Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Another weekend, another awards show, and another chance to predict the outcome of the Oscar race. This time, however, a wrench was thrown into the works when three different films took home the Best Picture title from two different academies, both of whom are considered to be excellent indicators of the Oscar race. On Saturday, the SAG Awards awarded American Hustle with Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Traditionally, the film that wins the top prize at the SAGs takes home Best Picture on Oscar night — although in recent years, their choices have not always lined up perfectly with the Academy. But before anyone had the chance to officially declare American Hustle to be the new front runner, the Producers Guild Awards hit back on Sunday, when they declared the Best Picture of the year to be a tie between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. And just like that, the Oscar race was once again, anyone's game.
However, over the course of awards season, its become clear that the final fight for the Best Picture Oscar will come down to those three films. Last week, we aimed to predict which film had the best shot at the award based on title alone. But now, we're moving onto more substantial matters. We've seen that flashy performances entertain SAG-AFTRA, while emotional impact carries more weight with the Producers Guild, but what about the Academy? We've decided that the best way to find out is to look back at the history of the awards, and compare the previous winners to the current front runners in order to determine which one will best appeal to the Academy's sensibilities.
You can also head over to BBC America to check out this fantastic infographic that predicts the Best Picture winner!
GENRE All three films are completely different in terms of genre and tone, but which one has the edge when it comes to the Oscars? - American Hustle, Crime and Comedy: 8 crime dramas have won Best Picture over the course of the Oscars' history: In the Heat of the Night, Midnight Cowboy, On the Waterfront, The French Connection, The Godfather, The Sting, The Godather II, and The Departed. In addition, 7 comedies have take home the top prize, including It Happened One Night, You Can't Take It With You, The Apartment, Tom Jones, The Sting, Annie Hall, and The Artist.- Gravity, Sci-Fi and Thriller: No sci-fi films have ever actually won Best Picture, although 6 of them have been nominated over the past 86 years. However, 4 thrillers have won: Rebecca, Silence of the Lambs, and No Country for Old Men, and Argo.- 12 Years a Slave, Historical Drama: The Academy Awards have a long history of rewarding dramas, including 26 histories: All Quiet on the Western Front, Cimarron, Cavalcade, Mutiny on the Bounty, Life of Emile Zola, Gone With the Wind, Hamlet, Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, Tom Jones, A Man for All Seasons, Oliver!, Patton, The Sting, Chariots of Fire, Amadeus, Out of Africa, The Last Emperor, Dances With Wolves, Schindler's List, Braveheart, The English Patient, Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, Gladiator, The King's Speech, The Artist, and Argo.
SUBJECT MATTERIt's not just dramatic films that tend to win over the Academy; often, there are certain topics or subjects that they tend to prefer over others. - American Hustle, Crime: As stated above, 8 films dealing with crimes, swindlers and hustlers have won Best Picture. - Gravity, Survival: The Academy has proven that they enjoy stories of survival, even against all odds, and have crowned 5 suvivalist films Best Picture: On the Waterfront, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Oliver!, Schindler's List, and No Country for Old Men.- 12 Years a Slave, Overcoming Adversity and Race Relations: Stories of adversity have always done well at the Oscars, with 11 films winning the top prize: Mutiny on the Bounty, The Life of Emile Zola, Gentleman's Agreement, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Rocky, Gandhi, Schindler's List, Gladiator, Million Dollar Baby, Slumdog Millionaire, and The King's Speech.Another 5 films that deal with race relations in America in a major way have won Best Picture, including Gone With the Wind, In the Heat of the Night, Gandhi, Driving Miss Daisy, and Crash.
ACTING NOMINATIONSIt's always a good sign for a film when they mange to get nominated in the four acting categories, but does a "Big Four" nomination guarantee a win? - American Hustle, 4 Nominations: American Hustle took home the most Oscar nominations, including one each in the four acting categories. In the past, 8 films that received four acting nominations have taken home Best Picture: Mrs. Miniver, From Here to Eternity, Gone With the Wind, Gentlemen's Agreement, The Godfather, Rocky, Kramer Vs. Kramer, and Chicago. - Gravity, 1 Nomination: Despite Gravity tying for the most Oscar nods this year, Sandra Bullock is the lone acting nominee. However, plenty of Best Picture winners have only had one nominated performance in the past - 15 of them, to be exact: The Broadway Melody, Cavalcade, The Great Ziegfeld, The Lost Weekend, In the Heat of the Night, Patton, The Sting, Chariots of Fire, Ghandi, Out of Africa, Rain Man, Crash, The Departed, No Country For Old Men, and The Hurt Locker.- 12 Years a Slave, 3 Nominations: This year, Chiwitel Ejiofor is up for Best Actor, while Lupita Nyong'o and Michael Fassbender are nominated in the supporting categories. Three has proven the magic number for 17 previous winners: Mutiny on the Bounty, Rebecca, Going My Way, All the King's Men, Marty, The Apartment, My Fair Lady, Midnight Cowboy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Deer Hunter, Ordinary People, Driving Miss Daisy, Dances With Wolves, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Million Dollar Baby, and The King's Speech.
Fox Searchlight Pictures via Everett Collection
LOCATIONSometimes, the Oscars have the same philosophy as real estate, and it's all about location, location, location. But what's the most beneficial place to set your film?- American Hustle, New York: The film is in good company, with 14 Best picture winners taking place in the Big Apple: The Broadway Melody, The Great Ziegfeld, The Lost Weekend, Going My Way, All About Eve, On the Waterfront, Marty, The Apartment, West Side Story, Midnight Cowboy, The French Connection, The Godfather, Annie Hall, and Kramer Vs. Kramer. - Gravity, Space: No film set in outer space has ever won the Oscar for Best Picture. - 12 Years a Slave, The American South: South of the Mason-Dixon line is a popular setting for movies, and 5 of those were lucky enough to be awarded Best Picture: Gone With the Wind, In the Heat of the Night, Driving Miss Daisy, Forrest Gump, and No Country For Old Men.
TIME PERIODEverybody knows that the Academy loves a period piece more than anything else... or do they? - American Hustle, 1970s: For this category, we looked at films that were made in 1980 or later, but set in the 1970s, as American Hustle is. It may have narrowed down the field some, but there are still 3 winners: Platoon, Forrest Gump, and last year's Best Picture winner, Argo. - Gravity, Modern Day: There have been a great deal of Oscar-winning films that, like Gravity, were set in the same time period as the film's release. In fact, this has been the case for a grand total of 31 Best Picture winners: Grand Hotel, It Happened One Night, You Can't Take it With You, Going My Way, The Lost Weekend, The Best Years of Our Lives, Gentleman's Agreement, All The King's Men, All About Eve, An American in Paris, On the Waterfront, Marty, The Apartment, West Side Story, In the Heat of the Night, Midnight Cowboy, The French Connection, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Rocky, Annie Hall, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Ordinary People, Terms of Endearment, Rain Man, Silence of the Lambs, American Beauty, Million Dollar Baby, Crash, The Departed, No Country For Old Men, and The Hurt Locker.- 12 Years A Slave, 1800s: Between the reign of Queen Victoria, the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, the ninettenth century has provided the inspiration for 8 winners: Cimarron, Gone With the Wind, Around the World in 80 Days, Tom Jones, Oliver!, Amadeus, Dances With Wolves, and Unforgiven.
RUNTIME- Both American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave have the distinct advantage in this category, with runtimes of 138 and 134 minutes, respectively. If one of them wins, they would join 24 other films whose runtime has been between 121 and 140 minutes. For the most part, the Academy ends to favor movies around this length, although the award usually tends to go to the longest film nominated, which could spell trouble for these two front runners (fellow nominee The Wolf of Wall Street beats them both at 179 minutes).- Gravity is the shortest film in the running for Best Picture at only 91 minutes long. However, that doesn't mean it has no chance of winning, as 4 films with runtimes between 81 and 100 minutes have won the top prize in the past: Marty, Annie Hall, Sunrise, and Driving Miss Daisy.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
DIRECTORSAll three directors have achieved or are set to achieve milestones if they take home the Best Director award. What kind of influence will that have on the Best Picture race?- American Hustle, David O. Russell: This is Russell's second nomination, but its also the first time in the history of the Oscars that a director has earned all four acting nominations two years in a row (after last year's Silver Linings Playbook). That kind of star power could sway the votes in his favor, as he's proven twice now that he can deliver excellent performances from big name actors. - Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron: After winning the Golden Globe, Cuaron seems to be the front runner for the Best Director race; if he wins Best Director, that could be a good sign for the film as a whole. In the last 86 years, 62 films have won both the Best Director and Best Picture award, proving, on a whole, that the two tend to go hand in hand. Plus, if he wins, he will be the first Spanish director to win an Academy Award. - 12 Years A Slave, Steve McQueen: Like Cuaron, McQueen is a first-time nominee, and if he wins, he would be the first black man to win the Best Director prize. That kind of history-making impact could help sway the Academy, and thus, ensure a Best Picture win for 12 Years a Slave.
Your Best Bet: Based on the winners of the past, it looks like 12 Years a Slave has the best chance of winning on Oscar night, with an ideal runtime, the best amount of acting nominations, and both a genre and subject matter that the Academy tends to enjoy rewarding. Of course, since anything can happen once the awards are tallied, there's still a chance one of the other films can sneak in and win. But for now, we'd reccommend you go for 12 Years a Slave when it comes time to fill out your Oscar ballot.
On this 237th birthday of our dear country America, we all band together in our patriotism. Yes, we do have quite the uniting country indeed... despite it being split up into 50 states, all of which vehemently hate the other 49 (especially Jersey).
But as brethren of the same land, we must find common ground. We must find something to appreciate each of the states from which we do not hail. The best way to do that: Movies. Hollywood.com has taken a look at every corner of our land of the free and pinpointed the big screen feature that best exemplifies each of the 50 states. Check below, and see if your home state is represented by a particular favorite of yours.
AlabamaForrest GumpSure, he ran all around the country, but that Greenbow pride stuck with him.
AlaskaOut ColdWacky, off-kilter, and a gem that nobody ever talks about. Just like Alaska.
ArizonaPsychoFrom the creepiest corner of the country comes the creepiest movie ever made.
ArkansasTrue GritRemake or original, both have that AK charm.
CaliforniaCluelessNever before has the Valley been so astonishingly well represented.
ColoradoThe Shining Beautiful and inspiring, but haunting nonetheless — we mean the film and the state.
ConnecticutMystic PizzaSoft-spoken and charming? A little bit sad, but able to laugh? That's Connecticut for you.
DelawareThere are no memorable movies set in Delaware. Sorry, Delaware. Sorry, everybody.
GeorgiaThe Legend of Bagger Vance Ah, that whimsical mystery that soars through the Georgia winds... the kind of mystery only a Will Smith Ghost could convey onscreen.
HawaiiLilo & StitchHawaii is such a fantasy land that only an animated Disney flick could appropriately capture its presence.
IdahoNapoleon DynamiteSlow moving, weird, and possibly ingenious. From the fields of Idaho comes a cult classic that nobody could stop quoting for years.
IllinoisFerris Bueller’s Day Off Danke schoen for Chicago and its favorite son, John Hughes.
IndianaBreaking AwayA sleepy state with firecracker passion gives us a coming-of-age dramedy that can be described just the same.
IowaWhat’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Sad, lonely, desperate, hopeless... No. Not hopeless. Just remember: We can go anywhere.
KansasThe Wizard of OzOh gee, as if there was any alternative?
KentuckyGoldfingerYou don't think of James Bond as a Southern boy, do you? Well, he payed a visit to the Bluegrass State in this classic chapter.
LouisianaSteel MagnoliasThat heartfelt hometown passion for which Louisiana is famous just courses through the beloved modern classic.
MaineCasper The other creepiest corner of the state gives us a slightly more charming ghost story.
MarylandThe Blair Witch Project And we thought the scariest thing in Maryland was Omar Little...
MassachusettsJaws Celebrate Boston pride all you want with The Departed, but Jaws captures everything that a Martha's Vineyardian knows to be home.
MichiganAmerican Pie Great Lakes, great friends, great stories... and hardly a worry in the world. American Pie, you've got Michigan right.
MinnesotaGrumpy Old Men I think just about everyone in Minnesota is in fact 75 years of age or older.
MississippiThe Help Granted, Mississippi has come a long way since the days of The Help, but it still has that connotation...
MissouriWaiting for GuffmanWe'll be honest. We've never been to Missouri. We don't know anyone from Missouri. We have no idea what Missouri is like. But we imagine (and hope) it's exactly like Waiting for Guffman.
MontanaA River Runs Through It That old mountain spirit, that true American flavor, that's what Montana, and this Robert Redford classic, are about.
NebraskaElection We always thought there was something suspicious lurking underneath that oh-so-perfect Nebraska... Tracy Fleck just might be the state incarnate.
NevadaFear and Loathing in Las VegasSorry, Nevada, but you're just Vegas to the rest of the world. Crazy, drug-addled Vegas.
New HampshireLolitaThings are a bit off all throughout the beautiful, jovial, captivating Granite State, and throughout Stanley Kubrick's classic comedy.
New JerseyClerks Angry, grungy, and highly polarizing. Yep. Clerks is Jersey.
New MexicoCity SlickersYes, this movie is about people from other states visiting New Mexico... but isn't that what the real New Mexico is all about, anyway?
New YorkAnnie Hall A symphony of neuroses, heartbreak, and wide-eyed fantasy, Annie Hall is everything that the unstoppable city of New York has to offer.
North CarolinaBull DurhamThis movie is set in North Carolina. So it wins.
North DakotaFargo Oh yah. Quite a sinister tone under this kooky snow-laden state and its signature film, yah.
OhioTommy BoyThe good-natured values of hard work and friendship? That's the cornerstone of Ohio livin', we tell you.
OregonThe GooniesWhen Oregon learned it was finally getting a movie, the entire state cheered: "It's our time."
PennsylvaniaRockyPennsylvania is just another nickname for Philadelphia, right?
Rhode IslandDumb and DumberYes, a good portion of the film takes place on the road (and in a place where the beer flows like wine), but Harry and Lloyd are distinctly, undeniably Rhode Island folk.
South CarolinaThe Notebook That deep, abiding love that can only exist in a small state sheltered from the rest of the world? That can only come from a man like Nicholas Sparks? That can only be appropriately sold through a stunner like Ryan Gosling? Yep.
South DakotaLittle Big ManIt's appropriate that South Dakota's pick is riddled with historical color... and some wacky adventure.
TennesseeThe Blind SideA simple story of family, pride, acceptance, and overcoming adversity. Tennessee should be proud of this Oscar winner.
TexasDazed and ConfusedOf course our Texas pick had to come from Richard Linklater, master of the Lone Star State. And which film better than his most iconic, nihilistic, dreamy high school graduation picture?
Utah127 HoursIn Utah, no one can hear you scream. =
VermontSuper TroopersCall it a mindless stoner comedy, but the Broken Lizard debut packs a lot of that wintry Northeast flavor into its wild, witty mix.
VirginiaThe PatriotAs if there was anything more Virginian. As if there is any state more American.
WashingtonThe Twilight SagaWhat's with the corners of this country being so dang creepy? At least this one has some glitter.
West VirginiaOctober SkyCoal mines and dreams of escaping the coal mines. That's what ol' West Virginia was all about in its day.
WisconsinLars and the Real Girl There's something cold, eerie, and wonderfully beautiful about small town Wisconsin. Ditto Gosling.
WyomingButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Wyoming, even though we're not entirely sure that you actually exist, you might win the pot with the best movie on the list.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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Even if you're of the mindset that the awards no longer matter, it's hard not see the Grammys as a free televised concert coutesy of the biggest names in music. (Thanks, guys!) And while it's all the spirit of togetherness and musicianship, it's hard not to pit performers against each other. Who blew us away and who sank like rock in the Ocean?
Most Confusing Horror/Literary Reference: Taylor Swift
Her performance of "We Are Never Getting Back Together" opened with a Jigsaw lookalike reciting lines from "The Raven," before adding Alice in Wonderland characters to Taylor's sparkly ringleader, all so she could tie Glasses Guy to a psychadelic torture device for even thinking that they could like, ever, ever, ever get back together. It's still got a little too much of that T-Swizzle hubris though. Color us confused and amused.
RELATED: 2013 Grammys Winners List
Most Baby-Making Performance: Miguel and Wiz Khalifa
Were you distracted by the sheer amount of stripes onstage during this performance? If your answer is "yes" then your TV's volume clearly wasn't turned up high enough. Miguel's vocals were everything we dreamed they would be live, and man, were they sexy. Yes, Wiz Khalifa was there too. But Miguel, you guys. The Grammys cruelly made him cap off his performance by announcing the Solo Country Performance nominees, and it was jarring, but that performance was still perfection.
Most Lena-Dunham-Pleasing Performance: fun.
Alright, this was cute, albeit a little lackluster. Their performance of "Carry On," what with its little floating light orbs and lack of Lena Dunham cutaways (she's dating the guitarist) was simply nice. After learning every last word to "Some Nights" and "We Are Young," two endlessly rousing pop songs, it's just hard to get really into it when they slow it down. Plus, when the mid-performance rainstorm came down on them, I was too distracted by wondering what happened to the instruments to really give the tune a chance. Lena Dunham sure liked it though.
Most Awkwardly Heartbreaking Performance: Frank Ocean
Ocean's performance was saved for last (we refuse to count the LL Cool J performance that was basically what happens when the Karaoke DJ closes down the bar for the night), and by all rights it should have been the best of the night. Ocean is widely regarded as one of the most important new voices in the music industry for both his talent and the courage it took for him to be openly gay in a community that's largely without that brand of honesty. So when he took the stage with "Forrest Gump," a song that openly celebrates his lifestyle, we wanted it to be perfect. But Ocean's vocals were off, causing him to go flat for most of the song. It was heartbreaking, and the radio silence from everyone, including the Staples Center audience, was a clear sign that a flub from Ocean was something none of us was able to really wrap our heads around.
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Best Justin Timberlake Comeback: Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z
The self-promotion was getting a little nutty, but by the time Ellen and Beyonce were girling out over JT onstage together, all annoyances were forgiven. JT is back! And he's in sepia tone! (Which is a move he may have stolen from Bruno Mars' last Grammy performance, but he pulls it off way better so we're going to go ahead and let that go.) And with a standing ovation from the Grammys crowd! JT didn't get nearly as dancey as he's generally wont to do, but watching him perform "Suit and Tie" with Jay-Z was an epic moment in musical history. And for the "Suit and Tie" haters, Justin tacked on "Pusher Love Girl" — a wonderful song until that point where you realize he's singing about Jessica Biel and not you.
Most Familiar, But Not in Annoying Way, Performance: Mumford and Sons
This looked a heck of a lot like the band's 2011 Grammy performance alongside Bob Dylan — between the straight line formation and the flashing lights behind them, it was all a little too familiar. But then, Marcus Mumford started breaking it down and melting hearts and suddenly, the staging mattered not. We will wait for you all damn day, boys. (And if we're not there, you can be sure super fan Taylor Swift will be.) Video coming soon
NEXT: Worst Psych! Performance Ever...
Worst Psych! Performance Ever: Bruno Mars' Bob Marley Tribute
Once the performance added Sting, Rihanna, and Ziggy and Damien Marley to get the crowd going for "Could You Be Loved," this sweet little tribute to Mr. Marley picked up and became something of a momentary beach party. But when it (and by "it," I mean a tribute to Bob Marley and not a moment of Bruno Mars' self-promo time) started, the first song sounded a hell of a lot like "Locked Out of Heaven," which is a Bruno Mars song and not a Marley tune. Oh, that's because it was? What other tribute started with someone's own music as opposed to the person being honored? Oh, none of them? So, Bruno Mars is the only ego-maniac dropping his own song into a tribute. Okay. Glad we got that straight.
RELATED: 10 Looks That Violated CBS' Grammy Rules
Most Unintentionally Disturbing Performance: Rihanna
In what should have been a great, intimate performance of "Stay," Rihanna made us all very uncomfortable. We knew she was at the show with Chris Brown, and we know how autobiographical she can be in her art. It was hard not to feel like she was singing this song to the man none of us can believe she's gone back to. Sorry, Gavin Purcell. Your assist was fine, but we're a little distracted here.
Performance Most Likely to Serve as a Really Affective Lullaby: It's a Tie! Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley/Ed Sheeran and Elton John
Miranda's a great singer, and she looked great in her sparkly dress, but there was something so sleepy about this performance. No level of Bruce Springsteen impression from Mr. Bentley could change that. And while aesthetics aren't really the crux of a good performance, the strange tree, Lambert's endlessly sparkly dress, and Bentley's devil-may-care chic went together about as well as Chris Brown and anything we like. The best part was watching Blake Shelton's proud gaze at his pretty wife, but that could just be because it was over.
Sir Elton, you are a legend. Ed (can I call you "Eddie"?), you're an adorable British singer-songwriter. This should have been more engaging. But this rendition of Sheeran's "The A-Team" just had me wondering, "Why isn't Beyonce performing tonight?" Hell, even Elton looked bored.
Performance That Was Most Likely to Be Way Better if Adam Levine Wasn't Involved: Alicia Keys
RELATED: Taylor Swift Tries Something New: Embarrassing or Cool?
Alicia Keys, wearing a sexy dress and banging the hell out of some drums before singing "This girl is on fire" like an Amazonian battle call, would have been a highlight of the evening if it wasn't followed by the Maroon 5 frontman trying to keep up with her. The last thing Ms. Keys needs is a sidekick.
Most Straight Up Incredible Performance: It's a Tie! The Black Keys with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band/Jack White
The Black Keys are already incredible live, and that's without any elaborate set pieces or flashy costumes. But when they added the New Orleans flair of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to "Lonely Boy" (even if they Kelly-and-Michelle-ed the horn section's volume), it made the ubiqitous song brand new and thus, even more incredible.
Jack White, you magnificent bastard. As someone who's not normally a follower of our pastey friend, I have to admit, his performance of "Love Interruption" was a thing of beauty. Plus, he did it with the help of a band of lady musicians who look like they were plucked from a Victorian Uptopia. You've got me, Jack White.
NEXT: Best Redemption from a Past Idol Performance....
Best Redemption from a Past Performance on American Idol: Kelly Clarkson
Saying Kelly Clarkson ever wasn't perfect during a performance doesn't happen often, but when she sang "Natural Woman" on Idol, she was, well, less than perfect. But when Clarkson sang "Tennesse Waltz" for Patti Page and then "Natural Woman" as a tribute to Carole King. It was beautiful, and incredibly moving, and coming from someone as genuine as Kelly, it's a performance that's hard not to love.
Best Unadorned, Yet Perfect Performance: The Lumineers
All they did was stand together and sing "Ho Hey" with a few twinkly lights in the background. And it was perfect.
Worst Dance Moves: Carrie Underwood
For a girl who can sing the hell out of any song, especially "Blown Away," her performance blew us away for all the wrong reasons. Her vocals were great as always but the strange use of her Barbie prom dress as a movie screen for butterflies and clip art roses ruined it all. And if the light show wasn't distracting enough, the fact that there was clearly some life-size Barbie rack hidden under that dress preventing her from moving anywhere was disconcerting. If she would have just gone up there in a pretty dress and did her thing, she'd probably be remembered as one of the better performers of the night.
Best Ignored Tribute Because the Performers Aren't Mainstream Enough: Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Kenny Garrett
This year, the jazz world lost Dave Brubeck, and the loss was crushing. Watching these guys deliver a sweet, simple rendition of Brubeck's "Take Five" was the perfect way to say "Thank you" to the legend, but apparently, this performance doesn't get an introduction from a pretty musical celeb. (It was so awesome, no one has yet put a video on the Internet.)
Most Surprisingly Awesome (And Not At All Annoying) Tribute From Five or More Performers: The Levon Helm Tribute
Elton John, Zac Brown, Mumford and Sons, Elton John, T Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples, and Brittany Howard from the Alabama Shakes on one stage? It sounds like a combination too overloaded to work, but when all these voices came together to deliver "The Weight," the song made famous by The Band, it was perfect harmony. Of course, Howard had to go and show everyone up (even Staples was impressed) with her too-perfect-words closing verse. Can we see an Alabama Shakes cover of the song soon, please?
Best Terrible American Idol Audition: Juanes
Dude, have you ever heard "Your Song" before? It doesn't sound like this. If this was American Idol, Nicki Minaj would be giving you a nickname, telling her she loves you boo, and sending you home to pursue other dreams.
Best Performance That Was Shorter Than a Teaser Trailer for the Actual Movie Trailer: Hunter Hayes
Dude, they give you a piano with your lyrics written all over it, and all you get to do is sing a few bars and then throw it Carrie Underwood and her technicolor dream dress?
Performance Most Likely to Make the Performer a Laughing Stock For the Foreseeable Future: LL Cool J
After Mumford and Sons were awarded their Album of the Year trophy, we were all ready to say goodnight, but LL Cool J insisted on continuing the show, like the guy who can't accept the bar is closing at 4 AM. He was still singing at the top of his lungs (or in this case, rapping) as the commercials started rolling and folks started filing out of the Staples Center. Sorry LL, but you're going to get a lot of s**t for this one.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
A great Hollywood blockbuster score doesn't come around too often — after all, no one wants to spend $100 million or more then weave in a risky soundtrack that could derail an audience's reception. Thankfully, Marvel Studios went against the grain and let the legendary Alan Silvestri deliver a rousing, old school score for their 2011 period action adventure flick Captain America: The First Avenger. If there's anyone worth taking a gamble on, it's Silvestri, a two-time Oscar-nominated composer whose works can be heard in such films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, The Abyss, The Quick and the Dead, Contact and the Back to the Future trilogy.
Following up his inspired work on Captain America, Silvestri returned to the Marvel movie universe for another round: The Avengers. I spoke to the composer about taking on the ultimate superhero team-up, everything from the pressures of working under Marvel's calculated master plan, working with Joss Whedon and figuring out how to weave all these different heroes into one musical smorgasbord. Amazingly, Silvestri didn't take too long a break after knocking Avengers out of the park: he already has two other projects in the pipeline.
What was the process of you becoming involved with The Avengers after your work on Captain America? They must have been happy with it. It’s a fantastic score, by the way. How did you get brought back onto the Marvel train?
Alan Silvestri: Well, I think it is directly related to having done Captain America. I think it was a good experience for all of us, and when The Avengers started coming around, I think it hadn’t even been a year since I had done Captain America. I really think it was a direct result of that film, the working environment and how it all went for all of us. We all thought, ‘Well, maybe we should try this again.’
Was there a thematic reason for bringing you back? Marvel has done a fantastic job of keeping their films connected through design and tone, in order to bring all these heroes together. Bringing someone back seems calculated.
AS: I think that is certainly in the mix. I think, for instance, in Captain America — well, I don’t think, I know for a fact that Joe Johnston wanted, very specifically, a theme for Captain America. And so, that was something that was kind of a primary mission. But even