"The Slap Heard Around The World" is all that anyone is talking about (rightly so) or will remember from the 2022 Academy Awards. But it was bad even before that moment, dubbed on Twitter afterwards by Mark Hamill as "#UgliestOscarMoment_Ever."
3 hour and 42 minute run-time, after all the hoopla surrounding the decision to move and minimize eight of the awards to the pre-show? "The Army of the Dead" is the "fan-favorite" movie of 2021? The most cheer-worthy movie moment - IN THE HISTORY OF MOVIES - is..."The Flash enters The Speed Force"? Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are brought on-stage to celebrate the 50th anniversary of "The Godfather," despite the fact that Robert De Niro was not in that film?
WTF is going on?
The 94th annual Academy Awards are right around the corner, airing this Sunday, March 27th at 8pm (EST) on ABC. Though ratings have been down across the board for ALL awards shows since the pandemic, this year's Oscars are trying hard to bring in more overall viewership with a few new twists (some a bit controversial) and some special treats for their movie-loving audience.
Musical performances from Billy Eilish & Finneas, Beyoncé, Reba McEntire and Sebastian Yatra have already been announced, as have a list of presenters including Dj Khaled, Jennifer Garner, Bill Murray, Tony Hawk, H.E.R., Shawn Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Tyler Perry, Woody Harrelson, Mila Kunis and John Travolta, to name a few. It was also recently announced that Rachel Zegler, the 20-year-old star of the Oscar-nominated "West Side Story," will also be a presenter, after an online campaign went viral when she revealed that she was not invited to attend the Oscars. The Oscars will be hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, and it's the first time the Oscars have gone with a host since Jimmy Kimmel hosted in 2017 and 2018.
There are a lot of opinions when it comes to the Oscars, especially in our divided times (I urge you to read a fantastic article where two opposing film lovers - one very pro-Oscars and one very, very against them by clicking here). But with the theme of the show this year being "Movie Lovers Unite" (#MovieLoversUnite), the Oscars are hoping to get people more involved than ever, having added a "fan favorite" vote-in category as well as having average folks vote for their favorite movie scene of all-time.
Predicting what will happen at the Oscars this year, how many people will watch (or not watch) and who will win is all part of the fun. In that spirit, here are my best predictions in all 23 categories for this year's 94th Academy Awards (full disclaimer: Yes I have seen all entries and these opinions are made without any inside knowledge, and represent who I THINK will win, and not necessarily who I would WANT to see win):
The nominations for the 94th Academy Awards are in, having just been announced this morning, and just like every other year we have our fair share of surprises, snubs and well-deserving films/performances.
Read on for more reaction and for a full list of this year's Oscar Nominees!
The Detroit Film Critics Society unveiled their 2021 Nominations across 13 categories this morning. The AppleTV+ film "CODA" led all films with 5 total nominations, with "King Richard" and "Don't Look Up" taking 4 a piece. All three films were nominated for Best Picture.
The Winners in all categories were announced on Monday, Dec 6th. Please visit www.detroitfilmcritics.com for more information and to support this year's batch of Detroit-centric film critics.
Read on for this year's full list of nominations, with WINNERS in bold.
In some ways, it's hard to believe we're half-way through 2021...but following 2020 (the year that felt like an entire decade in and of itself), the faster we get back to some sense of "normal" the better.
Movies are just now starting to pick up into full swing, with Summer blockbusters like "F9" setting post-pandemic records and inching towards pre-pandemic levels. Theaters across the country are open and at full capacity, and we're somehow just a few months away from what is hopefully a "normal" awards season for film.
Before that rush of "award films" in the Fall, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at the best of 2021 so far. I've left off films that came out in early 2021 that were still eligible for last year's pandemic-adjusted awards season (films like "The Father" and "Supernova" were omitted). And you'll note four of my top ten thus far are documentary films (it's already a strong year for the genre).
With that, here are my Top 10 films of 2021 so far...in no particular order...as well as where you can watch them currently.
Perhaps until the past few years, there was nothing that would divide people more than their opinions of the annual Academy Awards telecast.
The "hate-watchers" as I call them are in one corner, tuning in every year just to complain about the length of the program, the stuffiness of it all or to call for the hypocritical Hollywood elites handing each other golden statues to just be quiet. On the other side, you have "Awards aficionados," the ones that eat this stuff up, that block their calendars off months in advance when they announce when the Oscars are happening, who secretly love when the Oscars go long, who tear up during the In Memoriam segment each year and who would do all of the above annually without question because it validates and confirms their "love of the movies."
The first group LOVES trolling the latter, and the latter love to defend the Oscars at all costs...they are and have always been a sacred celebration of all things movies, and an attack on the Academy Awards is, in fact, an attack on us.
I say "us" because I proudly identify as being in the second group, an awards show junkie who credits his love of movies to watching early 80s Oscar telecasts as a kid, who learned about movie-making from the technical awards categories that would be presented to the "nobodies" on stage (I desperately wanted to one day be one of those nobodies), who thought that his grandma had been invited to the gala (it was, in fact, not my grandma but Jessica Tandy), and who fights off naysayers each year when they inevitably attack the integrity of the biggest awards show of all, by suggesting that it - gasp! - shorten, or otherwise change.
So let me say this as Oscars biggest fanboy: Last nights show was indefensible. There was a lot of good, some bad, and then a final 20 minutes or so that absolutely sucked the wind out of me, and made me disgusted. The Steven Soderberg-produced show crashed and burned after a promising start...and if I ended up feeling devastated about it, I can only imagine what the "haters" thought.
I'm not here to defend the 2021 Oscars...but let's take a look at what worked, what didn't and everything in-between.
Oscar Short Films have long been the biggest enigma of every Academy Awards ceremony. Where most movie-goers tune in to the Oscars for the glitz, glamour and celebrity of it all, very few have seen or even heard of many of the nominated Short Films each year.
Often, the audience might recognize one of the Animated Shorts (if it happened to play in front of big Animated blockbusters like "Frozen" or "Moana"), but two would be a stretch. In recent years, the entire nominated Short Film slate has been packaged and shown in theaters, but even then, they're a hard sell for everyone except the Oscar die-hards or the movie-going elite, and rarely have the Shorts been played at any multiplex or theater that isn't a small art house.
Despite this, they continue to be a part of the celebration, earning a seat at the table among the "longies" at the biggest awards celebration of all. The Globes, the Critics Choice and even the Screen Actors Guild has no such public (or private) award for the Short Film format (under 40 minutes in length), so it is very much a medium which The Academy alone seems to deem important.
But I'm here to tell you: Do not sleep on the Oscar Short Films! Here are 5 reasons why:
It seems simple enough: What makes a movie a good movie?
The experience of watching a film is subjective of course. You have to factor in not only what you're watching, but where, when and with whom you're seeing it. "The Wizard of Oz," for example, is a great film on many fronts, but its achievements in sound, visual effects, production design or musical numbers are not why I personally think of it as a great film. Sure it has all that, but it's great to me, because it reminds me of my papa and grandma's house, of being a kid curled up in front of their vintage TV, seeing the joy on their old, wrinkled faces, rewinding and watching that tired VHS tape like there wasn't a care in the world. There really wasn't back then.
A question I often get asked now that I watch movies for a living is: "What makes a movie a good movie?" Sidestepping that direct question, since it is "Oscar Week" (the 93rd Academy Awards air this Sunday on ABC), I thought I would ponder a similar Oscar-themed inquiry: What makes a movie a Best Picture candidate?
I put some thought into this and asked some of my fellow film critic colleagues to ponder the concept (and looked to a few of the icons of the profession as well), in the hopes that the average movie-goer may gain some insights as to why critics like certain movies and dislike others, and what makes some movies a Best Picture candidate and others, not.
After the year we've all just endured, whose game for a celebration? Well, Hollywood is for one. The 93rd Annual Academy Awards - The Oscars - will air live on Sunday, April 25th, 2021, at 8pm EDT on ABC and will undoubtedly be a different kind of awards show than we've ever seen before. So what's different? And what can you expect on Sunday? You've come to the right place.
Here's all the info you'll need to ready yourself for this year's Oscars, an annual event that this year, will hopefully not just celebrate film, but will act to restore our faith in them...to rekindle our love of movies, the movie-going experience and that yearning for shared experience that we're all craving. Let's get to it!
The 93rd Annual Academy Awards - The Oscars - will air live this Sunday, April 25th, 2021, at 8pm EDT on ABC. Our Oscar Week coverage continues with the two biggies: Best Director and Best Picture. The winners of these two awards are often intertwined...but will they be this year?
Before we dive in, a reminder: Join us and get ready for the Oscars this Sunday from 5pm - 6pm ET with the "Movie Show Plus LIVE! - Oscar Preview Special," streaming on MovieShowplus.com, as well as our Facebook and YouTube channels.
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