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Neglected, animated.

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"Come on, don't be so modest. You're a rat, for Pete's sake."
We’d rather not start on Oscar talk yet, because there’ll be plenty of time for it in the upcoming months and because we don’t care. Still, the LA TimesPatrick Goldstein has an interesting, brief interview with the cheerily diplomatic Pixar creative chief John Lasseter, who’s also a member of the Academy Board of Governors, in which they discuss why it’s so hard for an animated film to get taken seriously.

According to, "Ratatouille" remains the best
reviewed American movie of the year. Yet none of the Oscar pundits even
mentions it as a best picture contender. Doesn’t that bug you?

love for me to complain, wouldn’t you? Well, I’m not. But I will say
I’m proud that the academy has an Oscar that celebrates the best
animated feature.

It used to be the best you could hope for
was a musical nomination. I guess you have to view it as akin to the
best foreign language film. You’re still eligible for other categories,
even if it doesn’t happen very often.

Variety has a whole section on the topic of Oscars and animation: Ellen Wolff notes that some categories (like writing) are more available to animated films than others, particularly directing: "Ratatouille"’s Brad Bird complains that "Obviously you’re not standing there with a megaphone in virtual land, but we still have to analyze whether people can follow an emotion through a film. We still deal with camera angles and the rhythm of shots." Iain Blair discusses voice casting and David S. Cohen looks into how the Academy is struggling to define animation in the face of the growth of motion-capture, and how "this fall’s big mo-cap release, ‘Beowulf,’ may stump the rules — or at least have the Acad asking the filmmakers to answer a few questions."

On that latter film, Dalya Alberge at the London Times has a breathy piece on its 3-D incarnation:

The technology has become so flawless that it is set to transform the way films are both made and watched, film-makers say. There is an unsurpassed clarity, making audiences feel that they are in the picture. Two reels of film go through the projector and fool the brain into merging them and seeing them in 3-D.

Personally, we’d love to see "Ratatouille" get a best picture nod, and it probably does have the best chances of any animated film in quite a while. And it made A.O. Scott get all gushy. Marjane Satrapi’s "Persepolis," which with its black and white cel animation looks in no way related to either the semi-lifelike insanity that is "Beowulf" or the more figurative "Ratatouille," could also be in line for awards — if not animation, then foreign language film, as it is France’s submission to the category this year.

+ John Lasseter (LA Times)
+ Is animation stuck in Oscar ghetto? (Variety)
+ Animation voice experts debate tricks (Variety)
+ Academy struggles to define animation (Variety)
+ Beowulf becomes even more epic in 3-D (London Times)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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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.

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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

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