The Hollywood Read ep. 14

THR LogoThe 91st Academy Awards have come and gone, and all that’s left is to pick up the pieces and make sense of a very up and down, back and forth show. On the one hand, the no-host experiment paid off. On the other: Green Book won Best Picture, which will almost instantly age into a poorly remembered choice. This week, we dive into the Oscars, the good, the bad, the Bohemian Rhapsody of it all. The show was not a disaster, but some retrograde winners reveal a divided Academy pushing back against the recent membership inclusion effort. Join us as we break it all down and get into what worked, what didn’t, and just why it is that Green Book will soon be joining the ranks of worst Best Picture.

Here is Kayleigh on the ignominy of Green Book‘s win: https://screenrant.com/green-book-worst-best-picture-oscar-winner/

And here is Sarah on anonymous voter “Chet”: https://www.laineygossip.com/this-years-anonymous-oscar-voters-reveal-no-consensus-pick-for-best-picture/52030

The Hollywood Read ep. 9

THR LogoIn 1989, Spike Lee’s masterpiece Do the Right Thing premiered at Cannes, kicking off a year of controversy. Film critics blamed any potential race riots on Lee, the Cannes jury awarded Steven Soderbergh’s sex lies and videotape the Palme d’Or, something Spike Lee is still salty about, and then in 1990 came a truly momentous Academy Awards. This week, we take a look at the 62nd Oscars, honoring the films of 1989. This is the year Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture and Do the Right Thing wasn’t even nominated. It’s the year Harvey Weinstein flexed real campaign muscle, guiding My Left Foot stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker to Oscars–something he would lord over women in the industry for decades to come. With Spike Lee once again in contention this year, and up against the Miss Daisy-esque Green Book no less, we examine the narratives and Oscar strategies that took hold in 1990 and continue to impact the Academy Awards today.

Here is Matt Zoller Seitz on why Leonardo DiCaprio’s self-flagellating performance in The Revenant is bad for acting: https://www.rogerebert.com/mzs/why-leo-winning-an-oscar-for-the-revenant-would-be-bad-for-acting

And here is Natalie Walker’s epic Twitter thread mocking film stereotypes: https://twitter.com/nwalks/status/736046606940798977

Highly Irregular Semi-Annual Oscar Predictions 2016

The Oscars are on Sunday, aka, The Night Leonardo DiCaprio Will Finally Win The One Popularity Contest That Has Eluded Him. This has been the tightest race in recent memory, with very few sure things. Best Picture is still wide open, the Supporting Actress race is closer than Alicia Vikander would like it to be, and the technical/craft categories are going to be an all-out brawl between The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road.

oscars Continue reading “Highly Irregular Semi-Annual Oscar Predictions 2016”

The Annual Oscars Diversity Gut Check: Yup, Still A Problem

An article is running on The Hollywood Reporter’s website today, with comments from members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, aka, the people who hand out Oscars. You can read the full article here, but the gist is that many members of the Academy are upset at being called racists because once again—and despite having a lot of actual, solid options this year—the Oscar nominations are a virtual white out. Some films made by people of color, like Creed and Straight Outta Compton, only got nominations for the white people involved (Sylvester Stallone and the all-white screenwriting team, respectively). Director Alejandro González Iñárritu is the lone non-white filmmaker nominated, and all twenty acting nominees are white. #OscarsSoWhite is trending once again.

Ryan_Coogler
Ryan Coogler, Director, Not nominated for Creed

Continue reading “The Annual Oscars Diversity Gut Check: Yup, Still A Problem”

Best & Worst of the Oscars 2014

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 “Best & Worst of the Oscars 2014”

Handicapping the Oscars: Too close to call

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 “Handicapping the Oscars: Too close to call”