With so many strong female performances this year, it will be hard to chose who will win the Best Actress trophy from among them at the Oscars on March 4. Women led the box office this past year, with the top three films featuring women in leading roles. From Star Wars: The Last Jedi to Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman, 2017 might just have been the year of the woman. And one the strongest performances came from someone you might not expect.
Margot Robbie proved that she is more than just a pretty face in her role as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. The 27-year-old has come a long way from her small roles in About Time and The Wolf of Wall Street, and now she could very well take hold some gold as well thanks to her charming, yet funny and trashy role. In order to do that however, she will have to get by a veteran who has 20 nominations and 3 statues to her name.
There’s no denying it, Meryl Streep is the darling of the Oscars. Hardly a year goes by without another break-out performance and nomination. Her role as Kay Graham in The Post shows once again why she is considered the go-to actress for many dramatic roles. Streep’s real genius is finding the character’s true motivation, and her ability to do so is on display throughout the film as the character transforms from a rich, directionless woman with no voice, to a woman who discovers her true worth. This type of transformative character is also on display in another of the year’s top films.
It’s hard to describe Frances McDormand’s character in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, without using the word rage. Throughout her career she’s been known for playing quirky, odd characters, but in this film, she plays a grieving mother who lets her rage take control of her actions, and she flawlessly takes charge of the role. Still, as angry as she is, Frances allows the audience to catch a glimpse of the gentle, empathetic person her character truly is. It’s a difficult line to walk, yet Frances manages to balance all the traits just right. As strong as she is though in the film, Frances might just not be as good as Sally Hawkins.
Hawkins received an Oscar nominations for 2014’s Blue Jasmine, but throughout her career a case could be made for several more. Last year however her role as a mute janitor who falls for a fish creature in a top secret laboratory in The Shape of Water might just be her best performance yet. Hawkins has the ability to draw viewers in and feel empathy for whatever character she plays, and this role is no difference. In a year of exceptionally great female performances though Hawkins might get overlooked once again, this time for Saoirse Ronan.
Ronan has been growing as an actor right in front of our eyes. With three Oscar nominations already in her career, it’s hard to believe the Irish lass is just 23. In Lady Bird she plays an energetic, angsty teen on the cusp of adulthood. Her strong spirit guides her in the direction she wants to head, yet she’s still learning along the way as she stumbles onward. For those of us dealing or have dealt with, millennials who find everything boring, and have a need to find the excitement they think they are missing in life, Lady Bird, and more specifically Ronan’s performance, will ring true. The best thing though, is that Ronan brings a relatable depth to the character, that should bring her right to Oscar gold.
2018 Junos: Arcade Fire & Gord Downie Win Big, A Barenaked Reunion and Michael Buble Hosts
Last year’s Juno Awards had problems even before it began, when host Michael Buble had to step down as the host after family issues arose, but this year he was front and centre of the show, and even started the night off with some good news. The singer announced early on that he and his wife were expecting their third child. And that wasn’t the end of the positivity showcased throughout the evening.
When Arcade Fire’s Win Butler took the stage to claim the Album of the Year Award for Everything News, he stated “I just hope that we can all rise above negativity in our lives and just do what we believe in. Speak your truth and don’t be afraid to just do whatever the hell you want.”
Gord Downie’s brothers Mike and Patrick continued the inspiring words when they accepted his posthumous Artist of the Year award. “If we’ve learned anything from Gord it was the value of taking care of each other,” Patrick said. “This is Gord’s award. It’s artist of the year, but he was our man of a lifetime. I’d like to believe we’re all better artists and people because of him. We love you Gord and we’re all taking good care of each other.” The love towards Downie was also felt earlier on during a special tribute to the late singer, which was led by Sarah Harmer and Dallas Green, alongside Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn.
The other big highlight of the evening was of course the induction of the Backnaked Ladies into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The group reunited with former bandmate Steven Page to accept the award, and even closed out the broadcast with a montage of their hits One Week and If I Had $1,000,000. Page left the group to pursue a solo career back in 2009. Before they could finish their montage though, Jann Arden, Jim Cuddy, The Jerry Cans and the Northern Touch All-Stars joined them sing-along.
The other winners for the evening were: RB/Soul Recording of the Year: Freudian by Daniel Caesar, Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Jessie Reyez, Rap Recording of the Year: Shooters by Tory Lanez and Juno Fan Choice: Shawn Mendes.
Photo: CBC Music Twitter
Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin And More Set To Return For Once Upon A Time Finale
You have to give it to the Once Upon A Time producers, they tried to continue the popular series after regulars Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin and Emilie de Ravin decided to call it quits after 6 seasons. Unfortunately the ratings continues to fall, and earlier this year ABC decided to pull the plug on it and announced the season finale would also be the series finale. And now it’s been announced that the actors who left the series, are returning for the final episode.
Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis said in a released statement that “Seven years after we set off on this magical journey, we prepare to say goodbye to the cast, crew and writers that made the ‘happily ever after’ that is Once Upon a Time possible. We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to say farewell than by reuniting so many of the characters that our fiercely loyal fans spent years with on their adventures. We hope everyone joins our Once family, old and new, for what we hope will be the sendoff of a lifetime befitting this stellar cast and its incomparable fans.”
Once Upon A Time was rebooted for season 7, with few cast members from the previous seasons returning. One was Lana Parrilla, who plays Regina Mills, and who we interviewed for our October 2017 issue. The season also featured several new characters, including Robin, the daughter of Zelena and Robin Hood, played by Tiera Skovbye. We spoke with Tiera in our current, March issue.
ABC recently announced that the season ending episode would feature several returning stars, including Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills), Bev Elliott (Granny), Lee Arenberg (Grumpy), Tony Amendola (Geppetto), Keegan Connor Tracy (Blue Fairy), JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Ariel), Robbie Kay (Peter Pan), Sean Maguire (Robin Hood), Victoria Smurfit (Cruella de Vil) and Rebecca Mader (Zelena/Wicked Witch). With Morrison (Emma Swan), Dallas (Prince Charming), Goodwin (Snow White) and de Ravin (Belle) returning, the finale should play out the nostalgia factor and draw in fans who had stopped watching. Morrison, Dallas and Goodwin had been with the series since it began, while de Ravin joined part way through season one before becoming a series regular in season 2.
The Once Upon A Time finale will air over the course of two weeks, on Fridays May 11 and May 18, at 8 P.M. The returning actors aren’t expected to appear until the season part.
Indiana Jones 5 Will Start Production In 2019
Even though Steven Spielberg’s latest film, Ready Player One, isn’t set to hit theatres until next week, people have already started talking about the Oscar winning director’s upcoming films; including the fifth film of the long running Indiana Jones franchise.
While making an appearance at the Rakuten Empire Awards in London this weekend, Spielberg not only praised the Time’s Up movement, but he also started discussing the upcoming Indiana Jones 5 film during his acceptance speech for the Legend of Our Lifetime award. “It’s always worth the trip when I get to work with this deep bench of talent coming out of the UK,” he said. “The actors, and the crew, the chippies, the sparks, the drivers — everybody who has helped me make my movies here, and will continue helping me make my movies here when I come back in April 2019 to make the fifth Indiana Jones movie right here.”
Originally the fifth movie was due out in 2019, but that was switched to July 10, 2020 last April by Disney. What we know is that Harrison Ford will once again star in the film, but Shia LaBeouf, who was one of the stars of the fourth installment The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, won’t be in it at all. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will once again produce the film, and David Koepp is currently writing the script. Other than that the film, including the plot and co-stars, is a complete mystery.
Before getting to the unnamed Indiana Jones sequel however, Spielberg is filming West Side Story and The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara first.
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