Trunk Club teams up with costume designer Mary Zophres for collections inspired by ‘La La Land’

April 12, 2017

by Estelle Marine

Trunk Club and Mary Zophres curate women’s looks inspired by “La La Land.” (Photo courtesy of Trunk Club)

Trunk Club—a Nordstrom Company that does personalized styling service for men and women—has partnered with “La La Land” costume designer Mary Zophres for limited-edition collections inspired by the film.

The contemporary musical “La La Land”, released in 2016, has won numerous awards, including six Oscars: Best Director, Best Actress (for Emma Stone), Best Original Song, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. The film’s 14 Oscar nominations included one for Best Costume Design. “La La Land” is about an aspiring actress named Mia (played by Stone) and a struggling jazz musician named Sebastian (played by Ryan Gosling) who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles.

According to a Trunk Club press release, the curated trunk aims to showcase the film’s timeless style, inspiring women to wear bright colored dresses paired with classic accessories in their spring wardrobe, as Mia did in the film. While, encouraging men to model Sebastian’s look; a tailored sport coat and a crisp pair of pants.

“La La Land,” which is currently available on Digital HD, will arrive on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on April 25, 2017.

Trunk Club and Mary Zophres curate women's looks inspired by "La La Land."
Trunk Club and Mary Zophres curate men’s looks inspired by “La La Land.” (Photo courtesy of Trunk Club)

Why the 2017 Oscar mistake wasn’t a publicity hoax and 5 other Oscar ‘alternative facts’ debunked

February 28, 2017

by Carla Hay

Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel (pictured at left) looks on as Oscar presenter Warren Beatty (pictured at right) explains the infamous Oscar mistake
Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel (pictured at left) looks on as Oscar presenter Warren Beatty (pictured at right) explains the infamous Oscar mistake. (Photo by Eddy ChenABC)

It didn’t take long for the conspiracy theories to start after the biggest mistake in Oscar history was broadcast live for millions of people around the world to see at the 89th Annual Academy Awards, which took place the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017.

To recap, in case you’re one of the few people who haven’t heard about it yet: The wrong winner was announced for Best Picture. The producers of the contemporary musical “La La Land” were on stage for an entire two minutes while giving their acceptance speeches when it was announced that “La La Land” was not the winner for Best Picture. The coming-of-age drama “Moonlight” was, in fact, the real winner. The “La La Land” team had to literally hand over the Oscars they thought they had won to the “Moonlight” team. How embarrassing.

It was determined that the wrong envelope had been given to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, who therefore announced the wrong winner. The video of this incident quickly went viral, but many people on the Internet started spreading stories that the whole thing was a rigged publicity stunt to boost the Oscar ceremony’s ratings. This conspiracy theory couldn’t be farther from the truth, and here’s why:

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the longtime accounting firm for the Academy Awards, has a legally binding contract to not reveal the voting results to anyone other than to a select few people at the firm. Not even the Oscar telecast’s producers, host or the network executives (the people who would have the most to gain from publicity stunts for the show) know who won until the winner is announced on stage. The Oscar statuettes handed out on stage do not have the winners’ names on the statuettes—the winners’ names are engraved on these awards after the ceremony.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which issued a formal apology for the envelope error, makes such a big deal out of showing the locked briefcases where the Oscar envelopes are held, that the two PricewaterhouseCoopers employees entrusted with this responsibility of handing out the sealed envelopes actually walk the red carpet and pose for pictures with the briefcases. Each employee carries the same envelopes in case something happens that would prevent one of the employees from handing over the envelopes in  time.

Because of the millions of dollars at stake, PricewaterhouseCoopers would not put their business and reputation on the line for such an elaborate publicity stunt that would only harm the company. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, whose members do the Oscar voting, also issued a separate  apology, even though PricewaterhouseCoopers is taking full responsibility for the fiasco.

And if it were a publicity stunt, it was a poorly timed stunt that didn’t work. Why wait until the very end of the show (which dragged on way past its scheduled end time) to do it? It would have made more sense to pull a publicity stunt at the beginning of the show or before the show in order to get people to tune in for higher ratings.  According to the Nielsen Company and The Hollywood Reporter,  ratings for this year’s Oscars dropped to 32.9 million U.S. viewers, which is a 4 percent decrease from the previous year.

The fact that the mistake wasn’t corrected for two whole minutes (which is a long time on live TV) indicates that the show’s producers didn’t know what a humiliating, colossal mistake had been made on their live TV broadcast. Beatty, Dunaway and the “La La Land” team certainly didn’t know who the winner was in advance, because it would be insane and financially non-beneficial to them to embarrass themselves on TV in this manner for the sake of boosting TV ratings.

PriceWaterHouse Coopers employee Brian Cullinan (pictured at right) on the Oscar red carpet before the show at the Dolby Theatre on February 26, 2017.
PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan on the Oscar red carpet before the show at the Dolby Theatre on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Tyler Golden/ABC/Tyler Golden)

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ U.S. chairman Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, two of the company’s employees who had the responsibility of handing out the correct envelopes during the Oscar ceremony, were among the few people who knew in advance who the real winner was. Why did it take them so long to correct the mistake on stage? That is currently being “investigated,” according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Sometimes a mistake this big really does happen because of an unintentional error. It’s time to let the conspiracy theories go.

March 1, 2017 UPDATE: PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Academy have announced that Cullinan and Ruiz have now been prohibited from any PricewaterhouseCoopers activities related to the Oscars.

Here are five other “alternative facts” (in other words, things that aren’t true) about recent Academy Awards that have spread over the Internet and by some media outlets, along with the real truth to debunk the false reports:

Are Ben Affleck and Casey Affleck the first brothers to win Oscars?

No. In a backstage interview at the 2017 Academy Awards, Casey Affleck (winner of Best Actor, for “Manchester by the Sea”) said that he and his older brother Ben Affleck are the only brothers to win Oscars. In fact, brothers Joel and Ethan Coen each won three Oscars on the same night for directing, writing and producing the 2007 movie “No Country for Old Men.” The Coen brothers won the awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Ben Affleck has two Oscars: Best Picture (for producing the 2012 drama “Argo”) and Best Original Screenplay (for co-writing the 1997 drama “Good Will Hunting.”) Ben Affleck has not received Oscar nominations as an actor or director; he was famously snubbed by not getting an Oscar nomination for directing or starring in “Argo.”

Is “Moonlight star” Mahershala Ali the first Muslim to win an Oscar?

No. Because religion is such a sensitive and private issue for many, it’s difficult to know who really was the first Muslim to actually win an Oscar. It may be obvious to look to the Best Foreign Film category to make assumptions about which Oscar winners were Muslim (for example, the 2011 Iranian film “A Separation” won in that category), but the Academy Awards have many lower-profile categories such as technical awards and short-film awards that a Muslim could have won in those categories long before “Moonlight” star Ali won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. As for the Oscar categories for actors and actresses, Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, who has openly discussed being Muslim, won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the 2003 drama “House of Sand and Fog.”

Is Sam Smith the first openly gay person to win an Oscar?

No. In 2016, Oscar winner Sam Smith mistakenly declared in his acceptance speech that he was the first openly gay person to win an Oscar. Smith—whose  “Writing’s on the Wall” tune (from the James Bond film “Spectre”) won the Oscar for Best Original Song—was soon corrected on social media that he wasn’t the first openly gay person to win an Oscar. Elton John  won the same Oscar for co-writing the 1994 “The Lion King” hit song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Smith later made a public apology for his mistake.

Did “Moonlight” writer/director Barry Jenkins become the first African-American to win an Oscar for Best Picture?

No. An African-American has not yet won this prize. However, “12 Years a Slave” director/producer Steve McQueen (who is British) became the first black person to win an Oscar for Best Picture. The Oscar for Best Picture goes to the eligible producer(s) of the film, not the director or the stars of the movie, unless a director or star of the movie is also one of the eligible producers of the film.

In the case of “Moonlight,” the Oscar for Best Picture was awarded to producers Jeremy Kleiner, Dede Gardner and Adele Romanski, who are all Caucasian. Jenkins was not one of the producers of “Moonlight.” Kleiner and Gardner also previously won a Best Picture Oscar for the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave,” whose Oscar-winning producers also included McQueen, Brad Pitt and Anthony Katagas.

Did “Moonlight” writer/director Barry Jenkins become the first African-American to win an Oscar in a screenplay category?

No. Geoffrey S. Fletcher became the first African-American to win a screenplay Oscar for the 2009 movie “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” Fletcher received the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay. John Ridley, who is also African-American, won the same award for “12 Years a Slave.”

Emma Stone backstage at the 2017 Academy Awards

February 27, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 89th Annual Academy Awards took place on February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

EMMA STONE

Oscar win:

Best Actress

(“La La Land”)

Here is what this Oscar winner said backstage in the Academy Awards press room.

Emma Emma Stone at the 2017 Academy Awards in Los Angeles
Emma Stone at the 2017 Academy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Tyler Golden/ABC)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

How will you celebrate tonight, and who will you call first after the show?

My mom, for sure. And I’m going to go out with a bunch of my friends and dance and drink champagne. That’s pretty much the only plan.

What does it mean to you as one of the ones who dreamed to have won this award for playing this role that mimics what so many people in this city go through to get to the point of where you are standing right now?

Well, I guess surreal is probably the only way to describe it. I mean, to play this woman, I knew this. I’ve lived here for 13 years. I moved when I was 15 to start auditioning, and I knew what it felt like to go on audition after audition. So I mean anything like this was pretty inconceivable in a realistic context.

I had a really creepy little moment backstage—not to change the subject—but I was just like looking down at it, like it was my newborn child. This is a statue of a naked man. Very creepy staring at it. So hopefully, I will look at a newborn child differently. But I mean it’s, yeah, it’s incredibly surreal. I don’t have the benefit of hindsight yet. Sorry if that’s a terrible answer. Turned it into a naked man story.

You know it’s a dream to get an Oscar. Did you ever dream like that? And what is the dream when they announced “La La Land” as the Best Picture, and it didn’t win?

Okay. So yes, of course. I’m an actor. I’ve always dreamt of this kind of thing, but again, not in a realistic context. And for that, I fucking love “Moonlight.” God, I love “Moonlight” so much! I was so excited for “Moonlight.” And of course, you know, it was an amazing thing to hear “La La Land.” I think we all would have loved to win Best Picture, but we are so excited for “Moonlight.”

I think it’s one of the best films of all time. So I was pretty beside myself. I also was holding my Best Actress in a Leading Role card that entire time. So, whatever story—I don’t mean to start stuff, but whatever story that was, I had that card. So I’m not sure what happened. And I really wanted to talk to you guys first. Congratulations, “Moonlight.” Hell, yeah.

Could you just speak a little bit to what the atmosphere was like after that nightmare? The atmosphere in here was crazy.

I think everyone’s in a state of confusion still. Excitement, but confusion. I don’t really have a gauge of the atmosphere quite yet. I need to, you know, check in. But I think everyone is just so excited, so excited for “Moonlight.” It’s such an incredible film.

How much does an Oscar cost in terms of sacrifice and discipline?

Oh, my God. Is that measurable? I don’t know. I guess it depends on the Oscar. In my life, I have been beyond lucky with the people around me, with the friends and family that I have and the people that have lifted me up throughout my life. So in terms of sacrifice, those people are all sitting back in a room right now and I get to go celebrate with them, and it’s felt like the most joyous thing. So, I mean, being a creative person does not feel like a sacrifice to me. It’s the great joy of my life. And so, I mean, I don’t know if that’s a good answer to that question, but I’ve been very lucky in terms of that.

As someone who’s been in Hollywood, you’ve experienced many things before. Are you able to give us sort of a word picture of what it was like? It was two minutes and 30 seconds that “La La Land” was named Best Picture of the year. What was it like on stage when you first thought it won, and then it didn’t win?

Again, I don’t know if this is a measurable question. Is that the craziest Oscar moment of all time? Cool! We made history tonight. Craziest moment. And again, I don’t even know what to say. I think I’m still on such a buzzy train backstage that I was, you know, on another planet already. So this has all just felt like another planet. But again, God I love “Moonlight” I’m so excited. I think it’s an incredible outcome, but a very strange happening for Oscar history.

Do you feel like owing Emma Watson a drink or dinner to thank her for turning down the role you got in “La La Land”?

Oh, my God, you know what? She’s doing great. She’s the coolest. She’s Belle [in “Beauty and the Beast”]. I think it’s all right. It’s all good. I think she’s amazing.

Being on the top of the world right now, does it humble you?

Well, we had a nice little jarring moment that’s just … like real life, but everything kind of feels like real life. Like this is an incredible, incredible honor and in many ways game-changing for me, personally, but it’s also just still me. And again, back to the people that I love, nothing changes when I go home. Nothing is going to change at all. So I don’t know that there’s a humbling moment. It’s just already like feels ridiculous, in the best way.

2017 Academy Awards: ‘Moonlight’ wins Best Picture; ‘La La Land’ wins 6 Oscars

January 27, 2017

by Carla Hay

For the first time in Oscar history, a colossal mistake was made in announcing the winner for Best Picture. The mishap occurred at the 89th Annual Academy Awards, which were presented at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017.  In a stunning turn of events, the drama “Moonlight” won the prize, but only after presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced that “La La Land” was the winner and after the producers of “La La Land” gave their acceptance speeches. A visibly embarrassed Beatty explained that he had been given the wrong envelope, and that he was reading from a card that announced “La La Land” star Emma Stone as Best Actress, an award she had won earlier in the evening.

“La La Land” had widely been predicted to win Best Picture since it went into the ceremony with a record 14 nominations. The contemporary musical “La La Land” tied the record previously held by 1950’s “All About Eve” and 1997’s “Titanic,” which each had 14 Oscar nominations. In the end, “La La Land” won six Oscars, including Best Actress for Stone and Best Director for Damien Chazelle, who at 32 years old became the youngest person to win in that category.

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the ceremony, which was telecast in the U.S. on ABC. He jokingly chastised Beatty for the mistake by saying, “Warren, what did you do?” Some of the antics that Kimmel did during the telecast included taking an unsuspecting group of tourists on a front-row journey through the theater; poking fun at his friend Matt Damon in their ongoing mock feud; and making snacks wrapped in lacy packages that  rain down on the audience.

Only two other movies received more than one Oscar at the ceremony: “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Manchester by the Sea,”  which won two awards each.

Mahershala Ali, Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Casey Affleck at the 89th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Tyler Golden/ABC)

The 89th Academy Awards also set a record for the most nominations for African-Americans and other people of color. For the first time in Academy Awards history, people of color were nominated in all of the major categories in the same year: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. The ethnic diversity in the nominees came after the Academy changed its membership policies in 2016 to include more women and people of color, following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that slammed the Oscars for not having any African-American nominees in the actor/actress categories for the 2016 and 2015 ceremonies. In the end, African-Americans won in three major categories at the 2017 Academy Awards: Viola Davis of “Fences” won for Best Supporting Actress, while “Moonlight” star Mahershala Ali won for Best Supporting Actor and “Moonlight” writer/director Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney won for Best Adapted Screenplay. (The award for Best Picture is given to the film’s producers. Jenkins was not a producer of “Moonlight.”)

The nominations for the 2017 Oscars were also noteworthy for the strides made by streaming services. “Manchester by the Sea” because the first movie from a streaming service (Amazon) not a traditional film studio, to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. “Manchester by the Sea” ultimately won two Oscars: Best Actor (for Casey Affleck) and Best Original Screenplay (for Kenneth Lonergan).

The documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” which was an ESPN miniseries totaling more than seven hours, qualified for the Academy Awards because “O.J.: Made in America” had a limited run in U.S. theaters. “O.J.: Made in America” won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, making it the longest movie to win in that category.

Here is the complete list of winners for the 79th Annual Academy Awards:

***= winner

Best Picture
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”***

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”***
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”***
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”***
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, “Fences”***
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

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

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

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

Best Cinematography
“Arrival,” Bradford Young
“La La Land,” Linus Sandgren***
“Lion,” Greig Fraser
“Moonlight,” James Laxton
“Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto

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

Best Documentary Short Subject
“4.1 Miles,” Daphne Matziaraki
“Extremis,” Dan Krauss
“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***

Best Foreign Language Film
“Land of Mine,” Martin Zandvliet (Denmark)
“A Man Called Ove,” Hannes Holm (Sweden)
“The Salesman,” Asghar Farhadi (Iran)***
“Tanna,” Martin Butler and Bentley Dean (Australia)
“Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade (Germany)

Best Animated Feature
“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***

Best Animated Short
“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 Interieurs,” Selim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing,” Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy***
“Timecode,” Juanjo Gimenez

Best Original Score
“Jackie,” Mica Levi
“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz***
“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
“Passengers,” Thomas Newman

Best 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

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

Best Makeup and Hair
“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***

Best 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

Best 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 Sound Editing
“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare***
“Deepwater Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renee 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

Best Sound Mixing
“Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy 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

Best 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

Emma Stone backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

EMMA STONE

SAG Award win:

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

(“La La Land”)

Here is what this SAG Award winner said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

Emma Stone at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 29, 2017.
Emma Stone at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

You were cut off at the end of your speech. Can you finish any thoughts you had?

That’s a really good point. They just escorted me into a Porta-Potty after that literally was like, “Ooh, what just happened?” Basically, my intention was to express that what I didn’t say was that sometimes in insecure times, I go into my head and think that what I do maybe doesn’t count for anything in the world—like it’s not enough, and I’m not saving lives. And then I was thinking about the art this year, and that in a time like this for so many horrific things are happening it is so special to be part of a group of people who want to reflect what’s happening back to the world and to make people happy.

I’m paraphrasing what I said on stage and I hope it will maybe change perspectives or help people feel less alone.  And it’s giving me a lot of a lot of happiness thinking about getting to be just even one person in the cog of all of these actors and an artist that care. And obviously, we’re also citizens of this planet and of this country or not of this country, and either way it doesn’t matter. We have to speak up against injustice and we have to kick some ass. So yeah, that’s not very eloquent here either, but yeah, that general idea.

You mentioned in your speech a little something about feeling insecure sometimes, which is not something we hear actors admit to much but they succumb to it more than we think. Would that be a fair comment?

Well, I don’t want to speak for anyone outside of myself. I think that would be unfair. I’m sure there are many actors that that don’t feel insecure a lot of the time I am not necessarily one of them. But I don’t know what that has to do with being an actor or just someone that you know kind of has a little bit of neurotic wiring. And I really care very much about being better and getting better—and I don’t even mean that as an actor. I mean that as a person. So I don’t know. I can’t speak for them, but I just maybe think a little bit too much.

People are torn sometimes when they’re at an award show to talk about what’s going on in the world at the same time. You can do it in a respectful way too. Do you think it’s important when you have a forum like this and you feel the issue is important enough to talk at least somewhat about what’s going on in the world in this case?

I think that right now is an unprecedented time, so I don’t know if I would say forever yes. But I think if we’re human beings and we see injustice we have to speak up because staying silent, as they say, only really helps the oppressor. It never helps the victim.

So I think that, yes, right now I would hope that everyone that’s seeing things being done that are absolutely unconstitutional and inhumane would say something in any venue, whether it’s at school or at an award show or in their offices or online. I would hope that people would fight for what’s right and what’s fucking human. This is a time unlike any other, so it’s amazing to see people speaking up and taking action—more than anything else—taking action.

 

 

2017 Academy Awards: ‘La La Land’ leads with record 14 nominations

January 24, 2017

by Carla Hay

Oscars-logo-white

With a record 14 nominations (including Best Picture), the contemporary musical “La La Land” is the  leading contender at the 89th Annual Academy Awards, which will be presented at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017.  Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the ceremony, which be telecast in the U.S. on ABC.  “La La Land” ties the record previously held by 1950’s “All About Eve” and 1997’s “Titanic,” which each had 14 Oscar nominations.

Other movies that received several nominations for the 89th Annual Academy Awards included “Moonlight” and “Arrival” (eight nominations each); “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea” (six nominations each); and “Fences” and “Hell or High Water” (four nominations each).

The nominations also set a record for the most nominations for African-Americans and other people of color. For the first time in Academy Awards history, people of color were nominated in all of the major categories in the same year: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. The ethnic diversity in the nominees comes after the Academy changed its membership policies in 2016 to include more women and people of color, following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that slammed the Oscars for not having any African-American nominees in the actor/actress categories for the 2016 and 2015 ceremonies.

The nominations for the 2017 Oscars were also noteworthy for the strides made by streaming services. “Manchester by the Sea” because the first movie from a streaming service (Amazon) not a traditional film studio, to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

The documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” which was an ESPN miniseries totaling more than seven hours, qualified for the Academy Awards because “O.J.: Made in America” had a limited run in U.S. theaters. “O.J.: Made in America” is up for the prize of Best Documentary Feature.

Another noteworthy nominee was “Arrival,” which became one of the few science-fiction films to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Best Picture
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”

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

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

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

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

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

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

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

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

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

Best Documentary Short Subject
“4.1 Miles,” Daphne Matziaraki
“Extremis,” Dan Krauss
“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

Best Foreign Language Film
“Land of Mine,” Martin Zandvliet (Denmark)
“A Man Called Ove,” Hannes Holm (Sweden)
“The Salesman,” Asghar Farhadi (Iran)
“Tanna,” Martin Butler and Bentley Dean (Australia)
“Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade (Germany)

Best Animated Feature
“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

Best Animated Short
“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 Interieurs,” Selim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing,” Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
“Timecode,” Juanjo Gimenez

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

Best 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

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

Best Makeup and Hair
“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

Best 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

Best 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 Sound Editing
“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare
“Deepwater Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renee 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

Best Sound Mixing
“Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy 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

Best 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

Here’s a look at the movies that received more than one nomination for the 2017 Academy Awards:

 

 

Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and the ‘La La Land’ team backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

“LA LA LAND”

Golden Globe wins:

  • Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
  • Best Director (Damien Chazelle)
  • Best Screenplay (Damien Chazelle)
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Ryan Gosling)
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Emma Stone)
  • Best Original Score (Justin Hurwitz)
  • Best Original Song (“City of Stars,” written by Justin Hurwitz, Justin Paul and Benj Pasek)

Here is what these Golden Globe winners said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

"La La Land" stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

Damien, how many “no’s” did you hear before you knew “La La Land” was actually going to happen?

Damien Chazelle (writer/director): Many, but enough to fill six years. That’s how long it took to actually get the movie going. I actually have to remind myself of that. All of this is so surreal, but the biggest dream come true I had was the first day literally standing there with the cameras rolling and being surrounded by people like Emma [Stone], Ryan [Gosling] and John [Legend] and my crew. It was the biggest gift. All of this is even more surreal because of that.

Why do you think “La La Land” has become such a critical and popular success?

Ryan Gosling (co-star): I think Emma spoke to that so beautifully in her speech. The thing that moved me so much about the film is the importance of pursuing your dream, despite the obstacles. It’s such a beautiful message for Damien to put out into the world. It seemed like a very appropriate time for that.

Emma Stone (co-star): Thanks. Yeah, I think that’s maybe the key to what’s inspiring about it now. I also think that something about these two characters and what they’re going through that feels very realistic and very human, even in these fantastical circumstances where they’re singing and dancing and everything is so beautifully colorful. I think two people struggling that way and falling in love and how it ultimately unfolds is something that everybody can relate to in what could have been.

How has the modern era shaped our fantasies about love?

Gosling: I’ve had too much champagne to answer that question. Emma?

Stone: I don’t know if I can speak to the entirety of the modern era right now. But by next week, I will have a solid answer for you—with footnotes and references.

Chazelle: I don’t know if this answers the question, but it was important for us to make a love story that was for the modern era, that was a contemporary love story but use older movies and older love stories to comment on the modern era. And look at the ways the time we live in how matches the old movies in some ways and doesn’t match them in other ways.

And also this idea that one does need to move forward, that nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake is not a place to live in. You should honor the past but actually find a way to push that forward, whether it’s in how you love or how you make movies or how you make any art.

Damien, can you comment on “La La Land” setting a Golden Globes record for the most Golden Globe Awards (seven) won by a single movie or TV show? And you’re also the youngest person to ever win a Golden Globe for Best Director. How does that feel?

Chazelle: Now that you say that, it feels incredible. I’m still processing it. This is my first time ever at the Golden Globes. I assume it doesn’t always go this way. I’m not going to get used to this. I was just so honored to be here at all, so to be on the stage with the people I made this movie with. I think what I was most excited about was to see [“La La Land” composer/songwriter] Justin [Hurwitz], who I went to college with and met in a college band, and we talked about movies when we were 17 and 18, to see him on that stage [accepting his Golden Globe Award] was actually the single greatest moment for me.

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