Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hashtag #OscarsSoFabulous

By José Alberto Hermosillo
Hashtag #OscarsSoFabulous

With so many great LGBTQ films in competition for the upcoming 2018 Academy© Awards in consideration in multiple categories, we should start using the hashtag #OscarsSoFabulous.

The controversy continues on whether the nomination should be based on outstanding performance and not on gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. But politics, especially those in recent days, have been darkening the spectrum of opportunities for all.

Hashtag #OscarsSoWhite

The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite continues, even after the Best Picture snafu of the Awards ceremony in 2016, as people of color still find themselves the second most unrepresented community in the Entertainment Industry.

The Academy continues addressing the gaps in race and gender equality and has increased its diversity invitations accordingly.

Hashtag #AcademysMembership

While the Academy® wisely and urgently opened its enrollment to more women and minorities - including the LGBTQ community - all members will have new responsibilities. 

The new Academy Members from the underrepresented communities could make a difference from here forward.

Each year new talented voices are rising.

The Academy has drafted new rules in the wake of the continuing rape, sexual assault, and harassment scandals that each day expose those who have made a life and lifestyle of predatorial sexual behavior. The members now understand that membership is a privilege with responsibilities.

The Hollywood Sex Scandal is also going to be a factor. Many contenders who may have been nominated are off the charts. The replacement of Kevin Spacey in “All the Money of the World” indicates that the ceremony will turn out differently.
The nominees and the winners may not go to be “The Usual Suspects.”

Hashtag #OscarSoControversial

Last year’s Best Picture controversial grand finale over which movie won the Oscar©, “La La Land” or “Moonlight,” generated change and created a year of commentary. The LGBTQ community claimed victory. Today, it is a light anecdote, as seen in the recorded ad promoting the Oscars© 2018.

Hashtag #OscarSoQueer

“Call Me by Your Name” is one of the front-runners for Best Picture and is expected to be well-represented come January. The LGBTQ community is facing its shake-up regarding an authentic representation.

Luca Guadagnino ("I Am Love / Sono il amore"), Italy.
Photo by Jose Hermosillo COPYRIGHTS FestivalinLA  2017

Is what’s good for the community suitable for all within the community? As more gay and transgender actors, actresses, directors, and producers represent themselves in their movies, will a gay film with non-gay actors fair well within the community, or will backlash derail the expected multiple nominations of this coming-of-age queer cinema?

This year, many excellent LGBTQ movies are up for nominations in almost every category - Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Documentary, and Foreign Language film. 

Even in the Animated Shorts category, the Academy pre-selected the viral sensation “In a Heartbeat,” written and directed by Esteban Bravo and Beth David. 

The story of a boy falling for another boy, masterfully told in four minutes, has reached more than 33 million views Worldwide. 

In recent years, the mainstream audience has been exposed to more diverse films, yet further work is needed to create a global audience that is open-minded, appreciative, and tolerant of alternative lifestyles in cinema.
Studios are now producing bolder and more “inclusive” films. 
Actor Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water.
Photo by Jose Hermosillo COPYRIGHTS FestivalinLA 2017
They include gay characters with positive images. This season, some of their films can land an Oscar© nomination in the acting categories - “Lady Bird,” “Battle of the Sexes,” “The Shape of Water,” and even Disney’s blockbuster “Beauty and the Beast.”

The Italian, French, Brazilian, and US co-production “Call Me by Your Name” draws thousands of filmgoers to the theaters. 

This romantic-gay-drama is expected to earn at least eight Oscar© nominations. 
Actor Timothée Chalament
Photo by Jose Hermosillo COPYRIGHTS FestivalinLA 2017
Timothée Chalament is exceptionally sublime - his natural performance evolves into a wide range of emotions. For playing Eliot so right, he has the strong possibility not only to be nominated but to win the Oscar for Best Actor - competing, neck to neck, with the great Gary Oldman, the lead actor of “The Darkest Hour.”
Actor Armie Hammer
Photo by Jose Hermosillo COPYRIGHTS FestivalinLA 2017
Armie Hammer is terrific in the supporting role-playing Chalament’s older counterpart, Oliver. Eliot’s intellectual Jewish father, Michael Stuhlbarg, is brilliant. 

Hashtag #OscarsSoForeign

More recently, foreign LGBTQ movies are captivated audiences around the world. Those films combine daring stories with controversial topics and arresting imagery. The Academy recognized the talent and efforts of global filmmakers. 

A record of 92 countries submitted their projects for consideration. The Academy already shortlisted 9 semifinalists to nominate five - January 23rd, 2018.
For the first time in Academy history, a transgender woman could be nominated for Best Actress. 

Daniela Vega’s spectacular breakthrough performance in “A Fantastic Woman” is worth an Oscar© nomination. 
Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman, Chile
Photo by Jose Hermosillo. COPYRIGHTS FestivalinLA 2017
This remarkable Chilean film, produced by Oscar© nominees Pablo and Juan De Dios Larrain (“No,” “Jackie,” and “Neruda”), is emotionally awe-inspiring.
The French submission “BPM (Beats per Minute)” exposes a “Youth in Revolt” and highlights the first ACT UP Paris group born out of the government’s lack of response to the AIDS/HIV crisis.

The group became known for pushing the boundaries to embarrass, shock, and gain media attention, forcing the Mitterrand government and pharmaceutical companies to recognize their rights to health coverage.

The group fought to be accepted and treated with respect. They clashed with the power structure and other members of society. The story, set during the 1980s, fell into anarchy as the AIDS/HIV crisis ballooned worldwide.

“Tom of Finland” chronicles six decades of the life of the Iconic graphic designer. His work influenced and revolutionized the gay rights movement as they felt liberated from the brutal repression of the conservative governments. As Harvey Milk brought gay politics into the mainstream, Tom did the same with his daring drawings that empowered many in Finland, California, and worldwide.

“Thelma” is an exquisitely crafted psychological thriller from Norway. The intense coming-of-age story is about a young girl who falls in love with another girl while discovering her telekinetic powers.

Director Joachim Trier, "Thelma," Norway.
Photo by Jose Hermosillo. COPYRIGHTS FestivalinLA, 2017.

Thelma becomes unstable when she has to confront doctors, her parents, her passions, and her sexuality. Her conservative parents are holding an enormous amount of resentment for something terrible from their past. Her world falls apart as she tries to adjust her emotions and control her powers.

“The Wound,” winner of the OUTFEST 2017 for Best International Feature, is an emotionally poignant work of art. The arresting South African film vividly examines manhood initiation rituals in a marginalized tribe.

Director John Trengove “The Wound” South Africa.
Photo by Jose Hermosillo. Copyright FestivalinLA 2017.

Controversial and piercing, “The Wound” ignites the debate over male sexual identity in a millenarian culture where taboos and personal experiences are kept secret.

Hashtag the #OscarsSoFabulous for your consideration,

BEST PICTURE: “Call Me by Your Name”
BEST DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”
BEST ACTRESS: Daniela Vega, “A Fantastic Woman”
BEST ACTRESS: Emma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”
BEST ACTOR: Timothée Chalament, “Call Me by Your Name”
BEST ACTOR: Harris Dickinson, “Beach Rats”
BEST ACTOR: Nahuel Perez Biscayart, “BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Andrea Riseborough, “Battle of the Sexes”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me by Your Name”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Josh Gad, “Beauty and the Beast”
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: “Call Me by Your Name”
BEST SONG: The Mystery of Love, “Call Me by Your Name”
BEST SONG: Visions of Gideon, “Call Me by Your Name”
“A Fantastic Woman,” Chile (Shortlisted),
“The Wound” from South Africa (Shortlisted),
Out of the competition:
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” from France,
“Tom of Finland” from Finland,
“Thelma” from Norway.

Copyright © 2017 Festival in LA

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