar night dinner party–will make sure everyone enjoys the food as much as they will the eye candy. Make sure you have people submit their ballots before the viewing begins, and perhaps have a box of sweet treats on hand as a prize for the winner of the pool.
–Phoebe Lapine of Big Girls, Small Kitchen
Best Picture Potluck Party
Assign guests a Best Picture nominee and have them bring a dish based on the film. Here are some of my suggestions (continue reading…)
Do you ever wonder why some of the greatest performers and directors of all time have never won an Oscar? It certainly has nothing to do with lack of talent. For example, the man considered the greatest director of all time, whose films have affected millions and changed the history of cinema, never received an Academy Award for best director.
In a career spanning half a century (1925-1976), Alfred Hitchcock completed 53 feature films–23 British and 30 in America after moving to Hollywood. Hitchcock is routinely and without doubt listed as the best film director of all time. His films are heralded as some of the most influential movies ever made–affecting the directing styles of other directors around the world who are now considered masters themselves.
Hitchcock received accolades and awards that, if piled together, would form a vast mountain (continue reading…)
FIRST — THE PREAMBLE
A Q&A (plus translation) with Tom Sherak – President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences – on February 16th 2011
Question: “Why not put that occasion on TV so that actors such as Lauren Bacall and Eli Wallach and filmmakers such as Roger Corman can have a brief moment of respect in public?”
Answer: “We want to keep the evening special so they can be themselves. As we go forward, we might do some live streaming.”
Translation: We don’t want any old people drooling on camera. We’re not the Golden Girls. We’re the Golden Statue that brings Golden Bullion to us (continue reading…)
When Get Low hit the festival circuit earlier this year, veteran actor Robert Duvall came to town and did a few interview sessions to discuss this film, his career, and playing roles like the irascible Felix Bush. The grungy, ill-kempt Bush is this mysterious hermit who throws his own rollicking funeral party — while still alive — in 1930s Tennessee. He confront the folks who run the funeral home –played by Bill Murray and Lucas Black — and his long-ago ex-love, played by Sissy Spacek, with his odd event with both touching and tragic results.
A remarkable actor, going back to his days on television in such series as The Outer Limits (his two- part episode, “The Inheritors,” is considered a classic) or films such as MASH or the original True Grit, the 80-year-old is now considered one of the Olympians in that starry universe of Hollywood.
Yet he has often stood apart from that celebrity-centric world. He has an estate in Virginia, is married an Argentinian, Luciana Pedraza (who is 41 years younger than him), and has his own film and television production company (continue reading…)
The Lost Thing
There seems to always be a strong field of short animated films for Oscar consideration each year, regardless of what has been selected as short live action and documentaries. Last year’s stunning Oscar winner, Logorama, from France, began comedically with corporate and product logos in place of a normal landscape and characters but then morphing into a dark and outrageous collapse of the world we thought we knew. It is profound, imaginative and truly beyond the average animated conception.
Getting closest to Logorama’s daring this year is an offbeat, whimsical piece from Australia that winds up with a nice melancholic touch –The Lost Thing. Written and directed by Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan, it depicts a young boy who finds a strange contraption at the beach (continue reading…)