Tag Archives: Oscar moments

Oscar Wrap-up (2015)

In case anyone was wondering why I didn't write up my usual, probing, insightful, film geek review of the Academy Awards this year, fear not. I did write one. It's just not posted here.

I don't remember if I've ever mentioned it here or not, but, I've been writing a weekly entertainment column called the APEX Hollywood Shortlist for the APEX Editor's Blog since November. The Shortlist covers weekly box office figures, award season news, the latest film festival news from around the world, you know, pretty much anything to do with movies. And honestly, it's kind of my dream gig. Crazy fun! And though I still cover the hell out of the aviation and inflight entertainment realm for APEX, Runway Girl Network and Aircraft Interiors, the Shortlist has been my bread and butter lately. So, check out my full Oscar night wrap-up at the link below and enjoy!

APEX Academy Awards Wrap-up (2015)

 

 

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Oscar Ads (2015)

Forget the Super Bowl, man. This year’s Academy Awards telecast had three of the coolest, funniest and most heartfelt commercials I’ve seen all year. And best of all they came in one big beautiful clump up near the front of the show, you know, when people were still watching the Oscars! Here are my three favorite Oscar ads just in case you missed them. Enjoy!

 

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Oscar Party Food (2015)

This year we had our smallest Oscar party ever with just three partygoers in attendance. Actually, if you count the Barbie and Monster High dolls Greta plopped down in chairs near the TV there were actually seven. Either way, it was probably my favorite Oscar party ever.

We had Oscar nominee crafts for Greta, loads of fun Oscar nominee-themed candy (my favorite were the Nerds Rope for The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game and the Whoppers for all the historical innaccuracies in the Best Picture nominees!) and a big bowl of taco salad to support all of the Mexican and Latino nominees this year.

That said, I must admit that we both loathed Best Picture winner Birdman with a passion. Oy, talk qbout art with a capital “A”…so annoying. And that score, my God, it was such a struggle sitting through that crap. And we watched it at home too! I can't even fathom seeing Birdman in an actual theatre. Yikes…

The worst thing is that if what Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu said about good luck charms actually working is true, I fear that our taco salad may have had a hand in bringing that lunatic three Oscars last night. Guess we should have followed our first instinct and gone with all kid-themed food for Boyhood. Oh well…there's always next year.

Oh, and by the way, Nerds Rope are ahmazing! So yummy! And they seemed to work a little magic last night for the nerd movies too, so, hooray for Nerds!

 

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Oscar Nominees 2015

OK, let’s just start with the biggest upset of the morning, no LEGO Movie Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature? What the hell?! To steal a line that has been tweeting around the internet all morning: everything is NOT awesome. Seriously, even the Best Original Song nomination for the film’s crazy-addictive “Everything is Awesome” can’t numb the pain of losing out on what many considered to be sure bet for Best Animated Feature. Wow…still totally shocked.

Also very disappointed to see Nightcrawler’s Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo overlooked in the acting categories. They both deserved serious consideration for their stellar work in the film, but, I am thrilled to see it score a Best Original Screenplay nod for writer/director Dan Gilroy. Nightcrawler was one of my favorite films last year and I’m definitely rooting for Gilroy to take home the gold, so, rock on, dude!

If I had one major gripe — aside from the two mentioned above — it’s that the Academy showered so much love and so many nominations on movies that, in my mind, were just OK. I mean, seriously, Whiplash and Foxcatcher for Best Picture? Yikes…

And while I’m delighted to see J.K. Simmons finally getting some Oscar love for his kick-ass turn in Whiplash, I gotta say, the rest of the movie is completely overrated. A total “actors movie” with a lot of showy stuff going on but not much else. Same thing with Foxcatcher. Again, very happy to see Steve Carrell finally snare a richly-deserved Best Actor nod, but, beyond the acting the movie was a mess and the fact that it scored Best Adapted Screenplay and Director nods is completely flabbergasting. Wow…

On the plus side, I actually yelped out loud (OK, more like screamed) when Laura Dern’s name was read in the Best Supporting Actress category. She gave an absolutely transcendent performance in Wild and if you ask me, this is her time to shine. She was the heart and soul of the film and literally lit up the screen with her powerful, soulful work. I think she was my favorite nomination this morning. Very excited for her!

I’m also totally stoked to see Boyhood continuing it’s climb to the top in a very chaotic award season. This movie has haunted me more than any other this year and I’m hoping it wins everything it’s nominated for. And yes, I know that means Patricia Arquette would beat Laura Dern in the Best Supporting Actress race, but, hey, there’s room for more than badass mother performance, so, I’m hoping for a tie!

Another cool surprise was the Best Original Song nomination for “Lost Stars” from another one of my favorite films last year, Begin Again. That movie was amazing and even if they didn’t get nominated for their performances in the film, I’m gonna pretend that Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo’s Oscar nominations this morning — for The Imitation Game and Foxcatcher, respectively — were for that movie instead. Either way, glad the stodgy old Academy remembered this lovely film.

And speaking of memory (I know, nice transition here, sorry) I am so excited to see Julianne Moore in the Best Actress race for her career-best work in Still Alice. That movie devastated me and her performance is definitely the stuff Oscar gold is made of. And if you ask me, it’s about freaking time Moore takes home an Academy Award. No one even came close to her this year…she’s probably the one sure bet this season and she deserves everything she gets. Rock on, red!

And even though Guardians of the Galaxy missed out on a Best Picture nomination, it did score a Writers Guild of America nomination last week and picked up two Oscar nods this morning as well. One for Best Visual Effects, (go, Groot!) and one for Best Make-up and Hairstyling (go, Gamora!) so, I’m not complaining. On a related note, it was very cool to see something other than stuffy English period films in the Best Costume Design category with Maleficent and Inherent Vice picking up surprise and totally deserving nominations. Rock on, crazy Maleficent horns!

Speaking of Inherent Vice, even though I only liked the first hour of the film (which is perfect!) and it descended into total madness in the second half, I have to admit I am glad to see writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Knowing Oscar voters, who have a rich history of rewarding people for the wrong movies, Anderson, who should have won for Boogie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, will finally win an Oscar for his work here.

The bad news is that two really deserving writers got totally shut out in Anderson’s Adapted Screenplay category. Novelist Nick Hornby’s script for Wild was incredible and deeply moving. And though I haven’t seen it yet, Gilian Flynn’s adaptation of her novel Gone Girl is supposed to be pretty badass too. Sadly, their slots got taken by the likes of total groaners like Foxcatcher and Whiplash instead. Oy…makes me want to groan again.

And finally, even though Bradley Cooper knocked Jake Gyllenhaal out of the Best Actor race, Cooper gave one of the best male performances of the year in American Sniper and I was really glad to see the film pick up so many nods this year. It’s a really great flick with a, pardon my French, fucking doozy of an ending. Amazing!

OK, that’s all for now. You can find a complete list of this year’s nominees here. And, as always, I’m dying to hear what you guys think of this year’s crop of nominees, so, comment away!

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Lauren Bacall (1924-2014)

It’s official, amigos, the golden age of Hollywood glamour is gone forever with the passing of Lauren “Betty” Bacall today at the age of 89. Truly one of a kind, Bacall’s smoldering beauty lit up the screen for over 70 years but the thing she’ll probably most be remembered for is her voice. Oh, that voice!

I think my favorite Lauren Bacall movie is probably Key Largo, but I will always have a soft spot for that big ball of convulated craziness that is The Big Sleep. Even Raymond Chandler (who wrote the novel) used to joke that he couldn’t make heads or tails of that story. But when you’ve got a 19-year old Lauren Bacall making her screen debut opposite Humphrey-flicking-Bogart, who cares?! A true classic in every sense of the word!

I’m just glad old Betty finally got an Oscar before she died too. It might not have been the one she was hoping for — Bacall’s Best Supporting Actress loss to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient in 1996 is still considered one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history — but Bacall did take home a richly-deserved honorary Academy Award in 2009. So, rock on classy lady…and please give my regards to Bogey!

 

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Belated Oscar Night Rundown

Seeing as the Academy Awards aired like, weeks ago, by now you’ve probably watched and/or read all the post-Oscar coverage you can handle, but, for those of you still dying to know what I thought of the show (I know you’re out there!) well, here goes nothing…

First off, a little backstory on why it’s taken me so long to get to this. The simple answer is that Greta’s birthday usually falls one or two weeks after the Oscars. Which means that unless the Academy moves the show to an earlier date in the year, we will be hosting two parties on two subsequent weekends for the rest of our lives. Urgh! And seeing as this past birthday was Greta’s fifth and was attended not just by a dozen or so of her new preschool friends, but also by their siblings and parents…well, let’s just say that party planning in the Yeti household has gotten exponentially more complicated.

"Eat the fish, bitch!" Swedish Fish

I’m not saying it wasn’t fun and that Mrs. Yeti and I don’t genuinely enjoy planning parties for Greta (because we totally do!) but, as any harried parent can tell you, putting together a DIY kid’s birthday party, Princess-themed or otherwise, for your child can be hugely stressful for all involved. Most especially for the “royal couple” putting the whole shebang together in the first place.

Anyway, Greta’s party was awesome (I’ll post some highlight pics very soon, I promise!) and now that our party season is over I’m finally free to give you my thoughts on what I think just might have been the perfect Oscar telecast. I know lots of people had problems with the show, but, hell, I even thought Ellen was good this time around. And, considering my checkered past with that old union-busting scab, that’s really saying something!

Contrary to what critics have been saying, I thought DeGeneres was funny, entertaining and refreshingly edgy in spots. Her “Liza Minnelli impersonator” bit was hilarious, and that pizza delivery and A-list selfie stuff is already the stuff of Oscar legend. Classic! I also loved her opening joke about voters being racist if they didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave. The movie was beautifully done and definitely worthy of every award it won, but, truer words were never spoken. Hilarious! And the rest of the winners this year were equally awesome.

"I am the captain now!" Pirate's Booty

The fact that Gravity lost the Best Picture trophy to 12 Years a Slave nonewithstanding, it was still very cool to see two of my favorite writer/directors, Alfonso Cuarón and Spike Jonze, pick up some long overdue hardware. And with history-making wins for people of color in several of the major categories, it was perhaps the most colorblind Oscar telecast ever as well!

Aside from becoming the youngest member in the exclusive EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) club on Sunday night, Frozen composer Robert Lopez also became the first Filipino-American Oscar winner. And though my personal loathing of 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley dates back to the trash-talking he did during the WGA strike in 2008, I have to admit, I was happy to see him become the second African-American screenwriter to win an Oscar, after Geoffrey Fletcher’s historic win for penning Precious.

Also very cool was the fact that Emmanuel Lubezki, the Mexican cinematographer who shot Gravity, and has been nominated seven times (seven times!!) for his gorgeous work on such modern classics as A Little Princess, Children of Men and The Tree of Life, finally took home the gold. And the fact that he won against such beautifully shot films as The Grandmaster and the breathtaking B&W cinematography in Nebraska, makes Lubezki’s triumphant win all the more sweet. Rock on, hermano!

iPad tribute to HER!

I also loved the fact that the awards were so evenly spread across the field of nominees, with movies like Gatsby and Dallas Buyers Club winning richly-deserved craft awards and 12 Years a Slave helmer, Steve McQueen, taking home an Oscar (and making Oscar history again as the first African-American director to win gold!) for his producing work on the film. The show gets tedious very quickly when the same movie sweeps every category, so, it was fun to see so many different movies bringing home the gold this year.

In fact, I think the only major nominee to go home empty-handed was American Hustle. And while I was sorry the academy couldn’t find some way to honor David O. Russell for his bad-ass work co-writing and directing Hustle, if indie-spirited filmmakers like Spike Jonze and Alfonso Cuarón can win Oscars, then, surely Mr. Russell’s day in the limelight is just around the corner. Same goes with Amy Adams, who, in my opinion can do no wrong onscreen. Her work in American Hustle is almost insanely perfect. So good!

That said, I was thrilled to see Cate Blanchett pick up her second Oscar for Blue Jasmine. Despite what people might say about Woody Allen’s tangled personal life, he is doing some of the best work of his career at the moment and, considering his resume, that is really saying something! And Blanchett’s work in Jasmine is some of the finest she’s ever done too. Man, she nailed it!

Sourdough bread for Woody's SF-set Blue Jasmine!

It was also very cool to see the hugely-popular Frozen pick up two awards. Even if you don’t have a five-year-old running around singing “Let it Go” all day long, you’ve gotta admit, that movie rocked. And even cooler than the fact that Frozen became the first straight-up Walt Disney Studios release to win Best Animated Feature (to date, Pixar has collected most of the trophies in that category) was the fact that presenter John Travolta provided us with an Oscar moment for the ages when he mispronounced Idina Menzel’s name when introducing her.

I don’t know what kind of crazy OT go-go juice that dude was drinking before the show, but his verbal f-up was freaking hysterical and already ranks up there with Jack Palance’s post-win push-ups and Björk’s swan dress as one of the top ten best Oscar moments ever. I mean, seriously, you can’t script that kind of crazy! So awesome!

Anyway, dying to hear what you guys thought of this year’s winners, losers, crazy presenters (yeah, I’m talking to you, Harrison Ford and Kim Novak!) and the show in general, so, by all means, comment away! And in the meantime, please feel free to enjoy these pics of the nominee-themed snacks we served at our very low-key Oscar party this year. My favorites, as always, were the golden Funyuns for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but those spicy Asian chicken wings served on a Chairman Mao dinner plate in honor of The Grandmaster were pretty damn tasty too.

Either way, enjoy!

Asian chicken wings for The Grandmaster!

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