Nathaniel: Welcome to the 5th annual Oscar Symposium. Each year I invite a handful of smart movie types into my virtual home to decipher, debate and occassionally defenstrate the choices made by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. This year's illustrious panel unintentionally mimics the general geography of AMPAS (Los Angeles / New York / London) if not, one feels free to assume, their psychology. Please welcome: Peter Knegt, Guy Lodge, Karina Longworth, Tim Robey and Sasha Stone.
But we aren't hear to predict.
Who doesn't know that Jeff Bridges, Mo'Nique, Kathryn Bigelow, and Christoph Waltz are taking Oscar to bed on March 7th? The Academy received its Bachelor of Arts And Sciences from The School of Redundancy School.
We're here to gab.
Here's a kick off. Adam Shankman of Hairspray, So You Think You Can Dance and Bringing Down the House fame, who is producing the show this year, has promised to play up the horse race aspect of the show, declaring that the Oscars are really "the best dressed reality show competition on the air". Never mind my distaste for the ubiquity of reality television... if we're really going to play it like that, let's play it like that. Shouldn't they have started filming the potential nominees months before the show, sending cameras to invade their every private moment (er, wait. that's called "paparazzi") and watch the triumph or heartbreak when they do or don't make the finals? A So You Think You Can Act? face/off might be the only way Meryl Streep can ever win a third Oscar, so let's do it. And if we're playing it like this, why can't we vote people off? You're the judging panel... so who are you jettisoning in the first episode, and who gets a "raise your game or go home" stern warning?
Guy Lodge: You break my heart with your talk of sure things, Mr. Rogers. Does this mean that I should withdraw my bet on a Lovely Bones write-in sweep of every category, including a Gordon E. Sawyer Award for the technological achievement of Susan Sarandon’s wig collection? Clearly, I haven’t been keeping up. It’s hard, after all, what with the dearth of film awards reporting on the web. Someone should really create a site for it. I’m sure it’d do quite well.
Read the rest of DAY ONE
Topics include but are not limited to: nominees we're not comfortable with, the soulless campaign machine, what the Oscars are *about* and potshots at Nine, James Cameron, The Blind Side and Invictus.