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02/22/2013

Towleroad Talking Points: Oscar Forecasting

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PHOTO OF THE DAY: NPH and his hubby give us a taste of the Oscar party fun.

BY SAM GREISMAN

A look back at today's top stories

ENTERTAINMENT

With the Oscars just a few days away, everyone is trying to predict who will take home the little gold men on Sunday night. Nathaniel Rogers thinks that nothing can stop the Argo train and electoral master Nate Silver also feels things will go according to form. Yours truly however is hoping for a few Lincoln related upsets on Oscar night. 

Also Adam Levine has fond memories of the first time he and Blake Shelton shared an intimate moment

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WINGNUTTERY

Time continues to prove that there is no end to Ann Coulter's insanity. The conservative wackjob recently told a room full of booing students in DC that gays can get married only if they marry someone of the opposite sex. Author Christopher West appeared on the Christian Broadcasting Network to claim that Satan is behind gay marriage in an attempt to ruin heterosexual sex. Something tells me heterosexual sex has been ruined for Mr. West for quite a while now. 

Hate(3)

In what can only be described as dark ages style politics, lawmakers in Montana have recieved mailers about "the truth about homosexuals" as they weigh a bill intended to decriminalize homosexuality. Just crazy. Also the pastor from the anti-gay megachurch that Tim Tebow has wisely decided not to speak at is none too pleased about the quarterback's decision.

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GAY ISSUES

Lesbian money guru Suze Orman appeared on CNN today to discuss how the government's lack of recognition of same-sex couples is a financial detriment. Ecuadorean President elect Rafael Correa took a page out of President Obama's book and took a moment to address the LGBT community upon being elected. And the New Jersey legislature is planning on voting to override Chris Christie's veto of a potential gay marriage bill

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VIDEOS OF THE DAY

More Harlem Shake for your viewing pleasure! Check out the hotties from the University of Nebraska men's gymnastics team doing their best impression. And Mrs. Betty Bowers gets down with Christ

Posted Feb. 22,2013 at 11:51 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (19)


Movies: Oscar Weekend —The Predictions!

Argo-vs-lincoln
Argo took the lead from Lincoln but which film will win the most Oscars on the big night?

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Kathy-oscar-showYesterday on Kathy Griffin's new show she began with an Oscar monologue and brought out a gold trunks-clad model with his hair cropped tight and his body sprayed gold. I'll let it slide that he wasn't actually bald but he stood with his legs spread far apart and his hands behind his back. Had he never seen an Oscar statue before?

UR DOING IT WRONG! 

As you may have guessed I hold the Oscars sacred. You might call it my religion. I've been watching them since I was a little kid and as an adult I have spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over them and even made something of a career out of it. [Pity me!]  But never before in my life have I had such a hard time predicting the winners.

Oh sure, Argo will win Best Picture and Daniel Day-Lewis who many of us  first fell in love with as a blonde gay punk working in that Beautiful Laundrette will win for becoming President Lincoln but elsewhere in Oscar's 24 Categories there's an awful lot of room for pundits to embarrass themselves this year!

Best Director, for one, is baffling. The tech prizes look like a very bloody battle between at least three pictures (Anna Karenina, Skyfall & Life of Pi). And so on.

Skyfall-bathingsuit

AFTER THE JUMP my Oscar predictions, presented in the order in which the categories were presented last year. If I get everything wrong please forget we ever spoke of this! 

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Since so much of the traditional craft of cinematography has to do with lighting, it's odd that this category has of late become an extension of the visual effects category. Movies keep winning that look they were heavily created in post-production in the vfx bay… which is why I think Ang Lee's CG heavy spiritual parable about a boy and a Bengal tiger probably has this one wrapped up. And not just because it's bioluminescent moments are subliminal reminders of Avatar (which also won this statue). That will be a bitter defeat for fans of the legendary Roger Deakins who single handedly made this the Best Looking Bond ever (well, he and Daniel Craig's trainer). Deakins has been nominated ten times, he's hugely influential to the art of cinema, and he's never won that freaking statue. 

Will Win: Life of Pi
Might Win: Skyfall
Should Win: Anna Karenina or Skyfall

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Production Designers are responsible for the entire look of a picture -- the color palette, the sets, the visual bric-a-brac. But this award also sometimes goes to heavy f/x pictures. Nevertheless since "Best" often means "Most" with Oscar, for better and worse, I think this time it's going to the movie with the Most Production Design of the Traditional Variety... albeit with a twist; Anna Karenina's sets transform as you watch them.

Will & Should Win: Anna Karenina
Might Win: Life of Pi

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Oscar chose well in this category. Will they prefer the death fetish ensembles of Queen Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman, the period recreations of Lincoln, the theatrical flair of Les Misérables? None of the above. This is a contest between the gobsmackingly beautiful & sumptuous Anna Karenina and the swan song of Eiko Ishioka, one of the world's most innovative costume designers (she died a year ago) on that other Snow White picture Mirror Mirror

Costume-battle-oscar

Will & Should Win: Anna Karenina
Might Win: Mirror Mirror

BEST MAKEUP
I always pray that the Oscars won't become like the Emmys and reward the same things over and over again -- they're definitely in danger of that since the cinematic landscape is more cluttered with franchises and sequels than its ever been. Middle Earth might well win a third Makeup Oscar so is this prediction wishful thinking?

Will Win: Les Miserables
Might Win: The Hobbit
Should Win: Les Miserables 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
This category is always plagued with the "haven't seen it" factor which prevents most moviegoers from caring about it. The problem is that the rules don't require these candidates to open in the US during the film year so only Denmark's A Royal Affair (a strong costume drama with eerily resonant politics) and Austria's Amour (also nominated for Best Picture) have been widely seen. Chile's entry No starring everyone's favorite Mexican hottie Gael García Bernal (something of a mascot of this category) is a terrific movie that would make a totally worthy winner in most years (go see it!) but it's only just opened in theaters. Canada's child soldier drama War Witch and Norway's seafaring Kon-Tiki (drool-cup required if you're into hunky Scandinavian men) have yet to open.

Will & Should Win: Amour
Might Win: n/a

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
When they snubbed Nicole Kidman's risky slutty genius in The Paperboy (you're only hurting yourself if you haven't seen her psychic blowjob routine) I lost interest in this category. Instead we got the now grossly overappreciated Amy Adams (four nominations already???) in The Master and Jacki Weaver's able smiling from the background of Silver Linings Playbook. Helen Hunt and Sally Field were both terrific in The Sessions and Lincoln respectively but the polarizing Anne Hathaway is sucking up all the oxygen in the room. FTR: I adore Anne Hathaway and "I Dreamed a Dream" absolutely killed me (in the good way) so haters can blow me… psychically.

Lesmiz-dreams

Will & Should Win: Anne Hathaway
Might Win: Sally Field (only if voters hate Hathaway as much as the internet seems to. Although I maintain that a third win would do a lot of damage to Field's legacy. She suffered quite a lot of "you like me. you really really like me" backlash after her second Oscar.)

BEST FILM EDITING
I will need a moment of silent tears when this category is over. Frankly I think Argo gilds the lily way too much in its final moments with every SUSPENSE cliche in the book so I don't think it deserved the nomination much less a win. But unless they can be convinced otherwise, they like to pair this with their choice for Best Picture.

Will Win: Argo
Might Win: Life of Pi
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty hands down

BEST SOUND
A lot of people -- even crazed movie buffs -- don't understand the difference between these two categories. I shall try to explain in brief: Sound Editing is the creation of the aural elements and the special effects portion of the noise you hear. Sound Mix is how all the elements (dialogue, score, f/x, ambient sound, etcetera) blend together. Les Miz has had the noisiest campaign for Sound Mixing given all the hoopla about the live-singing and the orchestral ear pieces and then all the work they had to do in post to line everything up but here's something you should know: Greg P. Russell is one of the most nominated losers in Oscar history. He's up for Sound Mixing for the 16TH TIME for Skyfall. If Skyfall wins, expect that bearded man on stage to have a joygasm. 

Editing
Will Win: Life of Pi
Might Win: Skyfall
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Mixing
Will & Should Win: Les Misérables
Might & Should (Too) Win: Skyfall

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
I haven't seen all of the nominees here yet but I'm rooting hard for the very moving Plague, and not just because it's gay. It's also very well structured, balanced and smart. But Sugar Man, which I think is a lesser picture, has been winning lots and lots of awards and did well at the box office, too.

Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man
Might Win: How To Survive a Plague

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
This year's field  has been unusually combative since there's no frontrunner. The only film without a prayer of winning is The Pirates! A Band of Misfits which was the only surprise nominee. My heart goes out to ParaNorman since it's an Honorary Gay movie but I don't think it'll manage a win opposite much larger films from major studios or famous directors.

Paranorman-mitch

Will Win: Wreck-It Ralph
Might Win: Brave
Should Win: Frankenweenie? It's a toss up for me. (Believe it or not it'd be Tim Burton's first Oscar!)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
As much as everyone loved The Avengers last summer -- "we have a Hulk" -- this one is a no brainer. 

Will & Should Win: Life of Pi
Might Win: n/a

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Introducing the year's simultaneously Most Boring & Most Exciting contest. How is that even possible? Well, it's boring because there's no reason to really root hard for any of the men since all of them are previous Oscar winners (the only time in history that's happened in an acting category) and it's the most exciting because it's the only one five-wide race going. You can make a case for any of the five winning: Alan Arkin might win on the coattails of the Best Picture Argo; Robert De Niro might win for Silver Linings Playbook because his campaign was relentless and because he's finally trying to act again after years of phoning it in; Tommy Lee Jones might win because he's phenomenally effective in Lincoln; Christoph Waltz might win because he already won for this performance in Inglourious Basterds and he's the lead  -- seriously they might just as well have titled it Schultz Unchains Django; and Philip Seymour Hoffman might win for The Master simply because he's Philip Seymour Hoffman. My hope is that they'll all split the vote and we'll end up back where we started with the original frontrunner.

Will & Should Win: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Might Win: ANYONE

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
My guess is the film with the most world-music sound takes it.

Will Win: Life of Pi
Might Win: Skyfall
Should Win: Anna Karenina

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Believe it or not no Bond film has ever won Best Song… and very few of them have been nominated! In fact Skyfall ended a 30+ year drought of nominations for James Bond pictures. I only ask that she find a way to high-five Daniel Craig again when she wins the Oscar.

Highfive

Will & Should Win: "Skyfall"
Might Win: n/a

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
I'm desperately hoping that Tony Kushner wins for Lincoln because he's a genius. Somehow he made a complex totally involving movie about a bunch of old men in wigs arguing with each other for 2 ½ hours. Plus Lincoln has more jokes than Argo. It's true. Argo has just one but it fools you into thinking it has a lot of them by telling it so often.

Will Win: Argo
Might & Should Win: Lincoln

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
I'm taking a risk in my prediction here because I don't think Amour is going home with only one Oscar. Precursor Awards have favored Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty in this category but I'm guessing their heat has dissipated enough to give Michael Haneke a well deserved trophy for his incredibly moving drama about the end of life and longtime love.

Will Win: Amour
Might Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Should Win: Moonrise Kingdom

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT, DOCUMENTARY SHORT, ANIMATED SHORT
This tends to be the area where I fail most dramatically at making correct predictions -- even in years where I catch all of the nominees -- but my guesses are Curfew, Innocente and Paperman respectively.

BEST DIRECTOR
Along with Supporting Actor this is the most difficult category to predict this year. The reason being that Ben Affleck, who I had predicted for the win before the nominations were announced, was a surprise omission. With Argo out of the mix anything could happen. In most situations this would be an easy get for Spielberg but the raves for Lincoln have been heavily focused on its screenplay and its actors rather than on its direction … and he's already won this prize twice which will give some voters pause. Ang Lee arguably has the toughest assignment and Life of Pi is a global hit. But will he really win a second Best Director Oscar for another film that won't win Best Picture (Brokeback Mountain *sob*). David O. Russell could surprise since Playbook had a really aggressive campaign. It would take a miracle but I'm rooting for one of the other two. 

Anglee-pi

Will Win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Might Win: Ang Lee, Life of Pi or David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Michael Haneke, Amour or Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild

BEST ACTOR
This one is locked up but can we take a moment to appreciate how spectacular the whole field is: Bradley Cooper really anchors Silver Linings Playbook and makes you feel for a character that is, as written, not all that sympathetic; Hugh Jackman is the nicest guy in Hollywood and, like Hathaway, just rips your heart out in his first big solo  ("Soliloquy"); Denzel Washington reminds us why he became such a mammoth star in Flight; Joaquin Phoenix is visceral and confusing and mesmerizing as a veteran with a bad case of undiagnosed PTS syndrome and alcoholism in The Master; And then there's Daniel Day Lewis who well… you know.

Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Might Win: n/a
Should Win: THEY'RE ALL SO GOOD.

BEST ACTRESS
A lot of pundits have jumped on the Amour train here, Oscar night being Emmanuelle Riva's 86th Birthday which would make her the oldest acting winner of all time, but I'm not buying it. It's a brave indelible performance but I just don't think it's in Oscar's character to reward a foreign language performance by an actress that isn't an international sex symbol (check out your history: that's the only way they go there). And, besides, the heavily male skewing membership of the Academy tends to use this category not to reward long careers but to crown their "it" girl of the moment. Which means it's basically Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty vs. Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook (with a side of Global Hunger Games Fame)

Actress-battle

Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Might & Should Win: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

BEST PICTURE
This was once a suspenseful category until Oscar snubbed Ben Affleck in Best Director and then suddenly the media and the industry had an inexplicable pity party for one of the most handsome, most successful, and already Oscar'ed men in the business (Affleck won Best Screenplay in 1997 for Good Will Hunting) and Argo just roared to awards life. Plus a vote for Argo is a vote for Hollywood since the movie hinges on the film industry being heroic and helping with a hostage rescue.

Will Win: Argo
Might Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Beasts of the Southern Wild or Amour

WHICH FILMS AND PERFORMANCES ARE YOU ROOTING FOR?
And how festive is your Oscar party going to be this year?

 

Nathaniel Rogers would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

Posted Feb. 22,2013 at 6:12 PM EST by in Film, Nathaniel Rogers, News, Oscars | Permalink | Comments (23)


Suze Orman Speaks out About Gay Marriage Inequality, Demands Federal Recognition: VIDEO

Orman

Suze Orman appeared on CNN today to talk about how lack of federal recognition for their marriages harms gay and lesbian couples financially.

Said Orman:

"How would all the heterosexual couples feel who are married if all of a sudden the wife or the husband knew that upon the death of one of them if they have a certain size estate they're going to lose up to possibly half of that estate? They wouldn't stand for it."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Feb. 22,2013 at 5:53 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, News, Suze Orman | Permalink | Comments (32)


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1313

MARRIAGE NEWS WATCH: AFER's Matt Baume on the Prop 8 plaintiffs' SCOTUS brief.

THE WEEK IN UNNECESSARY CENSORSHIP: Jimmy Kimmel's weekly tribute to the FCC.

QUADROCOPTOR: Pole acrobatics.

BARING TEETH: A very expressive dog.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Posted Feb. 22,2013 at 4:50 PM EST by in News, Towleroad Guide to the Tube | Permalink | Comments (0)


News: Blake Skjellerup, Snow White, Australia, Beautiful Thing

RoadRich Miller: Gay marriage won't ruin Illinois.

SnowwhiteRoadRob Lowe's Snow White tells untold story of nightmare 1989 Oscars opening: "I remember Bob Mackie said, 'Why am I making a Snow White outfit?' I fainted once during a fitting because I hadn't eaten. I woke up, and Bob was going, 'Honey, are you all right?' He gave me juice. My dress was bought for $23,000 by someone involved with the production who was buried in it. It was a man. I'm leaving it at that." Video can be viewed here.

RoadVIDEO: Cat faces down a crocodile.

RoadThe Chelsea Clinton marriage equality ad the NBC News wouldn't allow to be aired because she was a special correspondent.

RoadAustralian censors ban Travis Matthews' film I Want Your Love over explicit scenes of gay male sex: "Melbourne Queer Film Festival director Lisa Daniel says that in her 15 years at the festival, I Want Your Love is the first film that has been refused an exemption. It has been seen in many festivals around the world, and its distributors have told her this is the first time it has been banned. Mathews is a well-known filmmaker, and the decision is an embarrassment for Australia, she says."

RoadThe 90's are back: 98 Degrees announces new album.

RoadEddie Redmayne is ready for the Oscars.

BeautifulthingRoadBeautiful Thing returns to London's West End 20 years after its debut. "It sort of hasn't really dated in as much as it's not just about being gay," said Harvey. "It is about first love and coming of age, as well as coming out."

RoadHomophobic evangelist Scott Lively offers "proof" that Obama is gay: "Today, he finds new 'proof' in a Weekly Standard article which notes that Obama went on a weekend trip with his aide Reggie Love over the weekend…without the First Lady."

RoadJustin Timberlake and Jay-Z announce 'Legends of the Summer' tour.

RoadThese idiots would own a whole bunch of guns.

RoadJohn McCain tells Aurora shooting victim's mom she needs 'straight talk': "I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States," McCain responded. The video, posted Thursday by Phoenix's KTVK, showed the line drawing applause and cheers from the crowd.

RoadPhotos: Massive tunnels dug out for New York's new subway.

SkjellerupRoadGay Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup takes it all off: "To me, I wouldn’t call the pictures nude, more artistic, capturing the hours of blood, sweat and tears I put in to training my body." Photos (work-unfriendly) here and here.

RoadAustralian judge tosses challenge to same-sex marriage ban: “A man cannot enter into the state of marriage as defined with another man just as a woman cannot enter into the state of marriage with another woman,” the judge wrote. “The redress for these circumstances lies in the political and not the legal arena.”

RoadJudy Shepard just saw The Laramie Project for the first time: "I just really didn't feel I needed to watch it because I lived it. And so many of the scenes bring back such horrific memories. I've never felt comfortable crying in public," Shepard said just before the Saturday performance. "It's been 15 years. I should be able to do this now." Read Naveen's review of the new production HERE.

Posted Feb. 22,2013 at 3:16 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (6)


Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa Apologizes to LGBT Community on National TV: VIDEO

Correa

Rafael Correa, Ecuador's President who was reelected in a landslide on Sunday, apologized to LGBT people during his victory speech, reports Andrés Duque at Blabbeando.

Said Correa:

A few months ago I used a number of inappropriate words that were offensive to LGBT groups and for which I apologized in writing - and I stated I would apologize again after winning [the election] to make sure they knew I wasn't doing it simply for political gain.

Once again I'd like to express my apologies to those LGBT groups for some words that might have escaped me. Each one of us was born and grew up with stereotypes and stigmas and we have to fight against this type of - let's call it deformed - social upbringing, etcetera. But our commitment is to defend everyone's dignity and equality. We are diverse but never unequal.

And I was reminded of this by the leader of a GLBT group who I greatly admire a couple of days ago. You need a lot of courage to lead these type of movements. Let's offer them all our support and - on a personal basis - I offer my full respect and the effort and commitment to eliminate all types of discrimination in this country.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Read Blabbeando's full post here.

Posted Feb. 22,2013 at 2:11 PM EST by in Ecuador, News, Rafael Correa | Permalink | Comments (17)



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