Are the Oscars a big deal? A number of facts suggest yes, very much so…
Approximately 40 million Americans will watch the show. And, it will be broadcast in more than 225 countries. There were 282 films eligible for Best Picture nominations, and 71 countries submitted entries for consideration in the Best Foreign Film category.
It’s such a big event, over 2,400 members of the press are issued credentials to cover the telecast, and there will be 85 photographers, 307 tv crew, and 91 print reporters, just covering the red carpet event.
For anyone who hasn’t seen all 282 Best Picture contenders, some are still playing in theaters, continuing an uninterrupted run. Some have been brought back thanks to the renewed interest the Oscars bring, and some theaters host an Oscars week, and show not just Best Picture nominees, but many of the nominees from other categories.
Here’s a breakdown of the Best Picture Nominees – They’re all excellent:
Amour True Love, Seriously. No, I mean it, SERIOUSLY.
Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, Producers
Argo We checked the line. They’re not calling from inside the house. Yet.
Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
Americans hiding from the furor during the Iran Hostage Crisis. A well shot and relentless nail-biter thankfully muted by our knowledge of how things work out in the end.
Beasts of the Southern Wild Hmm… Picaresque? Fantasy? Uplifting? Unique.
Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
Here’s an original film about a little girl determined to save her home and family. Set in squalor and catastrophe, yet filled with joy and imagination, this film could be the most unique among the Best Picture nominations. Out on DVD now.
Django Unchained Royale with Cheese, indeed.
Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
Quentin Tarantino’s highest grossing film yet, a Southern Gothic revenge fantasy, sits somewhere between Inglorious Basterds and Pulp Fiction. It’s stylized and filled with numerous set pieces, a twisting narrative with many characters introuduced, but like Inglorious Basterds, the basic story is linear with one simple goal. It’s also just about the most violent film Tarantino’s done. Keep an eye out for Samuel L Jackson’s remarkable performance. He should have been nominated, even if just for playing against type.
Les MisÃƒÂ©rables Maria! I just met a girl named Mareee- oh wait.
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
After the incessant “advertising” shown for 20 minutes before the previews for practically every film showing at Regal cinemas for maybe 10 months before it finally debuted – it’s hard to imagine anyone would actually want to go see it. There’s nothing more enthralling than Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman telling us how great they are for 20 minutes. Every week. For 6 months.
Even so, this musical really delivers. Many people know Russel Crowe has been a musician for decades, and here’s a chance to see him in action. Crowe’s voice evokes memories of early 70’s musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar or GodSpell, and whether or not that belongs in Les Mis, it works. The cinematography and set design are spectacular, and no doubt a little cgi was used to transition seamlessly between stunning vistas and incredibly intimate stage settings. The story is so compelling, even non-musical inclined viewers will be drawn in.
Life of Pi – I’m on a boat!… with a tiger!… In 3D!!!
Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
Life of Pi is getting stellar reviews. It’s an adventure for sure, though some point out – don’t bring small children to this. This isn’t your average Disney tiger. Based on an internationally best selling book, the story is a done deal. What’s of particular note is critics who normally despise 3D have commented how well it’s used in this film. Life of Pi is still showing, 3 months running now.
Lincoln Emancipation Across the Nation
Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
As one might expect, this film leans a bit academic. It might only be due to Spielberg’s involvement that the story has a dynamic and urgent feel to it. The sets and costumes are flawless and grand, and Lincoln’s determination to end slavery is put into context – not just the mood of the nation, but in political circles, and Lincoln’s personal life and family as well.
Silver Linings Playbook SWM, hunky, alcoholic, L4 SWshorty to help him out.
Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
SLP started soft the first several weeks it went wide in Mid November. That’s right, it’s been playing non-stop in theaters for 3 months! If you want to see a rom-com and feel you got your money’s worth, this is the real deal!
Zero Dark Thirty File clerks read index cards… Find Bin-Laden’s home address!!!
Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers
Kathryn Bigelow, the genius behind Hurt Locker delivers once again. This film progresses with a deliberate, methodical calm, focused tightly, exclusively, on the men and women we never see, but who tirelessly dedicate themselves to uncovering the smallest threads that lead to finding Bin Laden. While overtly mundane, the importance of their work lends a seething intensity underneath it all. Like Argo, this is a film that draws the viewer in in the first few minutes, and doesn’t let go.
Oscars festivities start at 7pm, Sunday Feb. 24th, on ABC.
You can subscribe to this blog near the top of the page, or share it on facebook.