Los Angeles: February 23, 2012

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has banned actor Sacha Baron Cohen from attending Sunday’s Oscars even though he is an Academy member and one of the stars of Hugo, Paramount’s 11-nominated movie and Best Picture contender. The reason given is that word reached the Academy suggesting that Baron Cohen planned to walk the Red Carpet in full costume as his title character in the upcoming Paramount comedy The Dictator.

According to Nikki Fink of the website, “Deadline Hollywood,” The Academy’s Managing Director Of Membership Kimberly Rouch phoned Paramont’s awards staff to say Baron Cohen’s tickets had been pulled unless he gives the Academy assurances ahead of time promising not to show up on the Red Carpet in costume and not to promote the movie on the Red Carpet. The Academy made it clear that, without those assurances, it would not issue him the tickets.

Does this make sense? Isn’t everyone on the carpet promoting something? Our heads spin from hearing the words “who are you wearing” being asked over and over and over again. The red carpet has become a platform to flog fashion designers and their wares. “Who are you wearing”? It’s not even proper grammar.

Sasha Baron Cohen is one of the funniest actors around. If he dons a beard or a costume to walk the red carpet at an event the is clearly designed to promote product we would find it a welcome treat. So very tired of the boring, gushing, salivating that goes on prior to award shows on red carpets. Mr. Cohen’s answer to “who are you wearing” would be the only one we would want to hear. Let him go the awards and do what the Oscars were designed to do. Promote movies.

Director of “The Artist” Snags DGA Nomination

Los Angeles: January 9, 2012

French director Michael Hazanavicius was selected as one of the five DGA feature film nominees confirming that his film, The Artist is on an unstoppable march toward numerous Academy Award nominations.

Hazanavicius joined directors Woody Allen, David Fincher, Alexander Payne and Martin Scorsese as DGA nominees for 2011.

Far more surprising than those nominated, were the two big names left off: Steven Spielberg and Terrence Malick. Considering that both ‘War Horse’ and ‘Tree of Life’ were thought to be primarily “director” films, Spielberg and Malick’s failure to earn DGA nominations provides strong evidence that their Oscar chances could be fading out. ‘Moneyball’ director Bennett Miller was another notable name left off the list.

Here’s the full list of the DGA nominees:

Woody Allen – ‘Midnight in Paris’

David Fincher – ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’

Michael Hazanavicius – ‘The Artist’

Alexander Payne – ‘The Descendants’

Martin Scorsese – ‘Hugo’