Sunday, February 27, 2005

Oscar Picks 2005 

UPDATE (3/1/05, 8:34 am): Now that I've recovered from my very late night Sunday night, I've put an asterisk next to my correct picks. Only 9 10 correct for me this year, while I had 16 last year. Full list of 2005 winners here.
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Okay, it's time to put it out there. Here are my picks for the 77th Academy Awards:

*Picture: Million Dollar Baby
Director: Martin Scorcese, The Aviator
*Actress: Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby
*Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator
*Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray
Supporting Actor: Thomas Haden Church, Sideways
*Animated Feature: The Incredibles

Art Direction: Finding Neverland
*Cinematography: The Aviator
Costume Design: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Documentary Feature: Super Size Me
Documentary Short Subject: The Children of Leningradsky
Film Editing: Collateral
*Foreign Language Film: The Sea Inside
Makeup: The Passion of the Christ

Original Score: The Village
*Original Song: "Al Otro Lado Del Rio," The Motorcycle Diaries
Short Animated: Guard Dog
Short Live Action: Little Terrorist
*Sound Editing: The Incredibles
Sound Mixing: The Aviator
Visual Effects: I, Robot

Adapted Screenplay: Million Dollar Baby
Original Screenplay: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2/27/2005 12:44:00 PM

Oscar Night Final Prep 

The Girl and I have watched the last nominated films we're going to be able to squeeze in, and now it's time to prepare The Castle for tonight's event of the year, Oscar Night!

We braved the wild parking safari that is a trip to the West Newton Cinema, to see Vera Drake. I dropped The Girl off to procure the tickets, and about 30 minutes later I walked into the theater to join her. We ended up sitting in the 2nd row, as that and the 1st row were the only ones with available seats. Thank goodness for many, many previews, as I think we only missed the first few minutes. Then last night we watched The Story of the Weeping Camel, and this morning we finished up The Motorcycle Diaries.

The Girl says that if anyone had told her seven years ago that she'd be spending a Saturday night watching a British film about abortion in the 1950s and then lying on the couch watching a foreign language documentary set in Mongolia, about camels and camel herders in the Gobi desert, she'd tell that person they were crazy. Yet there we were. My, how times change.
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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2/27/2005 12:41:00 PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Academy Award Musical Performers - Update 

This evening's Oscar blog entry reveals additional performers who will be providing their renditions of the Best Song nominees: Santana, and Antonio Banderas. Since the performers for the other songs had already been announced, it seems likely that they'll be performing jointly on "Al Otro Lado Del Río" - THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES.
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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2/22/2005 07:23:00 PM
Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Beyonce Showcase 

In last night's Oscar blog post, Gil Cates revealed the performers for the various Best Song nominees. Hope y'all dig Beyonce. The nominees are:

"Accidentally In Love" - SHREK 2 - To be performed by Counting Crows, who are also the songwriters and film performers.

"Al Otro Lado Del Rio" - THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES - Performer yet to be named. Film performance was by Jorge Drexler.

"Believe" - THE POLAR EXPRESS - To be performed by Beyonce and Josh Groban. Film performance was by Josh Groban.

"Learn To Be Lonely" - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - To be performed by Beyonce. Film performance was by Minnie Driver.

"Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)" - THE CHORUS - To be performed by Beyonce, accompanied by the American Boychoir of Princeton, New Jersey. Film performance by Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc Choir.

I'm not sure anything can beat the kinetic performance of "Belleville Rendez-vous" from The Triplets of Belleville last year. Plus there was the puzzlement we all struggled with when faced with the unusual instrument Sting was playing on "You Will Be My Ain True Love," from Cold Mountain. FYI - it was a hurdy-gurdy.
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UPDATE (9:47 am): I had to hold off on this until I received confirmation that I wasn't mistaken, and I wasn't. I'm very excited about the performance of the American Boychoir of Princeton, since my beautiful and talented niece Jen worked with that group while she was an undergrad at the Westminster Choir College. Whoo-hoo!
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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2/15/2005 09:35:00 AM
Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day Movies 

The Girl and I had our Valentine's Day yesterday, since I'll be in class until 9:40 tonight, and won't be home until about 10:40, which is well after she'll have gone to bed. We spent the day doing things we don't often get to do together during the school year - like making fabulous omelettes for breakfast, protein shopping (i.e. meat & fish) at Whole Foods Market, and produce shopping at Wilson's Farm. We also watched two of this year's Oscar-nominated documentaries, Super Size Me, and Tupac: Resurrection, and the thrice-nominated Passion of the Christ. And since what is Valentine's Day without a romantic comedy, we saw The Wedding Date on the big screen. All of this done with no discussions over when I would put down the Criminal Procedure and the Professional Responsibility casebooks. She had my full attention for the day.

We also shared the experience of a cold which I graciously delivered home from school, the building which has been dubbed "this five-story cesspool of snot."

But since movies were such a part of our (early) Valentine's Day festivities, I thought I'd set out my (alphabetical, not in order of preference) list of suggestions for Valentine's Day movies. Please feel free to add more suggestions in the Comments:

50 First Dates
About a Boy
American President, The
Butcher's Wife, The
Chocolat
City of Angels
Love Actually
Moonstruck
Notting Hill
Return to Me
Runaway Bride
Simpy Irresistable
Sleepless in Seattle
When Harry Met Sally
While You Were Sleeping
You've Got Mail
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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2/14/2005 07:12:00 PM

Academy Awards Format Changes 

I've been reading Gil Cates' Oscar blog, which is really more of a daily PR hype, but occasionally does provide something new and interesting from behind the scenes. I found it interesting that one of the purposes of the Nominees' Luncheon is to remind everyone of their acceptance speech time limit, and to suggest stylistic approaches that have worked in the past.

Friday's post (2/11) brought news of some format changes for the upcoming show. They won't be showing five separate clips for the Best Film nominees (does this mean they'll run them altogether, or what?).

They'll be doing some presentations in the usual way, with the presenter reading out the nominees from the stage, and the winner goes on up. For others, the nominees will all be onstage already when they're introduced, and the winner gets to step forward like at a beauty pageant. For still others, the nominees will be in their seats, but the presenter will be standing in the aisles. I assume the presenter will then walk over and hand them a microphone, a la Phil Donahue.

I'd be REALLY pissed off if I were to have worked hard for years, finally got the recognition of my peers and was then prevented from taking the Walk of Glory up onto the stage while everyone applauded. Especially if I were in one of the lower level categories. I mean come on - this is pretty much the only public recognition these people ever get.

We'll see how it goes.
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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2/14/2005 07:11:00 PM
Friday, February 04, 2005

Oscar Blog 

Gil Cates, producer of the Academy Awards ceremony (this will be his 12th), will be launching a behind-the-scenes blog covering the ongoing preparations for Oscar night. The blog, which will be linked to from Oscar.com, is set to launch on Monday (2/7). I'll update this post Monday with a direct link to the blog.

Cates sounds like a cool kind of guy. The 70-year-old has 6 kids, 5 grandkids, and is Phoebe Cates' uncle. He dresses in jeans and sneakers, and "often zips" around the Century City production offices on an electric scooter. In past productions he had a statuette sent into space and then announced via satellite from a space shuttle, and originated the memorial clip segment of the show. Look for Ossie Davis to be featured prominently on February 27.

Cates, as producer, is also the guy in charge of deciding when to bring out the orchestral hook to cut off winners who are blathering and when to hold back when an otherwise well-done acceptance is running a little long. His goal this year is to wrap by 11:30 pm Eastern Time.
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UPDATE (2/7/05, 6:22 pm): I've been checking all day, but have yet to find a link to the Oscar blog that was supposed to be up today. I'll keep checking. If anyone else has found it - could you leave a comment with the link?
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UPDATE (2/7/05, 9:40 pm): Blog's up!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2/04/2005 01:51:00 PM