Jan. 16, 2014 | 1:00 p.m.

Oscar nominations 2014 kick off superhero theme, honor genre films

The 86th Academy Awards aim to take a page from comic book movies. The 2014 Oscars ceremony will honor superheroes, real-life heroes and animated heroes, and Thursday morning’s nominations kicked off the heroic theme. Patrick Doyle’s “Thor” soundtrack played as Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, took her place onstage early Thursday morning. Isaacs introduced Chris Hemsworth, who plays the hammer-wielding demigod in the Marvel films. “I want to thank everyone for joining us for these exciting announcements, celebrating the heroes of movie-making,” she said. “And lucky for us, we have a superhero here with us today.” PHOTOS: Oscars 2014 top nominees The academy will expand on the hero theme with “The Oscars Celebrates Movie Heroes,” an exhibition at its Beverly Hills headquarters starting Friday to March 5. The show will feature still […]
Feb. 25, 2013 | 10:34 a.m.

Oscars 2013: James Bond overshadowed by Adele, Bassey

The Oscars managed to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series without a single Bond actor taking the stage. The Academy Awards brought out a Bond girl, Bond song singers and showcased a montage of the beloved action film franchise – but not a glimpse of Daniel Craig or Sean Connery. Former Bond girl Halle Berry introduced the montage of Bond moments and called Bond music “a genre all its own.” Oscars 2013: Complete coverage Dame Shirley Bassey proved her entirely correct. Not bad for a 76-year-old star. Bassey and Adele were the true Bond stars of the night, with performances of the titular theme songs “Goldfinger” and “Skyfall,” respectively, that brought down the house. Bassey, backlit by golden columns and wearing (of course) a gold dress, brought a touch of class to her touchstone song. She was […]
Feb. 24, 2013 | 2:47 p.m.

Oscars 2013: Sci-fi, fantasy fail to capture academy’s imagination

It’s a rough time for science fiction and fantasy films at the 2013 Academy Awards. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “Prometheus,” two high-profile films with Oscar pedigrees, fell comparatively flat with critics. They made their share at the box office, but came up short come during the awards season. The closest either genre has to a place at the top of the Oscar honorees this year is through the more fantastical elements of best-picture nominees “Life of Pi” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” though both films spin narratives that are far from sci-fi/fantasy conventions. Both directors, Ang Lee and Benh Zeitlin are also nominated. Oscars 2013: Full coverage And in other categories, there’s barely a film in either genre. There’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” up for best costume design, “The Hobbit’s” three nominations in technical categories, and […]
Feb. 24, 2013 | 11:48 a.m.

Oscars 2013: Can Jennifer Lawrence be stopped?

Jennifer Lawrence has gone from being “the girl on fire” in “The Hunger Games” to Hollywood’s golden girl for her turn as a neurotic young widow in “Silver Linings Playbook.” She’s considered by many a front-runner for the best-actress Oscar when the 85th annual Academy Awards get underway Sunday night, capping an awards season that has seen Lawrence dominate the top honors — including the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild and Critics Choice awards. Saturday afternoon, she added one more trophy to her collection, picking up top actress honors at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica. Oscars 2013: Complete coverage But the Academy Awards voters aren’t swayed by the masses, of course. And Lawrence has plenty of competition heading into the ceremony being held tonight at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Lawrence is competing with Jessica Chastain for […]
Feb. 20, 2013 | 12:42 p.m.

Oscars 2013 host Seth MacFarlane: ‘I’m the wrong guy’ for the job

Academy Awards host Seth MacFarlane has a message for the Oscars: Be careful what you wish for ’cause you just might get it. The raunchy-minded creative genius behind TV’s “Family Guy” and “American Dad” and the summer box office hit “Ted” says the 85th annual Academy Awards on Sunday will be “a very thin-skinned room” for his ribald sense of humor. “It’s a really bad match,” MacFarlane told CNN. “I’m the wrong guy to do this.” Oscars 2013: Complete coverage What do you think? Is MacFarlane a good match for the Oscars? Will the Academy Awards regret turning over the reins to him? Will he push the envelope? MacFarlane was joking, of course, in his comments to CNN. Or was he? Let’s not forget MacFarlane’s surprising appearance at the announcement of the Academy Awards nominees last month. (MacFarlane is the only […]
Feb. 20, 2013 | 9:26 a.m.

‘Mirror Mirror’ looking for Oscar gold after top guild win

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. “Mirror Mirror” on the wall: Will this fantastical twist on the tale of Snow White take home Oscar gold Sunday night at the 85th annual Academy Awards? [For the Record, 12:15 p.m., Feb. 20: Someone needs to get her fairy tales straight. An earlier version of this post said that “Mirror Mirror” was a fantastical twist on Sleeping Beauty. It’s a retelling of Snow White.] The lavishly costumed film starring Julia Roberts as the evil monarch who envies fresh-faced newcomer Lily Collins nabbed top honors Tuesday at the 15th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards, winning for excellence in fantasy film. The guild awards come as the award season races toward its climactic finale, Oscar Sunday. The win suggests that “Mirror Mirror” could be the front-runner for the costume design Oscar. […]
Feb. 06, 2013 | 11:20 a.m.

Oscars 2013: ‘The Avengers’ cast to join forces at ceremony

Cast of ‘The Avengers,” assemble! You have been summoned to the  Oscars. Members of “The Avengers” cast including Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will gather together to present at the Hollywood awards show, the show’s producers announced Wednesday. But the super group of actors will not be complete: Scarlett Johansson is currently busy with her Broadway show “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” a spokeswoman from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences told The Times. Chris Hemsworth, who stars in the film  “Thor: The Dark World,” set to come out in November, also will not be part of the group. Although none of “The Avengers” actors is up for an Oscar this year, many of them have been nominees in the past. Downey was nominated in 1993 for his lead […]
Jan. 28, 2012 | 9:47 a.m.

‘Time Freak’: Sci-fi short and an Oscar moment to remember

How great would it be to turn back the clock, peek into the homes of this year’s Oscar contenders and watch their real-time reaction to the nominations announcement? That’s part of the public fascination with a “you-are-there” video made by Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey, a husband-and-wife filmmaking duo who are now Oscar nominees in the live-action short category thanks to “Time Freak.” The shorts nominees were were announced online Tuesday at 5:50 a.m. and Bowler and Causey’s natural reaction to the nerve-wracking wait was to turn on the cameras. When they actually got nominated, their Tuesday video experiment became a time capsule to share with friends and family but it went well beyond that once it hit the echo chamber of the Internet. “We put [the YouTube video link] on Facebook for friends and family, but the weirdest thing happened – somebody submitted […]
Nov. 09, 2011 | 5:08 p.m.

Oscars controversy: Can Muppets save the day?

Could Kermit the Frog host the Oscars? That’s what some Muppets fanatics are hoping. Thousands of Muppets fans on Facebook and Twitter are pushing for the popular characters to fill the Oscars telecast void left by the departure of Eddie Murphy, who stepped down from his hosting gig Wednesday. Murphy quit less than 24 hours after his creative partner Brett Ratner resigned as producer of the 2012 Oscar ceremony after making an anti-gay slur. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has tapped Brian Grazer — the producer of “24,” “Arrested Development” and “A Beautiful Mind” — to take Ratner’s place, but no announcement has been made concerning the hosting job yet. Enter Kermit and friends. Aside from adorable cuddliness, they have decades of stage experience, great comedic timing and plenty of cross-generational appeal — all things that the […]
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