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5 things to do this weekend: Flamenco, axe-throwing and Union Station transformed

Marcia Chen | posted Saturday, Jan 17th, 2015

Jan. 16-18, 2015

Villa Toronto: Toronto joins past hosts Warsaw, Reykjavik and Tokyo as the site for a roving art exhibit to “create encounters with the general public and local art communities.” Nineteen private galleries from Dundas West to Milan will transform Union Station’s Great Hall with their works. Jan. 16 (Friday) to Jan. 23, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m; opening 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Union Station, 65 Front St. W. Free. villaraster.com

Dance Ontario: Live Flamenco, Egyptian and contemporary dance for less than the cost of a movie. Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W. Friday to Sunday. $10 suggested donation. danceontario.ca

Come Up To My Room: Artists and designers build installations specifically for the rooms and hallways of a 125-year-old Queen West hotel. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W. Until Jan. 25. Free; some paid events. comeuptomyroom.com

Axe Throwing – like darts, but not: Learn how to hurl an axe at a target and then test your skills in a tournament. What could go wrong? The winner takes home a wood-burned hatchet. Beginners welcome. Friday. 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Batl, 33 Villiers St. $45.facebook.com

Singsation Saturdays: A sing-along of opera classics led by Sandra Horst of the Canadian Opera Company. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge St. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. $10, including refreshments. tmchoir.org

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca,or submit it online at CityNews.ca or 680News.com, or via our iPhone & iPad apps.

And the Oscar goes to…

Christina Balram | posted Thursday, Jan 15th, 2015

The Academy Awards are just over a month away and it’s easily one of the most prestigious awards to receive as it recognizes Hollywood’s annual celebration of the best that its creative artists have to offer over the previous year.

The Oscars are the oldest entertainment awards ceremony and have paved the way for its equivalents like the Emmy Awards celebrating the best in television, Tony Awards for theatre, and the GRAMMYs for music.

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony took place on May 16, 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The show was publicly broadcast via radio through 1953 when it was televised in black and white. In 1966, the broadcast of the Academy Awards took place in colour, allowing viewers to see the dazzle and allure of the event. Today, the Oscars are telecast internationally, reaching movie fans in over 200 countries, through the Internet and social media.

The main difference between the Academy Awards and other movie award shows is its voting process, which is done by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Essentially, actors are voting for other actors which can sometimes result in funny stories.


Oscar the Statuette

The most recognized trophy in the world is the Oscar statuette which stands proudly on the mantels of many legendary filmmakers.

The statuette stands 13-and-a-half inches tall and weighs in at a heavy eight-and-a-half pounds. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. There has been over 2,809 statuettes presented since the initial awards banquet in 1929.

Officially named the Academy Award of Merit, the statuette is better known by its nickname, Oscar. While the origins of the moniker are not clear, it is rumored that upon seeing the trophy for the first time, Academy librarian Margaret Herrick remarked that it resembled her Uncle Oscar. The Academy didn’t adopt the nickname officially until 1939, but it was widely known by 1934 that columnists used it upon referring to Katharine Hepburn’s win for Best Actress.

Achievements in up to 25 regular categories will be honored on February 22 at the 87th Academy Awards presentation at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. However, the Academy won’t know how many statuettes it will hand out until the envelopes are opened on Oscar Night. Although the number of categories are known in advance, the possibility of ties and of multiple recipients sharing the prize in some categories makes it impossible to predict the exact number of statuettes to be awarded.

Surplus awards will be housed in the Academy’s vault until the following year.

My Picks

  • Best Picture: The Theory of Everything

The Academy has a tricky habit of giving Best Picture to a film that audiences may have not seen coming. The Theory of Everything looks at the life of Stephen Hawking, his wife, and his lifetime achievements. The Theory of Everything won two Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor, Drama and Best Original Score. With momentum like that, I would be surprised if this movie leaves the Oscars empty handed.

  • Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

If you are familiar with Alan Turing, then you will know that his life was full of discoveries and tribulations, which is why Cumberbatch should get the award for best actor. The British actor’s performance was extraordinary and brought audiences back in time through an intricate, roller-coaster journey.

  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

The character development throughout the movie makes Moore a serious contender. Still Alice is about a linguistics professor that is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers testing the bonds within her family. Moore eloquently captures the mental frustration that accompanies the deterioration of one’s memory. This illness is one that hasn’t been thoroughly exposed by the Hollywood industry, and the portrayal of the character leaves audiences wanting more.

Click here for the full list of 2015 nominations, click here.

Nominations announced for 87th annual Oscars

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jan 15th, 2015

The nominations for the 87th annual Academy Awards were announced on Thursday from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs was joined by actor Chris Pine, and directors J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón for the announcement.

The awards air on Feb. 22, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

See a partial list of nominees below.

Best Picture
American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Director
Alejandro Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Animated Feature Film
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best Cinematography
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Film Editing
American Sniper, Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
Boyhood, Sandra Adair
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game, William Goldenberg
Whiplash, Tom Cross

Best Documentary Feature
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

Best Documentary Short Subject
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Best Foreign Language Film
Wild Tales

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Music, Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything

Best Music, Original Song
“Everything is Awesome,” from The Lego Movie
“Glory,” from Selma
“Grateful,” from Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” from Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars,” from Begin Again

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Short Film, Animated
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Best Short Film, Live Action
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
The Phone Call

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything

Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The Grand Budapest Hotel

3 simple things you can do to avoid the flu

Sydney Loney | posted Thursday, Jan 15th, 2015

Take a sick day

Last year, the flu killed 258 people and sent 3,720 to hospital — in Ontario alone. Still, past studies show Canadians are reluctant to stay home no matter how horrible they feel: Almost 80 percent of us have gone to work while ill (46 percent of women cite guilt as the reason they don’t call in sick). This is bad because of the contagion factor (you’re germy for up to seven days after symptoms show up) and because lack of rest makes you sicker for longer.

Stay in bed if you have a temperature of 38C (100F), says Susan Poutanen,a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. “You should also stay home if you develop a runny nose, a sore throat, chills, aches or a cough — some of the first signs of the flu.”

Three steps to avoid the flu

1. Sleep more: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say less than seven hours makes you almost three times more likely to catch a cold. Stick to a strict sleep schedule and do whatever it takes, whether that’s wearing an eye mask or switching on a fan, to help you fall asleep faster.

2. Beware the break room: It’s the most infected area at work, say researchers at the University of Arizona. Highly contaminated spots include doorknobs, copy-machine buttons, coffee-pot handles and sink tap handles.

3. Wash, rinse, repeat: A study in the American Journal of Infection shows the flu virus lives on hands and surfaces for up to 10 minutes—and most people touch
their faces once every three minutes. The best defence is to wash hands frequently, lathering up for 20 seconds each time.

5 stunners on Golden Globes red carpet

Christina Balram | posted Monday, Jan 12th, 2015

Lights, camera, sparkle. The 72nd-annual Golden Globes kicked off the 2015 awards season, and viewers around the world gazed in awe at the fashions as celebs walked down the red carpet.

From Amal Alamuddin’s gloves to J.Lo’s thigh-high slit, here are some of our favourite ensembles:

Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel take top Golden Globes

Reuters | posted Monday, Jan 12th, 2015

Coming of age tale Boyhood won the coveted Golden Globe for best drama on Sunday, while the quirky period caper The Grand Budapest Hotel was the surprise winner for best comedy or musical, in a big upset to awards season front-runner Birdman.

The first major awards for the Hollywood film industry this year were scattered widely among many films, potentially setting up a complex race towards the industry’s top honors, the Oscars on Feb. 22.

Boyhood took three Globes, including the night’s top honor, a reward for the unprecedented cinematic venture of making a film over 12 years with the same actors. The man behind the low-budget experiment, Richard Linklater, won best director and Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress as the compassionate mother of the boy in the film.

Birdman, a satire of show business that led all nominees with seven nods, picked up best screenplay, by the film’s director, Alejandro Inarritu, and best actor in a comedy or musical for Michael Keaton, embodying a comeback in film and real life.

In the first award of the night, JK Simmons won best supporting actor as an intense music teacher in the indie film Whiplash.

Amy Adams was awarded the award for best actress in a comedy, for the role of artist Margaret Keane in Big Eyes.

Other top actor awards went to performers who portrayed the pain of illness.

Julianne Moore won best actress in a drama as an early-onset Alzheimer’s patient in Still Alice, while Eddie Redmayne took best actor in a drama for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

But The Grand Budapest Hotel from director Wes Anderson was the big surprise of the night as best comedy or musical, although it only took home that one award.

Civil rights drama Selma won one award, for best song, while The Imitation Game walked away empty-handed.

The outcome of the 72nd Globes will not influence the Academy Awards slate, since voting for next week’s nominees announcement is closed. But it can give crucial momentum to the Oscar race.

Week of Jan. 12, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Jan 11th, 2015

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

NHL hall-of-famer Joe Nieuwendyk will tell us how he’s giving back to his hometown of Whitby.

Jeanne Beker stops by Wednesday to talk about the politics of fashion.

And later in the week, a taste of summer as Blue Jays superstars Jose Bautista and R.A. Dickey will be live in-studio.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

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