The 85th Academy Awards are this Sunday and as Oscar watchers wait with baited breath to find out which nominees take home the golden statue, here at The Hudsucker we try our hand at predicting the winners in some of the major categories. A few of our lovely writers and resident cinephiles – Drew Bryce, Karen Datangel, Bo Dietrick, Cathie Dillard, Katherine Hernandez, Tania Hussain, and Elizabeth The – also share their thoughts on who they’d vote for if they were members of the Academy and who they feel got snubbed.
Highlights from the 2012 Oscars
As I have expressed in my previous posts on the Golden Globes, 2011 was one of my favourite years for film. On this Oscar Sunday, the 84th Annual Academy Awards brought this incredible 2012 awards season to a close, giving Hollywood one last chance to recognize the great cinematic achievements of the past year.
These were some of my favourite moments from tonight’s ceremony…
- The Artist winning the biggest award of the evening, Best Picture, along with Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), and Best Original Score (and Best Animal for Uggie… what do you mean that category doesn’t exist? Give a dog a bone, won’t ya?). As my friend Tania says, “to carry a story solely through expression and direction is art.”
- Martin Scorsese’s Hugo scoring the most trophies in five art and technical categories: Cinematography, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. The magic of Hugo is in the captivating cinematic experience it offers its audience.
- The Muppets winning Best Original Song for “Man or Muppet”, which is one of the funniest musical numbers I have ever seen!
- Octavia Spencer winning an Oscar for her Supporting Actress role in The Help and accepting her well-deserved award with tremendous emotion.
- Meryl Streep receiving her third Oscar for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. While I was convinced that Viola Davis would win for her performance in The Help, it was a tough roll between all of the magnificent women nominated in this category. Meryl’s gracious and graceful acceptance speech reminded us of why she is one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses.
- Christopher Plummer finally getting his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Beginners. He makes history as the oldest actor to receive an Academy Award at the age of 82. Yay, Captain Von Trapp!
- Always a bittersweet favourite is the In Memoriam segment of the show. Esperanza Spalding delivered a stunning rendition of What a Wonderful World as the photo montage played. It was surreal seeing Whitney Houston among the list of great talents who have left us. Has it really been a year since Elizabeth Taylor passed away?
- Presenters like Robert Downey Jr, Gwenyth Paltrow, Emma Stone, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy (can they please host next year’s Oscars?), and the cast of Bridesmaids conjuring up some laughs to entertain the audience members and viewers at home.
– Christopher Plummer
The Bechdel Test for the 2012 Oscars
Last year, three of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards featured women in its leading roles (Black Swan, Winter’s Bone, The Kids Are All Right).
This year, the frontrunner for many of the awards at tomorrow’s Oscars is The Help, a movie which features a cast of strong female characters. But are women truly making gains in Hollywood in terms of female representation?
In the video above, Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian applies Allison Bechdel‘s Bechdel Test to the 2012 Best Picture nominees to assess the presence of female roles in these acclaimed motion pictures. To pass the test, a film must fulfill three requirements: It must 1) have at least two female characters 2) who talk to each other 3) about something other than a man.
While the test does not determine the quality of a film, the evaluation of gender bias in current movies does bring to light the systemic problem within the Hollywood film industry. Many of the films we see cater to the interests of men and fail to tell women’s stories as they really are – complex and interesting. After looking at the Bechdel Test Movie List, an online database of films measured by the test, I am astonished over how so many popular movies do not meet the simple requirements of the test. This makes the under- and mis-representation of women in the film industry a glaring reality.
The next time you watch a movie (or even your favourite television show), consider the Bechdel Test and see which ones pass and which ones flunk.
View the original Bechdel Test for Women in the Movies video here.
See more conversations on Pop Culture at Feminist Frequency.
Highlights from the 2012 Golden Globes
I enjoyed watching tonight’s award ceremony! I thought that 2012 was a good year for movies in particular (especially in the Comedy or Musical genre) so I was looking forward to seeing some of my favourite films get the recognition they so deserve.
Highlights of the evening: The Artist winning Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical (Jean DuJardin) and Best Score. The Adventures of Tintin being named Best Animated Film, Martin Scorsese winning Best Director for Hugo, Woody Allen winning Best Screenplay for Midnight in Paris, Michelle Williams winning Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for My Week With Marilyn, Queen Meryl Streep winning Best Actress in a Drama for The Iron Lady, Octavia Spencer winning Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for The Help, the legendary Sidney Poitier presenting the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Morgan Freeman (a.k.a God), and a few cute friendship moments (Tiny Fey photobombing fellow funny lady Amy Poehler, Joseph Gordon-Levitt clapping for presenter and 50/50 co-star Seth Rogan).
Additions to my ‘Need To Watch’ List: Modern Family, Downton Abbey, Mildred Pierce, The Iron Lady, and The Descendants
Best Reaction: Sir Elton John reacting to Madonna’s win in the Best Original Song category.
‘Better Luck Next Time’ award: Leonardo DiCaprio (I felt so bad for Leo. Please, just give him SOMETHING!)
MVP: Uggie, that playful and lovable Jack Russell Terrier from The Artist! He can play dead and excite the audience at the same time!
Best Dressed: Emma Stone in Lanvin. Also liked Zooey Deschanel’s tuxedo nails and what I saw of Kate Winslet, Viola Davis, Dianna Agron, Nicole Kidman, and Evan Rachel Wood.
Highlights from the 2011 Golden Globes: Everything’s Coming Up Chris Colfer!
Kicking off this year’s awards season on Sunday night was the 68th annual Golden Globes, hosted once again by the blunt and quick-witted British comedian Ricky Gervais.
Continue reading “Highlights from the 2011 Golden Globes: Everything’s Coming Up Chris Colfer!”