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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Oscar Week 2017: It's On!

Okay, so where am I?

It's Oscar® Week and that means I'm the Media Guy by day and the Oscars Guy by night. Before I let you know about the happenings this week in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, I want to say that I'm pretty moved that Saturday Night Live picked up on my outrage over the pandering of the Super Bowl LI sponsors and parodied it:

So what does Oscar Week mean? It means a lot of nights in Beverly Hills at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater leading up to the red carpet madness on Sunday. The rare chance to dive into the minds of filmmakers and producers is at the forefront with the excellent symposiums that the Academy of Arts and Sciences allows access to folks like me on the five days leading up to the telecast.

The lineup is beyond hyperbole, but rest assured, it is amazing:

Last night - SHORTS: ANIMATED AND LIVE ACTION, hosted by Dead Pool director Tim Miller. More on this one on other media outlets (yes, I'll post links), but Miller was the best symposium host in the six years I have been going to Oscar Week events. He was honest, funny, intelligent and obviously channeling his inner Dead Pool. All I can say is I want more of Tim Miller movies. Like now.

Tonight - DOCUMENTARIES, hosted by Documentary Branch Governors Kate Amend and Rory Kennedy

Thursday - ANIMATED FEATURES, hosted by Pete Docter (Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Up, writer) and Jonas Rivera (Inside Out and Up Producer)



For those of you that care about such things, I will do my darnedest to get my Annual Backstage at the Oscars column up fast on Sunday night. That's always a tricky proposition to transcribe the winners' speeches and fact check it all. Traditionally, these are among the most read columns of the year and this year was no different with the 2016 column still in the top three as I write this. In case you missed any, here are the previous five Backstage columns:

2016     2015     2014     2013     2012

Usually I wait for the Sidebars about the Oscars, but I thought you should be prepared earlier, rather than later. Without further ado...
Uncle Oscar always looks so good!

  • With 14 nominations, La La Land ties the record held by All about Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997).
  • With their Best Picture nominations for Moonlight, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner become the first individual producers to have nominations in the Best Picture category in four consecutive years.
  • La La Land is the first musical with original music and story to receive a Best Picture nomination since All That Jazz (1979) and the second since Anchors Aweigh (1945).
  • With his Best Picture nomination for Manchester by the Sea, Matt Damon becomes only the third individual to be nominated in the Acting, Writing and Best Picture categories. The others are Warren Beatty and George Clooney.
  • Denzel Washington is the seventh individual to receive Acting and Best Picture nominations for the same film, joining Warren Beatty, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper.
  • In the acting categories, seven individuals are first-time nominees (Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Lucas Hedges, Dev Patel,
  • Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga and Naomie Harris). Six of the nominees are previous acting winners (Denzel Washington, Jeff Bridges, Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer).
  • Meryl Streep extends her lead as the most nominated performer with her 20th nomination.
  • Kubo and the Two Strings is the second fully animated film to be nominated in the Visual Effects category. The first was The Nightmare before Christmas (1993).
  • With a running time of 7 hours 47 minutes, Documentary Feature nominee O.J.: Made in America is the longest film ever nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Mica Levi, nominated for Original Score for Jackie, is the eighth woman to be nominated in the music scoring categories.
  • Thomas Newman's nomination for Original Score for Passengers is his 14th and brings the total for members of the Newman family (Alfred, Lionel, Emil, Thomas, David and Randy) to 90, more than any other family.
  • Stuart Craig has the most nominations for Production Design of any living person with 11. The all-time record in the category belongs to Cedric Gibbons with 38 nominations.
  • Kevin O'Connell and Andy Nelson, each with 21 nominations for Sound Mixing, are tied for the most nominations in the category since nominations began going to individuals in 1961.
  • With their nomination for Sound Editing for La La Land, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan become the first female team to be nominated in the category. Six other women have a combined total of 10 nominations and five wins for Sound Editing.
  • Kim Magnusson, with his sixth nomination for Live Action Short Film, has produced the most films nominated in the short film categories of any living person.
  • "The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story is the seventh song from a documentary feature to be nominated and the fifth in the past five years.


Jimmy Kimmel Oscars Commercial: Jimmy's Pep Talk

Voiceover hall of famer gives host Jimmy Kimmel the full Morgan Freeman treatment...genius: