Oscars 2013 – blow by blow

Credit: Michael Yada / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Credit: Michael Yada / ©A.M.P.A.S.

And we’re live. Welcome to my account of the 85th Academy Awards, aka the culmination of Awards Season. The show kicked off with a joke from the host, Seth MacFarlane i.e. his quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh. Success. We can all go home 😉 It’s become tradition to kind of pick out a handful of the stars in attendance and pick on them. So far some of the ‘victims’ include Ben Affleck, Daniel Day Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence and Jean Dujardin.

Captain Kirk makes his appearance giving Seth some tips on how not to be the worst Oscars host ever. So he should refrain from the “We saw your boobs” number that he ‘performed’ earlier in the night. They then crossed to the montage of “We saw your boobs” musical number by the host. He listed all the stars whose boobs we’ve seen and by far we’ve seen Kate Winslet’s boobs the most.

He then welcomed to the stage Academy Award winner, Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum on stage dancing on the stage while Seth sings Sinatra’s “The way you look tonight”. How awesome. This was followed by Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon Levitt and them singing “He’s got high hopes”.

Captain Kirk is telling him to start the show with a showstopper. I wouldn’t quite call this a showstopping opening, but it works for now.

Octavia Spencer is up to present the first award of the night; the Best Actor in a Supporting role. And the Oscar goes to Christop Waltz for Django Unchained.

“Thank you so much. Mr Hoffman, Mr Jones *bows. My unlimited gratitude goes to this creator, Quinton Tarantino.”

Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy are up to present the Best Animated Short Film. The Oscar goes to Paperman for John Kahrs. They also present the award for Best Animated Feature film to Brave” Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman.

Reese Witherspoon introduces Best Picture nominees, Les Miserables, Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild.

The Avengers cast on stage – sans ScarJo. How weird?  Achievement in Cinematography Oscar goes to Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi.

The Visual Effects Oscar goes to Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott for Life of Pi.

Channing Tatum is getting loads of airtime tonight. He’s up to present alongside Jennifer Aniston. They shared some waxing jokes before present the award for Achievement in Costume Design to Jacqueline Durran for “Anna Karenina”.  “Thank you to the Academy. This is absolutely overwhelming and I’d like to accept this on behalf of the incredible team.”

Makeup and Hairstyling award goes to “Les Misérables”‘s Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell. “Woah. Thank you so much to the Academy. I must pay a huge tribute to the team who worked so hard on this film.”

Halle Berry is up to introduce the 50 years of Bond tribute. There’s a montage of scenes from the franchise, which is arguably one of the most successful franchises in the film industry. Dame Shirley Bassey takes to the stage singing Goldfinger. Fantastic!

Dame Shirley Bassey

Django Unchained stars, Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx are up. They’re presenting the Best Short Film (Live Action) award to “Curfew” Shawn Christensen. “

The Best Documentary Short Subject goes to “Inocente” Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine.

Liam Neeson introduces some of the other Best Picture nominees including Argo, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.

Ben Affleck is up to present an award to present the Best Documentary award. The award goes to Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn for “Searching for Sugar Man” “Rodrigues isn’t here tonight because he didn’t want to take any of the credit and that just says a lot about this incredible man.”

Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastaine are up to present the Best Foreign Language Film. The Award goes to Michael Haneke for Amour (Austria).

John Travolta dances his way onto the Oscars stage. He introduces some of the best and biggest Oscar winning musicals and the stars to the stage including Chicago, Les Miserables and Dreamgirls  Catherine Zeta Jones sings All That Jazz from Chicago. This is followed by Jennifer Hudson’s performance of “I am telling You” from the hugely successful film, Dreamgirls. What she did right there was nothing short of incredible. She’s amazing, really amazing!

It’s kinda crap for the Les Miserables cast to try and follow that performance. They did well though, I’ll give them that much. Far better than what I could ever do 😉

Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana do a quick intro for something, which I missed. Moment gone. Mark Walhberg and ‘Ted’ are up to present the award for the Best Sound Mixing Awrd to Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes for “Les Misérables”.

The Sound Editing Oscar goes to Paul N.J. Ottosson for “Zero Dark Thirty”. “To the Academy thank you. This is such an incredible honor”. The award also goes to Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers “Skyfall” . The last time I can see

Christopher Plummer is up to present the Best Supporting Actress award. The award goes to Anne Hathaway for her role in Les Miserables.

“It came true. Thank you so much to the Academy for this and to my fellow nominees.”

Sandra Bullock is up to present the Achievement in Film Editing award William Goldenberg for Argo.

Jennifer Lawrence introduces Adele, who performs for the first time ever on the Academy Awards stage. She’s singing the big hit, Skyfall. Lovely performance, perfect Oscars performance.

Nicole Kidman introduces Best Picture nominees, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and Amour.

Kristen Stewart and Daniel Radcliffe present the award for Best Production Design. “Lincoln” wins the Best Production Design award, which goes to Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

George Clooney presents the “In Memoriam” tribute now. Barbra Streisand takes to the stage singing “The Way We Were” by the late Marvin Hamlisch. This is the first time she has appeared on the Oscar stage in thirty six years.

Chicago’s Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Renee Zellweger and Catherine take to the stage to present the award for Best Original Score to Mychael Danna for Life of Pi.

Best Original Score goes to Adele and Paul Epworth for Skyfall “Thank you so much. This is amazing.”  Paul thanks The Academy, Sam Mendes, “Adele for being the best person he has ever worked with.”

Dustin Hoffman and Charlize Theron are up to present the Best Adapted Screenplay award to Argo” Screenplay by Chris Terrio. “Fifteen years ago you were up here for your screenplay”. Best Original Screenplay goes to Django Unchained. “That’s cool Charlize is my neighbour. Thank you Mr. Hoffman. I want to thank the actors. Thank you so much. I love the competition. You guys are all wonderful. Peace out”

Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda will present the Best Director award to Ang Lee for Life of Pi. “Thank you oh holy God. I really need to share this with all three thousand. Everybody I worked with on Life of Pi.”

Jean Dujardine is up to present the Best Actress in a Lead Role. The award goes to Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. She just slipped on the stage, whoops. “Standing up because you feel bad that I fell and that’s really embarrassing. Thank you to the Academy and to the women in this category.”

Meryl Streep is up to present, who is “walking on her dress”, is up to present the Best Actor in a Lead Role. The award goes to Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln. Duh. “I really don’t know how any of this happened.”

Best Picture is presented by Jack Nicolson and live from the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama. The award goes to Argo. “I know what you’re thinking, three sexiest cruisers alive. I want to thank the Academy. This is truly an honor. There are too many people to thank. I want to thank them personally, but I want to acknowledge a couple of people. I want to thank my partner in crime, George.”

“It doesnt matter how you get knocked down in life cause that’s gonna happen All the matters is that you’ve got to get up” Ben Affleck.

The Oscars 2012 – Hugo, Christopher Plummer


Ben Stiller and Emma Stone are up to present the Achievement in Visual Effects. She’s very excited to be on the stage to present an award at the Oscars. She’s poking fun at all the presenters gone by in the past. Singing, doing the ever-so rehearsed antiques so many of the presenters go through every year. That was fun.

Hugo wins the award in this category.”I know it’s a huge thrill to be nominated, but it’s awesome to win. Really underrated.” The winners thanked Martin Scorsese once again.

Melissa Leo is up to present the Best Supporting Actor Award. And that award goes to… Christopher Plummer for his role in The Beginners. He is the oldest actor ever to win an Oscar. He gets a standing ovation.

Holding the Oscar in his hand he says, “You’re only two years older than me darling, where have you been all my life? I have a confession to make, when I first emerged from my mother’s womb, I was already rehearsing my Academy thank you speech. But it was so long ago, mercifully for you, I’ve forgotten it. But I haven’t forgotten who to thank. The Academy, of course, for this extraordinary honor and my fellow nominees: Kenneth, Nick, Jonah, dear Max, I’m so proud to be in your company. And of course I wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for Michael Mills and his enchanting film, “Beginners,” and my screen partner of course, Ewan McGregor, that superb artist, who I would happily share this award with if I had any decency, but I don’t.

To all the producers, at Olympus Films especially, Leslie Urdang and Miranda de Pencier. All the people at Focus for their tremendous generosity and support, and not to mention my, haha, little band of agents provocateurs: Lou Pitt and his wife Berta, Carter Cohn, Pippa Markham, Perry Zimel, who’ve tried so hard to keep me out of jail, my daughter Amanda who always makes me proud and lastly, my long-suffering wife, Elaine, who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day of my life. Thank you so much.”

The Oscars 2012 – Billy’s opening, Hugo wins

Academy Award winner and legend Morgan Freeman opened the show introducing a montage of this year’s Best Pictures. This is a way to also introduce host Billy Crystal, who places himself in some of the scenes with this year’s nominees. It’s a light way to kick things off.

This is the 9th time Crystal is playing host for the Oscars. He said, “We’re at the beautiful Chapter 11 theatre…” This in the wake of Kodak going under recently. After his song and dance parody, he introduces Tom Hanks. He is presenting the Oscar for Achievement in Cinematography, which goes to Robert Richardson for Hugo:

“I want to thank you. Martin you’re a genius as usual. To all the past, present and future filmmakers this is for you.”

The Oscar for Best Art Direction goes to Dante Ferretti and his wife for their role in Hugo too.

“This is for Martin and for Italy”


Believe the hype, Black Swan is the business

Last night I was invited to a screening of the highly acclaimed film, Black Swan. The event was held at the Nu Metro Hyde Park cinemas, in association with Fox Studios and the South African Ballet Theatre. What a fitting occasion for the Ballet Theatre Company. Not only has a film like this put ballet back in the spotlight again, but also they announced at the event that after a very difficult period, financially, the National Lottery would be funding them for the year. Plus they were celebrating their tenth birthday at the event. There were a couple of ballet dancers doing the rounds at the event, posing for pics and doing a few short numbers. This pictures was taken on my Blackberry Bold.

I’ve watched Natalie Portman clean up so far at all the major award shows, ahead of the Oscars later this month, but I didn’t want to set my expectations too high so I went in with an open mind. Wow! That is where I will start. This movie is fantastic. First of all, in addition to Portman, who plays the role of Nina Sayers, the other cast members are also really strong. The list includes Mila Kunis (Lily), Vincent Cassel (Thomas Leroy), Barbara Hershey (Erica Sayers). Winona Ryder has a small role in the movie too. The film tells the story of Nina Sayers, who after many years of trying finally gets her big break. She’s cast in the lead role of the ballet company’s new production, “Swan Lake”. Leroy, the director of the production, thinks she is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan, but he is worried about how she will portray the Black Swan. While she has the ability to do so, she battles to relax and let go. While Nina might be battling to become the Black Swan in the production, a supportive, but needy mother; several encounters with free-spirited, Black Swan personified Lily; their growing rivalry and Leroy’s persistence and advances, all see Nina ‘morphing’ mentally into the Black Swan.


It’s a dark story, but director Darren Aronofsky is on point. Continue reading “Believe the hype, Black Swan is the business”

Charlize Theron- Charlize’s hot Elle shoot

I appreciate beauty and that’s why I’m so extremely grateful I live in South Africa. While there are beautiful women all over the world, there certainly is something exceptional about South African women. Biased much? For sure I know, but you only have to look at these pictures of Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron, whose photospread Elle Russia have tongues wagging worldwide. Beautiful! Love your work Benoni babe 🙂

Jennifer Hudson on the cover of InStyle Makeover

Check Jennifer Hudson out… She looks amazing. Gracing the cover of InStyle this month for their Makeover edition, the Academy Award-winning star says she’s considering shaving her hair. In the cover story, Hudson says, “I am actually thinking about shaving my head. I feel I’ve got a good structure. My cousin’s a beautician and she’s always saying, ‘You could wear any hairdo.’ So I’m thinking, what if I shave my hair? Not completely off, but low. I think that would be so hot. With my diamonds studs? But with a cut like that, your face has to be made up at all times.” I’ve always been a J Hud fan and so hair or no hair, size 16 or size 6, this woman will rock it! Big up J Hud, you look fantastic. Now release your new album already 🙂

Golden Globe 2010 red carpet

The 67th annual Golden Globe Awards are just under two hours away and all the stars are turning up in the droves to be apart of the action. This despite the rainy and miserable weather. Watching it live on E! Entertainment with Guiliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest and so far I’ve seen Toni Collette, Mickey Rourke, Neil Patrick Harris, Fergie and hubby Josh Duhamel, Sandra Bullock, Emily Blunt, Adrian Grenier and others…. It’s gonna be good. Who else is watching?

Lea Michele from Glee is looking gorgeous! Rancic asked her if she was dating anyone. Her response? “I’m very happy I will say that. I’ll never tell”.

Should Sandra Bullock win tonight, she’ll most certainly be on her way to Oscar glory! Chase Crawford of Gossip Girl is attending his first Golden Globe Awards. Apparently his Dolce and Gabbana suit is one of the most celebrate

George Clooney is up for Best Actor in a Lead Role for his role in “Up In The Air”. Next week Clooney and many of his celeb friends will be raising money for the people of Haiti after last week’s devastating earthquake. He told Seacrest that “this is a difficult time for people to be giving” but that it’s amazing how forthcoming and united people have been. There will be loads of great musicians, Sting is tipped to be one of them and many of the songs performed at the live telethon will be available for download on iTunes! Big up George!!

Someone who looked kinda odd posing on the red carpet was Chloë Sevigny of “Big Love” fame. Wow posing at the best of times looks dumb, but she really looked totally weird. Leona Lewis is looking goooooooood and her posing was just perfect 😉 Wow!

Penelope Cruz is up for Best Supporting Actress in the musical “Nine”. Quote of the night so far, “I’m not like Puff Daddy…I hold my own umbrella.” She alsoo said that during breaks on set the ladies would go out for dinners and they even went to check out Madonna in concert! I bet they had the best seats in the house! Artists for Peace and Justice is how Penelope is getting involved and pledging her support to the people of Haiti!

Mariah Carey needs to cover up a bit. Besides that she is being celebrated for her role in the film “Precious”. “I’m here tonight to see the film supported and to have fun” Jennifer Garner looks fantastic in Versace, really does! Her film Valentine’s Day is coming out soon and like I said in another blog post, the whose who of Hollywood star in that film. Garner on Jessica Biel, “I totally have a girl crush on her” Taylor Lautner was asked if he was dating anyone at the moment, “I am not”. No more (Tay)2.

MMM… still looking amazing is “Cougar Town” Courtney Cox!


Actors gun for Jennifer Hudson

Photograph by: Mark J. Terrill Credit: AP
Photograph by: Mark J. Terrill Credit: AP

Right, so the Creative Workers’ Union of SA is having a go at Jennifer Hudson because she’s been cast to play Winnie Mandela in an upcoming film about the “mother of the nation”. In an article by Sipho Masondo in today’s The Times, he writes “The union said foreign actors should not play leading roles in South African movies because it undermined the growth of the local creative industry.” Read the rest of the story here.

Now I’m waiting to find out more about the casting process of this role and how Ms Hudson got it, but you know what I’m pretty sure it’s because of her talent. As an actor, one is expected to transform into any given character, be it speaking with a different dialect or a change in one’s physique in order to pull off the role. Charlize has done it in America, so why can Hudson not do it in South Africa? Why was this not an issue when Morgan Freeman was cast as Nelson Mandela in Invictus? Come on, the double standards here are priceless.

@ Oupa Lebogo. This is a legitimate question… besides Florence Masebe, who else would play the role better? Also if you look at the caliber of actresses she beat out at the 2007 Oscars, who are we to judge how good she is an actress if she won an Oscar
(Fellow nominees included Adriana Barraza (Babel), Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)

Yes I agree that the arts aren’t given nearly enough credit that they’re owed, but perhaps instead of pouncing on J Hud, the union should pounce on the president, the arts and culture minister. Tell them to put more money into the arts. Tell them to provide more funding to filmmakers who want to compete (technically) with the rest of the world. In that way film producers won’t have to go out and abroad to look for funding. Film director Anant Singh and actress Florence Masebe make good points, “From a creative point of view we have a great wealth of talent locally. However, it’s very difficult to prescribe how a movie should be made. There are commercial imperatives and if you want a movie to be made you have to do it a certain way. It’s all about balance.
“The integrity of the South African film industry can be maintained. Look at Sarafina. I had [American actress] Whoopi Goldberg, but I also had Leleti Khumalo playing a leading role.” (Singh)

Actress Florence Masebe said the issue was far bigger than “Winnie and Jennifer. Why do Americans and foreigners play the roles we hold so dear? The roles of people we respect. I don’t think [anyone but a South African] can even begin to understand what we mean when we say Winnie is the mother of the nation.” Again I go back to my point on Morgan Freeman playing Madiba….

This is a tricky and rather sensitive subject, I get that. We all know this movie is going to happen, no matter what. So here’s a possible solution I have in mind. Why not have Hudson share some of her skills, secrets into being an A-list actress with local talent when she’s here. Set up a workshop, funded by government one day during shooting, empower the artists by knowledge-sharing? I think instead of lambasting this talented woman, we should look at suggestions and possible solutions rather…

Jamie Foxx ft T Pain- Blame it

Love any music video directed by Hype Williams, so bound to dig this one. Check it out! Jamie Foxx feat T Pain Blame It (On The Alcohol).

Oh and by the way, do you guys know that Jamie is one of the candidates in the running to play Frank Sinatra in an upcoming biopic to be directed by Martin Scorcese? Well it’s true… You might be asking the same question, many people are asking. Jamie, a black man playing a white man? Well the reason given is because the film industry and Hollywood is meant to see no colour. Other stars on the shortlist: George Clooney, Leonardo di Caprio, Harry Connick Jnr and Justin Timberlake.

It’ll be cool to see if the Oscar-winner (For his performance as Ray Charles) will be cast in this role… time shall tell. Keep it locked for more.

Slumdog song, 'Jai Ho' to be covered by The Pussycat Dolls

At the weekend Slumdog Millionaire cleaned up at the Academy Awards, winning eight out of its ten nominations. One of the categories the film won was the Best Song category for the song by AR Rahman called “Jai Ho”. Now get this the song has now been covered by The Pussycat Dolls and while you might think it sounds strange, it’s actually really cool!! Listen to the song here