The Oscars: The Best of the Best

Review: ‘Ticket to Paradise’ has Julia Roberts and George Clooney, and that’s enough to drive you nuts

“I’m going to win two Oscars” is the line that gets tossed around every Oscar season to justify the fact that the Academy Award nominations only happen once every four years. A few years ago, no one would dare use such an overused phrase and the Oscar nominations were relegated to a few small groups of Academy members.

Then came 2011, when nearly everyone who knew a single thing about Oscar campaigning was in a campaign mode. The nominees had to be ready to drop out of bed at 5 a.m. to watch the ceremony. They had to have a list of possible winners in their head in case the Oscars were split or the result were announced before 8 p.m. The Oscar show had to be more about marketing than art, and that meant not just the glitzy show, but the marketing that accompanied it.


I was at the Oscars for the 85th Academy Awards, and in a lot of ways I was reminded of that summer of 2011. Back then, there was no “The Good Wife” to compete with “American Hustle,” no “Hunger Games” to match “The Artist” and no “The Dark Knight” to outdo “The King’s Speech.” The best the Oscars had to offer was no less than four Oscar-bait movies. And they were the ones that had that whole “art” thing going for them: “The Social Network,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “The King’s Speech,” and “Ticket to Paradise,” a film that was so good it managed to make me hate myself.

“Ticket to Paradise,” which opens nationwide on Tuesday, could be the most interesting movie the Oscars will host since “Platoon” and “Singin’ in the Rain” were the last movies screened. “Ticket” is directed by James Gray, a big-shot director best

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