Oscars To Now Have 10 Best Picture Nominees

June 25, 2009

oscarSo now that the Oscars – which is nothing more than a tool to promote the movie industry – have 10 best picture nominations, I’m sure there will be more attention to the small but deserving films that can’t afford to spend millions of dollars on Oscar campaigns and ads in Variety, right?

I doubt it.

Blockbuster movies = more fans = more people interested to see if ‘their’ movie wins = higher ratings = more advertising profits.

The 2009 Oscars were  probably the best Oscars I’ve ever seen – which is not meant to be as much of an insult as it appears, since usually they’re borderline unwatchable – and I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t tinker with the formula.

Even with the current system of having five nominees, there is always a film or two that is considered a total long shot. I’m going to feel bad when the number of long shots swells to six, seven, or even eight films. Plus, won’t this just “water-down” the accomplishment of being nominated?

I’ve always wanted a system in which the number of nominees changes each year based upon the strength of the season. Slow year? Three nominees. Robust year? Seven nominees. I suppose that system, however, would technically be a betrayal of the title “Best Picture,” which, by definition, is completely relative to the other films that year and makes no assertion to objective quality.

The next Oscar ceremony is scheduled for March 7.


Oscars Go High-Tech In A Completely Useless Fashion

February 20, 2009

oscarThe same people that brought you that yellow virtual 10-yard line for football games or some other thingee they use for Nascar (I don’t watch that shit), is now bringing their technology to the Oscars.

Cabler said the “Star Tracker” will be used to enable show hosts to highlight key moments on the red carpet, including “celebrities that are walking in close proximity to other celebrities who they are trying to avoid.”

The drama!

Meanwhile, Buzznet, which operates several pop culture websites, is introducing a zoom feature that it compares to Google Earth, but for celebrity photos. […]

It’s so satisfying to be able to instantly see a closeup of anything that interests you, whether it’s a pair of designer shoes, a wrinkle, or a simple hand gesture,” said Karina Kogan, general manager of celebrity for Buzznet.

Daddy, I want to see the hand gesture! The hand gesture!!!

Via Variety. Thanks, Josh.

2009 Oscars: Best Song

February 19, 2009

I don’t think anyone’s got a chance against Peter Gabriel‘s fabulous “Down To Earth,” from the equally-amazing “Wall-E.”


Peter Gabriel – Down To Earth

The Oscars are Sunday at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on ABC.

More: My other Oscar posts; full list of nominees.

Nate Silver Calls The Oscars

February 17, 2009

oscarFiveThirtyEight’s superman Nate Silver has published his Oscars predictions, relying upon a host of factors:

Categories included genre, MPAA classification, the release date, opening-weekend box office (adjusted for inflation), and whether the film won any other awards. We also looked at whether being nominated in one category predicts success in another. For example, is someone more likely to win Best Actress if her film has also been nominated for Best Picture? (Yes!) But the greatest predictor (80 percent of what you need to know) is other awards earned that year, particularly from peers (the Directors Guild Awards, for instance, reliably foretells Best Picture). Genre matters a lot (the Academy has an aversion to comedy); MPAA and release date don’t at all. A film’s average user rating on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) is sometimes a predictor of success; box grosses rarely are. And, as in Washington, politics matter, in ways foreseeable and not.

Silver’s predictions:

Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight 85.8%
Supporting Actress
Taraji P. Henson, Doubt 51.0%
Lead Actor
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler 71.1%
Lead Actress
Kate Winslet, The Reader 67.6%
Best Director
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire 99.7%
Best Picture
Slumdog Millionaire 99.0%

Get the explanations behind the numbers here.

Oscars Wild!

February 17, 2009

2009 Oscar Stage Rendering; Rockwell Group

For the first time in the show’s history, this year’s Oscars will be designed by an architect – New Yorker David Rockwell – and he’s aiming to “redefine the show’s DNA.”  Rockwell studied past telecasts and wants this year’s show to be more intimate, loose, and nightclubby than those in the past; last year’s broadcast was the least-watched Oscars to date.


While details about the show are characteristically being kept close to the Academy’s chest, it is known that the orchestra will reside on the stage, the overall color scheme will move away from the expected gold and red to blue, and “the award presentations [will be] almost Shakespearean plays within a play.”  Umm… not sure about that last part.

Read the full article here and get your bitchy caps ready: the Oscars are this Sunday at 8 PM EST/5 PM PT on ABC, with host am-I-the-only-one-that-thinks-he’s-not-hot slash why-is-his-head-disproportionately-small Hugh Jackman.

PS: Benjamin Button shouldn’t win shit!