Oscars: December 2007 Archives

By SANDY COHEN

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Although the writers strike has created a swirl of uncertainty, Hollywood’s awards season was business as usual Wednesday, when the academy mailed Oscar nomination ballots to its 5,829 voting members. And strike or not, nobody was more excited about helping bestow one of the world’s most prestigious honors than Brett Morgen and the 114 other new academy members who are casting Oscar ballots for the very first time this year.

‘‘It’s great to be part of a democratic process where your vote actually matters,’’ said the documentarian, who was up for an Oscar in 1999 and was invited to join the academy this year. ‘‘In a way, this is more exciting than getting nominated.’’ ...

Oscar nomination ballots have been mailed

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Thousands of Oscar nomination ballots were mailed out Wednesday, heralding the official start of Academy Awards season.

U.S. Postal Service bins overflowed with ballots shipped to 5,829 academy members from the film academy’s headquarters in Beverly Hills, Calif. ...

Some sorta serious ideas for Oscars alternatives

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The Carpetbagger, like the Gold Rush, is just sure the Oscars will prevail — strike or no strike. But just in case, he offers some other options on how to work around the strike and make things really interesting.

Horvitz returning to direct the 80th Oscars

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Louis J. Horvitz is returning to direct the Academy Awards, his 12th time running the show for Hollywood’s biggest party.

A four-time Emmy winner for his past Oscar telecasts, Horvitz will direct the 80th Oscar telecast, show producer Gil Cates said today.

Oscar nominations come out Jan. 22, with awards handed out Feb. 24.

No writers reprieve for Globes, Oscars

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Oscar and the Golden Globes will have to go without WGA writers on their telecasts, barring any last-minute reprieves.

That’s the bottom line from a dramatic rebuff of both awards shows made public Monday night, though Oscar has gotten only a portion of the bad news so far.

The WGA said Monday night that it has nixed a writing-waiver request from producers of the Golden Globes telecast and also a request for some clips clearances for the Oscars. But a WGA insider said a decision also has been made — though not announced — to reject a request for a writing waiver for the Oscars as well. ...

Will Jon Stewart still host the Oscars?

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If the jokes are lamer than usual at this year's Golden Globes and Oscars, blame the writers strike. Now that the WGA has barred its writers from assisting those shows — they've even prevented the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from being able to show clips of the nominated films during the ceremony — everyone at the podium (if anyone shows up) will have to wing it. And you know how well that goes over at the Oscars.

The real question now hanging in the air: Will Jon Stewart — a member of the writers guild, and one who has honored the strike thus far — still host the Oscars?

Jimmy Kimmel improvised for the American Music Awards last month, and Stewart is no stranger to improv comedy. But he's also no stranger to principles. At this point, only his contract knows for sure whether hell stick to the gig.

List of songs being considered for Oscar

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Fifty-nine songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures are being considered in the original song category for the 80th annual Academy Awards. ...

Hopefully, Globes will narrow Oscar field

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By DAVID GERMAIN

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Clear front-runners have yet to emerge in Hollywood’s awards season, though Golden Globe voters have no shortage of fine films and performances to choose from with their nominations at hand.

Among big contenders for Thursday morning’s nominations are the crime saga ‘‘No Country for Old Men’’ and the historical drama ‘‘There Will Be Blood,’’ both films anointed by major critics groups as Hollywood’s awards season starts to shape up. ...

On the Oscars' red carpet: It's Regis!

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LOS ANGELES — Regis Philbin is taking on more television duties. The co-host of ‘‘Live with Regis and Kelly,’’ who holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a TV camera, will host the official Oscar red carpet show, producers have announced. ...

No clear front-runners yet in Oscar race

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By CHRISTY LEMIRE

LOS ANGELES — There’s no Helen Mirren this time around, no Forest Whitaker.

Unlike last year, when clear front-runners already had emerged in key categories, this awards season looks wide open.

About a dozen films could be considered viable nominees for best picture at the Academy Awards, and Wednesday’s selection of ‘‘No Country for Old Men’’ as the year’s best by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures doesn’t make the outlook much clearer. The Coen brothers’ beautifully brutal depiction of lawmen, guns and money along the Rio Grande has earned rave reviews and packed theaters in limited release, but it was expected to be a favorite even before it came out. ...