85th Academy Awards

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.
Hey, Oscar handicappers. Interested in a side wager about how long this year's show will run?  Producers Neil Meron, 57, and Craig Zadan, 63,  say they will really try to bring it in on time, 11 p.m. ET.  To prepare for Sunday night, Meron and Zadan, the team behind Chicago, Hairspray and now TV's Smash, say they watched 40 years of Oscar shows. Said Zadan, "When you watch 30 or 40 years of shows, there's a commonality of time-consuming elements. And you say 'Well, what is that for?' And that used up 15 seconds and that used up 30 seconds, and you start adding up - that's an accumulation of time you could use for entertainment."  They have taken out unnecessary moments.  "There are a lot of pregnant pauses in the show, year after year...no matter who's doing it.  We've scooped out a lot of those pauses and created more time for performance and entertainment."
85th Academy Awards, Nominees Luncheon
Of all the awards season events, the annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon stands out because it is a comparatively relaxed, familial affair; plus, it's not televised. In fact, it has become a welcome respite for the anointed ones, a place where they can bond as a class while out of sight of the viewing audience (though it certainly could make an irresistible show.)
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