Oscars Hub




Christmas Movies: Wolf of Wall Street, Walter Mitty, and More

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"Gatsby" wasn't enough. Leonardo DiCaprio is throwing more baucherous parties again

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Who can keep up at Christmas time at the multiplex? At the moment you can indulge in three more hours of Hobbitry (as pleasurable as the first nine hours were, ten years ago, can we move on?), the eye-candy cast of American Hustle with their 70s tight curls and plunging cleavage (and that's just Bradley Cooper), supercalifragilistic Emma Thompson as the creator of Mary Poppins in Saving Mr Banks, and Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with Scarlett Johansson's operating system (not a euphemism) in Her. And there's still more movies to come before Oscar nominations. Happy Holidays!

As is their yuletide tradition all the major movie studios have fused together into one frightening Mecha-Santa and are dropping so many gifts that you'll be crushed in the bows and boxes and festive bedazzlements alone. So can we talk about gift-wrapping for just one second?

NEW RELEASES AND ONE MISLEADING TRAILER AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ellen Leads Mass Street Dance in First Oscar Promo: VIDEO

Ellen

As you may know, Ellen DeGeneres is hosting the Oscars this year. In the first promo, she dances in the streets with 250 tuxedo-clad men and women to the song "The Walker" by Fitz and the Tantrums.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Movies: The Aggressive Oscar Campaigns Begin

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Supercalifragilistic Tom, Emma, and Colin at AFI 

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

I apologize for my absence. I recently returned to NYC from Hollywood's annual AFI festival (November 7th-14th) and its been hard to see clearly since. The galas were blinding with star wattage and the air was foggy with golden dreams - Oscar approaches! Awards buzz begins in force in Toronto each September but there the conversation is largely shaped by the critics. By early November, studios and their awards strategists (yes, it's an actual job) have read the tea leaves and begun to take back the conversation in the form of aggressive media campaigns. At AFI the path to Oscar is lined with star tributes and interviews. This year the honorees were director David O. Russell (American Hustle), director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and the actors Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Annette Bening (the sole honoree without an Oscar vehicle to push).

The Bening surprised her appreciate fans with a screening of next year's romantic drama Face of Love, in which she falls for a dead ringer of her dead husband played by Ed Harris. (Do you think they co-miserated on set over their rotten Oscar luck? Both of them have 4 nominations but have lost repeatedly to lesser actors.)

George Clooney on "AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY" plus "NEBRASKA", AFTER THE JUMP...

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Movies: Alfonso Cuáron's 'Gravity' and Other October Pleasures

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Outer Space Movie Star Huddle: Sandy & Clooney 

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

There's a brief scene in Nicole Holofcener's engaging indie hit ENOUGH SAID that repeats enough times that it could be the chorus if the movie were a song. A massage therapist (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) arrives at the home of a fit male client who lives on the top floor of his building. Every time she arrives he pops out with a killer smile looking down to greet her. He never thinks to help her as she arduously lugs her massage table up the entire steep flight of stairs.  

Excuse the stretch but this is sometimes how it feels to write about movies. Especially the ones that are true lookers that you're still just not that into.

By any definition GRAVITY is the movie of the moment and by some measures it will come to be regarded as The Movie of the Year. (You can lock it up for a Best Picture nomination).  If you've ever wondered "What's all the fuss?" about something that everyone else loved I hope you'll choose empathy when you learn that I did not love it. In the binary-thinking of the 21st century the internet this makes me a hater but this is not the case.  At every zero gravity step of its way I was trying to love it.  And I did mostly like it... at least through its astounding 20 minute (?) opening act, which appears to have been miraculously filmed in one continuous shot.  

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ellen Degeneres To Host 2014 Academy Awards: VIDEO

Ellen Oscars

Ellen Degeneres, one of the foremost funny people in America, will be hosting the 2014 Academy Awards on March 2, 2014. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made the announcement this morning amid the already fresh buzz about the newly elected president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. Isaacs is the first African-American president of the Academy, and she resoundingly approved of Ellen's nomination to host.

The Hollywood Reporter reports:

Ellen DeGeneres will host this year's Oscars. DeGeneres herself announced the news Friday morning on Twitter, writing, "It's official: I'm hosting the #Oscars! I'd like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra."

DeGeneres previously hosted the show in 2007 and earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for her work.

"I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say -- the third time's the charm," DeGeneres said in a statement.

Ellen is receiving support from all involved with the Academy and with the Oscars broadcast, due largely to her warmth, a refined sense of humor, and her universal appeal (qualities which many felt this year's host, Seth MacFarlane, lacked).

Zadan and Meron added: "We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars. As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen's gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are."

Newly elected Academy President Isaacs said, "I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year's show. We're looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show."

Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO added. "Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience. She's a big fan of the Oscars; we're huge fans of hers. It's a perfect match."

Meanwhile, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee said, "It is an honor to welcome back Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the biggest entertainment celebration of the year. She is the consummate entertainer, equally beloved by her peers in the industry, movie fans and television viewers. We very much look forward to having her back on ABC for Oscar Sunday."

Degeneres was previously nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her hosting abilities. Let's hope the second (and the third, and the fourth...) time's the charm. 

Watch Ellen's previous Oscar hosting gig, AFTER THE JUMP...

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The Oscars Were Amazing: VIDEO

Amazing

Was "amazing" the most overused descriptor during Oscar coverage?

Jimmy Kimmel took notes, and the number of times is was used may amaze you.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

In related news, the Oscars had its best ratings in three years:

A total of 40.3 million people watched in the US, providing a fillip for producers struggling to halt a slow but steady decline in viewers since 57.25 million tuned in to watch Titanic win 11 gongs in 1998.

MacFarlane's jokes about female nudity, domestic violence and Jews in Hollywood have led to vilification from commentators, but his "edgy" approach saw a 20% boost among viewers aged 18 to 34 and a dramatic 34% hike in male viewers in the same age range. Men aged 18 to 49 were up 18% for a show that has traditionally been more popular with women viewers. Overseas, it is estimated that up to a billion people watched at least part of the show, though there are no official figures.

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