Academy Awards for 2013

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We can talk all day about the ongoing tanning of America, but there are still large segments of the country where white folks and black folks live very separate lives.

Everywhere you look there are residents of New York carving out a modest income by collecting plastic bottles from the trash, earning pennies per bottle. As consumers, we are unconsciously linked to the process by the purchase of bottled drinks.

It's 3 a.m. The lights come up. The magic is over. The waiters are cleaning up, and Ang Lee and I are the last ones eating sliders and still chatting.

The Oscars are a ship without a sail. Year after year, they keep trying new hosts, new approaches, but it's been a long time since they hit it out of the park. In fact I can't remember when... the '90s?

I was offended last week. As an Academy member, as the child of former Academy members and as a woman, I expected more from the best that the movie business has to offer. The Oscars are about honoring art and artists. It is not supposed to be a cheesy vaudeville show.

Forget Harvey Weinstein (after all, Jennifer Lawrence did); the real kingmaker at the Academy Awards is John Goodman. The 60-year-old actor has become a regular at the Oscars over the last two years, this despite not being nominated himself. Goodman was a co-star in "The Artist, " which won Best Picture last year, and "Argo, " which won Best Picture this year. As Blackbook's Tyler Coates wrote earlier this week, Goodman is "the biggest ticket to getting an Oscar for Best Picture." That's good news for the five films Goodman is scheduled to appear in this year. Which John Goodman movie will win Best Picture in 2014?

Searching for Sugar Man won the Academy Award for best documentary. In South Africa there is significant debate about whether or not the documentary overstates the role of Sixto Rodriguez in liberating the minds of South Africans. What truths did he help to surface?

Fashion's Night Out in the Big Apple is making waves with some shops, stores and organizations saying it attracts "the wrong crowd - they drink too much and carry on and don't buy anything."

Why did anyone think that on a night that is supposed to honor the best of Hollywood, a town that has broken so many barriers and moved us forward in so many ways, banal sexist, racist and anti-Semitic jokes would be funny and appropriate?

If you watched the 85th Annual Academy Awards, you'd know that they took the 2012 season out with a bang. Here, I'll reminisce on my top 10 favorite moments of the Oscars. Let the countdown begin!

Here are two punch lines that remind us of Lincoln's death. One worked for most, the other only for a minority. It had nothing to do with sensitivity about Lincoln's passing, rather it was the approach.

After the Oscar winners accept their awards and deal with the TV people, they come to the Press Room and answer questions from the written press, radio and international media. Here are my five favorite backstage comments of the night.

Seth MacFarlane's Oscars performance failed less because of racism, sexism, and homophobia than because he forgot what satire is and how it works. The satiric genius of late-night icons like Johnny Carson and beloved fictional curmudgeons like Archie Bunker has been lost in a sea of mindless snark.

Here's to the Academy Awards, or as I like to call it, a Sunday night in February where for once, I didn't regret eating all those carbs.

The Onion's joke only works because Quvenzhané Wallis is 100 percent blameless; she is the embodiment of innocence. She's the very last person you'd ever call that, and that's what powers the joke.

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