Roundup: Mark Harris on a soured Oscar season

Posted by · 6:21 am · February 11th, 2014

I think most would agree that the Oscar season has felt especially long this year — how did we tolerate it running to late March for seven years? With BAFTA winners the only new information we’re likely to receive in the next three weeks, it’s time when the conversation can really pall, and mountains get made out of molehills. Mark Harris refers to the questioning of Cate Blanchett’s Best Actress chances following the reignition of the Woody Allen scandal as an example of this souring. But it’s not all bad, he says: “The biggest fights about 2014″s Oscar contenders have not been about their aesthetics but about their politics and morality … I”m going to raise my half-full glass and give a mild cheer for the fact that they”re happening at all.” As always, a good read. [Grantland]

Nathaniel Rogers serves up some memories from the 1993 Oscar race, 20 years ago. I still think it’s one of the best years they ever had. [The Film Experience]

Thanks to Nathaniel for pointing to this strange list of the “Top 5 Oscar Surprises” on the Academy’s official site. You’d think they, of all people, would remember that two of those weren’t surprises at all. [Oscar]

Andrew Romano speaks to the ubiquitous composer Alexandre Desplat — nominated again this year — about, well, how he stays so ubiquitous. [The Daily Beast]

James Toback on a Hollywood miseducation, and losing at the Oscars. [Vanity Fair]

Ben Beaumont-Thomas lists 10 things we learned from yesterday’s Oscar nominees’ luncheon. [The Guardian]

The Academy implores this year’s Oscar winners to speak “from the heart, not a list.” [Variety]

“The Grandmaster” leads this year’s Asian Film Award nominations. [Screen Daily]

Danish director Gabriel Axel, whose lovely film “Babette’s Feast” won the 1987 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, has passed away aged 95. [Hollywood Reporter]

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