Archive for the Event Category

Best & Worst of the Oscars 2014

Posted in Celebrities, Event with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2014 by Sarah

ellen_oscarsWell, it was better than last year, anyway. At least I didn’t want to punch the host. I did kind of want to ask Ellen DeGeneres if she rehearsed or what, because there was a lot of awkward in her bits, but she landed more jokes than not and the selfie heard round the world was cute or whatever, so okay. It was a mostly harmless Oscar telecast where, despite cutthroat competition in most categories, there really weren’t any surprises. I did pretty alright with my predictions, going 20/24. My major whiffs were calling Jennifer Lawrence for Best Supporting Actress and American Hustle for Best Original Screenplay. In both those cases, though, my “should wins” took it (played out the same in editing, too, as “should win” Gravity won over Captain Phillips). So I’m kind of 23/24. I should really trust my instincts more, is the lesson there. Continue reading

Handicapping the Oscars: Too close to call

Posted in Event, Movies with tags , , , , on February 27, 2014 by Sarah

86th_Academy_Awards_posterMan, I thought last year was tough. Well, this year is just as bad. Maybe even worse because at least there year there are some really obvious films that ought to walk away with a lot of awards (12 Years a Slave for all the big stuff, Her for stuff like writing, production design and music, Gravity for technical categories), but because Her is “weird” and 12 Years doesn’t pat white people on the back for ending racism in 1962, what should be obvious becomes occluded. Last year, the politics of campaigning mattered. This year it’s less about that and more about the sheer arbitrariness of taste. Continue reading

The Fourth Annual Ethel Awards

Posted in Event, Movies with tags , , , , on February 26, 2014 by Sarah

ethelWelcome back to another installment of the Ethel Awards, in which I fix Oscar’s past mistakes by sorting out egregious, Academy-committed errors. This year we’re tackling the 78th Academy Awards, which were held in 2006 to honor movies from 2005. AKA the year Crash won Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain, a decision which looked ridiculous by the end of that night, let alone eight years later. (This is why I hope American Hustle doesn’t win Best Picture. It was perfectly enjoyable but entirely forgettable and no one will remember it five seconds after the Oscars end.) Usual Ethel rules apply—the year in question must be at least five years past and wherever possible, I’ve chosen the more deserving winner from the available pool of nominees. Continue reading

Meet your totally expected 2014 Oscar nominees

Posted in Event, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by Sarah

2013 was a great year in film. It was a “dart year”, meaning that if you threw a dart, you would hit a movie deserving of recognition and praise. It’s the kind of year where there are no real snubs, simply because there was an abundance of good work, not only from actors and directors, but writers, cinematographers, editors, composers, stylists, and engineers—everyone was firing on all cylinders last year. That said, there will definitely be regrets about the 2014 Oscars within five years. Not all of these movies are going to hold up—in fact, I can already pick four on the Best Picture list that won’t hold up at all: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street.

american-hustle Continue reading

Best & Worst of the Golden Globes 2014

Posted in Celebrities, Event with tags , , , , , on January 13, 2014 by Sarah

tina-and-amyThree hours, precisely. That’s how long the Golden Globes were. It felt, however, like it took a year to watch the broadcast. Terrible pacing, janky cutaways, and amateur-hour direction bogged down the broadcast, not to mention everyone who won taking dramatic pauses and delivering their thank you speeches in slow. important. actor. dialect. Except for America’s Pretend Girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence, who was her usual gushy self. (Maybe…too usual? She was so “oh gee me” gushy, it reminded me painfully of Taylor Swift. Jennifer Lawrence: She’s faking it? Discuss.) On the whole, though, it was an okay show. I didn’t think Tina Fey & Amy Poehler were quite as sharp—or maybe we simply knew what to expect this time—as co-hosts, but they still nailed Grade A jokes about George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio, and shaded Taylor Swift in between. Continue reading

Best & Worst of the Oscars 2013

Posted in Celebrities, Event with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2013 by Sarah

That show felt really, really long, right? In actual running time it was average (around three and a half hours) but it felt like it took all year to watch. I’m putting it down to the horrible direction. That was a really, truly, terribly directed telecast. No sense of rhythm or pace and not nearly enough cutaways to the audience to make it worth our time. We watch for the cutaways as much for anything else. We want to see George Clooney’s face when someone makes a joke about his younger girlfriends. We want to see Joaquin Phoenix bitchfacing the host to death when he hopes Phoenix is “on his meds”. I, personally, wanted to see some cutaways to Academy bigwigs when Robert Downey, Jr., plainly annoyed, snapped, “Biggest movie of the year, but only got one Oscar nomination”.

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Handicapping the craziest Oscar race in recent memory

Posted in Event, Movies with tags , , , , on February 20, 2013 by Sarah

academy-awardsThe last couple years I’ve actually done fairly well with my handicapping, but this year I am not at all confident in my picks. Too many races are too close, but there’s also a wide disparity between the movies that will win versus the ones that should win. I enjoyed Argo, I like Ben Affleck as a filmmaker and I think he’s developing into one of the most consistent and entertaining American directors, but Argo was not the best movie of 2012. It won’t even go down as the best movie of Affleck’s career. But the politics, they matter this year, even more than usual. With no clear masterpiece to lead the field and critical tastes too evenly spread over too many movies (primarily Argo, Lincoln and Life of Pi) and with Harvey Weinstein shoving Silver Linings Playbook down our throats like it’s something other than a rote, if well-acted, romantic comedy, the Oscar race turned into a dog fight. But it’s almost over. The Oscars are on Sunday, so it’s time for final predictions. Continue reading

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