With one day between us and the much-anticipated 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday evening, media outlets are pulling out all the stops to cover the biggest awards show of the year. From tournament brackets to fake movie posters (to how-to Twitter guides), entertainment reporters and bloggers are attempting to satiate our Oscar-fever in all sorts of ways. Some are enlightening. Others are gimmicky. All are entertaining. Here are a few of our favorites.
Oscars as ... a Thank-You Contest
Slate's Nathaniel Rogers and Natalie Matthews-Ramo have combed through all of the thank-yous Academy Award-winning actors and actresses have given in their acceptance speeches in the past decade, making us wonder why someone hasn't done this before. They've compiled the data on interactive charts, one analyzing winners' speeches (right) and another chronicling all those thank-yous. In the past 10 years, Oprah's gotten two, God's gotten three, and another god, Meryl Streep, has gotten four. (More on her later.)
Oscars as ... March Madness
Even the more sports-inclined might turn off ESPN this weekend to check out the Oscars. Perhaps they'd like to view the awards through the guise of a familiar tournament bracket. That sort of thinking is what got Mike Ryan of Moviefone asking, what if the Academy Awards weren't decided by a small group of white men but instead ... by a somewhat larger group of voters who are also mostly likely white and male? Ryan set up a tournament between each of the 32 films from 2011 that could potentially by named Best Picture, all the way from The Artist down to Bucky Larson, and had them square off in a four-round tourney in which winners are chosen based on lesser awards won.
For example: Does Harvey Weinstein really care that The Artist won Best Picture from the Washington D.C. Area Film Critic's association? No, he doesn't. But! If The Artist had to beat Sucker Punch (in your classic one seed versus eight seed situation) to advance to the London critics, well, the stakes would be quite a bit higher.
Oscars as .. a Hanging Chad
Does Entertainment Weekly expect us to go to its website and print out its "2012 Oscar Ballot" just so we can keep track of which of our predicted Oscar picks won and lost? We'd like to think not, but because we've been reminded several times that this ballot is brought to us by Hyundai, we think the magazine expects at least a few people to. As for us, we'd rather not document our off-course predictions -- mostly so we can lie about them later.
Oscars as ... GIF fodder
"I have discovered what I humbly consider to be the most perfect use of the gif wall medium possible: The reaction shots of Oscar losers," writes Rich Juzwiak at his blog, fourfour. We couldn't agree more as we watch ad infinitum these 38 sets of reactions he culled together. "They're just flickers of emotion. I think that placing them side by side on infinite loops works best to fully read the reactions of disappointment, bitchiness, feigned cheer and actual cheer," he explains. Our favorites: Sally Kirkland's "b-tch please" split-second reaction to losing to Cher in 1987 and Burt Reynolds's angry slow-clap at losing to Robin Williams in 1997.
Oscars as ... LOLcat
Clearly someone on the Internet would find a way to combine cats and the Academy Awards. That person was Jen Yamato at Movie Line, who enlisted the help of "Otis the Oscar Cat" to help to predict this year's Oscar winners. Though Otis is a bit of copycat (ha!) of Paul the World-Cup Predicting Octopus, we're fine with the similarities as long as we get many cute images of Otis clawing away at printouts of movie posters. Otis isn't much of a pack leader, though (cats have packs, right?), since he went with consensus pick The Artist for Best Picture.
And of course, Oscars...for the love of Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep is an actress people invariably obsess over, but especially so in a year like this, when she's nominated for another Best Actress award. And although the favorite in the category this year is The Help's Viola Davis, that isn't stopping on the folks at NextMovie from Photoshopping together a bunch of fake movie posters to prove the actress's versatility. Forget Margaret Thatcher. We'd rather see how Streep would do as Mother Teresa or Qaddafi. But really, we would pay a lot of money to see Streep headline a Hillary Clinton biopic someday.