The Overlooked Triumph of “The Revenant”: Music

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

The Revenant was robbed. For all the Oscar nominations The Revenant has received, the movie was victim of a glaring omission: Best Original Score. The score, created by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto (with additional music by Bryce Dessner of the National), creates a sonic tapestry that deepens the emotional impact ...

Movie Trailers Shine As Digital Stars

Friday, February 26th, 2016

With the 2016 Academy Awards fast approaching, Google has created a terrific piece of event-based content by ranking the popularity of the trailers for the Oscar Best Picture nominees. Google ranks The Revenant Number One based YouTube trailer views, which is ironic given that a trailer promoting a film made ...

Keep Your Paws off Lady Gaga

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Never underestimate Lady Gaga. The viral effect of digital has made it possible for artists to experience meteoric rises, falls, and rebounds within a matter of a few short years. If you didn't know any better, you would think that Lady Gaga demonstrates this reality. She exploded in popularity in 2009, ...

Three Oscar-Winning Movies That Rewrote History

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Oscar-nominated movies should place more importance on historical accuracy than storytelling -- at least that's the conclusion you might draw from the criticisms lodged at American Sniper, The Imitation Game, and Selma. An angry cabal of tut-tutting, self-appointed guardians of public taste have attacked the directors of these movies for having the ...

Real-Time Marketing Is More Than an Oscars War Room

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The Academy Awards, Grammys, and Super Bowl constitute the peak of real-time marketing season. Throughout February, brands ramp up their efforts to generate instant buzz by capitalizing on the unexpected and exciting drama that unfolds throughout the course of these high-profile events. But as my recently published Gigaom report indicates, ...

Ellen DeGeneres, the Oscars, and the Era of the Visual Storyteller

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The defining moment of the 2014 Academy Awards happened in the audience and on Twitter. While the Oscars ceremony lumbered along with the usual moments of awkward onstage patter and stars showcasing their plastic surgery, Ellen DeGeneres snapped the selfie that was seen around the world: a joyous moment of ...

Backstage at the Oscars

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Simply watching major events like the Academy Awards and Grammys is a passé experience. These days you can go backstage and rub elbows with the stars thanks to second-screen capabilities offered by forward-thinking organizations like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Of course, the Oscars are a notoriously ...

Oscar shows signs of credibility

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Now that I have slammed Oscar for losing its credibility as a brand over the years, I believe it's only fair to speak up when Oscar gets it right. The 80th Academy Awards restored a lot of credibility in recognizing the excellence of No Country for Old Men. No Country ...

Why does "Juno" piss me off?

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

In a previous blog post, I took Joe Morgenstern to task for recommending Juno for a Best Picture Oscar. "No one who has ever met an unwed teen mother in real life would ever vote for that cutesy, hipper-than-thou fluff," I wrote. Since then, I've been asked why ...

Oscar, you suck

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

I thought I was being tough on the Academy Awards. Now comes a February 22 Wall Street Journal article, "Fade to Bleak," which examines the bad buzz surrounding the 2008 Academy Awards. Oh, and last month The Washington Post bitched about Oscar in "Oscars Fade to Bleak." (Do ...