And the Oscar Goes To... (TV Movie 2014) Poster

(2014 TV Movie)

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"It's good to be recognized by your peers." - Warren Beatty
classicsoncall2 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
If I'm correct about this documentary debuting last night (2/1/2014) on the Turner Classic Movie Channel, then a couple of film lovers already beat me to the punch with a review here. That's a quick turnaround I must say. Anyone tuning in to the program will be rewarded with a neat if only surface skimming history of the Academy Awards, but with that in mind it was a credible effort. I particularly enjoyed some of the older clips dating back to the origins of the Academy, and to my mind it would have been a disservice not to mention the winner of the first 'Best Picture', but they did and even showed a brief clip from "Wings", a film about World War I. I was reminded of my own recollection of the first time I ever watched the Awards with Bob Hope presenting during an era when he was a perennial host. Actors appearing who voiced personal comments about the awards included Helen Mirren, George Clooney, Benicio del Toro and Cher, but it was Dustin Hoffman in an acceptance speech clip who voiced possibly the best perspective on the Oscars when he stated that even though only one film or actor can win a given category, no one should feel like a loser in such esteemed company. I guess that's a healthy way to look at it, but at the same time I wondered what would have gone through his mind if he hadn't been able to give that speech. Anyway, I'm pretty sure this will get a rerun or two on TCM, so if you have the chance, give it a look. Long time film fans will doubtless have fun trying to identify some of the former celebrities who appear in whiz time fashion from clip to clip.
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lots of fun
blanche-29 February 2014
"And the Oscar Goes To..." is a 2014 documentary shown on TCM recently. Some of the interviews, like the one with Jane Fonda, were not recent, but most of them seemed like they were.

The documentary took us through the early days of the Academy Awards through to the 21st century, though more recent years seem to have been left out. I think the latest clip was in 2010 announcing The Hurt Locker as best film.

Lots and lots of clips of past Academy Awards, including hosts Whoppie Goldberg, Bob Hope, and Billy Crystal; past winners -- Hattie McDaniel's heartfelt speech after winning for Gone with the Wind, Michael Moore winning for Bowling for Columbine, Jane Fonda for Klute, Sasheen Littlefeather accepting for Marlon Brando (Godfather), "Good Will Hunting" stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Henry Fonda's win accepted by Jane Fonda; Dustin Hoffman, Ruth Gordon, Marlon Brando (the first win) and many others. There was a discussion of the McCarthy era and the blacklist; and footage from backstage, where the press and photographers meet the winners.

So I'd say they packed a lot into 90 minutes. Also, there was a look at some of the classic stars announcing the awards: Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Jimmy Stewart, etc. Narrated by Angelica Huston.

Highly entertaining.
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What More Can You Do in an Hour and a Half?
Hitchcoc4 February 2015
This is a power packed 90 minutes. Granted the whole history of the Oscars should be a mini-series, maybe produced by Ken Burns, but for a quick historical perspective and a look at the glamor of the whole thing, this isn't bad. We get to see a multitude of stars, a few acceptance speeches, features on the different categories, all done in snippets, and there is a friendliness and honesty here that isn't usually present in these kinds of shows. I always look forward to the Oscars and ever time I'm bored and disappointed because the show is often so dull (the first five minutes is usually the best with a great production number) and endless. The other problem lately is that it's like watching election coverage where all of the races are already called before the show starts. The internet and the press usually tell us who all the winners are ahead of time. Granted, in close races, there are some surprises, but you immediately know that three of the five nominees don't have a chance. Anyway, I thought that for a little insight into the Academy Awards, this was a nice job.
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Good documentary
preppy-32 February 2015
Documentary about the Academy Awards. It covers how and why they came into being and how they evolved and changed over the years. It consists of actors, producers and directors talking about getting nominated and getting (or not getting) the award. It also shows footage from Oscar TV telecasts and some of the more memorable acceptance speeches. The most amusing were seeing Ben Affleck and Matt Damon winning Best Screenplay for "Good Will Hunting" and Michael Moore winning Best Documentary for "Bowling for Columbine". They even cover the technical awards. All in all I was entertained but wanted more. They totally ignore the Best Song category and (for some reason) go into detail about animated films being recognized. So it's worth seeing but is lacking.
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And the Oscar Goes To....
Michael_Elliott1 February 2014
And the Oscar Goes To... (2014)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Very good documentary taking a look at the history of the Oscars. That's pretty much the only plot description that this thing needs as the 90-minute running time is all about the big event. We learn about the very first awards and how it came to be. We learn about various rule changes that have taken place over time. We also get to hear from countless winners as they talk about what it's like getting up there to give a speech but we also get to hear from the other side in what it feels like to lose. Just about every topic is covered including some winners who started controversy, the smaller categories that most people don't care about and there's even a list of people who never won the award and it's just as impressive as the list of winners. AND THE Oscar GOES TO... is a very entertaining look at the end, which is full of interviews with current winners but I thought this was the least entertaining thing. Do we really need to hear from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg again? Yes, it's always great seeing these two but we've already had so many other documentaries about their films and careers. I thought the most interesting moments were the ones dealing with the older footage that we don't get to see as often. This includes Hattie McDaniel's acceptance speech for GONE WITH THE WIND and various clips of Bob Hope hosting the event. The stuff dealing with the legends of Hollywood who are no longer with us are clearly the best moments of this and it makes you wonder why these full shows (and the AFI tributes) aren't available for viewing.
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A very good documentary
SkippyDevereaux1 February 2014
This is a very entertaining documentary on Turner Classic Movies that deals with the history of the Academy Awards. Quite a few clips of past Oscar telecasts and many interviews with the lucky people who have won the Academy Awards. Angelica Huston narrated this documentary and does a commendable job. I really loved the part where the winners were announced and the audience roars with excitement. I wish that the Academy Awards organization would put the older Oscar shows on DVD. Iwould gladly buy a set without question, but for the time being, the Oscars have a channel on YouTube and have been putting out various clips from Oscars past.
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A Popcorn Flick for Movie Buffs
dglink17 April 2014
At a breezy 95 minutes, the entertaining TCM documentary "And the Oscar goes to..." skims across nearly 90 years of Hollywood and Academy Award history with breathless nostalgia and a few fascinating factoids. Despite a personal viewing of the televised Oscar ceremony that stretches back to the late 1950's, much had slipped from memory. Certainly Sacheen Littlefeather's refusal of Marlon Brando's Oscar, Hattie McDaniel's teary acceptance speech, and Jane Fonda receiving the Oscar for her father were familiar from countless replays. However, Dustin Hoffman's gracious speech honoring his co-nominees, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in giddy exuberance after their screen-writing win, and Tom Hanks thanking his gay-American teachers had faded. Vanessa Redgrave's Palestinian comments, however, perhaps remain too controversial for inclusion. Also missing are any mention of how the nominations are made, who can vote, and how the winners are determined, despite several shots of an early Price Waterhouse representative.

A movie buff's popcorn flick, "And the Oscar goes to..." includes the ceremony's many hosts, beginning with black-and-white footage of Bob Hope; the quintessential Oscar Night host, Hope had the style, wit, and humor to which later hosts could only aspire. With unflappable good taste, Hope seemed effortless, while others often tried too hard with mixed results. Whoopi Goldberg, however, did provide some priceless moments as host, especially her "African Queen" comment while garbed as Queen Elizabeth I. Johnny Carson and Steve Martin brought back some smiles, but other hosts are remembered with a grimace, and the sight of James Franco and Anne Hathaway was allowed to pass without comment.

Director-writers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman have inter-cut brief historical segments amongst the clips and interviews. Evidently, the Academy's original purpose was to combat unionization; but once the Academy renounced political and labor involvement, the board of governors turned to the celebration of movies as an art form, and the Oscars were born. The film also touches briefly on the 1950's black list and includes Lilian Hellman's pointed on-air comments. The spotty history of honoring African-American artists is an all-too-brief flash of clips, and a discussion of gay performances and openly LGBT actors seems to end before it begins. Epstein and Friedman are intent on avoiding controversy and focusing on nostalgia and light interviews with former nominees and winners.

Oscar winners such as Cher, Ellen Burstyn, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Helen Mirren among others discuss the experience of being nominated, waiting tensely in the audience, losing gracefully, and winning graciously. Helen Mirren offers some of the best insights about the inner conflict when artists compete for awards. However, despite the occasional revelations, the film is little more than a nostalgic introduction to a subject that could have filled several hours. Perhaps, if successful, "And the Oscar goes to..." could be the introductory episode in a series that explores Oscar politics and campaigning, studio power and influence, and the Oscar's increasing value to star salaries and movie grosses. A passing glance at overlooked artists (Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Deborah Kerr, Peter O'Toole) and bypassed films (Singin' in the Rain, The Searchers) could have filled an entire documentary. The extended discussion of Martin Scorsese's directorial technique on "Raging Bull" only emphasized Oscar's sometimes bizarre choices; the winners that year over Scorsese and "Raging Bull," Robert Redford and "Ordinary People," were barely mentioned. As one interviewee said, the Oscars is one big night of glittering celebration among countless days of hard non-glamorous work in grungy surroundings. However, that one-night ceremony is an event to enjoy and discuss over the next morning's coffee. The award's ephemeral fame fades quickly, and few can name last year's winners, although the vastly entertaining "And the Oscar goes to..." will help viewers remember many more of them.
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if you want to get into the mood to watch the Oscars, for some reason, here you go
Quinoa198429 February 2016
This is about what you'd expect, for the most part. Do you like montages of many of the great (American mostly) films of the 20th century and some of the 21st? Do you like interviews with the people who made the Oscars what they were (and the movies themselves) in ALL categories (not just acting but costume too)? The filmmakers give you the story of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences awards, and a little other history too (like how AMPAS actually used to be set up to strong-arm *against* the industry, but the union strength in the 1930's made it into a different beast), and also a tour through the various categories and winners and nominees over time (mostly winners).

Industry main-stays like Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney and Helen Mirren also share space with costume designers, cinematographers, editors, make-up artists, and many others for a look at what makes the art form the art form... in 90 minutes. If this had been longer, and looked at even more in-depth at the history, it might actually have been great instead of just... good. It is good, it has enough depth and history through the films that made the Oscars the Oscars to justify its existence (and of course getting clips like the Sacheen Littlefeather 1973 Godfather speech, or Jane Fonda's win for Klute, or the Damon/Affleck jubilant win for Good Will Hunting is always fun to see). I just wish it didn't skim over certain parts of Hollywood history like how the industry changed when the studios collapsed in the 1960's (there is some stuff on the blacklist though, if only briefly).
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Great For What It Is
gavin694219 February 2015
On the opening night of its annual 31 Days of Oscar festival, Turner Classic Movies presents the world premiere of "And the Oscar Goes To...", a documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards.

Let us not try to say the movies are any more important than they are. And the Oscars are a celebration of these not terribly important things. But, at the same time, let us not underestimate how important the movies really are. They bind us as a culture, connect us to other cultures and define generations. Sometimes they even change the way we look at the world.

And we get some great classic moments (Charlie Chaplin) alongside some more modern moments (Affleck and Damon, Diablo Cody). I almost wish I had started watching them sooner...
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Cinema History and Wonderful Memories
atlasmb12 February 2015
This documentary is an historic look at the Oscars, from their inception till today. It is well worthy watching for fans of cinema.

Originally, the Oscars did not have much prestige. But they immediately began to reflect changes in society. By the second year, they were chronicling the advent of sound in films.

But this documentary does more than present historic milestones. If you are really a lover of film, you may--like me--feel tears welling up a few times, with the many clips of past stars who are no longer with us. And clips of films that have meant something to you during your lifetime.

Cinema is an art form and we cherish the films that remind us of past events in our lives. Ands films that became memories we love to recall. It may be "Casablanca", "Gone with the Wind" or "Schindler's List", but there are probably films that can elicit an emotional response from each of us. Knowing that so many of my favorites are gone is enough to get me started. William Holden. Audrey Hepburn. Fred Astaire.

This film does more than document the ways in which films reflected the issues of their times (issue of race, gender, HIV/Aids, blacklisting). It captures the magic, the aura and the traditions of cinema. And it celebrates those who gave us so many wonderful memories.
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Comprehensive but predictable
ntvnyr302 February 2014
There were some things I learned from this documentary which aired last light on TCM. For the first 15 years or so, the winners were announced prior to the event, which would make the ceremony anticlimactic. I suppose the attendance overall must have been lower; I mean, if I knew I wasn't chosen, then why go?

It was nice to see an older Hollywood that had more class: i.e. when Clark Gable accepted his award for "It Happened One Night" he was gracious to his co-star and his director (calling him "Mr. Capra").

The low point to me was the over-exposure of Jane Fonda and Cher, the latter sounded impaired when she couldn't pronounce Marvin Hamlisch's name. Fonda is--to be kind--one of the most polarizing figures and unapologetic for her radical past. It was extremely difficult to watch her.

Of course, there was the predictable rant about "blacklisting" of Communist-leaning celebrities. They showed Lillian Hellman's speech during which she excoriated Senator McCarthy for the Hollywood blacklist. Miss Hellman doth protest too much. For those of you who have not been completely indoctrinated, Senator McCarthy had nothing to do with the Hollywood blacklist--this was done by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Both Senator McCarthy and Richard Nixon were used as the focal point by the left for years, probably because they were onto something about the infiltration in our government by Communists (see Alger Hiss). Do you want to know about true blacklisting? I read an article about the late Ron Silver who, after he spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention in defense of George Bush and the War on Terrorism, stated that his phone stopped ringing about potential film roles. Blacklist indeed.
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Enjoyable, though neither chronological nor exhaustive.
MartinHafer17 March 2014
"And the Oscar Goes To..." is a documentary about, naturally, the Oscar. However, if you are looking for an exhaustive film about the awards or one that is chronological, then you might be disappointed. Instead, the film mostly consists of some living Oscar recipients talking about their experience receiving the award along with a few clips of past winners. The past winners are mostly from the 1950s on--which isn't surprising since that is when they started showing the ceremony on television. And, many recent recipients aren't interviewed as well--making me wonder how they picked who would be on the show.

While the film isn't perfect, it is enjoyable and gives you many nice little vignettes about the film and the craftspeople who make movies.
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Solid entertainment to novices, nothing special for experts.
Sergeant_Tibbs4 March 2015
Okay, I love to get caught up in Oscar time. Yes, it's arbitrary and yes it has a muddy history, but it's fun and it shapes legacies and future great movies. And The Oscar Goes To is directed by Oscar winning director Rob Epstein for his two 80s documentaries as well as his co-director on one of them, who unfortunately didn't share a statue, Jeffrey Friedman. I figured it would be worthwhile, and it is, but it only skims the surface. What can you do in an hour and a half though? It has a small selection of movie highlights to choose from and it sticks with them throughout. At the very least - the documentary is specific, as it could result in something overly broad. There's anecdotes, but without real insight. Naturally, there's most focus on actors, and it touches on all the natural points in history and runs through the categories, giving 10 minutes or so to the other ones. It's mostly about the experience of winning an Oscar and with its archive of clips, it certainly captures several nights of excitement. It's at least good for the behind the scenes footage that's otherwise lost in the ether. Solid entertainment, but nothing special to experts.

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