Oscars

The Informer

Politics

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A recap of Rob Ford’s weekend in Hollywood, from the airport, to the Sunset Strip, to the studio

If Hollywood were to get its hands on Rob Ford‘s story, would the resulting movie be an inspirational one? Would it be the tale of a mayor who was once ashamed to admit he’d smoked crack, but who overcame his fear in time to embrace his new life of international infamy?

That’s the angle the mayor seems to be working, at any rate, and never has that been more apparent than right now, as he prepares to make his much-publicized appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight. Even though the show tapes today, Ford has actually been in Hollywood since Saturday evening, along with a retinue consisting of both of his brothers (Doug and Randy) and at least two staff members. His every step has been dogged by reporters and gawking Angelenos. The former have been wondering just who’s paying for this lavish trip to the left coast (Kimmel? And if so, could this be considered a campaign contribution?), while the latter have mostly been seeking photos with Toronto’s most famous citizen, other than maybe—maybe!—Drake.

The mayor has said that he sees his trip as a way of enhancing Toronto’s reputation, but so far the effect has seemingly been the opposite. Here’s a chronological rundown of the whole transcontinental adventure so far.

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The Informer

Culture

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Owen Pallett gets a 2014 Oscar nomination; Sarah Polley doesn’t

(Image: Pallett: Guus Krol; Polley: Sasoriza)

(Image: Pallett: Guus Krol; Polley: Sasoriza)

Oscar, you unpredictable jerk. The 2014 Academy Award nominations were announced earlier this morning, and Sarah Polley, the Toronto director whose Stories We Tell was considered a strong candidate for Best Documentary Feature, is nowhere on the list. Somewhat unexpectedly, the city’s great hope at this year’s award ceremony will instead be Owen Pallett, who is nominated alongside William Butler of Arcade Fire for his work on the score for the Spike Jonze film Her. It’s not a filmmaking category, but we’ll take it.

Polley’s reaction has been gracious. This morning, she tweeted her congratulations to one of the documentaries that did manage to make the nomination list this year:

 

TIFF

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TIFF Oscar Scorecard: what this year’s fest tells us about next year’s Academy Awards

It’s still far too early for Oscar pools, but now that the big TIFF movies have screened, it’s high time to get in on the nomination prediction game. Festival buzz, of course, is often the most reliable forecast for Academy Award nominations: Monsieur Lazhar, Slumdog Millionaire and American Beauty are just a few of the films that made a big impression in Toronto before going on to collect Oscar gold. We break down which of the fest’s buzziest films seem bound for a nod come January.

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The Informer

Events

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The Pick: Monsieur Lazhar, Quebec’s latest Oscar contender

For Toronto cinephiles, it’s hard not to envy Quebeckers. La Belle Province is home to a robust and thriving film industry, and perennially turns out movies that are not only well received by critics, but well attended too. Indeed, it can be downright disheartening that a single province can consistently produce graceful, powerful movies like C.R.A.Z.Y. and Incendies, both of which hit that critic-audience sweet spot, while English Canada languishes with the likes of Score: A Hockey Musical. Monsieur Lazhar, which won Best Canadian Feature at TIFF last year and is nominated in the foreign language category at this year’s Oscars, is the latest Quebec flick to make us jealous.

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The Informer

People

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Oscar, Shmoscar! Ryan Gosling proves he has bigger fish to fry, like recreating Logan’s Run

Ryan Gosling is busy in Thailand preparing to film Only God Forgives, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn—it’s a job that has kept the Goz away from award shows, but not from the hearts of his many fans. He hasn’t received any acting nods from any of the various award giving bodies for his numerous roles, but in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gosling claims he doesn’t feel snubbed. He’s okay with it. What a guy. In fact, the Almighty Goz has spent two to three hours a day sparring with professional Muay Thai fighters in preparation of his upcoming film, so he doesn’t really have the time to dwell on how the Academy feels about his work. Gosling ultimately seems more interested  in pursuing more work with Refn than he is listening to a night of Uma/Oprah, stating that he and Refn been working on an adaption of Logan’s Run. Next stop, carousel.

(Images: Ryan Gosling, Christopher Drost)

TIFF

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Films picked up at TIFF: Steve McQueen’s Shame and Christophe Honore’s Beloved (Les biens-aimes)

TIFF is often lauded as the first place to look for Oscar worthy-films—the festival has previously premiered Precious, No Country for Old Men, The Hurt Locker, Chariots of Fire, and, of course, last year’s King’s Speech, to name a few. Naturally, distributors are always in town for the festival and eager to snatch up the next hot-ticket item. Already Variety is reporting that the first two films to get deals at this year’s festival are Steve McQueen‘s sexual thriller Shame and Christophe Honore’s romantic drama Beloved (Les biens-aimes).

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The Informer

Culture

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Photos from the Vanity Fair Oscar party: George Pimentel takes us through his shots of Bieber, Gwyneth and many more

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber arrive at the Sunset Tower in L.A. for the Vanity Fair Oscars party on February 27, 2011 (Image: George Pimentel)

Toronto’s top celebrity shutterbug, George Pimentel, spent last week—Oscar week—stargazing in Tinseltown. His tour included the Academy Awards’ most VIP red carpet at the Vanity Fair Party. Here, George dishes on Justin Bieber’s new lady, Scarlett Johansson’s superior beauty and why (as we suspected) Natalie Portman is as smug and snotty as they come.

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The Informer

Culture

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Why the NHL trade deadline is the sports equivalent of the Oscars

Is it just us, or do the Oscars and the National Hockey League trade deadline have a lot in common? The Academy Awards were an absolute snoozefest on Sunday night, and hockey’s deadline day bonanza on Monday had us snoring straight through till Tuesday. What gives? The one-two combo of Hollywood’s biggest night and the most ballyhooed single-day event in hockey has left us with one heck of a hype hangover this week. Here, a quick look at how the NHL trade deadline was just like the Oscars.

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The Informer

Culture

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We try to find five top Canadian Oscar moments from Sunday’s Academy Awards snoozefest

Two of the few Canadians: Celine Dion and René Angélil on the red carpet at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday evening (Image: Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Well, there you have it. Awards season is over, but the hangover—or, in the case of The Social Network gang, the lingering feelings of resentment—has now set in. The biggest buzz out of Oscar night was the totality of James Franco lameness. As far as hosts go, he may go down as the worst of all time. We would have killed for a little Uma–Oprah humour, and that’s saying something. Did poor Anne Hathaway want to wipe that disinterested smirk off his face with her fist? We’re guessing yes.

For its part, Canada was hardly centre stage this year (we stand by the opinion that Barney’s Version was robbed), although the night of nights did include some northern moments worth mentioning. The five most memorable after the jump.

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The Informer

Culture

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Oscar watch: 10 questions about the Academy Awards with Canada’s gossip girl Lainey

Elaine Lui is Canada’s gossipmonger extraordinaire, with a master’s in Gaga and a black belt in Brangelina. This week, the blogger (find her at laineygossip.com) and eTalk correspondent is in L.A. covering the movie biz’s night of nights. Any news outlet can dish on Oscar outcomes, but only Lainey can tell you if Nicole Kidman has really lightened up on the Botox and whether James Franco and Anne Hathaway are secretly getting it on backstage. (They won’t be—but if they do, Lainey will know). We talked with her about Hollywood’s top dressers, celeb PDA and, of course, all things Oscar.

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The Informer

Culture

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Best Actress Oscar Curse: a U of T study shows there’s some truth to it, but can it predict this Sunday’s winner?

Our ears perked up last month when we heard about a study out of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management that gave scientific credence to the so-called Best Actress Academy Award Curse. For the uninitiated, the curse refers to how Best Actress Oscar winners seem more likely to split from their spouses than fellow nominees (see: Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Winslet, Hilary Swank and Halle Berry, as well as old Hollywood icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford). At first, we wondered if crunching Hollywood heartbreak numbers is the most effective use of our city’s most beautiful minds (doubtful), but soon we moved onto more useful thoughts, such as: could the Rotman findings be used to help predict this Sunday’s Best Actress Oscar winner?

The Toronto study looks at what happens post-Oscar, but apply a little Freakonomics-style chicken-and-egg skepticism and all of a sudden it’s unclear what came first: the golden statue or the marital strife. Perhaps a troubled personal life is more likely to inspire an Oscar-worthy performance. With this hypothesis in mind, we examine this year’s nominees »

The Informer

Culture

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Incendies one step closer to Oscar nod

(Image: Mike Wu)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nine-movie short list for best foreign language film on Wednesday, and Canada’s official pick, Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, has made the cut. This announcement rounds out quite a year for the Québécois filmmaker: Villeneuve’s Polytechnique cleaned up at the 2010 Genie Awards, Incendies was named best Canadian film at TIFF in September and, recently, Hollywood publication Variety named Villeneuve among its 10 filmmakers to watch. Exciting, indeed, but Incendies faces some tough competition for that Oscar.

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The Informer

Culture

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Some of TIFF’s best films headed to the Oscars

No sooner has TIFF rolled out of town, taking all of its botoxed goodness with it, than awards show season rolls in, binding us to the couch to partake in the glorious judge-fest that is the Oscars. So maybe that’s not until February, but the boys who pick the winners (let’s face it, it’s mostly dudes) have already announced the long list of nominees for best foreign film, and TIFF 2010 favourites abound among the titles in contention.

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The Goods

Best Dressed

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Suzanne Rogers, celebrity look-alike: the photographic evidence

(Image: George Pimentel)

On a scale of fashion-related risk taking, Torontonians often fall somewhere between “buttoned-up” and “the Amish,” which is why we adore telecom trophy wife Suzanne Rogers, who stands out like a bejewelled pageant queen at a minimalist Calvin Klein show.

True, some outfits are more successful than others, but we love a gal who isn’t afraid to make a Hollywood-style splash. We’ve gathered some of S-Ro’s most Us Weekly–inspired fashion statements. Take a look at them after the jump.

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TIFF

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TIFF Oscar buzz begins: Natalie Portman wins critics’ support in Black Swan

(Image: James Helmer)

The Oscar baiting of TIFF films has officially begun, with acclaim for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan pouring in—with overwhelming praise for Natalie Portman’s starring performance—after its international premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The film, scheduled to screen in Toronto on September 13 at Roy Thomson Hall, follows Nina (Portman) as a spotlight-craving ballerina who becomes entangled in a pas de deux with a rival dancer played by Mila Kunis. Eventually Nina’s plight takes a Cronenberg-esque turn (hey, this is an Aronofsky flick), with her eyes discolouring and wings sprouting from her back as she becomes the swan she strives to portray onstage.

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