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Mamma Mia! ‘Rhapsody’ upsets ‘Star Is Born’ at Globes

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NEW YORK — Thunder bolt and lightning rocked the 76th Golden Globes where a string of upsets culminated with the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” winning best picture, drama, over another movie about musicians: Bradley Cooper’s much more heav…


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  • NEW YORK — Thunder bolt and lightning rocked the 76th Golden Globes where a string of upsets culminated with the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” winning best picture, drama, over another movie about musicians: Bradley Cooper’s much more heavily favoured “A Star Is Born.”

    “A Star Is Born” came into Sunday’s ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, as the presumed heavyweight and Oscar favourite. But Cooper’s remake went home with just one award, for the song “Shallow.” Instead, the night’s final two awards went to “Bohemian Rhapsody” — the popular but poorly reviewed drama about Queen’s frontman, a movie that wrapped after jettisoning its director, Bryan Singer — and best actor-winner Rami Malek for his full-bodied, prosthetic teeth-aided performance as Mercury.

    “Thank you to Freddie Mercury for giving me the joy of a lifetime,” said Malek. “This is for you, gorgeous.”

    Few nominees were considered more of a sure thing than Lady Gaga as best actress in a drama. But Glenn Close pulled off the shocker in that category, too, for her performance in “The Wife,” as the spouse of a Nobel Prize-winning author. Met with a standing ovation, Close said she was thinking of her mother, “who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life.”

    “We have to find personal fulfilment. We have to follow our dreams,” said Close, drawing still louder cheers from women in the crowd. “We have to say I can do that and I should be allowed to do that.”

    It’s Close’s second Globe in 14 nods. She’s never won an Oscar.

    A year after Oprah Winfrey’s fiery anti-Donald Trump speech at the Globes, politics were largely absent from the ceremony before Christian Bale took the stage for winning best actor in a musical or comedy for his lead performance in Adam McKay’s “Vice.” He thanked the antichrist.

    “What do you think? Mitch McConnell next?” joked the Welsh-born actor, referring to the Senate’s majority leader. “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration for this role.”

    Co-hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg opened the Globes, put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, on a note of congeniality, including a mock roast of attendees and a string of jokes that playfully critiqued Hollywood. Oh performed an impression of a sexist caveman film executive who casts like the title of Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong drama: “First … man!”

    Noting the success of “Crazy Rich Asians,” Oh alluded to films with white stars in Asian roles like “Ghost in the Shell” and “Aloha,” the latter of which prompted Emma Stone, who starred in “Aloha,” to shout out “I’m sorry!” from the crowd.

    But Ottawa-born Oh, who later also won for her performance on the BBC America drama series “Killing Eve,” closed their opening monologue on a serious note explaining why she was hosting.

    “I wanted to be here to look out at this audience and witness this moment of change,” said Oh, tearing up and gazing at minority nominees in attendance. “Right now, this moment is real. Trust me, this is real. Because I see you. And I see you. All of these faces of change. And now, so will everyone else.”

    Some of those faces Oh alluded to won. Mahershala Ali, whom the foreign press association overlooked for his Oscar-winning performance in “Moonlight,” won best supporting actor for “Green Book.” While the Globes, decided by 88 voting members of the HFPA, have little relation to the Academy Awards, they can supply some awards-season momentum when it matters most. Oscar nomination voting begins Monday.

    Arguably the biggest boost went to “Green Book,” Peter Farrelly’s interracial road trip through the early ’60s Deep South, which has struggled to catch on at the box office while coming under harsh criticism for relying on racial tropes. It won best film, comedy or musical, and best screenplay. “If Don Shirley and Tony Vallelonga can find common ground, we all can,” said Farrelly, the director best known for broader comedies like “There’s Something About Mary.”

    The year’s biggest domestic box-office hit, “Black Panther,” went unrewarded, though presenters Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira took a moment, in unison, for a shout of “Wakanda Forever!”

    As expected, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt won best song for the signature tune from “A Star Is Born.” At the time, it seemed like just the first of a handful of awards for “A Star Is Born.”

    “Can I just say that as a woman in music, it’s really hard to be taken seriously as a musician and as songwriter and these three incredible men, they lifted me up,” Gaga said.

    Though the Globes are put on by foreign journalists, they don’t including foreign language films in their two best picture categories (for drama and musical/comedy). That left Netflix’s Oscar hopeful, Alfonso Cuaron’s memory-drenched masterwork “Roma” out of the top category. Cuaron still won best director and the Mexican-born filmmaker’s movie won best foreign language film.

    “This film would not have been possible without the specific colours that made me who I am,” said Cuaron. “Gracias, familia. Gracias, Mexico.”

    Netflix also won numerous awards for the series “The Kominsky Method,” which won both best actor in a comedy series for Michael Douglas (he dedicated the honour to this 102-year-old father, Kirk Douglas) and for best comedy series over favoured nominees like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (whose star, Rachel Brosnahan still won) and “Barry.”

    “Netflix, Netflix, Netflix,” said series creator Chuck Lorre.

    Olivia Colman, expected to be Lady Gaga’s stiffest competition when the two presumably go head-to-head at the Oscars — though Close may now make it a three-way race — won best actress in a comedy/musical for her Queen Anne in the royal romp “The Favourite.” ”I ate constantly throughout the film,” said Colman. “It was brilliant.”

    Best supporting actress in a motion picture went to the Oscar front-runner Regina King for her matriarch of Barry Jenkins’ James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk.” In her acceptance speech, King spoke about the Time’s Up movement and vowed that the movie crews of everything she produces in the next two years will be half women. She challenged others to do likewise.

    “Stand with us in solidarity and do the same,” said King, who was also nominated for the TV series “Seven Seconds.”

    A year after the Globes were awash in a sea of black and #MeToo discussion replaced fashion chatter, the red carpet largely returned to more typical colours and conversation. Some attendees wore ribbons that read TIMESUPx2, to highlight the second year of the gender equality campaign that last year organized the Globes black-clad demonstration. Alyssa Milano, the actress who was integral in making #MeToo go viral, said on the red carpet that in the past year a “really wonderful sisterhood has formed.”

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won for best animated film. Ryan Murphy’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” won for both best limited series and Darren Criss’ lead performance.

    For its sixth and final season, FX’s “The Americans” took best drama series over shows like Amazon’s conspiracy thriller “Homecoming” and Oh’s own “Killing Eve.” Richard Madden, the breakout star of the terrorism suspense series “Bodyguard,” won best actor in a drama series. Ben Wishaw took best supporting actor in a limited series for “A Very English Scandal.”

    The press association typically likes having first crack at series that weren’t eligible for the prior Emmys. They did this year with not just “The Kominsky Method” and “Bodyguard” but also the Showtime prison drama “Escape at Dannemora.” Its star, Patricia Arquette, won for best actress in a limited series.

    Last year’s show, like a lot of recent awards shows, saw ratings decline. Some 19 million tuned in to the Seth Meyers-hosted broadcast, an 11-per cent decline in viewership. This year, Globes broadcaster NBC has one thing in its favour: an NFL lead in. NBC aired the late afternoon nail-biter between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles, likely delivering the network a huge audience.

    Jeff Bridges received the Globes’ honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award. In remarks about everything from Michael Cimino to Buckminster Fuller and, of course, to his “Big Lebowski” character the Dude, Bridges compared his life to a great game of tag. “We’ve all been tagged,” said Bridges. “We’re alive.” He ended by “tagging” everyone watching. “We can turn this ship in the way we want to go, man,” said Bridges.

    A similar television achievement award was also launched this year, dubbed the Carol Burnett Award. Its first honoree was Burnett, herself.

    “I’m kind of really gob-smacked by this,” said Burnett. “Does this mean that I get to accept it every year?”

    ___

    Kristin M. Hall in Nashville and Lindsey Bahr in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

    ___

    For complete coverage of the Golden Globes visit: www.apnews.com/GoldenGlobeAwards

    Jake Coyle, The Associated Press



















































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    The hardest choice of this long weekend: Raptors or ‘Game of Thrones’?

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    TORONTO — As a “Game of Thrones” fanatic who is also a devoted Toronto Raptors fan, Oriana Di Nucci finds herself weighing the pros and cons of what to watch this Sunday when the fantasy saga concludes at the same time her beloved team h…


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  • TORONTO — As a “Game of Thrones” fanatic who is also a devoted Toronto Raptors fan, Oriana Di Nucci finds herself weighing the pros and cons of what to watch this Sunday when the fantasy saga concludes at the same time her beloved team hosts its first home game of the NBA Eastern Conference final.

    Despite the ubiquity of on-demand viewing, watching event programming live on a traditional television is still the preferred mode to experience mammoth meme-able moments, says the pop culture junkie. But she is still kicking herself for switching to “Game of Thrones” last Sunday just before Kawhi Leonard scored an astonishing buzzer-beater in Game 7 of the playoffs’ second round.

    This Sunday will feature a similar double-draw, when the most critical moments of the Raptors’ Game 3 will almost certainly overlap with the first half-hour or so of the “Game of Thrones” 80-minute finale.

    But Game 3 is a much different proposition than a deciding Game 7, says Di Nucci, who will risk missing another Raptor moment to watch “Game of Thrones” live with her family.

    “I’m really bad at accidentally spoiling things a lot. It’s not good for me and my friends who hadn’t watched it yet,” she explains, expecting both social media and traditional media to be awash with GoT details Sunday night and Monday morning.

    Despite pronouncements that event television is dead, Di Nucci believes the fear-of-missing-out drives many to the tube, often with friends and family in tow.

    And anyway, the advent of time-shifting and on-demand viewing has addressed remote control battles that would have split family viewing just a few years ago, adds sports fan Keith Morris.

    “I’m in my thirties and I remember back then Dad would have been downstairs watching the game and somebody else that was into the show would have been upstairs,” he says, noting screens are also more likely to run simultaneously in the same room.

    “But now with technology you can kind of do it all.”

    This Sunday, Morris will be at his friend’s condo with about 10 others for what’s primarily considered a GoT finale party. But the game will be on, and he expects most guests to trickle in during the second quarter.

    It’ll be especially hard to avoid Raptors fever when they return home Sunday, even with a “Game of Thrones” finale, he predicts.

    “The city is definitely on fire. We have a chance this year,” says the Missouri-born Morris, also devoted to watching the St. Louis Blues chase the NHL’s Stanley Cup.

    Raptors fan Heba Habib of Pickering, Ont., says the choice isn’t hard for her, since Crave makes “Game of Thrones” available as soon as it airs on HBO at 9 p.m. ET. Generally speaking, she ignores linear broadcast.

    “I’ve never really watched television live. I normally watch on-demand, or I watch whenever I have the time. It’s only live games that I normally watch (live),” says Habib, who’ll join a dozen friends to watch Sunday’s game, followed by “Game of Thrones.”

    She says her parents will stay home to focus on the game. 

    Indeed, the proliferation of mass media has actually made the notion of mass consumption less and less the reality, says York University film professor John McCullough.

    “That’s the contradictory thing,” he chuckles. “It seems we have more mass media at our disposal nowadays but in fact the way that mass media (and) content is produced is actually (encouraging) fragmented audiences.”

    That was certainly the case last week for Di Nucci, who watched the Raptors with her sister and parents on the living room TV until she and her father commandeered the set for “Game of Thrones.”

    Her mom and sister were relegated to an upstairs bedroom to finish the game between the Raptors and visiting Philadelphia 76ers. Di Nucci soon realized that was a mistake “based on their yelling and running around.”

    “The timing was not great, right? sighs the 21-year-old.

    “I wish I saw Kawhi’s last shot live. I wish I saw it in the moment, but it happens. It happens. I’ll be there for the next one. I’ll be there for the next big win.”

    Bell Media says “Game of Thrones” has been averaging 2.5 million viewers each week in its Sunday 9 p.m. ET time slot, with no indication that fans delayed viewing habits for the Raptors.

    Sportsnet says last Sunday’s Game 7 attracted an average audience of 2.2 million viewers, a big jump over a typical game. A peak audience of 3.8 million tuned in to catch Leonard’s buzzer-beater.

    If Di Nucci had another screen available at the time, she expects she would have caught Leonard’s shot but she was using her phone to text a friend during “Game of Thrones,” which was being streamed to the television via her laptop.

    There’s no escaping spoilers when a popular entertainment juggernaut captivates social media, says Meg Wheeler of Toronto. For that reason, “Game of Thrones” trumps all viewing, and did so last Sunday when she convinced her partner to switch from Game 7 to watch the series live.

    “We are both so active on Twitter that we know it’ll get spoiled if we don’t watch it live,” says the 28-year-old, admitting to some regret for missing Leonard’s shot.

    “I don’t feel it was that big of a deal — I’ve seen it now so many times replayed — but there is something special about seeing it happen live. It’s one of those things where you would remember where you were when it happened.”

    Habib, meanwhile, has worked out key house rules for watching a delayed “Game of Thrones”: “Nobody can go on social media.”

    “We’re good. As long as it’s not a blowout, we will always watch Raptors first,” she says.

    Being respectful is key, adds Morris, citing past experience in asserting the difficulty of reading online leaks without spoiling the fun for others.

    “If they’re searching through Twitter or people are live tweeting and they’re reading it and they’re getting spoiled, you can kind of read on their face what’s going on,” he says.

    “That’s when we decided to say: ‘Everyone put your phones on the table and turn them over and for 20 minutes let’s just watch the rest of this game and be present in this Toronto moment.'”

    Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press


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    Rolling Stones to make single Canadian stop in Ontario on North American tour

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    NEW YORK — The Rolling Stones are ready to get back on the road in North America after postponing their tour because Mick Jagger needed medical treatment.
    The rockers announced Thursday the No Filter tour will kick off in Chicago with two shows on…


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  • NEW YORK — The Rolling Stones are ready to get back on the road in North America after postponing their tour because Mick Jagger needed medical treatment.

    The rockers announced Thursday the No Filter tour will kick off in Chicago with two shows on June 21 and 25.

    The band will then make a stop in Canada for a June 29 concert at the outdoor Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ont., about 30 kilometres north of Barrie.

    All the cities previously postponed are locked in and there’s a new date in New Orleans.

    Tickets sold for the original dates will be honoured, but those who can’t attend can get refunds by accessing their Ticketmaster accounts.

    The group says in a statement the concerts will feature classic hits such as “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Paint It Black.”

    The No Filter Tour was slated to start April 20 in Miami. However, doctors told the 75-year-old Jagger in late March he couldn’t go on tour.

    The Associated Press


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