Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

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I didn’t know … Part 2

On this week’s list, and probably the last one since the Olympics are sadly ending, I didn’t know:

Kim Cattrall

Shania Twain

James Cameron

William Shatner

Catherine O’Hara

… is Canadian!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Trailers, trailers, trailers

Check out this awesome photograph from the 31st Academy Awards in 1958! That’s the year “Gigi” won nine awards, including Best Picture. Do I even need to say there were only five in the category that year? No, because it was like that for 81 seasons. I think if the Academy is going to have 10 best picture noms, they should reconsider their 1999 rejection of a Best Title Design award.

Take a look at the list of pictures nominated for Academy Awards this year. Now head further down the list to the less publicized awards. You mean you’ve never heard of “Instead of Abracadabra,” “A Matter of Loaf and Death” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen?”

Alright, maybe you heard of that last one, but did you know it was nominated for an Oscar? Sound Mixing. Yes, I’m surprised too.

If you’re looking at the list and find yourself out of the loop, or you just don’t know who to predict as the foreign language film winner, watch the trailers on‘s site. Or just guess based on the title, which is what I did back in the day. Hey, it worked about as well as being informed.

Filed under: Academy Awards, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Oscars

I didn’t know … Part 1

In honor of the Winter Olympics being in Canada, I am starting a series called “I didn’t know ______ is Canadian!”

Lately I’ve been learning that everyone and their mom is from Canada, and a lot of people in the entertainment industry hail from our neighbors to the north.

At the start of each week I will post blog, naming all the people whom I recently have discovered to be Canadians. And most of these will be thanks to my hours of Olympic sports viewing. Did you know Vancouver was four votes away from losing the winter games to South Korea?

This week, I didn’t know:

Michael Bublé
Nelly Furtado
Sarah McLaughlan
Loreena McKennitt
Michael J. Fox

… is Canadian!

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Road to the Academy Awards

The 82nd Academy Awards are coming late this year. Stars will gather at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on March 7, two weeks later than last year’s show. I’m not complaining, because it was moved so as not to conflict with the Winter Olympics, which is another love of mine.

Today the official voting ballots were sent out the the folks in the Academy. They have until March 2 to send the ballots back to PricewaterhouseCoopers. You know, they’re the people who come out during the ceremony and explain how voting works, and they’re not nearly as beautiful as the celebrities in the audience, so it’s a perfect time to run to the restroom.

This year, PWC has a new challenge to tackle: the 10 best pictures. Sandy Cohen (no, not from “The O.C.,” but rather the AP) wrote an article about how the process works, but I don’t think the piece was written very well, so I’ll translate.

The way PWC is going to count the best picture votes is different than previous years. Instead of people voting for one ultimate favorite film, voters will rank the pictures from one to 10, with one being the highest.

PWC will then organize the ballots into 10 groups, one for each film, based on the number one choice. The smallest pile after round one will be eliminated from the race. The elimination will continue by organizing the number two films, removing the movie with the fewest votes, moving on to number three, and so forth until “The Hurt Locker” — I mean, a film has the majority.

Sounds simple enough, but it also sounds like it will take about 10 times as long to find a winner. If it’s not worth the time, I suggest the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences goes back to five best picture nominees.

So far, I’ve seen five of the 10. I remember when seeing five of the nominees meant seeing them all. Ah, well. With this change, it’s highly unlikely I’ll be able to see each best picture nominee before every year’s show. I think the only years I have actually seen all five were 2006, when “The Departed” won, and 2007, when “No Country for Old Men” beat one of my favorite films, “There Will Be Blood.”

I have “A Serious Man” and “District 9” from Netflix right now, so I’ll have to watch them this weekend and up my best picture tank to 70 percent. How have you been doing with your watching? Any predictions?

Filed under: Academy Awards, Entertainment, Hollywood, Netflix, Oscars

And the nominees are …

The nominations are in. The Academy Awards are within reach. Just a month away. March 7 cannot come soon enough. Of course I am thrilled.

And of course I am still upset about the 10-film best picture category. This is the first year the Academy has 10 movies up for the big prize. I still don’t get the point of having 10, especially now that the nominations have been revealed.

Here they are in alphabetical order, because that’s the only way to show my biaslessness (I’ll show my bias in a minute):

  • Avatar*
  • The Blind Side*
  • District 9#
  • An Education%
  • The Hurt Locker*
  • Inglourious Basterds#
  • Precious%
  • A Serious Man%
  • Up#
  • Up in the Air%

* denotes “I have seen”
# denotes “On DVD and on my Nexflix list”
% denotes “I wanna/gotta see it!”

I’ve heard lots of wonderful things this season about all of the nominated films. But do all 10 deserve to be nominated?


I’m afraid The Blind Side was nominated for box-office results reasons, and because of Sandra Bullock. Hey, Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actors and a beautiful, strong woman. But a one-woman show does not a good movie make. The Blind Side was good because of the true life story behind it (thank you Michael Oher for being you, and thank you Michael Lewis for writing the book). There was nothing else special about that film. I cried, and I used to judge a movie’s success on it’s ability to make me cry, but I squirt a tear during approximately 94% of all movies I see nowadays, and I have really dry eyes. Hmm.

I just saw The Hurt Locker this weekend. What was good about it? Everything. The story was real, the locations looked like a documentary and the men were lovely. Jeremy Renner? Yes. Congrats on the best actor nod, man.

Inglourious Basterds is sitting on my DVD player, waiting to be watched. It’s a long one, though, so I’m saving it for the weekend when I can give it my full attention.

Up was just moved to the top of my Netflix list today following it’s best picture and best animated feature and best original score AND best original screenplay nominations (oh, and sound editing, too). Jeepers! It must be a good one.

Should The Hangover have been nominated? It did win the best musical/comedy Golden Globe. And because it wasn’t nominated for, well, anything by the Academy, I moved it down on my Netflix list.

If only five films had been nominated, here’s what I could have guessed:

  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • Up in the Air

Since I can’t change the 10-film thing, all I can hope is that The Hurt Locker beats Avatar. Yes, I said it.

Update 02/03/10: A Serious Man comes out on DVD Feb. 9. It’s at the top of my Netflix list!

Filed under: Academy Awards, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Netflix, Oscars

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