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Oscar’s Triumph Despite Curse

The 89th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 26, 2017. Photo credit, image group LA.

A roughly four hour long Oscar Ceremony was greatly entertaining this evening, with host Jimmy Kimmel who did a great job.  With nearly every presenter and acceptance speech monologue laced with political comments against the current political administration, Kimmel led the assault with at least 4 jabs at the President in the first four minutes of his opening monologue, including jokes about Trump’s tweeting, immigrants not getting in the country, and a divided nation.  He further joked about Trump  stating how Meryl Streep was an over-rated actress.

The stellar show wound up cursed however, when Warren Beatty let Faye Dunaway read the Best Picture winner from the envelope, and she read ‘LaLa Land.’  ‘La La Land’ producers were in the middle of reading their acceptance speech, when they stopped and stated how there had been a mistake, that ‘Moonlight’ actually won.

Like the political insanity of the past several months itself; from hacking, to leaks, to false hopes,  so called fake news, surprise victories, and surprise losses among more, The Oscars–heavily tackling politics, wound up itself a victim of at least part of the political type of insanity it aimed to criticize.

Having changed the rules last year from what many considered false accusations of racism, more blacks were nominated and won this year, yet nearly didn’t. The mostly white film ‘La La Land’ won first–only to be dethroned in a matter of seconds, with the Oscar being snatched away from the ‘fake’ winners and given to the real winners–the more ‘real’ liberal Hollywood film of ‘greater’ diversity about not only ‘black’ characters, but ‘gay’ too.

At a moment, it seemed like all a part of the show, great scripted drama for the highly entertaining awards show itself.   And who knows? Maybe it was? Then again, that may be highly doubtful, considering the manner in which it has already reflected on the Academy, Warren Beatty, and Faye Dunaway.  In reality, only the person handing the envelope to Warren and Faye should be to blamed, with Warren reportedly stating that the envelope he was given had a card stating Emma Rose– ‘La La Land’ on it.  Which just goes to prove, we don’t just need ballot checkers at the presidential polls, but evidently we now need envelope checkers at the Oscars too.

It’s almost as if Trump himself had someone sneak in and mix up the envelopes to seek revenge.  Or, perhaps those Hollywood hating Trump supporters cast a spell and cursed the finale’ of the show,  seeking revenge for the many barbs, and–the witches cursing him just two nights before.

One ‘can’ say that two films at The Oscars and the presenters got cheated–‘La La Land’ had their hopes dashed to bits, ‘Moonlight’ lost their glory and speech time, and the Oscars and presenters of Faye and Warren got humiliated. Or, one can say what I prefer and tend to feel, that  in a way in actuality–there were two winners.  ‘La La Land,’ who would not have seen the stage for best picture,  got to pretend they won for a moment and have their speech and moment of glory as Best Picture Winners, and ‘Moonlight,’ a young film from a young filmmaker got its nod and Best Picture award in a world often against gays and blacks.

Warren and Faye, two stellar stars and legends, who have weathered the ups and downs of Hollywood for decades, will be just fine, and the brilliant and funny Jimmy Kimmel,  who was a great hit this night, deferentially assumed all of the blame.  And the Oscars, well–they will go on being the greatest awards show of all time, and the greatest night in TV history.  And–mistake or no mistake, they kept us watching, entertained, and loving every minute tonight, like only the Oscars can–drama and all.  After all, isn’t that what Hollywood’s all about? And anyway, we simply ‘can’t’ be out-drama’d by Washington now, can we?

–Bruce Edwin

Viola Davis poses backstage with the Oscar® for Performance by an actress in a supporting role, for work on “Fences” during the live ABC Telecast of The 89th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, February 26, 2017.Photo Credit: Mike Baker / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Viola Davis shined at the Oscars tonight, winning Best Supporting Actress for her work in the film ‘Fences,’ and giving a heartwarming acceptance speech, as partially shown here below;

VIOLA DAVIS:

“Thank you to the Academy. You know, there’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that’s the graveyard. People ask me all the time, “What kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola?” And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost. I became an artist, and thank god I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. So here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.”

Viola continued, “(…) I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. (…)  And to Bron Pictures, Paramount, MACRO, Todd Black, Molly Allen, Scott Rudin for being the cheerleaders for a movie that is about people, and words, and life, and forgiveness and grace. (…)”

  This content is copyright, 2017, The  Oscar®,” “AMPAS®.” The Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.

Oscars In the News

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 theTonight 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 Oscar Sunday, February 26, additional streets and sidewalks will be closed for varying periods.

In Memoriam

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.

Countdown to the The Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have  released  the nominations for the Oscar’s–hosted by  Jimmy Kimmel— which will air live this Sunday February 26th 2017 on ABC.

 Nominations for the 89th Academy Awards

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Arrival” Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers
  • “Fences” Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers
  • “Hell or High Water” Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers
  • “Hidden Figures” Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
  • “La La Land” Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers
  • “Lion” Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers
  • “Moonlight” Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”
  • Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”
  • Denzel Washington in “Fences”

 

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight”
  • Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”
  • Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Dev Patel in “Lion”
  • Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”

 

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”
  • Ruth Negga in “Loving”
  • Natalie Portman in “Jackie”
  • Emma Stone in “La La Land”
  • Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”

 

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Viola Davis in “Fences”
  • Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Lion”
  • Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”
  • Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”

 

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
  • “Moana” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
  • “My Life as a Zucchini” Claude Barras and Max Karli
  • “The Red Turtle” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
  • “Zootopia” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

 

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Arrival” Bradford Young
  • “La La Land” Linus Sandgren
  • “Lion” Greig Fraser
  • “Moonlight” James Laxton
  • “Silence” Rodrigo Prieto

 

Achievement in costume design

  • “Allied” Joanna Johnston
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Colleen Atwood
  • “Florence Foster Jenkins” Consolata Boyle
  • “Jackie” Madeline Fontaine
  • “La La Land” Mary Zophres

 

Achievement in directing

  • “Arrival” Denis Villeneuve
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Mel Gibson
  • “La La Land” Damien Chazelle
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Kenneth Lonergan
  • “Moonlight” Barry Jenkins

 

Best documentary feature

  • “Fire at Sea” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
  • “I Am Not Your Negro” Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck
  • “Life, Animated” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
  • “O.J.: Made in America” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
  • “13th” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

 

Best documentary short subject

  • “Extremis” Dan Krauss
  • “4.1 Miles” Daphne Matziaraki
  • “Joe’s Violin” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
  • “Watani: My Homeland” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
  • “The White Helmets” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

 

Achievement in film editing

  • “Arrival”Joe Walker
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” John Gilbert
  • “Hell or High Water” Jake Roberts
  • “La La Land” Tom Cross
  • “Moonlight” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

 

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Land of Mine” Denmark
  • “A Man Called Ove” Sweden
  • “The Salesman” Iran
  • “Tanna” Australia
  • “Toni Erdmann” Germany

 

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “A Man Called Ove” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
  • “Star Trek Beyond” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
  • “Suicide Squad” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

 

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Jackie” Mica Levi
  • “La La Land” Justin Hurwitz
  • “Lion” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
  • “Moonlight” Nicholas Britell
  • “Passengers” Thomas Newman

 

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”
    Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”
    Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
  • “City Of Stars” from “La La Land”
    Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • “The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”
    Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
  • “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”
    Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

 

Achievement in production design

  • “Arrival” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Hail, Caesar!” Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “La La Land” Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
  • “Passengers” Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

 

Best animated short film

  • “Blind Vaysha” Theodore Ushev
  • “Borrowed Time” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
  • “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
  • “Pearl” Patrick Osborne
  • “Piper” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

 

Best live action short film

  • “Ennemis Intérieurs” Sélim Azzazi
  • “La Femme et le TGV” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
  • “Silent Nights” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
  • “Sing” Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy
  • “Timecode” Juanjo Giménez

 

Achievement in sound editing

  • “Arrival” Sylvain Bellemare
  • “Deepwater Horizon” Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
  • “La La Land” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
  • “Sully” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “Arrival” Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
  • “La La Land” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
  • “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Deepwater Horizon” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
  • “Doctor Strange” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
  • “The Jungle Book” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

Adapted screenplay

  • “Arrival” Screenplay by Eric Heisserer
  • “Fences” Screenplay by August Wilson
  • “Hidden Figures” Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
  • “Lion” Screenplay by Luke Davies
  • “Moonlight” Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Original screenplay

  • “Hell or High Water” Written by Taylor Sheridan
  • “La La Land” Written by Damien Chazelle
  • “The Lobster” Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Written by Kenneth Lonergan
  • “20th Century Women” Written by Mike Mills

ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 7,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.

This content is copyright, 2017, AMPAS, Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.