In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, an Oscar vet gives advice to newcomers, and the Academy complicates the job of transporting those statuettes.
Variety’s Tim Gray, who is assuredly not an Oscar newbie, offers advice to those who are, particularly first-time nominees. “To those who have already attended, no explanation is necessary,” he says. “To those who have never been there, no explanation is possible.” But he explains anyway: bring a snack, don’t drink, don’t chew gum, prepare a speech, and try to keep it all in perspective. Of course, the more nominees see stuff that says things like “no explanation is possible,” the harder it is to keep the Oscars in perspective. (Variety)
The Academy has just made things a lot trickier for the people who transport, guard and hand out Oscar statuettes. In a pair of press releases, AMPAS announced that the Best Actor statuette that’ll be handed out at the Kodak Theater on March 7 will be displayed in a “Meet the Oscars” exhibit in Chicago, while the Best Actress trophy will be on public view in New York. Ordinarily, all the Oscars for each show are shipped, unpacked, wheeled backstage (on a Rubbermaid cart, more often than not) and put onto shelves in the wings of the stage without reference to which Oscar will go to which category; when it’s time for a category, the white-gloved Keeper of the Statuettes simply reaches for the nearest blank Oscar, and hands it to a trophy girl (or boy). Now, apparently, he’ll have to somehow keep straight which one is supposed to go to the Best Actor, and which to Best Actress. Post-it notes, maybe? Chicago. New York. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) (Photo: AMPAS)
David Poland takes the pulse of the race “16 Days to Oscar,” and agrees that it’s still a two-horse race between “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar.” He takes particular aim at those who are buying into Harvey Weinstein’s contention that “Inglourious Basterds” is an upset in the making : “The truth is, the effort went right past a surge into overhype and the clear scent of desperation. Count that one as over.” (Movie City News)
A conveyor-belt red carpet. No Jack Nicholson. Holographic avatars waiting in the wings to accept for every “secondary-award” nominee. The In Memoriam names rattled off as fast as humanly possible. That, says Vanity Fair’s Julian Sancton, is how to cut the Oscars to 30 minutes. (Little Gold Men)
An instructive, amusing tweet from Chris Willman, in response to my story about how “Up in the Air” novelist Walter Kirn should relax, and how half the town is waiting for Oscar tickets that haven’t yet been allotted: “I overheard the "Blind Side" director talking about how desperate the woman [Sandra Bullock] played is to get Oscar tix–multiple calls a day.” So Leigh Anne Tuohy really wants to be front-and-center at the Kodak? Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me in the least. (Twitter)
The Popcorn Reel pretends to have a contest in which the winner will win all 10 Best Picture nominees on Blu-Ray or DVD. All the questions ask for entrants to predict some aspect of the Oscars, and the rules specify “all predictions must be correct in order to win …. ” I think it’s a trick, since at least three of the questions (numbers three, six and eight) do not have the likeliest answers listed among the possible responses. I mean, if your question is “Which of these two films will win Best Picture?” and your possible answers are “The Blind Side” and “Precious,” but not “The Hurt Locker” or “Avatar” or “none of the above,” you’re pretty much admitting that you have no intention of letting anybody win. (The Popcorn Reel)