MSN Movies Blog

Bette rules

By Kim Morgan Feb 25, 2011 5:36PM
Because Bette Davis is awesome. She knows how to use that damn Oscar.


A 360 degree look

By Kim Morgan Feb 25, 2011 5:21PM
Is it me, or is this kind of creepy? I'm surprised the telecast isn't in 3D as well.

Here, from MSN Movie News:

"Celebrity watchers won't need to dress up to feel like they're at the Oscars this year.

For $5, they'll be able to gaze around at whomever they wish, focus in on a dress or a bowtie and watch A-listers brush past them up the steps to the Kodak Theatre — all on the Internet.

And for the first time, viewers will be able to peek at an exclusive after-party called the Governors Ball and watch winners have their name plates engraved and attached to their statuettes.

"Half a dozen 360-degree cameras have been set up for the task. Inside each are 11 separate cameras feeding a constant stream of video online.

"Viewers can look in any direction with the control of a mouse as the streams are blended together in one seamless video. That means you can glance down at someone's shoes or stare up at the sky. (Unfortunately, rain is again in the forecast.)

"Accompanied by about two dozen other fixed-position cameras around the venue, the setup marks the largest online push for the Oscars ever. Imagine about 30 flies on the wall and the chance to flit between them and listen in.


Life Magazine's beautiful archive

By Kim Morgan Feb 25, 2011 5:07PM
In anticipation of the Oscars (this Sunday night) and perhaps, to remind us what elegance used to look like, Life Magazine has published a gorgeous slide show from their archives of Oscar history. 

Displaying pictures of the Pantages Theater, Natalie Wood and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and more, it's lovely and even a little soul tugging. 

The above picture of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly is enough to makes one swoon.


Join me as I liveblog the Oscars

By Kim Morgan Feb 24, 2011 10:17PM
Join me Sunday night, where I will cover all of the televised Oscar festivities, from the rep carpet frocks, to the sure-to-be-interesting hosting duties (Franco!), and of course, my thoughts, reactions, and quips (if that's what they end up being, they may end up a series of ticks), all from the privacy of my own bedroom.

I may be in Los Angeles -- Oscar central -- but I'm not going anywhere near the Kodak Theater that evening. No way. I'm staying home, eating popcorn, Raisinets (mixed together), drinking copious amounts of cola, and writing. I'm sorry, not just writing, blogging. Liveblogging. (I just had to explain "liveblogging" to an elder family member from the PNW who thought it may have something to do with "logrolling." I wish! But now I know what to call what I do for a living-- I "logroll.")

So ... please read along, join in, agree, disagree, tell me I'm nuts rooting for Christian Bale in "The Fighter" (or perfectly sane), or for supporting any dress near the grandiloquence that is Swan Bjork, Tutu Lara Flynn Boyle and Bob Mackie Cher. Those women make the telecast go 'round.

So, remember, jump on The Hitlist this Sunday. It will be a good time (I'm live logrolling after all). I promise. And Joan Crawford would agree. She understands the power of staying in bed for Oscar.


Oscar Talk on NPR's On Point

By Kim Morgan Feb 24, 2011 4:35PM
I will be talking Oscar, live, tomorrow morning on NPR's terrific "On Point with Tom Ashbrook."
Joining me will be the good company of Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune.

If you're interested in thoughts, predictions and pre-game chat regarding this year's Academy Awards, give it a listen.

The show will air 11 AM ET.


Who will win this year and who should win ...

By Kim Morgan Feb 24, 2011 3:56PM
In case you haven't noticed here, the Academy Awards air this Sunday night, and I'm excited by the telecast (ahem, Franco). The predictions regarding who's going to take home those coveted golden boys are another thing however, as I feel my bets are pretty solid.

Actually, that's not true -- at all. In the last few weeks, my confidence has been weakened by a few possible upsets underway.

Here's my prediction for what will win. And then, whether it matters or not (and it doesn't), what I think should win.

Best Supporting Actress

Who will win: I thought Melissa Leo was going for the gold on this one, but I think politics will come into play after she ran those glamorous "For Your Consideration" ads. I had no problem with them, personally. She seemed like she was just being forthright and honest about her want to win, but the Academy doesn't like displays of desperation. So, Helena Bonham Carter ("The King's Speech") for the win.

Who should win: Tie: Helena Bonham Carter and Melissa Leo.

Best Supporting Actor

Who will win: Christian Bale, "The Fighter." The Academy has never met a physical transformation it didn't like.

Who should win: Christian Bale, "The Fighter." I feel like the minority on this one as it seems most everyone I know thinks Bale is an overacting mess playing a washed up, crack addled Palooka, but the character he's' playing is an overacting mess, chomping up all of the Lowell scenery to nab attention for himself. He's even being followed by a camera crew halfway through the movie, bragging and acting like a delusional tragedy for sad second stab at fame. I'm not sure why people don't understand this. Maybe the idea of supporting Mark Wahlberg, who remains the low key lead until his "Not You!" meltdown (a scene that calls out all of the overacting train wrecks in his family), seems wrong, since "The Fighter" is the Christian Bale show, but, isn't the movie about a family that revolves around this guy's orbit? Hasn't anyone had an obnoxious drama queen in their family?

Best Original Screenplay

Who will win: David Seidler, "The King's Speech." It's called "The King's Speech" and it's going to win Best Picture so ...

Who should win: "Another Year," Mike Leigh. What? You thought I was going to say Christopher Nolan for "Inception"? Are you crazy?

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who will win: Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network." This is a done deal.

Who should win: Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network." The film is almost overwritten. It teeters on the verge of being in love with its rat-a-tat dialogue and yet, it never falters. The merging of acting, direction and written word blend perfectly.

Best Actress

Who will win: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan." People are getting weird on this one -- thinking Annette Bening is going to steal it away with "The Kids Are All Right" but veteran or no veteran, I don't buy it.

Who should win: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan."

Best Actor

Who will win: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech." This one is so easy I'll be able to move my car and find a better parking place while the winner is announced on Sunday. No need to double check. 

Who should win: Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network." This kind of performance, one that looks so easy while spouting all that snappy dialogue and html coding demands, is so much tougher to perfect. But never mind that. It's not showy, and it doesn't make you cry. Unless you're Mark Zuckerberg.

Best Animated Feature

What will win: "Toy Story 3." See Firth, Colin.

What should win: "Toy Story 3."

Best Director

Who will win: David Fincher, "The Social Network." I hope. (I'm terrible predictor, I'm supposed to be sure in my decisions here). Unless Tom Hooper (who I've called "Tobe" Hooper about 15 times this year. Come on "Chainsaw Massacre" fans. You've done it too ...) swoops in for the kill, the Academy will split the deal with Fincher for director, and "The King's Speech" for picture.  

Who should win: David Fincher, The Social Network" tied with Darrren Aronofsky, "Black Swan." Anyone who can pull of Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg, Jackie Susann and William Castle deserves a golden boy. Aronofsky won't get it, but again, he should.

Best Picture

What will win: Here's where I'm having some problems. Before, I thought "The Social Network" was the clear winner but, like a lot of people, I'm starting to think "The King's Speech" will steal the show. Why? Because it's racking up awards all over the place, Colin Firth is more face friendly than a young, internet billionaire, cipher (though, Jesse Eisenberg is brilliant) and the Academy loves feel good period pieces about Royalty. Done and done and ... dammit.  

What should win:  "The Social Network." I'm already prepared to be annoyed by this. A million likes aren't going to help when it comes to the Academy. Though it will be interesting for Mark Zukerberg to scan the millions of status updates about a movie about him ...

90 years young ...

By Kim Morgan Feb 24, 2011 12:54PM
Because you should know: Abe Vigoda turned 90 years old today. And for some reason, be it the fact that he's ... Abe Vigoda ... I'm thinking he'll never be visited in the place of the above photo anytime soon (with Al Pacino, lest you've never seen "The Godfather," which would mean you are very, very lame.)

So, here's to you Sal Tessio/Det. Sgt. Philip K. Fish. May you have many more birthdays in your future. Unlike Sal, there's always a place in Brooklyn where you can hang your hat.

Who will be cast?

By Kim Morgan Feb 24, 2011 12:10PM
Wow. Remake news. Given my current Franco-mania posting, I almost missed the newest remake, green lit for filming -- "The Bodyguard."

The 1992 hit starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner will be updated with a yet unknown duo of fresh stars.

Here's more from the Huffington Post:

" is reporting that Warner Brothers has green lit a remake of its massive 1992 hit film, "The Bodyguard," which starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. A story then about a Secret Service agent assigned to a singer -- who, of course, falls in love with him -- it's being remade into a tale about a soldier back from Iraq that's assigned to protect a singer.

"Indications are that the pair will fall in love.

"Throwing a wrench into the original story, aside from the war-tinge, is the advent of technology, which makes it harder to protect the secrecy of a celebrity. Perhaps this is one celebrity who doesn't tweet herself.

"No word on who might get cast. The studio is looking to launch a new singer into the stratosphere with the film -- Houston was a star, but became a veritable megastar after this film. Rihanna has begun to act, and Jennifer Hudson already has an Academy Award. Katy Perry has dabbled in TV, and Lady Gaga has said that she sees herself in movies one day. Who would you cast?

"Think this is a good idea for a film? Is a remake necessary? Click over to for more details."

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