The minimalist beauty of the 89th Annual Academy Award for Best Picture, the film ‘Moonlight,’ is both elegiac and hopeful. In a world of poverty and violence, a richness of character, however flawed, shines transcendent. This film is artful. This film is all that a Best Picture should be.
Before ‘Moonlight’ received its Oscar nomination, the first person I know who saw it came back from the theater with her face aglow. “You have to go see it,” they stated. “What’s it about?” I asked. “You just have to go see it,” they replied.
Moonlight is a hero’s odyssey. The main character, Chiron, is the African-American son of a crack-addicted mother and target of bullying at his Miami school. The film is divided into the Greek three act structure, wherein Chiron is portrayed in glimpses as a young boy, teenager, and man. The name Chiron traces its origin to classic Greek mythology; Chiron was a civilized, intelligent centaur, who, in varying accounts, gave up his immortality. (The character has been explored for millennia, in Greek and Roman mythology, in Dante’s Inferno, and Pulitzer Prize winning author John Updike’s novel The Centaur, which was set in the context of 20th-century small-town America.)
The cinematographer’s palette is exquisitely utilized. Pale sheets of color—Miami pastels—appear as washes that transform walls in Chiron’s mother’s low income housing into a vibratory entity similar to Rothko’s paintings.
The sound track includes contemporary classical music, rap, and an even an R&B song that echoes the sweet layered harmonies of the innocent 1950’s. The score’s disparate melodies all work together despite referencing different cultures and time periods. There is so much beauty and so much pain.
This film is brutal, and timeless. While it is set in a world that most audience members would not voluntarily visit, it is universal in its depiction of a first, true love.
Everyone will remember the 89th Academy Awards because of the accidental announcement of ‘La La Land’ as Best Picture. But ‘La La Land,’ with all the advantage of being a film by Hollywood about Hollywood, piled on the trappings of the Golden Era while having forgotten the old adage, all that glitters isn’t gold. While ‘La La Land’ tells us of love aborted for the cult of ambition; ‘Moonlight’ shows us a world where love is the only ambition.
Moira Cue is art and literature editor of Hollywood Sentinel, and an award winning multi-media artist working in art, music, film, and fiction among more. For more information on Moira visit the official website at www.MoiraCue.com
This content is copyright 2017, Moira Cue / Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.
Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced recently eight key members of the production team for the 89th Oscars®, which will air live on Sunday, February 26, on ABC. It was previously announced that Glenn Weiss would be returning as director for his second consecutive year.
Rob Paine has been associated with the Oscars telecast for over 20 years and returns as the Supervising Producer. Paine has more than 200 television events to his name and has earned four Emmy® nominations and a Peabody Award. His other credits include 11 Super Bowl Halftime Shows, “The Kennedy Center Honors” and the recent gala opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Production designer Derek McLane returns to the Oscars for a fifth consecutive year. He has earned four Emmy nominations for his work on the Oscars telecasts and won in 2014. His other television credits include “Hairspray Live!,” “The Wiz Live!,” “Peter Pan Live!” and “The Sound of Music Live!” McLane also has designed sets for several acclaimed Broadway productions; he received a Tony Award® for his work on the drama “33 Variations” as well as three nominations for musicals.
Billy Kimball returns for his second year as writer. He has previously written for the Governors Awards and was the writer on the “Independent Spirit Awards” nine times. Kimball is currently a writer and consulting producer on the HBO comedy series “Veep.” His other writing credits include “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,” “The Simpsons” and the documentary feature “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” which he co-wrote with Davis Guggenheim.
Also returning as writer is Jon Macks, an eight-time Emmy nominee. This is his 20th time writing on the Oscars; he has been the head writer for the hosts on seven Oscars telecasts. In addition to his work on the Oscars, Macks wrote for 22 years on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and writes for Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Martin Short.
Harold Wheeler returns for his fourth Oscars telecast. An accomplished orchestrator, composer, conductor, record producer and arranger, Wheeler has received multiple Emmy and Tony Award nominations as well as an NAACP Theatre Award for lifetime achievement. His television credits include the “People’s Choice Awards,” “AFI’s 100 Years…” series and 17 seasons of “Dancing with the Stars.” Wheeler also composed music for two Democratic National Conventions and the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics. On Broadway, he has orchestrated musicals including “Hairspray,” “The Full Monty,” “Dreamgirls,” “The Wiz” and “Promises, Promises.”
Taryn Hurd rejoins the Oscars telecast team for the fourth consecutive year as Talent Producer. She also has served as talent producer on the past three Governors Awards ceremonies along with numerous variety television specials and award shows.
Lightning designer Robert Dickinson returns for his 28th Oscars show. He has won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards, including three for Oscars telecasts. Additionally, Dickinson has been honored with two Daytime Emmy Awards. His credits include “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “The Grammys,” “Primetime Emmy Awards,” “Tony Awards” and “Academy of Country Music Awards” Olympics ceremonies in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Athens and Vancouver; the ceremonies of the European Games in Baku; and the specials “Peter Pan Live!” and “The Sound of Music Live!”
Raj Kapoor joins the Oscars for the first time designing screen content and performances. Kapoor’s recent credits include six Grammys, Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary, ABC’s “Greatest Hits” and the “Radio Disney Music Awards.” Kapoor has mounted numerous large-scale international tours for Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Soul 2 Soul, One Republic, American Idol, Jason Aldean, Shania Twain, Juanes, Jewel, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Rascal Flatts. He has also directed and produced Las Vegas residencies for Shania Twain, John Fogerty, Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey.
Gift to the Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today a $250,000 gift from Walmart to the Academy Foundation in support of the organization’s educational and outreach initiatives. Walmart, a Proud Sponsor of the 89th Oscars®, continues its commitment to encourage and support emerging talent in the film community.
The Academy Foundation manages two of the most prestigious competitions for emerging talent in the motion picture industry—the Student Academy Awards, an international film competition for university students, and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, an international writing competition for aspiring screenwriters. Past Student Academy Award winners include acclaimed filmmakers Pete Docter (“Inside Out”), Cary Fukunaga (“Beasts of No Nation”), John Lasseter (“Toy Story”), Spike Lee (“Do the Right Thing”), Trey Parker (“South Park”) and Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”). Altogether, Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive eight Oscars and 51 Oscar® nominations. Past Nicholl Fellows include Destin Cretton (“Short Term 12”), Jeffrey Eugenides (“The Virgin Suicides”), Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich”), Ehren Kruger (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”) and Andrew Marlowe (“Air Force One”).
This summer, the Academy will also launch a groundbreaking entertainment industry-wide summer intern and mentoring program that will expand opportunities for young professionals from under-represented communities.
“We would like to thank Walmart for this generous gift, and are grateful for their support of our educational initiatives and shared commitment to mentor the next generation of storytellers,” said Academy CEO, Dawn Hudson.
“Our Oscars campaign celebrates creativity and storytelling, and we felt it was important to not only support filmmaking on the industry’s biggest night, but to lend support to future filmmakers,” said Tony Rogers, chief marketing officer, Walmart U.S. “Every day our customers are telling stories with their receipts. We are proud to support the Academy’s educational programs to further empower film students from diverse backgrounds to tell their stories.”
Walmart’s gift will allow the Academy to meaningfully advance its ongoing efforts to reach out and build a more diverse and inclusive talent pool of participants in all Academy programs, and begin to position promising young people for success in their respective fields.
As a Proud Sponsor of the 89th Oscars®, Walmart will unveil its new campaign, “Behind Every Receipt, There’s a Great Story,” during the retailer’s first-ever sponsorship of the Oscars. The concept for the campaign is based on a single six-item receipt—when seen through an artistic lens—can tell an infinite number of stories. Walmart teamed with directors Antoine Fuqua, Marc Forster, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to create three short films, each with their own unique spin, that will premiere during the telecast’s commercials on Oscars® Sunday, February 26, on the ABC Television Network.
Getting Around Town During Oscar® Day
To ensure public safety, support security strategies and facilitate the production of this year’s Oscars®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the City of Los Angeles have finalized street closure plans around the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood.
To accommodate the construction of press risers, fan bleachers and pre-show stages along the Oscars red carpet, Hollywood Boulevard will be closed between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive beginning at 10 p.m. on Sunday, February 19, and remain closed until 6 a.m. on Wednesday March 1.
MTA subway trains will bypass the Hollywood & Highland station after the last regularly scheduled train on Saturday, February 25, until 6 a.m.Monday, February 27. Service at the station will resume with the first scheduled train after 6 a.m.
Between Sunday, February 19, and OscarSunday, February 26, additional streets and sidewalks will be closed for varying periods.
Grammy® and Tony® nominated singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles will deliver a special “In Memoriam” performance during the 89th Oscars® ceremony, show producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced today. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air live on Sunday, February 26, on the ABC Television Network.
“Sara’s unique artistry will honor those we’ve lost in our community including familiar faces and those behind the scenes who have enriched the art of moviemaking,” De Luca and Todd said.
Following Bareilles’ “in memoriam” performance, an extended photo gallery of more than 200 filmmakers, artists and executives will be recognized on Oscar.com.
Bareilles first achieved mainstream critical praise in 2007 with “Love Song,” from her debut album “Little Voice.” The single reached No. 1 in 22 countries. Since then she has received six Grammy nominations, which include Song of the Year, Female Pop Vocal Performance and Album of the Year for her highly acclaimed studio album, “The Blessed Unrest”. Her book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song, was released in 2015 by Simon & Schuster and was a New York Times best seller. Bareilles composed the music and lyrics for “Waitress,” receiving a Tony Award nomination for Original Score and a Grammy nomination for Musical Theater Album. Bareilles makes her Broadway acting debut in “Waitress.”
The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST. The Oscars, produced by De Luca and Todd and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, also will be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. Additionally, “The Oscars: All Access” live stream from the red carpet and backstage will begin at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST on Oscar.com.
This content is copyright, 2017 Hollywood Sentinel, AMPAS, all rights reserved.
After winning the category of BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL for her work in “La La Land,” actress Emma Stone poses backstage in the press room with her Golden Globe Award at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA on Sunday, January 8, 2017.
Proving she can act AND sing in her starring role in “La La Land,” actress Emma Stone won big tonight with at the Golden Globes. She also probed to be one of the sexiest and best dressed stars of the night, as seen below.
The super cool, beautiful, and talented actress Winona Ryder–Nominated for BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA for her role in “Stranger Things,” attends the 74th Annual Golden Globes Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA on Sunday, January 8, 2017 (pictured below).
Hollywood Sentinel names “Stranger Things” one of the top 3 best shows on Netflix. We had the pleasure to meet Winona Ryder years ago, and she is a as charming and sweet as can be.
Nominated for BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA for her role in “Jackie,” the lovely and extraordinary talented actress Natalie Portman attends the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA on Sunday, January 8, 2017.
This content is copyright, 2017, The Hollywood Sentinel , all world rights reserved.