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Synopsis

An unprecedented look at the machinations behind everyone's favorite Hollywood circus and what it reveals about the business of moviemaking.

Oscar parties. Oscar pools. Oscar style. Oscar predictions. The Oscars breed their own peculiar mania and a billion people worldwide are alleged to watch the broadcast every year. While that figure may be the Academy's big white lie, the Oscars draw a viewership well into the hundreds of millions--a tremendous audience for what is essentially a television program. But this is no ordinary show. Love it or loathe it, the Oscars are an irresistible spectacle: a gloriously gaudy, glitzy, momentous, and foolish window into the unholy alliance of art and commerce that is the film industry. The Oscar statuette is a totem of such potency that millions are spent and careers laid on the line in the reckless pursuit of an eight-pound chunk of gold-plated britannium.

The Big Show is a chronicle of the past fifteen years of the Academy Awards, the most tumultuous decade in Oscar's seventy-six year history. Written by the only journalist ever given carte blanche access to the planning, production, and backstage intrigue of the Oscars, it offers an unguarded, behind-the-scenes glimpse of this singular event, along with remarkable insight into how the Oscars reflect the high-stakes politics of Hollywood, our obsession with celebrities (not to mention celebrities' obsession with themselves), and the cinematic state of the union.

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