News / Arts & Entertainment

    Nominees, Movie Fans Get Ready for Oscars

    Actress Emma Stone and 2013 Oscar host Seth MacFarlane present the 85th Academy Awards nominations for Best Actress in Beverly Hills, California, January 10, 2013.
    Actress Emma Stone and 2013 Oscar host Seth MacFarlane present the 85th Academy Awards nominations for Best Actress in Beverly Hills, California, January 10, 2013.
    Hollywood is gearing up for the Academy Awards, or Oscars, the highlight of the year for the movie industry, and for movie fans around the world.

    Steven Spielberg's epic Lincoln, the story of the 16th U.S. president's efforts to end slavery, is one of this year's leading films, and a top nominee for best picture.  Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays the title role, is considered the front-runner for the Oscar for best actor.

    “Abolishing slavery by constitutional provision settles the fate for all coming time, not only of the millions now in bondage, but of unborn millions to come," said lincoln, played by Lewis.

    Sally Field is a nominee for her supporting role as the president's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.

    “No one's ever been loved so much by the people.  Don't waste that power," she said.

    At a luncheon honoring Oscar nominees on Monday, the actress spoke about portraying an emotional first lady who lived in a time of national crisis.

    “You don't tap into any one emotion," said Sally Field. "You try to live in this place, these other people's shoes that you create through the techniques of learning their history and everything about them, and then the era and the clothes and then the actual immediacy of that day.”

    Argo, from actor and director Ben Affleck, is another top contender for best picture.  It's the story of six Americans who escape the chaos of Tehran during the 1979 Iranian revolution, with the help of American agents who pretend to be making a science fiction movie.  The improbable tale is based on a true story.

    Argo was named best dramatic film at this year's Golden Globes, and the Directors Guild of America honored Affleck with its top award this year.  But he failed to get a nomination for the best director Oscar, and some view that as a snub.  Affleck says he's happy with seven other nominations, including for best picture.

    “I'm elated by that, truly genuinely thrilled," said Affleck. "And like I said, there are nine amazing movies, any of which could win, any of which would deserve to win if they did.  So I don't get into worrying too much about who got what and didn't get what.  I mean, I've had many, many, many, many, many, many years watching from home.”

    Another leading film, Zero Dark Thirty, tells the story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden.  The story focuses on a determined agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, played by Jessica Chastain.

    Chastain is a nominee for the Oscar for best actress and says that's an honor.

    “For me, I feel like I've already won," said Chastain. "And so I never want to lose sight of what I feel right now, and being in this business and being nominated.  I know everyone says that, but really, you win already.”

    Christoph Waltz, who plays a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino's slavery saga Django Unchained, says he's not celebrating his nomination yet.  He won the Oscar as best supporting actor for the 2009 Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds.

    “An Oscar nomination for me is also a little bit of a reason for, let's say, nervous anticipation," said Waltz. "So I don't really consider nervous anticipation a reason to celebrate.”

    Other leading films include the screen adaptation of the stage musical Les Miserables, and Ang Lee's Life of Pi, the story of a boy trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.  

    The leading entry for best foreign film is Amour, a French-language drama from Austria about aging and loss.  It's also a nominee for best picture.

    One of the producers of the Oscar ceremony, Craig Zadan, says this has been a great year for movies, and this year's show should be exciting.

    “I think that the movies are very competitive this year, and the movies have done really huge box office," said Zadan. "So instead of doing a bunch of films that no one has seen, most of the films have been seen by a large proportion of the population.”

    He hopes many will be watching February 24, when the Oscars are presented in Hollywood.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    New in Music Alley

    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 10, 2016 1:48 PM
    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.