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  • Pamela Froman

The Ultimate in Entertainment – The 91st Oscars!


Our favorite golden statue is back with the best movies of the year! It's the 91st Oscars and this year promises to celebrate some amazing achievements in cinematography. The ceremony, televised on ABC on February 24, will have no host this year after Kevin Hart pulled out. It is the first ceremony in three decades to be conducted with no host.

The Academy has announced a list of celebrity presenters to keep the show interesting. They include: Awkwafina, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson and Constance Wu.


There are eight awesome nominees for Best Picture this year.


Will a superhero movie win Best Picture? “Black Panther” is an amazing contender, with superhero tropes and a thoughtful exploration of race and imperialism which is currently the ninth highest-grossing movie of all time. In addition to Best Picture, “Black Panther” is also nominated for Costume Design, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Song and Production Design.


Continuing the positive multicultural trend of this year's nominees, “BlacKkKlansman” stars John David Washington and Adam Driver. Director Spike Lee's “based on a true story” movie is about an African-American cop who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s. Nominations for the movie include Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Adam Driver, Film Editing, Original Score, Best Directing for Spike Lee, and Adapted Screenplay.


“I see a little silhouetto of a man...” A golden man that is! The Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” offers standout scenes and a great performance from Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.


The box office performance was a huge success coupled with Golden Globe wins. Bohemian Rhapsody is also nominated for Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Rami Malek.


If you like period films, then “The Favourite” is perfect for you. This story is the comedic take on the rivalry between two cousins to be the favourite of the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). The stylish and sophisticated comedy might just be the “favourite!” Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are both up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Olivia Colman is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the film also received nominations for Costume Design, Film Editing, Cinematography, Best Director Yorgos Lanthimos and Production Design.


“Green Book” is Peter Farrelly's take on the friendship between pianist Don Shirley and his driver Tony Vallelonga (Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen) as they journey through the Deep South in the 1960s. Viggo Mortensen got a nod for Best Lead Actor, Mahershala Ali for Best Supporting Actor, and the film nabbed nominations for Original Screenplay, and Film Editing.


Director Alfonso Cuarón is back in a big way with “Roma,” a tale of a year in the life of a family in Mexico City in the early '70s. The film debuted with a limited run before hitting the streaming service Netflix, and it's definitely showing the future of cinema. Other nods include Best Foreign Language Film, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Marina De Tavira, Best Actress in a Leading Role Yalitza Aparicio, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Production Design and of course Alfonso Cuarón for Best Director.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are truly stars in “A Star is Born.” This remake of the legendary romantic drama casts Cooper as a hard-drinking country star, and Gaga as the ingénue who threatens to eclipse him. It's a tear jerker, and people love Gaga's performance. 


“A Star is Born” is also up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Sam Elliot, Sound Mixing, Best Actor in a Leading Role Bradley Cooper, Best Actress in a Leading Role Lady Gaga, Cinematography, Adapted Screenplay, and of course the Original Song “Shallow.”


“Vice” is Adam McKay's biopic that sets the stage for Christian Bale's latest transformation – he has morphed into former US Vice President Dick Cheney. The movie features a stellar cast of Oscar winners and nominees. Sam Rockwell is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Amy Adams for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Christian Bale for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Film Editing and Makeup and Hairstyling.


“If Beale Street Could Talk” achieved several nods such as Best Actress in a Supporting Role Regina King, Original Score, and Adapted Screenplay. Glenn Close has achieved her seventh Academy Award nod for Best Actress in “The Wife,” and her competition includes Melissa McCarthy for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”


This year features a lineup of contenders in major categories that is as diverse as the Academy has ever seen.


“Roma” is a black-and-white visual feast that features a Hispanic cast. As well, a foreign-language film has never won Best Picture, but this may be the year!


“Green Book,” is an attempt at a feel-good interracial buddy film, but some critics panned it as a sentimentalized handling of race and racism, along with star Viggo Mortensen’s n-word faux pas. He of course apologized, with blessings from co-star Mahershala Ali.


Spike Lee tells a riveting story about black undercover police officer Ron Stallworth’s infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s in “BlacKkKlansman.” Lee and his screenwriters based the script on Stallworth’s memoir, however he did add fictional characters and scenarios.


Also in the mix is Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther.” Superhero films rarely get noms, especially Best Picture. But “Black Panther” is a high-quality movie with a socially relevant theme.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” is an adaptation of the James Baldwin novel and has been an awards contender from the moment the project began. You can't go wrong with source material like this.


Alfonso Cuarón is in the driver’s seat for directing as is Spike Lee. “Roma” actress Yalitza Aparicio is a frontrunner for Best Actress, as well as the popular and openly bisexual Lady Gaga.


Los Angeles is synonymous with the movies. Studios are all over Hollywood and actors and filmmakers flock here to make their artistic mark. Los Angeles has served as a pivotal character in some of the entertainment industry’s best offerings.


“This Is Us,” the premier tearjerker of our time is almost entirely filmed in Los Angeles. The family home? On a tree-lined street in Eagle Rock. Froggy’s, the “Pittsburgh dive” where the triplets were conceived? In San Pedro. Even Jack’s favorite tree is in Van Nuys. You can thank the California Film Commission for this. In 2015, the board voted to increase its film and television credits program by more than $200 million annually.


2017 Oscar Best Picture nominee “La La Land” captures the sweetest version of Los Angeles with its cotton candy sunsets, iconic architecture, neon signs, quiet streets, and towering palm trees.


“You can’t have a better tourism brochure than this movie,” Mayor Eric Garcetti explained. “It shows that L.A. is not just about the stars. It’s about the romance.”


Although most of the movie takes place in Tehran, Iran, not a single minute of “Argo” was shot there. In fact, the majority of “Argo” was filmed in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is home to the largest Persian community outside of Iran, and many of the extras were very committed to making the film just right.


Of course fashion on the Academy Awards red carpet is a major staple of the show. It's the most important question of the night: “Who are you wearing?” Here are a few that have stunned over the years.


Demi Moore was a true star as she arrived in a purple-grey, floral number in 1992. In 1998

Sharon Stone made waves for pairing a lilac Vera Wang evening skirt with a Gap button-down. Gwyneth Paltrow was lovely in a pink Ralph Lauren gown in 1999. 2001 was a fashionista style for Julia Roberts in vintage Valentino. Halle Berry stunned in Elie Saab in 2002. Beyoncé looked stunning in velvet Atelier Versace in 2005. Reese Witherspoon channelled old Hollywood in vintage 1955 Christian Dior in 2006. Anne Hathaway was glamorous as ever in Armani Prive in 2009. Jennifer Hudson was gorgeous in Atelier Versace in 2011. Angelina Jolie executed an expert #AngieLeg in her black strapless Atelier Versace in 2012. In 2014 Lupita Nyong'o sailed through the red carpet in sky-blue Prada. Lady Gaga made a statement in a white ensemble by Brandon Maxwell in 2016. Taraji P. Henson was gorgeous in Alberta Ferretti and her 103-carat diamond necklace in 2017. Finally, Rita Moreno re-wore the gown she won “Best Supporting Actress” in at the Oscars in 1962 last year in 2018!


The 91st Annual Academy Awards is just the beginning. The after parties are even more star-studded.


Master chef Wolfgang Puck returns to create this year’s Governors Ball. The 1,500 invited guests include Oscar winners and nominees, show presenters and other participants. This year, the 91st Oscars Governors Ball presents “Filmscapes” a compilation of images from world cinema, orchestrated with live soundtracks and instrumental movie songs to accompany live projected films. The ballroom décor palette of rich merlot with Oscar gold emulates movie theater design.


The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards Viewing Party has recruited rockers The Killers to perform, and IMDb will serve as this year's presenting sponsor. The website will broadcast its annual "IMDb Live" streaming show co-hosted by Aisha Tyler and Dave Karger. EJAF's viewing party takes place during the Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 24, and is being held at West Hollywood Park. Chef Wayne Elias and Crumble Catering are handling the night's menu for a 15th year, Alexander Gilkes of Paddle8 will present the always lively live auction and DJ Johnny Dynell will oversee the post-show dance party. 


The Vanity Fair Oscar Party is the hottest ticket in Hollywood. This legendary party brings together guests from the worlds of film, music, business, tech, politics, sports, and more, not to mention the evening’s big winners. Proceeds from this auction benefit the Film Foundation.

Lights. Camera. Action!

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