Academy Awards

Oscar II: Yes, there front-runners ... albeit shaky ones

Here's the second of the Academy Award stories I sent to papers. This one deals with front-runners, now and past. The previous one looked at the telecast; more stories -- including the telcast specifics -- are coming.



Looking over this year's Academy Award
field, Hawk Koch took the proper Hollywood approach.

Oscar night: More music, more edge

The Academy Award show is Sunday (Feb. 24), promising more music and more comic edge. I'm sending a batch of stories to papers; here's the first one:


As soon as its producers were chosen,
one thing was clear: This year's Academy Award show will re-discover

Alongside that, however, came a
surprise: The show's comedy attitude is changing, too.

A stroll through Oscar night

During this Academy Award night, I'll do a sort ongoing commentary. For some preview stories, please check previous blogs; here we go:

1) Ryan Seacrest does a fine job in the red-carpet interviews. At a time when vapid is normal, he has solid questions to ask, BUT ...

It's Academy Award day

This is Academy Award day, when all reasonable people get terribly excited.

Well, I do, anyway. On this site, I'll put:

-- The overall preview that I sent to papers. It also includes a couple comments from Frank DeCaro, whose "Dead Celebrities Cookbook" might be helpful at next year's party. You'll find more details at

Oscar enigmas: The shorts categories

The categories lurk at the bottom of
Academy Award contests, sabotaging your chances to be perfect.

You're hoping to outguess everyone at
an Oscar party, but the shorts categories – animation, live-action
and documentaries – are enigmas.

Or maybe they don't have to be. Right now, some movie theaters are running three separate packages of the Oscar-nominated shorts.

Oscars: Being right is nice; having fun would be better

A few Oscar thoughts:

1) OK, it is nice to be right. This year, I predicted nine categories -- picture, director, scripts (2), acting (four) and animated feature -- and got them all.

2) Still, it would have been nice to have more fun watching the show. There were some clever filmed bits, but other laughs were sparse.

3) The biggest problems were the acceptance speeches. Mostly, they were just lists of names.

Good Oscar news: "Winter's Bone" gets its due

As the Academy Award nominations came out this morning, there was some extra-good news: "Winter's Bone" got nominations for best picture, actress (Jennifer Lawrence), supporting actor and adapted script.

Oscar hosts: Wrong, wrong

The new Academy Award hosts were announced today. The decision was ... well, flat-out, totally wrong.

Chosen were James Franco and Anne Hathaway.They are "the next generation of Hollywood icons," producers said.

In short, the show is going for youth, at all costs.

Now, I like youth as much as anyone. When it comes to cheerleaders, beaches, cornerbacks, modern dancers and Victoria's Secret models, I find youth to be very admirable.

Let's talk Oscars

During the Oscars, I'm going to throw out some comments; please add yours. And keep in mind that these are chronological and random:

1) The bar was set pretty low, but Jess Cagle managed to get under it. He's now officially the most obsequious host in red-carpet history.  Working ABC's half-hour premiere (in which Kathy Ireland wasn't much better), he felt compelled to tell us that the every person and every gown was wonderful. If Uriah Heep (the Dickens character, not the rock group) saw this, he'd say: "Can't you toughen up a bit?"

The Oscars -- a fun time

It's been a fun night, watching the Academy Awards. Here are some of my comments, as the show goes on:

-- Good news: Baz Luhrmann created that spectacular number, celebrating the return of the movie musical. Luhrmann's touch -- in "Moulin Rouge," "Romeo and Juliet," "Australia" and more -- is masterful. This was a grand moment.

-- Bad news: Five presenters for one awards? That's approximately four too many.