The 95th Academy Awards are now history, and it was a night of firsts and record-setting nominations. Angela Bassett was the first actor to be nominated for work in a film from the Marvel Comics franchise (for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), and sixteen of the twenty nominees in the acting awards were up for the accolade for the first time. Michelle Yeoh became the first performer of Asian descent to win Best Actress, Ke Huy Quan became the second to win Best Supporting Actor, after a gap of nearly forty years, and Daniel Kwan won for Best Director (all for “Everything Everywhere All At Once”). Composer and conductor John Williams became the oldest Oscar nominee ever, at age 91, though he failed to take home the gold statuette.
Tag archive: Academia
When “Casablanca” was released in 1942, no one expected it would stand out among the hundreds of films churned out by Hollywood yearly, let alone achieve the iconic status it has. The film did reasonably well at the box office, but it wasn’t until it won the Academy Award for Best Picture that people began to take it seriously. Over the decades, “Casablanca” has earned an enduring place in movie-lovers’ hearts, with its star-studded leading players, supporting cast of popular ‘40s character actors, memorable dialogue, and iconic theme song, “As Time Goes By.” “Casablanca” regularly makes it to the top of the lists of the most popular movies of all time, and was one of the first films nominated by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. It remains a personal favorite, and I never miss an opportunity to watch.
In the aftermath of the slap seen ‘round the world, will anyone remember who actually won Oscars at the 94th annual Academy Awards? Will anyone care? Moments after presenter Chris Rock uttered a rather tasteless joke about Jada Pinkett Smith appearing in “G.I. Jane 2” (based on her shaved scalp due to alopecia hair loss), hubby Will Smith, nominated as Best Actor, strode to the stage and smacked the comedian full on the face, then returned to his seat, and yelled at Rock to “Keep my wife’s name out your fuckin’ mouth!” Minutes later Smith accepted his Oscar, tearfully apologizing to everyone except Chris Rock for his violent outburst.
On February 8th, 2022, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released its nominees for the upcoming Oscars, to be presented at 5 PM PDT in Hollywood, California on March 27th. With the Academy agreeing to expand eligibility into films made for streaming platforms, there are a record eleven Best Picture nominations, though acting and directing categories have been maintained at the traditional five nominees per. From an asteroid perspective, Best Picture nominations are a wasteland – just three have exact matches for any portion of their titles (“Nightmare Alley”, “West Side Story” and “King Richard”), though “Drive My Car” weighs in with an alternate spelling (asteroid Carr).
Recently I had the opportunity to view “Lawrence of Arabia” again, the 1962 screen classic which reaped seven Academy Awards, detailing the military career of British officer T.E. Lawrence, who led the Arab Revolt that successfully ousted centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule over the Arabian peninsula in the waning days of World War I. As always, I was taken in by the sweeping majesty of the movie, filmed over a two-year period in the Arabian desert, overwhelming in its epic scope but liberally peppered with human, humane, even humorous moments. But I was struck by the fact that despite wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Cinematography and Original Music Score, among others, none of the actors won an Oscar, not even Peter O’Toole, outstanding in the title role.
“Lawrence of Arabia” was O’Toole’s breakout performance, but it wasn’t his only Oscar snub. Nominated seven more times, four of them in the ensuing decade, the Anglo-Irish actor never took home a little gold statuette for a specific film role, despite a body of work that puts many Oscar winners to shame, including “Becket”, “The Lion in Winter” and “Goodbye Mr. Chips”. O’Toole once quipped that he was “the biggest loser in Hollywood”, but did reluctantly accept a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 2003, after initially refusing the honor on the grounds that he was still acting and would prefer to earn one for himself.
Well, one out of four ain’t bad. I’m referring to my pre-Oscar predictions, where I sussed out the chances of victory for the various contenders, based solely on their PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) interactions with the chart for the 92nd Academy Awards on February 9th. It was an incredibly tapped-in lineup, with 13 of the 20 acting award nominees connected to the Sun of the event, 14 connected to asteroid Oskar, 12 angular and 11 linked with the Moon. Of course, the day’s sky has a powerful impact, but in a field so evenly distributed with cosmic potential, a lot will come down to the natal chart. And now, with the winners firmly in hand, we can see just how that played out.