4 items from 2017
Sunday’s Oscars 2017 are driven by two competing narratives. The question is which one will dominate the night.
We know Damien Chazelle’s retro musical “La La Land” (Lionsgate) will take home a slew of Oscars. But out of its record-tying 14 nominations, will it win five, like the BAFTAs? Seven, like its Golden Globes sweep? Or can it break the record of 11? (Three epic spectacles hold the record for most Oscar wins: “Titanic,” “Ben-Hur,” and “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”) “West Side Story” holds the record for a musical, with 10 wins.
Check my predictions below: By my “La La Land” tally, it’s nine.
The second story of the night: a dramatic course correction a year after #Oscarsowhite. The Academy actors’ branch nominated a record seven actors of color: familiar faces Octavia Spencer (Fox’s “Hidden Figures”) and Paramount’s “Fences” stars Denzel Washington (his eighth nomination »
- Anne Thompson
One of the smartest and most subversive movies in the Oscar race this year comes in an unexpected package — that of a Disney animated film featuring adorable animals who tackle such weighty issues as racism, sexism, and governing through fear. “Zootopia” was helmed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore (with co-director Jared Bush), who also developed the story, with a screenplay by Jared Bush and Phil Johnston.
In the film, Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) sets out to be the first rabbit police officer, only to team up with a con artist fox (voiced by Jason Bateman) to solve the mystery of why some animals are turning feral. The serious subject matter is cleverly buoyed by humor, such as when Hopps explains to a cheetah, “You probably didn’t know, but a bunny can call another bunny cute, but when other animals do it, it’s a little…”
- Jenelle Riley
With Run The Series, The A.V. Club examines film franchises, studying how they change and evolve with each new installment.
“You wanna get high, man?”
“Does Howdy Doody got wooden balls, man?”
With marijuana currently nearing legalization on a federal level, it’s been a while since the drug was scandalous enough to make the comedic stylings of Tommy Chong and Richard “Cheech” Marin seem subversive. But back when their stand-up tours were the scourge of moral watchdog groups and local police departments, the common knock against the pair was that they were only funny if you were stoned too. The squares that the duo goofed on across their eight films—institution figures ranging from cops to narcos to nuns to bosses—looked down on Cheech and Chong as hippie jesters for idiots, palatable solely to those wastrels who had sufficiently lowered their consciousness enough to chuckle at the »
- Charles Bramesco
The guy who transformed the Hollywood sign into a beacon for stoners has gone underground ... and he's brought enough weed to stay in hiding for a while. Zach Fernandez -- aka "Jesushands" -- is lying low in an undisclosed location on the heels of his "Hollyweed" stunt. Sources close to Zach tell us he's afraid he'll be charged with a crime. We're told he's left L.A. and doesn't plan to return anytime soon ... especially »
- TMZ Staff
4 items from 2017
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