Pete Hammond’s Notes On The Season: Academy Crisis Averted; Spike Lee On 2 Words He Won’t Say; Is This Finally The Year For Oscar Bridesmaids?
A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit.
Despite final balloting being halfway done (Oscar voters, you have until Tuesday at 5 PM PT), and campaigns still in high gear leaving no rock unturned and no opportunity to reach straggling voters untaken, much of the air in the room this week has been sucked up by the latest controversy to make this the most beaten-up Oscar broadcast in recent memory (and that is before it even happens). One source… Read
ASC Boss Thanks Academy In New Open Letter As Hollywood Reacts To Oscars Rethink
UPDATED with ASC open letter: Hollywood celebrated with statements and posts on social media today in the wake of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announcement that all awards presentations would be live on the February 24 Oscars broadcast.
That included Kees van Oostrum, the president of the American Society of Cinematographers, the group that launched the first signs of industry protest hosting an open letter from a quickly-growing group of signatories… Read
Oscars Last Call: Adam McKay’s ‘Vice’ Analyzed By ‘One Percent Doctrine’ Author Ron Suskind
Ron Suskind has closely covered Dick Cheney and the George W Bush White House as a journalist and author of The One Percent Doctrine and The Price Of Loyalty, and he was the executive producer of the Emmy-winning Oscar-nominated feature documentary Life, Animated. His bold reporting included an inflammatory report that the blueprints for the Iraq invasion were drawn up way before 9/11, something that seems all too obvious when you watch Vice. Suskind acted as consultant fo… Read
Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta On The Power Of Women In ‘Roma’ – Guest Column
Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta co-founded with Cesar Chavez the United Farm Workers union where she currently serves as VP (Rosario Dawson played her in the 2014 biopic Cesar Chavez which starred Michael Pena as Chavez). Huerta is also founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which connects community-based organizing to local, state, and national movements. In 2012, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil… Read
Oscars: Academy To Reverse Decision And Award All Categories On Live Broadcast
EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED with confirmation of Deadline scoop: The Motion Picture Academy has decided to reverse plans to award the four categories during commercial time — Cinematography, Editing, Make-Up and Hairstyling and Live Action Short — and the winners will be awarded during the live telecast. This become the latest in an Oscarcast that has been trying hard to bring the Academy Awards into the 21st century, but bucking up against an organization steeped in… Read
Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Joins Oscar Protest
The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, IATSE Local 706, has joined the protest of the Motion Picture Academy's decision to hand out four Oscars – including those for Best Makeup and Hairstyling – during commercial breaks at the February 24 telecast on ABC. The Academy’s move, made official Monday, was made in order to bring the telecast in at under three hours.
"We know from some of our members, as talented artists and professionals, that they are disappointed by… Read
Academy Tells Cinematographers It Will Respond Today After Thursday Night Meeting Over Oscar Flap
UPDATED with meeting details: The president of the American Society of Cinematographers and a contingent of Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated DPs met Thursday night with Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Dawn Hudson and president John Bailey over the Academy’s plan to keep four categories out of the Oscarcast, a decision has met with much criticism since it was officially announced Monday.
Sources said the meeting, held at Academy HQ, was cordial as both… Read
Oscars Last Call: Queen’s Brian May & Roger Taylor On Rami Malek’s Morph Into Freddie Mercury In ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Bohemian Rhapsody soars on the strength of a performance by Rami Malek, who got under the skin of iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a way that has made him the prohibitive favorite in the Oscar Best Actor race. The film chronicles the formation, rise, and adversity weathered by the band before its titanic 1985 Live Aid turn that is still considered one of the greatest concert performances ever turned in by a super group. The picture has been a passion project for… Read
Oscars Last Call: RFK Family On ‘Green Book’; Hear Doc Shirley & Tony Lip’s Audio Testimony That Dispels Disinformation
No Best Picture contender has gotten more mud unfairly slung at it this Oscar season than Green Book, the Peter Farrelly-directed drama that earned Oscar nominations for both Mahershala Ali for playing virtuoso pianist Don Shirley, and Viggo Mortensen for playing Tony Lip, the Copacabana bouncer who drove him on a road trip of the Deep South during the Jim Crow segregation era. Because of the clear dirty tricks campaign waged against this Golden Globe-winning film — a… Read
Three Questions: This Year’s Best Foreign Language Film Nominees On The Lessons They Took From Their Oscar Journeys
From left to right:
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma (Mexico)
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck – Never Look Away (Germany)
Hirokazu Kore-eda – Shoplifters (Japan)
Nadine Labaki – Capernaum (Lebanon)
Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War (Poland)
1. What more could we be doing to give foreign language cinema a bigger platform in the United States?
Cuarón: We definitely need a switch of paradigm. Audiences are definitely hungry for these films, but they… Read
Editors Guild Urges Academy To Reconsider Award Presentations During Commercial Breaks
EXCLUSIVE: The Editors Guild has joined the tsunami of protests over the Film Academy's decision to hand out four Oscars – including the one for Best Editing – during commercial breaks in the February 24 telecast on ABC. The Academy's decision, which also relegates cinematographers, makeup artists and hairstylists and producers of live-action shorts to the back of the Oscar bus, is being widely viewed as a snub of below-the-line crafts – a charge the Academy vehemently… Read
Cinematographers Call Academy Oscar Broadcast Explanation “Unsatisfying” In New Letter
The American Society of Cinematographers has responded to Wednesday’s explanation letter from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about the Oscars plan to award four categories during the Oscarcast’s commercial breaks, terming it “unsatisfying and oddly inaccurate.”
Cinematography is among the categories — along with Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling and Live-Action Shorts — whose awards are being truncated to fit into a three-hour ABC broadcast on February 24… Read