Roundup: The name's Oscars... just The Oscars

Also: The best acceptance speeches, and the Academy's lawyers speak

<p>The Academy's official poster for &quot;The Oscars.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

The Academy's official poster for "The Oscars." 

Credit: AMPAS

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This Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony with be the 85th in history -- an auspicious number, and a "wine anniversary" if you go according to the traditional gift list. (Appropriate, too: I think we could all use a drink now.) But you won't find any mention of that in the show's official marketing this year, which has erased the phrase "85th Academy Awards" in favor of the simpler, more casual-sounding "The Oscars." Steve Pond reports that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron chose to rebrand the show in this fashion to give it a younger appearance: "We're not calling it 'the 85th annual Academy Awards,' which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way," says Meron. Personally, I think the number lends proceedings a sense of authority rather than mustiness, but I can't see it making much difference either way. An AMPAS spokesperson, meanwhile, says the change isn't necessarily permanent. [The Wrap]  

Sticking with our friend Steve Pond, he reviews the closing campaign messages the various Best Picture players are choosing to send, as a very expensive season comes to an end. [The Wrap]

Joe Reid lists the 12 best acceptance speeches in Oscar history. I am in so much agreement with so much of this. [Film.com]

Tom Shone, meanwhile, celebrates the Oscar acceptance speech as a disturbing "journey into the innermost recesses of the psyche." [The Guardian

Here's a perspective on the Oscars you don't hear every day -- that of AMPAS's lawyers, who've dealt with everything from ceremony script approval to foreign film disqualification. [SuperLawyers

This is fun: a graphic breakdown of how scenes from five Best Picture nominees were filleted and rearranged in their trailers. [New York Times

Margaret Heidenry examines the outlook for spec screenwriters in a Hollywood currently fat with franchises and adaptations. [Vanity Fair]

How "Zero Dark Thirty," which once looked like such a formidable Oscar threat, took an unfortunate turn to also-ran status. [LA Times

Michael Koresky takes a lovely look back at Emmanuelle Riva's career-making performance in "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" 53 years ago. [Criterion]

Jon Weisman looks at what's next for the Academy once the dust settles on this year's awards, with a new president and a new ceremony date among the most pressing items on the agenda. [Variety]

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Everything: Academy Awards

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Guy Lodge
Critic
Guy Lodge is a South African-born critic and sometime screenwriter. In addition to his work at In Contention, he is a freelance contributor to Variety, Time Out, Empire and The Guardian. He lives well beyond his means in London.
2013-2014 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
UPDATED: MARCH 2, 2014