• Ready for the Oscars

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    The nine contenders for this year’s Best Picture Award (from left): ‘Arrivals,’ ‘Fences,’ ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ ‘Hell or High Water,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘La La Land,’ ‘Lion’ and (below from left) ‘Manchester by the Sea,’ and ‘Moonlight’

    This morning, Manila time, the 89th Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood California. As usual, the fever has gone beyond Hollywood, and all the way to these cinema-loving shores, eager to see the world’s most dazzling stars battle it out for greatness.

    To celebrate the Oscars, The Manila Times runs this special primer to enhance the Filipino’s experience and excitement for this year’s most important day in Hollywood.

    Fast facts
    The Academy Awards, or Oscars, is an annual American awards ceremony hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements in the United States film industry as assessed by the academy’s voting membership.

    The official name for the golden Academy Award statue is the Academy Award of Merit. There is no official account on how the Oscar nickname came to be but the most widely repeated story claims Academy librarian–and later executive director–Margaret Herrick commented that the gong looked like her Uncle Oscar.

    The Oscar trophy is 13-and-a half inches high and weighs eight and a half pounds. It is made from solid bronze and plated in 24-carat gold. The only time these valuable materials were not used was during World War 2, when the gongs were made from painted plaster for three years. After the war, winners were able to swap the plaster statues for gold-plated ones.

    The iconic statue was designed by Cedric Gibbon who was chief art director at MGM. Los Angeles-based sculptor George Stanley meanwhile made it the three-dimensional trophy that it is today, 50 pieces of which takes a total of three months to make.

    Oscar 2017
    This year, popular late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has been tapped as the Oscars’ 2017 host. It is his first time to host the Academy Awards, taking on the duty performed in recent years by Chris Rock, Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres.

    Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Sting, and Lin-Manuel Miranda will light up the Dolby Theatre with musical performances of their nominated songs during the production. Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced the title character in Moana, will join songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda in rendering the empowering theme, “How Far I’ll Go.” Sting will sing “The Empty Chair” from the documentary Jim: The James Foley Story. Timberlake will perform “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls. La La Land star Legend will perform the movie’s two nominated songs, sung in the movie by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

    After two years of the #OscarsSoWhite nomination controversy, this year’s four major categories including Achievement in Directing for Barry Jenkins, have at least one person of color. Three of the contenders for Best Picture: Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Fences feature mostly black actors. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Ruth Negga and Mahershala Ali were all nominated for their acting roles.

    La La Land has an impressive total of 14 nominations, which include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Story, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Lead Actor for Ryan Gosling, and Best Lead Actress for Emma Stone. The film’s song, “Audition (The Fools who Dream)” and “City of Stars” are both nominated for the Best Original Song category.

    Meanwhile, for the 20th time, Meryl Streep has a Best Actress nomination for her role in Florence Foster Jenkins. Making a comeback too is Mel Gibson, who is nominated for Best Director for his film Hacksaw Ridge.

    Oscars 2017 host Jimmy Kimmel

    The rest of the awards are as follows:
    Best Picture: Arrival; Fences; Hacksaw Ridge; Hell or High Water; Hidden Figures; La La Land; Lion; Manchester by the Sea; Moonlight

    Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea; Denzel Washington, Fences; Ryan Gosling, La La Land; Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic; Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge; and Tom Hanks, Sully

    Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle; Ruth Negga, Loving; Natalie Portman, Jackie; Emma Stone, La La Land; and Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

    Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight; Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water; Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea; Dev Patel, Lion; and Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

    Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences; Naomie Harris, Moonlight; Nicole Kidman, Lion; Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures; and Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

    Directing: Arrival, Denis Villeneuve; Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson; La La Land, Damien Chazelle; Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan; and Moonlight, Barry Jenkins

    Foreign Language Film: Land Of Mine, Denmark; A Man Called Ove, Sweden; The Salesman, Iran; Tanna, Australia; and Toni Erdmann, Germany

    Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight; Lion; Arrival; Fences; Hidden Figures

    Original Screenplay: Hell or High Water; La La Land; The Lobster; Manchester by the Sea; 20th Century Women

    Animated Feature Film: Kubo and the Two Strings, Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner; Moana, John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer; My Life as a Zucchini, Claude Barras and Max Karli; The Red Turtle, Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki; and Zootopia, Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

    Cinematography: Arrival, Bradford Young; La La Land, Linus Sandgren; Lion, Greg Fraser; Moonlight, James Laxton; and Silence, Rodrigo Prieto

    Original Song: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land; “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls; “City of Stars” from La La Land; “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story; and “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.

    Watch the Oscars live on HBO Asia beginning 8 a.m.

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