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by Zach Cusson

“Why would I be the ultimate mtvU Oscar Correspondent?” That question and the images of our first video have been resonating in my head since mid-December. (Editor's note: Zach and Terry Stackhouse together won an mtvU-sponsored contest to cover the red carpet at last Sunday's 82nd Annual Academy Awards.) The night before our flight, I sat at my desk staring into boarding pass; this was really happening.

On Thursday we exited the van and walked through the revolving doors that led into the Renaissance. “Man this place is fancy,” I recall thinking. Nothing had really hit me yet. I’m handed an envelope. Inside I find it: my golden ticket to Hollywood, the best experience of a lifetime, the reason I was standing there... my press pass. That’s when it really hit me. It wasn’t anxiety that I felt, it was urgency and excitement, a persistent desire to just bust out my camera and start shooting. Read More...

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by Terry Stackhouse

The biggest challenge in being a journalist is always remaining objective, keeping oneself out of the story, and providing an unbiased presentation of the truth. Following my coverage of the Oscars, this was no easy task for me. It was the experience of a lifetime, and I will not take it for granted.
Three months ago, Zach Cusson and I made an audition tape in which we said why we felt we were the “Ultimate MTV Oscars Correspondents”. From there, we were narrowed down to a field of ten, then three… then one.

When Tom Sherack, the President of Academy announced that we were the grand prize winners and would soon be on the Red Carpet, I cannot describe the excitement. It is every reporter's dream to cover the biggest night in Hollywood, and there we were. Read More...

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Kathryn BigelowKathryn Bigelow made history when she won the Academy Award for Best Director for "The Hurt Locker," as until that moment, not a single female filmmaker had ever received an Oscar in that category. While Bigelow absolutely deserves the Oscar, it's hard not to scratch your head and wonder — what took so long?

There is no shortage of incredibly talented female directors working both in and outside of Hollywood, so the fact that it took 82 Academy Award ceremonies for a woman to win Best Director is more than a little bit puzzling.

After the jump, we've listed five female filmmakers that absolutely deserved an Oscar for their work. Read More...

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Sandra Bullock and Julia RobertsIn light of her recent Best Actress victory at the Academy Awards, "The Blind Side" leading lady Sandra Bullock is understandably enjoying some time in the spotlight. With more than a few projects already lined up, Bullock's future is pretty well covered. The road that led to the Oscars, however, is somewhat more mystifying, but it sure has a lot in common with Julia Roberts' own career.

That's not to suggest that Roberts is responsible for Bullock's award-winning performance — though the "Pretty Woman" star was reportedly the first choice to play Leigh Anne Tuohy in "The Blind Side," a role that Roberts ultimately declined. But looking past that irony, Roberts' career path is actually quite similar to Bullock's in many ways. Read More...

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FROM MTV.COM: James Cameron's "Avatar" became the highest-grossing movie of all time in theaters, but Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" became the lowest-grossing film ever to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday. Even with Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography wins to boast about, many thought that "Avatar" would follow behind "Titanic" and bring a windfall of Oscar wins. Critics point to several inherent weaknesses, however, including actor fears within the Academy, traditional notions of film and political trends.

"For whatever reason, boomer-age people, older Gen X-ers [in the Academy] are threatened by it," journalist and Hollywood Elsewhere writer Jeff Wells told MTV News. "They feel on some level that they're going to be lost, that they're going to be digitally wiped out in the future."

Continue reading 'Avatar' At The Oscars: What Went Wrong? Experts Weigh In

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Even though "The Hurt Locker" ended up being the evening's big winner at Sunday's 82nd Annual Academy Awards show, it was James Cameron's sprawling 3-D sci-fi epic "Avatar" that was on everybody's lips. And in Ben Stiller's case it was more of a full body thing.

Stiller did more with his night than paint himself blue and speak in native Na'vi (which sounded pretty authentic to my ears). He was also busy backstage with his camera, documenting the goings-on there for posterity. He even shares a look behind the Oscars in today's Daily TwitPic, which you can find after the jump. Read More...

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One of the unlikely -- but nonetheless welcome -- Best Picture nominees which benefited from the expanded category size was director Neill Blomkamp's inventive sci-fi feature debut, "District 9." It's an odd film, a melting pot of genres set within a science fiction framework. The "aliens arrive on Earth" idea isn't exactly new, but Blomkamp's take on it is fresh nonetheless. And while "District 9" was one of the bigger longshots to win last night, it definitely deserved its Best Picture nom.

Blomkamp probably agrees, though he admitted to MTV's Josh Horowitz on the Oscars red carpet last night that it all came as quite a surprise.

"It was pretty insane," he said. "I never expected it to be there. There is definitely a level of insanity to [being at the Oscars as a Best Picture nominee] that I wasn't prepared for." Blomkamp went on to describe how he was asleep when the nominations were announced, and had to be woken up for the good news. Read More...

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Last night's 82nd Annual Academy Awards saw a host of changes made to the format that's dominated for the past bunch of years. From the 10 nominees in the newly expanded Best Picture category to the paring down of musical numbers and use of two co-hosts, there was a decidedly different vibe to the proceedings.

As with any year, there were high points and there were low points. The difference last night is that everyone was watching so much more closely. Why? Well there's a commonly held belief that the changes this year came as part of the Academy's effort to broaden the appeal of the 82-year-old awards show. A lot of moviegoers were left feeling alienated when "The Dark Knight" didn't land a Best Picture nomination in 2008, only the latest of many such sleights that more pop-oriented fare has suffered through the years.

So since everyone was watching so closely anyway, I decided to shine MTV's spotlight on the best and worst that the 82nd Annual Academy Awards show had to offer. You might not agree with all of these observations. That's fine. We want to hear from you too. Share your own thoughts in the comments section below. Read More...

FROM MTV.COM: The 82nd annual Academy Awards are over and the winners have been counted. "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" squared off in a nomination-leading nine categories, and Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq war story emerged the victor. Her David beat James Cameron's sci-fi Goliath with six wins to the three for "Avatar." Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges won for Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively, while Mo'Nique and Christoph Waltz took home statues for supporting actress and actor, all as expected.

Here is a full list of the winners:

Best Picture
"The Hurt Locker"

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"

Continue reading 2010 Oscar Winners List

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As I watched the Oscars last night, two inescapable facts became increasingly clear as the night wore on. One: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, for all their comedic talents, were less than ideal choices to co-host the show. Two: Neil Patrick Harris should have mastered the ceremonies in their stead.

NPH, who was recently confirmed as the live-action lead in the coming adaptation of classic '80s cartoon "The Smurfs," opened the show with a rousing, Broadway-style musical number. See for yourself:

He was on fire, a vibrant presence on that stage and -- as we soon learned -- an impossible act to follow for co-hosts Baldwin and Martin. There they stood, belting out predictable joke after predictable joke, with almost every one of them falling flat. At one point, it looked like the cool, collected George Clooney might rise out of his seat and strangle the both of them. They didn't even knock the guy too hard; he was probably just overwhelmed by the magnitude of their mark-missing. Read More...

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