oscar winner

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Casey Affleck’s acceptance speech for Best Actor for ‘Manchester By The Sea’ at the 89th Academy Awards 2017

Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar whirlwind

Three weeks into shooting for The Danish Girl, Redmayne flew to L.A. from London. The next evening, around 5:00 a.m. British time, he clambered onto the stage of the Dolby Theater in a midnight-blue Alexander McQueen tuxedo to accept the Oscar for Best Actor from Cate Blanchett. “I will promise you I will look after him!” he said of the trophy in a breathless baritone, half Alec Guinness, half Bob Cratchit. On Monday, he touched down back in London and went directly from the airport to the studio. “We had some decorations on his trailer,” Vikander says. “He went straight to the set and just did this killer scene. I was so amazed about how he was able to close everything off and get tunnel vision and go right back to his part in the way he did. He’s all about the work, that guy.”

Vogue, October 2015 (x) — Eddie dressed as Einar Wegener with Oscar in his trailer

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“You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke–dropped at the first sign of trouble.  They’re only as good as the world allows them to be.  I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these ‘civilized’ people…they’ll eat each other.”

-The Joker, “The Dark Knight”    

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“I don’t want to be alone” - Alan Turing - The Imitation game

                     B E N E D I C T   C U M B E R B A T C H

           Nominated Best actor in a leading role - Oscars 2015

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CAROL, part one

To conclude this series of Pride 2017-related posts (though certainly not the end of gay-relevant content on this blog), here’s a two-part post on Todd Haynes’s exquisite 1950s-set lesbian romance Carol (2015). Last year, Carol was voted the best LGBT film of all time in a poll that featured over 100 critics and was compiled to mark the 30th anniversary of London’s lesbian and gay film festival, BFI Flare. There are many qualities worth celebrating in this film: the sublimely modulated lead performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, the richly atmospheric period detail and mise-en-scène, Haynes’s deft invocations of classical Hollywood genres (melodrama, film noir, women’s pictures). But most importantly, as the following quote reminds us, Carol’s uncommonly uplifting and affirmative take on same-sex love represents a quietly radical step forward for LGBT narratives in cinema.

Happy Pride!

“In the years since Brokeback Mountain, we’ve seen Best Picture nominations for The Kids Are All Right and Dallas Buyers Club – though in both of those cases, the primary audience surrogate was arguably a straight man (Mark Ruffalo in Kids, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas) – and the slightly Sapphic Black Swan. And, of course, there was Milk and The Imitation Game, both stories about gay men who met with tragedy… Spoiler alert: Carol’s protagonists fall in love, consummate their passion, and encounter some difficulties – it’s the early ‘50s, after all – but do not die for/from being gay. Such a declaration sounds stark, but an astonishing number of films about gay life have seen their characters come to some sort of a tragic end, as if comporting to the old Hays Code, where characters must be “punished” for their “sins.” Ultimately, Carol’s most transgressive quality is its refusal to engage in such shenanigans; this is a film about full-blooded gay lives, not tragic gay deaths. Maybe Oscar voters weren’t sure how to deal with that?” — Jason Bailey, Flavorwire (January 2016)