Oscar night to have something for everyone, producers say

Ben Affleck poses for photographers at the 65th annual Directors Guild of America Awards.  Credit: Reuters
Ben Affleck poses for photographers at the 65th annual Directors Guild of America Awards.
Credit: Reuters

With a high five from 9-year-old actress Quvenzhane Wallis, and a pledge that Oscar night will have something for everyone, the Academy Awards kicked into high gear on Monday at a luncheon for more than 160 nominees.

Jennifer Lawrence, Steven Spielberg, Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts, Joaquin Phoenix, Kathryn Bigleow, Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington were among the Oscar-nominated actors, directors and producers who mingled over cocktails and lunch at a Beverly Hills hotel before gathering for the traditional group photo of the Academy Award class of 2012.

 ”Beasts of the Southern Wild” newcomer Wallis, the youngest actress ever to be nominated in the lead actress category, slapped hands with Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Hawk Koch as her name was called to join her peers for the annual photo ahead of the February 24 ceremony.

“Argo” producer-director Ben Affleck, riding high after his Iran hostage thriller took its third major award at the weekend, shrugged off being overlooked in the Best Director Oscar shortlist.

“I feel honored to be here. It’s a big party,” Affleck told reporters, adding, “I’ve had many, many nights watching (the Oscars) from home.”

 Craig Zadan and Neil Meron – who will be producing the three-hour Academy Award telecast for the first time – said performances by Barbra Streisand, Adele and Norah Jones, along with special tributes to Hollywood musicals and 50 years of James Bond movies, should give the ceremony wide appeal.

The popularity of many of the nine Best Picture nominees should also help bring in big audiences at home and abroad, they said.

“It has been a great year for movies. The movies are very competitive and they have done great box office. So we feel there is more interest this year than perhaps previous years, ” Zadan said.

“Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Argo,” and “Django Unchained” have made more than $150 million each so far at the North American box office alone, while “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty” have grossed more than $70 million each.

Last year’s Best Film winner, black and white silent movie “The Artist,” took just $44.7 million at the box office in the United States and Canada, even after the boost from its five Oscars.

Zadan and Meron reminded the nominees that the Oscar telecast was seen by an estimated one billion people in more than 200 countries, and urged them to keep their acceptance speeches short and sweet.

“Please speak from the heart and not from a piece of paper,” Zadan told the nominees. “Be remembered for eloquence and passion.”

 The Oscars is being hosted for the first time by provocative “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. But Meron and Zadan said they had no worries about MacFarlane and his reputation for risqu√© comedy.

 ”Seth has been at every production meeting. We have been collaborating on everything, so we are not going to be surprised by anything,” Zadan told reporters.

(Reuters)

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…