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20 Weeks to Oscar

48 Weeks To Oscar: Academy In Crisis(?)

The grass always seems greener on the other side. But it is not always the case. In the case of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, it is a sad story of insecurity, fear, oversized yet easily bruised ego, and a lack of perspective on itself.

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51 Weeks To Oscar

The Academy is acting like a supermodel who is deeply worried that her boyfriend is going to leave because she has a zit. And the answer is, men do leave supermodels. And that insecurity haunts the most beautiful and the most plain. But when you are going out there for the show, if people start noticing you are insecure, your career is over. When you are in public, you need to be all in, turned on, rocking the world because you “know” you have what everyone else wants.

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20 Weeks To Oscar… 3 Days Left

The irony of this moment is that with almost nothing left to say, the world’s media suddenly feels compelled to say EVERYTHING all at once.

Here’s the deal, as concisely as I can offer it…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: One Week Left

So the question… is it the failure of the system that there isn’t more clarity… or the genius?

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20 Weeks To Oscar: What We Talk About When We Talk About Best Picture

The die is likely already cast, even if all the votes are not. My experience of talking to voters is that those who are waiting are trying to see the short film selections and perhaps a doc or foreign language film, not hedging on Best Picture.

But what that answer is… I can make a list… I make a list every week… but do I know? I must admit, I have never felt this far from knowing this far into the season in 17 years of doing this.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Is The Door Wide Open Again?

Could the Academy’s bizarre preferential balloting system be the defining issue in coming to a Best Picture winner this year?

And let me note again, before going any further, that the existence of the preferential ballot system at The Academy is IDIOTIC and I will forever believe that this was a bad joke foisted on The Academy by an exiting Bruce Davis.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here

There are a lot of theories out there about how to read the tea leaves this season. But for me, the truth is that I have never seen anything quite like it.

PGA and SAG, Birdman. Globes, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel. LAFCA and NYFCC, Boyhood. Coming up in short order… DGA, BAFTA, WGA.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Ragin’

I don’t know that I have seen anything like this before. It’s kind of about Oscar season. It’s mostly not. But Oscar has yelled “pull” and now everyone is shooting at the clay pigeons. And the bullets are flying from every direction.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Most Shocking Event Of The Week!!!!

The Answers

Clint Eastwood.
Bradley Cooper.
Alexandre Desplat.
Foxcatcher.
The LEGO Movie.
Life Itself.

The Question…

What are six Oscar occurrences today that are legitimately more surprising than Selma “only” getting a Best Picture nod?

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Screenermania!

An industry in which a $2.4 million buy-in ($900,000 before you are nominated for anything) just for DVDs—before ads, books, promo items, appearance costs, etc,—to be considered “serious” about receiving awards is a problem.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Trouble With Endings (spoilers)

This piece deals with the end of three Oscar Best Picture candidates, reveling the ending of American Sniper, The Imitation Game, and Unbroken. DO NOT PROCEED is you haven’t seen the films or do not want to know the endings… you have been warned!

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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20 Weeks To Oscar: SNUB!

A snub is a smile turned upside down. That’s the First thing that always hits me when people scream, “SNUB!.” In order for some potential nominee who didn’t get nominated to be snubbed, someone who did get nominated has to have been undeserving in the eyes of the screamer(s). Second thing I think of is…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: How To Get Nominated

I’m starting this piece with less than an hour to go in the Oscar voting. And my advice (this is the cheap stuff… if I ever became an awards consultant, my advice would be way more valuable than this) is different for Phase II. But here goes… a list. I hate lists. But it feels like the right format here…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: In A Holding Pattern

There will be plenty to do for the next week, as we wait for the only nominations that the industry actually cares about. The Critics Choice Awards… Golden Globes… in some ways, these are really the start of the award season for real people. Neither group is particularly legit and neither will have more than a very, very minor influence on the ultimate Oscar winners. More, these televised awards tend to continue the process the settling.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Sexism and Racism and Awards Voting, Oh My! (2015 Edition)

This morning’s PGA vote is as unsurprising as unsurprising can be. To begin with, there is nothing included that is out of the box that has been defined for months. American Sniper has built a lot of heat over the holidays. Nightcrawler has been gaining heat for a while already. And Foxcatcher has been expected by most prognosticators since Cannes, pushed into “unexpected” status only in the last few weeks.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Soft Settling

This is the time of year when I usually write a story about what Bill Condon coined, “The Great Settling.” What that means, essentially, is that Academy voters have now had a chance to watch their DVDs, go to their screenings, hear some whispers, be fed a bunch of narratives, and get advertised to endlessly for a month and the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Another Oscar Zit

Walter Keane’s daughter from his first marriage, Susan, believes her dad’s story. And she built a website.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Oscar Zit Of The Day

Wasn’t it just 48 hours ago that I wrote about the foolishness of reconsidering Selma as a work of art because of what may a legitimate beef on the detail of the film by a witness to a part of the history the film covers? Now we have an eruption from the only participating central subject in Foxcatcher, Mark Schultz. He is angry, angry, angry at Bennett Miller…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

Would you consider yourself a good person?
I would consider myself … decent as I got older. When I was younger I was less sensitive, in my 20s. But as I got older and began to see how difficult life was for everybody, I had more compassion for other people. I tried to act nicer, more decent, more honorable. I couldn’t always do it. When I was in my 20s, even in my early 30s, I didn’t care about other people that much. I was selfish and I was ambitious and insensitive to the women that I dated. Not cruel or nasty, but not sufficiently sensitive.
You viewed women as temporary fixtures?
Yes, temporary, but as I got older and they were humans suffering like I was … I changed. I learned empathy over the years.
~ Woody Allen To Sam Fragoso For NPR

“To my mind, this embracing of what were unambiguously children’s characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence. It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite ‘universes’ presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.”
~ “Watchmen”‘s Alan Moore At His Alan Moore-iest

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