Archive for September 2012
Christina Aguilera ‘s new era is just around the corner, as she releases her latest studio album Lotus on November 13 of this year. She kicks off this era by releasing her first single Your Body on ITunes last September 17, and the music video just earlier this day. And to say that this video is great is probably an understatement. It was colorful, fun, fierce, and I’m not even talking about the overload of pop culture references from Lucille Ball to American Psycho, from Oranium the website to the Bits N Pieces cereal she ate there.
If you’re a real Christina Aguilera fan, you’ll realize that this music video is a big “FU” or “I love you” (whichever you prefer) to all her haters as she does a lot of references to all the things that were thrown at her since the last two years. And of course, as every real fierce beyotch knows, the correct way of addressing the issue is by showing it without even speaking a single word about it.
Here are eleven of them:
Ever since Christina gained weight, the press have been nothing but negative about the change in her physical appearance even comparing her as a “second rate Nicki Minaj”. Xtina’s aware of this stuff, and gave them the comparison that they are waiting for. Wearing a purple wig, and ultra skimpy clothes, she really gives a resemblance of the Starships singer here.
Christina received major major flack when the world witnessed the increase in weight that she had, and even though she has cleared it many times that she is comfortable with her current state and that how much her boyfriend loves her body, the media still won’t stop criticizing her such as when poor C-lister Kelly Osbourne made fun of her for gaining weight. And amidst all of that, how did Christina addressed that in her video? By eating more. LOL.
Another issue that they keep on bringing about Xtina is how inappropriately dressed as she choose to wear dresses and short skirts during the Live Rounds of The Voice last season, and the American Music Awards performance earlier this year with Maroon 5. Yet, X is still unstoppable by continuing the trend on her music video.
With all the negative image that the latter part of The Voice Season 2 resulted mainly because of their child-like bickering, both Christina and Adam were pretty much on the same page fixing all of this together, and the Blind Auditions of Season 3 showed more of that. While one can say that there can be no other diva, when Xtina’s around, I guess he can fit one more in her video with this Maroon 5 frontman look-a-like.
Most of what fueled the media to take over Xtina and post all the negativities around her is mainly caused by the paparazzi. With that said, Xtina’s “Fuck the Paparazzi” shirt says it all.
Remember in early 2011 when Christina Aguilera was involved in a drunk-driving issue with the cops and had her mugshot even released by E! Turns out, she was just dragged in the issue as it wasn’t her who the cops were primarily after for, but since she’s the big star, all eyes were on her. In the video, we get a shot of Xtina accepting a drink from a random guy in the bar. Way to go, X. LOL.
Xtina also caused major headlines last year when she flubbed over the lyrics of Star Spangled Banner at the Superbowl, and the non stop flack she received then were already worth a lifetime’s criticism. But of course, the diva knows how to move on about it, even wearing an American flag inspired tap in this part of the video.
Another thing they love to hate about Xtina is the stage in her career when she was obsessed with the tan sprays and tanning machines. People back then were quick to call her orangey and a human photoshop when she comes out with this very tanned look. Little did they know that Xtina loves them to the point of having one outside her trailer in the music video. Bonus points for having the lifesize snowman in the background.
During the late great Etta James’ funeral earlier this year, we saw Christina perform James’s greatest song “At Last.” In the middle of the performance, pictures of Xtina wiping something off her leg were released even overshadowing the actual purpose of her paying her respect to the singer. Now in the video, she cleared things up by having a scene where she’s spraying tan off her left leg, the same one where the infamous spray tan was photographed leaking that time.
Haters easily labeled Xtina as a white trash with her diva attitude, her notable fashion clothing, and their mistaken perception of her confidence, and she gives them an instant trash look in the video with matching chewing gums (a blown out of proportion issue where in she was chewing gum while being interviewed during the Bionic era) to boot.
Lastly, here comes Slut-tina. It’s easy for haters to label Christina as this promiscuous lady who doesn’t act her age, but come on. She’s freakin 31. She has the rest of her life still waiting for her. It’s not as if she’s dating every single guy on the planet. As a matter of fact, she dated just one guy, her current boyfriend, post her divorce with Jordan Bratman. But I love how she gave a taste of that aspect in her video.
I am really in love with this video, and this surpasses Come On Over as her most fun yet. For an artist that is underrated with coming up with sassy and intriguing music videos, Xtina never fails to bring up surprised up her sleeves, and Lotus era hopefully will deliver. And more than that, she knows how to address her haters properly. After all her necklace in this photo says it all…
And in case you want to watch the video, here it goes:
TV’s biggest night has officially ended yesterday, and as we look forward to a new one, let’s take one last look of what were the highlights and the not so high ones from last year’s ABC telecast.
* The opening sketch that involved female Emmy nominees Connie Britton, Zooey Deschanel, and Emmy winners Martha Plimpton and Kathy Bates. Between the nude cake eater Lena Dunham and Christina Hendricks’ duck face, this one is for keeps.
* The tribute to that disastrous reality hosts in 2008 a.k.a the last time ABC hosted the telecast.
* Presenters Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy, Tina Fey, and Azis Ansari’s scene stealing lines.
* Homeland! Woot woot! All its wins were richly deserved even though it means a shutout for Mad Men.
* Julianne Moore finally winning a televised award. As if an actress of her caliber still needs a validation of her outstanding work, but it’s sweet to see her take the stage.
* Claire Danes. Call me a new fanboy now, but damn she rocked. “Mandy Patinkin.. HOLLA” are my three favorite words now.
* Aaron Paul winning. If there’s someone who’ll break the 16 year trend in hsi category, it really should be him. Even though that means no Giancarlo Esposito and Jared Harris victories.
* Julia Louis Dreyfus. She’s on her way to join the likes of Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman, Bea Arthur, and Betty White. Three Emmys for three different regular roles.
* Dear Maggie Smith, I love you so much, but at least have the decency to pretend that you care about these things. Two consecutive wins, two consecutive MIAs. And it’s not as if you were also present when you won nine years ago for My House in Umbria. HOLLA!
* Jon Cryer. Even he is shocked. His tape might have done the work for him, but come on.
* The uninspired wins. Eric Stonestreet? Yes he’s good. Julie Bowen? Yes she’s good. But please. There are also other countless good performances in their categories who haven’t won yet. It ended to awkward reactions from them with Eric highlighting Jesse and Julie pimping Sofia.
* VOTERS LAZINESS ending to rubberstamping. The Amazing Race for the ninth time? Daily Show for the tenth time? Even staff are already tired of them.
* Jimmy Kimmel’s supposed biggest prank of all time backfired on them as it fizzled faster than a prostitute’s skirt when even presenters Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere find it stupid.
* The Jimmy Kimmel In Memoriam segment. Really? How awkward is it to introduce the actual In Memoriam segment later in the show after you made fun of it.
* With their losses, it’s already hopeless for Amy Poehler, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, Christine Baranski, and Larry David to still win an Emmy in the future.
* Louis CK’s role was to play bored when presenting the first Emmy of the night, but he actually took it to another level when it seems he was really bored to not even announce the winners.
That’s it I guess. Until next Emmy year. Here’s wishing Amy Poehler and Sofia Vergara win next year.
If you’re not one of those who are concerned about the awards competition, then you’re probably in for the fashion right? TV’s biggest night just finished a while ago, and here are those who deserve Emmys for bringing award worthy moments in the red carpet.
You can click the photos for the larger version. Credits to yahoo.com and justjared.com for the photos!
16. JANE KRAKOWSKI
This 30 Rock supporting actress might have been deprived of an Emmy nomination this year, but this Kaufman Franco glittery dress that she paired with a Judith Leiber clutch and Lorraine Schwartz jewels is a definitely a winning look in my book.
15. ALLISON WILLIAMS
Girls star Allison Williams stood out from all her co-stars in this Emmy nominated program when she stepped out of the red carpet wearing this emerald green Oscar dela Renta dress in the red carpet.
14. MELISSA RAUCH
From one green dress to the next one, The Big Bang Theory‘s Melissa Rauch kept it cute and wholesome in this green couture dress that was made by Filipino designer Oliver Tolentino.
13. AMY POEHLER
While we are still waiting for that moment when she’ll finally win an Emmy for herself, let’s all just pause and get content that now single Amy Poehler rocked the red carpet in this Stella McCartney shining dress that she paired with a $2 ring that she got from her kid’s toy box.
12. JESSICA PARE
Pare might be the latest addition among the Mad Men women cast, but she looks so pro as she looked divine in this white Jason Wu gown that she paired with Bulgari jewels.
11. JANUARY JONES
From the new Mrs. Don Draper, let’s shift to the original one. January Jones skipped the Emmys last year, and she really made her presence felt this time around when she came back with a bang wearing this Zac Posen creation. I would have advised her to lessen the eye make up though.
09. JULIE BOWEN
Two time-Emmy winner Julie Bowen is one of the trifecta of Emmy winnrs who wore yellow at the event. In here, this strapless Monique Lhuiller gown complimented the Emmy she will be taking home.
08. PADMA LAKSHMI
Top Chef might not have won the Best Reality/Competition program, but Padma Lakshmi is all sort of winning in this orange Monique Lhuiller gown that she wore at the ceremonies.
07. SARAH PAULSON
Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries nominee Sarah Paulson might not have been swept away with the Game Change love last night, but this blue Reem Acra creation is winning on so many levels.
06. CLAIRE DANES
There are three things that Claire Danes must be proud of after last night. First is her new baby, second is her new Emmy, and the third one is her ravishing look in this bright yellow Lanvin gown that she matched off with Christian Louboutin heels.
05. JULIA LOUIS DREYFUS
Three time Emmy winner Julia Louis Dreyfus’ presence has been really missed in the Emmy red carpet after skipping last year, and she came back not only to receive an Emmy, deliver an awesome speech, and show to everyone her winning Vera Gown outfit.
04. GINNIFER GOODWIN
The Once Upon a Time star looked very interesting with this very detailed orange Monique Lhuiller creation that she paired with Christian Louboutin transparent heels, and a Salvatore Ferragamo clutch.
03. SOFIA VERGARA
Sofia had no such luck on her third attempt to win an Emmy, but it’s also her third time to appear on my yearly Emmy list with this aqua blue Zuhair Murad gown. She should be considered for a grand slam already.
02. NICOLE KIDMAN
This is Nicole Kidman’s debut appearance at the Emmys, and she certainly did not disappoint, as she looked ravishing and young in this Antonio Berardi creation that was just launched last week and Christian Siriano heels. Props to her style team for being that quick.
01. HEIDI KLUM
And the best dressed list is topped this year by none other than Heidi Klum who wears this very eye relaxing Alexander Vauthier creation that has a very high slit to boot. This is how you show a leg without looking tacky. Angelina, take notes!
That’s it! Another year of television done, and another one to look forward to. Who were the winners for you red carpet wise? Pipe them in below!
Here’s a short and complete list of who I’m predicting for tomorrow’s 64th Primetime Emmy Awards:
Outstanding Comedy Series: “Modern Family” (ABC)
Alternate: “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Alternate: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men”
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”
Alternate: Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Alternate: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Kathryn Joosten, “Desperate Housewives”
Alternate: Kristin Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Robert Weide, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (“Palestinian Chicken”)
Alternate: Louis CK, “Louie” (“Duckling”)
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Lena Dunham, “Girls” (“Pilot”)
Alternate: Chris McKenna, “Community” (Remedial Chaos Theory”)
Outstanding Drama Series: “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Alternate: “Mad Men” (AMC)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Alternate: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Alternate: Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Jared Harris, “Mad Men”
Alternate: Giancarlo Esposito, “Breaking Bad”
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Alternate: Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Michael Cuesta, “Homeland” (“Pilot”)
Alternate: Vince Gilligan, “Breaking Bad” (“Face Off”)
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” [Masterpiece] (“Episode 7”)
Alternate: Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner, “Mad Men” (The Other Woman”)
Outstanding Miniseries/Made for Television Film: “Game Change” (HBO)
Alternate: “Hatfields & McCoys” (PBS)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries/Made for Television Film: Bill Paxton, “Hatfields & McCoys”
Alternate: Clive Owen, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries/Made for Television Film: Julianne Moore, “Game Change”
Alternate: Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries/Made for Television Film: Ed Harris, “Game Change”
Alternate: Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia”
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries/Made for Television Film: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”
Alternate: Judy Davis, “Page Eight”
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries/Made for Television Film: Kevin Reynolds, “Hatfields & McCoys”
Alternate: Philip Kaufman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries/Made for Television Film: Danny Strong, “Game Change”
Alternate: Bill Kerby, Ted Mann, Ronald Parker, “Hatfields & McCoys”
Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central)
Alternate: “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC)
Outstanding Directing in a Variety Special: Louis CK, “Louis CK Live at the Beacon Theater”
Alternate: Glenn Weiss, “65th Tony Awards”
Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special: “The 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors”
Alternate: “Betty White’s 90th Birthday: A Tribute To America’s Golden Girl”
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program: “The Voice” (NBC)
Alternate: “The Amazing Race” (CBS)
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality/Competition Program: Betty White, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers”
Alternate: Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance”
Photo courtesy of emmys.com
Now that I’m done making my predictions for the Emmys tomorrow, I’ll try to fill the shoes of those who were tasked to judge the actual Emmy categories and be in a voter mood just this time. If I happen to vote on all the categories that will be presented tomorrow (plus the four guest acting awards), here’s how my ballot will look like:
DRAMA SERIES: Homeland (Showtime)
Mad Men has four already, and while they indeed had a great season again, I’d rather spread the wealth this year. Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones’s first seasons were better than the second one, I’ll wait for Breaking Bad’s series to end, and I think Homeland just brings the good week in and week out that I don’t see them topping this perfectly balanced first season; thus I’m throwing Homeland my vote.
LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”
This is pretty much a non contest. Both Cranston and Lewis deliver Emmy winning performance. The only difference is Cranston was rewarded thrice already, yet Lewis has none. I’m giving Lewis my vote.
LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA: Claire Danes, “Homeland”
I’m happy Danes is getting the surge in her career post-Temple Grandin, and that her wonderful acting abilities is put into good use. She might have won just two years ago, but she deserves this quick of a follow up.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”
This was tough. Esposito was the villain of the season and he was actually good in Breaking Bad. This is also the last chance to reward Harris for years of consistent performance, but I can’t resist to vote for Aaron Paul who perfectly compliments Bryan Cranston every single time in Breaking Bad.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA: Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
It’s really a bull that Mad Men is still Emmyless in terms of acting categories. Holloway owned this season like no other, so I’m giving my vote to her. Christine Baranski is a close second, but I’m totally voting for Miss Holloway.
GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”
After watching his episode, he totally gave me Hannibal Lecter creeps. That’s enough to give him my vote.
GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
What is she even doing in this category? I think she’s a solid supporting actress in her show. With that said, I’ve loved how she embraced this character perfectly and that tape just rocks on so many level.
WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7)
After Homeland’s The Weekend shoutout here, I’m going with Fellowes Oscar-worthy screenplay for the Christmas episode. This is totally the saving grace of an uneven second season.
DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Vince Gilligan, “Breaking Bad” (Face Off)
From start to finish, the episode is riveting. Simply riveting.
COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family (ABC)
No Louie and Parks and Recreation on the list. I like both Girls and Veep, but I think they still ahsn’t developed the highest points of their series runs. Big Bang was more of a Big Blah this season. 30 Rock has had its shares of a threepeat here. Curb is a hit or miss for me. Easy vote goes to Modern Family.
LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
It’s between Louis CK and Larry David, but the perennial nominee deserves it based on the long pedigree of consistent performance in his show. It’s actually too overdue to happen, but I would’ve voted for him in a heartbeat.
LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”
I love you Amy Poehler, and I’m happy you won the Pawnee elections, but the Veep had my vote.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
By a mile, the only consistent and still refreshing cast member for the third season. He really deserves the Emmy.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: Kristin Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”
Bleh batch of nominees. Where’s Jane Krakowski? She should have been winning this thing. Srsly. With that, I’ll go for our favorite bridesmaid.
GUEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live”
It’s not even a competition. Fallon owned everybody in his category, and I’m ecstatic he actually won.
GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”
I love you Kathy Bates, and I’m happy you can now call yourself an Emmy winner, but the moment Beyonce did Maya Rudolph is already a win worthy in my book. Distant second is Melissa McCarthy’s dress tasting skit.
WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Chris McKennan, “Community” (Remedial Chaos Theory)
I’m still over the moon with this nomination, and this only comes once in a blue moon, so why waste your time to not vote for it. This is the best nomination this whole Emmy season.
DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Louis CK, “Louie” (Duckling)
A.K.A a vote for all of his work for the show.
REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM: The Voice (NBC)
I have three favorite reality/competition shows: The Amazing Race, Top Chef, and The Voice. The first two ahve Emmys on their mantle already. It’s time to add a third companion on the list.
REALITY HOST: Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance”
Only Deeley shows enough personality that sets her apart from being just the “instruction giver.” Other hosts should really take notes.
OUTSTANDING MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (PBS)
I really don’t have any vote here. So anything other than American Mess Story is fine by me.
LEAD ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
This is the perfect Sherlock performance that’s less mainstream and more convincing. Iron Man, take notes.
LEAD ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Say what you want about the quality of the whole TV movie but Kidman stand out front and center in this enriching performance that shows why she’s one of her generation’s top actresses.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Martin Freeman, “Sherlock”
Meh batch of nominees. Don’t think Harris is the stand out at all, and the others aren’t even close. Give O’Hare some props though.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sarah Paulson, “Game Change”
We all know Lange is winning and she deserves it, but Paulson is the real definition of a supporting actress in Game Change. She gets my vote.
How about you? Who will you be voting for if you were an Emmy voter? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂
While I had no doubts that Boardwalk Empire
will earn a repeat nomination in this category, it’s chances are sadly slim to none. This show lost all the buzz and momentum that they had last year which could have catapulted to a regular second season series win. The only good thing on their side is that the second season was far more critically praised than the first one, but in between losing buzz and nominations, it seems like Boardwalk Empire must be content with just enjoying their nomination. Not even the name of Martin Scorsese can help it win on its freshman season, so the odds are definitely lower now.
After missing out a season of eligibility, Breaking Bad comes back and definitely with a bang. With increased nominations and more critical acclaims on its side, it is very fitting to assume that the show will definitely pick up a Series win. The only negative things about that is that I don’t see it happening this year. Slowly, we can see the whole Emmy voters warming up in terms of their reception regarding the show, and it will probably take next season or the final one (the last season is divided into two parts ala The Sopranos), for them to give this show the crown. As for now, we should just get contented with the fact that there are signs that show they really really like the show.
In my opinion, there are really two possible scenarios that Downton Abbey can end up to prior to the nomination announcement. They can be lukewarm about it, or they can go totally crazy about it. Obviously, with all the surprise nominations left and right, the Emmy voters finally have made their final say and stated how much they like this British period piece. Nominations in acting, directing, writing, and techs show the huge overall support that this show is getting. If there’s anything that can stop the lovefest that Emmy has towards Mad Men, I see the Downton Abbey train going it all the way to the podium come Emmy time.
Game of Thrones is the other HBO show nominated for the top award is on the opposite ends with Boardwalk Empire. While critics were pretty much divided this season, commercial acclaim definitely skyrocketed more than ever, now forming a cult following of their own. However, in terms of nominations, voters were pretty much lukewarm especially to their supposed big episode “Blackwater” which missed both the Directing and Writing categories. It seems like voters aren’t that excited about the show the way they were excited about it last year, but still passionately like it to nominate it. The way I see it though, there is no possibility for George RR Martin and team to be going up that stage to receive this award.
Prior to the unveiling of the nominations, Homeland seems to be the show that will unseat Mad Men in the top drama category for the first time. After all, it has superstars as leads, it’s on cable, and it’s the hot new critics favorite show of this season. While all of those factors still apply to its advantage, there’s this little show called Downton Abbey that grabbed all the momentum that should be going to this show. However, I still don’t think it’s the end for the series. If voters want some fresh blood that does not involve any Brits in it, then Homeland seems to be the clear alternate that voters are looking for. So, it is really not wise to knock their chances out yet.
Five for five hasn’t happened in the history of this category yet, but of course, there’s a large possibility that Mad Men is the show that can finally get that acclaim. Mad Men still pretty much buzzworthy in the frontrunner status delivering another winning season with wise submissions to boot. It is also not difficult to give the show an easy win especially when they still managed to nab the top award last year even with just Hairstyling as its only other award.
Just a week ago, I’m pretty certain that Mad Men will win this in a heartbeat. Remember all it needs is a Hairstyling Emmy and one can claim that odds will be perfect then. In a shocking twist of fate, Downton Abbey snatches Mad Men’s love relationship in that category. Is that an omen of what will happen once the envelop is opened? Sounds ridiculous, but I’m staying safe for now and predict Downton Abbey to stop mad Men’s historic fifth win.
Prediction: Downton Abbey
Dark Horse: Mad Men
1. Downton Abbey
2. Mad Men
4. Breaking Bad
5. Boardwalk Empire
6. Game of Thrones
Earlier this week, the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) already announced the country’s submission for the Foreign Language Film category for next February’s Academy Awards. Despite some initial backlash among some of the movies that were on the shortlist (released on two separate batches), they still made a very wise decision submitting this year’s Cinemalaya entry, Jun Lana’s “Bwakaw” for consideration and as the country’s official entry.
Bwakaw tells the story of Rene (played perfectly by Eddie Garcia), an old gay man living with only his dog, as he waits for his final days. Much to his surprise, it’s never too late to be opened to a lot of life’s treasured experiences.
This movie beats nine other films that were mentioned to be a part of the two batch shortlist that the FAP announced the past month. Those nine movies include Ron Morales’ Graceland, Jose Javier Reyes’ Mga Mumunting Lihim (Those Little Secrets), Brillante Mendoza’s Captive, Adolf Alix’s Busong (Palawan Fate), Alvin Yapan’s Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (The Dance of the Two Left Feet), Daryl dela Cruz’s Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, John D. Lazatin’s A Mother Story, Joyce Bernal’s Segunda Mano, and Muhammad Yusuf’s The Witness.
As for starters, I think this is a very commendable and refreshing choice from the FAP. From the first batch, I would have chosen either Yapan’s Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa or Mendoza’s Captive as the country’s official submission. From the second batch, Morales’s Graceland and Lana’s Bwakaw seems to be the standout options. It’s really surprising that the committee went for one of those four, especially since the last few years have been nothing but weak to “What were they thinking” choices. As a recap…
2008: Soxy Topacio’s Ded na si Lolo a.k.a RP’s worst submission ever. I really don’t see why this was chosen by the Academy. It did not have any staggering reviews, did not make a splash at the box office, and was not even buzzed during that year. Ded na si Lolo is a comedy that tells the story of a six day wake of a big family’s patriarch that opened a lot of secrets, realizations, and acceptance among the members of the family. Up until now, I was not convinced that it was the best submission of the country that year, let alone, the shortlist. My vote would have gone to Brillante Mendoza’s Venice entry Lola who just came off from a Cannes win earlier that year.
2009: Dondon Santos’ Noy a.k.a the FAP got carried away with the election. For this year, the Academy chose to be political and submitted the movie “Noy” which starred the country’s most prominent actor Coco Martin. In here, there’s a juxtaposition about then presidentiable Noynoy Aquino and how a reporter, incidentally named Noy as well, joins him during his campaign period. I remember how after all submissions were revealed, both RP and Brazil received flack for riding on the election bandwagon when the latter submitted “Lula, The Son of Brazil” as its submission. With that said, it is pretty much expected it will not be the film that will bring us our first nomination. My choice that year? Despite not being impressed with the shortlist, I guess I’ll have to go with Joel Lamangan’s family drama Sagrada Familia
2010: Marlon Rivera’s Ang Babae sa Septic Tank a.k.a the Eugene Domingo lovefest. Coming off from a very solid buzz at last year’s Cinemalaya, this Eugene Domingo starrer is definitely a hit in the making. This satirical take on how three filmmakers wanted to have the perfect festival hit and the road towards it is definitely one of the better films that we have submitted (if we base it on the actual merits of the film). Non-Oscar aficionados thought that this will definitely bring some buzz as most voters will find it relatable (heck, it even had an Oscar trophy in its poster) and witty. But here lies the problem: the Academy, especially voters, are not fond of making fun of their business. Case in point: the 2006 film For Your Consideration starring Catherone O’Hara wherein she played an actress desperately wanting to get an Oscar nod only to see her heart broken when she was snubbed for a nomination. AMPAS ignored the film altogether that year. The same can be said for Septic Tank’s chances last year.
With that said, what do I think about Bwakaw’s Oscar chances? On one hand, it’s off to a good start by being a participant at the recently concluded Toronto Film Festival. It’s next stop is the pickier and stricter New York Film Festival, so that says something about the quality of the film. I’ve learned that it already has a distributor abroad, so that’s another plus for the film’s chances. All it has to do now is maintain the buzz that has initially started. If they can get more festival runs and screenings, then it will boost better word of mouth regarding the film.
On the downside, this might still get lost in the shuffle of all high profile films that debuted from the three biggest festivals this year. There’s already Austria’s Amour, France’s Intouchables, South Korea’s Pieta, Germany’s Barbara, and Romania’s Beyond the Hills. I’m not saying that Bwakaw doesn’t hold a candle to all the previously mentioned films in terms of quality, but seeing that we have not been nominated yet, all those other countries who are Oscar friendlier will have an easy route to gain buzz throughout the Oscar season.
In conclusion, I’m gonna be realistic here and say that so far, its chances are longshot at best. Is this the film that will bring us the coveted Oscar? No I don’t think so. Is this the movie that will give us our first nomination? I still don’t think so. Is this the movie that will make us enter the top nine short list? Probably. Bwakaw needs A Separation type of consensus in order for us to go all the way this year. However, with all that said, this is one year where I’m really happy with our submission, and it gives me hope that yes, getting that Oscar nod and trophy is still possible. As for now, I’m contended with small steps on our way there.