Tag Archives: Oscar

Jon Stewart opens Oscars with post-strike humour

Political satirist Jon Stewart returned as Oscar host on Sunday with a slew of jokes about the bitter Hollywood writers’ strike that had threatened the show and the grim, violent themes of many of the films.

“Tonight we look beyond the dark days to focus on happier fare — this year’s slate of Oscar-nominated psychopathic killer movies,” Stewart dead-panned, adding “Does this town need a hug?”

He then ticked off the titles of several of this season’s bloodier Oscar contenders.

“‘No Country For Old Men,’ ‘Sweeney Todd,’ ‘There Will Be Blood. All I can say is: Thank God for teen pregnancy,” he joked, drawing laughs for his reference to the only comedy vying for best picture, “Juno,” a story of unexpected motherhood.

The introductory monologue by Stewart, making his second appearance as Oscar host, was notably shorter than his opening performance in 2006, owing to production constraints posed by the Hollywood writers’ strike.

The 14-week walkout officially ended on February 12, giving Oscar producers just 11 days to write material for a live telecast that normally takes many weeks to prepare.

For weeks, the Oscar show also was threatened with the possibility that stars might boycott the event in support of striking writers rather than cross picket lines. That dilemma forced cancellation of the Golden Globes ceremony last month.


“These past 3-1/2 months have been very tough,” said Stewart, whose own nightly cable TV show was thrown into reruns by the labor dispute.

“The town was torn apart by a very bitter writers’ strike, and I’m happy to say that the fight is over. So tonight, welcome to the makeup sex.”

One of Stewart’s biggest laughs came as he mentioned that one casualty of the strike had been the cancellation of the annual Oscar party hosted by Vanity Fair magazine, “out of respect for the writers.”

“You know another way they could show respect for the writers? Maybe one day invite some of them to the Vanity Fair Oscar party,” he joked. “Don’t worry. They won’t mingle.”

Stewart acknowledged during the broadcast that a shortage of time to write material had forced producers to fill the show with more than the usual amount of video montages and clips of memorable Oscar moments.

Turning his humor on his favorite comic targets, Stewart used a number of Oscar references to segue into jabs at the candidates running for U.S. president.

“Julie Christie was absolutely amazing in ‘Away from Her’ … a moving story of a woman who forgets her own husband,” he said. “Hillary Clinton called it the feel-good movie of the year.”

And in a reference to the presumed Republican nominee, 71-year-old Arizona Sen. John McCain, Stewart noted that “Oscar is 80 this year, which makes him now automatically the front-runner for the Republican nomination.”

Stewart also took a veiled crack at the Iraq war policy and rhetoric of President George W. Bush and McCain as he joked about the anemic box office performance of several Iraq-themed movies in recent months.

“I am telling you, if we stay the course and keep these movies in the theaters, we can turn this around,” he shouted. “I don’t care if it takes 100 years. Withdrawing the Iraq movies would only embolden the audience. We cannot let the audience win.”

Source: Reuters

NFB receives 69th Oscar Nom.

MONTREAL – The National Film Board of Canada received its 69th Academy Award nomination today for Torill Kove’s NFB/Norway co-produced animated short The Danish Poet.

This is the 69th Oscar® nomination for the NFB. In 2005, Hardwood was nominated in the short documentary category, and in the same year Ryan won the Oscar for best animated short. The 79th Annual Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 25, 2007.

Recognized around the world for its excellence in animation and documentary, the NFB has garnered more Oscar nominations than any production company or organization outside of Hollywood. Since its first Academy Award in 1941, for the short documentary Churchill’s Island, Canada’s public film producer has won a total of 11 Oscars: ten for individual titles and a special award for overall achievement on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 1989.

The Danish Poet This is the second nomination for animator Torill Kove, who was nominated in 2000 for her first professional film, My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts, also co-produced by the NFB.

Narrated by Liv Ullmann, The Danish Poet asks the question whether our lives are just coincidence – or do little things really matter? The 15-minute film follows Kasper, a poet whose creative well has run dry, on a holiday to Norway to meet a famous writer. As his quest for inspiration unfolds, it appears that a spell of bad weather, an angry dog, slippery barn planks, a careless postman, hungry goats and other seemingly unrelated factors might play important roles in the big scheme of things after all.

The Danish Poet is a co-production of the NFB (Marcy Page) and MikroFilm AS (Lise Fearnley-Norway).

The Danish Poet has already picked up ten awards, including the Audience Choice and Animated Short Award from the New York Short Film Festival, the Animated Eye Award from the Aspen Shortfest, and the C.O.R.E. Digital Picture Award for Best Animated Short from the Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto. In addition, the film was recently nominated for a 2007 Canadian Genie for Best Animated Short, with the winner to be announced on February 13.