Typically, the musical numbers during the Oscar telecast are one big snoozefest. Even the producers think so and sometimes combine all the best nominated songs in one big medley to get them over with. Given the lame nominees in some years, I don’t blame them. That’s all about to change this year.
Craig Zadan and Neil Moran are producing the show and from the sounds of it, it’s going to be phenomenal. That is, if you’re a musical nut. They’ve already brought on Adele and Shirley Bassey as part of the tribute to James Bond’s 50th anniversary and enticed Barbra Streisand to perform at the Academy Awards after a 36 year absence. Now comes word a segment celebrating musicals from the past 10 years is on the program. That should come as no surprise given that Zadan produced the movie adaptations of Hairspray and Chicago, plus the classic Footloose and NBC’s Smash. Find out which musicals are being honored below.
Next to the nominations and the big show itself, the thing I look most forward to is the official poster commemorating that year’s Academy Awards. Usually, they’re on the mark, but they have made a few missteps.
Personally, the 2010 poster featuring hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin sitting on the shoulders of an Oscar statue was cheesy. Same goes for the 2004 creative when they went for a comic book-inspired feel. I much prefer it when they stay true to the Oscar statue and make that the focal point. After all, everyone hopes they walk out of the marathon ceremony holding one.
For the 85th Annual Academy Awards, they commissioned English artist Olly Moss to create the official artwork. He definitely took this honor seriously based on the amount of work he dedicated to the project. He transformed 85 statues to represent each Best Picture winner since 1927. Then he placed all of them on one commemorative poster which you can purchase for $35 over at Oscars.org. Check out a few of my favorite transformations below.
As part of the upcoming 85th Academy Awards ceremony, everyone’s favorite debonair spy is finally getting his due. The James Bond franchise is receiving a tribute for its 50th anniversary. Complete with an Adele performance. YAY. To promote this salute, 2013 Oscar host Seth Macfarlane filmed a promo with one of the actors who’s played 007. Macfarlane plays bartender and serves guess what to him… a vodka martini of course. Watch the promo below to find out which Bond actor.
This is the latest piece of promotional marketing featuring the Family Guy creator. He filmed another vid spoofing Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie, Psycho. In that clip, he’s in the room beside the shower where Janet Leigh is about to meet her demise. He pounds on the wall, telling them to keep it down because he has a meeting in four hours. Based on these two clips, I have really high hopes that Seth performs well on the live show. Check out both promos below.
It only took 36 years, but Barbra Streisand is returning to the Academy Awards stage to perform. The first, and only time so far, was in 1977 when she performed her Oscar-winning “Evergreen“- the theme song from A Star Is Born. I’m not sure how the producers coaxed the legend to getting back on stage, but I’m extremely thankful. The 85th Annual Academy Awards are going to be epic.
“In an evening that celebrates the artistry of movies and music,” says producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, “how could the telecast be complete without Barbra Streisand? We are honored that she has agreed to do a very special performance on this year’s Oscars, her first time singing on the show in 36 years.”
Seriously, I’m still in shock that Streisand agreed to do this. Why now? Back at the 1997 Academy Awards, her duet with Bryan Adams, “I Finally Found Someone,” was nominated for Best Original Song, but she opted out of performing it. Instead, Natalie Cole was supposed to sing the tune, but fell ill last minute. With only one day of rehearsals, Celine Dion stepped in and blew it out of the water.
With Adele already confirmed to perform “Skyfall” as part of the James Bond tribute to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the spy franchise, and Barbra’s addition, the singing portions of the show are going to be must-see segments. Typically for me, it’s the perfect time for a bathroom break. Check out Barbra’s 1977 performance below, along with Celine’s last minute substitution back in 1997.
Let the official Oscar campaigning begin. Even though the race started long before today, with the nominations now revealed, the handshaking and butt kissing to Academy voters kicks into high gear. This is exactly the part Joaquin Phoenix criticized when he slammed the Oscars. Despite that dig, as predicted by him, Phoenix snagged an Oscar nod for his work in The Master. Can he parlay his “unique” campaigning to Oscar glory when the winners are announced on February 24, 2013 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood?
Oscar host Seth Macfarlane and Emma Stone woke up extremely early today to read out the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards. Side note: Macfarlane is the first host to announce the nominations since Charlton Heston did double duty back in 1972. As widely predicted, Lincoln dominated with 12 nominations including Best Director, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Coming in second was Life of Pi with 11 nods. Unlike Lincoln, Life of Pi didn’t score any acting nods and their haul came mostly from the creative categories. Check out all the nominations and my commentary including snubs in all the major awards below.
The group that puts on the annual Academy Awards may possibly exercise a decision to move the famous awards show to a new venue in 2013. The 84th Academy Awards will complete a decade-long run for the Oscars in Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, a venue that began hosting the show in 2002. However the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences has announced that they will be looking at different options for the following year.
“Our plan right now is to exercise this [option] and then see what happens, what goes on. We’re open,” Tom Sherak, president of the Academy, tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview. “Personally, I love the Kodak. I’ll say that until I’m blue in the face. I’ve been there since the very beginning. But in the next year the Kodak and others will come to us and the [Academy] board will make a decision at some point.”
When the AMPAS signed the contract with the CIM Group who owns the venue, a clause was included that allowed the Oscars to pull out of the contract after 10 years. A member of the board stated that this was merely a “business decision“. The board will review all of the option and could ultimately decide to remain at the Kodak if they can renegotiate a better lease agreement.
I believe the phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” truly applies to this situation. After a ton of Oscar drama with Brett Ratner stepping down as producer and Eddie Murphy calling it quits as host, it looked the the Academy was going to have to scramble to find out who could take on both duties. Fear not faithful movie patrons, the Oscars have found their leader and they are seeking refuge in none other than repeated and favorite host, Billy Crystal!
Billy broke the news to all of his via Twitter today and let’s be honest, we couldn’t be more excited! However, a campaign to have The Muppets host the Oscars was thrown into the mix yesterday. With such a popular social media choice, do you think they’ll throw them in as well? Who knows. But what I can’t stop laughing about is Billy’s tweet to announce the new hosting gig:
Did you catch last year’s Academy Awards hosted by Anne Hathaway and what appeared to be a stoned James Franco? Critics and skeptics talked for months afterwards about what really went on yet no one seemed to find a definite answer as to why Anne Hathaway was so bubbly and James Franco was so, well… mellowed out. Now, James is finally speaking out about what really happened. James talks about a lot of topics from the night, the first being why he felt so discouraged to be there in the first place.
It’s hard to talk about because it’s like assigning blame — not a fun thing to do. For three or four weeks we shot the promos and the little film that played in the opening. In the last week, when we really started focusing on the script for the live show and did a run-through, I said to the producer, I don’t know why you hired me, because you haven’t given me anything. I just don’t think this stuff’s going to be good.
Okay, so instead of working with what you have and making it great for you, you just decided to pass the buck and look completely uninterested at the Oscars? That sounds like a major copout to me. But, James has more to say so I’ll save my entire judgement after you see what else he has to say. Next, James talks about being forced to wear drag on stage.