April 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Hofstra on Senior Night, 11-6 -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VIDEO: UMass United Ralley in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oscar Hopefuls Look to March

MCT

(Courtesy MCT)

Fret not, pop culture enthusiasts, the nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards, known more commonly as the Oscars, are in, and it is predicted to be a great show. The stars will parade down the plush red carpet, decked out in the latest fashions, vying for the attention of the paparazzi on March 7.

There are slight changes to the show this year. For one, both Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will host the event together. The funny men battled for Meryl Streep’s affection in “It’s Complicated” earlier this season and are in a Saturday Night Live hosting competition – Martin is at 15, while Baldwin has had the honor 14 times.

Jokingly, Martin released a statement saying, “I am happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin.” Baldwin then retorted, “I don’t play the banjo but I’m thrilled to be hosting the Oscars – it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”

This year, the Academy has upped the number of best picture nominees from five to 10, probably to account for the number of buzzed-about movies of 2009. Some of the potential winners include: “Avatar,” “The Blind Side,” “Up,” “Inglourious Basterds,” and “Precious: Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.”

“Avatar” seems to be the early favorite, though there is a good chance “The Blind Side” could steal it. Noticeably absent is “The Young Victoria,” one of the better movies of the year, which garnered initial Oscar buzz.

“Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” are up for the most awards, tied at nine each. They are followed closely by “Inglourious Basterds,” with eight nominations, and “Precious,” with six.

The best director category is filled with directors of these great movies. James Cameron, no stranger to the award, thanks to 1990s blockbuster “Titanic,” could take it for “Avatar,” or be contested by the likes of Quentin Tarantino or Kathryn Bigelow, to name a few.

The best actress category is filled with five amazing actresses, all greatly respected in their own right. Meryl Streep is nominated for “Julie and Julia,” perhaps simply as a nod for her talents, as the movie itself was not that wonderful. She did what she could with the role, imitating Julia Child nearly perfectly, but perhaps a more deserving actress would be Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side,” or newcomer Gabourey Sidibe for her work in “Precious.” Bullock seems to be the predicted winner.

Best actor, however, is more cumbersome. Viewers could see Morgan Freeman clutching the gold man for his role as Nelson Mandela in “Invictus,” Jeremy Renner from “The Hurt Locker,” or even George Clooney from “Up in the Air.” The award may be a toss up as the actors including Jeff Bridges and Colin Furth lack in buzz and outstanding reviews.

Actors up for best supporting roles include Matt Damon, Stanley Tucci (probably the most deserving, thanks to his creepy portrayal of a rapist and murderer in “The Lovely Bones”) and Christopher Plummer. Some big name ladies were nominated for best supporting actress. Penelope Cruz or Maggie Gyllenhaal may receive the award, though many tweens would love to see the “Twilight” funny girl Anna Kendrick receive the trophy for “Up in the Air,” one of her first major roles.

Last year was a standout year for children’s movies. Kids and adults alike went in droves to see many of the movies nominated for best animated feature, such as the illustrious “Up,” the darkly humorous “Coraline,” as well as the newest Disney princess flick, “The Princess and the Frog.” Any of the movies in this category would be extremely deserving of the Oscar.

Many believe that a few films are unfortunately absent from the ballots. These worthy movies include “The Young Victoria,” “Alfred Molina,” “The Road” and “Nine.” In particular, “Nine” did not receive spectacular reviews, but it was predicted to at least make the best movies nominations. The others were relative unknowns, but great pictures in their own right.

Regardless of who should or should not have been nominated, the nominees will make their way to the Kodak Theater on March 7 in hopes of a win. Millions will tune in to see their favorite stars win and make lofty speeches, hopefully retiring to bed satisfied that Sunday night.

Because of the great nominees, and therefore great competition, this year’s Academy Awards is sure to be a must-see. This, at least, is an accurate prediction.

Kate MacDonald can be reached at kaitlynm@student.umass.edu.

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