The Week: Most Recent academy-awards recent posts.en-usTue, 28 Feb 2012 13:44:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent academy-awards from THE WEEKTue, 28 Feb 2012 13:44:00 -05007 ways to fix the Oscars<img src="" /></P><p>In what has become an annual ritual, critics are once again trashing the Oscars telecast, which they're largely panning as too safe, too long, and too boring. Looking ahead to 2013, several are already offering unsolicited advice on how to improve the ceremony. Here, seven suggestions:<br /><br /><strong>1. Hire a relevant, funny host</strong><br />Drafting the right host is a tricky endeavor, and one the Academy has failed miserably at in recent years, says Jeff Bercovici at <em>Forbes</em>. The ideal Oscar host is someone "who's funny now," whose best comedy years aren't behind them (Billy Crystal) or ahead of them (James Franco and Anne...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Tue, 28 Feb 2012 13:44:00 -0500Billy Crystal's Oscar hosting: A 'disaster'?<img src="" /></P><p>Billy Crystal was supposed to "save the Oscars." Many commentators heaved a sigh of relief when it was announced that Crystal, an eight-time Oscar host, would be stepping in for Eddie Murphy at this year's telecast. (Murphy resigned as host last November after his friend and Oscar producer Brett Ratner was fired for making homophobic remarks.) Critics predicted that Crystal's classic style was just what the Oscars needed after 2011's painful attempt to pander to the youth demographic with 20-something hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco, an experiment widely known as the "worst Oscars ever." And...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:09:00 -05002012 Oscars: 10 best and worst moments<img src="" /></P><p>Another year, another Oscar ceremony, and another fierce debate over the merits of the telecast. This year's Academy Awards proved to be typically divisive, with critics debating Billy Crystal's throwback performance as host, the hit-or-miss presenter bits, and, of course, the winners. As <em>The Artist</em> celebrates its five wins, including Best Picture, here's a look back at the moments being heralded as the night's best&hellip; and those singled out as the worst:<br /><br /><strong>BEST</strong><br /><br /><strong>1. The <em>Wizard of Oz</em> focus group</strong><br />With all due respect to Crystal's ably executed, classic opening sequence, says Ken Tucker at <em>Entertainment...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 27 Feb 2012 12:36:00 -05002012 Oscars: What to watch for<img src="" /></P><p>When it comes to Sunday's Oscar telecast, the only direction to go is up. After last year's debacle hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway &mdash; often described as the "worst Oscars ever" &mdash; Academy Awards producers are taking no chances. First step: Re-hire consummate Oscar host Billy Crystal. What else can viewers expect? Here's what commentators are predicting:<br /><br /><strong>1. <em>The Artist</em> will win big</strong><br />Duh, says Steve Pond at <em>The Wrap</em>. "Is there any doubt?" No other film has enjoyed such awards-season recognition, meaning the little-film-that-could "gets its happy ending and barely breaks a sweat in...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 24 Feb 2012 17:03:00 -0500Oscars 2012: Is there any way The Artist could lose?<img src="" /></P><p>After an awards season in which <em>The Artist</em> swept nearly every ceremony, many prognosticators believe the beloved silent black-and-white film is almost boringly destined to win Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday. Oddsmakers are going so far as to bet that <em>The Artist</em> is a virtual lock, with no other competitor getting better than 25:1 odds. Is a Best Picture win for <em>The Artist</em> a foregone conclusion?<br /><br /><strong><em>The Artist</em> has no real competition:</strong> <em>The Artist</em> is the surefire winner, simply because no other film has emerged as a formidable enough opponent, says Steve Pond at <em>Reuters</em>. <em>The Descendants</em> is enjoying...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:12:00 -0500Are Oscar voters too 'old, white, and male'?<img src="" /></P><p>As Hollywood prepares to dish out the 2012 Oscars on Sunday night, a new report detailing the demographics of the 5,765 Academy voters is sending a jolt through the film industry. According to a study conducted by the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>, 86 percent of Oscar voters are over age 50, 94 percent are white, and 77 percent are male &mdash; demographics that do not exaclty mirror the typical moviegoing audience. Just how troubling is it that the overwhelming majority of Oscar voters are "old, white, and male?"<br /><br /><strong>This is extremely worrisome: </strong>"The Oscar demographics seem to both reflect and perpetuate a much...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Tue, 21 Feb 2012 17:21:00 -0500Oscar night: How are the winners picked?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>When did the Oscars begin?</strong><br />The first Academy Awards ceremony was held in May 1929, over dinner at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel. It was attended by 270 people, including some who paid a $5 fee as guests of those with invitations, and was hosted by silent-movie actor Douglas Fairbanks, who handed out the awards in just a few minutes. The 15 winners had been disclosed three months earlier, and the very first Oscar &mdash; a 13-inch-tall gold-plated statuette designed by MGM's art director, Cedric Gibbons &mdash; had already been presented to German actor Emil Jannings, who had sailed to Europe a few...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 17 Feb 2012 11:00:00 -0500Petty controversy: The Oscars diss singing Muppets<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The story:</strong> It's an odd year for the Oscars' Best Original Song category. Thanks to the Academy's ever-changing and increasingly labyrinthine rules, only two songs earned nominations. At first, critics weren't too troubled by the abbreviated list, since it included the comically existential&nbsp;<em>Muppets </em>ballad "Man or Muppet" (watch a clip below), written by <em>Flight of the Conchords</em>' Bret McKenzie and performed by Jason Segel and Walter the Muppet. (Sergio Mendes' "Real in Rio" from <em>Rio</em> is the rival nominee.) But alas, <em>Deadline reports</em>, producers are planning to scrap the Best Original Song performances...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 08 Feb 2012 11:44:00 -05007 curious facts about the 2012 Oscar nominees<img src="" /></P><p>At 82 years old, the Academy Awards are steeped in history &mdash; and fascinating trivia. At this year's ceremony, A-listers Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, and George Clooney and nostalgic Old Hollywood films <em>Hugo</em> and <em>The Artist</em> will all vie for trophies. Here, seven curious facts about the slate of nominees:<br /><br /><strong>1. Jack of all trades</strong><br />With his Best Supporting Actor nomination for playing Sir Laurence Olivier in <em>My Week With Marilyn</em>, Kenneth Branagh has become one of the first actors to be nominated for an Oscar in five different categories. He's been previously nominated for Best Director (<em>Henry V</em>), Best...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 26 Jan 2012 14:01:00 -0500Oscars 2012: Are the new Best Picture rules a failure?<img src="" /></P><p>For the second time in three years, the Academy has tinkered (tailored soldiered spied) with the way it chooses Best Picture nominees. First, in 2009, it expanded the category to 10 contenders "to make room for well-liked, popular films like <em>The Dark Knight</em>," which tended to get snubbed in favor of divisive indie fare like <em>The Reader</em>. Problem: Though <em>Toy Story 3 </em>got a nod, sub-par movies like<em> Winter's Bone</em> also earned nominations, apparently needed to round-out the top 10. Rule revision number two: To avoid such category padding, this year's new rules prescribed that only those films ranked first...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Wed, 25 Jan 2012 11:58:00 -05002012 Oscar nominations: The biggest snubs and surprises<img src="" /></P><p>The Super Bowl of Hollywood is upon us. The 2012 Academy Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning, and Martin Scorsese's nostalgic 3D romp&nbsp;<em>Hugo</em>&nbsp;and the charming silent film&nbsp;<em>The Artist</em>&nbsp;scored the most nods, with 11 and 10, respectively. The&nbsp;full slate of nominations&nbsp;boasts plenty of oversights and surprises &mdash; of both the delightful and dismaying nature. Here, a look at those garnering the most buzz:</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 24 Jan 2012 15:33:00 -05002012 Oscar nominations: 5 burning questions<img src="" /></P><p>Hollywood will rise early Tuesday morning: At 5:30 am PST, the 2012 Oscar nominations will be announced by <em>Hunger Games star</em> Jennifer Lawrence (a previous Best Actress nominee for <em>Winter's Bone</em>) and Academy President Tom Sherak. With A-listers George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Meryl Streep all in contention and buzzy films like <em>The Artist</em> and <em>The Descendants</em> expected to duke it out for the most nods, here are five burning questions leading up to the big reveal: <br /><br /><strong>1. How many Best Picture nominees will there be?</strong><br />Anywhere between five and 10 movies will qualify, thanks to this year's new, complicated nominating...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 23 Jan 2012 18:13:00 -0500Will Michelle Williams' 'sexy' GQ cover help her Oscar chances?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The image:</strong> Indie darling Michelle Williams, on the Oscar campaign trail for her turn as Marilyn Monroe in <em>My Week With Marilyn</em>, poses seductively in barely-there lingerie for this month's <em>GQ</em>. (See the image below.) The&nbsp;"sexy" and uncharacteristically risque cover photo&nbsp;&mdash; paired with the objectifying headline "Who knew Michelle Williams had this body?" &mdash; will surely raise the actress' profile in the run-up to the Oscars, and is reminding pundits of Kate Winslet's nearly-nude <em>2009 Vanity Fair</em> cover, which some&nbsp;consider a factor in her narrow win over Meryl Streep in a tight...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Thu, 19 Jan 2012 11:25:00 -0500The Golden Globe nominations: How they affect the Oscar race<img src="" /></P><p>With Thursday's announcement of the 2011 Golden Globe nominations, the Oscar race is officially in full swing. The Globes nods, however, are hardly a perfect preview of what Academy Awards voters are thinking. For starters, by dividing the major motion-picture races into two categories, comedy and drama, the Globes make room for twice as many nominees. But the nominations announcement comes at the tail end of a busy week in awards season &mdash; many critics' organizations just handed out honors and the Screen Actors Guild announced its nods &mdash; and pundits often take the opportunity to gauge...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 15 Dec 2011 16:10:00 -0500Bridesmaids: An Oscar contender?<img src="" /></P><p>Could a film in which a woman defecates in the sink at a high-end dress boutique be an Oscar nominee? Yes, say awards pundits, given the momentum that <em>Bridesmaids</em>, this summer's raunchy blockbuster, has been picking up. The American Film Institute listed <em>Bridesmaids</em>&nbsp;as one of the year's 10 best films, while the New York Film Critics Online gave the movie its Best Ensemble prize. After the film earned two major Screen Actors Guild Award nominations Wednesday, it's looking like Oscar recognition could be in its future &mdash; particularly for screenplay writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Wed, 14 Dec 2011 12:28:00 -0500The Artist: Does a dog deserve an Oscar?<img src="" /></P><p>One the year's biggest breakout film stars is a 9-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Uggie. His turn as the sidekick to a falling-from-grace movie star in <em>The Artist</em>, the silent film that's widely expected to earn a Best Picture nomination, is "the best performance, human or animal, in any film I've seen this year"&nbsp;says <em>New York Post</em> film critic Lou Lumenick. S.T. Vanairsdale at <em>Movieline</em> launched a viral campaign for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Uggie, and nearly 1,800 people have "liked" the "Consider Uggie" Facebook page. The problem: The Academy has long&nbsp;barred animals...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Wed, 07 Dec 2011 12:21:00 -0500