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Revolution at the Oscars!

Revolution at the Oscars! (photo)

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Two things to keep in mind as we race down the final stretch of awards season. One: “The Hurt Locker” is almost certainly a lock, having won other Best Picture prizes over and over and over. I favor the conspiracy theory where Kathryn Bigelow gets Best Director and “Avatar” wins Picture, but it’s definitely a more fun horse race than usual.

Two: please remember that this year everything we know about the Oscars will be upended. “You’ve never seen Oscar® like this before” reads one poster, though that nagging trademark suggests otherwise, even if “Hurt Locker” effectively goes on to be one of the least financially popular Best Picture winners ever.

You hear a lot about viewing numbers declining in years when your average man-on-the-street type viewer isn’t clued in on any of the nominees, so you’d think somehow it behooves the Academy to select “Avatar.” But it’s cool. Mewling about how much the Oscars suck, how they might be improved and doing a remorseless autopsy on the inevitable disappointment is a time-honored tradition even more irritating than the actual awards themselves. Even with some real suspense this year, that’s not going to change no matter how many good jokes Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin crack.

02222010_hurtlocker.jpgThe truth of the matter is that, like eradicating racism from the face of the earth, everyone who is responsible for the inherent conservatism of the Oscars will have to die before any meaningful changes take place. (Either that or Hollywood as we know it will itself have to die, which is of course totally plausible.)

Please note that I’m not wishing death upon anyone (it’s really not that important), that’s just how it is. You’re never going to see a moment like Fever Ray’s acceptance speech in Gothenburg earlier this year, though I’d kill for the Oscars to move out of that damn auditorium and allow some dramatic overhead shots into the ceremony. (They could get De Palma to direct!) A little visual elegance would be a big help.

Exhaustive “coverage” (read: speculation) about the Oscars has risen in inverse proportion to declining public interest in the ceremony, a supply-and-demand anomaly I can’t explain that’s presumably here to grapple with (imaginary) increased complexities and nuances. Whatever happens at this year’s awards won’t be that revolutionary. If “Avatar” wins, it’ll upend the usual precedents for what previous voting means but will give the people what they want. If “The Hurt Locker” wins, critics will be happy but the masses will moan. The song remains the same.

On the other hand, when this is over I never have to write about “Avatar” ever again. Which I’m looking forward to. Awards season is like listening to a radio station play the same 30 songs over and over for six months straight.

[Photos: “Avatar,” 20th Century Fox, 2009; “The Hurt Locker,” Summit, 2009]


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.