Oscar Two Weeks in Review: June 24 – July 7, 2012

Oscar News

  • The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences released a list of new rules for the next Academy Awards. Among them are the inclusion of hairdressing to the Best Makeup category, an expansion to the number of songwriters who can share a nomination for Best Song and a change in the shortlisting of Best Visual Effects.
  • The Academy invited 172 new members to join its voting body. Among them were Oscar winners Jean Dujardin, Michel Hazanavicius and Octavia Spencer, as well as Stephen King, Kristen Wiig and Tom Berenger.

Review Round-Up

  • Magic Mike, the latest mainstream release from Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh, opened to warm reviews from critics and audiences. With a Metacritic score of 73 and reviews calling it charming and refreshing, it could be the sort of Summer sleeper film that manages to stay in the conversation come awards season.
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild has already been  a major hit at several major festivals this winter and spring, and now critics are praising the film to a Metacritic score of 84. Praise for the film is strong, but the raves are mostly set aside for the central performance of 6-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis.
  • Sarah Polley picked up an Oscar nomination for her feature directing debut a few years ago, and has returned to the scene with Take This Waltz. With a score of 68, though, the film is not getting the same support critically as her earlier success.

Oscar Box Office

  • Magic Mike was Steven Soderbergh’s biggest opening ever, bringing in an impressive $40 million in its opening weekend.
  • Despite its blockbuster per screen average its first weekend, Moonrise Kingdom has slowed down considerably as it has continued to expand. It has now brought in only about $7 million total.

Oscar Farewell

  • Three-time Oscar nominee Nora Ephron passed away at the age of 71 due to complications with leukemia. The screenwriter was nominated for her screenplays to Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally… and Sleepless in Seattle.
  • Film critics Andrew Sarris passed away last week. The American champion of the auteur theory was 86.
  • Legendary TV Star Andy Griffith died at the age of 86. Although beloved for his work on stage and television, he had a limited film career that never got him recognized by the Oscars.

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