Oscars 2014 ad

In truth, it’s a bit early to be thinking about the Oscars. The awards ceremony isn’t for another two and a half months, and nominations won’t even be announced for another month. Heck, nominations voting doesn’t even begin for another few days. But when the first promo for the event is this charming, it’s tough to complain much.

Set to Fitz and The Tantrums‘ “The Walker,” the spot has Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres getting dressed and then sashaying down a studio street with 250 dancers behind her. Paul Feig directed, I suppose because he’s currently the go-to guy for anything funny that stars a woman. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

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olly-moss-oscar-header

Everyone talks about the Oscars at the end of the year. It’s impossible to avoid. What movie will be Best Picture? Who will be Best Actress? How will they handle the music nominations? All these questions then get answered on March 2 when Ellen DeGeneres hits the Dolby Theater stage in Hollywood to host the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

Leading up to this major event, and to capitalize on all the chatter about it, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled a new logo. It’s their first logo change in the company’s history. Read More »

Spring Breakers - James Franco as Alien

James Franco‘s performance in Spring Breakers is wild, electric, memorable, and totally mesmerizing.  The superficial aspects of the role — the grill, the cornrows, and so on — are only the beginning. It’s the way his character Alien brings to life a demented vision of the American Dream (“look at my shit!”)  and the way he eventually allows his cracked hyper-masculine persona to submit to a feminine force. Franco does stuff in Spring Breakers that you rarely see major stars doing, and the sight is fantastic.

Is it award-worthy? Who knows! The Oscars, like every other award setup, are based on campaigning and influence and many other factors besides the simple merit of the work. And so A24, distributor of Spring Breakers, has been getting its own campaign going for Franco. The latest salvo is a video demanding that voters consider Franco, phrased in a manner that is so appropriate to the film. Read More »

12-years-a-slave-TIFF-review

A quick Google search will tell you that last year’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture were long. And while this year’s nominations won’t happen for a few more months, the films likely to fill those spots this year are shorter. A lot shorter. It’s not ground breaking information or anything, but Vulture has taken the running times of recent Best Picture nominees and made some fun graphics showing how they compare. Check them out below. Read More »

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Award season is ready to get into full swing, and one of the early stages of the runup to the Academy Awards is the submission of Best Animated Feature options.

This year there are nineteen submitted features, including big studio fare (Cloudy 2, The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University), one from Studio Ghibli (The Wind Rises), a European effort we’ve covered a good bit (Ernest and Celestine) and a good few films that US audiences haven’t had much chance to see yet. One pleasant side effect of the animated Oscar list is that it draws attention to films that are new to many viewers.

That said, of the studio fare there are only a couple of compelling submissions, and enough of the rest are going to be new enough to Oscar voters that this might not be much of a race. The 86th Annual Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014, and we’ll be curious to see how many films actually make the nomination cut. The awards will be held on March 2, 2014.

Read the submission list below.

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Ellen DeGeneres Will Host the 2014 Oscars

ellen-degeneres

Briefly: Seth MacFarlane won’t be back to host the Oscars when the awards are given out on March 2 next year. Just a day after the election of new AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, we’ve got the announcement of the next Oscar host.

Ellen Degeneres, who has hosted the telecast once before, in 2007, will take her second turn on the Oscar stage. She drew criticism after that first turn for being too understated and low-key as the guide of a show that meandered to a dull four-hour length. Hopefully the Academy has taken some notes about what worked in the past few years. Don’t expect to see Ellen singing a sequel to MacFarlane’s song ‘We Saw Your Boobs,’ but more song and dance numbers are a pretty safe bet.

Seth MacFarlane Won’t Host 2014 Oscars

Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane‘s performance as Oscar host drew polarized reactions, but it was a proven success in at least one respect. The Family Guy funnyman managed to boost the ratings among audiences in general and younger viewers in particular, just as the Academy had hoped.

The organization was so happy with how things turned out, in fact, that they got producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron back on board for next year’s festivities. Naturally, talk that MacFarlane could also return sprung up shortly afterward. However, MacFarlane has now spoken up (again) to say he will not host again — though he has one idea about who should replace him. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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Seth MacFarlane Asked to Return as Oscar Host?

Seth MacFarlane

The 2013 Oscar ceremony had plenty of fans and detractors alike, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has firmly aligned themselves with the former camp. Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have already been set to return, in an unusually early decision, and now the word is they’re eager to get host Seth MacFarlane back as well. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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