By Jessica Allen - Friday, March 1, 2013 - 0 Comments
Should Seth MacFarlane apologize to everybody else?
I have mixed feeling today about Anne Hathaway. I wrote before the Academy Awards aired on Sunday that if she won the Oscar I would leave the comforts of my couch and take the opportunity to have a washroom break during her acceptance speech so as to avoid another cringe-worthy ode to Acting and being an Actor and Acting.
But five days of Hathaway hatred has left me wanting to hunker down with the enthusiastic thespian and watch Actors Acting in films, like Julius Caesar, for example, and pat her back and say, Well, at least you love something.
There was a reason that theatre kid irked you in high school. He or she took a vocation–that is, for many, tantamount to entertainment–and elevated it to a life-affirming art. I remember the theatre kid at my high school. He actually made his own Phantom of the Opera mask and wore it along with a black cape to a school dance. Most dismissed him–but that may also have been on account of him standing up in biology class and announcing that he wouldn’t take part in the comparative anatomy component because Evolution was hogwash.
By Emily Senger - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 10:43 AM - 0 Comments
Reporting on 5 Broken Cameras director was ‘completely fabricated’
A war of words erupted between Buzzfeed and filmmaker Michael Moore over what really happened to Oscar-nominated director Emad Burnat at the Los Angeles airport.
Let’s back up to Wednesday, when Moore published a blog post describing the ordeal Burnat, the Palestinian director of the film 5 Broken Cameras, and his family went through as he was detained while trying to make his way into the United States to attend the Academy Awards. Continue…
By Emily Senger - Monday, February 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM - 0 Comments
Film’s win is part of White House and CIA plot, says state radio
It turns out Canadians aren’t the only ones upset with the fictionalized content of the Ben Affleck’s film Argo, which won best picture at the Academy Awards.
Iranian news agencies are also panning the content of the film, which tells the based-on-a-true story of American diplomats being rescued from Iran during the country’s revolution.
“The Academy Awards ceremony to present the Oscar for the best picture Argo by Ben Affleck revealed that Hollywood insiders are sacrificing quality and artistic cinema to political slogans and distortions,” wrote state news agency Meher News. The award for best film was presented, via video link, by First Lady Michelle Obama, which Meher News also took issue with, calling the award “most political.” Continue…
By macleans.ca - Monday, February 25, 2013 at 12:28 AM - 0 Comments
The complete list of winners from the 85th Academy Awards
Here’s the complete list of the 85th Academy Awards winners. (Find all of our Oscar coverage right here.
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Animated Short Film: Paperman
Best Animated Feature Film: Brave
By Jaime Weinman - Monday, February 25, 2013 at 12:02 AM - 0 Comments
Well, the most important news out of the Oscars is that Ben Affleck thanked Canada. This obviously makes up for everything, including our inability to make our own movies about our stories.
But, I suppose, some non-Canadian stories need to be dealt with. I wrote a piece about whether Seth MacFarlane’s stint as host of the Oscars would establish him as the live-action, onscreen star he clearly wants to be. And after his opening monologue, someone snarked that that piece was instantly dated. Well, the art of predicting the future won’t be perfected until the robots take over. Now, for all I know, the wide reaction to his performance might not have been as negative as it was among people I know – after all, in a world where Identity Thief is a hit, there is no consensus on what’s funny. But if the question was whether MacFarlane could translate his behind-the-scenes popularity into onscreen popularity, then it seems at first blush like the answer was “no.” Even before he held up the ending of a show that was running late to perform yet another musical number.
By Aaron Hutchins - Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 10:56 PM - 0 Comments
John Williams would not have approved
By Aaron Hutchins - Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 10:12 PM - 0 Comments
By Jessica Allen - Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 7:46 PM - 0 Comments
(Pretty sure he’s at the White House)
By macleans.ca - Friday, February 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM - 0 Comments
Our critics weigh in on who will win and who should win
- Click here to see our Oscar interactive on who writers Jessica Allen, Brian D. Johnson and Jaime J. Weinman think will win on Sunday night, plus who should win.
By Daniel Barna - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:57 AM - 0 Comments
Winning an Academy Award can be the worst thing for an actor’s career
This Sunday, Jennifer Lawrence will cap off a stunning year, when she’ll likely be handed the Best Actress Oscar for her firecracker performance in Silver Linings Playbook, at L.A’s Shrine auditorium. Though Jessica Chastain has an outside shot at nabbing the award from Lawrence’s clutches, the 23 year-old actress is everything to everyone these days, and her official coronation as “America’s Sweetheart” come Oscar night feels all but inevitable. So with pre-Oscar-winning Lawrence already Hollywood’s current It-girl, J-Law the Oscar winner should become the biggest star on the planet, right?
By Jessica Allen - Monday, February 18, 2013 at 7:10 AM - 0 Comments
… and why the Oscars might be funny this year
By Jaime Weinman - Monday, February 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM - 0 Comments
Will the Oscar-hosting gig be the Family Guy creator’s stepping stone to onscreen superstardom?
Many performers have hosted the Academy Awards, but Seth MacFarlane, host of the 85th annual show, is something different: he’s not known for performances where he’s actually seen. As a TV creator and producer, MacFarlane became one of the most powerful people in show business thanks to the success of Family Guy, for which he also does many of the voices; he followed that up with two other animated series, then transitioned into live-action filmmaking by writing, directing and voicing Ted, one of 2012’s most popular comedies.
You wouldn’t think he had anything left to prove— being the highest-paid writer in TV with a reported salary of $33 million a year, and having influenced many other cartoons, such as Robot Chicken, a pop-culture parody created by Family Guy voice actor Seth Green. But recently, MacFarlane has been trying to get out in public—he hosted Saturday Night Live and sang at London’s Royal Albert Hall before landing the Oscar hosting job. It’s part of his attempt to go from animator to live-action star—and his colleagues think he can do it. “Watch this guy go,” says Family Guy and American Dad composer Ron Jones. “He will astound everyone.”
The transition from cartoonist to performer isn’t quite as strange as it might sound. Van Partible, creator of Johnny Bravo, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon where MacFarlane achieved early success as a scriptwriter, says, “the best cartoonists need to have a working knowledge of acting so that they can get their characters to perform and emote in a believable way.” Because of that link, many other writer-creators from the ’90s animation boom, such as Mike Judge (King of the Hill), are also vocal actors. But these other creators don’t usually try to separate themselves from the cartoon characters they play. Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park (who have bashed MacFarlane’s work on their show) accepted starring roles in the movie BASEketball after South Park took off. But the film bombed, and the pair settled for an offscreen role for their next project, achieving live-action success writing but not starring in the musical The Book of Mormon.
By Emily Senger - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM - 0 Comments
Back in time to the 1977 Academy Awards
Barbra Streisand will be back on stage at the Academy Awards this year, in a rather late encore performance 36 years after she sang the theme from A Star Is Born in 1977.
Here’s what it looked like then, when Streisand performed with John Denver and won her own Oscar for best original song for the A Star Is Born theme “Evergreen.” (The announcer is speaking Portuguese, but you get the idea.) Continue…
By Brian D. Johnson - Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:00 PM - 0 Comments
Hollywood’s myth-making machine never lets facts get in the way of a good story
It’s enough to make you wonder if Oscar is more history buff than film buff. Of the last decade’s 20 Best Actor and Actress winners, all but five starred in period films, and the majority played historical figures. They constitute a virtual Madame Tussauds, an Academy house of wax that includes Ray Charles, Harvey Milk, June Carter, Truman Capote, Queen Elizabeth II, King George VI, Idi Amin, Edith Piaf and Margaret Thatcher—and, in the chamber of horrors, serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
This year, Oscar’s love for “true” stories about momentous events remains undiminished. Leading the charge with a dozen nominations is Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis appearing to have a bony-knuckled lock on Best Actor for his shrewd portrayal of America’s most iconic president. Lincoln’s rivals includes Zero Dark Thirty and Argo, both thrillers based on real-life tales of CIA crusaders fighting Islamic terror. And competing with Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain for Best Actress is a pair of contenders who fight historic forces even more cataclysmic than al-Qaeda: Naomi Watts, as a tenacious mother swept away by the 2004 tsunami in The Impossible, and Quvenzhané Wallis as a fictional kid braving the Louisiana floodwaters of hurricane Katrina in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
But the Academy seems more in love with the idea of history than the real thing—and with movies that turn fact into fable. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The problem is the makers of Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and Argo keep insisting their films are faithful accounts, despite glaring evidence to the contrary. The result is one of the most politically charged Oscar campaigns in recent memory. Continue…
By Amanda Shendruk - Friday, January 11, 2013 at 6:30 PM - 0 Comments
The Academy Award nominees have been announced, which means the season of speculation has officially begun. So, I decided to look into the statistics of Oscar winners to see how much of a pattern I could find, and if it would be fairly easy to guess, just based on past winners, which movies would take home the award.
In the interest of time, I narrowed my mini statistical survey down to just Best Picture winners and nominees since 1975. I looked at the likelihood of winning based on MPAA rating and genre classification. (Interesting note: No animation, nor any movie rated G has won the Best Picture award since at least 1975). I admit, it’s far from scientific (so don’t go bet the farm), but it’s an interesting way to take a stab at Oscar predictions.
Without further ado: The graphic below displays which Best Picture nominees are more likely to take home this year’s Oscar, and are based solely on my quick and dirty statistical analysis (I actually haven’t seen any of the films myself).
By macleans.ca - Friday, January 11, 2013 at 3:14 PM - 0 Comments
Our critic weighs in on omissions, surprises and shoe-ins
Read Brian D. Johnson’s thoughts on this year’s nominees here.
More related links:
By Brian D. Johnson - Friday, January 11, 2013 at 2:35 PM - 0 Comments
Opening this weekend in Canada are two of the year’s strongest films, Amour and Zero Dark Thirty, which received five Oscar nominations apiece yesterday, and will be competing for Best Picture, Actress and Original Screenplay. In both cases, their treatment by the Academy came as a surprise. For Amour, it was a blessing. It’s hard to find a critic who questions that it’s one of the year’s finest movies, but even the best foreign films rarely escape the ghetto of the foreign-language category. Amour is the first foreign film to win a Best Picture spot since Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) and one of just three foreign films in history to score both Best Picture and Director nominations. By contrast, Zero Dark Thirty’s Oscar tally was a disappointment, as Katherine Bigelow was conspicuously snubbed for Best Director. No one could argue with the brilliance of how she directed that film. So you can only conclude that she’s the victim of the backlash generated by Washington’s condemnations of the film’s veracity, and its torture scenes.
By Daniel Barna - Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM - 0 Comments
Fun facts you need to know about the 2013 Academy Award contenders
This morning the months of speculation, predictions, and odds-making came to an end when this year’s Oscar host Seth MacFarlane was joined onstage by Emma Stone to announce the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards. As expected, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln led all films with 12 nominations, making it the early favourite for a Best Picture win. But Spielberg’s dominance was just about the only thing that went as imagined this morning: snubs and surprises abound. First fun fact: For the first time in history, all the nominees in a single acting category–best actor in a supporting role– have won before. Second fun fact: Emmannuelle Riva (Amour) and Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of The Southern Wild) become the oldest and youngest Best Actress nominees ever. Academy, your playfulness this year is much appreciated. Below, five more noteworthy things we noticed about the nominees. Now let the weeks of speculation, predictions, and odds-making begin!
By Brian D. Johnson - Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM - 0 Comments
With today’s announcement of the Oscar nominees, it came as no surprise that Steven Spielberg is back in the Academy’s good graces. Lincoln leads the pack with a landslide of 12 nominations, including Best Picture, Director and three acting nods. (Expect Spielberg’s smart, dignified epic to sweep many categories—and at least Best Picture, Best Actor for Daniel-Day Lewis and Best Adapted Screenplay for Tony Kushner.) But it was more surprising, and heartening, to see Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, based on the novel by Canadian Yann Martel, so amply rewarded with 11 nominations, including Original Score and Original Song for Canadian composer Michael Danna. Life of Pi is, in a sense, this year’s Hugo, a conjuring of old-fashioned movie magic through the lens of the latest 3D visual technology.
Somehow, however, the Academy failed to recognize the remarkable performance by Life of Pi‘s novice lead, Suraj Sharma, who carried the entire film. Yet it did anoint another novice, nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, making her the youngest Best Actress nominee in history for her bravura performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild. This year’s designated Little Movie That Could, it received four nominations, including Best Director for Benh Zeitlin, a New Yorker making his feature-film debut with a magic realist fable set in the Louisiana flood-waters of Hurricane Katrina.
By Jessica Allen - Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:58 AM - 0 Comments
Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ leads with 12 nominations
Nomination for the 85th Academy Awards were announced early this morning by actress Emma Stone and Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, who will also serve as Oscar host on Feb. 24.