March 5, 2010 |
If Sunday's Oscar telecast ends up breaking ratings records, organizers might just want to send a thank-you in the Na'vi language to James Cameron. Cameron's "Avatar," a sci-fi fable about endangered tree-dwellers on the fictional moon Pandora, has become the highest-grossing picture of all time with more than $700 million in U.S. box office. It's also up for nine nominations including best picture. The last time a Cameron picture brought home academy hardware -- for the previous box-office champion, "Titanic," in 1998 -- the award telecast soared to new heights.
March 31, 1992 |
When The Times awarded me the coveted assignment of reviewing Monday night's Academy Awards telecast on ABC, I was deeply moved and overwhelmed. "You like me," I cried out. "You really like me!" As I was about to accept this honor, however, reality set in. How could I handle such an important task on my first day back from vacation? I'd be rusty. I'd be unequal to the challenge.
February 2, 2010 |
Maybe the world was craving an Elton John-Lady Gaga duet. Or perhaps a Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic routine from a nearly naked Pink. Or it could be that viewers just like hearing bleeped rap songs. Whatever the case, the 35% ratings surge for Sunday's Grammy extravaganza on CBS -- nearly 26 million viewers, or about as many as for Fox's singing smash "American Idol," according to early results from the Nielsen Co. -- has the TV business asking: Are award shows staging a comeback?
August 2, 2013 |
It's the safe choice. It's also the right choice. Tapping Ellen DeGeneres to host the 2014 Oscar ceremony won't win the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences huge headlines, set social media afire or win acclaim for outside-the-box thinking. But after last year's show, which saw first-time emcee Seth MacFarlane sing a song about boobs and take juvenile jabs at Jews, gays, native Spanish speakers, blacks and women ("For all those women who had the 'flu.' it paid off. Lookin' good!"
February 21, 2009 |
Perhaps the most conspicuous people onstage during the Oscar telecast -- those graceful creatures once known as "trophy girls" -- are also the most forgettable, gliding around like sophisticated stage props. This year, though, Oscar telecast producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon are going for something with more possibilities, deliberately casting experienced actors -- and one model -- as trophy presenters to bring a little more personality to the job.
November 15, 2009 |
Tom Sherak never forgets that movies are for the masses. The veteran marketer turned new president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences started in showbiz driving around states like Maryland and West Virginia, persuading ordinary people to book such Paramount movies as "The Godfather" and "Love Story" into their small-town movie houses. "They were all real people, postal workers or sanitation workers who also owned the one theater in town. I'd go and meet them at their lunch hour and tell them about the movies."
June 25, 2009 |
In January, all of Hollywood wondered exactly how close "The Dark Knight" came to earning an Oscar nomination for best picture. Now we know the answer: It missed by 12 months. If the "The Dark Knight" had been released this summer instead of last, it would have been part of the new Academy Awards era that began Wednesday with the out-of-the-blue announcement that the best picture category at the Oscars will double in size to 10 films.
March 25, 1985 |
Last year's nostalgia-laden Oscar telecast ran a little long. It is said that by the time the show ended, most UCLA film school seniors had graduated summa cum Mercedes, learned how to spell "remake," and become apprentice moguls. The program, aired by ABC, lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes. It provoked much thought on ways in the future to silence windy winners. Musketry, chloroform and trap doors were often mentioned.
December 6, 2006 |
IF you've ever watched an Oscar telecast, you know that nothing is quite so cringe-inducing as the musical numbers that punctuate the show, numbers that end up trying too hard to be either flamboyant or hip, often falling short on both counts.