Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
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Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Back in December Mary put together a list of ten things the Oscar producers could do to make this Sunday's telecast more "watchable." It all starts with Tina Fey.
1. Tina Fey. If you need a main host, she's your gal. She's one of the hottest entertainment stars working right how; she had a movie out this year, so she actually qualifies as a movie star; but she also knows the power, and vagaries, of television. And after demolishing the McCain-Palin candidacy, she should view the Oscars as a walk in the park. (But no dancing, Tina. Seriously. We saw the Vanity Fair promo video. No dancing.)
the least, the young people love him.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
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It's Oscar Season in the UK too and although the British have their BAFTAS (shorter, somewhat funnier and with no singing or dancing) they pay attention to the Academy Awards as well.
Oscar Season: A Novel gets a nice review and thoughtful comments in The Telegraph by Davd Gritten. Recently published in the UK let's hope all there enjoy a good mystery, a look at the how the sausage gets made in Hollywood and a preview of this weekend's show. Sphere: Related Content
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Of course, we do not believe this for one second. Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Mary McNamara has been around the Oscars for a couple of years now and even wrote a murder mystery about what people might do to win an Oscar. Well in honor of this year's Oscars and the publication of Mary's OSCAR SEASON: A NOVEL in paperback, we will be hosting several special events to go along with your Oscar experience.
First click the official ballot above to be taken to the official downloadable ballot. You must have one!
Second, in the next few days Mary will be posting her official "Mary" Oscar picks. Send along your picks in the comments section and the first three comments with more winners than Mary (if you can) will get a free copy of paperback edition of Oscar Season.
Third, Mary has a new column in the Los Angeles Times in the Envelope on Wednesdays called Oscar Confidential. We will be reprinting here and will do everything in our power to get her to scoop and blind item the dish RIGHT HERE!
So get your ballot and stay tuned for the most interesting and satisfying Oscar Season ever. Sphere: Related Content
Friday, February 13, 2009
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Thursday, February 12, 2009
What would Updike, Salinger or Cheever say about the Real Housewives of Orange County? The hit Bravo show examined in a "literary" way by Oscar Season author and television critic of the Los Angeles Times Mary McNamara. Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The real party is always in the kitchen and what goes on behind the scenes is almost always more interesting. That is one of the things the reviewers got about Oscar Season (now in paperback). The people who dress the stars, serve them in the hotels and move them from here to there know the real story and they are "star" characters in Mary McNamara's novel Oscar Season.
More little people press today from CNN which reports that a dress designer can get 25 million dollars in free publicity if their dress is worn by a major star down the red carpet.
Our question was: is that at the old rates or the new rates? Sphere: Related Content
Monday, February 9, 2009
Here is the award for the late Heath Ledger for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight.
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Sunday, February 8, 2009
The British Academy Of Film And Televison Arts (BAFTA) today continued to herald Slumdog Millionaire as the sleeper movie of the year if not the decade.
Awards to Kate Winslet for The Reader and Slumdog's rocket to the top of this year's awarded films almost seems a throwing down of a gauntlet to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Oscars.
Mickey Rourke received his lifetime comeback award for Best Actor in The Wrestler. Interestingly the Best Original Screenplay went to In Bruges another film with a solid fan base. Sphere: Related Content
Friday, February 6, 2009
And yet strangely, no one ever mentions my book. When I sold it, everyone agreed it was a publicist’s dream--a murder mystery set during Oscar season by a person who knew the Oscars inside and out. Certainly in the weeks leading up to the ceremony I’d be chatting with Regis and the ladies of the View.
Then the writers went on strike. I, like everyone else in this town, worried about all the people thrown almost out of work—writers yes, but also all the below-the-line workers, the crew that had no say and nothing to gain from a strike.
But as the weeks wore on, it hit me. My book! My book was going to come out during the one single solitary year that everyone feared the Oscars wouldn’t take place. The one single solitary year when the papers and magazines and morning shows weren’t filled to the brim with Oscar buzz and Oscar gossip, the one single solitary year when anyone with the most remote connection to the ceremony wasn’t given some sort of televised platform to dish and speculate.
Not that I’m bitter or anything.
I’m not actually. “Oscar Season” did get a lot of press thanks to the tireless efforts of Simon and Schuster, and many reviewers rather kindly mentioned that it was good we had the book since we didn’t really have the season. Still, it was a fine and just reminder of the old axiom that if you want to make God laugh, tell him/her your plans.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
If you want to have an Oscar party that captures the experience of actually going to the Oscars, it is actually quite cheap and easy. For one thing, forget about providing beverages. Although there are free drinks on the ground floor of the Kodak, that’s reserved for nominees and other fabulous folk. The great majority of attendees are relegated to the upper floors of the theater where it is strictly a cash bar, darling. (You might want to tell your guests that exact change is appreciated.)
Likewise, you won’t need to make any food because, with the exception of free mints in the bathrooms, there are very few edibles to be found at the cocktail party preceding the ceremony. The poor waiters rarely make it past the elevator doors when they arrive on with their trays of canapés. A few years ago, the Kodak began selling sandwiches and salads at the bar but honestly only journalists are crass enough to regularly avail themselves.
And don’t worry about the lack of movie stars at your gala. Most people at the Oscars get only paritial-backside views (as they are hustled down the non-movie-star side of the red carpet) and the tops of famous heads (from the balcony seating.) You have a much better view of your favorite stars from your living room. Where, presumably, there are places to sit, as opposed to the bar and lounge areas of the Kodak.
If you really want your guests to feel like they are at the Oscars, require them to overdress, park at least one mile away from your house, wear uncomfortable but fabulous looking shoes and arrive at least two hours before the ceremony starts during which time they can look in vain for anyone remotely famous and stand around calling their friends on their cellphones to say “guess where I am? The Oscars!” Which is actually the best part of the experience!
Then serve up the hot wings and the spring rolls and pause for a moment to be grateful you’re someplace where you can not only see Brad and Angelina from the front side but you can go to the bathroom whenever you want (as opposed to only during commercial breaks).
Because no matter where you are, it’s a long show.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Only one thing is better than watching the Oscars and that is having an Oscar Party and comparing your picks in the Oscar Party Pool!
Well, the Los Angeles Times television critic and longtime Oscar and entertainment reporter Mary McNamara has just sent us her picks (and they are pretty good we must say) but can she beat your nearly perfect record?
Post your picks before Oscar Night in the comments below (just the categories Mary has picked) and if you beat her, we will send the first three victors a copy of Mary's bestselling behind-the-scenes novel OSCAR SEASON.
Here are Mary's Picks:
Best Picture: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Despite tepid box office and love it or hate it reviews, “Button” has too good a pedigree—F. Scott FitzGerald! Brad Pitt! Really great CG enhancement!—to ignore. And the whole nursing home milieu will no doubt appeal to the rapidly graying Academy.
Best Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire.” If they can’t bring themselves to give the U.K./India/U.S. hybrid Best Picture, they can reward the director of the year’s most intriguing and beguiling film.
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader.” In these times of uncertainty, some group has to prove the existence of God, and she’s deserved it for so long.
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke is The Wrestler and is the feel good favorite.
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, “Doubt.” She’s a brand-newcomer, she held her own with La Streep and she let her nose run on camera. What more do you need to know?
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight.” No brainer. Brilliant performance by a brilliant actor whose untimely death the audience can acknowledge with a tearful standing ovation.
Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire.” As global an effort an effort you’re going to see in Hollywood, it’s funny, tragic, touching and political. An epic for the Obama era.
Best Director: Danny Boyle, for same reason.
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader.” In terms of actual performance, she and Meryl Streep are a draw but Winslet deserves the win and it takes more guts to play an unrepentant Nazi than icy New England nun, even with the bonnet.
Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk.” By turns sweet and steely, arrogant and adorable—who knew Bad Boy Penn had that in him?
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” It was a silly movie but she was simply delicious in it. Sphere: Related Content
Haven't seen all the movies yet? Click these links from Mary McNamara's articles in the Los Angeles Times on the run-up to the Oscars. Mary, television critic for the Los Angeles Times, will be writing a Wednesday column (Oscar Confidential) in the terrific Envelope section of the Times.
Mary is a longtime Oscar reporter and knows the non-fiction and the fiction of the Oscars (see Mary's Oscar Season: A Novel now in paperback!).
Oscar Season Now In Trade Paperback $14.00
The classic mystery novel and today’s paparazzi coincide in this engaging, insider’s look at Hollywood in the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards.
She is one of the very few reporters allowed to witness pre-telecast rehearsals and for years has covered Oscar night from the celebrity side of the red carpet and backstage during the show.
A recent recipient of an L.A. Press Club and American Association of Features Editors Awards for her industry coverage, she has interviewed innumerable stars and directors, and used her experience to craft this deliciously entertaining whodunit.
Wide audience: This novel will fascinate the many readers captivated by Hollywood and the celebrity lifestyle, while also appealing to mystery devotees and fans of smart, entertaining women’s fiction. It’s equal parts Jackie Collins, Michael Tolkin, and Sue Grafton.