Championship sports teams get to prove on the field of competition that they are the best in the world -- or at least the league. By contrast, Oscar hopefuls must persuade a jury of their peers that they are worthy of the name "Best." In recent years, that campaign of persuasion has turned into a six-month marathon, costing tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars. It's as if the NFL's playoff contenders spent the entire postseason trying to get the refs to look kindly on their regular season games, instead of playing any new ones.
In category after category significant movement in the likely winner provides a window into the power of certain events that occurred on the road to the Oscars.
Argo is not my favorite film of the year. It didn't even make my best-of list. But it's a populist mainstream genre entry of uncommon craft and intelligence, rooted in character and narrative. In terms of the best representation of what 2012 had to offer, Argo is absolutely the movie of the year.
I like Oscars that go a little crazy. And not in those golly-gee speeches where someone -- say, Anne Hathaway (the inevitable winner tonight) -- reacts with such feigned shock that she giddily exhibits an actorly, cute-as-a-button manic depressive episode.
The goal of this exercise is certainly not to replace social relationships with a reflective surface -- the literally fatal moment of the Narcissus myth -- but rather to motivate you to get off the couch and engage with others more purposefully, meaningfully, and effectively.
From Les Miserables to Silver Linings Playbook to Flight, death and grief are major themes in this year's Oscar nominated films. The film makers and writers must be applauded for daring to expose viewers to such intimate portrayals of the grief process.
This week was spent preparing for an event full of manufactured drama, long-winded speeches, self-congratulation, and fake sincerity. No, not the Oscars -- the Sequester. The crisis might be as manufactured as the ending of Argo, but the consequences are all too real, including a decline in growth and jobs, big cuts to national parks, and air travel chaos. So go ahead and tune that out for a night and take in another -- far more appealing -- spectacle in which people pretend to be something they're not. My predictions: Best Picture: Argo. Best Director: Ang Lee. Best Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro. Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway. Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis. And, in my upset special, 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress -- a role model of fearless aging.
This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Mark Hug...
This year -- for the very first time -- the entire nation of China will be getting a live web-stream from one of L.A.'s hottest Oscar viewing parties -- the 23rd annual Night Of 100 Stars.
It's Oscar weekend, and in the desperate journalistic hunt for meaning in self-promoting spectacles -- the Academy Awards, the Superbowl, political conventions -- best-picture nominees have been criticized for straying from the truth.
Why are the Academy members constantly playing it safe? I see films every year that blow most nominees out of the water but they're always unnoticed by the Academy.
When a culturally influential organization like the Academy Awards adopts greener practices, the benefits are threefold.
With Denzel Washington nominated in the best actor category for his role in Flight, Naomi Watts up for best actress in The Impossible and Life of Pi on the nominee list for best picture, movies that feature travel are in the running.
It is the time of year movie-buffs can't wait for, the run-up to the Oscars. Travelers can also delight in visiting the enchanting corners of the earth that this year's greatest films inspired us to visit.
Our core team of mathematicians here at The Soup has developed an algorithm for the speech, which was written the moment nominations were announced, then rehearsed tirelessly to appear off-the-cuff.
Is there a hacking epidemic? Earlier this week, Burger King saw its Twitter account get a McDonald's makeover, and then Jeep had its feed taken over b...