2014 BAFTA AWARD RECAP

image While "Gravity" was the nights biggest winner with six BAFTA's, including Outstanding British Film and Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron, "12 Years A Slave" pulled out a last minute triumph taking the big prize...Best Film, while Chiwitel Ejiofor gave the film its first honor of the night winning the Best Actor award. Oscar frontrunner Matthew McConaughy ("Dallas Buyers Club") was not nominated in the Best Actor category, but Leonardo DiCaprio was expected to win for "The Wolf of Wall Street'.

With "Gravity' and "12 Years A Slave' tying at the Producers guild Awards, the BAFTA win is a sign that "12 Years...' could hold its own against the flashier "Gravity" in one of the most competitive Oscar races I have seen in more than a decade.

Cate Blanchett won Best Actress award for Blue Jasmine. However, the surprise win of the night was Jennifer Lawrence's win for "American Hustle" over frontrunner Lupita N'yongo in '12 Years A Slave' in a field that also included Julia Roberts ("August: Osage County") and Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine"). Barkhad Abdi, a non-professional who was found by director Paul Greengrass driving a limo in Minneapolis, beat fellow Oscar nominees Michael Fassbender ("12 Years A Slave") and Bradley Cooper ("American Hustle"). Oscar frontrunner, Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") was not nominated.

"The Great Beauty" won in the foreign-language category, while "The Act of Killing" was named Best Documentary and "Frozen" was named Best Animated film. All three are Oscar nominees in those categories. Original Screenplay prize went to "American Hustle" and the Adapted Screenplay went to "Philomena." On the craft-awards side, in addition to the four wins for "Gravity.", "The Great Gatsby" won for production and costume design. "Rush" won for editing and "American Hustle" won for makeup/hairstyling.

Director Peter Greenaway won an honorary award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, while Dame Helen Mirren was awarded BAFTA's highest honor, the Academy Fellowship.

The winner of BAFTA's Best Film prize has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture for the last five years, although the two groups had the same winner only five times in the 15 years before that. Buckle your seat belts kids...Oscar night on March 2nd is gonna give us the ride of our lives.

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 UBNRAdio.com, 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!!!

Review: American Hustle

Corruption and Politics.  Nowadays those two nearly go hand in hand, but in 1980's Long Island, New York,  one of the biggest politically corrupt takedowns in history took place supervised by the FBI called "Abscam" (short for Arab Scam).  A loosely based version of Abscam is the subject of this new David O' Russell feature, AMERICAN HUSTLE. This film boasts an  all-star cast that includes  former Oscar Winner Jennifer Lawrence and former Oscar Nominees  Bradley Cooper , Christian Bale. and Amy Adams with a cameo appearance by Robert DeNiro.

Mr. Russell's wild ride begins with con artists Irving  Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) as they get busted for fraud by FBI Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper).  In exchange for zero jail time they are convinced to commit one last con on behalf of the federal government.  And that is when all the fun begins.

Let me just say that Jennifer Lawrence is a beast of an actor!!!  She is barely in her mid-20's and has the instincts of inhabiting the neurotic Long Island housewife Rosalyn Rosenfeld with such conviction and maturity that you are instantly reminded of why she  is an Oscar winner.  She is simply amazing!!!

Ashamed to admit this, but that damn Christian Bale is so fierce that I spent the whole movie thinking he was Josh Brolin.  It wasn't until the credits rolled that I was pleasantly surprised.  Like Lawrence, he physically, mentally and artistically inhabits every character he ever takes on.  Brilliant.

Bradley Cooper is a maniac....love him and Amy Adams is totally playing against type as the American pretending to be British royalty/mistress wanting a happy ending.  Of course, it is always a treat to see Robert DeNiro in ANY role, but he is especially frightening in the uncredited role of mobster Victor Telligio.  However, it is the breakthrough comedic performance of Louis C.K as Stoddard Thorsen that will have  you in stitches.

Kudos to David O' Russell for bringing his "A" game to the screen...again!  Can't wait to see what he has in store for us next time.  AMERICAN HUSTLE opens in theaters on Christmas Day.

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 UBNRAdio.com, 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!!!

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

I was such a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence and the the first installment of The Hunger Games that I could hardly wait to see the sequel THE HUNGER GAMES:  CATCHING FIRE! To date, this film has grossed 573 million worldwide in just a week!!!  I thought surely it must be off the chain!!  Sadly,it was a little less than stellar for me.  The first half was a little slow as we catch up with Catniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta(Josh Hutcherson) after The Hunger Games has been completed.  Boring!!!  The real action began once it was decided by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) that these two victors must once again compete in the games after previously believing they are exempt from participating after their win.  It appears the President is not happy with the impact Catniss and Peeta have had on the Districts.

It is only after the the games begin that my interest peaked.  The costumes and special effects are spectacular and we even get to a different glimpse of some of our favorites from the first installment,  Elizabeth Banks (Effie), Stanley Tucci (Caesar), Lenny Kravitz (Cinna) and Woody Harrelson (Haymitch). Of course, we are left with a little hint at the end that a third installment is on the way.

THE HUNGER GAMES:  CATCHING FIRE is in theatres now.

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 UBNRAdio.com, 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!!!

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES

Unlike most of the people who will be reading this blog, this film vaguely reminded me of a film I saw back in the day called “Logan’s Run” starring Farrah Fawcett and Michael York. It too was a sci-fi flick that dealt with life in the 23rd century where humans were free to just live…that is unless you were 30. Once you turned 30, you were terminated during a ceremony called Carousel. Of course, who wants to be snuffed out at 30, so some folks tried to run only to be tracked down by the Sandman and killed. Needless to say, very intense for my little teen age brain at the time. Also, unlike most, I did not have the good fortune of reading the book THE HUNGER GAMES until after I viewed the fillm, which being a sci-fi, adventure, thriller kind of gal I thouroughly enjoyed. What I did not enjoy was while reading the book, I learned that the lead character, Katniss Everdeen portrayed wonderfully by Jennifer Lawrence in the film version, was of native american descent. I have to say that beng an African American actress, I was a little annoyed that Katniss couldn’t have been Zoe Saldana or another woman of color. Now, that I have had my two cents to say about that. let me get back to “The Hunger Games…LOL. As I mentioned, this film is set in the future where the Capitol chooses a boy and a girl from twelve districts to fight live on tv. Without totally ruining the plot for those who may not have seen the film. Katniss is faced with serious decisions concerning family and friendship. I was engrossed by the storyline, largely due to the brilliant screen adapatation by Gary Ross, Billy Ray and Hunger Games novelist Suzanne Colins. All of the acting performances were intense, strong and believeable, but my favorites were Stanley Tucci’s character…Caesar Flickerman, who served as the host for the fighting festivities and Lenny Kravitz, who between this performance as the fighting stylist Cinna and his lovely warm portrayal as Nurse John in “Precious” is really becoming quite a fine actor. I was particularly moved by the young lady who expressed such depth as young Rue, Amandla Stenberg. Keep an eye out for that little doll:). Anywhoo…loved, loved, loved this film and can’t wait for the sequel in 2013.

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 UBNRAdio.com, 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!!!