February 27, 2012

Live Blog: 'The Artist,' flying books and Kim Jong-il's ashes

By Jason Singer jsinger@pressherald.com
Assistant City Editor / Online

(Continued from page 3)

• Meryl Streep was nominated for Best Actress for the little-watched "The Iron Lady." It's her 17th acting nomination, the most ever. But she hasn't won since 1983's "Sophie Choice."

• This is the first time since 2001 Pixar hasn't had a movie nominated for Best Animated Picture. It did release "Cars 2" this year, but critics felt it was underwhelming compared to "Toy Story 3", "WALL-E", "Up" and other recent Pixar movies.

• Legendary composer John Williams celebrated his 80th birthday earlier this month in grand style -- by nabbing two more Oscar nominations for "War Horse" and "Tintin." That brings his lifetime total to 47 Oscar nominations. Even more amazing? He's still only in second place, behind the 59 nominations earned by Walt Disney.


8:06 p.m. — Sacha Baron Cohen showed up in full character for his upcoming film, "The Dictator." He was flanked by two serious beautiful guards in red berets, and carrying the "ashes" of Noth Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Il.

In what hopefully won't start World War III, Cohen "accidently" spilled Kim Jong-il's ashes all over E! red-carpet host Ryan Seacrest.

It's obviously a joke, but if Kim Jong-il's son is even half as crazy as his father, North Korea could fire a nuke at us over this incident.


7:55 p.m. — Some interesting facts about tonight's 84th annual Academy Awards:

• "The Artist" has a chance to become the second-ever silent movie to win Best Picture.

• Billy Crystal is hosting the Oscars for the 9th time. It's been about 25 years since Crystal did his best movies ("The Princess Bride", "When Harry Met Sally"), but we're holding out hope he's still got some magic up his sleeve.

• “The Artist” is the 10th predominantly black-and-white film to be nominated for cinematography since 1967, when the black-and-white category was eliminated. Previously nominated: “In Cold Blood” (1967), “The Last Picture Show” (1971), “Lenny” (1974), “Raging Bull” (1981), “Zelig”(1983), “Schindler’s List” (1993), “The Man Who Wasn’t There” (2001), “Good Night, and Good Luck” (2005), and “The White Ribbon” (2009).

• George Clooney is up for awards in two seperate categories for two different films: Best Actor for "The Descendants", and Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Ides of March."

Clooney also accomplished this in 2005, when he won Best Supporting Actor for "Syriana" and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for "Good Night, and Good Luck".


7:42 p.m. — Emma Stone, of "The Help" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love", has just arrived in a red Giambattista Valli dress with a giant bow on her shoulder.


Best fantasy birthday present ever? Emma Stone in a bow.


7:34 p.m. — One award has already been decided: James Cromwell, who was in "The Artist," wins the Best Beard award.

"The Artist" is a terrific movie and up for Best Picture tonight. But if anyone has the sudden urge to catch up on worthy James Cromwell films, check out 1997's "L.A. Confidential". Definitely one of my favorite neo-noirs.


7:15 p.m. — And they're off! All the stars have begun arriving for the 84th annual Academy Awards, which begins tonight at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

Maine's very own Glenn Close showed up wearing a green Zac Posen dress.

For a great story on how local Maine designers would have dressed Ms. Close, click here. For a PPH interview with the actress about her life in Maine and chances tonight, click here.

Also, check out PPH features editor @RHarmonPPH, who's Tweeting the Oscars all night long! 

And for Red Carpet photos of all the celebrities, click here.

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