Jonathan Romney picks the best and worst Oscar decisions and presents his guide to 2011
As millions prepare to tune in for Sunday's Academy Awards, let Geoffrey Macnab play the role of Hollywood quizmaster
Watching the Academy Awards could send anyone to sleep, even if they're in the correct time zone. But organising your own sweepstake is one way to add some extra drama to proceedings on Sunday night.
The week in culture
It's not easy being relied on by Hollywood royalty –but for Loyd Catlett, it's been a remarkable ride. Guy Adams meets him
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin
As the remake of True Grit hits our screens, the Coen brothers tell James Mottram why this acclaimed version of the classic Western is among their best work
This category is the Grand National of the Oscars, withThe King's Speech and The Social Network the front-runners. My choice,True Grit is a beautifully crafted affair, that combines a majestic sweep with trademark Coen bros' black humour.
What possessed the Coen brothers to remake the classic, which starred the greatest screen cowboy of all time? Far from being an exercise in nostalgia, says John Walsh, the new movie captures thoroughly modern themes of moral redemption
Tom Jenkinson has been moving jazzwards for a while, with releases such as his Solo Electric Bass live recording and the broader-based Hello Everything shifting away from the computerised sample-bricolage approach of his earlier albums.
Gleeful reports in the British press this week regarding Carla Bruni's trials and tribulations on Woody Allen's film set suggest Meryl Streep need not be losing any sleep quite yet. We're told – with maybe a hint of exaggeration – that it took France's First Lady a whopping 35 takes to convincingly exit a grocery store. Apparently the problem was caused by the fact "Madame Fancy Pants" couldn't stop staring at the camera! As the Daily Mail helpfully pointed out, it's not the first time she's tried to "monopolise" the lense. Apparently on a visit to London she shamelessly deployed all her "feline charm" in the direction of hapless snappers "licking her lips seductively" and offering a "husky 'bonjour'." (Glad I missed all that). Still, suggestions Bruni's take-tally could be one for the record books are wide of the mark. According to film historians, that honour still goes to one Shelley Duvall, who was obliged to perform 127 takes of the infamous" baseball-bat" scene with Jack Nicholson in The Shining before director Stanley Kubrick was satisfied. Still time Carla.
Woody's bright and breezy tale has a heart of darkness
At the time of writing, I don't know what films appeared on the list of Oscar nominations announced on Thursday, but the results are such a foregone conclusion that I can confidently predict that Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay; Milk will win Best Original Screenplay; and Kate Winslet will win Best Actress.
This is the complete list of the 2009 Academy Award nominations:
Milk is a typical gay-as-Issue movie. Where are the films about ordinary homosexual life, asks Philip Hensher
A recession may have taken hold in adland, but ‘bring it on’ says Farah Ramzan Golant, the gutsy head of Abbott Mead Vickers. By Ian Burrell