If you’re anything like me, you make a point to watch as many “Oscar films” as possible before the February ceremony. To help me with this, I assemble a checklist of sorts every fall, ordering each film by release date. To that end, listed below are some of this year’s biggest prospects that are either currently in theatres or set to be released in the upcoming weeks. In the event that I’ve seen one of the films listed, I included my rating out of 10.
It’s not every day I get the opportunity to fly out to LA for the Oscars, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t post about my experience at this year’s Academy Awards. My friend Stephanie and I ventured to Hollywood primarily for our Red Carpet experience, but we took our extended weekend to meet with friends, see some sites, and tour the Paramount Pictures studios. Still, our Oscar Fan Experience was the weekend’s crown jewel, so I’ll be focusing this post on that.
Our call time was 10am and we arrived a bit early, so we hung out at a donut shop nearby for our “pre-gaming.” (I had been to LA just a few years earlier and didn’t notice all of the donut shops. This time, however, that’s all I could see—for miles and miles. And these aren’t fancy, gourmet donut shops; these are hole-in-the-wall, cheapo places.)
In light of the Olympic Winter Games and TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar, it seems appropriate to draw focus to the classic film Chariots of Fire. Set during the 1924 Olympic Games, one Jewish and one Christian track athlete—both British—compete against each other in this epic story of sportsmanship. Directed by Hugh Hudson, the 1981 film went on to capture four Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and its now Olympics-synonymous score. Other nominations were earned for the film’s directing, editing, and supporting performance by Ian Holm.
Transport yourself back to 1924 and the Olympic games and take a listen to this iconic, Oscar-winning score:
Here are the questions the Academy posed during Academy Fan Appreciation Week, along with my responses.
I’d probably stand in silent disbelief for a few seconds before saying, “I’ve been fantasizing about this moment for most of my life. I’m so grateful to be standing here, welcomed by this honorable community. For me, film isn’t about the awards–though I gladly accept this Oscar–it’s about the magic that stretches through the screen and reaches each wide-eyed dreamer sitting in the audience–myself included. For some, an Oscar represents the culmination of a long, amazing career, but for me, it represents my inclusion with this industry that I love and respect so much. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the worthy nominees in this category, because it’s when I watch films like [INSERT FELLOW NOMINATED FILM TITLES] that I’m reminded why I love movies so damn much. Thank you for this honor. This is the greatest moment of my life.”
When I visited LA a couple of years ago, I met Barbara, a tour guide at the then-Kodak Theatre. She took my friend Stephanie and me on a tour of the hallowed grounds that are the home of the Academy Awards. It was an amazing experience being in that building and getting Barbara’s insider’s perspective. She told us about the Red Carpet bleacher seats and how the Academy chooses lucky fans via lottery to occupy those seats. (I suspect one would have an easier time getting into Harvard then winning one of these highly sought-after seats.) Ever since then, I had hoped that perhaps one day I’d get the chance, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon …
In the past few weeks, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed the shortlists for all short film categories for the 2013 Oscars. Official nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014. Here’s what will be vying for a nomination in all three categories:
“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me),” Esteban Crespo, director (Producciones Africanauan)
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything),” Xavier Legrand, director, and Alexandre Gavras, producer (KG Productions)
“Dva (Two),” Mickey Nedimovic, director, and Henner Besuch, director of photography (Filoufilm Dani Barsch)
“Helium,” Anders Walter, director, and Kim Magnusson, producer (M & M Productions)
“Kush,” Shubhashish Bhutiani, director (Red Carpet Moving Pictures)
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?),” Selma Vilhunen, director, and Kirsikka Saari, screenwriter (Tuffi Films)
The fall is my favorite season for several reasons: the weather, the holidays, the foliage, the movies—oh, the movies. This is when studios release their best contenders for Oscar glory, more than four months away. Every year, I aim to watch all of the Oscar hopefuls before nominations are announced (this year on January 16, 2014).
Here is my second-annual list of this year’s major contenders in various categories, along with release dates.
You get thanked an awful lot by Oscar winners, but you don’t always make the smartest choices (#justsayin). Allow us to help you along a bit so you don’t make another embarrassing blunder (Affleck, anyone?) come February 24th. Here’s who we say should win in some of the key races.
AMPAS recently released this year’s official Oscar poster, and I must say, it’s pretty awesome! Each of the 84 Best Picture winners is represented as an Oscar statuette. Check out the poster below, and click here to see each statue design up close.
The 85th annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 24 at 7pm EST on ABC.