Friday, February 20, 2009


As we get closer to Oscar night, more Muriel Award updates:

Happily, Rachel Getting Married’s Jonathan Demme takes the award for best director…

(Here’s a link to Demme and screenwriter Jenny Lumet interviewed by David Poland of The Hot Blog.)


Paul gathers up some thoughts on some of the Muriel voters’ 2008 also-rans: “Although this year’s winners had a lot of support from our voters (duh), they were hardly the only nominees who elicited passion amongst the voting body. So, like last year, I asked some of the voters to write about cinematic achievements from 2008 that got them particularly excited.” That as an intro to fine write-ups on Roger Deakins, Charlie and Lloyd Kaufman, and Theo Panayides’ Theo’s Century of Movies.

Then there’s the year’s Best Cinematic Moment (with clips!) And a Muriels good-bye to some notable screen presences who may fly under the Oscar obituary montage radar on their way to movie heaven-- ”Gone, but Not Forgotten.”

Finally, one who is gone but unlikely to be forgotten on Oscar night is one Heath Ledger, whose performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight may win him a posthumous Oscar, but has already won him Muriel laurels for Best Supporting Performance (Male).

There are three more days of Muriel Voting to be revealed, including the winners for Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Picture, so stay tuned. (I’ll have some words on one of the best pictures of the year on Paul’s site this weekend, and I’ll be sure to let you know when that shows up.)


And speaking of Oscars, the gauntlet has been thrown down and wrapped up at Nathaniel R.’s Film Experience Oscar Symposium, where a host of sharp, smart bloggers have been gathered under Nathaniel’s welcoming roof to wax fast and funny on this year’s ceremonies. I was honored to participate on the panel last year, along with cine-pal Kim Morgan, and this year’s slate is almost all-new to the Film Experience experience-- Timothy Brayton, Ed Gonzalez (the one FEOS veteran), Karina Longworth, Erik Lundegaard and Kris Tapley. Print it all out and read it voraciously before you sit down for the Independent Spirit Awards or, oh, yeah, the Oscars.


Finally, its level of taste is debatable, but the august fellowship at Defamer has come up with a new wrinkle to liven up your Oscar party—the In Memoriam Oscar Montage Pool. Here are a couple of sample categories:

Will Open the Montage
Charles H. Joffe (+5)
Stan Winston (+10)
Harold Pinter (+15)
Isaac Hayes (+20)
None of the above (+5)

Will End the Montage
Paul Newman (+5)
Charlton Heston (+5)
Sydney Pollack (+10)
Anthony Minghella (+20)
None of the above (Automatic win)

Others include “Will Get Montage’s First Audio Clip,” “First Actress Named” and “First International Auteur Named.” Sounds like a sure way to burst the bubble of the one guaranteed moment of emotion the Oscars will have in store. Have fun, you morbid bastards.


And if all this doesn't scratch that Oscar itch hard enough, David Hudson has all the Oscar links youll ever need, and then some, at his spiffy new IFC Daily digs. And the Oscar goes to...



WelcometoLA said...

I bet Newman won't be in the montage, he'll get his own separate moment.

What's the Cozzalio plan for Oscar night?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

That's what I think too. Newman is Hollywood royalty-- he'll be all by himself.

Well, the plan is to have guests over for the first time in quite a while. Over the last few years our Oscar soirees have dwindled down to one or two folks, or maybe the in-laws. But this year, for some reason, we felt like pulling out all the stops, maybe because the line-up of movies themselves are relatively uninteresting. There will be at least three people who will be new to Cozzalio Oscar Night, including an old friend from college who was actually my T.A. in some of my first film classes (It'll be fun to spark up some of those old arguments!) as well as a bunch of old regulars who haven't been by in a while. And I'm actually gonna print out these "In Memoriam" pool sheets and have the folks at home compete for a DVD, just to make it more fun. Food? I'm thinking hot wings, the traditional 36" pizza pie, my wife is gonna do some tortilla wraps, and I'm baking cupcakes, 40 in all, each one bearing the name (in decorative frosting) of the nominees in each of the eight major categories.

After all this, I'd better win that damn Oscar office pool.

Bob Westal said...

I think Larry might have the right idea there. What morbid fun.

And I hope, for the sake of your sanity, you're kidding about the cupcakes.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Were it my project alone, Bob, there'd be some cause for worry. But the baking is a dad-and-daughters deal. Should be messy fun, especially watching my six-year-old try to write The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in German chocolate frosting on the head of a cupcake!

Bob Westal said...

Bound to be me way more entertaining than the movie.

Okay, that was too easy, but I saw it last night...Jon Stewart is, more or less, on the money. Ironic that a movie whose theme is "life is short, make the most of it" keeps reminding you of how long 2.75 hours can feel...not that it's all bad. Just uninvolving.

Brian Darr said...

Dennis, I missed your presence at the FEOS this year, but I still enjoyed reading it.

I can't resist adding a plug for my own recent piece on the Academy Awards, found here.

Anonymous said...

I will be interested in knowing who gets ignored in the "In Memorium" montage. Probably Joseph Pevney and Jun Ichikawa and Cirio Santiago. Hopefully Kon Ichikawa will be remembered. Hopefully Beverly Garland should get applauded for having been one of the hardest working women in show biz.

WelcometoLA said...

Sounds like quite a party! Well, I'm off to watch 'Madagascar 2' in the park with the family. Our form of the drive-in!

I might live blog the Oscars again, since I have no interest at all in who wins or loses.

I hope you win the pool!