You know us critics, we’re used to shrugging our shoulders about the whole Oscar rigamarole, aware that if we stamped our little feet and huffed, “The great Romanian film Police, Adjective was snubbed, snubbed I tell you!” we’d be kicked out of Starbucks for obnoxious cronyism. (For the record, it was: Police, Adjective is great, and I commend it to your Netflix queue.) But as an on-duty critic, and as an off-duty ticket-buyer, too, nothing that did or didn’t receive an Oscar nomination today surprises me, bothers me, or, for that matter, shakes my confidence in my own taste. You feel the same way, right? You either liked or didn’t like A Serious Man (I loved it); you either think The Blind Side is an uplifting, feel-good drama of hope or a gooey fable (I’m with Team Goo, much as I cheer Bullock). But what the heck, good for them for nabbing Best Picture nominations.
And good for the Wizards of Oscar for doubling the number of Best Picture nominees. Why not? The ten in contention are as reasonable as any to represent a consensus of discriminating-but-not-elitist American movie-going taste in 2009. Without ten slots, Up! wouldn’t have been recognized for the brilliant creation it is, as emotionally rich as any live-action title on the list. (Of course, Up! also received a reality-check nomination in the Animated Feature Film category, so if — er, when a live-action title wins Best Picture after all, Up! still stands to win in Pixar’s more traditional category.) Without ten slots, the utterly original politico-sci-fi serio-comedy District 9 (above) might have been left hovering in the air, awardless, like an alien spaceship stalled over Johannesburg.
And so long as I can sustain this magnitude of something-for-everyone amiability, I can proclaim here with Zen calm that this year’s roster of Oscar nominees for Best Picture is very good. Between now and the Academy Awards on March 7, I might give a passing thought to what the Best Picture list might have looked like if the ballot had been kept to five. (Got any suggestions for me?) But mostly, I’m happy to go about my business, which, between now and Oscar night, involves telling anyone who will listen that it will be the crime of the century if Kathryn Bigelow doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Director for The Hurt Locker.
Really. Don’t mess it up with Bigelow, Oscar voters, or I’ll have to care.
The 69th annual Tony Awards ceremony (airing this Sunday on CBS at 8pm EST) looks to be a fairly unpredictable one—the 2015 contenders should be genuflecting to the theater gods that Hamilton decided to wait to hit Broadway until next season, where the evening is likely to be a foregone conclusion. But this year? Not so easy. Could the beloved Kelli O’Hara end her Susan Lucci-like Tonys course and defeat cohost Kristin Chenoweth? Will the dramatic acting categories be completely overtaken by Brits?
Paul Feig knew from the minute Melissa McCarthy auditioned for his 2011 hit Bridesmaids he had found someone special. “That audition was one of those moments when you’re like, ‘okay, that person just changed their life,’” he says. And indeed it did, as McCarthy has quickly zoomed to the top of the list of in-demand comedic actresses.
In recent years, there have been few franchises you can depend on to appear as regularly as the Assassin’s Creed games. Creed has released titles every year for the last seven years—and sometimes multiple titles per year.
And as such, Ubisoft has pulled back the curtain on 2015’s flagship entry, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. With it comes a new time period, new protagonists, and the hope that the new gameplay changes will help propel the series forward not just in time, but in quality too.
TowerFall, the multiplayer game that can give Super Smash Bros. a run for its money in terms of pure fun, is seeing its first major expansion since Towerfall Ascension released last year.
TowerFall: Dark World will introduce 10 new archers to play as, four level sets, a new cooperative mode, and an endless mode that includes levels created on the fly as players progress. Dark World will also introduce new bosses to fight, powerups, and more.
Disney Infinity is heading to a galaxy far, far away in the next virtual adventure.
Disney today announced that Disney Infinity 3.0, which is set to debut later this year, will add characters from Star Wars, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Disney Pixar’s Inside Out. The game, which allows players to control characters based on real-life figures that they own, added Marvel heroes last year.