Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘hollywood’

Oscar Predictions 2017


I am a movie fan — pure and simple. I have even been known to take movie vacations, where I catch up on movies and see one every day. One of my favorite things is predicting who will win at the Academy Awards. It is not just about whether a performance was better than others, but you have to factor in such things as have they won before, are they or the movie too popular, have they been overlooked before, and so on. This is one of the most open fields in years. Here are my picks for the Top Six Awards.8035

Best Actor (Casey Affleck “Manchester by the Sea,” Andrew Garfield “Hacksaw Ridge,” Ryan Gosling “La La Land,” Viggo Mortensen “Captain Fantastic,” Denzel Washington “Fences”) You have one previous nominee (Viggo Mortensen) and one 2-time winner (Denzel Washington). The rest are first-time nominees. Viggo’s movie was not so well seen. “La La Land” may be seen as too light for some. That leaves Casey, Denzel and Andrew. Casey Affleck has the momentum — he is coming into his own. But then again, Denzel is a possibility too. Final choice: Casey Affleck

Best Actress (Isabelle Huppert “Elle,” Ruth Negga “Loving,” Natalie Portman “Jackie,” Emma Stone “La La Land,” Meryl Streep “Florence Foster Jenkins”) You have 2 former Oscar winners: Portman and Streep. Streep is out, she will not win a 4th time. I found “Elle” a bit of a Lifetime movie w/ more sex. Plus it in French. That leaves Negga and Stone. Stone could ride the momentum with “La La Land” and win. Plus, they like ingénues in this category. But Portman is a formidable competitor. Final choice: Emma Stone

Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali “Moonlight,” Jeff Bridges “Hell or High Water,” Lucas Hedges “Manchester by the Sea,” Dev Patel “Lion,” Michael Shannon “Nocturnal Animals”) Only 1 previous winner: Jeff Bridges. Ali has made quite an impression with a small role in an independent film. This is a tough category. Hedges is young, and will have another chance. Shannon has been nominated before, but not won. Final Choice: Mahershala Ali

Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis “Fences,” Naomie Harris “Moonlight,” Nicole Kidman “Lion,” Octavia Spencer “Hidden Figures,” Michelle Williams “Manchester by the Sea”) You have previous winners here: Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer. Michelle Williams role is pretty small. I think it is between Viola and Naomie. Viola is higher profile, having lost before when she was supposedly a sure thing for “The Help.” Plus she is on a hit TV show too. Final choice: Viola Davis

Best Director (Damien Chazelle “La La Land,” Mel Gibson “Hacksaw Ridge,” Barry Jenkins “Moonlight,” Kenneth Lonergan “Manchester by the Sea,” Denis Villeneuve “Arrival”) One previous Oscar winner: Mel Gibson. Kenneth has been nominated before but for writing. For me, it is between Kenneth Lonergan and Damien Chazelle. I am picking Chazelle: he’s only had 2 features and both have been critical and commercial hits. Plus extra pointing for bringing the modern musical back. I am sure a lot of actors can’t wait to work for him. Final choice: Damien Chazelle

Best Picture (Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight) What an interesting batch of films! I picked “Hell or High Water” as my personal favorite from last year. Sci-fi doesn’t tend to play well here, so “Arrival” is out. “Fences” is good, but it felt like a filmed play, and it was. “Lion” moved me to tears. “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight” are depressing, but well done. “Hacksaw Ridge” is lucky just to be nominated. “Hidden Figures” is rising at the right time, and it just won the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Best Ensemble. I think it is between “Hidden Figures” and “La La Land.” We need a movie we can all rally behind. Final choice: La La Land

Those are my picks. If you think differently, then please sound off in the comments. And if you win big in an Oscar pool, please let me know too.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.




My History with the Center

I came to the Center back in 1984 as a scared college student. I was 20 years old. I was going to Cal State LA at the time and was trying to come to grips with being gay. I went to see a therapist on campus, she referred me to the Gay and Lesbian Center in Hollywood on Highland Avenue. I started to see a therapist there, his name was Bob. I saw him for a few months, and started to feel better about myself. He then suggested that I check out of the rap groups happening at the Center.Dan and Rasheed-Gary Pride 2012

At that time, there was a Young Gay Men’s Rap Group meeting on Friday nights at 7 PM. I got up the courage to go and was I glad I did. Sure there were cliques like most groups, but there were also some nice people there that I enjoyed getting to know. After the rap groups, we even met up afterwards at Yukon Mining Co. and Wendy’s. When I was old enough, we even went out to some dance clubs and bars.

Suddenly I was seeing things differently, I was not alone. Here was a group of vibrant individuals dealing with a lot of the same issues that I was. I started to get invited to some parties, I even met my first boyfriend there. His name was Kevin… a fun, and sensitive guy who was a bit popular even. We didn’t date that long, but he opened my eyes to the beauty of a black man, something I hadn’t considered before.

Other important friends I made during this time were Damon, Dominique, Alfred,  and this guy named Rasheed, who later became my life partner.

After a few years, and another boyfriend for me, Damon suggested that Rasheed and I go out. He was never that close of a friend, more on the periphery than anything. Someone I was familiar with, but didn’t really know that well. He called me up, we went out and the rest is history so to speak. We started going out in January 1989.

Damon and Kevin both succumbed to AIDS… it was a terrible loss for me. Kevin I had lost touch with and heard the news from an acquaintance. Damon I watched decline in health over several months. This was back in the days when AIDS was pretty much a death sentence. Rasheed and I were dating at the time, even living together, so we weren’t as close of friend’s as we used to be. But it was still very devasting to us.

In 1990, we started going to a new group at the Center called Black and White Men Together. Needless to say we fit in. Again, we made some great friends and had some interesting discussions. I even served as the Social Co-Chair for the organization for one year.

The group didn’t survive the move to the new location. But the friendships did survive, some were even from the youth group too!

When CA finally OK’d Domestic Partnerships for gays and lesbians we were one of the first to sign up. We waited in line a couple of hours at the Village to fill out the paperwork and get it notarized.

The Gay and Lesbian Center has been life changing for us. It was there when I needed help with coming out, when I was first finding my way in the gay world, and when I wanted to become domestic partners with my lover. Not to mention the life long friends I made in the youth group and BWMT. Thanks for all that you do. You made a difference in our lives and the lives of all gay and lesbian people in the LA area.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. The eBook, A View from the Cheap Seats, can be downloaded from LuluAmazon and the iBookstore. It can be read on any computer, smartphone, or tablet.


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