Oscar Shame: How Could They Forget Andy Griffith?

As Gomer Pyle would have said, “Golllll-eeee!” How could Sunday night’s Oscarcast have neglected to mention the late great Andy Griffith among the stars who died in the past year? I’m not for one moment begrudging any of the film industry greats who were listed – from screen legends Ernest Borgnine, Charles Durning and Celeste Holm to songwriter Hal David and writer Nora Ephron. It’s typical of Oscar’s short memory that the evening’s organizers apparently forgot that Andy was actually …

Oscar Night Was Great for Grownups

Movies for Grownups winner Dustin Hoffman said on the Oscar red carpet Sunday that the award ceremony hadn’t changed even a “titch” over all the years he’s been part of the Hollywood scene – and that’s going back to 1967 when he was nominated for The Graduate. He was certainly right about that. The inconsistent show was, as usual, overlong and, unfortunately, uninspired. However mixed the reviews are for the show – some tweeters suggested Seth MacFarlane include himself in …

Oscar Night: Grownups Get to Stay Up Late

Remember when the movie musical was dead? Well, Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast will be a resounding reminder that, in the immortal words of Dr. Frankenstein, “It’s ALIVE!!” Most important for grownup movie lovers, this year’s Oscar production numbers will recognize that for the past decade musicals have aimed themselves squarely at us: Les Miserables, Chicago, Hairspray, and Mama Mia! were all a far cry from the kid-centric days of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Barney’s Great Adventure. Not all …

Martin Richards: 5 Facts About ‘Chicago,’ His Biggest Hit

As a Broadway producer, Martin Richards had a string of successes, including Sweeney Todd, which won eight Tony awards in 1979, and Grand Hotel, which won five a decade later. But the project that Richards, who died on Nov. 26 at age 80 in New York City, will be best remembered for is bringing the stage musical Chicago to the big screen, where it grossed $307 million worldwide and won the 2003 Oscar for best picture, in addition to a …

Oscars Too Old For You? Grow Up!

Are you as sick and tired as I am of hearing about how this year’s Oscars skewed so old? You know: the host was old, the winners were old, the classic movie were old… The New York Times (that arbiter of all things hip and snappy) opined that the proceedings resembled “an AARP pep rally.” Well, yeah. Sorry, kids, but you’ll just have to get used to the fact that Billy Crystal is funnier than anyone you’ve got; actors, directors, …

Who’ll Win the Oscars on Sunday…And Who Ought To

            Every year my extended family and I have a nationwide Academy Awards Pick ‘em. We sit through the ceremony, dutifully checking off actual winners versus our predictions, and then we honor the most accurate prognosticator with congratulatory e-mails. The winner also gets custody, for one year, of a retired version of our Movies for Grownups Chaise d’Or trophy (This one dates from about two incarnations ago, as the MFG Trophy goes through tweaks the way Joan Rivers goes through …