Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscar Night 2011

Sat 2/26/11 The 83rd annual Academy Awards or Oscars (as it's more commonly called) is tonight and I have my winners picked!

Oscar Night Picks and Pans:
Here are my Oscar picks and why-

Best Picture Nominees:

Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter's Bone And the Winner is:
I pick The King's Speech for the win but Toy Story 3 was the best IMHO! It was well written and very touching, just like UP and WALL-E before it.

Best Lead Actor Nominees:
Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Firth, James Franco
I pick Colin Firth for the win because Jeff Bridges won last year and Oscar loves classic British actors and accents. Bardem already has a best supporting Oscar so he can wait a bit for his next one. Eisenberg and Franco are young and talented and they have much more to show the Academy in the future.

Best Lead Nominees: Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams
I pick Natalie Portman is a shoe-in because acting crazy always wins!

Best Supporting Actor: I pick Christian Bale 'cause crazy and crack always wins. Best Supporting Actress: I pick Melissa Leo but Amy Adams has a slight chance to edge her out. Either way, The Fighter sweeps the best supporting category.

Best Director:
I think DavidFincher wins because I just feel it took more to get performances from such young actors as in the Social Network. No disrespect to King's Speech director, but I doubt that Geoffery Rush, Helen B. Carter and Colin Firth needed much directing for their performances. But, who knows, the Brits may win this category as well!

Best Original Screenplay:
David Seidler for The Kings Speech 'cause I didn't think Inception was original at all :P

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Aaron Sorkin is a lock to win!

Best Animated Film:
Toy Story 3 for the win but HTTYD was very good, too.

Update: 2/27/11
Hey, I only missed with one of my predictions so Oscar was a bit predictable this year. Still, my congratulations and God's blessings to all who won!

Happy Oscar Sunday: Sun 2/27/11

The morning of the Oscars didn't dissapoint as I had a great day at church where we continued in I Corinthians Chap 8 & 9 lead by Brian(a church elder and writer). Most of the congregation of Ecclesia are in the entertainment industry or aspire to be, so we were encouraged to “do everything for Christ” and to do our best not to cause "anyone to stumble through our actions". And lastly, as Brian held up a small Oscar-like statuette, we were instructed through the word that we shouldn't make anything an idol in our lives. He reminded us also that as we walk on the stars of Hollywood Blvd., we haven't a clue who the past stars are proving that idols don't last but that God does! Then he prayed over us and blessed us and sent us off to have a "Happy Oscar Sunday"! I had brought my most recent script to church hoping for such a sermon of encouragement from fellow Christians within the industry and I thank God for it.

The Oscars Night Red Carpet & Arrivals:

Feeling inspired from the church service, I braved the crowd at H&H Blvd. and, despite the usual craziness plus the new caged-in feeling due to the new heightened security measures (10 feet tall fencing, cement barricades, metal detector wands and bag searches), I still had a wonderful time. I ended up in the best spot in the front row where I could lean up along a fence post and I even had a little foot rest to put my foot up. All the arrivals happened in less than 2 hours so the standing was less than last time. Though the crowd was easily 10-12 people thick, even the pushing wasn't a big problem because most of the people around me worked together to form a buffer zone and the police also kept an eye on us. God is so amazing!

The Who's Who of Oscar Night:
I was able to see practically everyone as they arrived! Sandra Bullock (happy and waving to the shouting crowd), Matthew McConnaughy and Afro-Brazillian beauty, Camilla, Robert Downey Jr. and wife, Halle Berry (smiling and solo), Natalie Portman 9glowingly pregnant), Penelope Cruz (looking surprisingly lithe and busty after her recent pregnancy) and Javier Bardem(ruggedly handsome), and Colin Firth(all British suave and sophistication).

I also saw famed The Godfather director, Francis Ford Copola as well as Jeniffer Hudson(almost unrecognizable now but gorgeous dress), Jessie Eisenberg (looking tousled), Justin Timberlake, Robert Downey Jr, Russel Brand, Amy Adams, Mark Ruffalo and Sunrise(she looks like Medium actress, Arquette). Then I saw Donald Trump, Mario Von Peebles, Ed Beagly Jr. and David Seidler, the 73 year old screenwriter and winner of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for The King's Speech.

Near misses:
Mark Wahlberg practically raced by and got swallowed up in the arrivals crowd so I only saw his head. I saw (but didn't recognize) Celine Dion looking extremely thin in a close-fitting silver metallic gown. The same went for Geoffrey Rush whose hair is all shaven off, hopefully for an upcoming role.

We mistook an Oprah-look alike in Navy gown for Oprah but it wasn't her. Instead, Oprah was wearing an off the shoulder, dark grayish black down with sequences on the skirt and an off the shoulder bodiced top.

Who I didn't see enter:
I didn't see Christian Bale enter but I really wanted to see him. Later, I saw pics of him totally unrecognizable with a reddish longish beard and goatee. I also wanted to see Helen Mirren, Anne Hathaway and Helen Bodham Carter in person as they are the poster children for fashion do's and don'ts, respectively.

Speaking Of Fashion:
I saw all the fashions up close and it was exhilarating! Lots of shades of reds and purples and nude/peach tones and even a few chartreuse colored gowns but not much black, blues or grays. Lots of ruffles, tiers and sequences and structured garments and free-flowing ethereal or draped Grecian styles. Then the shoes! There were stacked platform pumps or stroppy sequenced sandals all with 6 inch heels. I even saw a pair of flip flops (lol). The jewelry was understated but elegant (read as not much bling) and the bags were understated, too.

The men were all handsome, mostly in black tuxes of satin or velvet fabrics. A few men deviated from black and wore navy blue (Robert Downey Jr.) or dark gray (Justin Timberlake). Still, as lovely as everyone was, this red carpet was not as glamorous as previous years.

My Best Dressed Noms:
Michelle Williams (serene and beautiful in a beaded smoky column gown with capped sleeves)
Sandra Bullock (elegant and refined in red sculpted gown with bow at back).
Gwyneth Paltrow (sleek and icy in metallic silver fitted sleeveless gown).
Halle Berry (in nude frothy ruffled fish tail gown with a train).

Honorable Mentions:
Natalie Portman in a maroon drape off the shoulder dress with a small train Jeniffer Hudson in tangerine-red sculpted gown with plunging neckline(maybe too daring) and a fish-tail. Her hair and make-up were also flawless. Reese Witherspoon (classic in black gown with diagonal white off the shoulder draping at the neckline Hailee Steinberg was beautiful and age appropriate in a pale pink 3/4 length tulle princess dress. <

Oscar Goes Young With Oscar Telecast:
The academy is trying real hard to bring in younger viewers besides the choice of Anne Hathaway and James Franco as hosts for the show. Last week, on-line voters picked the dress that the presenting models would wear for the evening. The Academy is also using social networking to promote online Viewing and Live-Streaming with 8 on-site camera's at the Oscars and after-parties. Follow the happenings at, twitter or facebook.

Apparently the choice of going young may have backfired on the Academy with poor ratings and lots of post-Oscar panning. From the little I saw, Hathaway was okay but Franco seemed in over his head and very distant.

Oscar 2011 Preview

Pre-Oscar Events:

I attended the Animated Symposium but missed most of the other pre-Oscar events held this week like the Nominated Foreign Film and the Make-up and Hair Stylist Symposiums. I also missed attending the Nominated Animated Shorts Symposium but I am especially upset that I missed the Short Features Symposium, hosted by noted actor and director, Kenneth Branaugh (see video). All these events are held at the Samuel Goldwyn Bld in Beverly Hills and are priced from FREE - $5. Other free Oscar events and exhibits were held at the Kodak Theatre this week also.

Oscar Viewing:

The Oscars is fastly approaching and since I didn't get bleacher viewing seats this year (again), I am not sure how I'll view the 83rd Oscars. I will be in the area for church service and a child dedication on Sunday so I might brave the bad weather (was that hale in Burbank today?) and the crush of the crowd to see the red carpet arrivals in person at Hollywood and Highland. If you are regular to this blog you will recall that I promised to never return to the Oscars arrival side walk troupe ever again! It was fun in 2008 and I did see a few stars like Katherine Heigle, Nicole Kidma, George Clooney but we stood for hours in a ridiculously packed in crowd. To make matters worse, a 6' tall German lady nearly took me out while trying to see Clooney. Then Japanese tourists were climbing over me to get to the lamp posts overhead so that they can get good pictures. Then some Italian man in the crowd was groping butts accidentally :( The cops were suspect too because they were letting many pretty Brazilian women (who were showing ample cleavage) pass the police barricade, therefore allowing them close enough to see everything. It was such a zoo that I didn't get any pics of the stars and my back and my mood were bummed from all the pushing and standing.

Oscar Viewing Parties in LA:

I was considering attending one of the Oscar viewing parties here in LA. As a back-up plan. Oscar sanctions 50 official viewing parties across the US and the funds raised benefits various charities in the respective cities. I attended one such sanctioned event years ago at AFI in Silver Spring, MD and it was a blast including red carpet interviews of us stars/guests as we arrived and photographers. We watched the event live on the theater screen and won prizes for correct nominee ballot picks. Of course, there are the post-Oscar industry parties like Vanity Fair's and others but I don't think I'm on their guest lists(lol).

There are also a number of unofficial viewing parties and after-parties in LA. I've listed a few below (all under $60) but there's nothing to stop you from throwing your own fab Oscar party for about the same price for your favorite cinefiles and fashionistas. I usually do my Oscar viewing solo at home but I'm always dressed for the red carpet complete with gown, heels and bling, as well as winners envelopes, acceptance speech and an a gold Oscar-esque stand-in and I think that maybe I'm not alone in doing this.

Oscar Viweing Parties:

1. Cinefamily fund raiser When: Sunday, February 27 (5-11pm) Where: The Cinefamily Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 Cost: Suggested donations are $15 general admission/free for members, $60 for a 2-person couch, and $90 for a 3-person couch

2. F.A.M.E. And Bel-Air Magazine Party When: Sunday, February 27 (4pm-midnight) Where: Falcon Restaurant, 7213 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046 Cost: Varying prices. While you could technically RSVP for free, this doesn't guarantee seating. Tickets start at $25. 3

Digital Entertainment and IVY Entertainment's Party Digital and IVY (Ivy League alumni who are industry professionals) are hosting an Oscars viewing party at

Capitol City. They will have a 14 by 8 foot projection screen as well as a dozen flat screens for viewing. The cost is under only $14 plus the cash/food bar plus it's a great opportunity for networking. When: Sunday, February 27 (4:30-8pm) Where: Capitol City, 1615 N Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028 Cost: $14 4. W Hotel's Party Where: Whiskey Blue 930 Hilgard Ave., 310-443-8232 this Sunday starting at 3 p.m.

Sources: and

Update: Sun 2/27/11

Happy Oscar Sunday!A few of my friends from church, who are musicians or in the industry, told me that they would be attending various casual viewing parties at restaurants on Sunset and Hollywood Blvd. along with their other friends.

2011 Oscar Animated Features Symposium

Thurs 2/24/11

The 83rd Academy Awards Oscar Nominated Animated Features Symposium was tonight and I had a great time seeing the nominated clips and hearing from the films' directors. I saw both Toy Story 3 and How To Train Your Dragon in the theaters last year but I had not even heard about the delightful, The Illusionist. Illusionist is a traditional 2 D hand drawn film about a stage magician in Europe during the 1960's. The film, which was written for adult audiences, looks absolutely beautiful to the eye and is very funny as well.

I think Toy Story 3 will win this category but this is the closest animation features race ever because HTTYD is phenom, too. Still TS3 writing was better with more 3 dimensional characters (no pun intended) with full back stories (i.e. Lotso and Big Baby). TS3 is up for best Picture, too but I doubt the academy is brave enough to pick it for a win over such a classic British film like King's Speech.

It was a nice outing but there were a few downers for the night. First, Sylvain Chomet, The Illusionist's director was unable to make it from France because he was getting an award there. Then, I was unable to meet any of the other directors after the panel. I had already met Chris Sanders and Dean Deblois from HTTYD at the 3D film Fest last year but I was really trying to speak with TS3's, Lee Unkrich, but to no avail.

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes:
I was able to meet up and coming film critic, radio talk show host, artist and self-promotional whiz kid, Perry S. Chen. Perry is just 10 but he handled himself like a pro as he asked the panel questions and promoted his various websites and projects. Later, I got the opportunity to shake Perry's hand and he handed me his business card like a tried and true industry professional. We spoke about the business a bit then I spoke with Perry's mom, film producer Dr. Zhu Shen, about what's on the horizon for him.

I was able to view Perry's art work and movie reviews on-line and I concur with the Oscar panel's response that Perry's future is bright, indeed. Here's a list of awards that the 10 year old has already racked up:

Young Journalist awards:
- “Excellence in Journalism Award” at the San Diego Press Club, Oct 2010
- Honoree of the Cox Communications Asian Heritage Month, May 2010
- Vic Kops Children’s Challenge Award:
- “Excellent Writer for We Chinese” for movie review column, January 2010:

Art awards:
-San Diego County Fair, First Place, 2010 and 2009
-San Diego City Hall Children’s Art Show, October 2009
-San Diego International Art & Music Festival, January 2010

Check young Perry out at: