OSCAR TELECAST SPOILERS WARNING: Please don’t read further if you wish to be surprised tonight… I have just found out that, after posting here “My 8 Spoilers On Oscar Telecast” very early Friday morning, some of the plans for tonight’s Academy Awards show have changed. I’m told these alterations were made over this weekend because the changes weren’t popular. But I’m told that, at the time I wrote them, my spoilers were correct.
1. Yes, the three amigos — Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas — will give out the Best Director award. No one has disputed this. Amd its amazing to me that the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and the trades didn’t know this or report it. (And the LA Times boasts about having someone covering the rehearsals full-time!) Though I do think it’s naive for Oscar pundits to draw the conclusion that, therefore, these directors’ pal Scorsese has won the award. The decision to invite these three presenters was made well in advance of counting final ballots. *Done.*
2. That Tom Cruise is giving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award to Sherry Lansing is also correct. I’ve since been made aware that Slate.com reported this on February 20th. I never saw the item. Before I posted, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times never reported the info, and the trades never reported the info as well. *Done.*
3. Yes, it was planned that the three Dreamgirls — Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, and Anika Noni Rose — would sing each others’ songs. Now, I’m told, the organizers have responded to criticism of this. So it won’t be as cut-and-dry as originally arranged. UPDATE: *The girls DID sing on each other’s songs.*
4. As of early Friday, when I reported it, all the actor categories had been pushed back to the last third of the show. But, again, the organizers have re-thought this, in part I’m told because my news generated a big hue-and-cry. Now the actor awards will be more spread out again. UPDATE: *They were definitely way later in the show than normal.*
5. My reporting was correct that the previous Academy Awards comedic writing trio of Bruce Vilanch, Carrie Fisher and Carol Leifer are together working on the Oscars again. Operative word here is “together”. Parse this all you want. *Done.*
6. My reporting is still correct that Ellen DeGeneres was working on the opening monologue with her own team and that it won’t be political or mean-spirited. That’s not to say that others weren’t in the loop on this, but that’s nitpicking. *Done.*
7. Yes, as I reported, the show opens with an “inspired piece of CGI trickery” and it does feature Ellen with the Happy Feet penguins among other scenes. One or two oscar pundits are suggesting this is in the “pre-show” — but the show is The Show. Stop splitting hairs. UPDATE: *I’m told that Ellen dancing with the Happy Feet penguins got cut for one technical reason or another at the last minute. It was in the early part of the show, which turned out to be the pre-show.*
8. I was correct that the broadcast features clip packages by some famous directors like Michael Mann (about America as seen in films) and Nancy Meyers (about writers). Also, Errol Morris has a nice segment early on featuring interviews with nominees. *Done.*
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