We're now waist-deep in awards season, and the Grantland staff would like to take this opportunity to remind all the Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Collar nominees out there that should they have to step up to that podium and take that mic on national television, they owe it to themselves to study up beforehand and see how the pros handle it. Here are our favorite awards show acceptance (and unacceptance) speeches from all corners of the entertainment world.
A breakdown of Linda Stasi’s New York Post review of the second season of Girls: 3 out of 4 stars for the “grittiness” and “reality”; 14 out of 4 stars for the “gorgeous,” “breathtakingly beautiful” Marnie; 1 out of 4 for the “ugly” anal sex, sheets, and studio apartments; and zero stars for Lena Dunham’s “blobby body.” She dwells on that last one quite a bit: Dunham’s “giant thighs,” “sloppy backside,” and “small breasts” are so offensive to Stasi that she implies that pretty ladies should hide their men from those evil, exhibitionist “blobbies” who aim to snatch them from our beautiful 400-thread-count sheets in the night. Jenni Konner, Girls’s executive producer (and recent HP podcast guest), responds “That that woman got to the age she's at and still feels like there are rules about what kind of body you can show is sad for her.” Meanwhile: Kelly Osbourne claimed to have been body-slammed by Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters, while Gaga fired back with an open letter accusing Osbourne of “making jokes about artists and celebrities as if we are zoo animals” instead of human animals wearing steaks for hats. Move right along. Nothing to see here.
John Mayer & Katy Perry & Adam Levine: Katy Perry went to Adam Levine's annual Halloween party and the two were flirting nonstop. "Adam was touching and hugging Katy affectionately while they did shots together for a half hour, even though his girlfriend model Behati Prinsloo was at the party too. It was kind of uncomfortable." Perry is show-business buddies with Levine, who is also BFF with Katy's rumored beau, John Mayer. Mayer once dated Jessica Simpson, whom Levine was once said to have tooted and booted.
"Adam texted Jess that he 'needed space.'" WHAT? "Then he avoided her calls. She phoned him several times, but he didn't answer." While Katy and Adam's flirtation is probably innocent, there's no doubt that she knows a potential fling with Levine is her ace in the hole should John Mayer's wandering eye and life-ruining dick get the best of John and Katy's relationship.
Taylor Swift & Conor Kennedy Split: "Taylor Swift was in the mood to talk about — what else? — heartache." During a listening party for Red she explained one song saying, "Long-distance dating is hard, and is something I face constantly." And will probably deal with for the rest of her life, unless she quits touring. Swift and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conor Kennedy, recently broke up. "The breakup was mutual because of the distance, schedules, and being at different places in their lives." Why do I not believe that any Taylor Swift breakup is ever really "mutual"? Although self-professed "hopeless romantic" Taylor tried to make it work with Conor, soon "reality set in." She is promoting her new album nonstop for the next year, and Kennedy is in high school. "There aren't many guys game for a serious relationship with a girl who's out of town the majority of the year." Swift should date a pro athlete next! Just playing. She should date a civilian who could go on tour with her. Are there any sweet guitar techs out there that don't mind having an album potentially written about them?
Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel: "You could safely call him a groomzilla." Having gotten over his "inability to commit," Timberlake threw himself into planning the $6.5 million ceremony, renting an Italian resort for the wedding and flying guests in on chartered jets. "Justin planned a series of mini-celebrations leading up to the evening ceremony. Guests were treated to a seafood feast followed by a fireworks display on the beach the day they arrived." He chose Biel's "6-carat princess-cut engagement ring without consulting her" and "picked out Jess's gown from sketches. She trusts him." Well, that's her first mistake.
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis: "Friends with benefits?" Kelso and Jackie "took a mini-vacation together" to Carpinteria. They stopped at a roadside stand where "Mila bought sunflowers and blueberries," then had sushi for lunch. "They hadn't seen each other for years" but got back in touch during a That 70's Show reunion segment for Fox's 25th anniversary special. "He's so not her type." And as for Ashton's famous wandering eye? "Mila wouldn't stand for that kind of stuff. She's a strong, smart girl."
If I were feeling less generous and more cynical on this holiest of all Oscar-calendar mornings, I might say that to decipher this year’s Academy Awards contest, we need only look for inspiration to the GOP presidential race. The Artist is Mitt Romney — desperate to please, doesn’t stand for anything in particular, not especially popular with the general public, will eventually keep most of its money offshore, and, though dinged up and trash-talked, will probably cross the finish line first by default. The Descendants is Newt Gingrich (emotionally unsteady, hard on wives, doing better than expected, but probably can’t go all the way). Hugo is Rick Santorum (a little slow, doesn’t really like anything that changed in the culture in the last 80 years). And The Tree of Life is Jon Huntsman (believes in evolution, probably a little too classy for this field).
Oscar predictors like to complain that the ludicrous number of movie awards handed out in December and January make the Academy Awards themselves too predictable, but let’s give credit where it’s due: This year, critics helped to create a remarkably diverse field of candidates—eleven different actors have won prizes so far. So there’s really no excuse for Oscar voters to resort to autopilot nominations. But when have Oscar voters ever needed an excuse?
Before we begin, it should be stipulated that awards shows are boring. They have always been boring, and they will continue to be boring until the Earth hurtles into the sun, which will almost certainly occur during the 18th hour of 10,464th Annual Academy Awards Psychocast, finally freeing us of the curious need to complain about why we aren't more entertained by famous people trading gold statues and listing their business obligations.
Oh, how lonely it is to be in the minority of viewers who hate an acclaimed movie. It’s like watching your friends throw their hands up on Space Mountain and go “Wheeee!” when you’re just claustrophobic and nauseated in outer space, or deciding to leave the slumber party early just as someone pulls out a bottle of cooking wine to get crunk. You have failed at enjoying something that will win Oscars. You failed to be moved. Your heart is faulty. Your ears are the only set of ears that don’t want to hear more ukulele music. When you sigh at The Descendants, expecting your sigh to settle among other disaffected exhalations of stale air, somebody claps a hand over your mouth and insists that “this mature, well-acted dramatic comedy is deeply satisfying, maybe even cathartic." Wheee! Look at those glittering planets zipping by! Who’s that curmudgeon throwing up on her own shoes?!
As you may or may not have read, Oscar-nominated The Fighter director David O. Russell was briefly under investigation late last week for groping his 19-year-old transgender niece's breasts during a workout at a Florida gym, a manual inspection of her hormonal transformation Russell claimed was consensual and innocent. (Though the niece apparently disagrees with her uncle's assessment: Even though authorities have already closed the case, TMZ reported this weekend that the woman is still exploring her legal options.)
Just before today’s 5:30 a.m. press event announcing the Golden Globe nominations, a Hollywood Foreign Press Association arranger wearily droned into the microphone, “We’re three minutes away. Can we get talent back in the room, please?” Dude, it’s the Globes: Talent was never in the room. And talent, taste, even the movies themselves seemed to have little to do with the relentless blare of nomination announcements — the Broadcast Film Critics Association Critic’s Choice nominations on Tuesday, the Screen Actors Guild nominations on Wednesday, the Globes this morning — that made every day feel like Christmas. That is, if what was under the tree included several empty boxes and a couple of immaculately wrapped turds.
Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, Atonement) will star in the adaptation of Meg Rosoff ’s 2006’s young adult book How I Live Now, which will be directed by Kevin McDonald (Last King of Scotland). In the book, a young American girl named Daisy is sent to live with extended family on a farm in England; then, when her aunt is stuck in Norway and England is invaded by an unnamed force, Daisy and her cousins are left to fend for themselves. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “The part of Daisy was highly-coveted amongst the teen-thespian set.” Which means: As we speak, Justin Bieber is somewhere attempting to comfort an inconsolable Selena Gomez. Grade: B+ [HR]
A Jackie Robinson movie is in development at Legendary Pictures, with Chadwick Boseman playing the man himself; Harrison Ford playing Branch Rickey, the Dodgers exec that signed Robinson; and Brian Helgeland, who wrote L.A. Confidential and Mystic River, writing and directing. This is a big break for Boseman, who was previously best known for a bunch of TV cameos and the football movie The Express. It also should do wonders for Ford, who is still, sadly, best known, of course, for marrying Ally McBeal. Grade: A- [Deadline]
The National Board of Review announced its annual movie awards today, and although this remains a deeply weird organization whose membership is opaque and whole method of selection is — to be generous about it — impenetrable, we should probably not hold it against any of the many, many movies or people that managed to win something today, so bravo to all of them. The big victors were two films that got blanked the other day by the New York Critics Circle: Hugo, which took awards for Best Picture and Best Director, and The Descendants, which won prizes for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress (Shailene Woodley), and Best Adapted Screenplay.