Sunday 13 October 2019

Reel Life: It's Oscar weekend, stay up all night

Meryl Streep and the current Oscar design.
Meryl Streep and the current Oscar design.

Declan Cashin

It's Oscar weekend, and as the more committed of us movie nerds (as in we should be committed) prep to stay up through the night on Sunday to watch the event live, it might be useful to take a look at a feature over on the Slate website which has compiled stats on the last 12 years of that most hallowed of institutions: the Oscar acceptance speech.

The most interesting finding from the gushing speech audit? Of the 43 speeches given since 2002, Meryl Streep was thanked by winners four times, while God was only thanked three times.

Yes, that means that, to award-winning thespians in Hollywood, if not the whole world, Meryl Streep is bigger than God.

The report also found that actresses are more likely to start their speeches by thanking the Academy and are equally likely to thank other directors that gave them an earlier break in the business.

And if any of the winners this weekend want to really nail their speeches, they could do worse than follow the leads of last year's winner Daniel Day-Lewis, who referred to his vanquished rivals as "my equals, my betters", and Sandra Bullock, who, in her 2009 speech for The Blind Side, singled out each of her nominees by name for bespoke praise. No wonder she's the Queen of Hollywood, even if she isn't at Streep deity levels yet.


* Will there by any surprises at the Oscars this year? Not likely. As has been the case for several years now, the more predictable the awards look set to be, the more drama Oscar watchers try to create by divining trends and (over) interpreting amorphous "vibes" and "feelings" in the industry.

Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o still are the safest bets to take home the gold.

But if you're looking for upsets, keep an eye on Bruce Dern (Nebraska) for Best Actor and Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) for Supporting Actor.

The only real tension is in the Best Film and Director categories, where, Reel Life predicts, 12 Years A Slave and Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) will triumph, respectively.


* The 25th Cork French Film Festival kicks off this weekend too, running from Sunday until March 9th. The festival opens with a gala screening of Jacques Demy's classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with the director's daughter, Rosalie Varda-Demy, as a special guest.

The festival closes with the Irish premiere of Attila Marcel, written and directed by Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville) – his first live action film.

In between, there are celebrations of movie soundtracks, including a specially commissioned live score for Jean Epstein's silent 1928 film The Fall of the House of Usher, presented by Cork-born composer Irene Buckley.

Also next Friday, there's a supper at Ballymaloe House followed by a screening of Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mépris. See www.corkfrenchfilmfestival.com


* Lastly, speaking of movies and eating (the two greatest pastimes in the universe), blogger French Foodie has started a series of food-themed screenings in the Brooks Hotel, in Drury Street, Dublin.

The first pick is Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia: the debut screening on March 19th is sold out, but there are still tickets for a second on March 27th.

Tickets are €30, but that covers the movie, popcorn, a meal of boeuf bourguignon in La Maison and a glass of vino. See http://frenchfoodieindublin.blogspot.ie/

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