March 25, 2003
Make-believe. Fantasy. Made-up people and stories and worlds. When much is broken, make-believe can help salve the wounds. Sunday night in Los Angeles, a bunch of professional make-believers got together and had some fun at the 75th annual Academy Awards. It was, to be sure, an awkward affair, a show muted by war thoughts, by fraidy-cat advertisers who pulled out at the last moment. But it mostly managed to sidestep the ugliness, in a needed respite from the grim clash in Iraq.
February 20, 1988
How can John Huston's "The Dead" be named Best of the Year by the National Society of Film Critics, yet not even be among the five movies nominated for Academy Awards? That's typical of the paradoxes emerging every year when the Academy lists its top-runners. You might also wonder how a just-better-than-average thriller like "Fatal Attraction" is among the top five, but not "The Dead" and other top-class films like "Empire of the Sun" and "House of Games" and "Radio Days. " Even allowing for wide differences in taste, this annual cinema sweepstakes always raises more controversy than consensus among people who still think "best" really means "best" to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
March 18, 1994 |
Next Monday is the night we wait for each year: the Academy Awards ceremony. But you don't have to wait to cast your vote. Every day this week you can pick your favorites in a different Oscar category. Just call the number below from your touch tone phone and follow the directions. On March 21, look for the complete line-up of the Oscar Phone Poll winners in the Daily News Yo! section, along with an Oscar scorecard to help you follow along with that evening's actual winners. TO VOTE FOR BEST PICTURE call 854-2955.
March 10, 2006
WHAT DEAL was cut for the prestigious Academy Awards to bestow art status with an Oscar for best song on the simple-minded "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"? Everybody got so upset about the low-class "wardrobe malfunction" by Janet Jackson, but awarding an Oscar for a song on such a topic by no-talent performers lacking any grace is no problem. All the great songwriters - Gershwin, Bernstein, Cohan, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart - must be spinning in their graves. They had class.
February 23, 2015 |
Birdman or Boyhood ? A breakneck backstage commotion about art and ego that seems to fly by in a flash? Or a loping survey of life's small moments filmed over 12 years with a cast that grows older before our eyes? As audiences settle down to watch the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday night (and pick apart the sartorial choices), the Hollywood pundits and progn -oscar -ators have pretty much decreed: The best-picture race is between Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Birdman , with nine nominations, and Richard Linklater's Boyhood , with six. I'm OK with that.
March 28, 2001 |
The dumbing-down of American film seems complete now. Judging from the Academy Awards, mediocrity is the new standard. Imitation is no longer the sincerest form of flattery; it's an art form unto itself. Ridley Scott's "Gladiator," which falls somewhere between a poor man's "Ben-Hur" and a rich man's "Hercules Unchained," has been deemed the best film of 2000. And Russell Crowe, who went from Maximus to Gluteus Maximus in one year, is the man who would be king. Thumbs. . .down, I say!
March 27, 1986 |
"The Color Purple," a movie that has evoked outrage and praise and protests and debates since it opened last December, is still setting off controversy, this time because it failed to win any Oscars. The day after "Purple's" cast and crew went home from the Academy Awards without a single Oscar out of 11 nominations, the Hollywood-Beverly Hills branch of the NAACP protested, calling it "a slap in the faces" of producer-composer Quincy Jones and director Steven Spielberg. And at the Urban League of Philadelphia's annual dinner the same evening, former Deputy Mayor George Burrell said the night before, when the awards ceremony was broadcast, "must have been April Fool's day" because it was unbelievable the movie won no awards.
January 5, 2002 |
It might go without saying that the world doesn't need another televised movie awards show, but the first AFI Awards, airing live at 8 tonight on Channel 3, deserves its own recognition for wretched excess. The show - it will also include another unnecessary set of awards for TV - was conceived by the American Film Institute, which began life in 1967 with the objective of "preserving the heritage and advancing the art of film in America," and which has evolved into a giant, money-sucking parasite.
March 27, 1995 |
Ready or not, tonight's the night for the Academy Awards show, at 9 on ABC (Channel 6). When you review the program's bumpy history, a major question arises: Can a host make or break the annual Oscar telecast? Past and present producers of the Academy Awards ceremony seem to think so. Most agree on one thing: It's easy for participants to get bogged down in the seriousness of the evening's honors and awards. And though a solemn attitude may be great for a Nobel Prize ceremony, it can spell death for a three-hour show that's supposed to be entertaining.