“Moonlight” Triumphs at Oscars, Wins Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor

Barry Jenkins accepts Best Picture Oscar for "Moonlight" (Patrick T. Fallon via nytimes.com)

Barry Jenkins accepts Best Picture Oscar for “Moonlight” (Patrick T. Fallon via nytimes.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Moonlight topped off its amazing awards-season run by earning the Best Picture Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards. Moonlight director/writer/producer Barry Jenkins accepted the award at the end of the night after a shocking turn of events where La La Land was mistakenly called to stage to receive the Academy’s highest honor. Jenkins also won with co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor in Oscar history to win the Best Supporting Actor Award.

The star-studded evening also saw an energizing opening performance of “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Original Song nominee Justin Timberlake, a medley of two songs from “La La Land” by its co-star John Legend (“City of Stars” went on to win the Original Song award) and a standing ovation for Best Feature Documentary presenter, Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who was introduced by “Hidden Figures” stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae (and wheeled out on stage by current NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle).

There were also Oscar presentations from Samuel L. Jackson, Halle Berry and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, but one of the biggest highlights of the evening was the speech delivered by three-time nominee and Best Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis:

Viola Davis (photo via Parade.com)

Viola Davis (photo via Parade.com)

People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies, exhume those stories, the stories of the people who dreamed.  I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. So here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.

Davis went on to thank her co-stars and Best Director/Best Actor nominee Denzel Washington, her family and her parents.

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‘Moonlight,’ ‘Fences,’ ‘Hidden Figures’ and Actors of Color Make Oscar History

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: (L-R) Actors Trevante Rhodes and Naomie Harris, director Barry Jenkins, actors Ashton Sanders, Janelle Monae and Mahershala Ali of 'Moonlight,' winner of Best Motion Picture - Drama, pose in the press room during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 08: (L-R) Actors Trevante Rhodes and Naomie Harris, director Barry Jenkins, actors Ashton Sanders, Janelle Monae and Mahershala Ali of ‘Moonlight,’ winner of Best Motion Picture – Drama, pose in the press room during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

article by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com

Reversing course from last year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored “Moonlight,” “Fences,” “Hidden Figures” and other people of color-centered works with Oscar nominations today (January 24).

The three films, each of which features a predominantly Black cast, compete in the “Best Picture” and “Writing (Adapted Screenplay)” categories. Actresses Viola Davis (“Fences”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”) and Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”) also square off for best “Actress in a Supporting Role.”

“Moonlight”‘s eight nominations are the most of any film this year besides the musical “La La Land.” They include “Best Director” and “Writing (Adapted Screenplay)” for Barry Jenkins, and “Actor in a Supporting Role” for Mahershala Ali.

“Fences” star and director Denzel Washington received a best “Actor in a Leading Role” nomination. Playwright August Wilson‘s script, based on his original 1983 play, earned him a posthumous “Writing (Adapted Screenplay)” nod.

Other acting nominees of color include Ruth Negga (“Loving”) for “Actress in a Leading Role” and Dev Patel (“Lion”) for “Actor in a Supporting Role.” Patel is the first performer of South Asian descent to receive an acting Oscar nomination since Ben Kingsley for 2000’s “Sexy Beast.”

Ava DuVernay‘s “13th,” Raoul Peck‘s “I Am Not Your Negro” and Ezra Edelman‘s “O.J.: Made in America” each received Documentary (Feature) nominations. The category also includes another Black director’s work: Roger Ross Williams“Life, Animated,” and Joi McMillon became the first black female to be nominated in the Editing category for “Moonlight.”

This year’s nominations are far more diverse overall than last year’s, and NBC News reports that this year’s acting nominee pool is the most diverse in Oscar history.

To read more, go to: http://www.colorlines.com/articles/moonlight-fences-and-actors-color-make-oscar-history

Happy 65th Birthday Oscar Nominee Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. JacksonSamuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American film and television actor and film producer. After becoming involved with the Civil Rights Movement, he moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films. He had several small roles such as in the film Goodfellas before meeting his mentor, Morgan Freeman, and the director Spike Lee. After gaining critical acclaim for his role in Jungle Fever in 1991, he appeared in films such as Patriot GamesAmos & AndrewTrue Romance and Jurassic Park. In 1994, he was cast as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and his performance received several award nominations and critical acclaim.

Jackson has since appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a VengeanceJackie BrownUnbreakableThe IncrediblesShaftSnakes on a PlaneDjango Unchained, as well as the Star Wars prequel trilogy and small roles in Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Inglourious Basterds.

He played Nick Fury in Iron ManIron Man 2ThorCaptain America: The First Avenger, and Marvel’s The Avengers, the first five of a nine-film commitment as the character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Jackson is set to reprise his role as Fury in the 2014 film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the 2015 film, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Jackson’s many roles have made him one of the highest-grossing actors at the box office. Jackson has won multiple awards throughout his career and has been portrayed in various forms of media, including films, television series, and songs. In 1980, Jackson married LaTanya Richardson, with whom he has a daughter, Zoe.  In October 2011, Jackson became the actor with the highest-grossing film total of all time.

article via wikipedia.org

Denzel Washington and Nine Year-Old Quvenzhané Wallis Nominated For Oscars

This film image released by Paramount Pictures shows Denzel Washington portraying Whip Whitaker in a scene from "Flight." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Robert Zuckerman)

This film image released by Paramount Pictures shows Denzel Washington portraying Whip Whitaker in a scene from “Flight.” (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Robert Zuckerman)

Denzel Washington scored his first Oscar nomination in over a decade this morning for his acclaimed performance as an alcoholic pilot in the hit drama Flight.  This is Denzel’s sixth career Academy Award nomination, making him the most honored black actor in history. He’s won twice before: supporting actor for 1989′s Glory and best actor for his villainous role in 2001′s Training Day.

This recognition caps perhaps a career-best year for the A-list superstar, following the box office success of February’s action thriller Safe House and now his return to Hollywood’s most prestigious night.

Actress Quvenzhane Wallis attends TheWrap's Awards Season Screening Series Presents 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' on October 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)Meanwhile, Quvenzhané Wallis received her first Oscar nomination ever for her acting debut in Beasts of the Southern Wild.  At nine, Wallis is also the youngest actress to ever be nominated  in the Academy’s leading actress category.Auditioning for the lead role when she was only 5 years old, Quvenzhané was 6 when filming began in 2010 in Pointe-aux-Chenes and Isle de Jean Charles, not too far from her hometown of Houma, Louisiana.

Beasts of the Southern Wild won the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ at the Sundance Independent Film Festival and won the Camera d’Or for best first film at the Cannes Film Festival.

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