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2021 OSCARS- What They Got Right, And What They Got Wrong

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Chloé Zhao and Nomadland make history and win top prizes at the Oscars.

The crew of Nomadland with their Oscars for Best Picture.

Last night was the long-awaited 93rd Academy Awards, after a very uniquely long (due to COVID) awards season, it was finally time to find out who would be taking home the golden statuettes. We knew from the get-go that things would be a little bit different than usual; Steven Soderbergh was directing it and wanted to make it feel like a film rather than an awards show. But we underestimated just how much Soderbergh would switch up the conventions and traditions we’ve come to know at the Oscars every year…

Yuh-jung Youn, the first Korean actress to win an Oscar, who won for Best Supporting Actress in Minari.

The Oscars switched things up a lot, and most people were unhappy with the changes; there were no performances of the nominated Original songs during the ceremony itself, there were virtually no clips from the films nominated that played throughout the ceremony, when Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste won Best Original Score for Soul, they didn’t play any of the Oscar-winning music, instead the winners awkwardly approached the stage with no sound other than applause. Another change that upset people was the in-memoriam section, which was accompanied by an usually upbeat song, and each person barely got a second of time on the screen. These were minor changed that most people didn’t like, but could look past, the biggest change that many say ruined the whole evening, though, came when the Academy announced that they would present Best Picture third from last. This decision was met with apprehension from most.

Daniel Kaluuya, who won Best Supporting Actor in Judas and the Black Messiah.

Although most thought that maybe the Academy placed Best Actor last so the final award could be a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who was posthumously nominated for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The Academy had invited his family, gave him an extra-long tribute during the in-memoriam segment, and a piece of artwork inspired by Boseman was given to all the nominees. It’s clear that the academy expected him to win. But then Joaquin Phoenix, who clearly would have rather been anywhere else, half-heartedly read out Anthony Hopkins’ name (who wasn’t able to attend as an 83-year-old during a pandemic), the Academy accepted on his behalf and the show ended. Not only did the academy take advantage of Boseman’s passing by restructuring the age-old tradition of Best Picture being the final award, but it backfired because the person who won the final award wasn’t there and was denied permission to join via Zoom. Because of this, Nomadland’s historic Best Picture sweep was not given the final celebration it deserved. It won Best Picture, and two more awards were left, one of which was Best Actor, and the winner wasn’t even able to attend. This left a bitter taste in most people’s mouths; not only did Boseman deserve to be honoured, or at least not taken advantage of, but Nomadland and Chloé Zhao deserved to have their big moment accepting the biggest award in the industry to close the most prestigious awards show in the industry. All in all, it was a very anti-climactic ending and left most people feeling disappointed; more people will remember the horrifically handled ending than will speak about Nomadland’s big win. That’s enough about the negative stuff now, after all, the Oscars are a celebration of the year’s films.

Emerald Fennel accepting her Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman
Jamika Wilson, Mia Neal, and Sergio Lopez-Rivera accepting Best Hair and Makeup for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

While the ceremony itself was questionable, the results and winners were great all around, and putting personal preferences aside, I don’t think anyone can say that any of this year’s winners weren’t deserving and as a celebration of cinema and film over the past year, the films honoured finally got their deserving awards. It was a historic evening; Emerald Fennel picked up the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman, making her the first woman in 13 years to win a screenplay award, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first black women to win for Best Hair and Makeup for their work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Yuh-Jung Youn became the first ever Korean Actress to win an Oscar, Frances McDormand joined the elite club of actors with three wins in the leading category and tied with Katheryn Hepburn as the actor with the most Academy Awards with 4 (although one of McDormand’s is for producing), Chloé Zhao became the first woman of colour and only the second woman ever to win Best Director (after Katheryn Bigelow won for The Hurt Locker in 2010), and Nomadland became the first ever Best Picture winner directed by a woman of colour, Nomadland became the first film to sweep Best Picture at all the major award shows since 12 Years a Slave in 2012 (CCA, DGA, PGA, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Oscar), it also swept director at all of those for Chloé Zhao. Nomadland is also a rarity because it is a Best Picture winner about a woman, very few Best Picture winners are about women. After winning Best Director, Actress, and Picture, Nomadland’s performance at this year’s Oscars is a triumph for women.

Nomadland Director, Chloé Zhao with both her Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture

Some other big wins include Daniel Kaluuya winning Best Supporting Actor for his role as Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, Eric Messerschmidt’s work on Mank upset in the Best Cinematography category, beating the frontrunner Joshua James Richards’ NomadlandThe Father saw some love by taking home Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor in a leading role for Anthony Hopkins. While everyone will be a little sad that Boseman never got his moment at the Oscars, Boseman left an impact most actors only dream of through his role as Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while it would’ve been nice to see him win an Oscar, Hopkins gave a stunningly devastating, career-best performance many are calling one of the top Best Actor winning performances ever, and he is more than worthy of the award. Most of the outrage about Boseman losing is not because Hopkins didn’t deserve it, but because of how the Academy handled it.

Pete Doctor and Dana Murray won the award for Best Animated Feature for Soul, marking Pixar’s 11th win in the category.
Chadwick Boseman, nominee for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Personally, I am ecstatic about the winners; as a champion of Chloé Zhao’s work and her intimate character study of a woman in her sixties who loses everything after the 2008 financial crash, I was very happy to see Nomadland take home to top prize. I was also elated to see Yuh-Jung Youn win for her masterful performance in Minari, and while any of the fantastic actresses nominated in the leading category could’ve won, I liked seeing Frances McDormand’s more understated subtle, nuanced performance get the recognition it deserved. However, while the number of good things outweigh the number of bad things, the final 20 minutes of the ceremony will always be tainted by how badly the Academy executed this year’s awards. The winners were fantastic and all deserving, the butchered ending of this ceremony has cemented the 93rd Academy Awards as one of the worst executed ceremonies in Oscars history.

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PARAMOUNT+ Reveals UK Launch Date, Pricing, Distribution Partners & More

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Paramount+, the global streaming service from Paramount Global, will launch in the UK and Ireland on 22 June 2022. After countless months of waiting It was announced by the company reporting their first-quarter earnings call on 3 of May, during which Paramount’s President and CEO, Bob Bakish, outlines global expansion plans for the streaming service. 

The ongoing momentum of Paramount+ will also see the service launch in South Korea in June, with further launches planned in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria in the second half of the year. Additionally, in 2023, Paramount+ will launch in India in partnership with Viacom 18, as part of a recently announced agreement, and is poised to participate in this fast-growing market. 

“Paramount is known for its leading portfolio of premium entertainment brands and a robust content engine that fuels our rapidly expanding streaming service, Paramount+. This year will be monumental for our streaming strategy as we accelerate our global ambitions, rapidly expanding Paramount+ in Europe beginning with the UK, Italy, Germany, France and more by the end of this year and debut in Asia with South Korea in June, followed by India in 2023,” said Raffaele Annecchino, President and CEO, International Networks, Studios and Streaming, Paramount Global.  “With an already expansive global footprint and a strong, long-term market-by-market strategy, we are well-poised to continue our positive momentum.” 

Maria Kyriacou, President, Australia, Canada, Israel and UK, Paramount, said, “The addition of Paramount+ to our strong portfolio of free-to-air, pay-TV and streaming services will broaden the range of choice available to our audiences in the UK and Ireland. Paramount+ will be a one-stop destination for Paramount’s biggest brands, where fans of all ages can find exclusive original premium content, global hits, and discover a world of favourites from Paramount’s vast catalogue.” 

PRICING AND DISTRIBUTION

In the UK, Paramount+ will be available online at

https://www.paramountplus.com/

and on mobile and a wide range of connected TV devices via the Paramount+ app, via broad direct-to-consumer distribution through Apple, Amazon, Google, Roku® and Samsung, with more platforms to be announced in the coming months. Users will be able to sign up to the service for £6.99 per month/£69.90 per annum in the UK, after a free seven-day trial*.   

Paramount+ will launch on Sky platforms in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria in 2022 as part of a new multi-year distribution agreement that also includes the extended carriage of Paramount’s leading portfolio of pay TV channels. Sky Cinema subscribers will get the bonus of Paramount+ included at no extra cost. 

ROBUST CONTENT SLATE

Paramount+ will launch in the UK with a broad content slate of more than 8,000 hours of content for the whole family, spanning new and exclusive Paramount+ originals, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from Paramount’s world-renowned brands and production studios, including SHOWTIME®, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.  

In addition, Paramount+ is home to some of the world’s most beloved franchises in the world. Audiences in the UK will have access to the Star Trek universe; and the library and new seasons of Taylor Sheridan’s critically acclaimed Yellowstone series. South Park and the MTV Shores 

will also be available, and kids and families franchises, this include SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Rugrats plus new originals based on Nickelodeon’s most beloved characters such as Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years.   

PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINALS

Some of the most anticipated Paramount+ and SHOWTIME® originals from the US, UK and other international markets will be available in the UK and Ireland when the service launches, including HALO, 1883, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, The Offer, Mayor of Kingstown, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, The First Lady, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Queen of the Universe and Jerry & Marge Go Large. 

These will join premium international scripted Paramount+ originals produced by VIS – the international studio division of Paramount Global – in association with independent production companies in the UK and around the world. Previously announced original UK dramas heading to Paramount+ include Sexy Beast, A Gentleman in Moscow, Flatshare, The Burning Girls, The Ex-Wife and The Blue. 

Scripted originals from around the world include

Los Enviados (The Envoys) (Mexico) and Cecilia (Mexico) – both of which have been renewed for a second season; Simon Beckett’s Chemistry of Death (Germany); The Signal (France); Bosé (Spain); Fallaci (Italy); At Midnight (Mexico); and more.   

Hours of original factual titles from the UK production community will also be available, including Haunted, The Box, Rise of the Tech Titans, MH370: The Lost Flight, Chalet Girls, LA Hairdressers, Fashion House, Pervert: Catching the Strip Search Caller and Girl Taken. 

KIDS AND FAMILY

Thousands of hours of Kids and Family content on the service will include Paramount+ Original series Fairly Odd Parents: Fairly Odder, iCarly S1 & S2, the reimagined Rumble and Big Nate. They will join original TV movies, including Honour Society, Promposal, Little Wing, Snow Day, Nicole From Last Night and Blue’s Big City Adventure. 

BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES

Paramount+ will offer unlimited access to blockbuster movies with new releases like

Scream 5, time-proven classics such as Grease and Star Trek, and family-friendly selections like PAW Patrol: The Movie, Clifford The Big Red Dog and more. 

EXCLUSIVE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Also coming to the UK service this year are Paramount+ exclusives The Thing About Pam and Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons. They join other exclusive titles including South Park: Post Covid and South Park: Post Covid: The Return to Covid, as well as Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, The First Lady and The Man Who Fell to Earth.  


Paramount+ is a global digital subscription video streaming service from Paramount that features a mountain of premium entertainment for audiences of all ages. Internationally, the streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including SHOWTIME®, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel™, in addition to a robust offering of premier local content. The service is currently live in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Nordics, and Australia.   

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Angela Bassett Says Black Panther 2 Will Surpass The First

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Recently actress and Black Panther star Angela Bassett who plays Ramonda (mother of Shuri and T’Challa) reflected on filming Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman’s impact on the upcoming sequel and a tidbit as to what we can expect going forward. Marvel has remained tight lipped after Boseman’s tragic passing as to how the events of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ will play out, without its main star.

Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett – Black Panther [photo credit: Marvel Studios]

The set of Black Panther 2 has already experienced its share of set backs, via Covid-19 and a stunt injury to lead actress Letitia Wright who plays Shuri, the sister of T’Challa.

Recently on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Angela Bassett praised Director Ryan Coogler for his work on Black Panther 2 saying it will “Top” the first film. She also went on to praise Chadwick Boseman saying he was inspiration in “Raising the standard.” while adding:

“He was such an example, such a leader. Amazing talent, we all know that; big heart, great intellect. And we just hope to raise the standard, you know.”

Black Panther 2 does not plan to replace Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa), instead, Ryan Coogler and Marvel  plan to move forward in a way that honors Boseman’s legacy while pushing forward with a new inspiring cinematic story, set in Wakanda.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to hit theaters in November. 

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2022 Oscar Snubs:

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Last week, we finally got the nominations for the 2022 Academy Awards, the biggest event in any film fans diary. In this piece, I will be looking through some of the people who may feel unlucky not to be getting glammed up on the 27th March. As a disclaimer, these snubs may not necessarily be films/people that I wanted to see in the lineup. Just ones that will feel aggrieved at not having a nomination.

Best Picture:
This years Best Picture lineup is not one of the strongest lineups we’ve seen, especially when compared to some past years. There are a few films that will feel aggrieved to not be in the running…

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Joel Coen tackling one of the most famous plays from William Shakespeare with Academy favourites Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand as your two stars certainly feels like the perfect recipe for Oscars success. The Tragedy of Macbeth landed 3 Oscar nominations in total and will feel like it could have snuck into the Best Picture running.

The Lost Daughter

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, is an excellent debut and considering it picked up 3 Oscar nods for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay, it will feel like it should have its place in the running for Best Picture.

In the Heights

The feel good film of 2021, In the Heights was a popular film amongst both audiences and critics which should have resulted in some love from the Academy. If I had my way, this would have been in the Best Picture running.

House of Gucci

The definition of ‘Oscar bait’. A biopic about a huge scandal in one of the most famous and luxurious fashion families in the world, with Ridley Scott at the helm and a cast that includes the great Al Pacino…its a shock that this wasn’t in the running.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Doctor Strange and Tom Holland stars as Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME.

This was always going to be a long shot, but with the mega box office, the campaigning by Marvel, the overall popularity of the picture and the Academy trying to become more ‘relevant’, it wouldn’t have been *that* big of a surprise if the film had snuck into the Best Picture running.

Best Director:
Denis Villeneuve

Easily the biggest snub from this years Oscars lineup. It is absolutely crazy that the Academy doesn’t recognise the director of a film that picked up 10 nominations in total…

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Another Best Director snub is first timer Maggie Gyllenhaal. This would have been a long shot but it would have been fantastic to have seen Gyllenhaal make her way into this illustrious group.

Guillermo Del Toro

Another one of the Academy’s favourites, Guillermo Del Toro feels like a big snub in this race, especially given the quality of the film on offer with Nightmare Alley.

Best Actress:
Alana Haim

The breakout star of 2021, Alana Haim was perfect in Licorice Pizza and was fully deserving of a Best Actress nod.

Emilia Jones

Another breakout star of 2021, Emilia Jones should have been in the conversation a lot more this awards season for her leading role in the wonderful and heart wrenching CODA.

Jodie Comer

The Last Duel is probably the biggest suffering film in terms of awards snubs. This should have been in the conversation for all of the major awards but the leading snub from the film is hands down Jodie Comer. She is breathtaking in the picture.

Lady Gaga

Probably the biggest surprise of the Oscars nominations was Lady Gaga’s snub from the Best Actress race. The majority of people were expecting Gaga to be a potential winner in this topsy turvy category so to see her snubbed came as a huge surprise. I have to say though, if Gaga missing out means Kristen Stewart gets in, I’m happy…

Best Actor:
Leonardo Di Caprio

Say what you want about Don’t Look Up as a film (a lot of people have said a lot of stuff). One thing that can’t be denied though is the quality of some of the performances, namely Leonardo Di Caprio. One of the Academy’s favourite actors, it is a surprise not to see them give him another nomination.

Peter Dinklage

Peter Dinklage is one of the finest working actors out there, continually putting in great performances throughout the years. It would have been wonderful to see Dinklage finally land an Oscar nod for Cyrano.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is well overdue an Oscar win, he should have won for A Star is Born back in 2019. In Nightmare Alley, he gives one of his best performances and one that has definitely been overlooked by the Academy voters.

Nicolas Cage

Another long shot, but Nicolas Cage gives his best performance in years in the excellent Pig. It would have been quite the turn from the Academy to recognise this kind of performance but I for one would have loved it.

Best Supporting Actress
Caitriona Balfe

Say what you want about Belfast but the quality of the performances cannot be denied. In fact the best two performances have been snubbed by the Academy. Firstly, Caitriona Balfe puts in the best performance in the film and it is a travesty that the Academy has overlooked her (no criticism to Dame Judi who I love).

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett is an actor who continually puts in fantastic performance after fantastic performance. In Nightmare Alley she delivers a cold and fatal performance that deserved recognition.

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin is another who gives an excellent performance in CODA. It was amazing to see Troy Kotsur nominated but it would have been lovely to have seen his on screen partner pick up a nod too.

Ann Dowd and Martha Plimpton

Mass is a film filled with four devastating performances. Four performances that could have easily been nominated in the Oscars this year. Ann Dowd and Martha Plimpton are both excellent and both would have been worthy of a nod this year.

Best Supporting Actor:
Jamie Dornan

Like Balfe, Jamie Dornan also puts in an excellent performance in Belfast, probably the best of his career. He gives a charismatic and likeable performance in a film the Academy voters seem to love.

Mike Faist

Mike Faist puts in a great performance in West Side Story, one of the best in the film, that is fully deserving of an Oscar nomination.

Woody Norman

C’mon C’mon is another one of those overlooked films in the awards season this year that deserved a lot more love. Woody Norman is excellent in the film and it would have been incredible to see him in the Supporting Actor race.

Jason Isaacs and Reed Birney

Again, Mass is a film filled with four devastating performances. Four performances that could have easily been nominated in the Oscars this year. Reed Birney and, in particular, Jason Isaacs are both excellent and both would have been worthy of a nod this year.

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