Oscars: Highlights (and Lowlights) of the Awards Season So Far
This story first appeared in the March 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
NOV. 8: It's not campaigning if you're singing
This year, nominees were in the mood to sing at musical events all over town. It started with a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious sing-along for Saving Mr. Banks at The Beverly Hills Hotel, hosted by Mary Poppins composer Richard Sherman. (Even Sean Penn turned up.) Then there was Oscar Isaac belting tunes from Inside Llewyn Davis (with Steve Martin on the banjo) on Nov. 12 at The Buffalo Club, followed by Pharrell's appearance at a Despicable Me 2 party on Dec. 13 and a Frozen cabaret Feb. 9. The singers in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, meanwhile, practically have been doing bar mitzvahs, performing at a Nov. 12 AARP film festival, a Jan. 7 Academy event and a Jan. 23 Billboard gala.
JAN. 6: Meryl Streep uses the 'N-word,' as in 'Nazi'
The three-time Oscar winner all but spray-painted a swastika on Walt Disney's frozen head, accusing the Hollywood icon of anti-Semitism and sexism while presenting a National Board of Review trophy to Emma Thompson for her portrayal of the novelist who wrote Mary Poppins. Disney fans pointed to Neal Gabler's biography (in which the studio's merchandising chief Herman Kamen is quoted as saying that Disney's New York office "had more Jews than the Book of Leviticus"), but Walt's grandniece came to Streep's defense ("Anti-Semite? Check," Abigail Disney wrote on her Facebook page).
JAN. 12: E! harshes the red-carpet buzz
When E! included in its Golden Globes live web feed the fun fact that "Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991," annoyed viewers took to Twitter with their own inappropriate commentary ("Ryan Seacrest is wearing a diaper").
JAN. 12: Ronan hijacks the Globes
Ronan Farrow's shocking tweets during the Woody Allen tribute at the Globes, reraising 20-year-old molestation charges, all but stole the show and sparked a still-raging media war between Team Woody and Team Mia.
JAN. 14: Jacqueline's Snickers ad
The reason for the actress' jaw-dropping, incoherent Golden Globes acceptance speech? She was hungry. At least that's what she told Queen Latifah on her talk show (she kept Bisset's blood sugar in check by serving the actress the same meal served at the Globes as on-air nosh).
JAN. 29: He should have held a sing-along
The Academy rescinded the nomination of "Alone Yet Not Alone," the title song of a little-seen Christian-themed film, after composer Bruce Broughton violated no-lobbying rules by sending members emails encouraging them to listen to his tune.
FEB. 1: You could hear the cutlery clinking
The most awkward joke from the podium this season was host Brad Garrett's politically incorrect shtick about Mexican filmmakers Jonas and Alfonso Cuaron at the WGA Awards. "I think I got off on the wrong foot tonight. I just asked the writer of Gravity to park my car."
FEB. 5: Harvey gets religion
Harvey Weinstein must have pulled some pretty mighty strings to arrange a meeting between the real Philomena Lee -- the inspiration for The Weinstein Co.'s Philomena -- and the pope. It's not lobbying if you're genuflecting.