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Moonlight is Best Picture at Oscars 2017

LOS ANGELES, Feb 27: Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight has won best picture at the Academy Awards in a historic Oscar upset and an unprecedented fiasco that saw one winner swapped for another while the La La Land producers were in mid-speech.

Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway apparently took the wrong envelope - the one for best actress winner Emma Stone - onto the stage. When they realized the mistake, representatives for ballot tabulators Price Waterhouse Coopers raced onstage to try to stop the acceptance speeches.

But backstage, Stone said she was holding her winning envelope at the time. “I think everyone’s in a state of confusion still,” said Stone. Later the actress, who pledged her deep love of Moonlight, added, “Is that the craziest Oscar moment of all time? Cool!”

It was, nevertheless, a shocking upset considering that La La Land came in with 14 nominations, a record that tied it with Titanic and All About Eve. Barry Jenkins’ tender, bathed-in-blue coming-of-age drama, made for just $1.5 million, is an unusually small Oscar winner. Having made just over $22 million as of Sunday at the box office, it’s one of the lowest grossing best-picture winners ever - but also one of the most critically adored.

“Even in my dreams this cannot be true,” said an astonished Jenkins, once he reached the stage. Moonlight, released by indie distributor A24, also had some major muscle behind it, including Brad Pitt’s Plan B, which also backed the 2015 winner 12 Years a Slave.

“It was unfortunate that things happened as they did but, goddamn, we won best picture,” the still cool and composed Jenkins told reporters.

Host Jimmy Kimmel had come forward to inform the cast that Moonlight had indeed won, showing the inside of the envelope as proof. “I knew I would screw this up,” said Kimmel, a first-time host.

Producer Jordan Horwitz then graciously passed his statue to the Moonlight producers. “I noticed the commotion that was happening and I thought that something strange had occurred,” Jenkins said backstage. “The last 20 minutes of my life have been insane.”

Moonlight co-star Mahershala Ali, the supporting actor winner, said the conclusion “threw me a bit.” ‘’I don’t want to go up there and take anything from someone,” he said afterward. “It’s very hard to feel joy in a moment like that.”

La La Land still collected a leading six awards, including honors for cinematography, production design, score, the song City of Stars and best director. Chazelle, the 32-year-old filmmaker, became the youngest to win best director. “This was a movie about love and I was luckily enough to fall in love while making it,” said Chazelle, speaking about his girlfriend and Oscars date, Olivia Hamilton.

Up until the chaotic end, the telecast had seesawed between jabs at Donald Trump and passionate arguments for inclusivity. “All you people out there who feel like there isn’t a mirror out there for you, the academy has your back, the ACLU has your back and for the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you,” said Jenkins, whose film is, in three chapters, about a young black kid growing up poor and gay in impoverished Miami.

Kenneth Lonergan, the New York playwright whose last film (”Margaret”) was beset by lawsuits and conflict, won best original screenplay for Manchester by the Sea. ‘’I love the movies. I love being part of the movies,” said Lonergan. After the wild ending, Lonergan deadpanned to reporters, “It turned out that we actually won best picture.”

Shortly later, Affleck - in one of the night’s most closely watched races, won best actor - his first Oscar - for his soulful, grief-filled performance in Lonergan’s film. Affleck and Denzel Washington (”Fences”) were seen as neck-and-neck in the category. An admittedly “dumbfounded” Affleck looked shocked when his name was read. “Man I wish I had something bigger and more meaningful to say,” said Affleck, who hugged his more famous brother, Ben, before taking the stage.

The show kicked off with Justin Timberlake dancing down the Dolby Theatre aisles, singing his ebullient song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” from the animated film Trolls. It was an early cue that the Oscars would steer, at least in part, toward festiveness rather than heavy-handedness. Protests, boycotts and rallies have swirled ahead of Sunday night’s Oscars. But Kimmel, in his opening monologue, quickly acknowledged that he “was not that guy” to heal a divided America.

But he pointedly led a standing ovation for the “overrated” Meryl Streep and later tweaked the president by tweeting to him on air, including telling him that Streep “says hi.”

The wins for Davis, who co-starred in Denzel Washington’s August Wilson adaptation Fences, and Mahershala Ali, the Moonlight co-star, were both widely expected. Their awards marked the first time in more than a decade that multiple Oscar acting honours went to black actors.

“I became an artist, and thank god I did, because we are the only profession to celebrate what it means to live a life,” said Davis, the best supporting actress winner. “So here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.”

The evening’s most blunt protest came from a winner not in attendance. Best foreign film for the second time went to Asghar Farhadi, director of Iran’s A Salesman. Farhadi, who also won for his A Separation, had said he wouldn’t attend because of Trump’s travel band to seven predominantly Muslim nations. Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian astronaut, read a statement from Farhadi.

“I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight,” it read. “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.”

The broadcast often veered between such strong personal statements and Kimmel’s efforts to keep things a little lighter with bits reminiscent of his late-night show. Shortly before he led a dazed, unsuspecting tour group into the theater, presenter Gael Garcia Bernal, the Mexican actor, declared: “As a migrant worker, as a Mexican, and as a human being, I am against any wall.” Rich Moore, one of the three directors of Disney’s best animated film winner Zootopia, described the movie as about “tolerance being more powerful than fear of the other.”

Gibson’s World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge was, surprisingly, the evening’s first double winner, taking awards for editing and sound mixing. The bearded Gibson, for a decade a pariah in Hollywood, was seated front and center for the show, and was a frequent presence throughout.

Ezra Edelman’s O.J.: Made in America took best documentary, making it - at 467 minutes - the longest Oscar winner ever, beating out the 1969 Best Foreign Language Film winner War and Peace (431 minutes). Edelman’s documentary, while it received an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release, was seen by most on ESPN as a serial, prompting some to claim its place was at the Emmys, not the Oscars.

Edelman dedicated the award to the victims of the famous crime, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. “This is also for other victims, victims of police violence, police brutality,” Edelman said. “This is their story as it is Ron and Nicole’s.”

The “OscarsSoWhite” crisis of the last two years was largely quelled this season by a richly diverse slate of nominees, thanks to films like Moonlight, Fences and Hidden Figures. A record six black actors are nominated. For the first time ever, a person of colour is nominated in each acting category.

“I want to say thank you to President Trump,” Kimmel said in the opening. “Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?”

The nominees follow the efforts by Academy of Motions Pictures Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to diversify the membership of the largely white, older and male film academy. “Tonight is proof that art has no borders, no single language and does not belong to a single faith,” said Isaacs.

Oscars 2017: Complete winners’ list

The biggest night of Hollywood, the 89th Academy Awards. celebrated the biggest and best names in the movie business. The award ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Casey Affleck won the Best Actor Award for 'Manchester By The Sea' and Emma Stone walked away with the Best Actress Award for her performance in 'La La Land'. Damien Chazelle won the Best Director Award for 'La La Land'.

The evening ended with 'La La Land' taking home six awards while 'Moonlight' won three golden statuettes.

Here's the complete list of the winners:

Best Picture - 'Moonlight' by Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner
Best Actress in a Leading Role - Emma Stone for 'La La Land'
Best Actor in a Leading Role - Casey Affleck for 'Manchester By The Sea'
Best Director - Damien Chazelle for 'La La Land'
Best Adapted Screenplay - Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for 'Moonlight'
Best Original Screenplay - Kenneth Lonergan for 'Manchester By The Sea'
Best Original Song - 'City Of Stars' from 'La La Land' by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Best Original Score - Justin Hurwitz for 'La La Land'
Best Cinematography - Linus Sandgren for 'La La Land'
Best Live Action Short - 'Sing' by Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
Best Documentary Short - 'The White Helmets' by Orlando Von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara
Best Film Editing - John Gilbert for 'Hacksaw Ridge'
Best Visual Effects - Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R Jones and Dan Lemmon for 'The Jungle Book'
Best Production Design - David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco for 'La La Land'
Best Animated Feature - 'Zootopia' by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer
Best Animated Short - 'Piper' by Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer
Best Foreign Language Film - 'The Salesman' by Asghar Farhadi
Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Viola Davis for 'Fences'
Best Sound Mixing - Kevin O'Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace for 'Hacksaw Ridge'
Best Sound Editing - Sylvian Bellemare for 'Arrival'
Best Documentary Feature - Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow for 'O J: Made In America'
Best Costume Design - Colleen Atwood for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them'
Best Makeup and Hairstyling - Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson for 'Suicide Squad'
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) - Mahershala Ali for 'Moonlight'

Priyanka Chopra: I don't believe in having any regrets

Priyanka ChopraNEW YORK, Feb 6: Whether her choices end in success or failure, actress Priyanka Chopra -- whose visibility in the US is on the rise -- says she is always on the lookout for new ways to challenge herself, because she believes in living without regrets.

Be it for her acting skills, fashion calls or advocating social causes -- Priyanka has made a name for herself in all spheres.

"It's been an incredible, amazing experience and I don't think I've had time to fully process it all. I'm a living testament of 'If you can dream it, you can do it', and I'm filled with gratitude for all the connections and learnings I've had along the way," Priyanka said.

"I am a firm believer in not having any regrets. Every choice I've made and step I've taken has led me to where I am today. Each success and failure too has shaped my present, and I wouldn't change that for anything," she added.

For Priyanka, it all started at the age of 17 when she was crowned Miss World. She soon stepped into the world of Bollywood in 2003 with 'The Hero: Love Story of a Spy'. Projects like 'Don', 'Fashion', '7 Khoon Maaf', 'Barfi!', 'Mary Kom' and 'Bajirao Mastani' are milestones in her career graph. But it wasn't a smooth ride for her as she even saw setbacks with films like 'Bluffmaster!', 'Salaam-E-Ishq', 'God Tussi Great Ho', 'The Legend of Drona', and 'What's Your Raashee?'.

She was at the peak of her career when she explored the world of music with singles like 'In my city' and 'Exotic', and then walked into the US television space as FBI agent Alex Parrish in 'Quantico'. She even bagged two People's Choice Awards for the show.

The second season of 'Quantico' is back after a mid-season break. It airs in India on Star World and Star World HD. Priyanka will soon make her Hollywood debut as a villain in 'Baywatch'.

Is she now scared of failure? "I don't like to fail," she said, adding: "And if I do fail, I bundle up in my room with my blanket, eat a tub of ice cream and I'm over it." She admitted she gets 'butterflies' in the stomach whenever she does something new, but said: "I'm always looking for new things to do. I've learned to make fear my friend".

The former beauty queen said she is glad that "talent from India is being recognised more and more because we have so much to offer". She asserted that she has always tried to break misconceptions about the Indian film industry or culture in the West.

"If anything, I would like to believe that I have tried to clear misconceptions when it comes to Indian films and its actors. I believe in our talent and I've just opened the world's eyes to what we have to offer. The rest is left to each individual's talent. "I've made a special effort to educate everyone I meet, on our film industry and the amazing writers, directors, technicians and actors we have. It's great to be able to take us out of the box we've been in for a while now.

"We've changed, evolved, grown and it's time the world sees that. I'm also excited about the connect I've been able to make with new audiences and the fact that they see me as an actor first, before anything else. That, in my mind, is a true measure of success," added Priyanka, who also owns the Purple Pebble Pictures production house.

Asked about her next destination, she said: "That's a dangerous question to ask someone like me because my answer is... Everything! The point is to move forward, try new things, challenge yourself and be open to the endless possibilities."

For now, she is busy with 'Quantico', and looks forward to the release of 'Baywatch'. As a producer, she has three regional films and three children's films in the pipeline.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali slapped on Padmavati sets: Bollywood tweets in shock

JAIPUR, Jan 27: Bollywood celebrities, including filmmakers Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Ram Gopal Verma, Anurag Kashyap and Madhur Bhandarkar along with actors Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor have expressed their anger after Rajput Karni Sena workers created ruckus and vandalised the sets of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati in Jaipur. In a series of social media posts, they stressed the entire film fraternity should come together and take a stand.

Bhansali was slapped and assaulted on Friday by members of Karni Sena who staged an angry protest at Jaigarh fort in Jaipur where Bhansali was shooting for his next, Padmavati. In a video that has gone viral, protesters are seen running amok, damaging cameras and other shooting equipment while raising slogans and spewing abuses in Hindi.

Favouring the National Award winning director, the Kaabil actor took to Twitter and said, “Mr Bhansali , Sir. I stand with you. This is so infuriating!!!!”

Coming out in defence of the Bajirao Mastani director, Johar tweeted, “Am appalled at what has happened with Sanjay Bhansali....this is the time for all us as an industry to stand by our people and fraternity!!”

“Having been through many instances of turmoil during a film shoot or release...I understand Sanjay’s emotion at this point...I stand by him,” he added.

Describing the recent attack on the noted filmmaker as condemnable, Bhandarkar on Saturday said that acts like these are highly shameful in a country like India.

The ace director, who is known to make films based on ground realities said, “Attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali is condemnable. I strongly condemn the shameful attack.”

Akhtar tweeted, “My fellow film folk, if we do not unite now against these recurring incidents of bullying, it’s going to get much worse.”

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani on Saturday said that if a stringent action is not taken against the goons of moral ethnicity, the tourism of Rajasthan will soon begin to die. He further said that it’s not something new that such incident has happened in Rajasthan, as the people over there file court cases by merely watching the teaser of a film.

The CBFC chairman said, “If the government doesn’t wake up now and take strict measures against such happenings, the Indian cinema industry will begin to wither. People should have patience to wait and judge a film by watching the whole film rather than creating a ruckus by merely watching the teaser.”

Veteran actor Raza Murad also said the incident is extremely disheartening and called on the government to take strict action against the guilty. Venting out his anger, the actor said, “Seeing all this, I feel the film industry should open a censor office in every corner and send their script for approval to every party. Otherwise the same thing will happen time and again. I am amazed by all this.”

“There is something called law and order. Who so ever feels like just targets the film industry and its actors. Why do we need Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) if there is a censor board in every nook and corner. There is no space for violation in a democracy. This has to end. The entire film fraternity must come together and the government must take stern action. Otherwise it all seems to be a jungle raj,” he concluded.

Taking stand of Bajirao Mastani director, Varma took to Twitter and wrote, “Bhansali is an artiste and if any country cannot protect its artistes from street hooligans it doesn’t deserve to be called a country.”

Expressing concern, director Anurag Kashyap also took to twitter and called for the entire film industry to come together and take a stand and “refuse to be a pony that all bullshit and bullshitters ride on”.

Neerja actress Sonam came out in support to voice her concern and tweeted, “What happened on Padmavati sets is appalling and heinous. Is this the state of the world.”

The protesters manhandled the ace director and alleged that the film has love scenes between Queen Padmini and ruler Alauddin Khilji, played by actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

The Karni Sena claims that Padmini was a proud queen known for taking her own life rather than submit to Alauddin Khilji, the emperor who attacked the Chittorgarh Fort.

Padmini committed Jauhar or immolated herself with scores of other women as Alauddin Khilji waited to conquer the fort and claim her.

The Rajput Karni Sena has demanded that Bhansali should delete such scenes in the film, if any.

Raees earns Rs 60 cr; Kaabil Rs 39 cr at box-office

MUMBAI, Jan 28: On Friday i.e day three, Shah Rukh Khan's gangster film Raees had earned Rs 13.11 crore thereby taking the total to Rs 59.83 crore and Hrithik Roshan's Kaabil earned a Rs 9.77 crore taking it's total box-office collection to Rs 38.87 crore.

Given that Raees got more theatres than Kaabil, it is understandable that the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer would get an upper hand right in the beginning over Hrithik Roshan's film.

However, what has been noted is that the box-office collection of Raees and Kaabil saw an equal decline on Friday. As of now, neither has box-office figures to boast of, when compared to, say, Dangal or Sultan's opening weekend collection.

Here is the day-to-day breakdown of Raees's box-office collection:

Day 1 - Wednesday (Jan 25) - Rs 20.42 crore
Day 2 - Thursday (Jan 26) - Rs 26.30 crore
Day 3 - Friday (Jan 27) - Rs 13.11 crore
Total three day box-office collection: Rs 59.83 crore

Here is the day-to-day breakdown of Kaabil's box-office collection:
Day 1 - Wednesday (Jan 25) - Rs 10.43 crore
Day 2 - Thursday (Jan 26) - Rs 18.67 crore
Day 3 - Friday (Jan 27) - Rs 9.77 crore
Total three day box-office collection: Rs 38.87 crore

Now, Raees and Kaabil get two full days, Saturday and Sunday, in the weekend to boost their earnings up to Rs 100 crore. Which film makes the best of this time remains to be seen.

Raees, directed by Rahul Dholakia, has been praised for Shah Rukh's anti-hero turn as a bootlegger. His co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui has also been appreciated for his work though Pakistani actor Mahira Khan has failed to leave a mark.

Kaabil, on the other hand, has been acclaimed for being a good through-and-through Hrithik Roshan film. However, its loud, bombastic treatment has been criticised.

Raees does better on box office vs Kaabil

MUMBAI, Jan 26: “Baniye ka dimaag aur Miyanbhai ki daring (shrewd as a merchant, and fearless as a muslim)” is how Shahrukh Khan is depicted as in his latest gangster flick, Raees, based on Gujarat’s bootlegging business.

The dialogue holds true in movie’s first day box office collections. Khan knows the film business well. His Red Chillies Entertainment is one of the producers of the movie, and Khan was not afraid to open Raees against Hrithik Roshan -starrer Kaabil.

The first day collections of Raees at over Rs 20 crore, did almost double of Kaabil’s, estimates show. Kaabil barely crossed Rs 10 crore.

According to reports, Raees opened to 2,800 screens, while Kaabil did to 2,400 screens allotted to Kaabil. Raees also had 40% more occupancy than its adversary.

The last time Khan and Roshan had a face off was in 2000 -- Mohabbatein versus Mission Kashmir. Khan’s Mohabbatein made Rs 90 crore, while Roshan-starrer Mission Kashmir went on to do Rs 43 crore.

In the next few days, Raees is expected to make a lot more than Kaabil, if reviews are indicators to understand a movie’s commercial success. Some reviews went on to state that “this is Khan’s best performance ever”. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s role as the cop who is after Khan in the movie, is as powerful as Raees, the protagonist’s role.

Film critic Anupama Chopra calls Raees a “roller-coaster ride”, while on Kaabil she said, “Hrithik Roshan saves it from becoming ordinary”.

Meanwhile, for Roshan it is important to get a mega hit on his side, soon. His previous high budget movie Mohenjo Daro didn’t do well, as it failed to recover its investments. His last hit was Bang Bang!, with all its adrenaline pumping action sequences, alongside Katrina Kaif, which grossed Rs 340 crore in 2014.

However, Raees is up against a tough bar -- Aamir Khan’s Dangal, according to trade analysts Taran Adarsh, has crossed Rs 383 crore in its India business.

But, Raees is full of powerful dialogues, between Khan and Siddiqui. In one, when the Siddiqui said, “Aaj kal din achche chal rhe hain tere (nowadays things are good for you).” Khan is quick in giving back. “Din aur logon ke hote hain..Majmudar saheb..Sheron ka jamana hota hai (days are for other people. Lions have a lifetime).”

It is not for no reason that Khan is called the “King of Bollywood”, and he has shown it once again, at least when it comes to the day 1 collections.

 

Aamir Khan’s Dangal becomes highest-grossing Hindi film in history

MUMBAI, Jan 8: Aamir Khan’s Dangal has overtaken his previous film PK to become the highest-grossing Hindi film in history.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted the news on Sunday. Dangal’s box office haul, as of Sunday, stands at Rs 341 crore, slightly over PK’s lifetime earnings of Rs 340 crore. It is now the highest-grossing Hindi film in India.

Adarsh also noted that with overseas earnings of Rs 174 crore, Dangal has become the highest-grossing Hindi film in USA, Canada and Australia.

Dangal, based on the real-life story of wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat, and their father and trainer Mahavir Singh Phogat, was released to ecstatic reviews in December 2016.

HIGHEST GROSSERS EVER - HINDI FILMS
1. #Dangal
2. #PK
3. #BajrangiBhaijaan
4. #Sultan
5. #Dhoom3

Aamir Khan film all set to take over Sultan as biggest hit of 2016

MUMBAI, Jan 2: Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal has crossed Rs 400-crore mark worldwide. The film has collected Rs 141.60 crore from the overseas market. It has also garnered Rs 270.47 crore in the domestic market, taking the total worldwide collection to Rs 412.07 crore. The film is into its second week and is smashing several records at the box office.

Dangal collected Rs 18.59 crore, 23.07 crore and Rs 31.27 crore on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively. The film has collected Rs 72.93 crore in its second weekend.

Will Dangal become the biggest hit of 2016? Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal is one of the finest films that we have seen this year. The film has collected Rs 270.47 crore in just 10 days in the domestic market.

Before its release, the film was being compared to Sultan. Both the films have wrestling as the backdrop.

However, Dangal is sprinting towards the Rs 300-crore mark. With a collection of Rs 270.47 crore, Dangal can soon surpass Sultan collection of Rs 300.45 crore. In short, Dangal is just short of about Rs 30 crores in smashing Sultan’s box office records in the domestic market.

Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, Dangal is inspired from the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his struggle to make his daughters, world-class wrestlers. The film also stars Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Aparshakti Khurana, Sakshi Tanwar and Girish Kulkarni in important roles.

 

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