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Oscar and friends

Sunday the Oscars will be given (seems a bit passé to call them the “Academy Awards” – easier to tweet the “O” word).  

If you haven’t been to the theatre to see all the nominees on the BIG screen, sit back and view clips of all that glitters come Sunday.

(S-R archives photo: April 2, 1974 file photo shows actress Elizabeth Taylor standing by a statue of the Academy Award Oscar in Los Angeles.)

What’s the key to a good Oscars party?

You have a few weeks to figure it out.

The Academy Awards show is Feb. 24.

I know it is mostly about the movie clips and looking at attractive people. But how do you keep partygoers from talking during parts of the show you actually want to hear?

www.gottesman.pressible.org

Poolman: Worst Oscars Ever

Octavia Spencer with the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role for "the Help", left, and Meryl Streep with the Oscar for best actress in a leading role for "The Iron Lady" examine their trophies at the Governors Ball following the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Poolman: That had to go down as the worse Oscars ever. The intro was a regurgitation of something Billy Crystal has done over and over again - not fresh at all. Crystal’s humor was dry, uncomfortable and old. It was like trying to laugh at a joke you heard last week. The skits were awful. The Cir de Soleil performance wasn’t even good and that is extremely rare. Who cares if Adam Sandler will show his entire interpersonal feelings on film by the time he is 80? They do interviews the entire show with people like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, etc. and then give the biggest award to some Schmuck that was in a movie nobody will ever watch. Then they turn around give the other to a woman who would be nominated if she appeared in a commercial for Jimmy Johns sandwiches. And why it is every single speech has a thank you to Harvey Weinstein. That guy must pay the Academy members well.

Question: Who would you prefer to emcee Academy Awards — Billy Crystal or Ricky Gervais? Or someone else?

Spielberg Gets Popcorn Snack

Steven Spielberg gets a snack during the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Question: What size popcorn do you buy when you go to the movies & do you ask for extra butter?
  

And the Oscar goes to…

The wise and experienced…and a bit older…actor: Christopher Plummer …and the Oscar goes to the nominated-17-times…Meryl Streep…and the evening was hosted by…we all love him…Billy Crystal…and the best picture goes to…  a silent film. Has anyone under 40 ever even seen a silent film before The Artist? And Woody Allen won for his Midnight in Paris original screenplay.

While the younger women wore the  tight-fitting, shimmering, perhaps Oscar de La Renta -designed gowns, the highest awards went to the seniors…a perfect Oscar fit.

(S-R archives photo: Woody Allen earlier this year)

‘Hugo’ Lands 11 Oscar Nominations

Martin Scorsese’s Paris adventure “Hugo” leads the Academy Awards with 11 nominations, among them best picture and the latest director slot for the Oscar-winning filmmaker. Also nominated for best picture Tuesday: the silent film “The Artist”; the family drama “The Descendants”; the Sept. 11 tale “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”; the Deep South drama “The Help”; the romantic fantasy “Midnight in Paris”; the sports tale “Moneyball”; the family chronicle “The Tree of Life”; and the World War I epic “War Horse.” The nominations set up a best-picture showdown between the top films at the Golden Globes: best musical or comedy recipient “The Artist” and best drama winner “The Descendants”/AP. More here. (AP photo: Director Martin Scorsese poses with the award for Best Director of a Motion Picture for the film " Hugo" during the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday)

Question: Have you seen "Hugo"? Brief review?

A CDA Oscar nominee

Michael Owens, who now lives in Coeur d'Alene, is an Oscar nominee for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his work on the movie "Hereafter."

Owens is the real deal: He was a longtime visual effects supervisor for George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic. He got his start as a camera assistant on "ET: The Extra-Terrestrial" and as a visual effects cameraman on films such as "Star Wars VI, Return of the Jedi" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."

Then he went on to be visual effects supervisor on dozens of big movies, including "The Witches of Eastwick," "The Doors," "Van Helsing," "Meet Joe Black," "Gangs of New York," "Flags of Our Fathers," "Letters from Iwo Jima," "Gran Torino," and "Invictus."

"Hereafter" is the Matt Damon movie directed Clint Eastwood, a director Owens evidently has a certain affinity with, since he has worked with Eastwood so many times.

Owens shares the nomination with others on the "Hereafter" special effects team, Bryan Gill, Stephen Trojansky and Joe Farrell.

Owens likes to keep a low profile in CDA. He declined our request for an interview, which I find, in a way, refreshing. He's apparently a Hollywood type who is not an attention-hog.

But I wanted to let people in CDA, Spokane and vicinity know that we can root for a local name on Oscar night, Feb. 27.

M&M: I Won (Oscar Pool) Bubblegum

In the two decades that I have been entering our office Oscar pool, I have won once. Mostly I do terribly, often placing strictly middle of the pack. This year, though, was different. For some reason, I was able to correctly choose 20 of the 24 Oscar categories – missing only Best Foreign Language Film, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short and Best Short Animated Film. And the only reason I missed Documentary Feature is that I followed a hunch, which told me that the overwhelming favorite – “Man on Wire,” which I saw and wasn’t blown away by – would be done in by the Hurricane Katrina film, “Trouble the Water” (which I haven’t seen)/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: When did you last win an office pool? For what?