Nothing in the Hollywood calendar rivals the grandeur and glitz of the Oscars. Now in its 86th year, the Academy Award ceremony brings together the biggest actors, directors, and members of production staff in the movie industry, before showering some of them with golden statuettes and hugely expensive gift bags. This year's show put the powerful 12 Years a Slave up against the tight and tense Gravity in the best picture category, gave the best actress award to Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, and saw Leonardo DiCaprio denied his first Oscar after his fourth nomination.
Mar 4, 2014
The New York Times today published corrections to a story that ran more than 150 years ago, thanks to the twin forces of Twitter and Hollywood. The article, published on January 20th, 1853, describes the story of Solomon Northup, a freed African-American who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Northup's memoir, Twelve Years a Slave, was turned into the movie that won the Oscar for best picture at Sunday's Academy Awards in Los Angeles.Read Article >
Mar 4, 2014
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel celebrated the Academy Awards in the only way he's become accustomed to: poking fun at the entertainment industry using its own stars. Riffing off the fact that many of the Oscar-nominated films were adapted from books, Kimmel turned to internet memes as a source for future films, resulting in a four clips that star A-list actors doing things you would never expect.Read Article >
Kimmel, who's hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live! since 2003, has a history of producing post-Oscar Hollywood spoofs. Following the past two award shows, he put out "Movie: The Movie," and "Movie: The Movie: 2V," both highlighting frequent movie cliches. This latest volley of shorts ventures into the equally absurd, though splits it up into smaller chunks.
Mar 3, 2014
Gravity won big tonight at the Oscars, as Alfonso Cuarón's space drama took home seven awards including best director — but it was 12 Years a Slave that won the highest honor of the evening. Going into the Oscars, the two films that seemed to be in the strongest position were Gravity and Steve McQueen's drama, with ten and nine nominations each, respectively. But the Matthew McConaughey-starring Dallas Buyers Club was the film that got off to the quickest start, with Jared Leto taking home the statue for best supporting actor while the film also snagged best makeup.Read Article >
Cuarón earned best director for Gravity, a film whose bravura combination of live-action elements and digital wizardry took years to bring to the screen, but when it came time for the biggest award of them all it was Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave that came away the winner. Despite its many nominations, the film's only other wins were best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o and best adapted screenplay.
Mar 3, 2014
Google newest ad has just aired during the 86th annual Academy Awards. It shares the Oscars' reverence for film, using Pixar's Andrew Stanton — the director of Finding Nemo and Wall-E — to emphasize the importance of storytelling. Stanton, who performed a TED talk on the subject in 2012, speaks about the power of stories, his words set to shots of filmmakers young and old across the United States using their own cameras to tell their own tales.Read Article >
Her director Spike Jonze took home his first Academy Award tonight for best original screenplay. The film bested such contenders as David O. Russell's American Hustle and Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, but was long a favorite for the Oscar.Read Article >
Her won heaps of praise this year for its thoughtful, shockingly intimate treatment of a romance with an operating system. The film is also up for the Oscar for best picture, though it faces stiff competition from Gravity.
- Read Article >
The last record-holder was President Obama's tweet after winning the 2012 presidential election, which currently rests at 779,460 retweets. Ellen got confirmation from Twitter during the telecast and took the stage to share the news with the audience. "We just broke Twitter," she said. "We're all winners."
In a moment devoid of all subtlety, Ellen DeGeneres took a moment away from her hosting duties at the Oscars tonight to take a selfie with what appeared to be a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Of course, Samsung is a major sponsor of the festivities tonight, so the move was fitting... if somewhat bizarre.Read Article >
Mar 2, 2014
For the second consecutive year, visual effects artists are demonstrating at the Academy Awards today in protest of studio finance strategies that they say are driving them out of business. Workers are gathering at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles to protest the foreign tax credits that have put US effects studios at a disadvantage when bidding on film projects. "These subsidies are a form of corporate welfare used by Hollywood producers to game various governments against each other," the Association of Digital Artists, Professionals, & Technicians said in a statement. "At the same time, this has unknowingly cost taxpayers billions."Read Article >
The protest comes amid the release of Life After Pi, a short documentary about the history of the acclaimed visual effects studio Rhythm & Hues. The studio, which won Academy Awards for its visual effects on Babe, The Golden Compass, and Life of Pi, filed for bankruptcy last year, costing 238 people their jobs. The workers sued for back pay, eventually winning a $1 million settlement.
Feb 28, 2014
This Sunday the entertainment world will assemble for its biggest night of the year: the 86th annual Academy Awards. The Oscars will cap off an awards season that’s been particularly kind to the science fiction genre, with the space adventure Gravity and Spike Jonze’s futuristic drama Her both up for multiple Oscars — including the honor of best picture of 2013. It will also be a night full of potential for Netflix, which has already scored its first Emmy and Golden Globe wins, and could add an Oscar to the mantle with the documentary The Square.Read Article >
Long before the awards ceremonies and red-carpet broadcasts kick off, however, the preparation begins. Since 2002 the Oscars have taken place at a 3,400-seat venue on Hollywood Boulevard, originally known as the Kodak Theatre before that company’s bankruptcy issues took hold. In 2012 Dolby acquired the naming rights, turning the theater into a showcase for its own audio and display technologies. It’s since become a popular venue for Hollywood premieres, with films like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug showing off the company's Atmos surround-sound format.
Feb 27, 2014
For the first time ever, ABC plans to stream the complete Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday. That's the good news. The bad news is that the network is limiting the feed to its Watch ABC website and mobile app, which requires a cable subscription for live content. Worse still, since Watch ABC isn't yet available nationwide the Oscars will only be streamed in select cities: viewers in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco can watch online. Most cable providers support Watch ABC, though Time Warner Cable stands out as a notable exception. But if you're with one of the other big cable companies (including Comcast, Optimum, Verizon FiOS, and even Google Fiber) and live in one of those locations, you'll be able to access the stream.Read Article >
For those blocked from watching the ceremony itself, Watch ABC will instead offer a behind-the-scenes peek at all that's happening backstage and on the red carpet. Unlike the live stream, these clips will be available to everyone in the US regardless of cable subscription status. If you're not a fan of watching via ABC's preferred method, Variety reports that highlights from the awards show will be posted to Oscars.com minutes after they air. The night's musical performances will also be available in their entirety — another first this year. In previous years, much of this content was packaged into a standalone Oscars app. But after launching Watch ABC in May, the network is leveraging the hugely popular ceremony in a bid to direct more eyes towards its prized TV Everywhere service.
Feb 23, 2014
Most of us will never have to worry about remembering to thank our parents, our producers, our co-stars, our producers, and our childhood mentors as we're accepting an Oscar for a spellbinding performance in a Hollywood blockbuster — but for the few who do, Slate's interactive guide to Academy Award acceptance speech thank-you trends is a must-read. It runs the full spectrum: George Clooney only thanked the "film community at large" in accepting his 2006 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Syriana, while others went into a little more depth — Jeff Bridges, for instance, thanked everyone from Colin Farrell to a mysterious "Roger" in winning Best Actor for Crazy Heart. And as the report notes, Meryl Streep has been thanked more in recent years than God — another feather in the cap of one of Hollywood's most accomplished actresses.Read Article >
See the full feature over at Slate.
Jan 26, 2014
Oscar season is in full swing, and so is amateur prognostication about who will win. But for all the box office numbers, awards show results, and ever-elusive buzz, there's never been a predictor so reliable as the winner of the Director's Guild of America's top prize, the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. On Saturday night that award went to Alfonso Cuaron, for his terrifying sci-fi film Gravity.Read Article >
Jan 16, 2014
This morning the nominees for the 86th Academy Awards were announced — and the list contains many expected names and an Oscar newcomer. Netflix picked up its first Oscar nomination for the documentary The Square, while science fiction films made an impression as well. Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity was nominated for a total of 10 Oscars, including best picture, director, visual effects, and best actress for star Sandra Bullock. The sci-fi love story Her also received attention from Academy members, garnering nominations for best picture, original screenplay, production design, and both best original song and score.Read Article >
Gravity, of course, has been pinpointed as an Oscar hopeful from the moment it was released. The film received a warm critical reception, with Sandra Bullock, writer-director Alfonso Cuarón, and the film's realistic visual effects all drawing significant praise. That said, American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave will be strong rivals. David O. Russell's caper picture earned 10 nominations as well, including nods for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence, while Steve McQueen's drama came in with nine. As for who will win out in the end, we'll have to wait until the ceremony itself. The Oscars will be airing on March 2nd — but in the meantime, you can review the full list of nominees below.