Oscarweb Round-up: 'The Help' is no laughing matter, says HFPA

Posted by · 5:31 am · November 17th, 2011

Hey, has there been a more hilarious performance all year than Viola Davis’s wackily oppressed, zanily bereaved maid in “The Help?” There has, you say? Whatever. Anyway, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is with you, as they’ve barred DreamWorks’s planned strategy to campaign the film in the Musical/Comedy races at the Golden Globes. The Globes regularly make iffy calls in this department (particularly irksome is their insistence that biopics of musicians are in fact musicals), but this one isn’t really up for debate, tonal shifts and amusing shit-pie hijinks notwithstanding. Not that this changes anything: the floor has always been clear for “The Artist” (which has its own darkly dramatic aspects, but comedy should never be simple) to triumph here. [Deadline]

Speaking of the Globes, this has been pretty much a foregone conclusion for months, but it’s official: Ricky Gervais is hosting. Hurrah. [Awards Campaign]

If you enjoyed my report from the Academy’s recent Vanessa Redgrave tribute in London, check out video footage of how it went down. [AMPAS]

Anne Thompson sizes up the indie contenders in the Best Actress race. Hey, wouldn’t it be a blast to have Ellen Barkin on the circuit? [Thompson on Hollywood]

Leslie Unger, the Academy’s director of communications, has resigned. After all she’s had to deal with this week, who can blame her? [The Odds]

An excellent piece by venerable cinephile Christie on why serious film lovers shouldn’t get jaded about 3D. [Sight and Sound]

Is there still an audience for The Muppets in the Pixar era? I’m sensing yes, but Brook Barnes gives the question due consideration. [New York Times]

On the documentaries that deserve Oscar recognition outside their ghetto category. (A big fat ‘hell yes’ to “Senna” for Best Film Editing.) [The Film Experience]

Why Andrea Arnold’s decision to cast a black leading man in her “Wuthering Heights” is a significant development. [The Independent]

So, David Fincher says Academy voters don’t go for anal rape. Charlie Lyne begs to differ. [Ultraculture]

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