Oscars: October 2008 Archives

Another new face hired for Oscars ceremony

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David Rockwell crafted the current home of the Academy Awards show. Now he gets to jump in on Hollywood's big night itself.

Rockwell will be production designer for the Oscar show on Feb. 22, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday.

The 52-year-old architect, who has also handled the set design for ''Hairspray,'' ''Legally Blonde'' and other Broadway productions, joins a team of fresh faces overseeing the 81st Oscar show, led by producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon, filmmakers working on the ceremony for the first time.

British comedian Ricky Gervais, after his funny impromptu gag at the Emmys, became the focal point of rumors claiming he was then going to host the Oscars. This weekend, he told BBC News he's not so sure about that ...

Since winning best supporting actress for "Girl, Interrupted" in 1999, the Academy has snubbed Angelina Jolie for Oscar nominations. Sure, she was Lara Croft, but she also moved mountains in "A Mighty Heart" ... and she's getting raves for her latest turn in "Changeling."

Angelina Jolie stars in "Changeling," the tale of a mother's quest to find her son -- and those who won't stop until they silence her.

Are voters really punishing her for her overexposure in the tabloids -- thus keeping that particular shade of limelight away from the regal aspirations of this Oscars exercise -- or have her performances just not quite topped the bar for a trophy nod?

Oscars breaks 50-year ban, will carry movie ads

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Hollywood's biggest annual advertisement for itself -- the Academy Awards broadcast -- now can carry commercials for movies themselves.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board voted to allow commercials for movies to air on the Oscar telecast for the first time starting with the Feb. 22 ceremony on ABC, academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger said Wednesday.

Another Oscar season dawns, and the land has fewer movie critics than it did last year. Again. As the media industry shrinks, and as layoffs abound, newspapers and other outlets have been letting wires and other broad sources fill in their film criticism offerings. (The Sun-Times' Roger Ebert, however, continues to triumph.) For years, Hollywood has sat idly by, marginalizing the impact of such losses. However, in this intriguing post at EW, based on a recent story in Advertising Age, Gary Susman reports that "the studios are starting to see a correlation between the disappearance of movie critics from newspapers and the slumping ticket sales for the kind of movies that depend on critics to publicize and champion them -- not just art-house movies from independent and foreign-language filmmakers, but also expensive, year-end Oscar hopefuls from the major studios."

Oscar's documentary rules become hot topic

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A controversy is brewing over a change to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' feature documentary rules that has distributors and film festivals crying foul.

Because of the change -- which required a one-week qualifying run in New York by Aug. 31 -- one of the year's most buzzed-about docs, the Israeli animated film ''Waltz With Bashir,'' won't be eligible for the documentary Oscar. A host of executives and festival veterans are calling on the Academy to revise the rule.

Your complete '08-'09 awards-season calendar

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Here they are, all the announcement and awards-show dates that make up the awards season we call The Gold Rush ...