Tag Archive: Awards

  1. Best Oscars Column in a Leading Yale Publication

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    Nominations for the 87th annual Academy Awards were announced yesterday morning, and frankly, my dear, they left a lot to be desired. Oscar nominations always evince a mixture of pomp and circumstance and outrage. This year, though, the list of complaints feels longer than usual. David Oyelowo (“Selma”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”) didn’t make the cut for “Best Actor.” “Selma” director Ava DuVernay lost out on well deserved “Best Director” recognition. And no “Best Animated Feature” nomination for “The Lego Movie”! Some argue that the Oscars are now all but irrelevant, plagued by unfair procedures and paralyzed by an out-of-touch voting bloc. Despite the glamour and raw sex appeal of categories like “Sound Editing” and “Sound Mixing,” the Oscars no longer captivate American audiences they way they once did. Below, a list of new, more specific Oscar categories designed to better capture the ethos of this year in cinema:

    Best Awkward Phase: “Boyhood”

    • “Boyhood”, writer-director Richard Linklater’s 12-year project about one boy’s boyish boyhood, provides a gorgeous, real-time glimpse of the formative experiences of one boy’s life. A narrative tour de force, the film explores the full gamut of human emotion and mid-2000s haircuts. Plus, it has a timeless and inspiring message: All awkward phases must end. Eventually.

    The Meryl Streep Award for Excellence in Being Meryl Streep: Meryl Streep as Whoever She Played This Year

    • If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, will Meryl Streep still be nominated for her captivating performance as the tree? The answer, history tells us, is a resounding yes. Her recent turn as the evil, blue-haired witch in Sondheim-adapted “Into the Woods” just earned her an insane 19th career nomination, this time for “Best Supporting Actress.” Will she win? Does it matter?

    Most Depressing Remake: “Annie”

    • A classic musical, remade with Auto-Tune, starring Cameron Diaz. Some film executive heard that pitch and said yes, or else said maybe and then sort of forgot about it long enough that a new and hideous version of “Annie” ended up in theaters. For those of us still in possession of a VHS copy of the 1999 “Annie,” this film will quickly disappear into the ether of Movies You Watched Because You Were Babysitting Your Little Cousins. But for a generation of children scarred by Cameron Diaz’s rendition of “Easy Street0”? Not even a surprise Christmas visit from FDR could undo that damage.

    Least Necessary Sequel: “Dolphin Tale 2”

    • I haven’t seen “Dolphin Tale 2,” nor did I see the original “Dolphin Tale.” I refuse, on principle, to watch any movie that is based on a true story about dolphins who teach people about the human condition/friendship/dolphin science. “Dolphin Tale 2” has a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is impossible because the movie sounds terrible. I would feel bad about criticizing the work of history’s first dolphin actors, but I’m pretty sure dolphins can’t read. Pretty sure.

    Most Necessary Sequel: A Fifth “Bring It On” Movie

    • Did you know that it’s been almost six years since the fourth “Bring It On” movie was released? Where has Kirsten Dunst been? And why don’t people make movies about krumping anymore? All of these questions would be answered by another “Bring It On” movie. This year really could have used a movie about rival cheerleading squads who compete but are forced to put aside their differences and work together. The lead role would be perfect for a Hollywood up-and-comer, someone like Cara Delevigne or Hilary Duff’s baby. Maybe in 2015…

    Most British Performance: Benedict Cumberbatch as “Benedict Cumberbatch”

    • The Academy, like the rest of America, has a thing for guys with British accents. And this year’s best-known Brit is the Britishest of them all. Benedict Cumberbatch has officially received his first-ever Oscar nomination for his role as codebreaker Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.” Brits did well in the “Best Actor” category this year, colonizing two of the five spots (Eddie Redmayne is the other gent, nominated for playing Steven Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”). Whether or not Cumberbatch is crowned on Oscar night, his name alone sounds like it could imperialize a foreign nation, lose that nation in an eventual war of independence and then obtain a recurring guest spot on “Downton Abbey.”

    Best Cinematic Partnership: You and Netflix

    • Watching all of Season 3 of “Gilmore Girls” in one sitting totally counts as a movie.
  2. Allison Williams ’10: the “It” Girl

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    Word on the Twitter is that our very own Allison Williams ’10 had a very, very good weekend.

    “Girls,” the series that catapulted Williams and her three co-stars to national prominence earlier this year, took center stage at last night’s Emmy Awards. Though none of the show’s FIVE nominations led to trophies, the event may well have served its purpose for Girls’ resident Yalie, as she’s been a clear winner in the category that matters most at self-aggrandizing, all-too-glitzy awards ceremonies: dresses (!!!).

    Dozens of articles and blog posts have joined in a chorus of praise for Williams’ choice of an emerald green Oscar de la Renta gown for her big night. Womens’ Wear Daily published a piece calling Williams an “It” Girl, revealing that the actress and her team viewed the Emmys as her “fashion coming-out party for the general public.”

    “I told her [Williams’ stylist Cristina Ehrlich] when I first met her that my dream — my dream — is to wear Oscar de la Renta,” Williams told WWD. “It is one of the only designers I feel like I’ve always known about, and I’ve always noticed… He has been so good for so long, he knows exactly what he is doing.”

    That self-confidence and certainty is a trait cultural observers believe the young actress has down pat herself.

    “‘Girls’ star Allison Williams wore this emerald green gown by Oscar de la Renta to the Emmy Awards as well as the HBO after-party,” writes Glamour’s Megan Gustashaw, calling Williams’ dress one of the top 5 dresses you can’t miss. “The color looks great on her, right?”

    Over at the Irish Times, Rosemary Mac Cabe crows: “Allison Williams arrived at the Emmys in an emerald green Oscar de la Renta strapless number, and, delightfully, looked thrilled with every minute of her time.”

    “Adorbs,” Mac Cabe added.

    While Williams’ gown won acclaim from across the blogosphere, the ensemble selected by “Girls” creator Lena Dunham, who’s been hailed as a revelatory voice for Generation Y, just didn’t do so hot on the fashion front.

    “The biggest miss of the night was hands down Lena Dunham, wearing a lace brocade Prada dress in blue which was not very flattering in both fit and color,” writes Nadine DeNinno of the International Business Times.

    At least she has immense talent and a shining future. The New Yorker luuuuurves her; the next season of her show will premiere in January. She’s gonna make it, guys.

    Williams, meanwhile, is expected to keep schooling life, with some labeling her a latter-day Brooke Shields, a comparison we’re just so down with that we can’t even tell you.

    Til we get to see them again, then, here’s hoping Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna can put their feelings aside and celebrate their slow rise to cultural ubiquity in true Bushwick style.

  3. Shiller gets Nobel buzz

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    As the Nobel committee prepares to announce the winners of the 2012 prize in economics, Thomson Reuters has released a set of predictions — and, surprise!, star economics professor Robert Shiller is on the list.

    Shiller was named one of four academics likely to receive the economics prize this year or in the future. The list described Shiller as a probably candidate for his research into market volatility and the danger of housing market bubbles. His bestselling 2000 book, Irrational Exuberance, predicted that the American real estate bubble could soon burst. As we know, that happened in 2008. Other potential winners, according to Thomson Reuters, are Stephen Ross from MIT, Angus Deaton from Princeton and Sir Anthony Atkinson from Oxford.

    Thomson Reuters compiles their annual list by poring through citations of scholarly research. The specific details of their methodology, however, were not described.

    “Our Citation Laureate selection process operates much like the Nobel Foundation’s selection process,” David Pendlebury, Thomson Reuters citation analyst, said in the Reuters report. “We recognize fundamental discoveries and identify the most important contributors to these discoveries. Our Citation Laureates have made such important contributions to science that we believe them to be peers of the Nobel Prize winners in every way; they simply have yet to win.”

    The Nobel Prize announcements will begin Oct. 8, with the prize in physiology or medicine.

  4. Gaddis wins Pulitzer for Kennan biography

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    History professor John Lewis Gaddis can add yet another accolade to his biography of American diplomat George Kennan: the Pulitzer Prize, America’s most prestigious award for letters.

    Gaddis won the 2012 biography Pulitzer for “George F. Kennan: An American Life,” which was published in November after nearly two decades of research. In naming Gaddis the winner, the Pulitzer jurors called his work “an engaging portrait of a globetrotting diplomat whose complicated life was interwoven with the Cold War and America’s emergence as the world’s dominant power.”

    Mary Gabriel’s “Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution” and Manning Marble’s “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” were named as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

    In March, Gaddis’ biography took home the American History Book Prize, earning him $50,000 and the title of American Historian Laureate. The Kennan biography also won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

    Gaddis wasn’t the only Yalie honored Monday afternoon — Wesley Morris ’97, Quiara Alegría Hudes ’99 and Stephen Greenblatt ’64 GRD ’69 all took home awards, as well.

    Morris, a film critic for the Boston Globe, won the award for Criticism for his “smart, inventive film criticism, distinguished by pinpoint prose and an easy traverse between the art house and the big-screen box office.” Washington Post culture critic Philip Kennicott ’88 was a finalist.

    Hudes’ “Water by the Spoonful,” a play about an Iraq war veteran who lives in Philadelphia, took the Drama prize, and Greenblatt took home the General Nonfiction prize for “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.” Greenblatt’s book earned the prize by “arguing that an obscure work of philosophy, discovered nearly 600 years ago, changed the course of history by anticipating the science and sensibilities of today.”

    UPDATE: Kevin Puts MUS ’96 also took home a Pulitzer on Monday. Puts won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his opera, “Silent Night.” Andrew Norman MUS ’09 was a finalist for that award.

  5. School of Architecture alums win national award

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    Two alumni of the School of Architecture are among this year’s winners of the American Academy of Arts and Letters award.

    One of five firms to receive a distinction in architecture, the New-Haven based practice Gray Organschi Architecture — run by Elizabeth Gray ’82 ARC ’87 and Alan Organschi ARC ’88 — accepted the $7500 prize on March 20.

    Since 1991, the Arts and Letters Awards have honored American architects “whose work is characterized by strong personal direction.” They’re are selected by a committee of architects and architecture critics. Gray Organschi will display their work along with the other 2012 winners on the Audobon Terrace in New York City from May 17 to June 10.

    In honoring Gray and Organschi, the Academy described them as “teachers, architects, and fabricators whose New-Haven based practice has explored the intersection of environmental constraint, social need, and available resources to produce architecture that is environmentally sensitive as well as culturally and physically durable.”

    The Academy also commended the firm’s skill at transforming everyday structures into “elegantly, exactingly detailed buildings that are as spare and as astonishingly rich as a poem.” Nice. Read more here.

  6. Prof. Gaddis takes home Book Critics Circle Award

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    The awards keep rolling in for Professor John Lewis Gaddis’s biography of American statesman George Kennan.

    The book, titled “George F. Kennan: An American Life,” was named the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography late last week, the New York Times reported. The biography has already won the American History Book Prize, which earned Gaddis $50,000 and the title of American Historian Laureate.

    The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, honors the “best literature published in English” in its annual awards. Prizes are awarded in six categories: autobiography, biography, fiction, nonfiction, criticism, and poetry. In winning the biography prize, Gaddis beat out contenders from Harvard, Penn and Columbia.

    “George F. Kennan: An American Life” was shortlisted for the Lionel Gerber Prize, an award presented by the University of Toronto, Foreign Policy magazine and the Lionel Gerber Foundation to the year’s best nonfiction book about foreign affairs.

  7. Magdanz ’12 wins Luce Scholarship

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    Reid Magdanz ’12, an environmental studies major, has been awarded a Luce Scholarship to spend a year working in Asia, Director for National Fellowships Katherine Dailinger said over the weekend.

    Alaska-native Magdanz will use the scholarship to work a one-year internship — he’s not sure where — in a part of Asia where preservation and industrial development interact with traditional ways of life.

    “I’m interested in how this subsistence way of life interacts with, and is threatened by, other uses of the land, including industrial development, conservation, recreational use, and sport hunting and fishing,” Magdanz said in a Sunday email. “My career interest lies in finding ways for all these uses to be accommodated, with a particular focus on preserving the subsistence way of life.”

    Magdanz is one of 18 American students who won the Luce, which was established in 1974 to boost interest in Asia among non-Asia specialists. In all, 143 candidates were nominated by 62 different colleges and universities.

  8. The world swoons for Olusola ’11

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    If Yale students, the viewers of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” and aspiring cello-boxers weren’t enough, we can now add Jenna Bush Hager (daughter of George W. Bush ’68) to the long list of Kevin Olusola ’11 fans.

    Hager interviewed Olusola for a four-minute profile on the Today Show yesterday, asking him questions about his celloboxing, African roots and “Pentatonix,” the capella group with which Olusola won “The Sing-Off” last fall.

    “Extraordinary just begins to explain Yale graduate Kevin Olusola. He placed second in the Yo Yo Ma Cello Competition, soloed at Carnegie Hall, speaks five languages and is a groundbreaking YouTube musician. Oh, and on top of it? He’s just a really nice guy,” Hager said at the beginning of the profile.

    The segment came a day after Olusola was named an honoree of theGrio 100, an annual list of 100 black or African American people “making history today produced by theGrio.com, an African American video news site.

  9. Prof. Gaddis nominated for big award

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    He won a National Humanities Medal in 2005 and has gained fame among Yalies for his lectures on the Cold War, but that’s not it for history professor John Lewis Gaddis.

    Gaddis, who teaches a History Department junior seminar on biography writing, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award on Saturday for his biography of American statesman George F. Kennan. The book was nearly 30 years in the making, as Kennan gave Gaddis unprecedented access to thousands of pages of his diary and other papers on the condition that the book be published after his death.

    The other contenders for the biography honor are below:

    The National Book Critics Circle gives awards annually to one book in each of six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. We’re pulling for you, JLG.

  10. How we did at the Globes

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    Two Yalies walked away with Golden Globe awards last night, proving once again that Yale’s finest artistes aren’t always doomed to starvation in Brooklyn.

    Meryl Streep DRA ’74 — who, with 26 Golden Globe nominations and 16 Academy Award nominations over her acting career, is the most-nominated actress of all time — was crowned best actress in a drama for her role as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

    “I’ve got to thank everybody in England that let me come and trample over their history,” Streep said as she accepted her eighth Golden Globe. (She also swore, and later apologized, when she could not read her prepared speech because she forgot her glasses at the table. You Yalie you!)

    Claire Danes ’02, who went here for two years before dropping out to focus on acting, won best actress in a TV drama for her performance in Showtime’s Homeland, where she plays a CIA agent. Danes has previously won Golden Globes for her roles in the made-for-television movie “Temple Grandin” and the formative TV drama “My So-Called Life.”

    Martin Scorsese, who was on campus last May to receive an honorary degree, took home his third Golden Globe award for best director for his work on the magical “Hugo.”

    Jodie Foster ’85, David Duchovny GRD ’87, and Paul Giamatti ’89 DRA ’94 were also nominated for Golden Globes this year. If we missed anyone, leave a comment to let us know! Seriously, we’re building an Excel spreadsheet of famous Yalies.