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.
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.
March 25, 1986 |
Geraldine Page won - and lost - last night. By winning the Academy Award for Best Actress, Page, 61, broke the tie with Peter O'Toole for the dubious distinction of most nominations without an Oscar. Both had eight, but Page's victory gives O'Toole sole possession of the Longest Foreplay category. Nominated for her portrayal of Carrie Watts, a Texas widow in "The Trip to Bountiful," Page said the "role lets me show all the things I've learned about acting. " In 36 years, that's quite a lot. She was accompanied to last night's ceremonies by her husband of 23 years, actor Rip Torn, with whom she has three children.
April 17, 1988 |
Clearing out the Oscar notebook: Alert viewers - and perhaps there were some left as the Academy Awards broadcast lurched into its fourth hour Monday night - may have wondered what exactly Bernardo Bertolucci meant by referring to Hollywood as "The Big Nipple. " When he came back to chat with the world's press after The Last Emperor had walked off with everything but the hors d'oeuvres at the Governor's Ball, the director explained. Winning nine Academy Awards was something that nurtured one's career in a Freudian sense, he said.
June 30, 1988 |
NFL Films has branched out quite a bit in its 26 years. The folks who created the Football Follies have tackled a variety of art forms - including rock videos and a documentary on moon flight - and they made it look easy. Tonight, NFL Films takes on a new challenge: a live awards show patterned after the Oscars. The black-tie affair will be held at the WHYY-TV studios in Independence Mall with the nominees and presenters arriving - by limousine, of course - at 7:30 p.m. It is called the first annual NFL Filmstar Awards, with tickets selling for $100 and proceeds going to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
October 6, 2010 |
LOS ANGELES - Organizers of the Academy Awards are ironing out the logistics of moving the ceremony up to late January or early February in 2012, and that could mean that Oscar voters may be watching contending films - and voting for the winners - on their laptops. Next year's ceremony will be held Feb. 27, but an earlier date could allow the academy to steal back some of the thunder from other award shows and boost TV ratings. But any date switch - which has yet to be approved by the academy - has been complicated by the National Football League, which is considering adding two games to its schedule.
February 22, 2004 |
As the last week builds up to this year's Academy Awards, I pause to ask one, perhaps impertinent, question about the best-actress category: Why does it exist? After all, there will be no award next Sunday for the best screenplay by a woman. Sofia Coppola wasn't nominated as best female director. There's no award for a best picture by a woman producer. Why are there separate acting awards divided by gender? There doesn't appear to be anything about acting skill that is gender-specific.