Entries Tagged 'Oscars' ↓

Live-Blogging the Oscars

This entry will be updated throughout the night, with the newest entries at the top of the post. Refresh your browser to see the updates. In case you haven’t seen our Oscar predictions, they are here. By the way, these time stamps (all EST) are really useful if you recorded the Oscars on your DVR or TiVo.

UPDATE: Check out our Oscars wrap up, complete with the essential videos from YouTube.

12:12am: Jack and Diane (Keaton) present Best Picture. Finally. The Oscar goes to… The Departed! Yay! Nice shot of Marty watching from the wings. Good speech from Graham King. I’m all Oscar-ed out now.

12:07am: The three amigos, Coppola, Lucas, and Spielberg, are up to present Best Director. Please let Marty win. Please. He won! This is going to be one hell of a speech and one hell of a standing ovation. They better not start playing music, even if he goes on for five minutes. Good speech, Marty.

12:01am: Reese Witherspoon is hot again. Divorce agrees with her. Best Actor goes to Forest Whitaker. I was rooting for an upset just so that something interesting would happen. Whitaker thanks the people of Uganda and his ancestors.

11:52pm: Philip Seymour Hoffman is going for the Nick Nolte look. Wtf is up with his hair? He has dreadlocks! Best Actress time, finally. Helen Mirren wins, and we are all shocked.

11:45pm: Jodie Foster introduces the memorial montage. Will Anna Nicole Smith be included? Nope. The memorial fittingly ends with a tribute to Robert Altman. Is this the longest Oscars ever? Or is it just especially boring? Where is Roberto Benigni when we need him?

11:41pm: After yet another montage (it’s 11:40 already!) Kate Winslet is presenting for Editing. This award could decide many pools. The Oscar goes to The Departed. I think this is going to foreshadow Best Picture. Marty is crying at his editor’s speech. Aww.

11:30pm: Queen Latifah and John Travolta present Best Original Song. Latifah presented this award last year and sang, “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp…” when she presented the award. Melissa Etheridge pulls off the huge upset for An Inconvenient Truth! Best speech so far. She is truly touched and humble, and she is seriously thanking Al Gore. Dreamgirls is really getting the bitchslap, except in the one category that I was hoping for an upset.

11:23pm: Dreamgirls song montage. Beyonce gets my vote for Best Actress when she looks at J. Hud and says “you’re the best…” Beyonce is singing her heart out, and nearly busts out of her dress.

11:12pm: Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire present Original Screenplay. They really don’t look happy to be on the stage together. The Oscar goes to Little Miss Sunshine! Yay! For a second there, I was starting to worry that LMS would be shut out. [Ed: Duh, Alan Arkin won already.] Writer Michael Arndt gives one of the better speeches so far.

11:09pm: Hugh Jackman and Penelope Cruz present Best Original Score. I picked The Queen, but I’m wishing I’d picked Babel. The Oscar goes to Babel.

11:02pm: Ennio Morricone accepts his Lifetime Achievement Award, and only the people in Italy understand him. Clint Eastwood is acting as his interpreter. I know Clint can do anything, but interpret Italian? Who knew?

10:47pm: Documentary Feature time. If Al Gore loses, Tipper better keep him away from sharp objects. The Oscar goes to…An Inconvenient Truth! Al Gore, Oscar winner. Screw the White House. Dubya is totally jealous right now. Two points for global warming movies. Al uses his speech to motivate people to actually do something about global warming. Good speech.

10:43pm: Documentary short goes to The Blood of the Yingzhou District.

10:35pm: Best Supporting Actress time. Come on, everybody except Jennifer Hudson! Clooney is looking especially yummy. And the Oscar goes to…. Jennifer Hudson. Crap. Girl, you have officially peaked. Good thing you took off that hideous jacket.

10:31pm: Two of my favorite actors, Clive Owen and Cate Blanchett, are up to present Best Foreign Film. The award goes to The Lives of Others, in an upset. So much for the Pan’s Labyrinth sweep.

10:21pm: Pirates wins for Visual Effects, beating two huge flops, Superman Returns and Poseidon.

10:14pm: Cinematography goes to Pan’s Labyrinth. Darn, looks like Children of Men will go home empty-handed, but Pan’s Labyrinth is indeed on its way to a sweep.

10:08pm: Tom Cruise awards Sherry Lansing an honorary Oscar for humanitarian work. As the former head of Paramount, she is one of the few women who has had real power in Hollywood. Tal asks a good question: has the Academy ever given this award to a studio executive?

10:03pm: Love Emily Blunt’s dress. Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway are recreating their roles from The Devil Wears Prada, and Meryl is playing along. Costume Design goes to Marie Antoinette. Why is the woman who won wearing a hideous tuxedo? Shouldn’t she, by definition, have the most fabulous outfit?

9:49pm: Best Adapted Screenplay time. I wish Sacha Baron Cohen would win, just for the speech. But it won’t happen. The Oscar goes to The Departed. Could this be the first of many awards for The Departed?

9:43pm: Cameron Diaz is presenting for Best Animated Feature. Our group is split on how well her overall look is working. Consensus is that she’s a little too orange. The award goes to Happy Feet. Has Pixar ever not won this award? One point for global warming movies.

9:36pm: Omg, Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio are so boring. But wait, what is Al Gore announcing? And then the music starts. That’s hilarious!

9:21pm: The first high profile award is up. Best Supporting Actor goes to Alan Arkin!!! WOO HOO!!! Upset alert!! I CALLED IT! Eddie Murphy’s non-win means Dreamgirls has no steam and Jennifer Hudson could very well be upset. (Fingers crossed!)

9:18pm: Please let Kevin O’Connell of Apocalypto win for Sound Mixing. He’s been nominated 18 times, for crying out loud. The award goes to Dreamgirls. Kevin O’Connell is the Susan Lucci of the Oscars. Poor guy. Is it because people won’t vote for anything that Mel Gibson is involved with?

9:14pm: Our entire group picks Letters From Iwo Jima for Sound Editing. The award goes to Letters From Iwo Jima. Yay! The Marine Corps gets a shout out, which has to make my dad happy.

9:05pm: Is Jack playing a cancer patient? Is that why he’s bald? (Update: Yes, he is. Check the last item on R&M.)

9:04pm: Live Action Short goes to West Bank Story. David Edelstein, you’re my hero. Ooh, the West Bank Story director is gorgeous.

9:01pm: Abigail Breslin and Jaden Smith are too cute. Best Animated Short goes to The Danish Poet. Thank you David Edelstein for the hot tip.

8:57pm: Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly = best Oscar skit ever. Make-up Oscar goes to Pan’s Labyrinth.

8:50pm: Don LaFontaine appears and we all shout, “It’s the movie trailer announcer guy! From the Geico commercials!”

8:45pm: Art Direction: My money’s on Pan’s Labyrinth. Woo hoo! The Art Director woman is scary skinny and needs cheeseburgers. Our little party is forecasting a Pan’s sweep in its categories.

8:41pm: Jack is bald. And now he looks kind of creepy. Ellen, you can have a box of chardonnay at my house anytime you want.

8:33pm: The first montage of all the nominees speaking directly to the camera looks very much like the Mac vs. PC commercials. Where is Justin Long?

8:27pm: Andre Leon Talley of Vogue reminds us all why he works at a magazine and not as a television commentator.

7:47pm: Naomi Watts is sporting a bump and is officially pregnant. Congrats, Liev Schrieber. Nicole Kidman–what is up with the ginormous bow around your neck? Even Tal’s reaction is “Why?”

7:32pm: Gwyneth Paltrow has redeemed herself for her black Goth emsemble from a few years ago. Daniel Craig’s date is wearing a gorgeous dress, but she needs to eat many cheeseburgers.

Cate Blanchett hath arrived. She is a fashion goddess and can do no wrong. Oooh, Sacha Baron Cohen. Yum. What is Kirsten Dunst wearing on her top?

7:04pm: We heart Maggie Gyllenhaal. You can never go wrong with old Hollywood glamour. Love Penelope Cruz’s dress, but it is almost identical to the one that Charlize Theron wore the year after she won.

6:58pm: Jennifer Hudson has arrived dressed for her role in the next Star Wars sequel.

6:43pm: All two of TrailerSpy’s writers are in the same room, so we have extra security at the door and another blogger squirreled away for safe keeping.

3:18pm, EST: We’re getting an early jump on this live-blogging thing. Last night, TrailerSpy’s Los Angeles correspondent attended the dress rehearsal at the Oscars. She asked to remain anonymous, so let’s just call her J. Here are J’s notes from the dress rehearsal, but be warned, they CONTAIN SPOILERS.

“Some great stuff…Ellen DeGeneres is going to be hilarious! John C. Reilly, Jack Black and Will Ferrell do a little skit (too funny). Celine Dion is so full of herself it is scary (and if she wears the same dress she wore tonight she needs to hire a new stylist!). Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce and the other girl (forget her name) are AMAZING. Some really cool stages – mostly gold and silver metallic tones – and there are at least 10 different set-ups. They have some GREAT montages (Producer Laura Ziskin LOVES montages). Tonight, sitting in the 3rd row, center stage, in the seat behind where Rachel Weisz and Cameron Diaz will sit, so just a few seats away from Robert Downey Jr., George Lucas, Mark Walhberg, John C.. Reilly, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard will sit tomorrow night, I felt like a star. OH! Not sure if you heard it or not, but ALL of the major awards will be during the last hour. ALL of them. Kinda cool. Great presenters – Al Gore with Leo DiCaprio. John Travolta with Queen Latifah. Jennifer Lopez. Maggie Gyllenhaal. Helen Mirren. Cate Blanchett. George Clooney. Cameron Diaz. Rachel Weisz. Tom Cruise. Clint Eastwood. Abigail Breslin with Jaden Smith. Anyways, from what I saw tonight, I will still watch tomorrow night. Alot of the reason is because if Ellen goes with what she did tonight, I want to hear it again and laugh all over again.”

Weekend Movie Events

It’s Oscar Weekend, so tomorrow is the Oscar Movie Marathon at AMC Theatres across the country. For $30 bucks you can sit through all five of the Best Picture nominees during AMC’s Best Picture Showcase. AMC’s official info is here.

If you live in the New York City area and are interested in seeing all the Oscar nominated short movies, the IFC Center is showing them. Buy one ticket and you can see all the live action shorts or all the animated shorts. These are the toughest categories to handicap and here is your chance to gain a real edge in your Oscar pool. Showtimes are here.

(Side note: We’ll be live-blogging the Oscars on Sunday, starting around 7pm.)

On a non-Oscar topic, if you live in the NYC or NJ area, a trip to the Loew’s Jersey is a must. This is an old movie palace, the kind that most of us have only seen in films. If you can imagine the grand cinemas where old movie premieres were held, then you are on the right track. The screen is several stories tall, and there are ornate paintings on the ceiling, crystal chandeliers, and grand staircases. Built in 1929, the theatre fell into disrepair and it is now being painstakingly restored by volunteers.

Loew’s Jersey only shows films one weekend a month, and this weekend they are screening their top 3 most-requested movies. If you’ve ever wanted to see one of these classics on a five-story screen, here is your chance.

Friday, 8pm: Back To The Future
Saturday, 2pm: Gone With The Wind
Saturday, 8pm: Casablanca

Adult tickets are just $6 and all proceeds benefit the theatre’s restoration. Snacks are cheap too. The Loew’s Jersey Theatre is surprisingly easy to reach from Manhattan, just steps away from the Journal Square PATH stop.

I can’t tell you how much I recommend visiting the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre, at least once. Their official site is here.

TrailerSpy’s Oscar Predictions

Whether you want to win your Oscar pool or just sound informed at a party on the big night, we’ve got you covered. Here are my Oscar picks, with lots of help from the experts at Oscar Watch.

Supporting Actress
Ok, I’m going to begin with a doozy that may start some arguments. If you want the safe bet, pick Jennifer Hudson, but I’m going to bet that she won’t win. There is no freakin’ way that Academy members, who are elitist overachievers, are going to give an Oscar to an actor in her first acting job. That doesn’t happen unless the actor is 12. The Academy is tired of Dreamgirls (remember, it wasn’t nominated for Best Picture) and frankly, Hudson’s been completely over-hyped. Anybody who saw Dreamgirls after mid-January walked away from her performance thinking, that’s it? I mean, the girl can sing, there’s no denying that. But the award is Best Supporting Actress. And let me tell you, every other nominee acted circles around Jennifer Hudson, even 10-year-old Abigail Breslin. However, Breslin won’t win. Both Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi were amazing in Babel, but they will split votes from Babel fans. All of which leaves Cate Blanchett to swoop in for her second Best Supporting Actress Oscar in three years. Her performance in the climactic scene of Notes on a Scandal was a work of art (as was Judi Dench’s, but it’s not her year). Furthermore, Blanchett has worked with a good percentage of the Academy, and the Academy votes for its own.
Safe Bet: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
My Pick: Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal

Supporting Actor
Eddie Murphy, unlike Jennifer Hudson, is actually an actor, or at least a comedian. I did walk away from Dreamgirls pleasantly surprised by how good he was in the role. Then again, this is also the man behind Norbit, and those Norbit ads were unmissable during the entire voting period. Of the other nominees, Alan Arkin has the most momentum. Jackie Earle Haley is the other upset candidate, but he is playing a pedophile in Little Children, which few people saw.
Safe Bet: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
My Pick: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine

Lead Actress

The Academy has already started engraving this award with Helen Mirren’s name on it. She simply was Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, and it is impossible to imagine anyone else in the role.
Safe Bet: Helen Mirren, The Queen
My Pick: Helen Mirren, The Queen

Lead Actor
Reese Witherspoon has presented so many awards to Forest Whitaker this season that by now they are old friends. Oscar night will be no different. Ryan Gosling will get another shot, and sentiment isn’t enough to carry Peter O’Toole to the podium.
Safe Bet: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
My Pick: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland


This is Martin Scorsese’s sixth Oscar nomination for Best Director, and eighth nomination overall, but every year he has gone home empty-handed. (He was nominated for Adapted Screenplay for Goodfellas and The Age of Innocence.) He was supposed to have won in 2005 for The Aviator, but Clint Eastwood stole his thunder with Million Dollar Baby. The Aviator was a good, but long, movie, and The Departed is brilliant. This is Marty’s year, plain and simple.
Safe Bet: Martin Scorsese, The Departed
My Pick: Martin Scorsese, The Departed

Best Picture

This year’s Best Picture race is so close that Fox Searchlight has hired people to give cupcakes away in Los Angeles on behalf of Little Miss Sunshine. It has devolved into a high school popularity contest, but with much larger stakes.

If I were an Oscar voter, I would look at the Best Picture category as a question of legacy. Which film is going to leave the greater legacy? Which film has a greater legacy: Dances With Wolves, or Goodfellas? Goodfellas, of course, but Dances won.

Prognosticators and bookies have The Departed, Babel, and Little Miss Sunshine in a dead heat. Letters From Iwo Jima is a masterpiece, but hardly anybody saw it. Plus, Clint won for Best Picture twice already. The Queen is a really good television movie. Many people are predicting gold for Little Miss Sunshine, and as much as I would love for that to happen, comedies simply don’t win, especially not zany comedies about a family of losers.

The real contenders are Babel and The Departed. Not many people saw Babel, but those who did either loved Babel or they really hated it. There was a fair amount of frontal female nudity, which will turn off notoriously conservative Oscar voters. Numerous websites are saying that Babel is this year’s Crash, since they share similar themes. All those people who were heartbroken that Crash took the big prize over Brokeback Mountain last year are not going to be voting for Babel.

So I am going to go with The Departed. At two and a half hours long, I was expecting to be bored and antsy, but I barely blinked. The box office winner has a definite advantage in the Best Picture race, and the sentiment for Martin Scorsese will be a huge factor.
Safe Bet: Babel or The Departed
My Pick: The Departed

Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it…

For analysis and picks on the rest of the categories, click here.

Previously: Which Best Picture nominee has the Best Trailer?

Which Best Picture Nominee Has the Best Trailer?

The Best Picture race is unusually tight this year, and movies are looking for any advantage they can get. Which Best Picture nominee has the best trailer? You be the judge. Here they are, in alphabetical order.


The Departed:

Letters From Iwo Jima:

Little Miss Sunshine

The Queen:

Click here for TrailerSpy’s Oscar predictions

Oscar Movie Marathon!

Update (02/06/08): This is our post from 2007. If you’re looking for AMC’s 2008 Oscar movie marathon, check out this post. It’s now called the Best Picture Showcase, by the way.

If you want to see all the Best Picture nominees but haven’t gotten around to it, AMC Theatres across the country are hosting a Best Picture Showcase the day before the awards. For $30, you can watch all five movies in a row and spend the entire day in the cinema. Plus they throw in a large drink and a large popcorn, with free refills all day. (Sounds like heaven!)

It’s a cool idea and I’m surprised no one has done it before. Even though I’ve already seen three of the movies, I am tempted to hunker down on the 24th for an Oscar Movie Marathon.

Here is the official site for AMC’s Best Picture Showcase on Saturday, February 24.

Oscar Nominations Are In: Dreamgirls Smackdown!

The Oscars are coming, the Oscars are coming! Oscar mania officially kicked off this morning when Salma Hayek announced the nominees. (In case you missed the telecast, one of the best moments was Salma’s reaction to the news that her pal Penelope Cruz got a nomination.) I couldn’t have been more thrilled that Dreamgirls was shut out of the top categories, and that Little Miss Sunshine swooped in instead. Ryan Gosling snagged the darkhorse nomination for Best Actor, and now I must rent Half Nelson. How many members of the Academy will vote for Sacha Baron Cohen for Best Adapted Screenplay just so they can hear his speech?

Need more Oscar? Check out reactions from Carpetbagger, Rope of Silicon, Best Week Ever, and DVD Times.

The Last King of Scotland: Forest Whitaker, the Oscar Shoo-In

I was unsure which trailer to post today until I saw that The Last King of Scotland is opening nationwide on Friday. Like many Oscar contenders, the movie had a limited release in 2006. Now that Forest Whitaker is winning every Best Actor award in sight, Fox Searchlight is wisely expanding the movie nationwide.

One look at the trailer and you’ll see why Whitaker’s performance has been so acclaimed. He disappears into the role, without needing make-up or a drastic weight change. His droopy eyelid (he told Esquire he could have it fixed, but he chooses not to) makes him look truly evil in the role, and therefore perfectly cast. Oscar voters love accents and portrayals of real people; this performance has both.

Even without all the accolades for Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland gets my vote to SEE IT. It is a compelling story based on true events in Uganda, and James McAvoy and Kerry Washington look like they turned in some pretty impressive performances of their own.

The Last King of Scotland is rated R and opens nationwide on Friday, January 19. (Official site)

Children of Men: A Tale of Two Trailers

For something a little different on TrailerSpy, we present you with two trailers for Children of Men. According to J. Hoberman of the Village Voice, the film has been the victim of a “nonexistent marketing campaign,” which would explain why the movie wasn’t high on my list of priorities. The first trailer, below, is the official trailer created by Universal Studios, which is distributing the film.

The second trailer was created by an enthusiastic fan who wasn’t quite satisified with Universal’s version. I learned about the grassroots version today when IMDb reported that despite being ignored by the studio, Children of Men was making more per screening than the top movie in the country. Blair Erickson‘s trailer plays more like an Oscar consideration montage than a trailer, but he obviously feels passionately about the movie if he went to this much effort. Warning: the trailer below MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

So watch one trailer or watch them both, but either way I hope you say SEE IT. Children of Men is rated R and is in theatres now. (Official site)

Opened December 20: Letters From Iwo Jima

Clint Eastwood released two movies this year that covered each side of the battle of Iwo Jima. Flags of Our Fathers, the American side of the story, was released in October and flopped at the box office. Letters From Iwo Jima is told from the Japanese point of view. I give Clint Eastwood a huge amount of credit for making both movies (simultaneously, by the way) when he could have stopped after Flags.

I generally shy away from war movies because I hate watching people suffer, but the buzz from Letters From Iwo Jima is too loud to ignore. (Despite all the buzz, I hadn’t seen one commercial or one trailer until now.) Awards season is in full swing, and it is an early frontrunner for Best Picture. Plus, it stars Ken Watanabe, on whom I developed a huge crush after watching The Last Samurai.

The beautiful thing about the movie awards season is that it forces me to get out of my comfort zone and see truly great films that I otherwise might have missed. Letters From Iwo Jima could be one of those masterpieces, so I am going to SEE IT.

Letters From Iwo Jima is rated R and is currently playing in very limited release. (Official site)