Birdman Soars Over the 87th Annual Academy Awards


Politics, Fashion and Stars are always a guarantee on and off the red carpet for the Academy Awards and this year was no exception.  Before the ceremony, diversity was the big topic and now the day after, the discussion has continued regarding equal pay for women, rights for the LGBT community and like John Legend so eloquently pointed out in his speech,"...there are more black men incarcerated than there were slaves brought to America".  Eloquent, provocative and jaw dropping speeches were definitely trending and given by winners Patricia Arquette, Common. John Legend and Graham Moore. Moore, who won for The Imitation Game dropped a bomb that detonated the Dolby Theatre, but his words were needed and heartfelt.  "When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here and, so, I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along."

87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Press Room
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Press Room
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Portraits
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Portraits

The stars showed up and showed out for the red carpet.  The pale pallete was a popular hue worn by Viola Davis,  Jennifer Lopez and Oprah Winfrey to name a few.  My personal favorite was Gone Girl nominee Rosamund Pike in a red lace number that made her look like a lovely, statuesque bouquet of roses.

87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Arrivals
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Arrivals

I had the opportunity to chat and meet some of my media idols such as "Entertainment Guru" for LA ABC7 - George Pinnachio, my good girlfriend, supermodel Roshumba Williams and made new friends like kitsch queen Esther Goldberg and's Keira Renee (who really helped a sister out on the red carpet)!

87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Telecast
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Telecast
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Telecast
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Telecast
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Telecast
87th Academy Awards, Oscars, Telecast


Some powerful performances that will remain etched in many minds after last night include Lady Gaga's tribute around the the 50th Anniversary of The Sound of Music, which Oscar Winner Julie Andrews with much emotion thanked Gaga and said the tribute  "warmed her heart";  Common and John Legend accepting their little bald gold guy and insighted tears from the audience.   Here is an excerpt from their acceptance speech:

Common:   "John and I got to go to Selma and perform “Glory” on the same bridge that Dr. King and the people of the civil rights movement marched on 50 years ago. This bridge was once a landmark of a divided nation but now is a symbol for change. The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status. The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South Side of Chicago dreaming of a better life to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy. This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated by love for all human beings."

John Stephens (John Legend):  "Nina Simone said it’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live. We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago but we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on. God bless you."

After the ceremony the stars partied till the sun came up.  I joined my fellow AAFCA members at a soiree sponsored by our organization and Mercedes Benz at the Four Seasons.  Black Hollywood was in full effect with numerous 'Selma" castmates including Niecy Nash and "my brother from another mother" Omar Dorsey.  Other attendees included Colman Domingo, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Beverly Johnson, Robi Reed, Star Jones, Vanessa Bell-Calloway and many others.

SElma's Omar dorsey and Carla Renata at the aafca oscar screening party

SElma's Omar dorsey and Carla Renata at the aafca oscar screening party

selma's neicy nash and carla renata at the aafca oscar screening party

selma's neicy nash and carla renata at the aafca oscar screening party

carla renata on the red carpet at the aafca oscar screening party

carla renata on the red carpet at the aafca oscar screening party

abc-7 entertainment guru George pinnachio and carla renata on oscar red carpet

abc-7 entertainment guru George pinnachio and carla renata on oscar red carpet

carla renata on the oscar red carpet

carla renata on the oscar red carpet

It was an exciting and exhilarating year for film that have inspired a lot of long overdue conversations.  In moving forward, let's just not talk...but act.  Make a Change...Make a Difference...Starting NOW!!!

Check out my Pre-Oscar Red Carpet Coverage and see you next year!!!




Here is full list of the winners from the 87th Annual Academy Awards:

Best supporting actor - JK Simmons for Whiplash

Achievement in costume design - The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling - The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier

Best foreign-language film- Ida – Paweł Pawlikowski

Best live-action short film -The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby, James Lucas

Best documentary short subject -Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry

Achievement in sound mixing - Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley

Achievement in sound editing -American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray, Bub AsmanBest Supporting Actress ...Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

Achievement in visual effects - Interstellar – Paul J Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R Fisher

Best animated short filmFeast – Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed

Best animated feature film - Big Hero 6

Best production design - The Grand Budapest Hotel: Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock

Achievement in cinematography -Birdman: Emmanuel Lubezki

Achievement in film editing - Whiplash – Tom Cross

Best documentary feature -Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

Best original song - Glory from Selma – Lonnie Lynn (Common), John Stephens (John Legend)

Best original score -Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Original screenplay- Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman

Adapted screenplay -Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

Best director- Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Best actor -Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

Best actress - Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Best picture -  Birdman

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Countdown To Oscar: Who Never Won The Oscar?

In the history of the Oscars, there are always a handful of people the masses feel are robbed of their recognition by the Academy.  This year it was Selma Director Ava DuVernay and its star David Oyelowo.  I bet you didn't know about these groundbreaking, big stars who also never got a chance to win an Oscar. Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Orson Welles


Hitchcock was nominated five times for best director and never won an Oscar.  However, was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1968 (usually given to those with an outstanding body of work, but never won the coveted award).   Kubrick and Welles were nominated and won an Academy Awards in other areas.  Kubrick won a  Best Effects Oscar for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Welles won Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Citizen Kane.

Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole

Burton and O'Toole, two of the best actors in any era have a total of 15 Oscar nominations between them.  However, in 2003 O'Toole was bestowed with an Honorary Oscar.


Marilyn Monroe

One of the most iconic imitated movie stars of all time, Marilyn Monroe, changed the game for women in the Golden Age of Hollywood.  Monroe was an amazing actress, but the Academy overlooked her talent due to her sex symbol status.

Marilyn monroe

Marilyn monroe

Cary Grant

Grant starred in over 70 films, garnered 2 nominations, but the golden guy eluded his career.

Here are also 20 other actors, who have been nominated numerous times, but have never taken home an Academy Award.

leonardo di caprio in the wolf on wall street

leonardo di caprio in the wolf on wall street

Leonardo DiCaprio 1994: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "What's Eating Gilbert Grape"; 2005: Nominated for Best Actor, "The Aviator"; 2007: Nominated for Best Actor, "Blood Diamond"; 2014: Nominated for "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Johnny Depp 2004: Nominated for Best Actor, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"; 2005: Nominated for Best Actor, "Finding Neverland", 2008: Nominated for Best Actor, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"

TOM CRUISE1990: Nominated for Best Actor, "Born on the Fourth of July"; 1997: Nominated for Best Actor, "Jerry Maguire"; 2000: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "Magnolia".

JULIANNE MOORE1998: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, "Boogie Nights";  2000: Nominated for Best Actress, "The End of the Affair"; 2003: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, "The Hours";  2003: Nominated for Best Actress, "Far From Heaven"

GLENN CLOSE1983: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, "The World According to Garp"; 1984: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, "The Big Chill"; 1985: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, "The Natural"; 1988: Nominated for Best Actress, "Fatal Attraction"; 1989: Nominated for Best Actress, "Dangerous Liasons"; 2012: Nominated for Best Actress, "Albert Nobbs".

JOAQUIN PHOENIX2001: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "Gladiator"; 2006: Nominated for Best Actor, "Walk the Line"; 2013: Nominated for Best Actor, "The Master".

EDWARD NORTON1997: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "Primal Fear"; 1999: Nominated for Best Actor, "American History X"

ANNETTE BENING1991: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, "The Grifters";  2000: Nominated for Best Actress, "American Beauty";  2005: Nominated for Best Actress, "Being Julia";  2011: Nominated for Best Actress, "The Kids Are All Right";

ED HARRIS1996: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "Apollo 13";  1999: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "The Truman Show"; 2001: Nominated for Best Actor, "Pollock";  2003: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "The Hours"; lost to Chris Cooper, "Adaptation."

SIGOURNEY WEAVER1987: Nominated for Best Actress, "Aliens"; 1989: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, "Working Girl"; 1989: Nominated for Best Actress, "Gorillas in the Mist"

HARRISON FORD1985: Nominated for Best Actor, "Witness"

ALBERT FINNEY1964: Nominated for Best Actor, "Tom Jones";  1975: Nominated for Best Actor, "Murder on the Orient Express"; 1984: Nominated for Best Actor, "The Dresser"; 1985: Nominated for Best Actor, "Under the Volcano"; 2001: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "Erin Brockovich"; lost to Benicio del Toro, "Traffic"



Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, "Dangerous Liasons"; 


Nominated for Best Actress, "The Fabulous Baker Boys"; 


Nominated for Best Actress, "Love Field"

JOHN TRAVOLTA1978: Nominated for Best Actor, "Saturday Night Fever"; 1995: Nominated for Best Actor, "Pulp Fiction"

GARY OLDMAN2012: Nominated for Best Actor, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.1993: Nominated for Best Actor, "Chaplin"; 2009: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "Tropic Thunder"

LIAM NEESON1994: Nominated for Best Actor, "Schindler's List"

WILL SMITH2002: Nominated for Best Actor, "Ali"; 2007: Nominated for Best Actor, "The Pursuit of Happyness"

MARK WAHLBERG2007: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "The Departed";  2011: Nominated for Best Picture, "The Fighter" (along with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman)

RALPH FIENNES1994: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, "Schindler's List";  1997: Nominated for Best Actor, "The English Patient"

Countdown to Oscar: 9 Glamorous Hollywood Couples of All Time

Living in such a social media world where you are scrutinized within an inch of your life, Hollywood glamour and pop culture are always on the radar as are all of it stars. Even more interesting are the Hollywood Glamour Couples, so here are my top picks for the Glamorous Couples of All Time (in no particular order of course). 1. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

Elizabeth_Taylor_89_174773b Dick and Liz, as the media affectionately dubbed them, were a staple of Hollywood glamour and red carpets. Both known for their unapologetic candor, it is safe to say that they were definitely the original "bad boy and diva" of the red carpet. In addition to being one the biggest movie stars in the world, Taylor lent her name to a still thriving perfume and jewelry line, as well as the CEO of the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. Richard Burton died in 1984 and Elizabeth Taylor passed on in 2011.

2. Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman

52437991 These two were iconically, classic Hollywood. Newman, was the steel blue-eyed Hollywood hunk and Woodward the brainy beauty. The Oscar winners remained a couple until the untimely death of Newman at age 83. Woodward continues to act, mostly with small roles and voice-over work.

3. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck

64th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals


They met on the set of the film Daredevil and their lives have never been the same.  Oscar winner Ben Affleck has taken a page from the George Clooney book by being a force to be reckoned with as a director, producer, actor and writer.  Garner seamlessly made the transition from television to film and last year Co-Starred in the most buzzed about film of last season The Dallas Buyers Club.  Both gorgeous and seemingly very kind-spirited people, Affleck and Garner make being a movie star look easy juggling career and family.

4.  Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn

MOMI Gibson Russell

She was the Sock-It-To-Me girl on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In,  who went on to become an Oscar winning actress and he was the Disney kid who grew up to be a teen and adult heartthrob.  Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have been together for over 30 years and whenever they grace the red carpet it is always with elation and joy to be at the party.  Oh...BTW...Goldie's daughter Kate Hudson is a bonafide star in her own right and winning a Golden Globe Award  and Oscar nomination for her role in the Cameron Crowe film - Almost Famous.  Here's clip from a comedy I loved watching them in  called Overboard.

5.  Jada Pinkett and Will Smith



He was the historic Grammy winning Fresh Prince of Bel-Air who kicked alien butt on Independence Day while joining Men in Black.  She joined Oscar nominated Queen Latifah as a bank robber in Set It Off.  They met in Hollywood and the rest is history.  Oscar nominated Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith show the world that love is alive  and well between people of color and shows no signs of slowing down.  They always bring classic beauty and glamour to any red carpet lucky enough to have them.  FYI...Jada auditioned for the role of Will's girlfriend on The Fresh Prince and lost the role to Nia Long (The Best Man).




6.  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt



It was scandalous when Brad Pitt worked with Angelina Jolie on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith.  The chemistry was undeniable (just as it was more than 20 years ago with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra).  Brad Pitt stole everyone's heart with his brief, but memorable stint in the now classic film Thelma and Louise.  Jolie showed up on the scene, broke down what makes a chick a Girl Interrupted and walked away with an Oscar.  Jolie and Pitt are the perfect blend of glamour, brains and immense humanity.  Pitt, winning an Oscar for producing last year's monster hit 12 Years a Slave has many other projects up his sleeve.  I, for one, can't wait to see what he does next and Jolie made an impressive directorial debut this year with Unbroken.  Take a peek at the film that started it all and turned up the heat on their relationship...

7.  Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall



She was a theatre usher and he was a middle aged movie star, but together...they were pure magic.  Humphrey Bogart made a career being a guy who always had a dilemma and made being a gangster look glamourous.  When Lauren Bacall crossed his path in To Have or Have Not, Hollywood would find themselves embracing a new kind of power couple.  They remained married until Bogart's death in January 1957 and Bacall passed away in 2014.  Although Bogart rook Oscar home for his role opposite Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen, Bacall was only nominated once for her role as Barbra Streisand's mother in The Mirror Has Two Faces, but enjoyed other successes on Broadway and as an author. Take a look at the iconic scene that was the beginning of the stuff Hollywood legends are made of.

8. Carole Lombard and Clark Gable


Clark Gable was a true "matinee idol" and Carole Lombard was the charming, yet stunning comedienne.  Being stars during Hollywood's Golden Era,  you can say that they were America's first couple stalked by the media.  The press took great interest in their partnership constantly hounding the couple regarding wedding plans.  They eventually wed and two years later Lombard perished in a fatal plane crash along with her mother and Gables' press agent - Otto Winkler.  Gable would go on to act in 27 more films and remarry twice. "But he was never the same," said Esther Williams. "He had been devastated by Carole's death."  Clark Gable died from a heart attack in 1959.  Take a look at one of the rare moments they had on screen together...

9.  Warren Beatty and Annette Bening


Warren Beatty was a notorious Hollywood playboy with his name being linked from starlets ranging from Natalie Wood to Madonna.  But, when he starred opposite Annette Bening in Bugsy, it was clear his bachelor days were crawling to a close.  Beatty has been nominated 14 times for an Oscar and won for "Reds". He is the only person to have been nominated for best producer, director, writer and actor in the same film — doing so twice for Heaven Can Wait, which he co-starred,  co-wrote and co-directed with Buck Henry).  Bening has been nominated four times, but has yet to take home Oscar.  Here they are in Bugsy...