THE LISTS: Top 10 movie-related moments of 2009

Posted by · 12:38 pm · December 29th, 2009

As the year (and decade) slowly winds down, I thought it would be a pretty good time to revive our long-slumbering Lists feature here at In Contention.  And what better way to do so and salute the year at hand than to lay out the most significant movie-related moments of 2009? The American Film Institute […]

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Hanks was AMPAS’s first choice for President, search is on for telecast talent

Posted by · 3:47 pm · August 22nd, 2009

I stumbled onto this item over at Deadline Hollywood Daily earlier this afternoon.  Apparently Tom Hanks, who was elected First Vice-President of the Academy earlier this week, was the group’s first choice for the top spot.  In fact, Tom Sherak, who was ultimately elected president, is the one who nominated Hanks in the first place. […]

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To the Oscar grouches

Posted by · 10:05 am · February 27th, 2009

Alright, we already we handled the “Slumdog Millionaire” backlash and overall sense of hatred toward the film from movie-goers who simply couldn’t handle the boredom of an awards season that was written.  Today, it’s time to take the folks to task who couldn’t get to their computers quickly enough to bemoan the Academy’s presentation of […]

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Ratings were up!

Posted by · 9:32 am · February 23rd, 2009

From Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily: News reports this morning say the 81st Academy Awards broadcast delivered increased ratings in the 50 or so biggest U.S. markets, up about 6% over 2008 which registered the lowest ratings in the history of the telecast. New York delivered the largest rating Sunday (34.1/49 share), followed by Chicago (31.2/46) and Los […]

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A private function

Posted by · 9:08 am · February 23rd, 2009

When all is said and done, it wasn’t an awards season that deserved a fireworks finish, so perhaps last night’s muted, largely tasteful, faintly insular ceremony was an appropriate summation. It ran smoothly enough, with a handful of novel distractions and a uniformly generous, empathetic spirit running through the night’s speeches –- but I’d be […]

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POLL: What did you think of the Oscarcast?

Posted by · 7:41 am · February 23rd, 2009

Very easy thumbs up, thumbs down poll this week.  But please, keep your opinions of the winners out of it.  We’re interested in what you thought of the actual show.  Let Bill Condon and Larry Mark know what you thought in the sidebar poll.

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‘Slumdog’ takes 8 trophies as Oscar keeps it under 190 minutes

Posted by · 8:59 pm · February 22nd, 2009

In the final analysis, there isn’t much to say other than: What a captivating way to put a bow on the worst and, ultimately, most boring Oscar season of all time.  The 81st annual Academy Awards swiftly went down earlier this evening with few surprise winners and a classy new sheen.  It was captivating and, […]

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“It’s just us talking. It’s Oscar night.”

Posted by · 9:27 am · February 22nd, 2009

There’s always a healthy amount of irritation slung about during an Oscar season regarding the 6,000-strong body of men and women charged with choosing the year’s “best” in filmmaking accomplishment.  Some say the group is out of touch, others say voters aren’t educated enough in the arenas they choose to award.  For me, I’ve always […]

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Curiouser and curiouser

Posted by · 6:04 pm · February 19th, 2009

I have to say, it’s a stroke of luck that the most predictable Oscar race in some years at least happens to conicide with the most unpredictable Oscar ceremony. It’s as if Bill Condon and Laurence Mark knew that they had to pull out all the stops in reconfiguring the show to make up for […]

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If it ain’t broke…

Posted by · 1:39 pm · February 11th, 2009

A change is as good as a feast. I’m the last person to deny that. And for the most part, I’ve been down with the changes to this year’s Oscarcast promised by producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark. I’m on the record as saying I think Hugh Jackman is an inspired gamble as a choice […]

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Hugh Jackman finally talks his Oscar hosting gig

Posted by · 6:13 pm · February 10th, 2009

In the first interview I’ve come across where he talks at length about his upcoming Oscar emcee gig, Hugh Jackman talks to ABC’s OntheRedCarpet.com about memories watching Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal hosting the show, plans for a “twist” in the natural order of things and his overall philosophy on the job at hand.  It’s […]

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Wait…Queen Latifah to sing during ‘In Memoriam’ segment?

Posted by · 7:13 am · February 10th, 2009

This, I can’t go along with.  I’ve been one of the biggest supporters of whatever Bill Condon and Laurence Mark can cook up, but crooning during a segment like this?  And Queen Latifah of all people (who I love, mind you)?  I don’t like it.  Maybe it’ll work but I’m skeptical. From E!: I can […]

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Solid proof Condon/Mark is the right call

Posted by · 6:44 am · February 9th, 2009

“Dreagirls” was on HBO last night and even though I’m long on the record for not being a fan, I still give it a look from time to time.  I caught the last act or so and the closing credits sequence, and I had forgotten how dazzling that sequence is.  You probably remember it: every […]

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2/6 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:31 am · February 6th, 2009

• David Poland is probably wrong on two counts at the top of his recent Oscar column (certainly plkenty of us had our sites set on Davis and Shannon going into this awards season), but we’ll give him some slack. [Movie City News] • David Carr, via video, talks about Bill Condon and Larry Mark […]

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No “embarrassing interruptions of impassioned speeches”

Posted by · 6:44 am · January 30th, 2009

That’s the line that grabbed me in this Susan Wloszczyna feature on Oscar producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark.  If there’s anything that drives me up the wall, it’s the musical interjection of a speech, no matter how rambling.  This is a person’s moment and ignorant, cue-happy conductors (and presumably the producers chattering into their […]

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1/5 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:58 am · January 5th, 2009

• “Che” tops David Poland’s top 10 list, which also includes…”Mamma Mia!”  That’s originality for ya. [The Hot Blog] • David Carr does some number crunching on a few Best Picture contenders. [The Carpetbagger] • Michael Cieply spends some time with the producers of this year’s Oscar telecast. [New York Times] • Lewis Beale on […]

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“You’re so money and you don’t even know it.”

Posted by · 7:20 pm · December 13th, 2008

Tim Gray has put together a typical response piece to the Hugh Jackman emcee news over at Variety, but the real interesting bits are as follows: “[W]e are trying to turn a corner and to give the evening more of a nightclub-party feel — which it once had,” said the show’s producer Laurence Mark. And… […]

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Who should host the Oscars?

Posted by · 4:39 pm · October 24th, 2008

This morning I linked to our friend John Campea at The Movie Blog who offered up a list of 15 possibilities for host of this year’s Oscar festivities.  Producers Bill Condon and Larry Mark are hard at work putting the show’s particulars together (when Condon has a few moments away from that Richard Pryor biopic […]

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