Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc gives out $5.1 million in grants

… more than $5.1 million in funds to over 70 nonprofit organisations during the “HFPA Philanthropy: Empowering the Next Generation” virtual event.

The group that is known for the Golden Globe Awards distributed more than $5.1 million in funds to over 70 nonprofit organisations during the “HFPA Philanthropy: Empowering the Next Generation” virtual event.

Golden Globes signage appears on the red carpet at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, CA, US.
Golden Globes signage appears on the red carpet at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, CA, US. (AP)

Some of entertainment’s biggest names, from Nicole Kidman to George Clooney, shared encouraging words for aspiring young creators whose organisations were collectively granted millions by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

More than $5.1 million in funds were given to over 70 nonprofit organisations during the “HFPA Philanthropy: Empowering the Next Generation” virtual event on Tuesday.

The event, formerly known as the Grants Banquet, celebrated some of the organisations with aspiring artists, filmmakers and storytellers.

“Self-expression is one of the most important ways we can connect and grow as human beings, particularly for young people,” said “Tenet” star John David Washington. “It is an instrumental part of how we view ourselves as we learn to navigate the world. For those in communities that have suffered from historic lack of representation, this is even more critical.”

Mary J. Blige, Millie Bobby Brown, Billie Eilish, Anna Kendrick, Method Man and others were among the entertainers who appeared to discuss the charities that benefit from HFPA grants. The organisation is known for putting on the Golden Globes.

Each celebrity presenter spoke for a couple minutes during the hour-long ceremony, which was hosted by James Corden. The ceremony also included a performance by Jennifer Hudson, who sang her soulful “Burden Down.”

Billy Porter’s advice to young creators was “honor your craft.” Meanwhile, Lin-Manuel Miranda suggested that aspiring filmmakers should “create what you think is missing.”

READ MORE: Reporter sues Golden Globes organisation over member rules

Kidman acknowledged the importance of the HFPA program and organisation’s efforts saying “the next generation of talent in our industry are important now more than ever before.”

The program will showcase recent work in film, dance, music and spoken word by students of supported schools.

“The faces and creations we see showcased to you remind us that movies and arts will not only continue to help us survive, but will also offer comfort, hope and inspiration to a world that is striving to become more just, peaceful and inclusive,” said Meher Tatna, a chair board member of the HFPA.

Salma Hayek paid homage to the Las Fotos Project, a nonprofit organisation that inspires teenage girls through photography.

“Growing up in Mexico, I have fond memories of not only finding my own creative voice, but also being inspired by my parents who stressed the importance of philanthropy,” Hayek said. “What a pleasure to highlight these young Latinas who channel their creativity through the lens of the camera and become agents of change.”

The HFPA gave a social justice grant to the Urban Peace Institute. The donation of $300,000 was given to the organisation for its diligence in the field of community safety and systems reform to end violence and mass incarceration.

Tracee Ellis Ross presented the grant to UPI founder and civil rights leader Connie Rice.

“This is a profound and deep honor,” Rice said. “The driving vision behind the Urban Peace Institute is the foundational and – first of all – human rights safety.”

READ MORE: Golden Globe boss, Lorenzo Soria, dies aged 68

Source: AP

Kalki Koechlin goes surfing after two years, finds a cheerleader in Hazel Keech

The actress recently took to her Instagram account to share photos of herself surfing. She revealed that she is back on her surfing board after a span of …

These are very distressing times with each day bringing about grim and upsetting news. The only way to keep up with such challenging times is to involve oneself in something worthwhile and interesting and actress Kalki Koechlin is doing just that. The actress recently took to her Instagram account to share photos of herself surfing. She revealed that she is back on her surfing board after a span of almost two years. Kalki also thanked her surfing instructor for motivating her to be back again. “Bit wobbly on the board after two years but glad to be catching some green waves. @kallialay_surf_school. Thanks for the zinc and push @samai_de_kallialay (sic),” Kalki captioned her pictures. Hazel Keech is Kalki’s biggest cheerleader. She wrote on the picture “Woooooooo” and accompanied it with heart emojis.

Kalki is making the most of her time home, spending quality time with daughter Sappho, practicing yoga and enjoying the little things in life. Recently she shared a picture of herself sitting on the yoga mat, nailing a stretch. “Same routine, different vantage point. Thank you @shakti__warrior for the mat #yogaeveryday (sic),” she captioned the photo.

Kalki often shares updates from her day-to-day life on social media, our favourite are the ones which features her daughter, Sappho. Sappho is Kalki’s first child with boyfriend Guy Hershberg. She welcomed her daughter in February this year. Take a look at some of the photos here:

#bigtoeseries #humansarebabiestoo

A post shared by Kalki (@kalkikanmani) on

Under the same umbrella #sangeeta #sappho

A post shared by Kalki (@kalkikanmani) on

On the work front, Kalki Koechlin was last seen in web-series Bhram.

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So can Ratched be both a wildly entertaining series and a fraudulent reading of the fictional …

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Ratched — an origin story about Mildred Ratched, the nurse protagonist of Milos Forman’s film adapted from Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — is the third Ryan Murphy production to premiere on Netflix this year.

Now, no one would blame you for experiencing Ryan Murphy fatigue, least of all me. Between the ongoing American Horror Story/American Crime Story franchises, the groundbreaking Pose, the political satire (if there’s even such a thing anymore) of The Politician, and the revisionist history of Hollywood — all of which he oversaw or directed or wrote or executive produced in varying capacities — he’s hard to escape.

The problem isn’t Murphy, per se, but our expectations of what a “Ryan Murphy production” is. And, of course, saturation. After a subpar season of AHS, I haven’t quite gotten around to the second season of The Politician and nearly skipped Hollywood entirely. Did I need a version of Tinseltown’s past where the outliers — the queers and every iteration of people of color — became the triumphant creative tastemakers and not merely relegated to supporting roles, if that?

Turns out I did. And it was enlightening.

Not about the show itself, which turned Hollywood’s ugly systemic racism and homophobia onto its head, but about my response to it. Hadn’t I already seen this before? The themes aren’t new to the Murphy canon; the execution looked as Technicolor as Pose or Glee. Some of the actors were new to his troupe yet, like always, it was the old-timers that carried it through. All of this is to say that I had already decided, sight unseen, that there would be nothing fresh here. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that. And I was wrong.

Ratched, which stars the formidable Sarah Paulson in the titular role, has even more against it than Hollywood. It has to compete with the American Horror Story franchise — that’s what it most resembles — plus it has to overcome our thoughts and memories around Louise Fletcher’s Academy Award-winning performance in the film. Well, it does for the older viewers in the audience. Millennials and those younger will not have that burden.

So can Ratched be both a wildly entertaining series and a fraudulent reading of the fictional character that does an immense disservice to the 1975 film? Yes.

Taken on its own, it’s a psychotic romp: this story of grown-up orphans emotionally connected through historical trauma is set in 1947 at a California psychiatric hospital along the central coast. Lucia, as it’s called, is overrun with characters.

Sharon Stone in ‘Ratched’ on Netflix

The salty head-nurse, Betty Bucket (the delicious Judy Davis), is in love with the head of the clinic, Dr. Hanover (Jon Jon Briones, who could use a more villainous mustache to twirl). Nurse Dolly (Alice Englert) is in love with Lucia’s most infamous patient, the mass murderer Edmund Tolleson (who we secretly know to be Mildred’s “brother”). Charlotte Wells and her multiple personalities, all rendered brilliantly by Sophie Okonedo, becomes the prime focus of Dr. Hanover when she arrives at the clinic.

There’s political intrigue in the guise of the governor of California (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Gwendolyn Briggs (Cynthia Nixon), his publicity head, who are using the institution by withholding much-needed funding in exchange for Dr. Hanover to declare Edmund Tolleson fit to stand trial (and thus to get the death penalty). And a side story featuring Sharon Stone as an old white heiress whose only emotion is money, and her entitled brat of a son, is a masterclass in the macabre. Stone, beautiful and brittle, is having a high time with her outré outfits and a monkey that she loves more than her kid. She turns her character, Lenore Osgood, into a world-class eccentric.

Sophie Okonedo and Jon Jon Briones in ‘Ratched’ on Netflix

Paulson is, as always, fantastic, though I can’t reconcile her depiction of Nurse Ratched to Louise Fletcher’s more tough-minded and less sentimental version. In the film, Nurse Ratched is a villain by default — she’s a professional doing her job and limited by the bureaucracy of the institution. We hate her, absolutely, but her perfunctory “badness” isn’t at first apparent. It’s accumulative; she’s hardened by age and experience and the lack of empathy that follows.

“I think it wouldn’t have been interesting to me to explore the parts of Mildred Ratched that aren’t porous,” Paulson has said. “In the movie, she is calcified, there’s a hardness, nothing ekes out, and I remember when I first saw the movie thinking that she was absolutely a villain and evil and all this stuff,” she said. “And then when I rewatched it before we started, I thought, you know this is a woman who is a victim of a patriarchal infrastructure in this hospital, and could it be considered that she didn’t have any choice about whether or not she can access her heart in her way, if she could bring her femininity and her womanhood to the job.”

I think Paulson was right to approach this iconic character through the cracks in her armor, and she plays what has been written with intelligence and grace. Yet Mildred Ratched in this guise is already a manipulative and dangerous agent; what she does is calculated, disarming, and destructive. Her actions, self-serving, have a predetermined outcome. In the film, how Ratched interacts with the protagonist, McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), is business as usual and more horrifying for it. Her intent is to heal, though she’s hamstrung by what Paulson rightly suggests is the patriarchal infrastructure of the institution, and that disconnect is what leads to tragedy. The impact of the film against the series is wildly different, and I worry that those who watch this version of the character of Mildred Ratched before exposure to the film would lose the efficiency and conflict of Fletcher’s portrayal.

Yet Murphy and Paulson (and Davis and Stone and Okonedo and the rest of the cast) — make their Ratched a compelling watch (not to mention a great display of the powers of sisterhood). To my mind, they are distinctly different and interesting characters who diverge more than they overlap — less sisters and more like third cousins — though in each telling they demand and, sometimes, reward your attention.

Ratched is available to stream on Netflix now.

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Judy: what’s the response to the Cineworld Unlimited screening?

Renee Zellweger is attracting Oscar buzz for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy. So what did Cineworld Unlimited members make of it during …

Is it time for Renee Zellweger to clinch her first Oscar for Best Actress? On the basis of the reviews for Judy, it seems so.

Zellweger portrays Hollywood darling Judy Garland, iconic star of such films as The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St Louis. This biographical drama focuses on the troubled Garland’s later years when she performed Talk of the Town in London, exploring her problems with drug addiction and the desire to keep her family together.

Zellweger has won over the critics with her all-singing, all-dancing turn, and the movie screened last night for Cineworld Unlimited members. So what did they make of it? We’ll start with Nerys, who lauds Zellweger’s turn while drawing intriguing parallels with a certain Garland masterpiece.

I thought it was really, really good. Renée Zellweger was fantastic. A heartbreaking story, of someone who was terribly insecure and broken. I just felt so sad for her and her kids. She was stuck in London trying to get ‘home’ a bit like Dorothy was stuck in Oz.

— Nerys (@nezza74) October 2, 2019

One of our own writers Nadine says the movie rests on the power of its central performance.

Enjoyed the film, but the highlight is most definitely Renée Zellweger. She’s exquisite. At times I actually thought it was Garland in the film, so convincing.

— Nadine (@nadineshambrook) October 1, 2019

Nina says the movie is an illuminating and often heartbreaking look at the difficult life of a silver screen legend.

Oh my goodness. I had no idea how sad Judy’s life was and Renée Zellweger deserves another Oscar for her portrayal of such a legendary icon. And that voice!! Ugh, I’m so glad to have seen this tonight. I want to see @JudyGarlandFilm another three times!

— Nina (@igoggledit) October 1, 2019

Helena is calling it: Oscar will come calling for Zellweger next February.

Just been to @cineworld for #CineworldUnlimited screening of Judy. Calling it now: Zellweger will win the Oscar for Best Actress. What a performance. #JudyTheFilmhttps://t.co/GGgIUrj4hX

— Helena Quarmby (@helenaquarmby) October 1, 2019

Jared is among many views who compliments Zellweger’s singing – no mean feat given the status of ‘Over the Rainbow’ and other pieces.

If Renée isn’t nominated for best actress then the Oscars don’t mean diddly squat!

Loved it, very emotional, and just astounding how she managed to capture the vocals so well. Definitely going into my top 5 of the year.#Judy

Thanks @cineworld for the unlimited screening pic.twitter.com/wv3yDKXBiE

— Jared Wiltshire (@Jediwilt) October 1, 2019

Kris says Zellweger does what all actors should do: disappear into the role.

Judy was excellent. What a performance, you forget it’s Renée Zellweger. She’s incredible. #UnlimitedScreening@cineworld@JudyGarlandFilmpic.twitter.com/sotMaKXQfB

— Kris (@Krissykins1) October 1, 2019

On the other hand, Jonny believes the movie may be over-reliant on its central performance.

If Renée Zellweger wasn’t in this, who knows if it would work. But she is, and she’s magnificent. The concert scenes and flashbacks were the strongest elements but the rushed ending left disengaged as the credits rolled. Can’t wait for Zellweger’s album though. #JUDY

— Jonny Hosking (@JonnyHosking) October 1, 2019

Kyle says the narrative could do with better pacing but Zellweger is beyond reproach.

I found the film to be quite solid. I was amazed at how great of an actor Renee Zellweger could be and that it didn’t shy away from the more scary and troubled parts of her past.

It feels a bit uneventful and slow at times but I thoroughly enjoyed it overall.

— Kyle Snape (@kylemsnape) October 1, 2019

We’ll finish with this from Deryck – we think this is the coda of which Judy Garland herself would be proud.

Brilliant portrayal by Renee, but so so sad. Left broken by fame and just wanted to do right by her children – heartbreaking. This may be my favourite film of the year so far #giveheralltheawards

— Deryck Fullerton (@dexfoo) October 1, 2019

Click here to book your tickets for Judy, on release now in Cineworld. If you were at last night’s screening, tweet @Cineworld and using #CineworldUnlimited with your responses.

Don’t forget about your next Cineworld Unlimited screening: Chris Morris satire The Day Shall Come on 7th October. This provocative and controversial black comedy centres on an innocent Miami preacher who is sculpted as a terrorist by America’s homeland security forces – exactly the kind of subject matter we’d expect from the man behind The Day Today, Brass Eye and Four Lions.

If you’re yet to join Cineworld Unlimited, autumn is the perfect time to do so. For a set monthly price, gorge on unlimited movies, advance screenings, money off your favourite restaurants and lots more. Click here to join Cineworld Unlimited.