Monday, March 7, 2016

An article about the 2016 Oscars or Academy Awards from Yahoo News.

Here's a recap of the Oscars that I found on yahoo news:

In an underdog win for a movie about an underdog profession, the newspaper drama Spotlight took best picture at a 88th Academy Awards.

Tom McCarthy’s film about the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests won over the favored frontier epic The Revenant. McCarthy’s well-crafted procedural, led by a strong ensemble cast, had lagged in the lead-up to the Oscars, losing ground to the flashier filmmaking of Alejandro Inarritu’s film.

But Spotlight — an ode to the hard-nose, methodical work of a journalism increasingly seldom practiced — took the night’s top honor despite winning only one other Oscar for McCarthy and Josh Singer’s screenplay. Such a sparsely-awarded best picture winner hasn’t happened since 1952’s The Greatest Show On Earth.

The night, however, belong to host Chris Rock, who launched immediately into the uproar over the lack of diversity in this year’s nominees, and didn’t let up. “The White People’s Choice Awards,” he called the Oscars, which were surrounded by protests (including one outside the Dolby Theatre by the Rev. Al Sharpton) and boycotts.

Streaks, broken and extended, dominated much of the evening. After going home empty-handed four times previously, Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar, for a best actor in The Revenant — a gruff, grunting performance that traded little on the actor’s youthful charisma. DiCaprio, greeted with a standing ovation, took the moment to talk about climate change.

“Let us not take our planet for granted,” he said. “I do not take tonight for granted.”
His director, Inarritu won back-to-back directing awards after the triumph last year of Birdman. It’s a feat matched by only two other filmmakers: John Ford and Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The Revenant also won best cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki, who became the first cinematographer to win three times in a row (following wins for Gravity and Birdman), and only the seventh to three-peat in Oscar history.

Inarritu, whose win meant three straight years of Mexican filmmakers winning best director, was one of the few winners to remark passionately on diversity in his acceptance speech.
“What a great opportunity for our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and this tribal thinking and to make sure for once and forever that the color of our skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair,” said Inarritu.

The night’s most-awarded film, however, went to neither Spotlight nor The Revenant. George Miller’s post-apocalyptic chase film, Mad Max: Fury Road sped away with six awards in technical categories for editing, makeup, production design, sound editing, sound mixing and costume design. Roundly acclaimed for its old-school craft, Miller’s Mad Max was assured of becoming the evening’s most awarded film.

“Us Mad Maxes are doing OK tonight,” said editor Margaret Sixel, who’s also Miller’s wife. The flurry of wins brought a parade of Australian craftsmen onstage, including sound editor Mark Mangini, who celebrated with a loud expletive.

Best actress went to Brie Larson, the 26-year-old breakout of the mother-son captive drama Room.
But the wins at times felt secondary to the sharp, unflinching hosting of Rock, in his second go around. His much anticipated opening monologue left few disappointed.

“Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right it’s racist,” said Rock, who also sought to put the issue in perspective. “Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like: We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.”
Rock had stayed quiet before the ceremony as the controversy raged over the second straight year of all-white acting nominees, leaving Hollywood and viewers eagerly awaiting his one-liners. He confessed that he deliberated over joining the Oscars boycott and bowing out as host, but concluded: “The last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”

There was another major surprise Sunday. The supporting actor win for Mark Rylance over Sylvester Stallone drew gasps. Stallone, nominated a second time 39 years later for the role of Rocky Balboa, had been expected to win his first acting Oscar for the Rocky sequel Creed. He instead lost to the famed stage actor who co-starred in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.

Adam McKay and Charles Randolph took best adapted screenplay for their self-described “trauma-dy” about the mortgage meltdown of 2008. McKay thanked Paramount Pictures for taking a risk on a movie about “financial esoterica.” Best known for broader comedies like Anchorman and Step Brothers, McKay gave an election-year warning to power of “big money” and “weirdo billionaires” in the presidential campaign.

Talk of election was otherwise largely absent the ceremony, though Vice President Joe Biden (whose presence added even greater security to the Dolby Theatre) was met by a standing ovation before talking about sexual assault on college campuses before introducing best-song nominee Lady Gaga.
Best supporting actress went Alicia Vikander for the transgender pioneer tale The Danish Girl. Vikander, the 27-year-old Sweden-born actress was ubiquitous in 2015, also winning awards for her performance in the sci-fi Ex Machina.

Best animated feature film went to Inside Out, Pixar’s eighth win in the category since it was created in 2001. Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse portrait, Amy, took best documentary. Hungary scored its second best foreign language Oscar for Laszlo Nemes’ Son of Saul, a harrowing drama set within a concentration camp.

“Even in the darkest hours of mankind, there might be a voice within us that allows us to remain human,” said Nemes. “That’s the hope of this film.”

The Academy Awards, normally decorous and predictable, were charged with enough politics and uncertainty to rival an election debate. Down the street from the Dolby Theatre, Sharpton led several dozen demonstrators in protest against a second straight year of all-white acting nominees.
“This will be the last night of an all-white Oscars,” Sharpton vowed at the rally.

The nominees restored the hashtag “OscarsSoWhite” to prominence and led Spike Lee (an honorary Oscar winner this year) and Jada Pinkett Smith to announce that they would not attend the show. Several top African American filmmakers, Ryan Coogler (Creed) and Ava DuVernay (Selma) spent the evening not at the Oscars but in Flint, Mich., raising money for the water-contaminated city.

Aside from pleading for more opportunity for black actors, Rock also sought to add perspective to the turmoil. Rock said this year didn’t differ much from Oscar history, but black people in earlier decades were “too busy being raped and lynched to worry about who won best cinematographer.”
In a quick response to the growing crisis, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, pushed ahead reforms to the academy intended to diversify its overwhelming white and male membership. But those changes (which included stripping older, out-of-work members of their voting privileges) precipitated a backlash, too. A chorus of academy members challenged the reforms.

In remarks during the show by the president — usually one of the sleepiest moments in the broadcast — Boone Isaacs strongly defended the changes, quoting Martin Luther King Jr. and urging each Oscar attendee to bring greater opportunity to the industry. She was received politely, if not enthusiastically, by the audience.

“It’s not enough to listen and agree,” said Boone Isaacs. “We must take action.”
How the controversy will affect ratings for ABC is one of the night’s big questions. Last year’s telecast, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, slid 16 percent to 36.6 million viewers, a six-year low.

by Jake Coyle of Yahoo News.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bridge of Spies Review on Facebook 2016

Mike and I saw Steven Spielberg's masterful spy drama called "Bridge of Spies," and were fascinated with this story from beginning to end. It was nominated for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and it's now on video, where we rented it from Redbox.

Tom Hanks is at his best and should have been nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of real-life lawyer James Donovan, who defended Russian spy Rudolf Abel in 1957. Mark Rylance was nominated for an Oscar for playing Abel with a cool, intellectual charm, that you almost like that he's a artist, as well as a known Communist spy. I wanted to see more of Abel's paintings, because he was known to be a great painter.

Meanwhile, after the Russians shoot down American pilot Francis Powers' U2 spy plane over Russia in 1960, he is jailed in a miserable cell, and psychologically tortured for information about his mission to take photos of the USSR. This was the Fifies and eary Sixties, when Americans distrusted the Soviets so much that they actually believed a nuclear war was near. Many of the communists were spreading anti-American propaganda, but no atomic bomb was ever dropped.

Skip to 1962, and someone comes up with the idea to swap Rudolph Abel, who was in an American jail, with Francis Powers, in an act of diplomacy, and Lawyer James Donovan is sent to mediate the swap that took place on the "Bridge of Spies," which separated Free Germany with Communist East Germany. The story is told intelligently, with the righ touch of Spielberg wit and comedy, that this film is very enjoyable to watch for anyone interested in history.

Some of the events in this movie are slightly dramatized like Donovan's house being shot up by anti-communist Americans, and Donovan witnessing a shooting at the Berlin wall. However, it is close to the truth, because Donovan really was sent hate mail, and incidents like that really did happen at the Berlin wall. Thanks to wikipedia for keeping a page on all these real-life people. Thanks for Disney for distributing this film worldwide, it made a lot of money at the box office, and rightfully so.

This is one great film. I highly recommend it, although the sixties called and they want their foriegn policy back, which just means times have changed since then. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

More short facebook reviews for Oscar nominated films 2016

Mike and I rented "The Martian," from Comcast's Xfinity On Demand, and found it to very enjoyable, funny as much as it is exciting. This movie was probably made after the popularity of "Gravity," but it's different from that. "The Martian" is science fiction with a human heart, and doesn't need as many edge of your seat action sequences.

Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, "The Martian" imagines a world of the near future, where NASA is smart enough to send astronauts on missions to Mars, and send messages back and forth as quick as text messages. Matt Damon is great in this film, and deserves his Oscar nomination, because he gets into the heart and mind of his character by keeping a video journal. We as an audience feel Mark Watney's fear, and feel his joy and triumph. We really enjoyed this film, and I loved the multi-cultural cast, bringing science into the Twenty-first Century.

Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is determined to survive, even though he has a fear that he may not, and NASA is determined to rescue him, and that's enough to keep us interested in this story until the very end.

I'm glad that another science fiction film with brainy lines has been nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Will it win? Probably not. I'm still trying to figure out how Mad Max got nominated for 10 Academy Awards( Has the Academy finally lost its marbles?)

It was nice to see Michael Pena, a Mexican actor from Chicago, play an astronaut in "The Martian." Nerds never looked cooler than in this film. I'm also glad it was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Hopefully, it will win a few, because I really liked this film. I will never think of the disco song "I Will Survive" in the same way again. lol.

Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Mike and I went to see the movie "Room" after it was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Brie Larson), and Best Screenplay. After reading a review on it, I went into this movie thinking it will be very frightening, disturbing, and claustrophobic, because it is about a young woman and her son being held captive in a shed for many years.

However, it's not as dark as it sounds. Joy, the mother, creates a warm and happy place for her son Jack to help him cope with the nightmare that they are living in. The original novel and screenplay by Emma Donoghue, are told mostly through the eyes by a resilient little boy played heroically by Jacob Tremblay. In the end, Room inspires hope, and lifts the heart, because it shows that love does conquer all, and love helps you survive the worst circumstances.

This movie made me think of Amanda Berry, who was held captive for eleven years in a room in Ohio, by a psychotic Puerto Rican, until she was rescued by a neighbor in 2013. I cried for Amanda Berry, and was so glad that she escaped with the children she bore in captivity. "Room" suggests what Amanda Berry might have gone through to cope with the real world, and keep her sanity.

Mike and I cried a couple times while watching "Room" because Larson and Tremblay are such great actors that it doesn't seem like they are acting, but really living this story. I think Brie Larson will win the Oscar for Best Actress this year, because she is that good. Jacob Tremblay deserves recognition for his brave performance, too. I'm so glad the we got to see this move. It is an "illuminating," and "inspiring" film!

Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Mike and I have seen three of the movies nominated for Best Animated Film at the Oscars this year, and love them. "Inside Out," is an emotionally deep and moving movie about a young girl with growing pains. "Inside Out" is one of the rare occasions that an animated film got nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

"When Marnie Was There" is also a coming of age tale, set in Japan, about a girl feeling troubled by her foster parents, and finds a ghostly friend in an abandoned mansion. "Marnie" is such a sweet and touching story about friendship with a moving, surprise ending. It's based on a book by a British author, who wrote it in the late sixties.

Both these films teach us that we shouldn't shelter kids from the sadness and tragedy of life, because they could suffer for it.

The third film, "Shaun The Sheep," from England, was delightful, funny, and very sweet. It's from the creators of the clay animation makers of "Wallace and Gromit."

All three of these films are on video now, and worth a watch. I still think that "Inside Out" will win the Oscar, but you can never tell.

Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Mike and I saw "Ex Machina" today on video, and think it is a very fascinating science fiction tale of robots becoming too human. The screenplay, nominated for an Oscar this year, is very Hitchcockian like the movie "Vertigo" where an obsessed man tries to create the perfect woman. It's a quiet thriller that's intelligently written, like a modern day Frankenstein with a female empowerment twist. British writer, Alex Garland, wrote a tale that shows that robots of the future are capable of love, hate, and revenge like humans. Alicia Vikander's performance is hypnotic and dazzling. The special effects were also nominated for an Oscar. We love it. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Mike and I saw "Spotlight" at the theaters this weekend, and think it's a great film, with a great story, and great performances. "Spotlight" succeeds in telling the difficult truths, by exposing sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.

These reporters investigating the case are complicated, because some of them were raised at Catholics, and they know that half of the readers of The Boston Globe are Catholic, and, yet, they go against their beliefs, in order to reveal the shocking truth that the Catholic Church has covered up a shocking number of sex abuse cases committed by priests.

These reporters are not portrayed as heroes in this film, they are just trying to do their jobs well, and painstakingly do a lot a difficult research, including interviewing victims, and telling their harrowing stories. I really think this movie should win Best Picture at the Oscars, because it is an an important film, with important issues, told well, and acted superbly.

Mike and I didn't feel like weeping for the victims, until Mark Ruffalo's character has a breakdown, and gets emotional, when he shouldn't be. This movie made me excited about journalism again, when print journalism is being quickly replaced by internet journalism. The Boston Globe won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for the reporting on pedophilia in the Catholic Church.

"All The President's Men," made me take journalism in college and write for the college paper. "Spotlight," has a great script, and I think that maybe more actors beside Mark Ruffalo should have been nominated!

It won Best Cast in a film at the Screen Actor's Guild awards, so that might be a clue that Academy members will vote for this film for Best Picture. This is one great film that's not completely biased against the Catholic Church, but shows that denying and covering up abuse is a terrible thing for its victims, and all those involved. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Although I agree that should be more diverse nominations, I still plan to watch the Oscars, because they, at least, have a history of acknowledging great performances by ethnically diverse actors. It just happens that two years in a row, all the actors nominated have been white. The Academy is 90 percent white, and 74 percent men, so it does look a little racist. Yet, many people in the Academy represent very liberal and diverse groups of people that includes the GLBT community. I think "Carol," and "The Danish Girl," are great enough to be nominated for Best Picture, but they didn't make the list. I still appreciate that "Carol" still recieved six nominations anyway, considering it's a Lesbian love story. Mike and I plan to watch some of the movies nominated, because it is a tradition with us, even if we don't completely appreciate the films. We try to see what deserves the Oscar, the most. Is the world really filled with racist, sexist, homophobes? What do you think?


Monday, January 18, 2016

Reviews for some Oscar Nominated films, including "Brooklyn," "The Revenant," and "Amy."

Reviews for some Oscar nominated films:

Mike and I saw the movie "Brooklyn" today, and simply loved it. This very sweet love story, and coming of age movie, was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay (Nick Hornby), and it probably deserved more.

 Critics and fans have been raving at how beautiful this movie is, giving it four star reviews. Based on the novel by Colm Toibin, it tells the story of a young twenty something girl who dares to leave the small town of Ireland to ...try to make a new life for herself in Brooklyn, New York. She faces crushing homesickness for her mother and sister (portrayed tenderly by Saoirse Ronan, in her Oscar nominated performance), and eventually meets a handsome, cute and sweet Italian plumber, played boyishly by Emory Cohen, and begins to fall in love. 

 Tragedy brings her back to Ireland and she is torn between two worlds, two countries, and two men. This movie, set in the early fifties, makes you think: What ever happened to old fashioned love? It's a wonderful and sweet film, and now I'm interested in the 2009 novel, by openly gay writer Colm Toibin. See this picture if you can. You won't regret it. It's a film about immigration that speaks to our times, and, yet, they don't make movies like this anymore. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Mike and I went to see an early showing of "The Revenant," and though we think it is a great film, had mixed feelings for the character. I'm so glad that I just read Jack London's classic tale of survival called "Call of the Wild," because it prepared me for the savagery of "The Revenant."
"The Revenant" is a blood-bath, that is brutal, as much as it is beautiful because it takes place in the most gorgeous natural settings, with misty pines, wild rivers, the views from breathtaking bluffs. 

Mike had difficult warming up to any of the characters, because they seemed so uncivilized. Although I did not cry for Hugh Glass, I felt a deep sympathy for his half Indian son, and his murdered Indian wife.

The Native American spirituality in this film that comes in ghostly chants from the other-world, makes this movie bearable to watch. I read that Glass was a real person, who really survived a bear attack, and wandered 200 miles through wilderness to make it back to the camp of fellow fur-trappers. In my mind, I kept thinking the animal rights slogan of "fur kills," and I kept thinking that being mauled by a bear is partly the bad karma of hunting animals for fur coming back to bite you on the ass.

I'm glad I sat through the entire two and half hours of "The Revenant," because it taught me something important how helping others survive can sometimes come back to help you survive. This movie is based on a Historical Fiction Novel by Michael Punke, who created the Glass' Native American son, to make you feel sympathy for him, but I'm not to sure I should be feeling sympathy for someone like Glass. The real Glass was eventually killed by Native Americans in 1833.
Leonardo Decaprio definitely deserves his long awaited Oscar for this, for at least making us feel for his characters pain and suffering. I probably won't be watching this movie again, but the cinematography left me in awe, and should win an Oscar.

This movie makes me want to visit Calgary Canada where it was filmed. It deserves the 12 Oscars that it was nominated for, more than any other movie this year, and I saw it, despite being a little scared of it, because Leonardo gave such a moving speech honoring Native Americans when he won the Golden Globe for it. I only feel slightly punished for seeing it. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Reponse to my friend Claudia on facebook:

All coats were made of fur and animal pelts, even the Native Americans wore them. But in today's world I'm against hunting defenseless animals to make fur coats. I'm by no means a vegetarian, and I do eat steak, and wear leather, but at least the animals we wear are turned into food. Some of those animals foxes, and minks, rabbits, and such, didn't deserve to be hunted. Killing lions, and tigers and bears for sports should be illegal, yet many people, mostly selfish white people, still do it. The film locations are beautiful in "The Revenant," and the performances were great, including Tom Hardy's nasty, racist redneck character was well performed, earning him an Oscar nomination in role that I could only understand half of what he was saying with his twang. I thought the story of brute survival, motivated by the deep desire for revenge kept the movie going to the bitter end. Mike was disgusted by him eating raw meat to survive. I just laughed at it, uncomfortably.

Mike and I are watching the documentary about Amy Winehouse called "Amy," that was just nominated for an Oscar. It's really good. It's a tender, and intimate portrait of a deeply talented singer and songwriter, troubled by alcoholism. I love her album "Back to Black." What a loss! We rented it from redbox.

I never knew how messed up she was. When I saw her live at the Vic, she seemed to have it together. She needed to give herself time to clean up and get therapy. Some great singers have comeback from addictions to do great things. She chose her suffering to keep drinking so heavily. Poor thing couldn't save herself.

She had such a deep, and soulful voice, that if she just covered all the jazz standards and classics, I would have loved it.
Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Response to 2016 Oscar nominations, with snubs and surprises

Here's a blog about the snubs and surprises of this year's Oscar nominations that I mostly agree with (Don't sue me for Plagiarism): Here it is:

In an awards season where everything seemed like a wild card, Thursday's Oscar nominations were packed with snubs and surprises. Here are some of this year's biggest:


Despite Matt Damon's film festival lobbying and the fact that "The Martian" was clearly one of the most popular films of the year among Academy members with seven nominations including best picture (third after "The Revenant" and "Mad Max: Fury Road"), 78-year-old Ridley Scott was not singled out as a directing nominee. Scott has never won an Oscar, despite being nominated three times for "Thelma & Louise," ''Gladiator" and "Black Hawk Down." As a producer of "The Martian," he does have a shot at walking away with that golden statuette if it wins best picture, though.


"Room" was considered a lock for a best actress nomination for star Brie Larson, though it wasn't necessarily seen as a strong contender in other categories — but it ended up with a best picture and best director nomination for Lenny Abrahamson. This is the first nomination for Abrahamson, who beat out directors like Ridley Scott, Ryan Coogler ("Creed"), Quentin Tarantino ("The Hateful Eight") and Todd Haynes ("Carol").


It's hard to look at a film with six major nominations, including best actress (Cate Blanchett), best supporting actress (Rooney Mara), best cinematography (Ed Lachman) and best adapted screenplay (Phyllis Nagy), as a failure by any means, but it should sting that the incredibly well-received film did not earn a best picture nomination or a best director nomination for Todd Haynes. Worth noting: Academy members opted for eight best picture nominees — and they could have gone for 10.


Box office and critical favorite "Straight Outta Compton" has been the Cinderella story of awards season, picking up its share of Guild nominations and critics' awards in recent weeks, including a prestigious Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild ensemble cast nomination, leading some to hope that the trend might continue to the Oscars. The film earned a single nomination for best original screenplay.


Director David O. Russell's hot streak ("Silver Linings Playbook," ''American Hustle") might have cooled a bit with "Joy," but even in an unexceptional movie, star Jennifer Lawrence is still an Academy darling through and through. Her 2016 best actress nomination makes her the youngest actor ever at age 25 to have four Oscar nominations to her name. Three of those are for the aforementioned Russell movies, too.


It wasn't a question of whether or not "Beasts of No Nation" would be nominated for an Oscar, it was more like how many would Netflix's first original feature get. Netflix had a solid chance of establishing itself as a major player with its narrative feature debut "Beasts of No Nation," but the tale of a child soldier in West Africa was completely shut out of the Oscar noms — especially surprising for director Cary Fukunaga, and supporting star Idris Elba. Netflix's documentaries "What Happened, Miss Simone" and "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom" were nominated.


Aside from a nomination for composer John Williams (his 45th for scoring, and 50th overall), "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" did not break through the technical achievements wall. A best picture nomination may have been a bit of a long shot for the highest-grossing film in U.S. history, but that doesn't mean it's not a bit of a disappointment considering how well the film has been received.


When "Steve Jobs" floundered at the box office in wide release, the once promising awards juggernaut fell out of favorite as a sure thing. The Academy came in with a last-minute save, recognizing both Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet for their performances, but conspicuously missing was screenwriter Aaron Sorkin for his crackling adaptation of Walter Isaacson's book. Wordsmith Quentin Tarantino also was left out from the screenplay category.


The Academy didn't default to including every major studio's animated release (like "The Peanuts Movie," ''Minions" and "The Good Dinosaur"), allowing two foreign films to be nominated in the category — Studio Ghibli's "When Marnie Was There" and the Brazilian film "Boy & the World."


The original song category was full of surprises — especially with its inclusion of documentary songs "Manta Ray" from "Racing Extinction" and "Til It Happens to You" from "The Hunting Ground." These took the spots of more favored hits like Wiz Khalifa's "Furious 7" song "See You Again," Brian Wilson's "One Kind of Love" from "Love & Mercy" and the "Fifty Shades of Grey" breakout "Love Me Like You Do." The Weeknd's "Earned It" from "Fifty Shades of Grey" was nominated instead.

My response this this blog:

I think Paul Dano should have been nominated for "Love and Mercy," and definitely Helen Mirren for "Woman in Gold." Suprised to see Lady Gaga with an Oscar nomination. I love the films "Carol" and "The Danish Girl," (two GLBT films for all people) and definitely think they should have been nominated for Best Picture. "Mad Max" has 10 nominations, for a two hour chase action film? Really?
A lot of people think "Straight Outta Compton" should have nominated for more awards. There were no black actors nominated this year. This is the year for Leonardo DeCaprio. So many people want Leo to finally get his Oscar!

Actors of color who were snubbed this year: Will Smith was not nominated for "Concussion," Benicio Del Toro ("Sicario"), and Idris Elba, the cast of "Straight Outta Compton," were not nominated.

Complete List of Oscar Nominations for the 2016 Oscars or Academy Awards

Here's the Complete List of the films nominated for the 2016 Oscars or Academy Awards, which will be broadcast on February 28, 2016 on ABC:

Best Picture
The Big Short, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner
Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger
Brooklyn, Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey
Mad Max: Fury Road, Doug Mitchell and George Miller
The Martian, Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam
The Revenant, Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon
Room, Ed Guiney
Spotlight, Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revneant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Directing
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Best Film Editing
The Big Short, Hank Corwin
Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel
The Revenant, Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight, Tom McArdle
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

Best Foreign Language Film
Colombia, Embrace of the Serpent
France, Mustang
Hungary, Son of Saul
Jordan, Theeb
Denmark, A War

Best Original Score
Thomas Newman, Bridge of Spies
Carter Burwell, Carol
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sicario
John Williams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies, Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
The Danish Girl, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Michael Standish
Mad Max: Fury Road, Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson
The Martian, Production Design: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Celia Bobak
The Revenant, Production Design: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Hamish Purdy

Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina, Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
Mad Max: Fury Road, Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
The Martian, Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
The Revenant, Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn, Nick Hornby
Carol, Phyllis Nagy
The Martian, Drew Goddard
Room, Emma Donoghue

Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies, Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Ex Machina, Alex Garland
Inside Out, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Spotlight, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton, Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

Best Animated Feature Film
Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
Boy and the World, Alê Abreu
Inside Out, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
Shaun the Sheep Movie, Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
When Marnie Was There, Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Best Cinematography
Carol, Ed Lachman
The Hateful Eight, Robert Richardson
Mad Max: Fury Road, John Seale
The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki
Sicario, Roger Deakins

Best Costume Design
Carol, Sandy Powell
Cinderella, Sandy Powell
The Danish Girl, Paco Delgado
Mad Max: Fury Road, Jenny Beavan
The Revenant, Jacqueline West

Best Documentary – Feature
Amy, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
Cartel Land, Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
What Happened, Miss Simone?, Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

Best Documentary – Short Subject
Body Team 12, David Darg and Bryn Mooser
Chau, Beyond the Lines, Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, Adam Benzine
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Last Day of Freedom, Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Mad Max: Fury Road, Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
The Revenant, Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

Best Original Song
"Earned It," Fifty Shades of Grey, Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
"Manta Ray," Racing Extinction, J. Ralph and Antony Hegarty
"Simple Song #3," Youth, David Lang
"'Til It Happens to You," The Haunting Ground, Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
"Writings on the Wall," Spectre, Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Best Animated Short Film
Bear Story, Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
Prologue, Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
Sanjay's Super Team, Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
We Can't Live Without Cosmos, Konstantin Bronzit
World of Tomorrow, Don Hertzfeldt

Best Live Action Short Film
Ave Maria, Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
Day One, Henry Hughes
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut), Patrick Vollrath
Shok, Jamie Donoughue
Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini and David White
The Martian, Oliver Tarney
The Revenant, Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
Sicario, Alan Robert Murray
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Matthew Wood and David Acord

Best Sound Mixing
Bridge of Spies, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
Mad Max: Fury Road, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
The Martian, Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
The Revenant, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

Films with Multiple nominations with Wikipedia link:

12The Revenant
10Mad Max: Fury Road
7The Martian
6Bridge of Spies
5The Big Short
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
2Ex Machina
Inside Out
Steve Jobs

Monday, February 23, 2015

My response and review of the 2015 Oscars, mostly a collection of posts on Facebook!

Wow! That Opening number for the Oscars was totally brilliant! Neil Patrick Harris is going to make tonight good! Happy Oscar Night!

So glad that Patricia Arquette won, and spoke up for women's equal rights. Good for her! Boyhood should have been called "Motherhood" instead. Loving Neil in his underwear, but we are both married men, so I'll get over it. Go Neil. Everyone is still holding their Lego Oscar that's so cute.

When Tegan and Sara sang the Oscar nominated song for "The Lego Movie," they passed out Lego Oscars to people in the audience! The song nominated is called "Everything Is Awesome!" You could probably watch it on Youtube sooner or later.

Elizabeth Peña we're all proud of you! #Oscars #InMemoriam #RIPower

Wow! Lady Gaga can sing Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music," and sound lovely, operatic, and elegant! I'm impressed. Being close to Tony Bennett made her into an even greater singer. Go Lady Gaga Go!

Alejandro González Iñárritu, a Mexican director, won for Best Directing for Birdman. He said "that little prick, the ego" and they didn't bleep it out! Viva Mexico!

I hate that Sean Penn said something so racist about Alejandro González Iñárritu for winning Best Picture for Birdman. Penn said when he opened the envelope, "who gave this son of a bitch his green card!" Mike and I said that was horrible! We used to like Sean Penn for playing Harvey Milk. Is he some kind of proud fascist? I still like the movie "Milk," I don't care what he says. He can't take the legend of Harvey Milk down. Harvey Milk was given a U.S. postage stamp last year too. Penn does not have a respectful mouth!

I had trouble with Birdman, because it had mostly white actors, and hardly any non-white actors. Some Latinos consider themselves white, and they are capable of racism against their own people, and well as racism against other peoples. Then again, Alejandro defied stereotypes with Birdman, creating a sardonic, satirical look at acting in "American" life. All people can look at that movie and see an American experience with emotions we can all understand, but there are emotions so complicated in Birdman that it also defies understanding. I still think that Selma, The Imitation Game, or The Theory of Everything deserved the Best Picture Oscar more. Birdman is not a film that many can relate with.

People are telling me to lighten up about Sean Penn's comment, but I'm not. I said to them: It's wrong people, and people who don't think hateful sarcasm is funny, are bound to get the wrong message. Even if they're friends, I don't laugh about this messed up immigration discrimination in the U.S. People suffer badly because of it. I don't think making fun of people's suffering is funny at all. Stupid, and wrong. It's still out and out racism, too!

So many people in the audience where moved to tears by the performance of "Glory." Oprah wiped tears off of David Oyelowo's face. So touching. I'm glad that "Glory" won Best Original Song. Just a little more justice for the peaceful message of Martin Luther King Jr.!

I really liked Neil Patrick Harris tonight. The magic trick he did in the end was totally cool! How did they do that! They must have used mirrors, and a scribe writing frantically all that was going on tonight and printing it on little cards! Neil loves magic. He has a room full of magic tricks in his place in New York, where he lives with his kids and husband. He wants to teach his kids magic when they grow up! The only thing that I had trouble with tonight at the Oscars was that Neil was a bit nervous and he said his jokes really fast that they went over everyone's head. The ones I got were hilarious though! He's a sweet man! Peace, Love, Equality, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Although I like that J. K. Simmons said something nice about Moms and Dads, and their kindness to all of us, he should have spoke out against bullying. His performance in “Whiplash” almost enables bullying, and that is so wrong. I like that Graham Moore and the best documentary people spoke out against suicide. Mental Illness is such a serious issue that is not getting the justice it deserves. Through therapy, many mentally ill people learn to be mentally healthy, non violent, kind and contributing people of society. Mental Health activists say that many treated mentally ill people do not hurt others or hurt themselves, like the character in Birdman. More people need to speak out about this, because it is why Chris Kyle was killed, and people with disabilities get ignored, because of people fears and stigmas! Say more and do more and stand up for justice and the rights of the disabled. Live the message of peace that King, jr. promised us all. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

"Stay weird, and stay different." Don't lose hope, and don't try suicide is Graham Moore's message(while accepting his Oscar for the screenplay of “The Imitation Game.”) Life gets better most of the time. Give your time to charity, and stand up for people dealing with depression. Brave speech, Graham. Thanks for choosing to live to write this moving film, and further the civil rights and equal rights of Gay people like Alan Turing, who suffered in silence. Speak out, take a stand, march on, and express yourself!

This speech by Graham Moore put a tear in my ear last night, because when I was in high school and going through difficult times, my best friend at the time wrote in my yearbook, "Stay weird, stay cool!" I thought of that time in my life, when life seemed full of difficulty and trouble and sadness, and how my sense of humor got me through. My wicked sense of humor has matured into a more topically, politically correct, and socially responsible humor, but I still love to laugh! When we laugh with sympathy, we survive things! Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Here's a great review of last night's Oscars by The Hollywood Reporter. I agreed with it for the most part. Mike and I enjoyed the show, and were surprised that everyone won the Oscars they did. Despite the "whiteness" controversary of the nominations, Mike and I still saw every movie nominated for Best Picture, investing quite a bit in liking some of these films, and disliking others. Mike guessed 8 right on his ballot, and I guessed 13, getting 8 wrong. It was hard knowing what the Academy was thinking this year. They are so picky and white! We both said, as well as everyone else, that Julianne Moore would win for "Still Alice," and she did! She gave a funny and moving speech, saying that people with disabilities are not invisible, and deserve to be seen! I loved the opening number and all the special effects on the screens for the number. So cool. Some of Harris' jokes fell flat, but I still love his boyish charm. He's a very sweet host, and not too sarcastic. Also, Neil looks great in tighty whities underwear! Billy Crystal half naked wouldn't have been as appealing. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Common and John Legend gave a very moving acceptance speech from last night's Oscars for the song "Glory" from the movie "Selma." That speech is very moving to hear, and so deep too. Common and John Legend said so many important things about civil rights, freedom, equality, justice, and poverty. If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would say that there is still a struggle for peace, justice and equality that still needs to be won. We need to become the voice of the voiceless, the liberation for the oppressed! Non-violent peace activism is still important today, because anger swells up like a Tsunami in American society, and around the world. Peace is the goal, justice is the key! March on! Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Be strong and be courageous, and don't give up, even if you feel you are losing. Things turn around, and later you can win. Learn everything you can, and read every book you can get your hands on. Write a journal or diary, start a blog, start writing poems and songs. Make life into a life-long learning experience. Watch the best movies, listen to the best classic songs, and read all the classic books. It takes a little practice, but one day you will be very good at something. Maybe you will even write a book, or act in a play, or put out a cd. Never let anyone tell you are not star potential, and that you are not presidential. Opportunities are everywhere. You have nothing to lose and everything, everything to gain. All you need is the courage and confidence to believe in yourself. Write what you know, write what you lived through. Have the courage to make mistakes and learn from them, and again, never, never give up. The mind can remember and learn lots and lots of things. Never limit yourself, and the goal is not just to succeed once, but to have a successful attitude all of your life. To keep trying is the key and the secret to success! Peace, Love, Courage, Confidence, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

I agree with this for the most part, but somewhere along the way difficult movies to watch became the norm for the Oscars. What ever happened to movies that were close to reality and funny and romantic and also good enough to win Oscars too. "It Happened One Night" was the first screwball romantic comedy to win Best Picture, and after that, it became the formula for romantic comedies. "It Happened One Night" is also a movie you can watch over and over again, and enjoy it every time! Some movies nominated today, I wouldn't sit through more than once, unless it was to study film. Bottom Line: Lighten up, or be more real film industry. Aren't their interesting real life novels to discover? Life is not completely messed up for everyone! Or is it? God only knows. I'm still tuning in on the Oscars, because I adore Neil Patrick Harris, and think he is a very funny, openly Gay actor. I'm curious to see what happens next. Peace, Love, Classic Film, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Some famous people can be very nice to non-famous people who adore them, granting them a signature or a photo. But it's true, they rarely exchange phone numbers with the non-famous, and set up dates. Famous writers love to talk to people at readings, and listen to their stories before they sign a book for them. Adam Zagajewski, was very kind to me, when I told him it was my birthday at a reading at the Art Institute. He wrote, "Happy Birthday Ruben," in my book, and I love that he did that. The poet Dean Young, who used to be my Creative Writing Teacher at Loyola University Chicago, wrote, "So nice to see you again," in a book he signed for me. Although writers move on to the next one just like famous people, sometimes they we take the time to listen to you and respond. Having famous dinner company is very rare if you are not famous yourself, but it's not impossible. Oh, and then there are the snobs. We must not forget the famous who don't have time for non-famous people, and keep walking with their nose in the air. It happens too! Can I hold your Oscar? No! Okay, then move on. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.