Finally, Oscar month is here. And it’s the shortest month of the year – but will it feel that way?
The Academy has announced a new presenter for the 83rd Oscar show: Robert Downey Jr., whose two 2010 movies ("Due Date" and "Iron Man 2") resulted in one Oscar nod (visual effects for "Iron Man") but about $425 million domestic. The silly blue bow tie in the accompanying photo, an AMPAS shot from last year's show, seems designed to advance the narrative that Downey is a kooky guy who'll make the show light and funny and young. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)
Kris Tapley says something that needed to be said about "The King's Speech," and the revisionist appraisals that have accompanied its surge in the Oscar race: "The unfortunate thing now — and if you’re watching, some are already doing an about face on their own positive opinion of Tom Hooper’s film — is that the fallout will be insufferable. Suddenly 'The King's Speech' will be a blight on Academy history … And that's just sad, because it’s a very good film that doesn’t deserve to be taken to task in the wake of another film’s failed (and overstated) awards season expectations." (In Contention)
John Lopez asks if the Oscars are already over, and decides that they aren't. His road to victory for "The Social Network," strangely, involves the Oscars' preferential system for counting Best Picture ballots, which he thinks could favor the Facebook movie. Given the composition of the Academy, I think "The Social Network" is more likely to be the kind of divisive movie that gets left behind, and "The King's Speech" the consensus pick that wins under the system … but maybe Lopez knows something I don't. (Little Gold Men)
"Unbowed, undiminished, unstoppable" – that's David Carr on Harvey Weinstein, whose latest comeback gets a somewhat skeptical overview from a guy who didn't much care for "The King's Speech." Clearly, Carr's distaste for the film colors his view of matters, as when he describes the movie as coming "from the rear of the pack" to land its field-leading dozen Oscar nominations. Whatever you think about the movie, "The King's Speech" was never at the rear of the pack. (The New York Times)
And speaking of Harvey, Kyle Buchanan takes a recent Weinstein interview and turns it into the "five talking points to guarantee a 'King's Speech' Oscar win." Weinstein's "stealth narratives," he insists (tongue at least partly in cheek) include belitting the "Social Network" budget, encouraging an anti-critic backlash, and joking about "TSN" producer Scott Rudin. (Vulture)