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Blather, Wince, Repeat: Few Moments of Levity in 2007's Dull, Embarrassing Oscarcast PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 05:26

Sunday night's Academy Awards telecast began spectacularly, with a priceless montage by documentarian Errol Morris, and ended even more spectacularly, with richly-merited awards bestowed upon Martin Scorsese and his film, The Departed.

So what the hell happened in the middle?

Oscar Wild: Random Wackiness – and Historic Achievements – in 2007’s Academy Awards Race PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:39

Reader issue #622What, exactly, is going on this year?

When the Academy Award nominations were announced in January and Dreamgirls found itself shut out of the Best Picture race, the news was something of a surprise, as the film was widely considered a shoo-in. The bigger shock, though, came from realizing that the snubbed musical still received more nominations than any other film - eight in all - and the last time a film led in Oscar nominations without a corresponding Best Picture nod was ... well, never.

But the Oscar weirdness didn't end there.

You Are Their "Sunshine": 2007 Oscar Predictions PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:36

The following are the nominations for the 2007 Academy Awards, scheduled to air on ABC affiliate WQAD-TV at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 25. If all goes the way I think it will (ha ha!), the winner of the most Oscars - a whopping three - will, for the first time ever, be a foreign-language film, and the Best Picture winner will have received the same amount of Oscars as the Best Documentary Feature winner. (That this is even a possibility marks this as a zany-ass year.)

Even the Choir Has Something to Learn: Environmental Film Festival on February 24 PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:28

Most people think that documentaries are dull. And when they're environmental documentaries? Forget it.

That perception changed a lot last summer, when An Inconvenient Truth showed that even a lecture delivered by Al Gore can be compelling and urgent.

The box-office and critical success of An Inconvenient Truth provided a lot of guidance to the organizers of the second Environmental Film Festival, which will run from 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 24, at Davenport's Unitarian Church (3707 Eastern Avenue). The free event is co-sponsored by the church and the Eagle View Group of the Sierra Club. Food will be available from Greatest Grains.

2006 Oscar Nominees: What They Got and Where to Find Them PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 02:22

Babel (R, Great Escape Theatre) - In a year that saw a spectacularly inclusive roster of nominees, the seven citations for Alejandro González Iñárritu's globe-trotting drama - Picture, Director, Supporting Actress (Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi), Original Screenplay (Guillermo Arriaga), Editing, and Original Score - seemed not only inevitable, but just. But where is Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography nod?


Blood Diamond (R, not in local release) - Never underestimate the Academy's susceptibility to liberal guilt. Leonardo DiCaprio received a Best Actor nod for his South African patois; Djimon Hounsou received a Supporting Actor nomination for screaming really loudly; and the film's Sound, Sound Effects, and Editing were cited because, I dunno, Blood Diamond struck voters as a fun movie about genocide, or something.


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