A night of cups of wine, cheese on paper plates, and the only awards show to honor Will and Jaden Smith for ‘After Earth.’
While the entertainment industry gears up for its most important night, in a nondescript office building on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, a whole different kind of celebration is about to take place. This one features no red carpet, no paparazzi and, only in the rarest of circumstances, a celebrity. The Golden Raspberry Awards—the Razzies—honors the worst in film with the best (and weirdest) show a few dollars can afford. And I'm lucky enough to be there.
Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
After dodging the few remaining raindrops from the torrential downpours that have paralyzed Los Angeles, I reach my destination at the corner of Hollywood and La Brea, just blocks from the Dolby Theatre. Knowing how legendary the Razzies are, I'm taken aback when the only indication of any sort of activity, much less an award show, is a photocopied sheet of paper with a giant raspberry taped to the door. I reach the two security guards working the front desk and am able to disrupt them just long enough to inquire where the "ceremony" (yes, I used air quotes) is.
The pre-show red carpet fandango on E! and ABC had everything the Oscar watcher could wish for: bad dresses to bitch about, presenters mouthing a stream of relentless vapidity, and Liza Minnelli stalking everything like a cobalt blue shark
It is just after 8pm. I do not know what will happen next, but I do know Liza Minnelli is at the Oscars ceremony doing something in cobalt blue, an equally livid streak in her hair, making my heart race. And she's walking, head bobbing, with an odd kinetic purpose, behind other people's camera shots. Is anyone with Liza? Accompanying her? Her half-sister Lorna Luft is, but is anyone making sure Liza's not near open flame or an exposed electronic cable? Really, I just want the evening to go off without a hitch.
I mean, don't let her near Jennifer Lawrence. The poor woman's already gone down once tonight, apparently sabotaged by one of the traffic cones that had turned up on the red carpet in perhaps a surrealist art exercise. If you see Minnelli, rugby-tackle Ms. New York, New York. For all our sakes.
There she was, behind Ryan Seacrest on the E! pre-Oscars red carpet show, where this year, Ryan did not get doused with ash, which was fortunate as he was in a white Christopher Bailey tux. Ryan's job is thankless, although he is thanked a lot by others. The celebrities tell him how great he is at his job. And although he smiles grittily through it, you also know he feels he is a Hollywood player himself, dammit, and here he is asking about dress labels and showering people with the same empty compliments and superlatives. He's really thinking about how he might wind up the latest series of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Why doesn't anyone show him some respect? This year, he got zero out of anyone. Not even when he asked Benedict Cumberbatch what the atmosphere was like on the 12 Years a Slave set. (Oh party central, Ryan, it was just a laugh a minute, especially the hour-long lashing scene.)
From Bob Hope to Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris, relive six decades of Academy Award openers.
What’s an awards ceremony for the year’s best films and performances without an opening to start things off right? The Academy has a long history of making some very interesting first impressions.
The openings have gone from simplistic to extravagant, featuring funny monologues, dance numbers, and lots of celebrities. Who can forget James Franco dressing up as Marilyn Monroe in 2011, or Billy Crystal opening as Hannibal Lecter in 1992? With Ellen DeGeneres hosting this year, it’s sure to be an interesting one (finally cool musical numbers!).
Who is LittleRedBunny? That’s what the adult industry is asking after a red-haired girl with a French accent became the hottest cam girl on the Internet.
Ophelia hoists up two bags of toys at the foot of the bed, explaining each is used for a different entrance. “It isn’t always sexual,” she tells me in her French accent on Skype. “A lot of time is sensuous. A lot is talking. Each person is different. I am really interested to know each one.” Her cam is set up to frame her bed with a background decorated to match her red hair. Decked in lacy lingerie her public tease dancing emphasizes her, um, flexibility.
Most nights, all night, you can go online and join 2,000 to 3,000 others watching this striking redhead known as LittleRedBunny burlesque dance to vintage music.
There’s one real reason we all tune in to the Oscars each year: to watch A-list celebrities cry. Who’s delivered the best speeches ever? Here’s our list.
Tom Hanks - 1993
“The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels.” BRB I’M WEEPING FOREVER. Everything about Tom Hanks’s Oscar acceptance speech for his performance in Philadelphia is perfect, except that he calls Rita Wilson his “lover.” Twice.
A self-proclaimed ‘Barbie’ believes you don’t need food or water to live. Brains either, it would seem.
The Ukrainians sure have had a rough February. First their eye-poppingly corrupt president, Viktor Yanukovych, goes missing, then armed soldiers appear in the Crimea airport, then their president reappears in Russia acting like nothing happened, and then "Barbie" automaton Valeria Lukyanova, a Ukrainian lass (actually she was born in Moldava but never mind), announces that she was a breatharian. That’s right. Barbie believes you can live without food and water—and exist on air alone.
While you let that one sink in, let’s pause for a moment to measure the sum of the Nouveau Barbie. Ms. Lukyanova already has done a mighty fine job working the Internets to pump up a uniquely modern type of fame, positioning herself in the weird but ever-expanding mid-zone between self-promotion and self-parody, working the tension of ‘is she kidding or not?’ as expertly as Andy Kaufman.
When they’re not showing off their ridiculous white casts or Americanized religious themes, Jesus movies are overwhelmed by their self-importance. Maybe it’s time to stop making them.
I never want to see Jesus again.
Not in a movie, at least. Not after sitting through two hours and 18 minutes of Son of God, the latest tragedy about the life of Jesus and the acting career of Roma Downey, the onetime Touched By An Angel star who, in addition to playing Mary, produced the film with her husband, Mark Burnett.
Having watched some of History Channel’s The Bible, the 10-hour mini series from which most of Son of God was pieced together, I already knew Jesus Starring Roma Downey wasn’t going to be great. (Nothing starring Roma Downey has ever been great.) But still, I went to the theater praying for the best, hoping Jesus might not be terrible. But alas, God’s only son was terrible; the story, the dialogue, the acting, the non-miraculous special effects—all pretty terrible. Sometimes it was SyFy Channel-terrible. Son of God is so awful that it borders on godless—not sinful or heretical, just lacking true Spirit.
Sixty years ago, a film with a now-iconic, steamy beach scene and a smoldering Sinatra stormed the Oscars and cemented itself in Hollywood lore.
Sixty years ago, the clear favorite at the Academy Awards, with 13 nominations, was the film version of James Jones’s huge bestseller, From Here to Eternity. And it delivered, nearly sweeping the boards with eight winners, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and Best Screenplay. In the memory of millions who loved the film, though, it’s also remembered for the one Oscar it didn’t win.
Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in "From Here To Eternity" 1953.
The film starred Humphrey Bogart, Eli Wallach, Aldo Ray and Joan Crawford…almost.
How did Alfonso Cuaron make outer space seem so real in Best Picture Oscar nominee ‘Gravity’?
Film has always been a medium reliant on magic. But for Gravity, the director Alfonso Cuaron needed to redefine what that magic could be, to go to the limits of what is now technically possible. The film, which is up for ten Oscars this Sunday, is a tense, visceral ride set in space, with Sandra Bullock as an astronaut desperately trying to survive a series of catastrophes in her struggle to make it back to earth alive. The design and special effects, conveyed heart-stoppingly in 3D, make us physically experience every horrendous peril as it appears.
SANDRA BULLOCK as Ryan Stone in Warner Bros. Pictures' dramatic thriller "GRAVITY," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Warner Bros. Picture)
Four years ago, when Gravity began its long incubation, the digital technology of film was advancing rapidly, and Cuaron knew that the cutting edge work was to be found in London, where he now lives. Cuaron was working on early concepts for the film with the producer David Heyman; his favorite longtime director of photography and frequent Oscar nominee, Emmanuel Lubezki; and Tim Webber, a visual effects wizard from the London-based company Framestore, who had won an Academy Award nomination for his work on the The Dark Knight.
Ahead of Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony, our critics Marlow Stern and Kevin Fallon debate what will—and should—win the Best Picture Oscar.
We’ve reached the finale: the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture. A prize that’s been bestowed on some of the finest films in Hollywood history—Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather Part II—and a plethora of forgettable ones as well (The King’s Speech, anyone?).
The Daily Beast
This year’s pundits see it as a two-horse race between Alfonso Cuarón’s 3-D epic Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock as a marooned astronaut drifting off in space, and Steve McQueen’s poignant drama 12 Years a Slave, chronicling the journey of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) from freedom to bondage and back again. The dark horse is David O. Russell’s saucy caper American Hustle, which could sneak in and steal it.
Doug Kenney was many things to many people—funny, generous, unknowable. He helped create National Lampoon and co-wrote ‘Animal House.’ Then one day he went off a cliff.
The flood of loving tributes to the late Harold Ramis this week has encouraged many of us to look back over his rich movie career. It also brings to mind Doug Kenney, one of Ramis’s co-writers on Animal House (Chris Miller is the other). Kenney, one of the founders of National Lampoon, also wrote Caddyshack (directed by Ramis), but he died in August 1980 at 33, when he fell off a cliff in Hawaii. The police ruled the death accidental but others weren’t so sure. “Doug probably fell while he was looking for a place to jump,” Ramis said.
The following year, Robert Sam Anson profiled Kenney for Esquire. He’d known Kenney when they were teenagers, when they attended rival private schools in Ohio. “We debated against each other when I was going to the quite academically superior Jesuit school in town, St. Ignatius,” remembers Anson, “and I had very dismissive feelings about Gilmour and anyone who went there. Boy, was I wrong. Doug, who seems to have been beloved by everyone, was a genius in the Michael O’Donoghue class, and I feel privileged to have known him, if only glancingly. I think about Doug a lot. This, by the way, is my favorite piece I’ve ever done.”
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