News Nuggets: The Oscars are bullsh*t, says Joaquin Phoenix

Life of Pi” wins the Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Favorite Award. From the press release: “Mill Valley Film Festival Awards were presented this year to John Hawkes, Dustin Hoffman, Mira Nair, Billy Bob Thornton and DreamWorks Animation. The 35th Mill Valley Film Festival featured 154 screenings representing 43 countries, with 60 official premieres. Total attendance to the festival was over 50,000 for this year, a 20% increase from last year. MVFF Audiences enjoyed voting for their favorite MVFF selections.  After the ballots were counted, ‘Life of Pi’ won the Audience Favorite Award.”

Robert De Niro honored with Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. Press release: “Director, producer and Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro has been chosen to receive The Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s seventh annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film at a black-tie Gala dinner at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara on Saturday, December 8, 2012. Mr. De Niro will accept this honor from Mr. Douglas in recognition of his exceptional career spanning over four and a half decades, leading up to this year’s highly anticipated ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘ for which he is already receiving accolades, including the Best Supporting Actor from the Hollywood Film Festival.”

Meredith Vieira returns to host National Board of Review Awards. Press release: “The National Board of Review announced today that Meredith Vieira will return to host the annual National Board of Review Awards Gala, taking place on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. This year, the NBR will announce their award winners on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. ‘We are thrilled to have someone of Meredith’s caliber returning to host our Awards Gala for a third time,’ said Annie Schulhof, NBR President. ‘She was a tremendous addition as host of our 2010 and 2011 Galas and we look forward to working with her again this year.'”

Jane Lynch discusses Emmy hosting regrets, weighs in on next Oscar host Seth MacFarlane: “Jane Lynch nailed it when she hosted the 63rd Emmy Awards back in 2011, and now FOX’s ‘Glee‘ star is weighing in on the Academy’s choice for Seth MacFarlane to emcee the Oscars. ‘Seth MacFarlane is hilarious and odd and has his own take on things and I think they want to bring that to the Oscars,’ she told Celebuzz. ‘He’s great. I think it will be really fun’ … Looking back on her own performance at the Emmys, Lynch wishes she was less nervous. If she had it to do again, she would have cut the opening dance number and shaved off a joke or two. ‘I would have cut out two of the gay jokes,’ she confided. ‘Cause by the end it’s like, OK, you’re gay, we get it!'” CELEBUZZ

Joaquin Phoenix explains his disregard for the Oscars: “Joaquin Phoenix is all but certain to be among the nominees for Best Actor at the 85th annual Academy Awards, but he’s not necessarily looking forward to the honor. ‘I think it’s bullshit,’ Phoenix said about the Oscars in a frank, wide-ranging discussion with Elvis Mitchell in the latest Interview magazine. ‘I think it’s total, utter bullshit, and I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t believe in it. It’s a carrot, but it’s the worst-tasting carrot I’ve ever tasted in my whole life. I don’t want this carrot. It’s totally subjective. Pitting people against each other … It’s the stupidest thing in the whole world.'” HUFFINGTON POST

Jon Weisman on Oscar’s “Wallflower Syndrome”: “Certain films have dibs on the center of the lunchroom and get to stay there unless something horrible knocks them out of favor, while others, no matter how much they have to offer, nurse their peanut butter and jelly on the outskirts, wondering if they’ll ever be hip enough to be noticed … For print Variety, I wrote a column on what I called the Wallflower Syndrome, which could be summarized in the sentence above (but I certainly hope you’ll click over to read the entire piece). The column features ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘ prominently, though the point is not to spotlight that film above all others, but rather just make the case that films be judged less on their pedigree and their loglines and more on their merits.” VARIETY

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