The mainstream category nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy® Awards were announced back on December 06, 2013 during “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!”, hosted by rapper, actor LL Cool J with some satellite and pre-taped performances by Robin Thicke, Lorde, Katy Perry and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to name a few.
Well, out of that, Jay Z got the most nominations at 9. With 7 nominations apiece is: Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
The Grammy Award ceremony will air tomorrow, Sunday January 26, 2014 on CBS at 8PM (EST).
Last night, the Screen Actors Guild Awards® gave out many of the right trophies, especially in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories, where respectively, Jared Leto won for his remarkable change in appearance and character for his role as “Rayon” in “Dallas Buyers Club“.
Leto shared his award with the “the Rayons of the world”, and said after his win, “The epidemic isn’t over. There still is not a cure (for AIDS).”
Lupita Nyong’o (finally) won a ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award for the bittersweet historical drama “12 Years a Slave.” Nyong’o beat out award season favorite and (over saturated) media darling Jennifer Lawrence who was up for her supporting role in “American Hustle“. So today, I’m a little happier than I was after the Golden Globes®.
Mexican born, Yale educated Nyong’o has won 19 awards for her role as “Patsey”, but they’ve mostly been Film Critic Awards. This is her first top tier award, which bodes well for her at the Academy Award® ceremony in March.
Here’s the kicker – – this is only Nyong’o’s 4th on-screen role. Her acceptance speech hit a very poignant, emotional chord when she said in part:
“Being recognized by your fellow actors is an honor of the highest order,”. She then attributed her director Steve McQueen, “for taking a flashlight and shining it underneath the floorboards of this nation and reminding us what it is we stand on.”
Deservedly, Matthew McConaughey took home ‘Best Actor’ for his near-to-best career performance in “Dallas Buyers Club”. To prepare for his role as reluctant AIDS activist “Ron Woodroof“, McConaughey lost between 38-51 pounds. After winning his award, McConaughey said, “There’s a real benefit to being hungry. All the power I lost, I gained from the neck up.”
If you remember, McConaughey received his very first Oscar nomination this past Thursday. Over the last 9 years, all ‘Best Actor SAG Winners’ have won the Academy Award®.
My pick for ‘Best Actor in a Lead Performance’ has been, since the Sundance Film Festival, the outstanding Chiwetel Ejiofor for his role as “Soloman Northup” in “12 Years A Slave“.
I will be somewhat broken-hearted if Ejiofor loses, as I’ve been following his career since “Dirty Pretty Things (2002) for which he won a BAFTA® Award (the UK equivalent to the Oscar) and have been waiting for his star vehicle performance to get him to the Oscar’s in a lead role. Ejiofor should have won for his supporting role as Huey Lucas in “American Gangster” (2008) but he was snubbed across the board for other top tier awards.
McConaughey’s career has been on the upswing in the most dramatic way since he got back to his acting roots in 2011. First with the understated “The Lincoln Lawyer” and then with his outstanding, dark and sexy-beast performance in “Killer Joe”. I wanted McConaughey to win for his role as “Killer Joe Cooper” because up to that point it was his career-best performance. But then he followed that up with “Mud” (2012) and you just knew there was a lot more where that came from. Even McConaughey’s role in “Magic Mike” (2012) was exceptional, funny, slightly dark and a little wonderful.
By the way, I just want to remind everybody that “Dallas Buyers Club” (2013) is directed by Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallée. And, even though he is responsible for two Oscar-nominated performances from lead Matthew McConaughey and supporting actor Jared Leto, Vallée has been almost entirely snubbed all award season for a Best Director nod, until last Thursday when he was finallynominated for Best Director for an Academy Award®.
“American Hustle”, the award season darling took home the award for ‘Best Ensemble Cast’.
According to Dave McNary at Variety:
The 20th SAG Awards provided mixed signals since the “American Hustle” cast won over “12 Years a Slave” and “Dallas Buyers Club” — which won three of the four individual acting awards — along with topping with “August: Osage County” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” The winner of the SAG ensemble trophy has matched the Oscar Best Picture winner nine times in 18 years, including last year with “Argo.”
TV SAG Awards:
My two favorites, “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family” each took home two awards. “Modern Family” won ‘Best Comedy Ensemble trophy. Always hilarious cast member Ty Burrell won the ‘Best Actor” trophy, finally beating out Alec Baldwin who was looking for his 8th win for “30 Rock.”
The unstoppable, immensely talented Dame Helen Mirren won for ‘Best Actress’ in a TV Mini-Series or Movie for “Phil Spector” which she should’ve also won at the Golden Globes and not Elisabeth Moss. another reason why I’m happy today. 🙂
Michael Douglas won the ‘Best Actor’ in a TV Mini-Series or Movie Award for “Behind the Candelabra” (2013) in his eerily inspired role as flamboyant pianist “Liberace“. As with his Golden Globe® Award win, Douglas continued to credit to his co-star. “The truth is, I am not here without Matt Damon. This is yours too.” The film is directed by Steven Soderbergh,
“Breaking Bad” completely crushed the important drama series categories, winning the ‘Best Ensemble In a Dramatic Series’ award. At least Anna Gunn gets to walk away with a well-deserved award after being snubbed by almost every other TV award granting body except for The Emmy’s for which she won only in 2013 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series as her character “Skylar White”. For without her, there would’ve been no reason for Walter White to even exist.
Below is The Complete List of SAG Winners:
BEST FILM ENSEMBLE
“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle” *WINNER*
“August: Osage County”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
BEST FILM ACTOR
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club” *WINNER*
Forest Whitaker, “The Butler”
BEST FILM ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” *WINNER*
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”
BEST FILM SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Daniel Bruhl, “Rush”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
James Gandolfini, “Enough Said”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” *WINNER*
BEST FILM SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” *WINNER*
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Oprah Winfrey, “The Butler”
BEST FILM STUNT ENSEMBLE
“All is Lost”
“Fast & Furious 6”
“Lone Survivor”*WINNER* (I was VERY impressed when I saw the stunt work in the film. Well deserved)
BEST TV DRAMA ENSEMBLE
“Breaking Bad” *WINNER*
“Game of Thrones”
BEST TV DRAMA ACTOR
Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” *WINNER*
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
BEST TV DRAMA ACTRESS
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” *WINNER*
Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
BEST TV COMEDY ENSEMBLE
“The Big Bang Theory”
“Modern Family” *WINNER*
BEST TV COMEDY ACTOR
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Jason Bateman, “Arrested Development”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” *WINNER*
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
BEST TV COMEDY ACTRESS
Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” *WINNER*
BEST TV MOVIE/MINI ACTOR
Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra”
Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra” *WINNER*
Jeremy Irons, “The Hollow Crown”
Rob Lowe, “Killing Kennedy”
Al Pacino, “Phil Spector”
BEST TV MOVIE/MINI ACTRESS
Angela Bassett, “Betty and Coretta”
Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor”
Holly Hunter, “Top of the Lake”
Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector” *WINNER*
Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake”
BEST TV STUNT ENSEMBLE
“Game of Thrones” *WINNER*
“The Walking Dead”
From a case that started back in the summer of 2013, with an interesting twist you’ll see lower in my blog; the surviving children of one of the hottest (take that any way you want) R&B crooners, Marvin Gaye have won their case over copyright infringement.
The Infringement: Robin Thicke‘s Grammy nominated song, “Blurred Lines” sounds an awful lot like their father’s song, “Got To Give It Up”. Click on the video below and judge for yourself.
Their case was against pop singer Robin Thicke, the 36 year-old Canadian-American son of Alan Thicke who played the Dad on “Growing Pains” (1985-1992).
The judge ruled in the favor of Marvin Gaye’s children, Frankie, named after his uncle Frances Gay and Nona Gaye on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. The undisclosed amount of the settlement between the Gayes’ children and Sony have an agreement where these claims can never be brought up again. The settlement would’ve had to have been pretty big, as “Blurred Lines” sold 6.6 digital copies and spent 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
Originally the Gaye family lawsuit against Thicke and Sony was put into action to prevent Thicke from using any samples from their father’s songs, as they also claimed Thicke poached part of Marvin Gaye’s #1 R&B hit “After The Dance” from his album “I Want You” (1976).
Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell all asked a federal judge in August to rule that “Blurred Lines”, which was nominated for Record of the Year at last year’s Grammys, was not a copy of Marvin Gaye’s hit.
Article by Lewis Corner, “‘Blurred Lines’ Plagiarism Claim”
Published: Friday, Aug 16 2013, 6:53am EDT
Robin Thicke has filed a lawsuit against Marvin Gaye and Funkadelic amidst claims of plagiarism.
The singer’s global summer anthem has been likened to Gaye’s classic track ‘Got to Give It Up’, but Thicke has taken action to ensure the late star’s family can’t claim plagiarism.
The suit states that Gaye’s family is alleging ‘Blurred Lines’ “sounds” the same as ‘Got to Give It Up’, and that the “Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work”.
What’s more, it acknowledges a claimed similarity between Funkadelic’s ‘Sexy Ways’ and Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, but states “there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements”.
According to the lawsuit, of which The Hollywood Reporter has obtained a copy, the defendants state: “Plaintiffs, who have the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies, reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists.
“Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs’ massively successful composition, ‘Blurred Lines,’ copies ‘their’ compositions.”
Gaye’s family and Bridgeport are thought to be threatening litigation if the plaintiffs do not pay up a settlement.
By Shannonn Kelly 06:30AM, EST, January 16, 2014 Updated: 08:56AM, EST, January 16, 2014
I’ll be updating my blog later this morning to give you the breakdown of all the Oscar Nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards. As you can see, I’m waiting to fill in the blanks below.
The nominees will announced in 2 hours at 8:30AM on CBS. I’ll be watching from home in my PJs with a Mimosa and some decadent baked goods 🙂
In the meantime, enjoy the video below with 250 dancers and Academy Award® Host Ellen DeGeneres dressed in matching tuxedos dancing to “The Walker” by the Los Angeles soul/indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums.
Sticking with the theme of celebrating “Heroes”, real-life Thor, actor Chris Hemsworth announced the Nominees this morning along with the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
When I calculate below, it looks like “Gravity” and “American Hustle” both come out on top with 10 Oscar nominations each. Somebody, please check my math 😉
Known as one of the most popular child stars in cinema history, Margaret O’Brien turns 77 today.
One of the reasons I like to blog about old Hollywood is simply for the fact that if you don’t record and write about pre Gen X, Gen Y orMillennial contributions to the film and music industry, people will be forgotten and their names will not come up easily in conversation.
Similar to my heritage, Margaret O’Brien is of ½ Spanish, ½ Irish ancestry, her mother was an accomplished Flamenco dancer and her father a circus performer, sadly who died before Margaret was born.
Her first role (albeit un-credited) was in “Babes on Broadway” (1941), where she played “Maxine”, a little girl at an audition when she was only 4 years-old.
When she was five, O’Brien, garnered critical praise for her acting chops playing “Margaret” in “Journey for Margaret” (1942). It was because of this role that O’Brien became known as “Margaret” and no longer called by her birth name “Angela”.
A fast study for accents, O’Brien also added singing and dancing to her skill sets, which served her well in her most unforgettable role as the ‘original’ “Tootie” in “Meet Me in St. Louis” opposite the venerable Judy Garland. The song ‘Under The Bamboo Tree’ (Words and music by Robert Cole and The Johnson Bros., 1902) is to this day, still one of the most fondly remembered moments of the film.
Her Oscar was stolen by her mother’s maid 10 years after receiving it. O’Brien had searched for years through memorabilia and antique shops hoping her statuette would appear, but to no avail.
According to Wikipedia:
Memorabilia collectors Steve Neimand and Mark Nash were attending a flea market in 1995 when Neimand spotted a small Oscar with Margaret O’Brien’s name inscribed upon it.
The two men decided to split the $500 asking price hoping to resell it at a profit and lent it to a photographer to shoot for an upcoming auction catalogue. This led to Bruce Davis’ discovery that the statuette had resurfaced and, upon learning of the award’s history, Nash and Neimand agreed to return the Oscar to O’Brien.
On February 7, 1995, almost fifty years after she’d first received it, the Academy held a special ceremony in Beverly Hills to return the stolen award to O’Brien.
Upon being reunited with her Juvenile Oscar, Margaret O’Brien told the attending journalists:
“For all those people who have lost or misplaced something that was dear to them, as I have, never give up the dream of searching – never let go of the hope that you’ll find it because after all these many years, at last, my Oscar has been returned to me.”
O’Brien made a few more films, but was unable to fully transition to adult roles, working steadily but not memorably through the 1950’s to the 1970’s, then sporadically from 1981-2010 in film, TV and MOW’s.
According to film historian David Thomson, O’Brien lost out to Natalie Wood because when casting directors asked her questions about what she thought about parents and authority she answered: “All the questions by professing love for parents and teachers”, thus answered wrongly and thereby showed zero rebellious spirit.
People who know me, know how I feel about type casting. Had stodgy Hollywood at the time, thought “outside the box’ and cast O’Brien (not to take anything away from Wood’s performance), I think we would’ve been in for a quite a treat. Actors want a challenge they can rise to. Look at Charlize Theron and Sandra Bullock. They both stepped outside their ‘known characters’ to play gritty roles. They both won Oscars with that gamble. If O’Brien had it in her at age 5 to learn a French accent, she certainly could’ve shown a rebellious side.
The fact that Margaret O’Brien celebrates her birthday today shows me she has plenty of ‘spirit’…
Twenty-two year-old Eden Sher who plays Sue Heck in ABC’s “The Middle“, wrote a great article about that lack of female directors in Hollywood called, “I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?” In part she wrote:
“Having women steer the ship makes all the difference in the world.
For example, I worked on a show in 2006 (another sitcom for ABC) that was created and run by men. There were only two female staff writers. All the producers were male. Every director, too. But despite the bro-heavy environment, these guys were not bad or misogynistic — in fact, they were awesome, progressive and kind. And yet nary a woman in sight.
So what was the problem? Why did this show reek of peen? It wasn’t because of some deep-seated aversion to women in the workplace. Rather, the problem was that these guys seemed to only hire people who were exactly like them: guys. And while working with what’s comfortable and familiar is all well and good, if your goal is to create an honest story about men and women interacting with one another — as was the aim of this particular show — you’re definitely going to miss the mark if you don’t have any input from a real, live female.
The show was canceled after twelve episodes”.
Well, now there’s some hard data to back her position and many more under employed women in the film industry.
A new study by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D. has been published that maintains the “Celluloid Ceiling” still exists for women working behind the scenes in Hollywood and it’s gotten worse.
In 2011, women comprised 18% of all directors, executive producers,producers, writers, cinematographers,and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points from 2010 and an increase of 1 percentage point from 1998 (see Figure 1).
Women accounted for 5% of directors, a decrease of 2 percentage points from 2010 and approximately half the percentage of women directors working in 1998.
The following summary provides employment figures for 2011 and compares the most recent statistics with those from previous years.
Findings This study analyzed behind the scenes employment of 2,636 individuals working on the top 250 domestic grossing films (foreign films omitted) of 2011.
38% of films employed 0 or 1 woman in the *Scene roles considered
23% employed 2 women,
30% employed 3 to 5 women,
07% employed 6 to 9 women.
Scenes Roles* includes directors, writers, executive producers editors, and cinematographers.
Women comprised 5% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2011. Ninety four percent (94%) of the films had no female directors.
“What needs to happen is to continue to forge the new paradigm, as evidenced by Kathryn Bigelow’s masterful direction, and allow women to express themselves beyond the female-centric and family fare. On an executive level, I think we are doing that, as for years we have been seeing high-powered women that are killing it. Sherry Lansing, for example, ran Paramount Studios for years and has forged the way for many others.”
It’s no surprise to any of us women in other non-Hollywood markets that this is the case. Even in filmmaking communities where I live, even though, they say they are an ‘equal opportunity employer’. If the job is in the film industry and it’s not in Craft Services, you can bet they are not….
What’s your feeling…? Film industry Men or Women…I’d love to know your thoughts.
For the complete and very excellent article by Eden Sher, please click Here.
To read the executive summary from the Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D study, please click Here.
To read a like minded article by Rebecca Pahle, please click Here.
Just 10 minutes into last night’s (okay, 3 hours ago) Golden Globes, I tweeted “#TamyFoehler( they are a couple aren’t they 😉 ) are already killing with the laughs at the#GoldenGlobes.
I wasn’t drinking. Had no fancy dinner. Was sitting in my ‘schooshy pants’ in my Italian recliner, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made me feel like I was right there with them at the boozey Golden Globe® Ceremony.
The Academy Award® extravaganza is the Grand Daddy of all the award shows, but I relish presenters and nominees half in the bag on live broadcasts. Sometimes a little sloppy – – but always fun.