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Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards aka The Oscars. 2016



Poster for 88th Academy Awards.  The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the event,  the publisher of the event or the graphic artist.
Poster for 88th Academy Awards. 
The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the event,
 the publisher of the event or the graphic artist.



The nominations for The Academy Awards, aka, The Oscars, are out!

 I try to see as many  nominated films as possible before the big day, which, this year, is February twenty eighth.

This year is the eighty eighth time, this wonderful institution, will present the coveted awards to hopeful directors, actors, actresses etc, and of course, announce the best film of the year.




85 Years of The Oscar
85 Years of The Oscar



85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards


A must have book, if you're interested in the Oscars, a year by year account,  jam-packed with information, lists of nominees and winners, fabulous photographs, going back to the very first Academy Awards of 1929.



I’m no film buff, but, as they say, “I know what I like”, which usually doesn’t correspond with the winning film!




Oscar Legacy
Oscar Legacy



As I said, being no film buff, only seven of the twenty four categories, listed for Academy Awards, interest me;

Best Film, Best Director, (This year’s five nominated directors are more or less unknown to me, so, I can’t really say anything about them.) Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Foreign Film.



The films nominated for Best Film of 2016 are:


The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight


Bridge of Spies; another cold war film, starring Tom Hanks, good versus bad, America versus Russia, integrity wins the day, happy end, I admired the way Tom Hanks stuck to his guns, a worthy film.




Bridge of Spies
Bridge of Spies
Nominee for Best Film



Brooklyn; well, a romantic contender is de rigueur!
Girl leaves Ireland for a better life in America, falls in love, marries, then things start to fall apart.
I liked this film, fast-moving, never a dull moment.




Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Nominee for Best Film



Room; Girl abducted and kept captive for seven years, with her five year old son, who was fathered by her abductor, and born while imprisoned in a “Room”

It was interesting to see the difficulties, both mother and son faced, when returning to “The real world”, especially for the son, who wasn’t returning, but was seeing the world for the first time.




Room
Room
Nominee for Best Film


Spotlight; A newspaper covers the story of “Hushed up” charges against the Catholic Church, of sexual child abuse, the reporters uncover much more than they bargained for.




Spotlight
Spotlight
Nominee for Best Film



I nearly didn’t watch this, thinking it would be of the same genre as "Sleepers", another film of sexual child abuse by priests of the Catholic Church, I’m too sensitive for my own good; "Sleepers" affected me for months after seeing it, poor little defenseless children, I couldn’t push the terrible images from my mind.

"Spotlight" was totally different, more about the tenacity of the reporters, determined to oust these evil monsters, who called themselves men of God.

To date, this is the best 2016 nominated film I’ve seen.


Mad Max. Fury Road. I’m not even going to bother watching this, I detest science fiction.




Mad Max Fury Road
Mad Max
Fury Road
Nominee for Best Film



 Nor am I going to watch The Martian, with Matt Damon, it sounds too similar to a film I made the mistake of watching; "Gravity" with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, which could very well be the most boring film I’ve ever seen, and it won seven Oscars!




The Martian
The Martian
Nominee for Best Film




The Big Short, well, big bankers, big money, all bringing about a financial crisis, too close to home and the Greek financial crisis, for comfort.
 I’ve been watching a version of it on the news every night for the past five years; I think I’ll give it a miss.





The Big Short
The Big Short
Nominee for Best Film



The Revenant, leading with twelve nominations, a story of survival in the wilderness of the American frontiers, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, I’ve never liked a film with DiCaprio yet, and my daughter said she hated this film, doesn’t sound like my sort of thing at all, another one I shan’t be watching.





The Revenant
The Revenant
Nominee for Best Film



Now here’s a thing, how people’s tastes in films differ, how they interpret them in a different manner.

My daughter hated the film "Youth" starring Michael Cain and Harvey Keitel, she actually used the word detest, said it was even worse than "The Revenant",  which, she hated!

 I loved it, it wasn’t nominated at all, it should have been!

"Youth", directed by Paolo Sorrentino, of “The Great Beauty”, which I also thought was brilliant, sees two ageing friends on holiday, staying at an up market hotel in the Swiss Alps, one, Michael Cain, a famous conductor and the other, Harvey Keitel, a film maker.




Youth
Youth



Best Actor, I can’t say much about this category, so far, I’ve only seen “The Danish Girl” with Eddie Redmayne, nominated for best actor, he was amazing, but, he consistently is, isn’t he?

He totally transformed himself into Stephen Hawking for “Theory of Everything”; he's the ultimate chameleon, and he did it again for “The Danish Girl”




Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in  "The Theory of Everything"
Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in
 "The Theory of Everything"
Nominee for Best Actor



There’s a great deal of noise about Leonardo DiCaprio for best actor, mainly, I think, for the reason that he’s been nominated so many times, but never made the mark.




Leonardo DiCaprio (left) portrays frontiersman Hugh Glass (right) in The Revenant movie.
Leonardo DiCaprio (left) portrays frontiersman Hugh Glass (right) in
 "The Revenant"
Nominee for Best Actor



Michael Fassbender is nominated for Best Actor in "Steve Jobs", the title here is self-explanatory, Bryan Cranston for "Trumbo"  and Matt Damon for "The Martian"




  Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in  "Steve Jobs"
Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in
"Steve Jobs"
Nominee for Best Actor



Bryan Cranston in "Trumbo"
Bryan Cranston in
"Trumbo"
Nominee for Best Actor




Matt Damon in "The Martian"
Matt Damon in
"The Martian"
Nominee for Best Actor

 I may change my mind, after I’ve seen more films, but, for now, my money’s on Redmayne for best actor.




Eddie Redmayne (Right) with Alicia Vikander in  "The Danish Girl"
Eddie Redmayne (Right) with Alicia Vikander in
 "The Danish Girl"
Nominee for Best Actor



Charlotte Rampling, my darling Charlotte, my icon, is up for best actress, in “45 Years”, I’ve seen all her films, yes, all! And, I waited with baited breath for this one, a story of a 45 year strong marriage.





45 Years
45 Years



 “45 Years” was a bit of a let down, a lack of information, were they really happy? Why did the death of a woman her husband was with, years before he ever met her, and who she never knew, upset the wife so much, insecurity?





Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtnay in "45 Years"
Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtnay in
"45 Years"
Nominee for Best Actress


I need to watch this film again.



Another let down, from my point of view at least,  was ”Carol”, starring Cate Blanchett, nominated for best actress,  lesbian love in the fifties, so slow, so boring, I had expected something better.




Carol
Carol



Cate Blanchett is nominated for best actress, along with Charlotte Rampling, I'm really hoping Charlotte will win this award, she has a chance, but, I’m not optimistic for Cate.

Never mind, I can’t wait to see what they’ll be wearing on “The Red Carpet”, they’re both women of tremendous style, Charlotte loves black, and Yohji Yamamoto, an iconic designer.
 (I once trekked all the way to Athens, on the train, to see Charlotte Rampling, reading Greek poet, Cavafy’s, poems.)




Charlotte Rampling and designer Yohji Yamamoto.
Charlotte Rampling and designer Yohji Yamamoto.
Nominee for Best Actress



Cate Blanchett was  best dressed woman at last years Oscar Awards, in black! Yes, I like black.
I would have ditched the necklace, but I suppose it was worn for advertising reasons.





Cate Blanchett Best dressed on The Red Carpet 2015
Cate Blanchett
Best dressed on The Red Carpet 2015
Nominee for Best Actress



My daughter has the most splendid book, given to her by a friend,


“ From the first Academy Awards black-tie dinner dance in 1929 to the glittering Vanity Fair gala in 2004, from the 1940s gatherings at the most fashionable nightspots in Los Angeles–Ciro’s, Mocambo, Romanoff’s, Chasen’s–to the star-studded parties thrown by legendary agent Swifty Lazar from the 1960s to the 1990s, here is a photo history of all those events”



Oscar Night Vanity Fair
Oscar Night
Vanity Fair


A book you can’t help but browse through, again, and again and again.

After all, designer creations, paraded along “The Red Carpet” are as eagerly awaited as “The envelope”, together with the words; “And the Oscar goes to” 


The other contenders for Best Actress Award are; Jennifer Lawrence, for “Joy”, little housewife turns powerful business woman, Brie Larson, for “Room”( I mentioned this film earlier) who seems to be a favourite at the moment, and Saoirse Ronan, for Brooklyn, also mentioned earlier.

I do think Saoirse Ronan has a distinct look of Princess Catherine of Great Britain.




 
Saoirse Ronan in "Brooklyn"
Saoirse Ronan in "Brooklyn"
Nominee for Best Actress



Jennifer Lawrence In  "Joy"
Jennifer Lawrence In
 "Joy"
Nominee for Best Actress


Brie Larson in  "Room"
Brie Larson in
"Room"
Nominee for Best Actress


Rocky is back, we have the seventh film in the series,  the first one way back in 1976, well, Rocky Balboa did say;

 “It ain’t over till it’s over”




Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa "The Italian Stallion"
Sylvester Stallone
Rocky Balboa
"The Italian Stallion"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actor


Silvester Stallone, in “Creed”, is up for best supporting actor, oh, go on, make the Italian Stallion’s day, give him the award, he’s had ten nominations to date, and nothing to show for it.




Creed
Creed



Competing with the Stallion, for best supporting actor are, Christian Bale, for “The Big Short”, not seen it, so can’t comment, Tom Hardy for “Mad Max. Fury Road”, not going to bother watching this, Mark Ruffalo for “Spotlight” and Mark Rylance for “Bridge of Spies

 
  Christian Bale in  "The Big Short"
Christian Bale in
"The Big Short"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actor




Tom Hardy in "Mad Max. Fury Road"
Tom Hardy in
"Mad Max. Fury Road"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actor





Mark Ruffalo in  "Spotlight"
Mark Ruffalo in
"Spotlight"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actor




Mark Rylance In "Bridge of Spies"
Mark Rylance In
"Bridge of Spies"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actor



Rooney Mara has a good chance at winning Best Supporting Actress Award, for her role in “Carol", as Therese Belivet.




Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet in "Carol"
Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet in
"Carol"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actress


 Rooney Mara was exceptional as Lisbeth Salander in 

 “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo




Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in "The Girl With the dragon Tattoo"
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in
"The Girl With the dragon Tattoo"



Rachel McAdams stands in good stead for Best Supporting Actress, for her part in “Spotlight”, as does Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl




Rachel McAdams in  "Spotlight"
Rachel McAdams in
"Spotlight"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actress




Alicia Vikander in  "Danish Girl"
Alicia Vikander in
"Danish Girl"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actress



Kate Winslet is also nominated  for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in “Steve Jobs”, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, for “The Hateful Eight” I have yet to see these two films, so, again, can’t comment.




 
 Michael Fassbender & Kate Winslet attending a gala screening of Steve Jobs  on the closing night of the BFI London Film Festival, October 18th.
 Michael Fassbender & Kate Winslet attending a gala screening of Steve Jobs
on the closing night of the BFI London Film Festival, October 18th.
Nominee for Best Supporting Actress



Jennifer Jason Leigh in "The Hateful Eight"
Jennifer Jason Leigh in
"The Hateful Eight"
Nominee for Best Supporting Actress




As for the Foreign Film Category, I haven’t yet managed to find any of the films with subtitles, I shall be patient!

Here are the nominees;


Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia) in Spanish

(Searching the Amazon for a sacred healing plant)




Embrace The Serpent
Embrace The Serpent
Nominee for Best Foreign Film




Mustang (France) in Turkish
 (Five sisters and how they overcome traditional, Turkish family constraints)




Mustang
Mustang
Nominee for Best Foreign Film




Son of Saul (Hungary) in Hungarian

 (1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people, including one he thinks is his son)



Son of Saul
Son of Saul
Nominee for Best Foreign Film



Theeb (Jordan) in Arabic


 (A young Bedouin boy, Theeb, coming of age in World War I, and his hazardous journey across the dessert.)




Theeb
Theeb
Nominee for Best Foreign Film


A War (Denmark) in Danish



(A husband stationed in Afghanistan, wife keeping the family together, back in Denmark)



A War
A War
Nominee for Best Foreign Film



Having read the plots and reviews of the foreign films nominated, “Son of Saul” sounds like a winner, but, then again, so does “Mustang


I’ve many more films to work through before February twenty eighth, The 88th Academy Awards, something to get me through winter evenings and lift me out of this state of limbo, which I seem to fall into every year between Christmas and Easter!

 How many of the films have you seen so far?

For what they’re worth, here are my predictions, does any one agree with me?

 If not, let’s hear what you think.


Best Film; Spotlight

Best Director; George Miller for Mad Max, not seen it, but this type usually come up tops!

Best Actor; Eddie Redmayne for “The Danish girl”

Best Actress; Charlotte Rampling for “45 Years”, because I want her to be!

Best Supporting Actor; Sylvester Stallone for “Creed”, because we don’t want a Rocky number eight!

Best Supporting Actress; Rooney Mara for “Carol"

Best Foreign Film; “Son of Saul”, because I say so!



Time to watch more films; it will be interesting to see how my predictions fare!



Lost in Translation: Word of the Day: Arcadia, Greece: Nymphs, Naiads and Dryads. "Et in Arcadia ego"



"Dance of Satyrs and Nymphs in Spring Landscape" Max Ernst Pietschmann
"Dance of Satyrs and Nymphs in Spring Landscape"

Max Ernst Pietschmann



Since the time of the ancients, Arcadia has been the inspiration for many poets, painters, and writers.

 Virgil, (Roman poet) aroused by Arcadia, wrote his "The Eclogues" a series of poems, set in Arcadia, Jacopo Sannazaro, Italian poet and humanist, influenced by the otherworldliness of the place, wrote his pastoral poem, Arcadia.




Mount Lykaion, Arcadia Peloponnese Greece
Mount Lykaion, Arcadia
Peloponnese Greece



In more recent times, Evelyn Waugh, chose the sub heading:

 “Et in Arcadia ego”

 for the first part of his best selling novel:



“Et in Arcadia ego” is a Latin phrase, meaning, “In Arcadia, there I am”, the “I” referring to death, the “Arcadia” referring to paradise.





Waterfalls of Lepida Parnona Mountain, Arcadia, Greece.
Waterfalls of Lepida

Parnona Mountain, Arcadia, Greece.



Arcadia was a fashionable subject for Renaissance Art, Nicholas Poussin, was so enamoured of Arcadia, he painted two versions of a painting, using the same title;


 “Et in Arcadia ego” (Les Bergerer d’ Arcardie)


Maybe the first time this Latin phrase was ever uttered!




"Et in Arcadia ego" (Les Bergerer d' Arcadie) Version I  Nicholas Poussin
"Et in Arcadia ego"
(Les Bergerer d' Arcadie)
Version I

Nicholas Poussin






"Et in Arcadia ego" (Les Bergerer d' Arcadie) Version II  Nicholas Poussin
"Et in Arcadia ego"
(Les Bergerer d' Arcadie)
Version II

Nicholas Poussin




 These superb paintings, "Et in Arcadia ego" by Poussin, show mythical shepherds, set in idyllic, pastoral scenes.



Another painting, also named "Et in Arcadia ego" was painted by Guercino, (a nickname meaning "the squinter", originally Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian painter of the Bolognese school.





"Et in Arcadia ego"  Guercino
"Et in Arcadia ego"

Guercino





Demis Roussos, the late renowned Greek singer, had a massive hit with his song;

 “Lovely Lady of Arcadia










So, just what and where is this Arcadia, this pastoral never land, which has raised so much enthusiasm in so many people?




 
The Lake of Ladonas River Arcadia, Greece.
The Lake of Ladonas River
Arcadia, Greece.




Arcadia is situated at the heart of The Peloponnese in Southern Greece, a region of green pastures, lush forests and fast flowing rivers, today, scattered with wonderful, typically Greek, small villages, dwarfed by the large town of Tripolis, the capital of Arcadia.





Pastoral Arcadia Greece
Pastoral Arcadia

Greece



Arcadia is an amazing part of mainland Greece, mountainous, the two main mountains, being, Mount Lykaion and Mount Mainalo, with forests of chestnut and oak, dissected by the rushing rivers of the Alpheios, and the Lousios, where the nymphs were said to have bathed the infant Zeus.





River Lousios. Arcadia Greece
River Lousios.

Arcadia
Greece




The caves of Kapsia, over three million years old, are said to have been home to the God Pan.






Caves Of Kapsia  Arcadia, Greece
Caves Of Kapsia

Arcadia, Greece



In Ancient Greece, most people lived an urban life, next to the sea, the source of their livelihood, only in the region of Arcadia, away from cities, did people live simply, in harmony with nature.





"The course of  Empire, the Arcadian or Pastoral State"  Thomas Cole
"The course of  Empire, the Arcadian or Pastoral State"

Thomas Cole



Arcadia was an idyllic place, a kind of Utopia, a Shangri La, but not created by man, Arcadia evolved naturally, an unspoiled wilderness, in Greece, said in Greek Mythology to be, the original site of "The Golden Age", an age of peace, harmony, stability and prosperity.





"Arcadia"  Thomas Eakins
"Arcadia"

Thomas Eakins



Arcadians were humble people, without hate or greed, living peacefully, as shepherds, uncorrupted by civilization.





"Arcadia. Daphnis & Chloe"  Pierre Cabanel
"Arcadia. Daphnis & Chloe"

Pierre Cabanel




In these blissful green pastures, cooled by flowing
 streams and rivers, lived Nymphs, playful, mythical creatures, cavorting amongst the forests, valleys and dells, of this unobtainable, now lost world.





"Hylas & Water Nymphs"  Henrietta Rae
"Hylas & Water Nymphs"

Henrietta Rae



Naiads, freshwater nymphs, (Saltwater nymphs are called Oceanids)
 always female, ruled over wells, springs, brooks, rivers and lakes, and had quite a reputation for being jealous little sprites.





"Nymph"  John William Waterhouse
"Nymph"

John William Waterhouse



These immortal naiads, kept a look out for the young girls and women, guiding them as they reached adulthood.


Dryads were the tree nymphs, their name deriving from the Greek word for oak tree, were shy beings, who led long lives, living closely to the tree they were protecting.




"A Hamadryad"  John William Waterhouse
"A Hamadryad"

John William Waterhouse




Hamadryads, were actually tied to trees, and when the tree died, they died, if the tree blossomed, they blossomed.





"The Dryad"  Evelyn de Morgan
"The Dryad"

Evelyn de Morgan



Friends with the naiads and the dryads were the oreads, the mountain nymphs, they frolicked together or tended to their sheep, occasionally being chased by Pan, the God of nature, wilderness, fertility and spring.

 They all lived together, in the groves and glens, of mythical Arcadia.





"Les Oreades"  William Adolphe Bouguereau
"Les Oreades"

William Adolphe Bouguereau




 The Great God Pan is depicted as a satyr, with a dark hairy body, two horns on his forehead, pointed ears, a snub nose and the legs and tail of a goat, wearing a crown of pine needles.





"The Great God Pan"  Norman Wills Price
"The Great God Pan"

Norman Wills Price




The name Pan, is generally thought to come from the Greek word Pan, meaning “All” but, it is derived from the word “Paein”, the Greek for “To pasture”





"Nymphs & Satyr Pan"  William Adolphe Bouguereau
"Nymphs & Satyr Pan"

William Adolphe Bouguereau



 Not surprising then, that this blissful, magical world called Arcadia, inhabited by hedonistic nymphs, a decadent pipe playing Romeo, oh, and the odd sheep, was the inspiration for some of the most beautiful, classic poems and alluring paintings, and a veritable Paradise on Earth.


More Great Greek Words

Elysian

Meraki

Eudaimonia

Sophrosyne

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