Showing 1 - 5 of 5 posts found matching keyword: oscar

I have to admit that the Academy Awards is a better experience when you've actually seen and enjoyed the nominated movies. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a great film and a lot of fun, and I'm glad that the Academy rewarded it as heavily as it did: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor. Whew! That's quite a haul. That's as many awards as La La Land earned. That is, so long as you don't make a terrible mistake and take away one of La La Land's awards and give it to Moonlight. (Never forget!) I'm impressed.

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About halfway through my hatewatching of last night's Oscars telecast, I was planning on writing today about how Dune won 6 Oscars last night despite the fact that I strongly disliked it. Sure, it's well made from a technical standpoint, but it's all in service to the pretentious direction of a very undeserving script with two-dimensional characters in a world with only two colors: brown and browner. To their detriment, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn't ask my opinion about any of that.

Instead, what I am writing about today is Will Smith's battery of Chris Rock live on-stage after the comedian made a joke about Will's wife's short-cropped hair. That was captivating television!

Smith's behavior was not telegraphed. Before walking onstage, he initially appeared to be laughing along with the joke. Thirty seconds later, he was telling Rock to keep his wife's name out of his f-ing mouth. At least I think that's what he said. In their infinite wisdom, ABC chose to keep the cameras rolling but cut the sound. (Despite what we tell children about sticks and stones, in America violence is acceptable but a few choice words are not. Our ears are delicate and need to be defended. Much like Will Smith's wife.)

I did not at the time know that Jada has lost her hair because of alopecia. If Rock knew, I'd agree he made an inexcusably tasteless joke on live television. I'd also agree that's good cause for holding a grudge, but physically slapping the comedian in front of the audience seems a bit over-the-top. Be a professional, Will! That's what backstage is for. (One can only imagine the carnage of Will Smith watching a Don Rickles performance.)

If the Academy Awards was a sporting event and not a movie industry circle-jerk, Smith would have been sent to the locker room for his outburst. Instead he was given the Best Actor award and allowed to demonstrate he deserved it by playing the teary-eyed victim in the solo spotlight. Give that man a second statuette!

Frankly, when first I saw it all, I thought it was staged. I was glad to discover it wasn't, if only because that meant that Rock and Smith hadn't collaborated on creating an artificial Jerry Springer moment just to break up an otherwise dull evening of entitled movie stars delivering political screeds. The Awards could use a little more unscripted drama — though I'd prefer it to be of the sort where Faye Dunaway (rightly) gives away Moonlight's Best Picture award to La La Land. A little genuine spontaneity isn't always such a bad thing.

Speaking of bad things...

38/2047. Dune (2021)

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The 25 actors and directors nominated in their categories at tonight's Academy Awards will receive a gift bag worth a reported $100,000. That sounds like a lot, but it's really a load of crap.

Thirty percent of that total is a coupon for plastic surgery. About half are coupons for food, vacations, and self-help sessions. Most of the rest are beauty products or drugs (chocolate, cannabis-infused edibles, and absinthe). There's also a book, a bracelet, a bow tie, and a plunger. But it's not just any plunger! It's the Mister Poop Fully Functional Plunger!

But wait, that's not all! According to their press release:

"The Oscar® nominees receiving gift bags will each get a Mister Poop Toilet Plunger, and a T-Shirt emblazoned, "Crappy Products that Really Work'."

That beats their first draft: "I was nominated for an Oscar® and all I got was this lousy t-shirt promoting a shitty plunger."

The release goes on to warn us announce that the manufacturers, who paid a minimum of $4,000 just to have their products included in the gift bags, are "in talks" with retailers about shelving their products. (They do know that there is already a poo-shaped plunger on the market, don't they?)

Mister Poop Plungers and Toilet Brushes, coming soon to a 7-Eleven near you.

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OMG! THEY STOLE LA LA LAND'S OSCAR!

I don't usually watch the Oscars because I don't care to sit through the pomp and circumstance when I can just read a list of winners the next day. But I tuned in this year because, well, La La Land. So, yes, I saw the Academy Awards' worst screw-up in 89 years as it aired live. Fittingly, it felt like a moment from the least represented genre at the Oscars: a horror movie.

Seriously, I'm not particularly surprised that the award went to Moonlight. I haven't seen it, but it gets great reviews. I'm sure that after years of functionally, ahem, segregating movies made by and featuring minorities, the Academy voters understandably jumped at the chance to reward a great movie about a young, gay, black man. Good for them. I also champion giving Oscars to films that didn't have great box office success. (La La Land's $140,000,000 gross to date may not be in Rogue One's orbit, but it's light years from Moonlight's $22,000,000.)

I'm not even disappointed that La La Land didn't win. It is a great movie, and I do love it. (Have I mentioned that?) I've seen it twice and counting. I will probably see it again before it leaves theaters. That said, I'll be the first to admit that it's a bit lightweight with an underbelly of unseemly sycophantic emphasis on the mythical "magic" of Hollywood and a distinctly whitewashed cast. I can understand how it's not everyone's cup of tea.

But to get the Best Picture declaration wrong? To fail to correct the error before the La La Land cast and producers took the stage? To deny Moonlight its moment in the sun by casting doubt on its win? To give Warren Beatty the wrong envelope and embarrass him in front of an audience of millions? (In the post-awards press conference, Best Actress award-winner and national treasure Emma Stone said she was still holding her card when Warren Beatty read it again. That means there were two Best Actress cards and no Best Picture cards? WTF, Academy!) Frankly, I feel bad for everyone involved.

So congratulations to Moonlight. I will see you one day. Until that day, even though the Academy didn't choose to recognize it, La La Land remains Best Picture in my heart.

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Sunday, Anne Hathaway won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Les Misérables. I haven't seen Les Misérables and I don't intend to. I have no idea whether she deserved it, but my father says she does. Dad hasn't seen Les Misérables either, but he has seen something he believes is more relevant to the Oscar voting: Hathaway's unméntionables.

Back in December, Anne Hathaway flashed her privates while getting out of a limo at the at the public opening of Les Misérables. My father -- who makes notes of all his crazy predictions so should any of them come to pass he can hold them up and say, "see I'm not crazy" -- predicted at the time that Hathaway's gaffe was an intentional public relations maneuver designed to garner both attention and sympathy. At the time, I dismissed this as just more crazy raving, but look who's holding an Oscar now.

I guess I should have known better as soon as Seth Mcfarlane opened the Oscar ceremony with a song in which the chorus repeated the phrase, "we saw your boobs, in the movie that we saw, we saw your boobs." Although there is no direct correlation between actresses showing their cooters to the cameras and winning Academy Awards, Hollywood knows damn well what we are paying to see.

Despite my initial resistance to my father's "crazy" idea, I've warmed to it. The actress who sleeps her way to the top is a Hollywood cliche. If Hollywood wants to reward its women for flashing fans instead of just producers, I'm pretty sure that's a crazy idea I can get behind.

So listen up, leading ladies: from now on we will all be expecting you to show us some skin if you want to win. Pay attention, Quvenzhané Wallis. At only nine years old, you may have been the youngest Academy Award nominee in history, but you'd better plan on dressing inappropriately if you really want to compete for that elusive Oscar when you grow up.

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To be continued...

 

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