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‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Wins Top Nod At Golden Globes

Golden Globes co-host Sandra Oh said she was afraid to take the job of co-hosting this year’s show with Andy Samberg, but she took it anyway. 

“I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out at his audience and witness this moment of change,” Oh said near the top of the show as she looked at the minority nominees in attendance at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. 

Three films featuring African American cast members were nominated for best dramatic picture this year — “Black Klansman,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Black Panther,” along with “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “A Star Is Born.” ­

“Bohemian Rhapsody” won and Rami Malek won the best dramatic award for his turn as the music group Queen’s front man Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” 

Oh, who was featured in this year’s blockbuster film “Crazy Rich Asians” picked up the best performance by an actress in a TV drama prize for her work on BBC America’s “Killing Eve.” 

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosts the Golden Globes awards, which honors the best in film and television.

A push for gender equality was also evident Sunday, especially when Regina King said upon accepting the prize for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film “If Beale Street Could Talk” said, “…in the next two years, everything that I produce, I’m making a vow … that everything that I produce is 50 percent women.” The crowd cheered and King challenged “anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries . . do the same.” 

Christian Bale, who won the best actor in a musical or a comedy film, thanked Satan for helping him with his role as Dick Cheney in the film “Vice.”

Mahersala Ali won for his supporting role in the film “Green Book” and the film also won the best screenplay prize. 

Lady Gaga was in tears when it was announced she won for co-writing “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” Gaga accepted the award with co-writers Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.

She said, “As a woman in music it is really hard to be taken serious as musician and as a songwriter.” She added that her co-writers “lifted me up, they supported me.”

The FX series “The Americans” about a pair of Russian spies hiding out as husband-and-wife travel agents in the U.S. in the 1980s won the best TV drama Golden Globe Award for its sixth and final year.

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?”

Smithsonian Museum’s Latest Acquisitions Reflect a Diverse America

For the past 50 years, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington has been telling America’s story with images of people who helped shape the history and culture of the United States.

Telling America’s story

Each November, the Gallery selects a number of portraits to add to its collection. This year, it added 28 more pictures in an effort to tell a more diverse and complete story of American society.

While the display features well-known personalities such as former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, it also sheds light on some lesser-known “hidden figures.”

Ann Shumard, senior curator of photographs at the Gallery, said this year’s selections represent a wide range of fields in a variety of formats, “ranging from paintings to prints to photographs to sculpture. It’s really quite a wonderful panoply of objects.”

Among the portraits is astronomer Edwin Hubble.  

“He was really one of the premier astronomers in the 20th century,” Shumard said. “And in the image, you see him looking through the eyepiece of a state-of-the-art telescope from 1949.  It was being used to survey the northern sky into a complete photographic survey of the sky.” The Hubble Space Telescope was named to honor him.

There’s a photo of beloved children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, best known for his book “Where the Wild Things Are,” first issued in 1963.

“From an early age, he enjoyed reading and drawing, and that really translated ultimately into a career for him,” Shumard said.

African American presence

The exhibit also features portraits of some of the most prominent African-American figures in recent history, such as media executive Oprah Winfrey.

“She’s really a much broader influence than simply through her media work,” Shumard pointed out. “She’s of course an actress, having appeared in ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Beloved.’ She has the magazine, and her book club did so much to foster interest in reading on the part of her viewers.”

Theater director and producer Ellen Stewart, who founded an experimental theater company, is another inductee.

“Stewart was working as a freelance theatrical costume designer when she realized how difficult it was for fledgling playwrights to find performance spaces in New York City. So, she founded a non-commercial performance space in a basement in the East Village that became known as the La MaMa Experimental Theater,” Shumard explained.

“It has inspired similar kinds of theatrical venues all over the world,” she said, “and really fostered the careers of many significant actors and playwrights.”

In 1945, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and classical pianist George Walker was the first black artist to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra, when segregation often blocked opportunities for African Americans, Shumard said. “So, he turned to teaching and composing, and developed into one of the foremost contemporary classical composers.”

“He scored all of his compositions by hand,” Shumard said. “In the diptych, we see two images of him — one framed by his piano in his home, and the other using his hands as he is scoring his Symphonia No. 5, which will have its world premiere next year.”

Other subjects in the exhibit include author and political activist Helen Keller, who was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree, actress Phylicia Rashad and American businessman Julius Fleischmann.

Latin American influence

There are also many Latino figures in the exhibit, said Taína Caragol, curator of painting and sculpture and Latino art and history at the Gallery.

“We have a wonderful color photograph by Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte and Tico Torres of salsa queen Celia Cruz,” she said. “We have two wonderful portraits by Harry Gamboa Jr. of Rodolfo Acuña, the father of Chicano Studies, and musician Louie Pérez of Los Lobos.”

There are also two portraits by Freddy Rodriguez of former New York Yankee Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, and David “Big Papi” Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox.  Each is in what Caragol describes as the “silhouette technique.”

Diverse collection

Shumard said she hopes people will see figures that are familiar to them, such as Winfrey, “but also figures that they may not know much about, and be intrigued to learn more about that individual’s biography and contribution.”

“I think as you look at the works in the show, you can see how many different fields of endeavor are represented, whether it’s the fine arts, sports, science. There’s just a wonderful range, and I think it speaks to the diversity of achievement in the United States.”

These new acquisitions join more than 23,000 works in the Portrait Gallery’s collection and will be on view through November 2019.

Smithsonian Museum’s Latest Acquisitions Reflect a Diverse America

For the past 50 years, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington has been telling America’s story with images of people who helped shape the history and culture of the United States. It recently added 28 pictures in an effort to tell a more diverse and more complete story of U.S. society. The display features well-known people like baseball player Alex Rodriguez and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy — and sheds light on some “hidden figures.” VOA’s Julie Taboh has more.

There’s More Than One Way to Recycle a Christmas Tree

There are a number of reasons why Americans like to have a live tree for their Christmas centerpiece It just smells like Christmas, they grew up with a real tree, they feel it’s better for the environment than an artificial one. And although trees can be chipped into mulch after the holiday, there are other ways to environmentally dispose of a Christmas tree that’s passed its prime. Faith Lapidus reports.

Hollywood Ready to Party in (Possibly) Trump-free Golden Globes

 The Golden Globes kick off the show business awards season on Sunday with Hollywood apparently in the mood for a party, and with plenty to celebrate.

After a record $41.7 billion global movie box-office in 2018, crowd-pleasers like “A Star is Born,” “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Mary Poppins Returns” are competing for Golden Globe honors.

This year, the boozy, informal dinner in Beverly Hills, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is expected to leave politics behind.

‘Time to laugh’

Golden Globe hosts Andy Samberg and “Killing Eve” nominated actress Sandra Oh say they are aiming for a fun evening.

“Everyone is depressed and maybe that’s as good a reason as any that everyone could use a little time to laugh and celebrate,” Samberg told the Hollywood Reporter.

Oh said she is “not interested at all” in talking about U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been a focus of attacks at award shows since his 2016 election campaign.

Last year’s Golden Globes were marked by celebrities turning out en masse in black in solidarity with the #MeToo sexual harassment scandal that was roiling Hollywood.

“After Trump’s election and #MeToo, people felt like they had to speak up,” said Tim Gray, awards editor at Hollywood publication Variety.

“This year it’s, ‘let’s celebrate the work’. They are looking forward to the fun of the Globes,” Gray added.

‘Vice’ leads with six nominations

Lady Gaga, Idris Elba, Bradley Cooper and veteran Dick Van Dyke will be among dozens of famous faces turning out on Sunday.

Scathing comedy “Vice,” about former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, has a leading six nominations, including for actors Christian Bale, Sam Rockwell and Amy Adams.

But competition is strong for the best comedy or musical statuette, with historical romp “The Favourite,” romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians,” 1960s road trip “Green Book” and “Mary Poppins Returns” all vying for honors.

“‘Vice’ director Adam McKay really takes chances with that movie. Sometimes he goes too far, and some people love it and some people are having a hard time with it,” said Gray.

Pop star Gaga and actor-director Cooper are seen taking home statuettes for “A Star is Born,” with Gaga’s version of “Shallow” widely viewed as a shoo-in for best original song.

Musicals vie for top drama

Despite being musicals, both “A Star is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” starring Rami Malek as the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, will compete in the more prestigious best movie drama category. They will face off against three films focusing on racial issues — superhero movie “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron’s lovingly shot “Roma” is expected to win the Golden Globe for best foreign language film.

The Golden Globes ceremony will be televised live on NBC on Sunday, starting at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.