Oscars: The highlight we’d pick from the deluge of Oscar features this weekend is unquestionably Jacques Steinberg‘s New York Times piece on the tough time Jon Stewart and his loyal band of writers should be having with Stewart’s Oscar-hosting gig â€” everyone gets their quip in.
Somehow, Mr. Stewart and his writers must be arch enough to bring along
the 1.4 million viewers who lap up "The Daily Show" each night on
Comedy Central, while being broad enough to win over perhaps 40 million
other people who typically watch the Oscars but may never have seen
"This Week in God," a sendup of religion that is a "Daily Show" staple.
"We’re hoping to disappoint fans of ‘The Daily Show’ and similarly
disappoint new fans who had no idea who Jon was," [Ben] Karlin, now
executive producer of both the Stewart and Colbert shows, said in an
A squib in the New York Post confirms that, rather than casting off lesser nominees to receive their awards in the aisles, producer Gil Cates will have nominees move up to specially reserved seats in the third and forth rows just before each award, a system not unlike the one implemented by Mrs. Langenberg at the piano recitals of our youth, except (probably) with fewer botched renditions of "The Entertainer."
Xeni Jardin at Wired News reports on the Sci-Tech Awards, while Caryn James tackles the best foreign film nominees in a decent piece that doesn’t attempt, for once, any strained trend analysis beyond "In this year of politically themed best-picture contenders like ‘Munich’ and ‘Good Night, and Good Luck,’ the foreign films have a similar urgency." Maria Elena Fernandez at the LA Times chats up reality show producers for ideas on how to make the Oscar broadcast more interesting.
And Roger Ebert goes live with his Oscar predictions.
BAFTAs: British Academy Film Award winners are here. Meh. We don’t think "Brokeback Mountain" winning over "Crash" signifies anything â€” Haggis‘ film doesn’t have nearly the same critical following in the UK that it does here. And odd but satisfying to see "Wallace & Gromit: Curse Of The Were-Rabbit" be named Outstanding British Film of the Year over "A Cock and Bull Story" and "The Constant Gardener" â€” as if the award were a measure of a film’s sheer Britishness, and "Wallace & Gromit"’s Plasticine sweater vests and tea cozies carried the day over even period-perfect non-empire waist gowns. At the Guardian‘s Culture Vulture blog, Xan Brooks runs down the lessons he learned at the BAFTAs this year.
Bears: At the close of Berlin International Film Festival, the Golden Bear went to Jasmila Zbanic‘s "Grbavica" (Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE has the complete list of award-winners), while over at Greencine Daily, David D’Arcy writes that:
Although it only won a second prize at the Berlinale, a Silver Bear for direction, Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross‘s new film certainly won the exposure award. As soon as "The Road to Guantanamo" screened in the Competition, the film and its emphasis on the fact that some 500 prisoners are still held at Guantanamo without charges were all over the media.
BBC reports today "The Road to Guantanamo"’s actors were stopped and harassed at the Luton airport on their way back from the festival: "One of the actors, Rizwan Ahmed, said a police officer asked him if he intended to make any more ‘political’ films."
+ A First-Time Oscar Host in Search of That Fine Line (NY Times)
+ Robert Altman’s Long Goodbye (NY Times)
+ OSCAR OUT OF AISLES (NY Post)
+ Spotlight on the shorts, part one: animation (LA Times)
+ Spotlight on the shorts, part two: live action (LA Times)
+ Spotlight on the shorts, part three: documentary (LA Times)
+ Gizmos Trump Gowns at Nerd Oscars (Wired News)
+ Five Oscar Nominees: Foreign, Not Alien (NY Times)
+ Let’s add some dirt to all the glitter (LA Times)
+ Ebert’s Oscar predictions (RogerEbert.com)
+ LATEST WINNERS AND NOMINEES (BAFTA.org)
+ Reflections on the Baftas (Guardian)
+ "Grbavica" Wins Golden Bear At 2006 Berlinale (indieWIRE)
+ Berlin Dispatch. 12. (Greencine Daily)
+ Guantanamo actors held at airport (BBC)