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‘Mank’ tops the Oscar nominations.

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‘Mank' tops the Oscar nominations.
‘Mank' tops the Oscar nominations.

‘Mank’ tops the Oscar nominations.

 

Following a pandemic year that closed theaters and upended the film industry, the Academy Awards nominated two female filmmakers for the first time, a traditionally diverse list of actors, and David Fincher’s lead-nominee “Mank,” a conventional kind of Oscar candidate — an old Hollywood homage — in a rather untraditional year.

Fincher’s black-and-white period drama “Mank,” about “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, comfortably topped nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards, which were postponed two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, with ten nominations, including best picture, best director, acting nominations for Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, and a slew of others for its lavish craftsmanship.

Nominations were granted to a wide range of candidates. “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Nomadland,” “Minari,” “Sound of Metal,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” and “The Father,” all of which are nominated for best picture, earn six nominations. Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” was also nominated for best picture.

In the category of best director, history was made. Just five women have been nominated in the past. This year, there were two for the first time. Chloé Zhao’s elegiac road-trip drama “Nomadland” earned a nomination, as did first-time feature filmmaker Fennell’s pitch black #MeToo revenge comedy. On Twitter, Fennell, who is also up for best screenplay, wrote, “Never going to stop crying.”

Zhao is the most nominated woman in Oscar history, and she is the first woman of color to be nominated for best director. In the best picture category, she was also nominated for the film’s adapted screenplay, editing, and as a director. Lee Isaac Chung for the tender family drama “Minari,” Fincher for “Mank,” and Thomas Vinterberg for his heavy-drinking Danish tragicomedy “Another Round” were the other directing nominees.

It’s the most diverse collection of nominees in the history of the Academy Awards, and a far cry from the all-white acting nominations that sparked the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag five years ago. Nine of the 20 acting nominees are black, including Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Steven Yeun (“Minari”), Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), and Andra Day (“The People vs. Billie Holiday”), as well as supporting nominations for Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”).

Day, who was nominated for her portrayal of Billie Holiday, said, “We have to remember how hard these people have worked.” “We have to accept their abilities.”

“It’s strange hearing your own name,” Ahmed, the first Muslim nominated for best actor, said. “I also silently thanked God and felt grateful.”

Davis earned her fourth Oscar nomination for her role in 2016’s “Fences,” making her the most nominated Black actress in history. Yeun is the first Asian American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Shaka King’s strong Black Panther drama “Judas and the Black Messiah” is the first best-picture nominee of an all-Black producing team (King along with Ryan Coogler and Charles D. King). According to the Academy, a record 70 women were nominated for 76 Oscars.

Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”), Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”), and Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) are the other nominees for best actress. Anthony Hopkins, who stars in the dementia drama “The Father,” is the final best actor nominee.

With moviegoing almost wiped out by the coronavirus, the best-picture winners had a meager $14.1 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada. For the first time, the most coveted awards in Hollywood have gone to films that were almost exclusively seen at home.

In a tweet, Aaron Sorkin, writer-director of “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” said, “We learned a lot of hard lessons last year, but one nice one was that people would find a way to go to the movies, even if they can only go as far as their living rooms.”

Netflix led all studios with 35 nominations, as predicted. The streaming service is still looking for its first best-picture winner, and “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” — a film that Paramount Pictures sold off during the pandemic — are both contenders this year. Netflix was also the most nominated last year, with 24 nominations, but just two wins.

There were also other streamers in the mix. Amazon Studios, in particular, was well-represented, with 12 nominations for “Sound of Metal,” “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” and “One Night in Miami.” Both Apple TV+ and Disney+ earned their first nominations for “Wolfwalkers,” “Greyhound,” and “Soul,” “Onward,” respectively. Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” which attempted to lead a box-office comeback, earned nominations for production design and visual effects.

Presenters Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas announced the nominations from London. Normally, the Academy Awards will have aired by now, but this year they will be broadcast on April 25. The film academy announced Monday that the event would take place at both the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and Union Station, the city’s railway center.

This year’s awards season, which is usually a months-long whirlwind of previews, cocktail parties, and schmoozing, has been completely virtual, depriving the Oscars of any of their hype and predictability. Early 2021 releases were added to the list of eligible films, as well as films that were not released in theaters.

“There is nothing more conventional in our industry than the Academy Awards,” Oldman said in a statement, “which hopefully sends a sign of hope that we can get out of this.” “The Oscars serve as a reminder that normalcy can still exist.”

Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods,” which was nominated solely for its score, was one of the films hoping for a better showing on Monday. Just eight films were nominated for best picture, with “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Regina King’s “One Night in Miami,” and Golden Globe winner “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” being left out.

Despite the film’s lack of a best-picture nomination, Sacha Baron Cohen, who played Borat, was nominated for his supporting role as activist Abbie Hoffman in “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” and “Borat” star Maria Bakalova was nominated for best supporting actress. Glenn Close for “Hillbilly Elegy” and Olivia Colman for “The Father” were also nominated in this category.

The documentary category may have been the most competitive, with nominations for “Collective,” “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolt,” “The Mole Agent,” My Octopus Instructor,” and “Time.” The Romanian documentary “Collective,” about investigative journalism and government corruption, is only the second film to be nominated for both best documentary and best foreign film. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” from Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Another Round” from Denmark, “Better Days” from Hong Kong, and “The Man Who Sold His Skin” from Tunisia were the other foreign film nominees.

“Onward,” “Over the Moon,” “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon,” “Soul,” and “Wolfwalkers” are the nominees for best animated film.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC will hope that the nominees will generate more interest than they have elsewhere. Over the pandemic, interest in small golden statuettes has plummeted. Last month, ratings for a mostly virtual Golden Globes fell to 6.9 million viewers, a 64 percent decrease from 2020. The Grammys, on the other hand, managed to crack through the Zoom barrier on Sunday.

The pandemic has been punishing for the movie industry, with the notable exception of fueling streaming subscriber development. Production slowed to a halt, blockbusters were postponed or redirected to streaming, and thousands of people were laid off or furloughed as a result.

However, as coronavirus cases have decreased and vaccines have been increased, the outlook for Hollywood has improved. Movie theaters are reopening in the U.S.’s two largest markets, New York and Los Angeles. In addition, several larger films, including Walt Disney Co.’s “Black Widow” (May 7) are set to be released in May and beyond.

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Fully Vaccinated LeBron James Tests Positive for Covid-19

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Fully Vaccinated LeBron James Tests Positive for Covid-19

By Sandra Rose  | 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

LeBron James tested positive for Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated and is expected to miss several games.

ESPN reports the Los Angeles Lakers star has entered the league’s health and safety protocols for Covid-19 positive players.

The NBA Covid-19 protocol requires positive players to spend a minimum of 10 days in isolation away from the team.

After that, a player must undergo a cardiac screening and reconditioning before returning to the court. Players can also return after two negative PCR tests within a 24-hour period.

“Obviously it’s a huge loss,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said on Tuesday. “It’s disappointing. We just want the best for him right now. That’s where our thoughts are. And we have a next-man-up mindset.”

1638328394 974 Fully Vaccinated LeBron James Tests Positive for Covid 19

Guillermo Proano/WENN

James reportedly began experiencing flu-like symptoms and a rapid PCR test came back positive.

“Hopefully this is something that’s short term. We’ll see,” Vogel said during pregame comments to reporters.

Vogel declined to answer a reporter’s question about James’ symptoms.

James was among the last Lakers players to get the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines. He delayed announcing his vaccine status because he was “skeptical” of the mRNA shots.

“I know that I was very skeptical about it all,” he said. “But after doing my research and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited, not only for me but for my family and my friends. And that’s why I decided to do it.”

Posted in Health

Tags: breakthrough Covid cases, Covid booster shot, Lebron James, mRNA vaccines, NBA

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Celeb Style: Rihanna Wore Bottega Veneta to Barbados Ceremony

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Celeb Style: Rihanna Wore Bottega Veneta to Barbados Ceremony

By Sandra Rose  | 

@246PAPS / BACKGRID

Rihanna wore Bottega Veneta as she accepted her National Hero Insignia during the Barbados Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in Bridgetown on November 28.

On Tuesday, she wore a cream colored outfit by Bottega Veneta as celebrations continued in Bridgetown, Barbados. Her mother, brother and various family members attended the celebrations on Tuesday.

1638309554 700 Celeb Style Rihanna Wore Bottega Veneta to Barbados Ceremony

@246PAPS / BACKGRID

Rihanna was honored as a National Hero as Barbados celebrated its independence from Britain after removing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

1638309554 630 Celeb Style Rihanna Wore Bottega Veneta to Barbados Ceremony

@246PAPS / BACKGRID

According to BACKGRID.com, the 33-year-old pop singer wore a Bottega Veneta satin halterneck dress with Manolo Blahnik Leva sandals and Briony Raymond Old Euro sloan ring.

1638309555 432 Celeb Style Rihanna Wore Bottega Veneta to Barbados Ceremony

@246PAPS / BACKGRID

“On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee for national hero of Barbados Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty,” said Prime Minister, Mia Mottley. “May you continue to shine like a diamond,” Mottley added, referencing Rihanna’s 2012 hit single “Diamonds.”

1638309555 570 Celeb Style Rihanna Wore Bottega Veneta to Barbados Ceremony

@246PAPS / BACKGRID

Rihanna, who was born in St. Michael and raised in Bridgetown, thanked the PM for the honor:

“This is a day that I will never, ever forget. It’s also a day that I never saw coming. I have traveled the world and received several awards and recognitions, but nothing, nothing compares to being recognized in the soil that you grew in.”

Posted in Fashion

Tags: Barbados news, Bottega Veneta, celebrity fashion, Celebrity Style, Rihanna

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PETA launches gruesome online store with merchandise made from faux human skin

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PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is taking on shops that sell leather and fur, such as Urban Outfitter, by launching an online store featuring goods made from faux human skin and teeth.

PETA’s online shop, Urban Outraged, features clothing and accessories “made of the finest leather — that on second look, reveal human faces on the jackets, human teeth on the shoes, and human blood oozing from the bags,” according to a press release.

Photo may have been deleted

PETA

The merchandise featured in the ads are designed to look similar to Buffalo Bill’s gruesome human suit from 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Items sold on Urban Outraged feature names of “slaughtered people” whose skin and teeth were used to “fabricate” the goods.

A human “leather” jacket features faces and a suitcase is embellished with human nipples.

Photo may have been deleted

PETA

The description for the “Dwayne Weekender bag” includes an image showing the parts of the slain man’s body that were used to stitch the bag together.

“This bag is perfect for a trip to the beach, because Dwayne loved the sand and lying in the sun— barely any additional tanning work was necessary!”

PETA defended the bizarre online shop. “A cow’s skin belongs to her, and she feels fear and pain in a slaughterhouse every bit as much as you or I would,” PETA’s executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, said in an exclusive statement to The NY Post.
 
Copyright Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to the photograph(s) or video(s) used in this post. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” of photographs for purposes such as parody, criticism, commentary, news reporting, education, and research.

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