Author Archives: Catherine Shoard

Emma Stone wins best actress Oscar for La La Land

The actor has taken Hollywood’s top honour for her role as Mia in Damien Chazelle’s movie musical

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Emma Stone has won the best actress Oscar for her role in La La Land, the all-singing and dancing hymn to Hollywood directed by Damien Chazelle.

The victory follows wins for Stone in the same category at the Baftas a fortnight ago, the Screen Actors Guild Awards two weeks before that and in the comedy or musical category at the Golden Globes in January.

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Bill Paxton remembered by Jennifer Aniston at Oscars ceremony

The Academy Awards have made a last minute tribute ahead of their In Memoriam montage to the late actor, whose death was announced on Sunday

Bill Paxton: sad loss of a superb supporting actor with leading man chops

The Oscars have paid tribute to the actor Bill Paxton at this year’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

The announcement of Paxton’s sudden death aged 61 from complications after heart surgery cast a shadow over the 89th Oscars ceremony.

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Garry Shandling snubbed at Oscars ceremony

The late actor was omitted from the Academy’s In Memoriam montage, despite being an inspiration for this year’s host, Jimmy Kimmel

Garry Shandling, the American comedian best known for The Larry Sanders Show, has not been remembered at the 2017 Oscars in Los Angeles.

Shandling made 17 films, and starred in a handful, such as Warren Beatty’s 2006 comedy Town and Country, but he had high-profile cameos in the likes of Zoolander and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He was also a Hollywood staple, frequently hosting programmes such as the Grammys, Emmys and Saturday Night Live.

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Abbas Kiarostami remembered at Oscars ceremony

The late Iranian director has been commemorated in the Academy Awards’ In Memoriam montage

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Abbas Kiarostami, the veteran Iranian film-maker, has been remembered at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles. Kiarostami, widely felt to be one of the most important directors of the past 20 years, was behind such classics as Close-Up, Taste of Cherry and The Wind Will Carry Us.

The winner of more than 70 awards – including the Palme d’Or at Cannes – he was never nominated for an Oscar.

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The Salesman wins best foreign language Oscar

Protest vote against Donald Trump’s travel ban suspected to be partly behind Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s surprise victory

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Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has won the best foreign language Oscar in Los Angeles, for a second time, for domestic drama The Salesman. Farhadi, 44, did not attend the ceremony because he said that the conditions that would be attached to a potential entry visa were unacceptable.

The director had originally planned to travel to Hollywood for the prize-giving to highlight “the unjust circumstances that have arisen for the immigrants and travellers of several countries to the United States”.

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Viola Davis wins best supporting actress Oscar for Fences

As widely predicted, the 51-year-old beat the competition to score her first Academy Award victory, for her performance in Denzel Washington’s stage adaptation

Oscars 2017 live: the red carpet hits and misses, the ceremony and the stars
Oscar winners 2017: the full list with live updates

Viola Davis has won the best supporting actress Oscar in Los Angeles for her performance as Rose, the beleaguered wife of Denzel Washington’s former baseball pro, in Fences. Davis, 51, beat Michelle Williams (for Manchester by the Sea), Naomie Harris (for Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (for Lion) and Octavia Spencer (for Hidden Figures) to the award.

It was a widely anticipated victory for Davis, who had already taken the equivalent prize at the Golden Globes, Baftas and Screen Actors Guild awards. Davis was previously Oscar nominated for Doubt in 2008 and The Help in 2011; this is her first win.

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Foreign language Oscar nominees decry ‘climate of fanaticism in US’

All six directors up for this year’s prize – including Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who is boycotting the ceremony – have issued a statement blaming ‘leading politicians’ for inciting fear and bigotry across the world

The six directors in the running for this year’s foreign language Oscar have issued a joint statement blaming “leading politicians” for the fear they feel is creating “divisive walls”.

The statement, which was issued on Friday, comes ahead of Sunday’s Academy Awards, which are tipped to be the most political in recent memory, with winners and presenters expected to speak out against the new US administration.

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Emma Thompson confirms she will not return for Love Actually sequel

Actor says she and Richard Curtis had decided against bringing back her character following the death of Alan Rickman, who played her husbandEmma Thompson has confirmed that she will not be returning for the belated sequel to Love Actually, owing to th… Continue reading

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Why Arrival should win the best picture Oscar

As our series heads towards its conclusion, Catherine Shoard makes the case for Denis Villeneuve’s staggering alien invasion film

You could never accuse science-fiction, as a genre, of parading itself as Oscar bait. Few movies that flirt with the extraterrestrial have scored best picture nominations: ET, the first Star Wars – then, more recently, since the number of possible nominees was increased, District 9, Avatar, Inception, Her, Gravity and The Martian have sneaked in.

None won – though Gravity won in seven other categories. Arrival is a film that echoes Alfonso Cuarón’s in some respects: the great beyond, the intense focus on its female lead, the loss of a child. But Denis Villeneuve’s drama is not a head-trip like that splashy immersion.

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Lindsay Lohan: ‘I was racially profiled and asked to remove headscarf at Heathrow’

The actor, who has been studying Islam, has said she was ‘freaked out’ by the request during an airport check

Lindsay Lohan, the actor best known for her roles in films such as Mean Girls, has said she was “racially profiled” at Heathrow airport recently.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Lohan, 30, said she was requested to remove her headscarf by security staff queuing for a flight to New York, having lately returned from Turkey.

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Lindsay Lohan: ‘I was racially profiled and asked to remove headscarf at Heathrow’

The actor, who has been studying Islam, has said she was ‘freaked out’ by the request during an airport check

Lindsay Lohan, the actor best known for her roles in films such as Mean Girls, has said she was “racially profiled” at Heathrow airport recently.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Lohan, 30, said she was requested to remove her headscarf by security staff queuing for a flight to New York, having lately returned from Turkey.

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Hollywood could be sued for discrimination against female directors

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report concludes that US film industry is guilty of discrimination against female directors, and plans to take action against studios

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – a federal US agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination – looks likely to take legal action against major Hollywood studios.

According to Deadline, the body is currently in talks to resolve charges that studios systemically discriminated against female directors. A source is quoted as saying: “Every one of the major studios has received a charge contending that they failed to hire women directors.”

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#OscarsSoAgeist: study finds diversity fail among best picture nominees

Fewer than 12% of characters in last three years’ best film nominees 60 years old or more, university paper shows

The Academy Awards might be making progress on race and gender equality, but a new report into the ages of characters in best picture nominees suggests that representation of the over 60s still lags behind.

A new paper by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has studied the spread of ages in characters over the 25 best picture nominees from the past three years.

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My favorite best picture Oscar winner: 12 Years a Slave

Continuing our series of Guardian writers’ all-time Academy picks, Catherine Shoard explains why Steve McQueen’s film deserved to triumph over Gravity

It is possible to have qualms about #OscarsSoWhite, admirable as the movement seems. Such misgivings revolve around the retrospective fate of the film that won best picture in 2014, the year before the backlash happened.

Related: My favorite best picture Oscar winner: Annie Hall

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Mel Gibson in talks to direct Suicide Squad 2

The film-maker, whose Hacksaw Ridge is nominated for six Oscars, may take over the reins on the superhero movie from David Ayer

Mel Gibson may make a late move into superhero movies by directing the forthcoming sequel to Suicide Squad. Gibson, 61, is currently riding high after his commercial and critical hit, Hacksaw Ridge, was nominated for six Oscars.

Warner Bros are said to be in talks with Gibson to take over from David Ayer, who directed the first film, which met with mixed notices but took $746m worldwide. It starred Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto as a ragtag bunch of baddies forced into the government’s service.

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Love Actually sequel to screen on Red Nose Day 2017

Follow-up to Richard Curtis’s loved-and-hated Christmas romcom will premiere on the BBC on 24 March and on NBC two months later for US viewers

Speculation has long raged over the fate of the characters in Love Actually, Richard Curtis’s 2003 Christmas classic. Thirteen months ago, script editor (and Curtis’s wife) Emma Freud sated some fans with a scattering of answers: Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson remain married but aren’t as happy; Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln never get together; the little lad and that girl he saw off at the airport do.

Related: Love Actually 2: what should happen in Richard Curtis’ sequel

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Bill Murray lost out to Jack Nicholson for Toni Erdmann remake because he mislaid DVD

The actor has said he was approached by Kristen Wiig – now confirmed as Nicholson’s co-star – but by the time he’d watched the German original, it was too late

From the moment German comedy Toni Erdmann premiered at Cannes last May, Bill Murray’s name was linked – if only by critics – to a possible US remake. Last month, however, Jack Nicholson was announced as coming out of retirement to take on the role of the larky father to a stern businesswoman, who will be played by Kristen Wiig.

But speaking to CNBC, Murray – who doesn’t have an agent – revealed that he was approached with the role in mind by Wiig, but missed out because of disorganisation.

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Actor Jimmy Vee named as new R2-D2

The Scot will replace Kenny Baker as the intelligent droid, while Glasgow University is launching its own Star Wars philosophy course

The actor who will replace the late Kenny Baker as iconic droid R2-D2 in the Star Wars films has been announced. Jimmy Vee, a 57-year-old Scottish actor who has appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Pan will take on the role, having apparently learned the ropes from Baker himself.

Vee actually appeared as the droid in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but went uncredited, with Baker named as the actor. The replacement’s first official outing in costume will be tStar Wars: The Last Jedi, to be released at Christmas.

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Lars von Trier inspired by Donald Trump for new serial-killer film

Exclusive: Danish director’s The House That Jack Built ‘celebrates the idea that life is evil and soulless, sadly proven by the recent rise of the Homo trumpus – the rat king’

Lars von Trier, the Danish auteur whose films have rarely shied from controversy, is to make a film inspired in part by new US president Donald Trump.

The previously announced The House That Jack Built stars Matt Dillon in the title role as a “highly intelligent” man we follow over 12 years. The film “introduces the murders that define [his] development as a serial killer”.

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Uzbekistan bans film over absence of Morgan Freeman

Action thriller Daydi has been pulled from cinemas after promotional posters featuring the actor turned out to be misleading

Uzbekistan’s film licensing body has stopped the release of a homegrown movie because it doesn’t feature Morgan Freeman. The actor was featured on posters to sell Daydi (Rogue), but makes no appearance in the final product.

The poster appeared to lift images of the actor from the promotional materials for the 2015 film Last Knights. The licensers accused production studio Timur Film of breaching consumers’ rights by falsely promising an appearance from the A-lister. Timur Film has yet to comment.

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