The model for this year’s acting presentations?

Posted by · 5:41 pm · February 23rd, 2011

I mentioned yesterday that the multi-presenter format used for the acting awards in the last two Oscar ceremonies is being scrapped this year. However, while we’re doing away with the five-way individual tributes, producer Bruce Cohen claimed they were adopting an idea from the “1970 Oscars” that would ensure every nominee gets duly celebrated.

Looking at footage from that year’s awards, it wasn’t clear what he meant — though it seems he might have been misquoted, and actually said “1970s Oscars.”

With that in mind, helpful reader Michael Amir Bina got in touch to inform me that this presentation format (embedding disabled, I’m afraid), from the 1979 awards, is what we should be expecting. Nothing groundbreaking, just brief rundown of each nominee’s career and achievements to date. Fine, I suppose, though it slightly steps on the notion of the Oscar being for a single performance. Meanwhile, how much telecast time will the show’s writers be able to wring from poor Hailee Steinfeld’s résumé?


→ 22 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

22 responses so far

  • 1 2-23-2011 at 5:51 pm

    americanrequeim said...

    poor haillee, i do love her so

  • 2 2-23-2011 at 6:55 pm

    Mike said...

    I was hoping they were referring to when Janet Gaynor (the first ever best actress winner) presented Best Actress with the previous Best Actor winner. I forget who both were, but this definitely happened. The idea of bringing back last years winner with a legendary winner in the category (ex. Jeff Bridges and Julie Andrews/Julie Christie/Olivia de Havilland/Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock with Al Pacino/Dustin Hoffman/Jack Nicholson/Daniel Day Lewis) is exciting to me and I hope this is what happens.

    Also, didn’t Cohen say that it used two people? The one they used in 1980 (for Sally Field and Dustin Hoffman) only had one person, if I recall correctly.

    And I don’t think they would/should be doing this career overview thing with such beeches as Steinfeld and Lawrence. It wouldn’t work very well.

    I have faith in these producers. I am confident it will be a fantastic show.

  • 3 2-23-2011 at 7:25 pm

    Julia said...

    That’s right, she presented Best Actress to Diane Keaton with Walter Matthau in 1978. The other pairs were:

    – Michael Caine and Maggie Smith (Presenters: Best Supporting Actor) – She’d won the year before, he’d win his first in ’87, but was already a two time nominee.

    – The other two, however, were presented by John Travolta (Best Actress) and Stalone (Best Actor)

    So it doesn’t really hold up as a format. I do however, believe it’s a great idea. Does anyone remember if, when they did the presenting with past winners two years ago the names showed up as presenters beforehand? I’m quite sure they didn’t, but I’d like to be sure.

  • 4 2-23-2011 at 8:11 pm

    Sam C. said...

    Or even announcing Lawrence, Eisenberg, Steinfeld, etc. will be undoubtedly as awkward as Colin Ferrell schmoozing SWAT co-star Renner last year.

    On the bright side, maybe it’ll highlight people like John Hawkes and Melissa Leo to the general public who watch the awards for fun, and encourage them to check out these non-famous nominees’ past works.

  • 5 2-23-2011 at 8:16 pm

    Sam C. said...

    Oh and seriously, how stacked was Best Actress in 1979?

  • 6 2-23-2011 at 8:38 pm

    Hans said...

    @Julia I distinctly remember that they didn’t announce presenters and that the five nominee tribute thing was a surprise.

  • 7 2-23-2011 at 8:53 pm

    lily said...

    That’s really unfair to the young uns.

    @Sam C I agree, this would really be awkward for them when they hear their achievements beside the older nominees.

    Steinfeld – True Grit and TV commercials (uh?)
    Lawrence – The Poker House and The Burning Plain (people would be, what’s that? and that’s all?)
    Eisenberg – Zombieland (…?), Adventureland (another land? doesn’t sound Oscary), The Squid and the Whale (this one is ace!) and Roger Dodger (good film but not really mainstream).

  • 8 2-23-2011 at 9:20 pm

    Julia said...

    I think Steinfeld has some short films as well, but this is it.

  • 9 2-23-2011 at 9:21 pm

    Julia said...

    And, for Jennifer Lawrence they may have to talk about X-Men, if they must kill time.

    (sorry about the double-post)

  • 10 2-23-2011 at 9:27 pm

    Carson Dyle said...

    I wouldn’t worry: they managed to drum up a montage for Bette Midler just fine.

  • 11 2-24-2011 at 2:25 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Mike: Cohen said nothing about two presenters, as far as I can gather.

  • 12 2-24-2011 at 2:30 am

    Jason Travis said...

    So are they showing acting clips or not? Honestly I am so sick of them resorting to cutting the acting clips out. It makes it less important. Show us why these people got acting nominations- show us the work!

  • 13 2-24-2011 at 3:43 am

    Glenn said...

    It will be interesting to hear their Jacki Weaver bit since it actually will be a history lesson for most viewers.

  • 14 2-24-2011 at 5:15 am

    Mimi Rogers said...

    If this is true, I couldn’t wait what they would say about Nicole Kidman’s career.

    To Die For
    Moulin Rouge
    The Hours
    The Others

  • 15 2-24-2011 at 5:38 am

    Graysmith said...

    I think for Hailee Steinfeld they could (should) highlight how rare her feat is to be nominated for a debut performance, and point out other actors and actresses who were nominated for their first films as well, such as Orson Welles, Dustin Hoffman, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews and Katharine Hepburn. That’d be just as nice a tribute to her accomplishment as a career reel, I think.

    Interesting sidenote: The last three debut performances nominated for Best Supporting Actress all won the Oscar! Paquin (1993), Hudson (2006) and Mo’nique (2009). I certainly wouldn’t say that means Steinfeld is going to win, but it’s interesting to note anyway.

  • 16 2-24-2011 at 5:49 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Precious” wasn’t Mo’Nique’s debut. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, she was the headlining star of 2006’s “Phat Girlz.”

  • 17 2-24-2011 at 6:27 am

    Mike Smolinski said...

    I support the other Mike at the top of these posts. The producers of the Oscar show have been ignoring the legends of Hollywood far too long. When I watch the Oscars, I want to see the great stars….not someone who’s made just one or two Twilight movies. And there are plenty of legends still alive….and still ACTIVE! I’m not talking about those stars in seclusion (Doris Day) or whose health might be failing. I’m talking about those who still make appearances and would draw multiple standing ovations, the way Charles Chaplin did at the 1972 Oscars. Specifically: Olivia DeHavilland, Joan Fontaine, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris, Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, etc., etc., etc. (Not to mention the legends of the 60s and 70s: Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Dustin Hoffman, Julie Christie, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Peter O’Toole, Shirley MacLaine, Warren Beatty, James Earl Jones, Sidney Poitier, Glenda Jackson, Gena Rowlands, etc., etc., etc. ) Give us something to cheer about and something to talk about on Monday morning!

  • 18 2-24-2011 at 7:18 am

    Graysmith said...


    Blame, although now that I re-read their page it does say “debut performance (in a feature film) in a substantial film role”. But cut her out and it’s still noteworthy that the last TWO debuts won when they were nominated.

  • 19 2-24-2011 at 9:38 am

    Princess of Peace said...

    The show really does need to feature more of the legends. I would love to see that. They have been too youth obsessed.

  • 20 2-24-2011 at 12:44 pm

    Mike said...

    @ Guy
    I’m pretty sure his statement said that they did something similar with two people instead of five.

  • 21 2-24-2011 at 7:28 pm

    John G said...

    Could they do this for directors also? Imagine the publicity for The Damned United…

  • 22 2-25-2011 at 1:39 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Mike: I’m just going off what he said in the Hollywood Reporter piece. And there’s nothing about two presenters there:

    But maybe you read a different report?