For me, it was a 2D theater.
Marty McFly’s mom called me “hot.” I can die happy now.
Topol used to sing about tradition, and that’s exactly what the Oscars are all about Fiddler on the Roof name drops aside, each year beautiful people walk the red carpet showing off their dollars and fashion sense, and chatting it up with press on their respective film and nerves for the night. Once they get inside, the telecast traditionally runs overtime and anoints predictable winners and yawns. This year wasn’t any different. The King’s Speech and star Colin Firth were knighted as expected, while Natalie Portman danced her way to an Oscar. The red carpet seemed to play a similar script with fashion guru Tim Gunn and others talking to nominees and stars, and asking them who they wore, and what their expectations were for the night.
Something was different between Hollywood and Highland on Sunday evening ( Feb. 27), well for me anyway. Before Kirk Douglas stole the show, James Franco went drag for a Charlie Sheen punchline, and a King was crowned, I made the leap from my usual spot on the couch to the red carpet itself. Dressed in a tux (an upgrade from my usual attire of ratty t-shirt and pajama bottoms), I aimed to break from traditional Oscar fare by throwing some curveballs to the cinematic sluggers. Each year, the Oscars follow a similar script and I wanted to break that pre-show. Rarely do we see stars getting asked which film they don’t want to win that evening. Speaking of which, stars aren’t asked if the interviewer can borrow their statue for the weekend either. As I found out, there’s probably good reason for that.
Nonetheless, below is my red carpet experience captured on video (Blair Witch effect running wild). Will Aaron Sorkin finally join Facebook? How has induction in the Conan O’Brien Oscar-Winner F-bomb Hall of Fame stack up to the Oscars? Will anyone loan me an Oscar? …And where does Larry David fit into all of this? Find out below…
Red Carpet Coverage – Part One
Red Carpet Coverage – Part Two
“Bachelor’s” Chris Harrison as Oscar host?
On Sunday, I was in Los Angeles covering the 83rd Annual Academy Awards for the Huffington Post. As I reported from the red carpet, I secretly held out hope that the night would come with huge surprises. I hoped Darren Aronofsky would stun the crowd by winning Best Director. I thought Melissa Leo’s self-campaigning would sabotage her chances and fall to Hallie Steinfeld of True Grit. Most of all, I hoped Oscar voters would think outside the box and crown not a “King” but a royally good animated flick — Toy Story 3- as Best Picture. As we know, the night didn’t play out that way. That said, my evening’s biggest surprises took place after I left the red carpet.
Moments after leaving the glitz and the glamor, I found myself in an interesting pickle – not literally. Pickles are, after all, gross. I was in the entertainment capital of the world, steps away from the Kodak Theatre where the ceremony was taking place, and no matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn’t find a place to watch the telecast. As I walked along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I gloriously found the irony of my predicament. I asked cops covering the carpet where to watch them, and was met with blank stares. I questioned event security and staff, and they looked at me like I had two heads. As I walked up and down the Hollywood Boulevard, my wife texted me the winners thus far. Continue reading
Jon Chattman covers the 83rd Annual Academy Awards for the Huffington Post Feb. 27, 2011. Javier Bardem is asked how it feels to be immortalized by Conan O’Brien.
Watching this year’s Academy Awards will be like starting a book after you’ve already skipped ahead to read the ending. Aside from a possible surprise or two (i.e. Bening over Portman; Steinfeld over Leo), the 83rd annual telecast should follow a predictable night with Colin Firth and The King’s Speech crowned over The Social Network. Expect Speech to take home about five gold guys with Network close behind with four. Perhaps the most unpredictable aspect about this year’s Oscars will be how well James Franco and Anne Hathaway host the event. I suspect the duo will rise to the occasion with a little song, a little dance, and a lot of humor. I also bet we’ll see our fair share of celeb cameos engaging with them in planned bits and vignettes. As a whole, the night should be entertaining, drawn-out predictable fun. Here’s my take on how the night will play out in all categories. One thing is clear this will be the first award show in some time that doesn’t feature Betty White.
The Oscar nominations were just announced, and as is always the case, several key omissions were made. Ryan Gosling delivered one of the rawest, finest performances of the year, and has little to show for it. Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey gave terrific performances in Black Swan, but failed to land nods. Inception scored a bunch of nominations, but leaving Christopher Nolan off the Best Director list and not giving it an editing nod is just plain asinine. Speaking of asinine, Ben Affleck, so often the butt of any industry joke a decade ago, delivered not only the finest acting job of his career with The Town, but proved he’s a skilled writer and director. Giving his film one lone nomination (Jeremy Renner) is a shame.
Yes, Oscar snubs sting. To soften the blow, as I’ve done each year, I’d like to single out the Oscar forgotten. Here are my nominees for the “Forgotscars.” Weigh in on who I left off, and who wrongly received the cold shoulder from that little green guy this morning.
The Ghost Writer
Ben Affleck, The Town
Michael Douglas, Solitary Man
Robert Duvall, Get Low
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter
Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
Catherine Keener, Please Give
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone, Easy A
Hilary Swank, Conviction
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Pierce Brosnan, The Ghost Writer
Vincent Cassel, Black Swan
Matt Damon, Hereafter
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Sam Rockwell, Conviction
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kirsten Dunst, All Good Things
Ann Guilbert, Please Give
Rebecca Hall, The Town
Barbara Hersey, Black Swan
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Ben Affleck, The Town
Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
Christopher Nolan, Inception
Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer
Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island
James Franco has to be expecting it. Natalie Portman has probably known it for months. I’m sure Annette Bening is feeling it. Ditto for Darren Aronofsky and probably his mustache. I mean seriously we all do at this point. Come Tuesday morning all of those names will wake up to much deserved Oscar nominations as predicted by just about everyone in and out of the industry. When the 83rd Annual Academy Award nominees are announced expect a similar script that’s been playing out at recent award shows lately.
Jesse Eisenberg getting snubbed is the only shocking thing I can imagine happening when the nominations are announced on Jan. 26. The field for Best Actor is so competitive this year – it’s very possible “The Social Network” actor gets left off the ballot in favor of Javier Bardem, Paul Giamatti or even Mark Wahlberg. Don’t bank on that happening though. The Mark Zuckerberg portrayer should earn one of the presumed ten nominations or so for his film. It’d be interesting to see if Kunis or Franco gets snubbed. If the latter does you can expect hosting duties to be, well, awkward. Don’t count on that either. Anyway, below are my predictions in major categories only. I seriously doubt you care whom I feel has the best shot at a Best Makeup nod.
The King’s Speech
Toy Story 3
The Social Network
The Kids Are All Right
Could Sneak In:
Off the top of my head, I can’t tell you which film won big at last year’s Golden Globes. What I do remember quite vividly, however, is host Ricky Gervais drinking beer, promoting his DVDs, and taking pot shots at Mel Gibson seconds before the fallen star walked on stage. I loved every minute of it. The British actor/comedian is always unpredictable, and will nine times out of ten nail a joke even if the joke misses. His sarcastic wit and delivery felt at home last year on the always unpredictable Globes — the self-professed “party of the year” — and will again I’m sure when he comes back for seconds this Sunday for the 68th Annual Golden Globes.
Gervais will only be part of the fun. For decades, the Globes has been the best telecast of any award show. While the winners are always a bit offbeat (um, remember the year Scent of a Woman won Best Picture?), the show itself always flows nicely, and with the booze flowing nicely at each table, you’re always guaranteed a hilarious, touching, or awkward moment will happen… just ask Ving Rhames or Christine Lahti. In any event, this year’s Globe should be fun. Here are my prediction for the night’s winners — expect some surprises. Continue reading
It could’ve made for some epic television — the kind of moment that lives forever in boob tube history, and that’s not a Christina Hendricks reference. People would’ve been talking about it for years, possibly even decades. But, Emmy voters blew it like they always do. I am, of course, referring to the missed opportunity of awarding Conan O’Brien an Emmy for Best Variety Series over Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. Continue reading
Mark Sanchez stopped by the gift lounge at the Tony Awards yesterday, and feasted on some Starbucks ice cream. Sanchez later appeared on the show to rile up the crowd to do a “J-E-T-S” chant (it didn’t work) and introduce the new show “Memphis.” Sanchez is a big Broadway fan, and he makes no apologies for it. Good for you Broadway Mark.
Paula Abdul handed out the Best Choreography Award last night at the 64th Annual Tony Awards, but before she stopped off at the Official Gift Lounge produced by On 3 Productions at Radio City Music Hall to pick up some nice Vera Bradley swag. People can’t get enough of VB by the way. My mom and sister buy everything they’ve got from glass cases to bags. When will they come out with toilet seat covers? I could go for that.
John Hughes’ films were never really appreciated critically the way they should’ve been. Sure, any child of the 1980s idolized the man, but for some reason, his comedies – despite their winning characters and overall humor and heart – were often forgotten and never dubbed instant classics when they came out. That sentiment probably still lives on, which is why I was so delighted that the late filmmaker was honored like an icon at last night’s Oscar telecast.
Sure it seemed out of place – and rightfully so – but it was poignant to see Brat Packers like Molly Ringwald, Continue reading
When was the last time an Oscar Best Picture reflected the times we live in? The Departed? Not so much. No Country For Old Men? Not quite. Crash? Maybe, but that film wasn’t worthy. Back in the 1970s, films that won top honors always felt like they personified the year in which they won. You can argue for other decades, but for the most part, the 2000s thus far have failed to do so. I mean, the films that won the top gold guy following 9/11 were Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, and Chicago. Seriously?
As we approach this year’s telecast, one would hope Hurt Locker or Up in the Air would overtake Avatar to claim Best Picture. Years from now, decades from now, either one of those two flicks — if they win anyway — would be best remembered as a film that personified the war-fueled and economic disaster that was 2009. Thanks to dwindling Oscar buzz for the George Clooney airliner and a Locker producer’s lame attempts to sway Oscar judges, I’m not so sure that will happen. It could very well be a glorious night for James Cameron or a surprising Inglourious night overall. Continue reading