Good Morning Oscar, February 21: Counting to 10

The Oscar producers have big plans…and shaky math skills

This Presidents Day roundup is devoted entirely to the Oscar show – where the producers have big plans, but a little bit of trouble counting up the years correctly.

In an interview with Gregg Kilday about his plans for the Oscar show, co-producer Bruce Cohen drops a mathematically-challenged bombshell: “This is the 10th anniversary of the Best Animated Feature Oscar, so we go to an animated environment to present that Oscar," he says. " … [T]he reason we are there is to celebrate that this is the 10th anniversary of the best animated feature Oscar.”

Now, there's nothing wrong with bringing back an "animated environment," which has been used several times in the past – but Cohen is dead wrong about the anniversary. The Oscar for Best Animated Feature was first presented in 2002, to "Shrek." That makes this the ninth  anniversary. Have the Oscar producers really been working for months on a special anniversary segment without realizing that their math is wrong??? I mean, you can say that it's the 10th time the award has been presented, but that doesn't make it the 10th anniversary. And no, that is NOT splitting hairs. (The Hollywood Reporter)

2009 OscarsMore from Kilday's interview with producers Cohen and Don Mischer: the Oscar show will feature no film montages "within the body of the show," though it will include clips from all 10 Best Picture nominees, a onetime tradition that had been briefly ditched a few years ago (when there were only half as many contenders) because it's impossible to find clips that haven't been widely seen before. Also: they're doing away with the practice of using five different presenters for the Best Actor and Best Actress awards, which worked quite well when producers Bill Condon and Lawrence Mark used past winners two years ago, and fell flat when Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic used actors with a connection to the nominees last year. Cohen says they're presenting the acting Oscars using something they've stolen from "the 1970 Oscars" – though given his facility with numbers, I'm not sure if he means the 1970 Oscars, which took place in 1971, or the 1969 Oscars, from 1970. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Puzzling over what Cohen and Mischer might have stolen from that 40- or 41-year-old Oscar ceremony, Ryan Adams takes it upon himself to investigate those shows and see how they presented the acting awards. But his research can't find anything too theft-worthy from those years, which were notable mostly because of how many of the big winners weren't present. But in 1969, he points out, Best Director was presented by five women, all of whom were given envelopes – four of them empty, the fifth containing the winner's name. Seems way too gimmicky to merit a revival, even if the year did match … which it doesn’t. So I guess the suspense will continue (AwardsDaily).

Turning her sights to the audience at the show, Christy Lemire says that street artist Banksy may or may not attend the Oscar show – but that the Academy welcomes his attendance as a nominee. She also writes that "contrary to earlier reports, Davis said the Academy did not tell Banksy to stay away." Since those "earlier reports" go back to TheWrap breaking the story of AMPAS' discomfort with a disguised Banksy accepting an Oscar, I think it's worth pointing out that in my story, neither Davis nor Academy president Tom Sherak said anything about telling Banksy to stay away from the Kodak. They told me that they didn't want him onstage in disguise, and had communicated as much to his people. The new report may be elaborating on what they told me, but it certainly doesn't contradict it. (Associated Press)