<p>Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis share a little fruit by mouth.</p>

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis share a little fruit by mouth.

Credit: Funny or Die

'The Campaign' co-stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to present at Oscars

Will the comedians hit the stage in character?

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis have been added as presenters at the 2012 Oscars, joining a lineup of previously-announced funny-people including Chris Rock, Tina Fey and the cast of "Bridesmaids". 

The inclusion of the duo, who recently completed production on the forthcoming political comedy "The Campaign" (formerly known as "Dog Fight"), is indicative of AMPAS' ongoing mission to make the awards feel more relevant/youth-oriented - and it does seem like the perfect opportunity for the two comedians to pull a Sacha Baron Cohen by hitting the stage in the guise of their characters from the upcoming film, about two buffoonish Southern politicians fighting for the same Congressional seat. It also fits thematically, given the highly-politicized nature of the Oscar campaigning season.
 
Other presenters at this years ceremony include Halle Berry, Bradley Cooper, Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie. You can check out the full list (and how each of them got suckered into it) over at our Oscar presenters gallery. Also, be sure to download and print our official Oscar ballot!
 
The Oscars air this Sunday on ABC. "The Campaign", directed by Jay Roach and co-starring Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott, is slated for release on August 10th.
 
Follow me on Twitter @HitFixChris
Read Full Post
Watch: Mike Myers teaches Kevin Kline some Oscar etiquette in Funny or Die clip

Watch: Mike Myers teaches Kevin Kline some Oscar etiquette in Funny or Die clip

Sir Cecil Worthington is the latest British caricature from the 'Austin Powers' actor

 

Can't wait for the inevitable "Austin Powers 4"? Oscar's latest attempt at humor -- starring Mike Myers and Kevin Kline -- may be enough to tide you over. Fair warning: Only die hard Myers fans need apply.

In a move that appears to be intended to make the Oscars look a bit more "fun," the Academy has enlisted the help of Myers and Funny or Die to create this "Oscar Etiquette" video, as seen on the Oscar site. It's an amusing premise that, for some reason, runs for nearly five insufferable minutes.

Oscar winner Kline is accused of mishandling his "A Fish Called Wanda" trophy (richly deserved, by the way), and only the stuffy British aristocrat Sir Cecil Worthington (guess who) can help re-educate the actor in the art of holding and storing the prized award. Sporting a bad comb over, fake teeth, and dressed like a refugee from "Masterpiece Theater," Myers resurrects his shop-worn schtick, seen in everything from "Saturday Night Live" to "Inglourious Basterds," as he schools a bewildered Kline in Oscar etiquette using convoluted mnemonic devices, Snickers bars and flat jokes. It may be the closest Myers ever gets to an Oscar.

What do you think of the video? The Oscars air this Sunday, February 26 on ABC at 7 ET/4 PT.

Read Full Post
<p>Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep share a moment together during the Oscar nominees luncheon earlier this month. If the Academy votes as expected, neither actor will find themselves gracing the Kodak Theater stage on Sunday night.</p>

Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep share a moment together during the Oscar nominees luncheon earlier this month. If the Academy votes as expected, neither actor will find themselves gracing the Kodak Theater stage on Sunday night.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Deadline day for Oscar voters: Will they surprise us?

Don't believe false pundits on upsets that won't happen

At 5:00 PM PST today, the 2011-2012 Oscar season will effectively be over.  

Of course, the actual awards will be handed out on Sunday during the 84th Academy Awards broadcast, but technically speaking 5:00 PM is the deadline for all Academy member ballots to arrive at the swanky downtown LA offices of AMPAS accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers. What the last decade has shown us, however, is that that small influx of last minute votes doesn't sway many races.  While all studios campaign up to the last minute to try and convince Academy members to vote for their nominees, almost half of the ballots are mailed in right away.  And that's why when "controversies" arise a week or two before ballots are due over say a nominated movie producer breaking Academy rules regarding contacting members or when a nominee just can't stop talking about her bizarre personal for your consideration ads they really don't affect the outcome of the races.  

Read Full Post
<p>The Academy of Motion Picture Arts of Sciences hardly represents the demographics of the moviegoing public.</p>

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts of Sciences hardly represents the demographics of the moviegoing public.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Surprise: The Academy is more white, more male and even older than you probably thought

New report is fuel for Academy's critics

This has not been a good year for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak.

Less than a year ago the Academy put on one of the most critically lambasted Oscar shows in memory.  That was followed by the controversial decision to change the best picture rules after only two years of a 10 nominees system. Next came the eyebrow raising decision to hire industry infant terrible Brett Ratner as the co-executive producer of the this year's 84th Academy Awards along with the bizarre return of previous producer Don Misher.  Things actually got worse after Ratner's resignation following insensitive comments at a public screening.  At that point, having initially agreed to host way to quickly (at least in his own mind), Eddie Murphy saw the out he'd been looking for and ran out of Dodge. Things seemed to have calmed down once Brian Grazer replaced Ratner and old favorite Billy Crystal agreed to host the big show for the ninth time.  Unfortunately, rumblings started about AMPAS opting out of their Kodak Theater contract which would find them leaving Hollywood for the more generic confines of the Nokia Theater at LA Live (shudder).  Today Sherak and the Academy found themselves the subject of a major investigative article from the Los Angeles Times breaking down the organization's usually private membership details.  Sherak and the Academy spoke to the paper about the findings, but this isn't the sort of story they'd like spreading through the media the week before the big show. Yep, it's been one of those years.

Read Full Post
<p>Piggy and the frog</p>

Piggy and the frog

Credit: Disney

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will present at the Oscars

However, the Muppets won't be performing best original song nominee

All those Twitter campaigns and pleads to the Academy to choose The Muppets as the hosts of this year's Oscar telecast have paid off, sort of. The Muppets may not be hosting the Oscars (it's still Billy Crystal), but Hollywood's premier power couple -- Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy -- will appear onstage together to present an award.

They join the company of such previously announced presenters as Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Ben Stiller, Emma Stone, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Bradley Cooper and the cast of "Bridesmaids."

Stars of the original "Muppet Show" and multiple films, Kermit and Piggy's careers were rejuvenated this year with the commercial and critical favorite "The Muppets," co-starring Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and co-writer Jason Segel ("How I Met Your Mother").

The film has one Oscar nomination, in the Original Song category -- and since there are only two nominees (the other is "Real in Rio" from "Rio"), it has a good chance of winning. However, we won't be seeing the gang sing "Man or Muppet" this year, as the show no longer features performances of the nominated songs. Which is a great shame, as it would have been pretty awesome to see the Muppets perform the tune with songwriter/"Flight of the Conchords" star Bret McKenzie.

The Academy Awards air live Sunday, February 26 on ABC.

Read Full Post
<p>Matthias Schoenaerts in best foreign language film nominee &quot;Bullhead.&quot;</p>

Matthias Schoenaerts in best foreign language film nominee "Bullhead."

Credit: Almo Drafthouse Films

'Bullhead' director says don't spoil the secret of his Oscar nominated thriller

Could this foreign language film nominee upset 'A Separation'?

When I first spoke to Michael Roskam six weeks ago, an Oscar nomination for his feature film debut was still nothing more than a fleeting dream.  The filmmaker's thriller "Bullhead" had played some notable festivals since debuting at the Berlin Film Festival in February of 2011, but a best foreign language film nomination? Even after being selected to represent his native Belgium in this year's competition, it seemed during our conversation like Roskam was just enjoying the ride and hardly expected anything more. That all changed on January 24 when "Bullhead" became the first Belgian film nominated since "Everybody Famous!" in 2001 and the seventh overall since 1971.

Read Full Post
<p>Bradley Cooper</p>

Bradley Cooper

Credit: AP Photo

'Hangover' star Bradley Cooper will present at the Oscars

Actor will soon be seen in 'The Words' and 'The Silver Linings Playbook'

Bradley Cooper will get over his "Hangover" on Oscar night by acting as a presenter at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony,

He'll be in good company, joining such previously announced Oscar presenters as Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Milla Jovovich, Emma Stone and Jennifer Lopez.

The hilarious cast of "Bridesmaids," including Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne and Wendy McLendon-Covey, will also present together. The telecast produced Brian Grazer and Don Mischer.

Besides the two “Hangover” films, Cooper has recently been seen in “Limitless,” and “Valentine’s Day.” He'll next appear in the Sundance competitor “The Words," “The Place Beyond the Pines, "Serena” and David O. Russell's  “The Silver Linings Playbook.”

The Academy Awards will air live Sunday, February 26 from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Read Full Post
<p>Tim Gunn has a Melissa Leo moment during the pre-show telecast for the 83rd Academy Awards.</p>

Tim Gunn has a Melissa Leo moment during the pre-show telecast for the 83rd Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Amy Sancetta

'Project Runway' team and Robin Roberts ruling this year's Oscar pre-show

But where's Heidi?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their hosting team for the 84th Academy Awards' pre-show this year and the red carpet extravaganza has gotten a second "Project Runway" infusion.  Tim Gunn has appeared three times as an interviewer and fashion commentator, but 2012 will find "Runway" judge and Marie Claire fashion director (whatever that means) Nina Garcia joining the fun.  We have to assume Heidi Klum's recent divorce is the only reason she isn't along for the live hour long special.  (And warning ladies: if you're wearing anything designed by Mondo expect Nina to hate it.)

Another new face this year on the pre-show will be Louise Roe. Best know for her show "Plain Jane" on MTV International, the Glamour magazine editor-at-large also received high marks for co-hosting E!'s coverage of the 2011 Royal Wedding and has been a regular for red carpet coverage for the Video Music Awards and European Music Awards.

Read Full Post
<p>Best Actor Jean Dujardin must have taken the red eye to make it to the BAFTAs in London after his guest appearance on &quot;SNL&quot;&nbsp;Saturday night in New York.</p>

Best Actor Jean Dujardin must have taken the red eye to make it to the BAFTAs in London after his guest appearance on "SNL" Saturday night in New York.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

'The Artist' seals the deal for Oscar at the 2012 BAFTA Film Awards

Can Meryl Streep really beat Viola Davis for best actress?

If you're hoping for any surprises or upsets at this year's Academy Awards the chances of that occurring are getting less and less likely.

"The Artist" pretty much dominated the 2012 BAFTA Film Awards Sunday evening winning best picture, best director (Michel Hazanavicius), best actor (Jean Dujardin), best original screenplay (Hazanavicius), best music (Ludovic Bource) and best costume design (Mark Bridges). Considering the film's wins with the PGA and the DGA as well as Dujardin's SAG win for best actor, it's hard seeing anyone yelling over "The Artist's" winning song.

It's somewhat remarkable because the Brits chose The Weinstein Company release over "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," a massive box office and critical hit in the UK. "Tinker" did win best british film and best adapted screenplay (Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan), but a possible win for Gary Oldman over Dujardin didn't materialize and the Frenchman has become the clear cut favorite.  Is it Roberto Benigni pt. 2 all over again?  Well, that's a bit insulting to the fine work Dujardin had accomplished throughout his career, but we'd argue others are more worthy.  Of course, those are the Oscar breaks.

In other categories, Meryl Streep took home just her second BAFTA for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." Including her Golden Globe honor last month that was the second head to head win for Streep over "The Help's" Viola Davis. Even with Streep's win, its still expected Davis will take the Oscar after winning the comparable SAG Award just two weeks ago.  BAFTA did show love for "The Help" bestowing the best supporting actress honor to Octavia Spencer.

And, somewhat comfortingly, Christopher Plummer took home the BAFTA for "Beginners," the first nomination and first win for the 82-year-old Canadian.  Some suspect Max Von Sydow could upset Plummer on Oscar Sunday, but that would really be shocking at this point. Especially since Plummer has pretty much run the table this year.

Will that leave any suspense for the big show just two weeks from today?  The Academy always surprises somewhere. This year it just might be in foreign language film, visual effects (perhaps a first statue for the "Transformers" franchise?), documentary or those cagey sound editing and sound mixing categories. Yes, hold back your enthusiasm. It's gonna be one of those shows.  

So, if you're filling out your office Oscar pool or participating in HitFix's own awards pool, go with "The Artist" and take some time guessing just how long this year's telecast will be.  There's gonna be a lot of tiebreakers this year.

Do you think "The Artist" has it all wrapped up?  Share your thoughts below.

Read Full Post
<p>Brett McKenzie talks about being an Oscar nominee for his song &quot;Man or Muppet&quot;&nbsp;from &quot;The Muppets.&quot;</p>

Brett McKenzie talks about being an Oscar nominee for his song "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets."

Oscar nominee Bret McKenzie jokes Miss Piggy might pull a 'Kanye' if Sergio Mendes wins best original song

Plus: Flight of the Conchords Touring news

In many ways, Bret McKenzie is a lucky man.  There aren't many Oscar nominees who can say they have a 50/50 chance of winning an Academy Award.  Sure, for many years there only three nominees in the visual effects category and there can also just be three in the animated feature field, but the songwriter of "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" only has one other contender to worry about this year.  McKenzie, who is best known as one half of comedy music group Flight of the Conchords, will face off against Sergio Mendes, Carinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett's "Real in Rio" from the animated adventure "Rio."

Read Full Post