Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Oscar Picks

Best Movie : Spotlight

To me, the best movie Oscar has to go to the film that was entertaining throughout and have excellent acting, and that was Spotlight through and through. It tackled a very difficult subject and every single stinking role was acted to perfection. Bravo to the casting directors! If the Oscar goes to any move else, it will be the Revenant just because of the stuff that Alejandro was able to pull off and the acting of Leonardo.

Best Director : Alejandro Inarittu (The Revenant)

Mr. Inarittu is a MASTER director. Last year's Birdman was brilliant (directing wise, it shouldn't have won the Movie of the Year). Inarittu will probably get the Back 2 Back and hopefully at the Oscars afterparty, he'll have Drizzy Drake perform the song for him. I don't want to spoil too much of the movie, but only a master director could have pulled this off. George Miller might pull off the upset because he's old, and Mad Max did have some cool stunts in there, but I wasn't too impressed about playing in the dirt for 2 hours.

Best Actor : Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

This one breaks my heart to type, and I pray that I'm wrong, but I feel like Eddie Redmayne should bring home the Best Actor Oscar for the 2nd year in the row. (Cue Drizzy Drake again) I am a HUGE Leonardo DiCaprio fan, and maybe the Oscars can give it to Leonardo since he was robbed for The Wolf of Wall Street. & since I didn't feel that Eddie deserved the Oscar last year for portraying Stephen Hawking, maybe the Oscars can right their wrongs. With all of that said, I'm not biased. Eddie portraying the 1st Caitlyn Jenner of all time was brilliant brilliant brilliant.

Best Actress : Brie Larson (Room)

This should be a pretty easy pick for the Academy this year. No other performance stood out like Brie's did. I enjoyed Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years but Brie Larson should be a shoo-in!

AND Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

In a stunning twist, Brie Larson will hop on stage and then dedicate her win to Eddie Redmaybe because honestly he played a woman better than the actual women this year!

Best Actor in A Supporting Role : Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)

This one was a tough one for me, but I do not believe Sylvester Stallone should win an Oscar for Creed. Michael B. Jordan out acted him in every scene and if anybody should've got a nomination, it should've been him. I mean no disrespect Rambo! The only competition for Ruffalo would be Christian Bale in The Big Short. That man can really act! Mark Ruffalo was great in every scene that he was in. I give Ruffalo the nod because he stood out amongst a sea of great acting in this film.

Best Actress in A Supporting Role : Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Alicia shouldve been in the Best Actress in A Leading Role cstegory, because she carried the movie just as well as Redmayne. Having a husband going through a "metamorphosis" has to be challenging and Alicia portrayed that exceptionally well. She also was great in Ex Machina as a well put together robot. Her future is bright bright bright! Every lady nominated in this category all did well, so its really up in the air, but Ms. Vikander was my favorite.

Best Documentary : Winter on Fire : Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

Im not too sure about these other categories, but this is a guarantee! Probably the greatest documentary I've ever seen. Evgeny Afineevsky (I can't pronounce it) was front row for the peaceful protest when the revolt started, but I don't even think he expected to capture on film what he did. I encourage everybody to check this documentary out. You'll have to pay attention because its not in English, but it is amazing the see a large group of people fight for what they believe in. Might even see it play out in the great old US of A soon!

Best Original Screenplay : Pete Doctor (Inside Out)

What a premise! Made me think about my own childhood and making sure I do a good job with my own child. I don't really pick which movie I enjoyed the best. I pick the MOST original and it doesn't get more original than this. Very Spike Jonzey! I wouldn't mind seeing Spotlight bring this one home either.

Best Adapted Screenplay : Nick Hornby (Brooklyn)

When I saw the title, I thought it was a hood movie of some sort, but I don't think I saw a black person in the whole film, lol. This movie has chick flick written all over it, but I've definitely seen worse. The Big Short  may win this category but it seemed like a long SNL skit to me. The dialogue in this movie was excellent and the story flowed really well. I encourage all of my lady readers to check it out and all of my fellas to steer clear of it!

Best Cinematography : Robert Richardson (The Hateful Eight)

It may be a 4-peat for Double R (Robert Richardson). Too many N bombs in this movie for my liking but the backdrop was beautiful and the blood flew like liquor at an Irish pub. This category is another toss up. The Revenant had some beautiful shots. Sicario had some cool scenes. Mad Max was overrated but definitely deserved the nomination. Time will tell for this one too.

That's it for this year. Let me comment on this #oscarssowhite craziness while I'm here. Oscars are #sowhite, because Hollywood is #sowhite. If Tyler Perry and the sorts would put their money to producing quality films and not films where the black men are throwing babies out of project windows, maybe we can open the eyes of the big studio heads. Or how about this? Lets just build our own studio. Will Smith has Overbrook Entertainment. The only movie that Will produced that deserved any recognition was Ali. The movie should've definitely been nominated over Molin Rogue, and Will should've won Best Actor but he lost to Denzel that year for Training Day. So let those arguing about #oscarssowhite hold the black heavy hitters in Hollywood more accountable. If 3-6 Mafia can win an Oscar, then I cant see race EVER being a factor.

Hallelujah Holla Back,


Hattie McDaniel

Its my favorite time of the year! Black History time!

This year I decided to combine my Black History blog with another one of my favorite times of the year : Oscar Sunday! (Picks will be here shortly)

Let's talk about ole Hattie McDaniel.

She looks like a great  Big Mama don't she?

You may recognize her better this way...

If you still don't recognize her, you're either too young or a Yankee!

Hattie McDaniel was born June 10, 1895 in Wichita, Kansas to former slaves. She was the youngest of 13 siblings. Two of her siblings were also actors : Sam McDaniel who was the only black to appear on I Love Lucy, and Etta McDaniel who appeared in the original King Kong movie.

Her family moved to Denver, Colorado where she attended East River High School. While in school she sang, danced, and acted alongside a few of her siblings in The Mighty Minstrels. Knowing she had found her calling, she dropped out of high school to pursue her dreams (who needs calculus to be a performer).

From there, Hattie spent her formative years working more minstrel shows and landing a gig singing with an orchestra led by George Morrison. This led to her performing on a radio station in Denver, making her one of  the first African American women to do so. She also began a career as a blues singer writing some of her own material and finding steady work at a hotel lounge in Milwaukee.

She followed in her before-mentioned siblings' footsteps and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood. To make ends meet she worked alongside Sam on a radio show titled The Optimistic Do-nuts  and was dubbed "Hi Hat Hattie". She parlayed her success in radio to her first appearance on the big screen. A film titled The Golden West in 1932. 7 years and 64 films later, Mattie would secure the role of a lifetime in the film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind where she played a very helpful and insightful  maid. Check out a scene below...

At the 12th Academy Awards in 1939, Hattie McDaniel brought home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Here is her acceptance speech...

Oh Hattie! You are a credit to the black race indeed! The sad part about Hattie receiving that Oscar is that she had to sit in the back of the Ambassador Hotel at a segregated table because she was black.

Some blacks didn't feel that Hattie was a credit to her race though. The NAACP thought she should turn down roles portraying maids and other degrading occupations. Hattie responded by saying "I can either work in Hollywood as a maid and make $700 a week, or I can work as an actual  maid and make $70 a week". Lord knows, Hattie had her experience as a real life maid trying to make ends meet while working on the radio and small movie roles in Los Angeles before she hit it big.

13 years later, Hattie was diagnosed with breast cancer and died shortly thereafter. She was 57. She was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One for her work in radio and one for her work in film.

I'll end this blog by quoting Hattie's philosophy in life : "I did my best, and God did the rest"

Hallelujah Holla Back,

Fat Dreek