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
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."